Homosexuality In America: Retrospect And Prospect As Covenanters -- By: Michael LeFebvre

Journal: Reformed Presbyterian Theological Journal
Volume: RPTJ 02:2 (Spring 2016)
Article: Homosexuality In America: Retrospect And Prospect As Covenanters
Author: Michael LeFebvre

Homosexuality In America: Retrospect And Prospect As Covenanters

Michael LeFebvre

Pastor at Christ Church in Brownsburg, Indiana
Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary Board President

One of the hallmarks of the Covenanter heritage is a keen alertness to the social and political winds of the day with a rigorous, theological response to them. Exercised well, such a testimony is a powerful witness to the Mediatorial Reign of Christ over State and Culture, as well as Church. But sometimes, it is easy to confuse a heated moral reaction for a clear and gracious theological witness. The former approach (moral reaction) might faithfully present the condemnation of God’s Law, but only the latter effort (a clear and gracious theological response) will minister the hope of his Gospel.

In this article, several key points of retrospect and prospect regarding homosexuality as an important, social issue of our day will be surveyed. The first part of this article will review key points of social and political history leading to the present shifts in cultural attitudes toward sexuality. Then, in the second half of this article some ways that the Mediatorial Kingship of Christ should frame a Covenanter perspective on those shifts will be explored, first on the frontier of personal struggle and thereafter on the frontier of societal witness. The issues touched on in these pages are deep and complex, and this contribution is offered as nothing more than than a personal perspective—hopefully as an encouragement to others—in our ongoing efforts to “understand the times” and shine the light of Christ’s gracious dominion across his world.

Retrospect: Changing Attitudes Toward Homosexuality

The modern attitude toward homosexuality has a long history. In order to understand and respond to the view pervading America today, let us begin with three, key ideas that emerged over a course of time.

The three historical moments are in 1869, 1973, and 1980. The three, distinct ideas about homosexuality that emerged into public discourse on those three dates combine to give us the new attitude toward same-sex marriage we are facing today. Before strategies for personal and social responses to this new attitude can be discussed, these three ideas behind it must be understood.

An important clarification needs to be made up front. Care has been taken to use neutral terms like “new attitude” and “key ideas” so as not to cast wholesale aspersions on the insights inherited from this history. The biblical and confessional doctrines of marriage and of sexuality are wise, rewarding, and frankly beautiful—we must remain faithful to the hope and vision that our gracious Lord has taught us. But it would be w...

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