I recently wrote a couple of posts for Gary Leonard's Banned by HWA Blog taking the Church of God International (and one of its leading ministers) to task in part for its stance on the subject of homosexuality. Many of the people who commented on my posts took me to task for daring to associate the church's position with hatred, prejudice and intolerance. Hence, it seemed to me that many of these folks were suggesting that the motivations for their beliefs should not be questioned.
I, of course, cannot know what is in anyone's heart - what makes them tick - what motivates them. I believe that is one of the primary reasons why Christ instructed his followers not to judge each other. Nevertheless, I believe that each and every one of us can and should evaluate our own motivations for saying, writing and doing the things that we do.
In one of my responses to my critics, I said that I hoped that the folks in the church who rail against homosexuality are motivated by religious conviction. Merriam-Webster's defines a conviction as "a strong belief or opinion." Hence, a conviction that is religious in nature could be said in this instance to refer to one that is motivated by the Bible's statements that homosexual behavior is wrong, and their desire to see God's will done in all things - at all times. However, while I hope we can all agree that a religious conviction is superior to some other motivation, it does not fundamentally change the palatability or nobility of the teaching itself.
Moreover, when I consider these things, I find myself returning to the subject of our obligation to ourselves and God to be honest about our motivations. In other words, are all of these folks truly motivated by religious conviction? OR Is it possible that some of them could be motivated by other things?
As noted earlier, I can't answer these questions for anyone but myself. However, I can offer these points for your consideration in evaluating your own motivations regarding your position on homosexuality:
1. Do I fear being associated with a view/opinion/position that is considered to be unacceptable by the group to which I belong?
2. Do I fear being associated with a group of people who are considered to be abnormal or abhorrent by the majority?
3. Am I trying to demonstrate to others that I am a heterosexual, and that I belong in the ranks of the normal?
4. Am I trying to demonstrate to others that I believe the right thing - that I'm on the side of truth?
5. Am I attempting to show that I am morally superior to homosexuals?
6. Am I attempting to demonstrate that my sexual sins aren't as bad as those of gay people (adultery, fornication and divorce aren't as bad as sleeping with someone of the same gender)?
7. I simply don't understand the behavior, and it is personally repugnant to me.
What motivates your position on this issue?