We live in a broken, fallen world where we all struggle with a similar range of sins as there is nothing new under the sun. The problem begins when we start to categorize into greater and lesser sins, particularly when it comes to sexual sins.
A day ago a friend sent me an audio recording of a conversation in Jamaica of a woman and her teenage son where she confronts him about his homosexual inclinations. The mother was in typical Jamaican fashion, intolerant and had a self-righteous attitude only interested in preserving the family’s and her ‘good’ reputation in the community. There was no empathy or attempt to understand or accept her son.
I wonder if that conversation would have taken place if her son had heterosexual tendencies seeing she was so interested in the public’s opinion? ‘Boys will be boys’ would have been the typical attitude.
In 1985 Sofia George released ‘Girlie Girlie’ a song about a young man and his sexual exploits around Jamaica and the world (https://youtu.be/OLyE0N_wi08?t=10). Our society is comfortable and unperturbed with behaviours such as this. This song became an international hit, a feat Sofia was never able to repeat with any further releases.
I confess that my response to the audio conversation was poor and typical of my Christian upbringing and consistent with the modern church’s attitude to homosexuality- ‘that young man needs the Lord and to be saved’.
As christians we were taught and read Moses’s list of unlawful sexual relations in Leviticus chapter 18 and 20 and somehow the homosexual act seems to be the one which stands out most and the most widely quoted. Why so, is another discussion.
The church and hence the society has been hypocritical in how we have viewed and handled the homosexual, hence one type of sexual sin is greater than the other. Do we as christians and our ‘christian’ society, knowingly discriminate against the gay person even though for example, he/she maybe the best fit for the job, or the ideal tenant for our house?
I think a reset and reshaping has to take place in my mind and attitude along the lines of the example which Jesus took towards the woman taken in adultery. “Let him who is without sin throw the first stone” says Jesus to her accusers, who were within the ambit of Mosaic law to stone her. I have often wondered if the situation were reversed and a man/woman caught in the act of homosexuality was brought to Jesus, what would have been his response? I don’t think it would have been any different.
I need to reshape my thinking, to seek understand the human sexual struggles in all its forms and to offer the same grace extended to me. I shouldn’t pitch one sexual sin as greater or lesser but rather have to same passion and concern of Jesus not to condemn, but to encourage to “Go now and leave your life of sin”.
I hear Jesus suggesting that whatever this broken world hands you, whatever poor decisions made, no matter the abuse or assault of others to you, it is possible by the grace of God, to leave the life of sin.