Denny Burk has some good comments on his blog about the inaugural benediction given today by Rev. Luis Leon. In his benediction Rev. Leon listed several groups of people whom he stated were made in God's image; he then grouped them by race, gender, immigrant status, and sexual orientation. This embodies a common argument today that sexual issues are civil rights issues in contrast to the more traditional argument which I and many others make that sexual issues are instead moral issues. The unstated link in Rev. Leon's argument is that if these individuals are made in the image of God then there is no condemnation upon them for who they are or what they do. This is a fundamentally unchristian argument because it ignores the fact that humanity is sinful and requires redemption through Christ's sacrifice. Being made in the image of God is no sanction; rather it is a condemnation for our behavior and attitudes which lead us away from that blessed image. Here is the heart of what Dr. Burk said that bears repeating:
All Christians everywhere agree that both gay and straight people are created in the image of God. But that does not mean what Rev. Leon thinks it means. Yes, both gay and straight are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). No, that does not mean that they are sinless (Rom. 3:23), nor does it vindicate sexual perversions. All of God’s image-bearers are sinners (Rom. 3:23), and that includes those who engage in the sin of homosexuality (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:10). The fact that they are created in God’s image does not erase the offense of sin. On the contrary, it makes it worse.