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An Encounter Concerning the Practical Application of Love and Law with a Learned Professor

I recently visited a friend at one of the Reformed Theological Seminary campuses. He invited me to sit in on his Bible class, held in the evening. It “happened” that the professor was discussing the latter chapters of Exodus, including Exodus 21-23, which are detailed applications of the Mosaic Law. Briefly, he mentioned the theonomists, Christians who believe in a more particular and detailed application of the Old Testament Law, than most “evangelicals.”  (For some reasonable reviews of theonomy, see these links.)

He was mostly fair-minded with their position, but he condemned the position of some theonomists who call for the death penalty of homosexuals. He did not, then, go on to state his own beliefs about the ethics or laws that should apply to homosexuals.

So, during break, I talked with him. I said, “If you don’t think homosexuals should be put to death, what should be our ethics or laws to govern their behavior?” “Oh,” he said, “I think that we should try to evangelize them. I would not shun them. In fact, I would be willing to have them in my home.” He spoke in the winsome way of a loving evangelical. But, he made a major mistake.

“OK,” I said. “What will you do, if while he is in you home, if he tries to molest your son? What will you do, if he is in the park and approaches your son? What are your recourses, then?” I could see a light go on in this “learned” professor’s head, as though, “I had never thought of that.”

Whatever you think of them, the theonomists are about the business of practically applying Biblical truth. It is not sufficient to just criticize them, you must offer an alternative. This professor, as many Christians, have not thought through the issue of homosexuality. Yes, we want to evangelize them, if possible. Yes, we want to befriend them and show them love. But, no, we do not want them either to approach our children, and we want to minimize their opportunities to do so.

So, the “broadly evangelical” may draw a line differently from the theonomist. But, you either stick your head in the sand and ignore the issue, or you draw a line somewhere that the homosexual does not cross on penalty of law. God requires government to restrain evil (Romans 13:3). But, we cannot have this patronizing nonsense of limiting our actions only to loving them into the Kingdom!


 

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