Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Bible and Homosexuality

What I want to make apparent from the start is that I love everyone (as does God.  He hates the sin, not the sinner).  I have friends who are gay, and I want to stay friends with them, and although I may say things that are offensive, I need people to understand that it is said out of love and concern.

The last thing I want to do is to get in the way of love.

I don’t just say that homosexuality is wrong because the sight of it makes my stomach uneasy.  Honestly, I want people to be happy, and to do things that make them happy.  It makes me smile when others are doing so.  If I wasn’t fully convinced that God had a problem with homosexuality, then I wouldn’t even bring it up.

Now to the part where I use the Bible to show that homosexuality is wrong…

Romans 1:21-27 (NIV)

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

This passage makes a number of weighty pronouncements, but I want to highlight one phrase in particular:

“God gave them over to the sinful desires of their hearts”

I often hear that “homosexuality isn’t a choice, it’s natural.”  I would respond by saying that doesn’t mean much.  After all, it’s natural for someone to want to lie to save their skin.  As the passage states, the heart has sinful desires.  Elsewhere in the Bible it says that we are born evil (Romans 7:5; Psalm 51:5; Proverbs 22:15; Genesis 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9).  Saying that something is natural is not saying that it is therefor moral or right.  It’s natural for me to be lazy and a glutton.

But giving over to our bodily desires isn’t evil in and of itself.  It’s choosing our bodily desires over obedience to God that makes it a sin (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

God not only created us, but he also established the definition of marriage from the very beginning:

Genesis 2:20-24 (NIV)

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

There is one more Bible passage that I want to bring to your attention in regards to the immorality of homosexuality:

1 Corinthians 6:7-11 (ESV)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

In my original blog post on homosexuality, I didn’t include this passage.  I believe the reason for my exclusion was that I was scared people would use it as excuse to believe that I was one of those hateful bible thumpers that believe homosexuals are going to Hell.  I’ve even been personally asked if I thought that gay people were going to Hell.

Look at verse 11 (the only superscripted number, I left it in there on purpose).  It says these sins are no longer condemning Christians because they are made pure in the sight of God because of the actions of Jesus.

…So, are homosexuals going to Hell or not?

The Bible makes it very clear that all who believe in Jesus will be saved (John 3:16; Romans 10:9,13).  Christians don’t go to Hell.  So the question now becomes “can a Christian be a homosexual?”

The question is no different than the question “can a Christian be a liar?” or “can a Christian be a drunkard?”

I don’t like these questions because it makes the negative traits appear to be part of one’s identity, like stealing something makes someone a thief.  If the thief gives back what they stole, and never steals again, are they still a thief?  For those who answer “yes,” remember that Christians stand justified before God, pure in his sight because of what Jesus has done (Romans 3:24).

To state things simply:  yes, technically a person can practice homosexuality, even as a Christian, and still go to Heaven, according to the Bible.  But, a legitimate Christian won’t want to sin in this way (Romans 7:21-26; Romans 8:5).

I want to finish by stating that it is not my wish to be unloving, discriminatory, or disrespectful in any way.  I recognize that not everyone believes the same thing as I do.  However, if one is as convinced as I am that Bible is the actual word of God, then one needs to admit that it applies to everyone, not just to those who believe or like it.  It is because I care others and want them to be right with God that I have written this article.  

Let love win:  God’s love for you that is.

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