If sin is sin, why all the fuss about homosexuality? Why do we focus our ire on sexual sins and not so much on greed, and pride, and abuse of authority? Isn't every sin the same? or is homosexuality different?
Here's the deal: All sin is sin, but not every sin has the same consequence, nor represents the same attitude toward God. It is important to understand sin from God's perspective.
First, every sin is the same in terms of rendering the sinner guilty before God. Paul was clear in Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Despite how it may shock our human sense of fairness, God has determined that any sin means we are guilty, and deserving of his judgment.
Even so, we know that not all sins have the same consequences. Breaking the speed limit, for example, may cost you some money, but taking someone's life will not only cost you a lifetime in prison or worse, but also bring great pain to a cascading number of other people. Sin has its consequences, but some are much more dire.
But second, the Bible is clear that sexual sin not only breaks God's law, but also shatters God's plan. From the beginning God determined that sexual intimacy was to be a privilege and delight for humanity, but only within the bounds of marriage. That was, and is, God's plan. Adultery and fornication (pre-marital sexual activity) break that plan with grave consequences for all involved as well as their families. We all have acquaintances whose lives have been crushed by those who pursued sexual fulfillment outside God's plan for marriage.
The Apostle Paul demonstrates that sexual sin is of a different sort, with greater consequences in 1 Corinthians 6.18: Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. The idea of "sinning against his own body" refers to the fact God made sexuality for a purpose, within marriage. To defy God's intention is actually to go against God's creative plan for one's owns sexuality. Those who are honest about their promiscuity will testify that it has not brought the joy and personal security they are still hoping to find, but rather is a source of secret regret.
Third, we come to homosexuality. While every sin breaks God's law, and sexual sin goes further to thwart God's plan, homosexual activity is intentional rebellion against God's very design.
God is the one who created male and female, and did so in a way that anatomically demonstrates the differences necessary to the ongoing existence of mankind. No one can deny that male and female were made for one another, to complete one another in marriage, and to bring children into the world as God's gift to the family. That is God's design, and those who would choose same sex activity are not only breaking God's law, and ridiculing God's plan, they are intentionally thumbing their noses at God's design.
Same sex attraction, when pursued actively, is actually a person's life-statement that God was wrong in the way he designed humanity. Homosexuality argues against God's design and says it was not best and right. While those caught in the grand deception of homosexuality believe they are merely pursuing their own sexual desires, the reality is they are telling the world that God was wrong.
The Apostle Paul speaks to the degradation of society evidenced by an acceptance of homosexual activity. In Romans 1:18-32 he describes the moral erosion of society with the statement that, by nature, we all were guilty of "suppressing the truth of God through our own unrighteousness." His point is we all have sinned by breaking God's law. In turn, Paul says 3 times in this text that God's response was to "give us over" to the lusts of our hearts, letting us go in the sinful directions we desired. He narrates the descent of mankind into sexual sin, and finally into homosexual activity where not only does society admit rebellion against God's design but becomes active in giving hearty approval to those who do so.
Homosexuality is not just another sin. It demonstrates the deepest level of personal deception, but even worse represents the basest level of rebellion against God's very design of creation. It boldly announces that God was wrong, even if those involved are blind to what their sexual choice represents. This is why we focus in it so much. It is not that we're mad at those involved, or afraid of them. We are simply afraid for them, and love them too much to leave them to their own debilitating desires.
But while the bad news is really bad, the good news is great. Just before Paul's incisive description of homosexual activity as a marker of societal depravity in Romans 1:18ff, he makes the wonderful announcement that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the "power of God for salvation to everyone who believes." While homosexuality is a grave sin, with radical personal and societal consequences, those engaged in it are no further from the grace of Christ than anyone else. The power of God to rescue and reform lives, forgiving them of all their sin, and fitting them for a life of purpose and an eternity of joy, is stronger than every sin. And no amount of rebellion can put a soul beyond the scope of God's redeeming love in Christ.
Paul has the last word on the subject when, in 1 Corinthians 6.9-11 he states that some of his readers were involved in homosexual activity, but this has not proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to the rescuing power of God. "Some of you were sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, and homosexuals, 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."
No sin disqualifies us from the saving grace of God if we will but acknowledge our wrongdoing, turn from it, and run to Jesus Christ, entrusting our lives and eternal wellbeing to him. God declares homosexuality to be a great and consequential sin, but he has demonstrated again and again, in life after life, that his love and grace are even greater, and able to transform all of us into beloved children of God. Hallelujah!