When preaching a sermon on Romans 1 in January, the Southern Baptist president, J.D. Greear said other sins were more egregious than homosexuality. It was during that sermon that he infamously quoted the female pastor from Village Church, Jen Wilkin,
We ought to whisper about what the Bible whispers about, and we ought to shout about what the Bible shouts about. And the Bible appears more to whisper when it comes to sexual sin compared to it shouts about materialism and religious pride.
Greear received a lot of pushback from this sermon which effectively minimized the sin of homosexuality. Greear argues that homosexuality, from a biblical perspective, is not fundamentally different from other sins in Scripture.
In a recent blog post, Greear doubles down, arguing,
In Romans 1, Paul lists same-sex behavior as one corruption among many. We may not think of deceit, boasting, greed, or a rebellious attitude toward parents as equally depraved as same-sex behavior. But if you look at Paul’s list, they are.
It is clear that Greear has a fundamentally flawed understanding of this passage in Romans 1. The passage clearly delineates homosexuality as fundamentally different from these other sins that are listed. Romans 1 describes homosexuality is the end result of these other sins — that homosexuality is the worst state of a rebellious people being “given over” to their sins.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves…Romans 1:24
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.Romans 1:26
In fact, if we’re trying to pin down the most egregious sins in Scripture, there are quite a few other candidates that merit consideration.
Consider, for instance, materialism and pride. Scripture is crystal clear in its condemnation of these two sins, both of which are enormous issues for the American church today. Are we just as clear?
Yet, again, Greear displays his ignorance. To place materialism and pride on morally equivalent grounds with homosexuality is asinine. The Bible most certainly does treat homosexuality as more egregious than other sins. Homosexuality is the only sin that caused God to wipe two cities off of the face of the Earth. Greear wants us to believe that God doesn’t treat homosexuality any differently than other sins, yet, the Law — a reflection of God’s nature — absolutely treats homosexuality differently than other sins.
While Greear is right when he says that “repentance for the gay or lesbian person looks fundamentally the same as it does for the straight or religious person,” he fails to acknowledge where the root of the controversy in the “gay Christian” movement is. The division is not rooted in whether or not some Christians think that homosexuality has a greater chance of sending us to Hell than other sins, it’s that homosexuality is becoming a celebrated trait in Christian churches. It’s that some churches, like J.D. Greear’s church, are minimizing the sin of same-sex attraction and acting as though it’s not a sin that must be mortified. It’s that homosexuality is celebrated in the culture, materialism and pride are not. But the Bible is clear, homosexuality is a far greater sin than these others. It is the ultimate corruption of humanity.
Yet, Greear argues that to stand on these convictions is to be a “Pharisee,”
When we realize that, we’ll cease being a Pharisaic teacher of the law and we’ll become a gospel witness. We’ll start loving our neighbors as people made in the image of God and feeling compassion for them in their weakness. We will see in the face of every sinner a reflection of the corruption that afflicts our own hearts, the fruit of the rebellion we have participated in.
Greear is one of many who are leading the Southern Baptist Convention into destruction.