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What Does God Say About Homosexuality? (1 of 6)
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” ~ Charles Spurgeon 1860 Sermon at Exeter Hall
How do I answer when someone states that Jesus never spoke out against homosexuality?
First, as Bible-believing Christians, we believe Jesus Christ is God in the flesh — and believing so, Jesus' strongest stand on the issue of homosexuality had to be when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. The Bible says God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah — and Jesus is part of the triune God. The Bible tells us that Jesus was there from the beginning of creation (Genesis) — and He was responsible for creation as well. How much more clearly can Jesus have been in His 'speaking out against' homosexuality than in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?
While it is true that the New Testament does not document any statements of Jesus specifically condemning or condoning homosexuality — He didn't need to. It was very clear. However, John 21:25 states that "…there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one…even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." Further, it should be considered that there is no record of Jesus’ statements on other sexual practices like rape, incest, bestiality, etc. Yet it is unlikely that Jesus sanctioned those behaviors.
In addition, Jesus reinforced Old Testament law on sexual behavior in Matthew 5:27-30 and Mark 7:21-23. Old Testament law condemned the practice of homosexuality:
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." – Leviticus 18:22
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them hath committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." – Leviticus 20:13
Clearly, Scripture does not equate homosexual and heterosexual relationships. In fact, perhaps the best indicator of Jesus’ stance on homosexuality is found in Matthew 19:4-6, where He restates the Genesis 2:21-25 account of God’s ordination of the marital union. This reference is consistent with all of Scripture, which esteems marriage, the union of one man and one woman in covenant union, above every other relationship, and maintains that all sexual activity must take place within its confines. Any other sex outside that of the grounds of biblical, heterosexual marriage is considered fornication, condemned by God.
Homosexuality was punishable by death in the Old Testament, but we are under the new covenant of grace now. How does that affect the practice of homosexuality?
Many moral laws are repeated throughout Scripture. Old Testament civil and ceremonial laws changed under the new covenant of grace. But Christ Himself affirmed much of the moral law in the gospels — His dissertation on adultery is just one example. In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus stated, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
Romans 1:26-27 informs us that sexual immorality and self-worship bring great consequence to those involved: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of a woman, burned in their lust toward one another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet." These New Testament passages reference the perversion of homosexuality — and affirm that God designed the sexual relationship for biblical, heterosexual marriage.
Some homosexual individuals twist the meaning of the Romans passage and argue that what comes "natural" to them is homosexuality so it would be sin to act contrary to those feelings. However, what is "natural" and right is defined by God’s created order (Genesis 2:21-25 and Matthew 19:4-6), not by our feelings.
Is homosexuality worse than any other sin?
The Scriptures in Leviticus (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13) refer to homosexuality as an abomination, as detestable. Webster defines abomination as something that is "worthy of or causing disgust or hatred."
The joining of one man and one woman in a covenant union (including sexual relationship) is also a picture or type of the Gospel of Christ. Christ is refereed to as the "bridegroom" and the church (the body of believers) is referred to as the "bride." The two will be joined for all eternity at the "marriage supper of the lamb." The homosexual act perverts this picture to the greatest possible extent. Does this imply that homosexuals are worse than any other sinner? Certainly not. All sin is worthy of disgust or hatred. By its very nature, sin is the antithesis of the character of God. In I Corinthians 6:9-10 and I Timothy 1:9-11, homosexuality is included among a host of other sins — sins that endanger an inheritance in the kingdom of God, sins that the law was designed to punish.
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." – I Corinthians 6:9-10
"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust." – I Timothy 1:9-11
We should never view the sin of another as more egregious than our own. All of our sins separated us from our Creator. Christ died to redeem our lives from sin and to reinstate our personal relationship with God.
When using the Bible to validate the principle that homosexuality is sin, one is often told, "That is your interpretation." What makes this interpretation more valid than others?
An individual who uses the preceding argument is likely using it for one of two reasons. Either the individual (1) does not understand the methodology of Bible hermeneutics, or (2) is simply trying to justify his or her sinful behavior.
There is a vast difference between interpretation and opinion. Biblical interpretation is guided by hermeneutics. According to Webster, hermeneutics is "the study of the methodological principles of interpretation." Webster uses the following words to describe methodological: systematic, technique, process, discipline, orderliness, regularity, and classification. This means that Bible study must be done with great care to avoid arbitrariness and inconsistency.
A careful, systematic reading of both the Old and New Testaments indicates that marriage between one man and one woman is God’s one and ONLY plan for mankind, and that homosexuality is not an “alternative lifestyle” as some wish to define it: it is sin. Any other "interpretation" must be based on historical or theological revisionism or faulty hermeneutics. A more honest position for those who desire to support the acceptance of homosexual behavior would be to simply reject the Bible as God’s authoritative word — a position which denies any basis for the true Christian faith.
Continue to Page 2 of 6: SBM's "What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?"