Courage of our convictions

It is a sad indictment of the Catholic Church that Daniel Avila has been forced to resign following his article “Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction” was withdrawn by The Boston Pilot.

It took some doing to find a copy since the article was deleted by the paper just a couple of days after it was published following pressure from Gay Rights groups, but I managed to eventually. The article suggests, to the horror of the Gay community, that God might not have made homosexuals homosexual, but that sin may actually be a product of the Devil.

Something conveniently avoided by organised religious bodies these recent days seems to be the concept of sin, and its causes. It’s odd really, considering that their business is the forgiveness of sin.

This man, Daniel Avila, had conviction enough to write an article stating that “God does not cause same-sex attraction.” The Boston Pilot initially had the conviction to publish it. Unfortunately, a little pressure made both retract.

In Genesis 19, God sends two Angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and to save Lot and his family. Lot is an honourable man, and rather than hand the two visitors he has taken into his home over to be raped by the town he offers his own daughters to them. They blind the townspeople and lead Lot and his family out of the town to protect them from the Judgement about to be levelled there.

The people’s sin, however, is not homosexuality. I had never thought about it until 1990 when I heard Tony Campolo speak at Greenbelt Christian Arts festival in the UK. He raised an interesting point: the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was that homosexuality had become the norm, to the point that it was no only accepted, but expected. They had removed the concept of God’s laws and replaced them with their own lusts. God brought judgement on the cities for this. Lot maintained the courage of his convictions at this point. He failed later, but in this one point he stayed the course. Lot’s wife looked back. The implication is more profound, however. The inferrence is that in her heart she never left the city. The pillar of salt she turned into may be literal or figurative, but she died just the same because of where her heart was.

The world today is in turmoil. As Christians, we need to have the strength to not only say what is right, but to stand by it, even when it is unpopular with lobbyists and pressure groups. Sin is always a path to death, emotionally, spiritually and even physically. We die daily. We need to be as Paul wrote, so that for us living is Christ, and dying is gain. We need to focus on Christ so much that the fear of man’s wrath and what it can bring is rendered void in our lives.

I accept that not everyone will agree with me and my opinion. But I will stand by it. God declares through the scripture in the Bible that homosexual acts are sinful. Old and New Testament alike share this conviction. If you don’t like the rules laid down by God, take it up with the one who wrote the rulebook.