It was God Himself who united a man and a woman in marriage (Gen. 2:22). Marriage, therefore, is a divine institution, not a human one (Matt. 19:6). Consequently, God, not man, has the right to define the terms of the institution.
In mercy, even though homosexuality is a sinful way of life, and not a genetic problem, Paul makes it clear that it is possible for a homosexual to be “washed” form his defilement through the saving grace of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:9-12).
What are we to think of a passage like Romans 1:26-27? The Bible defines homosexual desires as “contrary to nature,” not an equal alternative orientation. Homosexuality is a “dishonorable passion” that “consumes” men and women, leading to shameless behavior. The strong emotional pull of lust and the affections shared between persons in a homosexual relationship – whatever those affections may be called – cannot properly be called “love.” After all, love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing” (1 Cor. 13:6) and homosexuality is wrongdoing.
God’s verdict on homosexuality is inescapably clear. His law is a precise interpretation of the sexual order of creation for fallen man, rendering again His intention and direction for sexual relations. When members of the same sex (homo-sexual) practice intercourse with each other…they violate God’s basic creation order in a vile and abominable fashion.
Homosexuality is no more right, holy or acceptable today than it ever was in Bible times. Neither is heterosexual fornication, adultery, or pornography-driven lust. It’s not just that sex outside of God’s plan for marriage (which is limited to one man and one woman, per the created intent in Genesis 1 and 2) breaks His law – His rules are given as a gift to keep us from breaking our hearts.
In 2008, in defending his current position against same-sex marriage but for civil unions, [President Obama] said concerning people who might find his position controversial, “I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans.” Two things strike me about this. First, he’s not consistent about his application of the golden rule; he’s pro-abortion-but of course he doesn’t want to be hacked to pieces without anesthesia, which is precisely what certain abortion procedures entail. Second, choosing the golden rule over “an obscure passage in Romans” shows he doesn’t understand that “the entirety of [God’s] word is truth” (Ps. 119:160). Both the Golden Rule and the Romans 1 passage are true; it’s not a choice between the two. Since he used to give lectures on Constitutional law at the University of Chicago, I doubt that he would ever use the term “an obscure phrase in the Constitution,” because obscurity is about one’s perception of importance, not the actual importance of a matter. To a Constitutional lawyer who respects the document, every phrase of the document is important. To a serious [true] Christ-follower, every word of His scriptures is important.
Many Christians are repulsed by homosexuality and see the sinner not only as broken but also disgusting and dismissible. The reaction of society at large has often shared this disgust – picking on homosexuals, mocking homosexual characteristics, and generally rejecting the homosexual as a “sissy,” mama’s boy,” “dyke,” “faggot,” and “queer.” [Homosexuals] find themselves with nowhere to go – they are as rejected in the church as they are in the locker room – so they turn to other homosexuals for love and acceptance. [Scripture] reminded us that ministers of the gospel are not qualified to serve as ministers of the gospel if we contribute to this harsh and unloving approach toward those who most need our message and our counsel.
Yes, the practice of homosexuality is wretched, destructive, hurtful to others, and filled with health risks. I am not minimizing either the sin or its devastating effects on the sinner and those he sins against. What I want you to hear is not that homosexuality is less of a sin but that homosexuality is another sin – one among many. Jesus Christ died on the cross for those who engage in homosexual sins, just as He died to pay the penalty for gossips, complainers, and speeders.
The critical issue is how I consider [a homosexual]: Do I see him as the product of his biological makeup or his genetic code, the result of a poor relationship with his same-sex parent, the outcome of early sexual stimuli, or one fearing rejection by others due to low self-esteem? If I accept contemporary secular explanations for homosexuality as part of the cause, then I am ultimately accepting culture as the authority for understanding and helping [the individual]. Or, I can take the perspective that the ultimate cause of…homosexual behavior is [a] sinful heart and that all of these important pieces of data make up various significant influences or pressures to which his sinful heart responded.
God’s plan from the beginning has been for one man and one woman to become one flesh in the covenant of marriage. When no suitable helper was found for Adam, the Lord God made a woman (Gen. 2:20, 22). She was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and the two became one flesh (Gen. 2:23–24). God made the man and the woman to fit together, quite literally. In the creation, God intended for man and woman to exist in a state in which they could enjoy one another in an exclusive, lifelong “one flesh” union that would result in “filling the earth.” This kind of union only comes about in a heterosexual marriage.
Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung and Eric Redmond taken from Don’t Call it a Comeback, edited by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2011, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 169. Get this book!
Sexuality in the context of heterosexual marriage is not only good, but exclusively good. Only heterosexual marriage relationships can show forth the complementary design of men and women. According to the apostle Paul, one of the purposes of marriage is to show forth the mystery of Christ and the church (Eph. 5:32). If marriage can be construed as a man and a man or a woman and a woman, what is left of the glorious mystery of Christ and the church? We are left with only Christ and Christ or church and church.
Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung and Eric Redmond taken from Don’t Call it a Comeback, edited by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2011, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Pages 169-170. Get this book!
From the first chapters of the Bible to the Torah to the New Testament, there is no hint that homosexuality is acceptable behavior for God’s people. To think the Bible affirms homosexuality takes more than special pleading – it requires a denial of the plain teaching of Scripture.
If you already know what the Bible says about homosexuality, don’t forget what the Bible says about all of life and godliness. We can be right about marriage and still wrong about everything else that matters. And if you like most everything else the Bible says, why would you on this matter of homosexuality decide the Bible suddenly can’t be trusted? If you won’t count the cost here, what else will you be willing to sell? The support for homosexual behavior almost always goes hand in hand with the diluting of robust, 100-proof orthodoxy, either as the cause or the effect. The spirits which cause one to go wobbly on biblical sexuality are the same spirits which befog the head and heart when it comes to the doctrine of creation, the historical accuracy of the Old Testament, the virgin birth, the miracles of Jesus, the resurrection, the second coming, the reality of hell, the plight of those who do not know Christ, the necessity of the new birth, the full inspiration and authority of the Bible, and the centrality of a bloody cross.
Marriage is not a human invention, it is the creation of God; it did not originate in the mind of man, but in the mind of God. This being the case, man cannot change the definition or purpose of marriage to suit himself. The redefinition of marriage is the negation of marriage.
Homosexual behavior is contrary to the Creator’s design (Gen. 1:27-28), and therefore is entirely unnatural (Rom. 1:26-27). Homosexual acts are not good; they neither conform to the standard of good (righteousness) revealed in God’s law, and they are not good ( beneficial) for an individual or for society. According to Scripture, homosexual activity is sinful and an abomination (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:9-10). The rise and acceptance of homosexual relationships is a sign of moral degradation, is due to man?s suppression of the knowledge of God in his pursuit of idolatry, and is a revelation of God’s wrath (Rom. 1:18-32; Gen. 19:1-11).
Those who believe that marriage is an evolving concept and that “same-sex marriage” is based on man’s new understanding of the nature of homosexual orientation fundamentally assert that “marriage” itself is a meaningless notion. If the concept of marriage has no fixed reference point beyond the evolving (constantly changing) mind of man, then no idea of marriage can have any permanence or claim to be the right view of marriage since, according to evolutionary dogma, man may yet progress to new understandings of marriage in the future. The logic of evolutionary thought also leads to the possibility that the idea of “same-sex marriage” will be rejected in the future as an ignoble phase of human development for which man should be ashamed. If it might be renounced in the future, on what ethical grounds can it be wrong to oppose it today?
If there is no higher law than the will of the state, then the state becomes man’s ultimate sovereign, against whose will there is no appeal. The legalization of “same-sex marriage” by the state would be a definitive rejection of the sovereignty of God and would constitute a claim of divinity by the state – whoever is the ultimate source of law in a society is the God of that society (cf. Isa. 33:22). The debate over “same-sex marriage” is not simply a debate over what our marriage law will be, but more so, over who will be our God: the triune God of the Bible or the state?
Because Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God, their opposition [to homosexuality] is rooted in a commitment to the absolute authority of the Bible to define the institution of marriage and to judge the moral nature of homosexual acts (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, their rejection of homosexuality and “homosexual marriage” is based on the objective, propositional revelation of Scripture that teaches that these things are sinful because they are contrary to the will of God. The true Christian does not condemn sodomy and “same-sex marriage” because of fear or hate, but because his faith in God’s revelation requires him to do so.
The Christian is motivated by love – his love for God and for his neighbor. The whole duty of Christian ethics is summarized by the command to love. But what is love? According to Jesus, love is keeping the commandments of God (Matt. 7:12; 22:36-40). The moral law of God shows us how to love God and our neighbor (Rom. 13:8-10). Christians believe that the laws of God against homosexual acts are given not only to reveal God’s righteousness but also for man’s own good (Deut. 10:13). The prohibitions in Scripture against homosexual acts are there not only because this behavior dishonors God, but also because it is destructive to man individually and in community. A man of love will act, to the degree to which he is able, to protect his neighbor (understood in both the singular and collective sense) from the degradation, danger, and destruction that is associated with homosexual practice (Lev. 19:17-18). The facts reveal that homosexuality is more of a death-style than a life-style. Can true Christian love ignore this reality?
Evangelicals [often] do not appeal to Scripture in the public debate, but base their arguments on reason and “natural law.” By so doing they surrender the only real authority and power they have (Isa. 8:10; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12) and are forced to stand on the same ground as their opponents. Not only does this method disarm the Christian, it is also disingenuous. The leading reason why Christians reject homosexual behavior is because the Bible teaches them to do so. In refusing to stand up and say this, especially since their opponents know that their chief objection is based on the Bible, they appear to be dishonest and ashamed of their faith. It is much better to be bold and forthright in defending biblical morality by using the Bible! Even if their enemies reject their arguments, Christians cannot help but gain a measure of respect for their honesty and courage.
Christians seem blind to the hypocrisy of treating homosexual conduct so seriously and adultery and divorce so lightly. Evangelicals cry out that they must defend “traditional marriage” against the danger of “gay marriage.” But the greatest threat to traditional marriage is not from without but from within; from the rampant adultery and divorce that is found in heterosexual marriages. Churches preach against “gay marriage” (and rightly so), but tolerate adultery, divorce, and adulterous remarriage within their own memberships. The divorce rate among Christians is a disgrace. The church is so morally compromised by adultery and sexual sin (e.g., addiction to pornography and fornication) among its heterosexuals that it has lost its power to confront the plague of homosexuality.
The beautiful truth is that God does love those in the gay community. And it is because He loves them that He desires they live according to His will for their lives, not their own. However, I believe those who call themselves gay Christians have confused God’s love, with His acceptance.
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved to be steady… [It] is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point [of attack].
A rejection of the Bible’s authority on an issue such as homosexuality is a theological problem – not merely a moral controversy. No church can remain divided on this question, and no faithful believer should remain in a church that refuses to be bound to God’s Word.
How would you answer a person who says, “You can’t take the Bible literally because it promotes killing homosexuals” (Lev 20:13)?
1. This particular law was only given to ancient Israel under the terms of the Old Covenant. But God is not relating to anyone under the terms of this covenant today. Rather, God is now relating to all men under the terms of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8). Hence, this is not a law which should be implemented today.
2. This passage does not promote killing homosexuals. This is simply false – and it is important to say so. This particular law requires that those who engage in homosexual activity be put to death. Even under the Old Covenant, a person with homosexual inclinations or attractions, who refused to act on them, would NOT be put to death. What is at issue here is homosexual activity – not homosexual attraction.
3. God takes sin very seriously and His holiness and moral perfection require that He deal with it as it deserves. Under the terms of the Old Covenant, homosexual behavior was not unique in meriting the sentence of death. Adultery (Lev. 20:10), blasphemy (Lev. 24:16), murder (Exod. 21:12), striking one’s father or mother (Exod. 21:15), kidnapping (Exod. 21:16), cursing one’s father or mother (Exod. 21:17), and other acts as well, all merited the death sentence under the Old Covenant. Even Sabbath violations received the death sentence (Exod. 31:14).
4. God disapproves of all sexual sin – not just homosexual activity. God disapproves of adultery, fornication, rape, incest, bestiality, as well as homosexual sin. Again, homosexual sin is not unique in being prohibited by God. All sexual sin is prohibited. The Bible allows for sexual activity only within the confines of one man/one woman heterosexual marriage. Any kind of sexual activity outside of this is sin (Michael Gleghorn).
From what I see in the Bible, God is far more concerned with first fixing our hearts than he is with fixing other things in our lives. Same sex attraction included. Yes, it’s true that God hates homosexuality. But more than that, He hates that our hearts are opposed to Him and that we long to live our lives separated from Him. God’s foremost desire is that we would come to Him through Christ to receive new hearts that love and adore Him. In fact, nothing can even begin to be done as far as the untangling of our sexualities until we receive new hearts that love and adore God. How do I know that? Because Romans 1 says that the whole reason homosexual desire even exists is due to our rejection of God’s loving rule and authority over our lives. Homosexual desire – and all other sinful desire – exists in the hearts of people because worship of God doesn’t (Matt Moore).
The legalization of marriage is so important to homosexuals because in their mind legal means moral. We live in a society where God and His standards have been removed. If you do not go to God’s Word for the standards of right or wrong, good or evil, where do you go? To the law. You go to the law for all standards. So if the law says it’s legal, then you are OK. You are fine; you are no longer wrong. Even if your own conscience condemns you, it doesn’t matter because the law says you are legitimately married, and all is well (James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe).
The Real Reason for the Push for Same-Sex Marriage by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe taken from What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 32.
So what is the real reason that militant homosexuals are demanding the right to marry? It is to force society to accept their lifestyle as is. Not only to accept it, but to embrace it. If you think that is an exaggeration, then consider the intolerance you will experience if you dare oppose their agenda, at the hands of those who shout the loudest for tolerance (James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe).
The Real Reason for the Push for Same-Sex Marriage by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe taken from What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 40.
If you say that two men living together can provide the same healthy environment as a mom and a dad, you are making a profoundly negative statement about women. You are saying that women, half of the human race, are irrelevant to the raising of children, that they make no unique contribution to the raising of the next generation. It is a profoundly derogatory statement about women. Flip it over on its head: You talk about two lesbians raising a child. You’re making a profoundly negative statement about men, half the human race, dads, fathers; you’re saying they’re unnecessary, irrelevant, children don’t need them. Well, we know from the data that both those statements are flat-out wrong, that kids need a mom and a dad. The data’s on our side. And it’s really those who are trying to destroy the family who should be apologizing for their selfish, self-interested efforts, to radically destroy an institution which has unique benefits for kids…the underlying thrust of the effort to destroy marriage is profoundly anti-child (Josh McDowll and Bob Hostelter).
Should we throw overboard an institution that has served our world well for thousands of years, just so we don’t offend a small but vociferous group? We think not. Marriage is the bedrock of any civilized society. Same-sex marriage contradicts a recorded tradition that goes back through all of recorded history and virtually all cultures (James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe).
The Top Twelve Reasons We’re Opposed by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe taken from What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 56-67.
God’s lesson to history is, when He designed marriage in the Garden, He didn’t pick multiple mates, He picked one man and one woman as the perfect paradigm of what marriage is supposed to look like. That wasn’t by accident. That was by Divine Design (Craig Parshall).
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) we read: “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders [nor others]…will inherit the kingdom of God.” The Greek word translated as “homosexual offenders” is arsenokoites, taken from two Greek words: arsen “male” and coitus, “copulation.” The term means exactly and precisely “male intercourse.” It says nothing about attitude or lust at all. It is the act that is condemned – and those that do it. It says they shall not inherit the kingdom of God (James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe),
Entertaining Angels Unawares by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe taken from What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 79.
What is the response of homosexuals and lesbians to anyone who says that homosexuality is a sin? They simply say this person is filled with hate; he or she is a homophobe; he or she hates homosexuals. Someone said this is like the Surgeon General’s putting this warning on each package of cigarettes: “Warning: Smoking may be dangerous to your health.” What did this prove? It proved only that the Surgeon General was a smokophobe and that he hated everyone who smoked cigarettes (James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe).
Entertaining Angels Unawares by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe taken from What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 80.
Former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett, author of the Book of Virtues, contrasted tobacco use with promiscuous homosexuality: “So what does smoking do to your life?… Smoking takes six to seven years off your life. Very important, very serious; we should address that. Promiscuous male homosexuality takes maybe 20 to 30 years off your life.” He goes on to point out that we need to be honest about the dangers of this lifestyle: “One of the difficulties in this whole issue is that people have been less than candid, have been afraid to talk frankly about the costs of the promiscuous homosexual lifestyle… The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta have pointed out in interviews (through the interview process) that a typical, active male homosexual might have two or three hundred partners a year… The biggest problem faced by promiscuous homosexuals in this country is devastation. It’s not discrimination; it’s devastation. It’s death. It’s disaster (Transcript of an interview with Bill Bennett on location in Washington D.C., January 1998) (James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe).
Homosexual’s Deadly Lifestyle by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe taken from What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 88-89.
As Christians, we believe with deepest sincerity that the embrace of homosexual practice, along with other sins, keeps people out of the kingdom of God. And if our society celebrates it, we can’t both be caring and not say anything. Too much is at stake. This means it is an oversimplification to say that Christians — or conservative evangelicals — are simply against homosexuality. We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God.
Distancing ourselves from both the left and the right, we don’t celebrate homosexual practice, we acknowledge God’s clear revealed word that it is sin; and we don’t hate those who embrace homosexuality, we love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously, “That’s wrong” and “I love you.” We’re not the left; we say, this is wrong. And we’re not the right; we say, you’re loved. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross — the same words that God spoke us — “You’re wrong, and you’re loved.”
We will continue to say what the world, by and large, will not believe, namely, that it is possible to describe homosexual behavior as sinful, perverse, abnormal, and destructive to persons and culture while at the same time being willing to lay down our lives in love for homosexual persons. In fact, we say something even more radical and unbelievable to the world, namely, that you must believe homosexual behavior is sin and harmful in order to love homosexual persons. Because God tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:6, “[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” If you deny the truth that homosexual behavior is sin, but instead approve of it or rejoice in it, what you bring to the homosexual person will not be love – no matter how affirming, kind, or tolerant. Our aim is the biblical combination of conviction in God’s truth and compassion for God’s creation.
1. The Will of God for Marriage Was Expressed in Creation: Jesus confirmed God’s will in creation when He said in Matthew 19:4-6, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” That’s the Bible’s teaching and the Bible’s assumption from cover to cover. Marriage is one woman and one man becoming one flesh by covenant and sexual union.
2. There Is No Such Thing as Homosexual Marriage in the Eyes of God: The other biblical reason marriage cannot be between two men or two women is that, on the one hand, the Bible defines homosexual behavior as “dishonorable” and “shameless” and “contrary to nature” (Romans 1:26-27), but on the other hand the Bible says that marriage is to be “held in honor” (Hebrews 13:4). Marriage does not produce shame. And marriage is not contrary to nature. There is therefore no such thing as homosexual marriage in the eyes of God. And there should not be in the eyes of his people – no matter what the state says.
We learn from Paul in Ephesians 5:31-32 that, from the beginning, manhood and womanhood existed to represent or dramatize God’s relation to His people and then Christ’s relation to His bride, the church. In this drama, the man represents God or Christ and is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. The woman represents God’s people or the church. And sexual union in the covenant of marriage represents pure, undefiled, intense heart-worship. That is, God means for the beauty of worship to be dramatized in the right ordering of our sexual lives.
God and man in covenant worship are represented by male and female in covenant sexual union. Therefore, when man turns from God to images of himself, God hands us over to what we have chosen and dramatizes it by male and female turning to images of themselves for sexual union, namely their own sex. Homosexuality is the judgment of God dramatizing the exchange of the glory of God for images of ourselves.
A few words to those among us who have homosexual desires:
1. Acknowledge the presence and pain of a disordered sexuality, with all the ambiguity of where it came from – much like other disorders and disabilities – and do not define your God-given personhood by your disordered sexuality.
2. Put your faith in Christ alone for the forgiveness of all your sins and for the gift of God’s righteousness and for the fulfillment of all his promises to you (Romans 1:16-17). The only sinner who can successfully battle his sins is a justified sinner. In other words, you fight against sexual sins from relationship, not for a relationship.
3. Begin to reorder your entire life around the centrality of the glory of God as your highest treasure. Homosexual sinning, like all other sinning, is an echo of exchanging the glory of God for other things. So restore the sun of God’s glory to its place at the center of your soul and all the planets of your desires will begin to return to their God-given orbit.
4. Resolve to live a chaste and, if necessary, celibate life by the power of God’s Spirit, with the confidence that if God does not heal now, he will in the age to come; and all the patience of purity of will be worth it (Romans 8:18). May God grant all the single people (and married!) at Bethlehem a passion for purity.
5. Seek wholesome friendships with both sexes, especially in groups… The more we do things in groups rather than pairs, the more opportunities we create for wholesome non-sexual relationships.
6. …There are ministries like Outposts here in our cities that have insights and experience and encouragement and Biblical counsel from a depth of awareness that goes beyond what most of us can bring. This may be something God would use in your life.
7. Take a bold and compassionate stand for truth…and hold up God’s purposes for human sexuality, namely, as an expression of Christ’s love for the Church dramatized in the covenant love of marriage between one man and one woman.
If your children are still small or yet to come, realize that, in large measure, their healthy sexuality hangs on your healthy attention and teaching and touching and loving. I say this especially to you fathers. For both boys and girls, the development of a healthy sexuality hangs more on strong, loving, godly male figures in their lives than on the women in their lives – though both are very important. Biblically and experientially and psychologically this can be shown – that the role of the father (or of some crucial man) is paramount for normal sexual development of boys and girls.
Whatever the physical or social or personal origins of the homosexual disordering of our sexuality, none of that would define it as good or “natural” or “normal.” In a world where God is the Creator and Designer of life, “natural” means in sync with God’s purpose and design, not just anything that has physical causes. Having a physical root makes nothing right. Physically-based, aggressive tendencies may lead to violent behavior, but we don’t condone it. Physically-based lethargic tendencies may lead to laziness and neglect, but we don’t condone it. Frenetic tendencies may lead to disruption and workaholism. A gloomy bent may lead to suicidal thoughts. An anxious bent may lead to paranoia. Addictive tendencies may lead to alcoholism or bondage to gambling or deadly smoking. A low frustration threshold may lead to outbursts of rage. Strong sexual desires may lead to lust or pornography or fornication or adultery or polygamy. In other words, in a world where the effect of sin permeates to the roots of nature and disorders all of life, we cannot define as good and natural whatever has physical roots. There must be a higher norm than fallen nature. There are many physically-based abnormalities in the world. Therefore having a physical base or root is not sufficient reason for condoning anything as natural or good.
The Bible is clear and consistent, affirming with one voice from cover to cover that homosexual activity is sexual immorality before God… If someone wants to advocate for homosexual activity, he or she must maintain that the Bible is irrelevant to modern humanity, inconsistent with our experiences, and thus insufficient as a source of truth and guidance for our lives – that the Bible is not only deficient; it is downright dangerous.
“But it is clear that those two women love each other. Why should you say that is wrong?” We must accept God’s definition of love. And according to the famous “love chapter” in 1 Corinthians 13, love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). The Bible repeatedly calls homosexuality, unrighteous. God is love and we must stand by God’s definition of love and not society’s definition. Furthermore, it is in love for the homosexual that we warn him or her about their relationship. First Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” How can we believe this verse in Scripture and then tell a gay person everything is fine? I’d say that’s extremely unloving!
It’s shallow thinking to always equate disagreement with hate. Much disagreement we have with others is because we care. Just ask any parent!
Some people will claim that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah never really happened. In other words, they believe it was all make believe. That conclusion unfortunately leads to greater problems because Jesus Christ affirmed Sodom and Gomorrah as a literal place that received a literal destruction. In Luke 17 we read, “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed” (Lk. 17:28-30; cf. 10:12). Deny this story from Genesis and you will have to deny the omniscience or Jesus Christ. Deny the omniscience of Jesus Christ and you will have to deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Deny the deity of Jesus Christ and you no longer have a Savior!
We have no business casting judgment on homosexuality if we are engaged in any sexual sin ourselves. In God’s economy, sex is reserved exclusively between a husband and a wife. Anything beyond that is sin. Yet even all believers in the flesh have a tendency to desire and practice what our Lord condemns in this area too. Maybe it is not homosexuality, but are you sleeping around or living with someone who is not your spouse? Are you downloading porn? Are you fantasizing in your mind impure sexual images? We dare not shake our finger at Sodom and Gomorrah if we too are involved with any sexual immorality.
Like any sin, our Lord saves people in the homosexual lifestyle. He forgives their sins and gives them the grace to repent. After saying that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God in 1 Corinthians 6:10, we read in the very next verse, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). We are all born with distinct tendencies toward certain sins. Maybe for you it is not homosexuality, but for you it is compulsive gambling or jealousy or anger or gluttony or lust with the opposite sex. Whatever it is, there is hope for victory in Jesus Christ.
The list in Galatians 5 is not a list of unforgivable sins. Instead it is a list of those sins, which when they are practiced, evidence a lack of saving faith. Practicing these sins, however, is not the same thing as committing them. We practice these sins, or any sin, when we give up, when we no longer fight the temptation, when we embrace the sin as good. When, however, we fight, when we repent for falling into these sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9).
Concerning homosexuality: This once brought hell out of heaven on Sodom
To say that people can’t be transformed is to say that God cannot transform people and that’s blasphemy. Nothing less.
But what about love and loyalty when no one else seems to be hurt, such as premarital sexual relationships? Such an argument does not apprehend biblical love. Love is not simply the absence of obvious injury to anyone. For example, critical thoughts don’t victimize, but they are unloving and wrong. Defining love in terms of whether people get hurt misses the heart of biblical teaching. We may not automatically decide what form love takes. God tells us how to love. When we love on our terms rather than His, we are in sin. Even if our sin does not seem to hurt another human being, it is still sin. If sin were reduced to hurting others, then we could become morally perfect by isolating ourselves from all people. Sin, however, is not primarily a human-against-human action. It is human-against-God. God defines love as obedience to Him.
The issue of homosexual orientation is where the church must engage the homosexual community in biblical discussion. The problem, however, is that the idea of homosexual orientation does not rest on any foundation that can be discussed. It relies on neither biblical data nor medical research. Instead, it is a political premise for gaining homosexual rights and is rooted in personal experience. Therefore, neither biblical data nor refutation of the medical literature will persuade most homosexual advocates. Ultimately, most homosexuals appeal to their own feelings and the experience of their homosexual brothers and sisters. “Homosexuality feels right to us, so it is natural. It is part of our created constitution.” But that should not keep us from examining their arguments biblically and engaging them in as much careful discussion as they are willing.
Is it possible that the biblical texts were ignorant about homosexual orientation and were thus prohibiting only “unnatural” homosexual practice by participants of heterosexual orientation? This would suggest that the practicing homosexuals in the Bible were involved in homosexuality against their natural inclinations. Yet the nature of sin is that people sin because they want to sin (James 1:13-15). It comes from our desires. No one is dragged into sin kicking and screaming. Homosexuality existed in biblical times because people enjoyed it; they were drawn to it by their own hearts (Mark 7:21-23). An artificial distinction between (sinful) homosexual practice and (justifiable) homosexual orientation contradicts the Scripture’s constant connection of desire, orientation and deed. If the deed was prohibited in Scripture, the desire was too.
Why does it feel natural? The biblical answer is relatively straightforward. Like many other sins, homosexuality does not have to be learned. The child who never witnessed a temper tantrum can be proficient at throwing them; it is an instinctive ability of the human heart. Homosexuality is natural in the same way that anger or selfishness is natural. They are embedded in our fallen humanness. Indeed, homosexuality is “natural,” but only in the sense that it is an expression of the sinful nature… Sin is more than mature, rational, conscious decisions. It is our moral inclination from birth.
It is true that, on some level, there can be great affection and commitment in a homosexual relationship. But this doesn’t mean that the relationship is approved by God. If a man is unbiblically divorced and marries a woman he believes he truly loves, that union is still wrong. Adulterous relationships may, on some level, be loving and committed, but they also are still wrong.
The biblical position is that there is a creation order for human sexuality. God’s ordained design for sexual relationships is male-female. Homosexual acts and homosexual desires, male and female, violate this creation ordinance and are thus sinful. The church must therefore warn and rebuke those who call themselves Christians but persist in homosexual practice. And the church must actively teach that homosexual affection is sinful. It can never suggest that there is morally neutral, constitutional, homosexual orientation. To urge those struggling with homosexual desire simply to refrain from acting on their desire is to sin against these brothers and sisters.
Biology can’t make us sin. At most, biology is analogous to a friend who tempts us into sin. Such a friend might be bothersome, but he can be rebuked and resisted.
Am I now suggesting that it is biblically possible for the body to cause homosexuality? Indeed, I am, provided – and read carefully – the word “cause” in this context means “biologically shape or influence,” not “irresistibly compel.” Used this way, there is nothing shocking about what I am saying. Our sinful hearts express themselves in behavior via hundreds of factors, biology being one. A person whose sinful heart acts out in murder may have been influenced by unjust treatment, by parents who allowed him to vent his rage on siblings and by Satan’s incessant suggestions to kill. But none of these influences remove his personal responsibility for his intentions or actions. The ultimate cause of sin is always the sinful heart.
Remember that it is on the question of homosexual orientation that the world, the flesh, and the Devil converge. The world, with its sub-biblical views, has voted that homosexuality is normal. Our flesh wants to exonerate itself from homosexual fantasy and maintain that sexual gratification is a sacred right. And the Devil stands behind both, whispering his murderous deceptions. The deception of homosexual orientation must be exposed and corrected. It is a false teaching that will eventually lead to bad fruit. We truly do have an “orientation,” but it is a spiritual orientation that is against God. It is not a simple physical propensity.
Has the church been, at times, self-righteous in its attitude toward homosexuals? Is there homophobia in some of our congregations? Do we tend to think of homosexuality as worse than the gossip and private idolatries that are rampant in the church? Has the church been unwelcoming to unbelieving but spiritually searching homosexuals? The answer to these questions is certainly yes. More specifically, the answer is, “Yes, we have sinned.”
Jesus did not speak against homosexuality specifically, but neither did He specifically address many other sexual behaviors, such as incest, bestiality, and rape. That doesn’t mean that they were permissible. Jesus consistently upheld the Old Testament law. He stood against all legalistic attempts to narrow its intent, and He maintained that the law addressed both behavior and attitude. He consistently spoke for marriage, and He indicated that the only alternative to heterosexual marriage was celibacy (Matt. 19:12).