Satan has many strategies for making sin palatable. One tactic is the use of language. If he can make wickedness a part of everyday parlance or if he can edit out certain vocabulary with confining baggage and replace it with more appetizing terminology, half the battle is won.
Nowhere are these methods more obvious than in the arena of today’s sexual revolution. This is not merely a Western problem. The vessels of homosexuality washed up on African shores years ago—an innumerable fleet behind them.
As a missionary in rural Africa for over a decade, I have seen first hand the full-throttle pursuit of the West to cram the enlightened sins of the city down the villager’s throat. In a recent article in South Africa’s Mail and Guardian entitled “Searching for New Queer Terms”, the author tries to prove that old demonic scheme: change the vocabulary; change the mentality; change the behavior.
The argument runs like this. Since the LGBT crowd in Africa can only use English for their movement, the people are less likely to embrace it. Adopting African terminology for homosexuality would then make it more acceptable.
What should African Christians conclude amidst so much confusion? Here are five observations.
- Sinful behavior does affect the whole community.
The author knows that Africans prize Ubuntu (“I” exist because of “we”). So he must negate the African fear of taboo. He denies “bad things are happening in the community — lack of rain, crime, ritual murders …because of you or your behavior.”
Biblically, however, sin is not just personal. The snarled roots of wickedness are so complex, they contaminate every tool designed to remove it. Sin is never alone. David’s sin brought death to 70,000 men (2Sm. 24:15). Israel’s pride left several dozen soldiers with widows (Jos. 7:5). Achan’s sin brought destruction to his wife and children (Jos. 7). Homosexuals proceed not only to their own hurt, but to the detriment of their surrounding society. Continue reading