Kirk Cameron was once the most popular teen actor on television as the lovable Mike Seaver on "Growing Pains." But no longer. As most of you know by now, after a recent appearance on "Piers Morgan Tonight," he's been accused of intolerance, hatred, and even of being an "accomplice to murder." His sin? He expressed his personal opinion on homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage.
He gave his opinion calmly and coolly, and only when asked for it by Piers Morgan for it. In fact, the question was what Kirk teaches his own children about homosexuality and gay marriage. Cameron even said that he would never single out homosexual behavior as being worse than anything else Scripture considers to be sin.
In fact, many of those who commented on the video on websites like E! Online and the Huffington Post noted that Cameron was just stating his own opinion, and he has a right to that. Even Piers Morgan, while disagreeing with his comments, said Cameron was pretty brave to stick to his guns on national television.
But for the tweeters and organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, there was no room on public airwaves for his opinion, or for anyone else who expresses such an opinion. I know, I've been put on their hit list.
So what can we learn from this? First, we know we will be asked what we think of homosexuality and so-called gay "marriage." So we need to prepare now for what we'll say then. If we are caught off-guard without knowing what to say, shame on us.
Second, we can't let others frame the issue for us. We've got to be able to define terms and the parameters of the debate. For example, supporters of gay-rights insist that sexual orientation and sexual behavior are considered to be inseparable. Letting that go unchallenged is a huge mistake, because it makes opposing a certain behavior the same thing as being against a group of people.
Absolutely not so! Christians believe every person is made in the image of God, and therefore has a free will. So, we ought to be against any behavior that is ultimately destructive to people. Sexual brokenness dehumanizes those whom God made and loves.
As my colleague John Stonestreet pointed out recently on "The Point," the real victims of a culture that says your identity is determined by your sexual behavior are the thousands who desire to escape from it, and yet are told they can't. We need to help them know they can, and that in Christ they'll find their true identity.
Which brings up another point. It isn't completely true to say same sex "marriage" will destroy civilization. Sexual brokenness and the collapse of marriage in any form destroy civilization. No-fault divorce, cohabitation, sexual addictions all undermine marriage. Heterosexual brokenness is just as dehumanizing as homosexual brokenness. As the old saying goes, "there are many ways to fall down, but only way to stand straight."
We Christians can't be selective in our moral standards and make it easier for others to accuse us of homophobia.
Folks, this is just a start. In a culture that fundamentally disagrees with Christian values, we've got to be wise and present our case prudently.