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Supremes Got It Right in Lawrence v. Texas
by J. Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor
30 June 2003

When it comes to homosexuals acting out their sexual desires in private, I do not believe that the police should push open their doors and catch them in the act, then haul them off to court and jail.

I am not in favor of the homosexual lifestyle. I am not in favor of prostitution nor porn nor bestiality.

I am in favor of heterosexual relations in marriage alone.

But when it comes to homosexuals acting out their sexual desires in private, I do not believe that the police should push open their doors and catch them in the act, then haul them off to court and jail.

I don’t believe that police should push down heterosexual persons’ doors, catching them in the act, and doing anything about what they are doing.

Some heterosexuals engage in various sexual acts which may be repulsive to other heterosexuals. Couples decide on their own definitions of sexual pleasures as God has ordained them to enjoy within marriage. Unless persons are harmed in any way, couples should decide their own definitions.

Therefore, when it came to the two men in Texas being caught having sexual relations, hauled off to court and then jailed and fined, I do not believe that that was the prerogative of the police department nor the judicial courts.

Those two men were acting out acts that are prohibited by the Bible, the same as prostitutes act out acts that are prohibited by the Bible. Persons who engage in any sex acts outside marriage are engaging in sex acts that are prohibited by the Bible.

However, I have found that persons continue to act out a lot of things in their lives that are prohibited by the Bible until they come to understand God and His Word.

When they come to accept God and His Word, then their lives change according to God and His Word. When that occurs, then the life change equals the act change; before that, persons live according to their own moral definitions, some of which are against God’s Word.

Consequently, to put the cart before the horse regarding sexuality morality is to deal with the matter of sex acts incorrectly.

For instance, Jesus met a woman at Jacob’s well. The two fell into conversation. Jesus knew that the woman had had various sex partners and was presently living with a man not her husband.

But Jesus did not attack her sexual lifestyle. Instead, Jesus offered her salvation. When the woman accepted Jesus’ forgiveness in salvation, then her lifestyle changed.

For a Christian in a non-Christian culture to try to bend all culture in the direction of the Christian lifestyle is perhaps to straighten out certain cultural pockets but at the same time lose the chance of saving the souls.

The souls are eternal. That is what is most important, to salvage the eternal component known as the "soul." When that soul is met with in divine grace, then the whole life attitude changes toward the biblical way.

Christians therefore are at their gospel best when they go after the soul for salvation. That puts the horse then in front of the cart. The ethical matters that follow then coincide with the God who provided the saving grace.

Some Christians may say regarding this approach to sexuality that we are thereby giving the wrong moral message. We are condoning homosexuality or prostitution.

Not at all. If the Christian community really gets out its message, it will start with saving grace and then move on to Christian ethics, including sexual ethics.

But sadly enough, much of the so-called Christian religion is theologically liberal and does not get out the saving grace message at all for it really does not believe in it. It is hung up on politically liberal social issues and liberal theological agendas against biblical data.

When it comes to the biblical portion of the Christian religion, much of it is lazy or preoccupied with materialism such as enlarging church properties, raising moneys for personages to enjoy a larger materialistic lifestyle in leadership, or simply playing religion instead of genuinely evangelizing concerning saving grace.

Therefore, the church by and large is wanting in this area of gospel message. And in that it hardly has the right to tell the culture how to act — what not to do and what to do.

Once the church gets out the saving grace message, then it can follow up with its moral message according to God’s Word.

The church, while getting out the saving grace gospel, must also take its moral stand publicly regarding sexuality — including sodomy and so forth — but not to barge into persons’ private homes concerning these situations.

The church needs to get out the gospel message while at the same get out the option to choose the right moral lifestyle. Once the church does that, the church then can leave individuals to choose their own fates; that’s what Jesus did.

In regard to the two Texans who were accused of sodomy, it would have been helpful if the saving grace gospel message had reached them.

Once it did, they could reject or receive it. If they rejected it, then they are answerable to God for their continuing homosexual lifestyle. If they accepted it, then they would reorder their ethics according to God’s Word.

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is the Pastor of New Hope Church in Windham, ME.  He is a a graduate of an accredited college (BA) and seminary (M Div) with graduate work at Harvard Divinity School.  Pastor Swank has been married for 41 years and he has 3 adult children.  He is the author of 5 books and over 2000 articles in various Protestant and Catholic magazines, journals and newspapers. He writes a weekly religion column for PORTLAND PRESS HERALD newspaper, Portland ME.  His columns have appeared on,,,,,,,,, among others.

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