Are all relationships sinful? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Paul writing to the church in Corinth.
So guys, I hear you’ve got a case where you have a man who’s sleeping with his stepmother. Gross! Am I right? But hey, all relationships are going to be hard in life. All relationships have struggles. I want to suggest that all of you just show your love and support to them. Don’t judge them by any means! God can redeem any relationship and He will redeem this one!
Or at least that’s what Copeland’s friend would likely say if he was in Paul’s shoes.
Copeland has a friend who grew up very conservative and now is an Anglican with no condemnation of same-sex relationships. This friend is described as someone who takes Scripture very seriously and knows the Bible very well. His proposal is that instead of looking at same-sex relationships as fine and wonderful, just realize all relationships are sinful. All of them have all of us acting in sinful ways. All of them are used to sanctify us.
Copeland uses an example of him being married to his wife for thirty years, and yet he has been a sinful man many times in that relationship. Anyone who is married can attest to that and anyone who has been married can be. Even if Jesus was married, He wouldn’t have had a perfect marriage because He would have been married to a sinful woman.
Except Scripture doesn’t say all relationships are sinful. It says all people in all relationships are sinners, but the relationships themselves are not always the problem. If all relationships are fallen and we just need grace in all of them, Paul would not have written what he wrote in 1 Cor. 5.
Copeland goes on to say to people in a same-sex relationship that:
The good news here is that even if the scripture does condemn your relationship (and as I’ve said, I’m not sure it does), it doesn’t condemn it any more than any other, and God redeems it.
Copeland, Tom. Honestly – A Book About Sex for Christians . Tom Copeland. Kindle Edition.
Because we know of all those passages that condemn opposite-sex relationships.
Now someone could say “Well what about the situation in 1 Cor. 5? Isn’t that such a relationship?
Indeed, it is, but the problem wasn’t it was opposite-sex. The problem was it was highly incestuous. Not all opposite-sex relationships are approved by Scripture, but not a single same-sex romantic relationship is. I would love to see Copeland try to back the statement he has made here.
Ultimately as Christians though, if Scripture condemns it, we have to as well. Now how we could do that could be wrong. We should realize that a person with same-sex attraction is experiencing a real loss and if they are willing to sacrifice this for the good of the kingdom, we should support them in that and praise them and help them with the struggle, just as we help a single person who is not married.
The rest of this section in this chapter is about the scientific research, which I cannot comment on. On the ethical, I find it all weak. Copeland does not interact with the best Scripture and violates on the ways he says liberals violate. It’s a shame because really, much of the rest of the book is quite good.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)