Some of you will be aware of the recent controversy surrounding Alan Chambers, the head of Exodus International, a ministry that helps gays and lesbians embrace the gospel. Chambers recently suggested that one can be a born-again Christian and continue to practice homosexual sin, which touched off a firestorm.
This is a tricky matter, but I appreciated Ravi Zacharias’s careful response above. Eric Teetsel of the Manhattan Declaration pointed me to it a few days ago. It strikes me that it is possible for a person to fall back into sin after conversion to Christ, but that this cannot be normative for them. If there is no power over sin in a professing believer’s life, I think one has to conclude that saving faith is not present.
This is true of homosexuality, heterosexual adultery, gambling, and many other sins. We do not sin that grace may abound (Romans 6), and if we have that mindset in any form, I fear that we have misunderstood crucial Christian truths. There is indeed grace for us if we sin, but we are not free to legitimize sin–willingly or unwillingly–by allowing ourselves license to practice it in the future.
We might call our position “vigilant honesty.” We’re on the prowl against sin. If we do falter, we confess it–we’re honest about it. But we always, always, resolve to kill it anew, and to do everything in the power of the Spirit to avoid it in the future. This is especially true of what we could call “lifestyle sins” to which we are particularly prone.
Sin is strong, but Christ is stronger.