Some issues in the Christian life matter more than others. The apostle Paul made a distinction between matters that were primary to the gospel, and issues that were not. In 1 Corinthians 15:3 he writes, “What I received I passed on to you as of first importance.” This is not to say that other issues are of no importance, just that they are not of first importance.
Not taking a side on this issue is to take a side. To decide it is a matter of indifference is to risk having Jesus against you.
In Romans 14:1 he instructs his readers not to pass judgment on “disputable matters.” On such issues Christians need to know their own mind and receive in fellowship those who differ. We might consider as examples of present day "disputable matters" issues like infant baptism, or our understanding of the end times. On such matters Christians are free to differ. But on matters of first importance we must remain in agreement if we are to be faithful to the gospel.
There are five reasons why we must regard the issue of homosexuality as being of first importance.
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1. The witness of the church
For virtually all of church history the people of God have held that homosexual behaviour is sinful. This is still the case for the vast majority of Christians around the world today. Those in the church who demand that we affirm homosexual behaviour are proposing something that virtually every member of the universal church would be bewildered by. And the one place where this is being pushed is in the Western church at the precise moment our culture is making this a defining issue. This should give us enormous pause.
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