An American-born apologist, ethicist and author is responding to the recent revelation by a UK-based worship artist that she is a lesbian and her claims that God is accepting of her just as she is.
“I felt like coming out was something I needed to do,” Vicky Beeching, known for songs such as Above All Else, Great is Your Glory and Glory to God Forever, told The Independent last week. “[M]y voice will make much more difference if I’m open about my sexuality, as I can share more honestly about what it’s like to be a gay Christian.”
As previously reported, during the interview, the singer/songwriter said that she had been struggling with same-sex attraction since she was twelve, and eventually decided to stop fighting it.
“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love,” Beeching stated. “I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”
Beeching, also an avowed feminist, outlined that she wants to work to influence those in the Church to be more accepting of homosexuals.
“I am not angry with the Church even though it’s been a painful journey. I still hold as tightly to my Christian faith as ever,” Beeching said. “I have a lot of hope for the future of the Church—that we can see a move towards inclusion, welcome and love for LGBT people.”
But Bill Muehlenberg, an American-born apologist and ethicist now living in Melbourne, Australia is speaking out. Muehlenberg is the author of the book Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality.
“No true Christian hangs on to their sin, tries to justify it, and by doing so, calls God a liar, telling Him He needs to get with the times,” he wrote in a blog post on the matter on Monday.
Muehlenberg disagreed with several claims made by Beeching during her interview, including that God is fine with her homosexuality just the way she is.
“He doesn’t love people just as they are. In fact, He loves people too much to leave them just as they are,” he stated. “People just as they are are sinners alienated from God and headed for a lost eternity. A God of love could never just sit back and allow that to happen. That is why Jesus came and died a cruel death on a cross for our sake, so that we don’t have to remain as we are, but we can become what we were meant to be.”
Muehlenberg also explained that every person on the planet deals with temptation and sin, but that there are two types of people in the world: those who agree with God by calling sin what it is and seek the Holy Spirit’s help in turning away from it, and those who willingly embrace their sin and refuse to be sanctified.
“No, [Jesus] did not teach a radical message of welcome and inclusion,” he replied in response to Beeching’s inference that Jesus permitted any type of lifestyle without objection. “He told people to repent and turn from their sin, or face the full wrath of God to come. One simply has to read the gospel accounts without homosexual-tinted glasses on to see this.”
But Muehlenberg also rejoiced that there is hope for Beeching—as there is for all mankind—if she will surrender herself fully to Christ, who died to set men free from the power of sin.
“[T]he good news is, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ‘such were some of you.’ Some of you were homosexuals, or thieves, or adulterers (past tense). But you are no more, thanks to the transforming power of God,” he wrote.
“Vicky simply gave up on God. She stopped trying, and stopped letting God do his work in her life,” Muehlenberg stated. “Thankfully, God will not give up on her. His arms are still held out to her—and to all sinners. But His love and forgiveness is dependent upon us recognizing our sin, turning from our sin, and embracing his reconciliation through faith and repentance. It does not work any other way.”