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Bible’s teachings on homosexuality affirmed by evangelical theologian

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–A resolution declaring homosexual activity to be contrary to the Bible — and rebuking the national media for “unsubstantiated, untruthful, and hateful accusations against evangelical Christians” — was adopted by the Evangelical Theological Society during its 50th annual meeting Nov. 19-21 in Orlando, Fla.
The society’s resolution, passed by overwhelming voice vote after floor debate, also voiced opposition to “hate crimes” legislation.
The 2,500-member society is the world’s largest association of evangelical professors of theology. Its membership includes professors of Bible and theology from every evangelical denomination and every evangelical college and seminary in the United States as well as many members from Canada and Europe, all of whom must affirm as a prerequisite to membership that, “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written, and therefore inerrant in the autographs.”
A record 1,296 registrants attended the three-day meeting.
Wayne Grudem, newly elected ETS president and professor and chairman of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School’s department of biblical and systematic theology, Deerfield, Ill., said the society “has only rarely adopted positions on questions of national concern in the past, but this situation transcends denominational and political differences among our members: The whole evangelical world, and the gospel itself, are under vicious attack from the national media in this matter. I was convinced it would be wrong to remain silent, since we are by far the largest organization of academic leaders in the evangelical world.”
The resolution begins by noting “the heinous beating death of Matthew Shepard,” a homosexual student in Laramie, Wyo., earlier this year.
The ETS noted: “… advocates for the social normalization of homosexual behavior have laid the blame for hate crimes on the moral witness of the Church and God’s gracious offer of forgiveness to repentant sinners … .”
Consequently, “some in the national media” have “accepted and perpetuated homosexual attacks on the moral witness of the Church without any factual basis and have thereby failed in the fundamental journalistic responsibility to report truth and not false accusation … .”
The society challenged “using the rhetoric of hate to prejudice the power of civil government against the open and complete proclamation of moral standards revealed in God’s Holy Word — including both God’s love for sinners as well as his judgment of sin.”
Concerning Scripture, the society stated, “… we affirm that Scripture clearly teaches that homosexual conduct is always an abomination in the sight of God for all human beings, both men and women, in all circumstances, without exception, (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9) … .”
At the same time, the ETS said, “we affirm as biblical and do ourselves agree with the position that Christian moral opposition to homosexual behavior is not and can never be license for anyone to engage in any form of slander, harassment or violence against one with whom we disagree.”
Addressing the media, the society urged that it “refrain from and repudiate unsubstantiated, untruthful, and hateful accusations against evangelical Christians and to report truthfully concerning the Church’s true message of the good news that God offers forgiveness for sins through faith in Jesus Christ.”
Concerning hate crimes legislation, the society noted Scripture’s words that “man looks on the outward appearance” and only “God looks on the heart,” and it argued that “the idea of hate crime is about adding civil sanctions for something no human being can accurately or fairly discern in any other … .”
The murder of Shepard is “already subject to the most severe criminal sanctions,” the ETS said, and “we oppose any attempt by civil authority to judge the hearts of men and women for any purpose, much less for the purpose of creating a legal fiction that can only ensure unequal treatment for equally heinous criminal actions.”
Grudem said he hopes the ETS resolution will “give courage to the churches in all evangelical denominations to hold firm to the clear teaching of Scripture on moral right and wrong and on forgiveness and power to change through Jesus Christ.”