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Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias: Why Do Some Treat Race as Sacred But Not Sexuality?

Michael Morris
By Michael Morris | June 14, 2016 | 3:55 PM EDT

Ravi Zacharias talks to pastor Joe Coffey at Christ Community Chapel about answering objections to Christianity. (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

Christian apologist, author, public speaker and scholar Ravi Zacharias recently addressed the issue of homosexuality and race, putting to rest the notion that Christians are hateful toward homosexuals the same way racists are hateful toward those of a different color, by asking why some treat race as sacred, while at the same time desacralizing sexuality.

“The reason we [Christians] believe that discrimination ethnically is wrong is because the race and ethnicity of a person is sacred,” noted Ravi Zacharias. “You do not violate a person’s ethnicity and race. It is a sacred gift. And the reason we [Christians] believe in an absoluteness to sexuality is because we believe sexuality is sacred as well, and that’s why we [Christians] make our choice that same way. I said, ‘You will help me if you will tell me why you treat race as sacred and desacralize sexuality.’”

Ravi Zacharias, Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries spoke to the issue of homosexuality and race while taking part in a Q&A session on his book “Answering the Biggest Objections to Christianity” at Christ Community Chapel on April 12, 2015. Ravi Zacharias was responding to a question he was asked at the forum: "How do you respond to nonbelievers who accuse Christians of being hateful to people who support lifestyles that are not according to the precepts of our faith?" Zacharias explained in a three-panel response, this being the theological panel of the response, why Christians believe what they do about human sexuality.

Below is a transcript of what Ravi Zacharias had to say:

“Years ago I was doing some open forums at Indiana University. I was there with Dallas Willard. We were both doing the defense for the Christian faith, and a press reporter came and said she was filming some religious actions on campus for their network and so on. ‘Do you mind if we tape what you’re going to talk about tonight?’

“And I said, ‘No, that’s alright. You’re welcome.’ Then she startled me by saying, ‘We’ll only be there for about five minutes, and then we’ll be packing up and leaving. I hope we won’t disturb you.’

“And I thought, ‘This is what the news does with the talk – takes five minutes of it and then tells people that this is what was said, you know?’ I thought, ‘Okay.’ I wasn’t going to argue, and I said, ‘Ma’am, you’re welcome to leave. Just tell your crew to be very quiet because once I get into the thick of it I really don’t like the distraction, and if they’ll be quiet slipping out, I’ll be okay.’

“She stayed the whole time, stayed for the whole talk, stayed for the Q&A, and then she said, ‘Can I walk you back to where you are staying?’ I was staying on the campus.

“I said, ‘Alright.’ And she was walking with me – it was quite dark at this time – and she says, ‘Umm, I have a question for you.’

“I said, ‘Is this on the record, or is this off the record, question?’ She said, ‘No, this is for me.’ I said, ‘So, you promise me this is just between you and me. You’re not going to print these answers?’ ‘No.’ ‘Okay,’ I said, ‘Alright, I just wanted to know.’

“And so she said, ‘You know, I have a problem with Christianity. Here’s my problem: Christians are generally against racism, but when it comes to the homosexual, they discriminate against the homosexual. How do you explain that?’

“I said, ‘If find your comment so interesting. In the first part of the question it is an ism you are talking about. In the second part of the question you particularize it with an individual. I’m just fascinated by that, but that’s okay.’

“I said, ‘Here’s what I want to say to you: The reason we believe that discrimination ethnically is wrong is because the race and ethnicity of a person is sacred. You do not violate a person’s ethnicity and race. It is a sacred gift. And the reason we [Christians] believe in an absoluteness to sexuality is because we believe sexuality is sacred as well, and that’s why we make our choice that same way.’ I said, ‘You will help me if you will tell me why you treat race as sacred and desacralize sexuality.’

“She was very quiet. She said, ‘I’ve never thought about it in those terms.’

“‘Here’s what I want to say to you: Marriage, as God has given it to us, and if you take the whole corpus of the worldview, it is the most sacred relationship into which you will enter because love is given one word in English, but there are four words in the Greek – agape, phileo, storge and eros. Agape is God’s love. Phileo is friendship love or brotherly love. Storge is protective love or parental love. Eros is romantic love.’

“I said, ‘Do you realize marriage is the only one that pulls these four together – agape, phileo, storge and eros?’ I said, ‘And if you take agape out of that, eros is gone for whatever you want to do. Romantic love becomes redefined. And to us, the Bible gives the sacredness of marriage, as Christ is to the Church, the Bridegroom and the Bride, and in that sacredness is the beauty of a consummate relationship between a man and a woman, as it is shown in the singular commitment of the marital vow, I do, and I will. When you say, “I do,” to the one, you say, “I don’t,” to all of the others. And you say, “I will,” to one, you’re saying, “I won’t,” to all of the others. So, any departure from that beauty and sacredness of the full confluences of love is a biblical notion of what it really means to be married, and to just take one behavior and make it look like it’s aberrant is not right. All departures from that are not acceptable in the sight of God.’”

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