Last week, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, posted a piece on Businessweek’s website (http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/233598-tim-cook-speaks-up), in which he publically acknowledges that he is gay, and has been for years. I was struck by the tone of the article. It was thoughtful, humble, and honest. There was no vicious rhetoric, name-calling, or hate speech towards those who might oppose his perspective. In the same spirit I would like to respond, largely by looking at one specific phrase that Cook used in his article.
First, there are several things commendable in the article. I will only highlight one. Cook states that “Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me.” This is how it should be in a secular company. Trying to selectively enforce morality in a company creates big problems. Refusing to hire someone who is a homosexual while hiring those who are entering into sexual relations with other people outside of marriage is discrimination. One may argue that employers have the right to make this distinction. That argument falls outside the realm of this post.
However, Cook enters into deep theological water when he makes this statement, “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” I must take a major issue with this statement. To acknowledge God is to acknowledge a source of authority outside of myself. It is to acknowledge One to Whom I will answer and give an account. The questions that must be answered by individuals are, “Is there a God?” and “Has He spoken?” Cook clearly believes in God based on his statement. Now, that God is either the God of the Bible (the one and only true God), or a god of his own making. If he believes in a god of his own making, we have no common ground for discussion, because there is no objective sphere in which that god has revealed Himself, and thus it becomes a discussion of personal opinions and thoughts. Instead, I will assume that when Cook speaks of “God” that he means God- the God who made everything in six literal 24 hour days, is sovereign over all, and has revealed Himself in His Word- the Bible.
So, there is a God, and He has spoken. And He has not spoken in an emotionally subjective, touchy-feely sort of way, but in the concrete expression of the Inspired Text of Holy Scripture. So, what does God Himself say about homosexuality? Is it indeed a divine gift? Romans 1:18-32 addresses this issue clearly. Paul traces an argument that runs like this: men and women have suppressed the truth that they innately possess about God (v. 18-20). They have refused to honor God and as a result, their thinking and reasoning abilities have become clouded or darkened (v. 21-22). As a result of this, they turn their worship to created things rather than the Creator (v. 23). Because of this, God has given mankind over to his own depravity, removing a level of restraint on his behavior (v. 24-25). This results in moral depravity being fleshed out in all sorts of ways, one of which is homosexual behavior (v. 26-27), which is described as “dishonorable passions,” “contrary to nature,” and acts that are in “error.” Now, to be clear, Paul goes on to list all types of other immoral behaviors in this same context. Things like “envy, murder, strife, deceit, gossip, hating God, boastful, disobedience to parents,” and a variety of other moral wrongs are addressed. Homosexuality does not rise above these in its “wrongness,” but is far from a “gift from God.”
One other text must be considered (many more could be looked at). In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says this:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
This text is incredibly relevant to this discussion in that it specifically addresses homosexuality (in context with a whole host of other immoral behaviors) as an act that keeps a person out of the kingdom of God. See, God is not going to give something as a gift and then condemn it.
Scripture clearly teaches that homosexuality is not only not a gift from God, it is a violation of His Holy nature and character.
Now, if that is where 1 Corinthians 6 ended, this would be a post that would contain only bad news, and only a critique of another man’s opinion. But it doesn’t stop there. Paul writes the following in verse 11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified,
you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Paul closes this text where I will close. Hope. Beautiful, wonderful, outside of myself, nothing I can do to earn it, hope. Once I am ready to acknowledge that my actions break the law of God and bar
me from His kingdom, then I am ready to accept the cleansing blood and sacrifice of Christ. I said a prayer this morning that Tim Cook would come to understand this truth and that God would open his darkened eyes. Would you do so as well?