I was very hesitant to write this article for a few reasons. The first reason, people normally refuse to reason with what is distant to their belief, no matter how legitimate of an argument. Second, I don't necessarily support highlighting one particular sin. When we highlight a particular sin, it seems we are elevating that sin to a bigger sin, which is NOT true. Sin is sin. Christians get a bad rap on this topic, but in reality Christians are not opposed to just homosexuality, we are oppose to all sin. We empathize with the struggle of sin and we see how it consumes our lives and separates us from Christ (Romans 6:17-18). Third, there are many more important things we could be doing than debating this subject. Lastly, people are really ignorant when it comes to this topic, so we have morons from both ends of the spectrum arguing with each other. With all that being said, I wrote this article to inform and hopefully give a Biblical perspective on this subject.
Homosexuality is more relevant now than ever. There are now 29 states that have legalized gay marriage, and in 2011 four percent of Americans claimed to be gay, which I imagine that percentage has increased. As of January 2014, the Boy Scouts of America allowed openly gay members. The media has produced numerous shows supporting a homosexual lifestyle. Musicians and artists have made monumental stands for gay equality, and at the Grammys Macklemore performed "Same Love" while 32 couples gay and straight were married. Former college football standout Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted in NFL history. Jason Collins was the first openly gay athlete to play in one of the major sports league (NBA) in the United States. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently announced he is gay, and claims it is the greatest gift God has given him. The homosexual lifestyle has become a very normal thing in America, and everyone looks to see what the Christian thinks and says.This can be very confusing now because some claiming to be Christians welcome homosexuality with open arms while others assume if you are gay you have no hope and it does not matter what you do, your destination is hell. So what can we believe? Lets start with the Bible.
What The Bible Says About HomosexualityIf we claim to be Christians or believe in the teaching of Christ, we must believe that the word of God (the Bible) is infallible, and contrary to what Macklemore says the Bible is not paraphrased and we can rely on the validity of scriptures.There have been 5,686 partial and complete Greek manuscript copies of the new testament found. Out of these manuscripts around 99 percent match word for word, and 99 percent of the variations among the manuscripts involve a missing letter in the word, some involve the reversing of two words (such as Christ Jesus instead of Jesus Christ), and some may involve the absence of one insignificant word such as an adjective. Because of this evidence, we can rely on the Bible word for word.
If the Bible is perfect, then nothing can be put in or taken out. A perfect God chose men after his own heart to write the book of his wrath, grace, love, justice, and mercy.
Homosexuality is mentioned in the bible several times, and we can not excuse this sin as an old Levitical law or Old Testament law because it is mention consistently throughout the Bible.
All Sin Is DamningThat was a pretty harsh heading I know, but it's true. If we go back to before Genesis three, everything was perfect between God and man. Adam and Eve quickly ruined that relationship and separated ourselves from a perfect God by breaking the only rule they had to keep. God sentenced death to Adam and Eve for eating a forbidden fruit. That seems like a harsh punishment for eating a piece of fruit right? That is why we have to understand the severity of sin, but most importantly who we are sinning against.
Here is an example of this:
If I slapped you in the face, what would you do to me? You would probably punch me in the face.
If I went up to a random guy on the street and slapped him in the face, what would he do to me? He would probably get a couple of his friends to beat me up.
What if I went up to a policeman and slapped him in the face? He would probably use his taser on me and then arrest me.
Finally, What if I went up to North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un and slapped him in the face? I would surely die. The severity of sin's punishment is always a reflection of the person sinned against.
For the most part, we severely underestimate the seriousness of our sin against God.
God's Plan of RedemptionI don't want that to necessarily depress you, because there is hope! Our sin did not catch God off guard. He knew we would mess up and had a perfect plan to bring us back to Him (Ephesians 1:4-14). Simply because it pleased God, He chose to redeem the ones He loves by sending a savior to bridge the gap between us and God that we created. (Genesis 3:15)
In the Old Testament God would constantly remind us of a savior. It was prophesied over 300 times, and through Jesus, all of the prophecies were fulfilled.
That is the best news we could possibly hear. God sent Jesus, the one he loved the most, to live the life we couldn't live and to die the death we deserved. This is crazy love. God sent a part of himself to save us from eternal punishment, if we choose to love, obey, and make him Lord over our lives. (Micah 6:8)
But there is one problem. We are still not perfected, so we still sin. Our bodies still crave the things of the world that are detestable to a perfect God (Romans 7:14-21). After salvation, our souls within our bodies desire the Lord and what is pleasing to Him (Psalm 37:4), and when we do mess up Jesus covers us in His righteousness making us spotless in front of a Holy God. This is also a great reminder we can't save ourselves, but it requires Jesus for our salvation. (Ephesians 2:8)
Living in Constant Sin and Abusing GraceBefore I became a Christian, I used to sin a lot, and now that I am a Christian, I still sin a lot. But there is a huge difference between the old and new me. The old me loved his sin and would continue to do it, but the new me is very convicted of his sin and hates it and will do anything to turn from it.
This brings me to my next point, it is impossible for a Christian to live in constant sin. When a Christian sins, he is temporarily saying, "God I'm trusting in (insert your sin here) for my satisfaction right now rather than You." Eventually the Christian will be torn over this sin so much that He will eventually remove himself from it and repent (Romans 6:1-2) (Romans 6:11-12).
The last paragraph does not just affect the homosexual, but anybody who makes a habit of their sin: the man addicted to pornography, the drunkard, the self consumed, the fornicator, etc. Even the guy who constantly disobeys his parents (Romans 1:30).
When we put sin in front of Christ and have no urge to repent, we aren't really loving Jesus. We are just loving the fact he can get us out of hell. In every relationship, sacrifices must be made from both sides to have a fully functional loving relationship. The same goes with our relationship with Jesus. If we can't give up certain areas in our life for Him, we don't really love Jesus, we just love his stuff.
Four Most Common Arguments for Homosexuality and a Christian's ResponseWhen Christians attempt to stand up for what they believe, they are usually hit with some tough questions to answer. I am go to list four of the most common arguments I have heard for homosexuality and how Christians can respond to these.
1. So you're perfect? We all sin so how can you judge someone?This argument is usually the first I hear, but we are addressing the wrong issue. The issue is not sin but repentance. If we confess to be Christians our main desire should be the greatest commandment, loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:38). And if we hold true to this commandment we obediently obey the Lord. I am not perfect but I do have accountability in my life whether it be my friends, family, or scriptures that will call me out on my sin, and this makes me walk in constant repentance. Sometimes I hate when my friends or the Bible confronts me of my sin, but I know they are right and want what is best for me. This is called righteous judgement. We have this Christian cliche where we say, "who am I to judge?" The problem with this argument is that judgement is not necessarily a bad thing. If we truly love and care for someone, when we see them struggling with something we will address the problem even if it is difficult. There is judgement that is sinful, but Jesus addresses this in John 7:24 saying, "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” Our job is not to judge by outward appearances, but judge the heart with what is right according to the scriptures and what the Father desires. As Christians, we should be very delicate confronting others on sin. If we confront others sin to condemn, the love of Christ is not in us (John 8:11). When we act out on righteous judgement, it must strictly be done out of love for the one struggling in sin.
2. Homosexuality of the Bible is different than homosexuality today.This argument is saying that when Paul addressed homosexuality, he was talking about a different type of homosexuality that would include orgies, pedophilia, and men having sex slaves rather than a monogamous consensual relationship. They would say Paul had no idea these monogamous relationships even existed. This is entirely false and has been dis proven at the scholarly level. There has been numerous amount of pieces of pottery and paintings from that time period that shows the existence of a monogamous homosexual lifestyle. Even secular historians would tell you that monogamous homosexual relationships existed in the era Paul lived in.
3. Where in the Bible does Jesus say anything about homosexuality.In other the words the argument is if Jesus never said anything about it, then it must be alright. There are two problems with this argument.
First, Jesus does hit on this, but does not specifically mention the word homosexuality. In Matthew 15:18-20 Jesus says, "But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person." Jesus mentions sexual immorality in these verses, and almost every where we look in the Bible homosexuality is always classified under sexual immorality.
Second, If you do not find the first argument valid, just because Jesus did not specifically mention a sin does not mean he supported it.The argument of silence is a weak argument. Jesus did not specifically speak of idolatry, which is still one of the biggest sins humanity struggles with today, but we know he would never condone it.
Another reason why Jesus didn't mention the subject of homosexuality much is because this sin was not necessarily prevalent at the time. Jesus was usually addressing Jews who held to Levitical Law. It was not a great debate at the time.
4. I was born this way/God made me this way.Can someone be born gay? I use to think that homosexuals chose to be gay, but now I can see it both ways. We are all born into sin, Psalm 51:5 says, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me (NIV)." So yes, I think a person can be born with homosexual desires, but the truth is we all struggle with different sins and just because we have an innate desire for a certain sin does not give us a right to act on it.
Here is an example of this:
A pastor named Rick Warren was being interviewed by NBC anchor Ann Curry, and she asked him if they prove homosexuality to be genetic would you still take the stance you take. Warren answered yes, and Ann was baffled and asked him why? Warren answered calmly saying, "genetically I want to have sex with every beautiful woman I see, but no one in society or culture says that is best for me or best for my wife or best for my children.... Not giving into your desires shows maturity, I think it is apart of delayed gratification, I think its a part of character."
If a person can be born gay does this mean God made that person gay? Absolutely not. God is not the author of sin (1 John 1:5), but allows sin to happen in a fallen world.
I think Romans 1:18-32 is a great example of this. God sees us loving sin more than him and when we choose sin over the joy God offers then he will allow us to indulge in that sin. When we exchange the truth of God for a lie, we will become futile in our thinking. This is not just homosexuals but anybody who gives in to their own selfish desires.