John Piper recently addressed two questions dividing society: Is homosexuality really the worst sin? And if not, why do Christians focus so strongly on that issue?
Piper, the chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary and former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, started with the first question. He said that homosexuality was not the most damaging sin. In fact, he said he believes greed, pride, selfishness and anger are more pernicious issues facing believers today.
"On the one hand, the sins of greed and pride and selfishness and anger are more widespread than either same-sex attraction or homosexual behavior," Piper said. "On the other hand, the sins of greed and pride and selfishness and anger are more subtle and disguise themselves more easily as acceptable. Yes, the number of people who are ruined in this life and the next by the sins of greed, pride, selfishness and anger is vastly greater than the number of people ruined by same-sex orientation or sinful homosexual behavior. I would add the social miseries brought about through those sins are also vastly greater in scope than any brought about through homosexual sin."
Piper then speculated that there are three primary reasons homosexuality has become so loudly denounced in Christian circles.
"The reason for the attention that homosexual behavior is getting is not because it destroys more people, but because 1. it makes news, 2. it's a public sin with forceful advocates, and 3. it is peculiarly contrary to nature," Piper said. "Those of us who believe that same-sex orientation is a distortion of nature and that it may result in sinful homosexual intercourse are called upon, like I'm being called upon right now, to record answers to questions like this and therefore be public about this."
Yet he concluded by reminding believers that Jesus Christ died for everyone—and while matters like this may divide society, Jesus can unite. After all, he says, "Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to save sinners—heterosexual and homosexual alike."
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