Those are the labels that would be placed on myself and others who did not believe that premarital sex was a good idea. After all, how are you supposed to know if you like someone unless you live with them first? Living together, and experiencing sex before marriage was a kind of “try before you buy” opportunity. Check things out before you sign on the dotted line. It sounded like a good idea. And besides, what harm is there in it anyway?
Those, like myself, who did not agree with this approach, and who believed (and still do) that this is contrary to God’s plan for our lives, were simply thought of, at worst, as ignorant fools, and at best, we were simply ignored.
Go ahead and preach what you want, preacher, we are two consenting adults. What we are doing is none of your business.
The fact that I considered people living together unmarried as “living in sin” might have annoyed some people’s conscience, and they might have thought I was “behind the times” or “living in the past”, but for the most part, we all carried on reasonably well. Life continued. I didn’t (and still don’t) approve of such behaviour. From time to time it will come up during a sermon, because I do believe the Bible teaches that premarital sex is a sin and that it is contrary to God’s will. Despite my belief, many people continue to live together unmarried, happily ignoring my views on such things.
Here’s the point. In thirty five years of being a minister of the Gospel, I have never been accused of hating persons who have lived together unmarried. Never. Not once. Not even close. I have never been accused of being afraid of people who choose to live together unmarried. I have never been accused of being a bigot. At worst, I was some old-fashioned nut to be ignored. They carried on with their lives and I carried on with mine.
People who had vastly different views on this topic could be neighbours, they could be co-workers, their children could play together in the park or do homework together. With different views, we all got along. No one suggested “hate”.
Fast forward twenty five years and replace “living together unmarried” with “homosexuality” and all of a sudden people are up in arms! Now some would have you believe that I am a fearful, hate-filled bigot.
My views have not changed. I have not changed. I still preach the same message; that any form of sexual intimacy outside of Biblical marriage (a man and a woman) is sexual immorality. This is not new. This is also why I can not support “Pride” in any way. Not only that, i find it incomprehensible that this is being pushed in our schools (and even some churches).
People are still free to disagree with me. They have the legal right to do whatever they want. But all of a sudden, instead of simply being some old-fashioned prude, I must be homophobic, along with all the negative connotations that come with that. I hate people. I despise people. I am a bigot. I don’t understand them. I have no tolerance of them. And so on.
So what has changed?
My message hasn’t changed. My life hasn’t changed. The person I am at the core hasn’t changed. Neither has my willingness to help people no matter what their choices in life are.
What has changed is other people’s willingness to make room for people like myself who can not support, endorse or encourage sinful behaviour. I do not hate any such persons. I disagree with their choices, and yes, where appropriate, I will call it sin, as I have done for decades, because that is exactly what it is.
I understand mine is not a politically correct opinion, but I do believe it is a biblically correct one. If that makes me an unfit member of society, so be it. I have no problem with that. I do not expect many to agree with me; and that’s okay. But before you accuse me of hating or being afraid; think about what your own reaction is towards me.