Lucia's Blog: HOMOSEXUALITY: PART TWO - THE BIBLICAL ETHIC
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

HOMOSEXUALITY: PART TWO - THE BIBLICAL ETHIC

"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it."'
Genesis 1:27-28


THE BIBLICAL ETHIC ON HOMOSEXUALITY


Christianity sustains that absolute ethics exist and are centered upon the nature of God, His righteousness, and specifically on the absolute moral standard of a Creator, God.  This ethical view banishes the untrustworthiness of cultural relativism.  It implies that God exists and has revealed absolute standards, Truths.  It affirms that these divine standards are compatible with the Creator and His creation; they are true and perfect.  Such ethics are timeless and are for man's own good. They come from a higher Authority, One that is higher than man and Who was revealed in Jesus as well as in the inspired Word of God.

According to His divine and revealed Word, God's foremost intent for gender when He created man and woman was expressed when He instructed them to "multiply."  Genesis 1:27-28.  In order to multiply, they would have to be male and female.  Moreover, everything that God created "was good." Therefore, the innate, inborn, state was for male and female to procreate.  The concept of two males simply was not in God's original design since two males cannot procreate.  Same-sex couplings were not in God's divine plan of creation.

I would like to approach some of the gay arguments from a Bible point of view, providing concise answers to them.  I will be reviewing each Scriptural text that is relevant to the issue homosexual practices, establish the traditional view of the text, quote each of the pro-gay arguments in opposition to each view and provide a response to each.


I.  Creation/God's Created Intent:   (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18-24)

"7 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  28 And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."  Genesis 1:27-28
"And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him." ... And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."  Genesis 2:18-24

Traditional View

God's main intent for human sexual relationships is restricted to only heterosexual union between a man and a woman in marriage.

Pro-Gay Argument

The Genesis account does not forbid homosexuality.  Simply, because it does not refer to it for obvious reasons.  A gay couple can barely begin the population process. These verses cannot be seen as a model for all couples.  Many heterosexual couples are childless or unable to have sexual relations (physical union).  Are they in sin because they do not conform to the Genesis account?

Response One

While it is true that this text does not "forbid" homosexual relations (physical union), yet it provides the fundamental model for sexuality, sexual orientation, by which other forms of sexual expression must be judged.  

The book of origins, Genesis, provides a foundation for Biblical commands and for ensuing reflection on the part of those who wish to build a sexual ethic to meet changing situations. It is suitable for us to explore the relevance of Biblical commands about marriage and to judge modern homosexuality in light of Genesis.

The crux of Christian morality is that God made sexual union for a purpose, with a special design.  His main intent or design was to unite man (husband) and woman (wife) into one flesh in marriage.  God uses physical union, full sexual intimacy, to join together, bond.

Response Two

The union, joining, of male and female, introduced in Genesis, is the only model of sexual behavior which was compatible and consistently praised in both the Old and New Testaments.  And although, other forms of behavior are introduced and even allowed in the Old Testament such as polygamy and the use of concubines, a monogamous relationship between husband and wife is still the standard approved in the Bible as the perfect one.  "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" seems irreverent and it is an equitable assessment of created intent.  Whereas heterosexuality is praised throughout the Bible and not once are homosexual relationships mentioned as being praised but to the contrary, they are always presented in negative terms as an abomination.


II.  The Destruction of Sodom:  (Genesis 19:4-9)

"But before they (the angels visiting Lot to judge the wickedness of Sodom and determine whether or not to spare it) lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him.  And he said, I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly.  Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing, forasmuch as they are come under the shadow of my roof.  And they said, Stand back. And they said, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and drew near to break the door." 

Traditional Position

The men of Sodom wanted to have homosexual contact with Lot's visitors.  Sodom was eventually destroyed for its great wickedness.

Pro-Gay Argument One

Sodom was destroyed because of lack of hospitality toward its citizens, not because of homosexuality.  Both John Boswell and Michael Bailey support this view based on two assumptions:


  1. Lot was violating Sodom’s custom by entertaining guests without the authorization of the city's elders, thus prompting the demand to bring the men out "so we may know them;"  and 
  2. The words, "to know" do not necessarily mean having a sexual implication.  The Hebrew word "yada" appears 943 times in the Old Testament.  It conveys a sexual meaning perhaps ten of those 943 times.  Therefore, the argument is that the men of Sodom had no sexual intentions toward Lot's visitors.

Response

This argument is absolutely absurd and makes no sense at all in view of Lot's responses.  His first response was, "I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly."  It could barely apply to a simple request to "get to know" his guests.  Lot's second response is mainly instructing them:   He answered their demands by offering his two virgin daughters.  This proves that they did not just want a social knowledge of his guests.  The question is:  If these men only had innocent intentions, why was the city destroyed for inhospitality?  Whose discourtesy was being judged, Lot's or Sodom's citizens?

This theory raises more questions than answers.  While some might be correct in pointing out the seriousness of inhospitality in Bible times, inhospitality alone cannot be considered because of the severity of Lot's response to these men or for the judgment that soon followed.


Pro-Gay Argument Two

Sodom was destroyed for attempted rape, not homosexuality.  This is a more common argument; it is proposed by others, and it is far more credible, reasonable, than the "inhospitality" theory.

"Violence, forcing sexual activity upon another, is the real point of this story."  Therefore, homosexuality had nothing to do with Sodom's destruction.  Had the attempted rape been heterosexual in nature, judgment would have come just the same.  Violence, not homosexuality, was being punished when Sodom fell.

Response

This argument is relatively true since the men of Sodom were certainly suggesting or proposing rape. But what is obvious is that for such an occurrence to include "all the men of the city, both young and old," homosexuality must have been a common practice.  Thomas Schmidt's cited evidence in early writings connecting Sodom with more general homosexual practices states:

"The second-century BC Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs labels the Sodomites "sexually promiscuous" (Testimony of Benjamin 9:1) and refers to "Sodom, which departed from the order of nature" (Testament of Nephtali 3:4).  From the same time period, Jubilees specifies that the Sodomites were "polluting themselves and fornicating in their flesh" (16:5, compare 20:5-6).  Both Philo and Josephus plainly name same-sex relations as the characteristic view of Sodom."


Pro-Gay Argument Three

According to Ezekiel 16:49, the real sins of Sodom were "pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness... neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."  These sins have nothing to do with homosexuality.

Response

Again, this argument is relatively true.  Why?  Because when Sodom was destroyed, homosexuality was only a part, or symptom of its wickedness.  Romans 1, gives us a similar illustration, describing the predominant corrupt condition of humanity, while citing homosexuality as a symptom of such corruption or lawlessness.  Ezekiel also speaks of the Sodomites saying, "Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it."  Ezekiel 16:50.  The sexual nature of these "abominatioins" is indicated in 2 Peter 2:6-7:  "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, having made them an example unto those that should live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, sore distressed by the lascivious life of the wicked."

In Jude 7 we find another similar text that reads, "Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire."

The pro-gay interpretation of Sodom's destruction has some merit:  Homosexual rape was attempted and the Sodomites were surely guilty of sins other than homosexuality. BUT in view of the number of men willing to take part in the rape, and the many other sources of reference both Biblical and extra-Biblical in relation to Sodom's sexual sins, it is a confirmation or proof that homosexuality was widely practiced among the Sodomites.  Jude calls it unnatural or strange flesh.  It is also an evidence that the sin for which they were named was one of many reasons why judgment eventually fell on them.


III.   The Levitical Law:   (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13)
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."  (Leviticus 18:22)
"And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."  Leviticus 20:13

Traditional Position

The Levitical Law prohibited all homosexual acts.  Under Levitical Law, homosexuality was one of many abominable practices that were worthy of being punished by death.

Pro-Gay Argument One

The practices mentioned in these chapters of Leviticus have to do with idolatry, not with homosexuality.  The Hebrew word for "abomination," according to Boswell, has less to do with something intrinsically evil and more to do with ritual uncleanness.  The Metropolitan Community Church's pamphlet, "Homosexuality:  Not a Sin, Not a Sickness," makes the same point:  The Hebrew word found in Leviticus for abomination "is usually associated with idolatry."

Pro-gay author Roger Biery agrees by associating the type of homosexuality forbidden in Leviticus with idolatrous practices.  Pro-gay authors refer to the heathen rituals of the Canaanites as rituals including both homosexual and heterosexual prostitution.  These are enough reasons God prohibited homosexuality among His people.  They contend that homosexuality itself was not the problem but rather its association with idolatry and the way it was practiced as a part of idol worship at times.  In other words, God was not prohibiting the kind of homosexuality we see practiced today.  He forbade the kind that incorporated idolatry.

Response One

Again, this argument is absurd.  The prohibitions in Leviticus 18 and 20 against homosexuality appear alongside other sexual sins such as adultery and incest which are forbidden in both the Old and New Testaments, entirely aside from the Levitical codes.  God's wrath and displeasure against these sinful sexual practices whether or not idolatry worship was involved is shown in Scriptural references, both before and after Leviticus.

Response Two

Despite the UFMCC's contention that the word "toevah" for abomination is usually linked to idolatry, it actually appears in Proverbs 6:16-19 in connection with sins that have nothing to do with idolatry or pagan ceremonies:

"There are six things which Jehovah hateth; Yea, seven which are an abomination (toevah) unto him:  Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood; a heart that deviseth wicked purposes, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that uttereth lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."

Idolatry plays no part in these Scriptures.  Therefore, it is clear that "toevah" is not limited to idolatrous practices.

Response Three

Let's say that these practices in Leviticus 18 and 20 were condemned just because they were associated with idolatry, then it logically follows that they were permissible if they were committed apart from idolatry.   It means that incest, adultery, bestiality and child sacrifice (all of which are listed in these texts) are only condemned when they are associated with idolatry.  Otherwise, they are permissible.  There is NO way any serious student of the Bible could accept such a premise.


IV.   The Apostle Paul on "Natural" and "Unnatural:"   (Romans 1:26-32)

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature:  27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due."   And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful:  32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practice them."

Traditional Position

Paul views homosexuality as a symptom of fallen humanity, describing it as unnatural and unseemly.

Pro-Gay Argument One

Paul is not describing true homosexuals; rather, he is referring to heterosexuals who, as he says, "changed their nature."  The real sin here is in changing what is natural to the individual.  John Boswell, professor of history at Yale is among those who differ with the classical interpretation.  In Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homesexuality he states:

"The persons Paul condemns are manifestly not homosexuals:  what he derogates are homosexual acts committed by apparently heterosexual persons.  The whole point of Romans 1, in fact, is to stigmatize persons who have rejected their calling, gotten off the true path they were once on."

Others agree saying, "What Paul seems to be emphasizing here is that persons who are heterosexual by nature have not only exchanged the true God for a false one but have also exchanged their ability to relate to the opposite sex by indulging in homosexual behavior that is not natural to them.  In short, Paul in Romans 1 describes heterosexuals who have deliberately committed homosexual acts, thus violating their true nature.  Homosexuality, if committed by true homosexuals, is not a sin."

Response

Paul at no time is speaking subjectively in this passage.  There is nothing in Paul's words that might indicate, suggest that he would even recognize such a thing as a "true" homosexual versus a "false" one.  He plainly describes homosexual behavior as "unnatural," no matter who it is committing it.  

His wording, in fact, is specific.  When Paul is referring to "men" and "woman" in these texts, he chooses the Greek words that most emphasize biology:  arsenes and theleias.  As a matter of fact, both words are seldom used in the New Testament.  When they do appear, they appear in verses with the purpose of emphasizing the gender of the subject, as in a male child (arsenes).  Hence, in this context, Paul is specifically saying that the homosexual behavior committed by these people was unnatural to them as males and females (arsenes and theleias).  Paul is not contemplating such a thing as sexual orientation as Boswell contends.  Paul is declaring, in a few words, that homosexuality is biologically unnatural; not just unnatural to heterosexuals, but unnatural to anyone.

Furthermore, the fact that these men were "burning in lust" for each other makes it extremely unlikely that they were heterosexuals experimenting with homosexuality.  The truth is that their behavior was born out of an intense inner desire, lust.  Those who claim that these men were heterosexuals that were indulging in homosexual behavior demand mental gymnastics.

In addition, if verses 26 and 27 condemn homosexual acts committed by people to whom such desires did not come naturally, they do not apply to people for whom those actions do come naturally.  Don't you think that consistency would compel us to also allow the practices mentioned in verses 29-30 such as fornication, backbiting, deceit and so forth, as long as the people who are committing them are people to whom such desires come naturally?  It is obvious that homosexuality is an example of God having delivered people over to the consequences of rebelling against Him.  Homosexuality is not the only sin listed in this text, but it is indeed highlighted.  To commit actions such as those of homosexuality is clearly opposite to God's plan or design at the nature level.  This distinctively declares rebellion.  It declares that God's very design and plan were wrong and inadequate.  


Pro-Gay Argument Two

This Scriptural text describes only those given over to idolatry, it is not talking about gay Christians who worship the true God.  Troy Perry states:

"The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different than loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today."

Response

In Romans 1, we can clearly see idolatry playing a major role.  Paul begins this text by describing humanity's rebellion and man's choice to worship creation rather than the Creator, God.  The pro-gay theorists seize on this concept by attempting to prove that Paul's condemnation of homosexuality does not apply to him since he does not worship idols.  He is a Christian.  This is what they state:

"But," Schmidt cautions, "Paul is not suggesting that a person worships an idol and decides therefore to engage in same-sex relations.  Rather, he is suggesting that the general rebellion created the environment for the specific rebellion.  A person need not bow before a golden calf to participate in the general human denial of God or to express that denial through specific behaviors."

Good sense and sound judgment when examining this entire chapter bears this out.  In Romans 1, we find a number of sins mentioned other than homosexuality:

"Fornication,  unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful."  Romans 1:29-31.

This leads me to the following question:

  • Is the interpretation applied to verses 26-27 also relevant to verses 29-30?  
Any logical, rational, integrity demands it.  Why?  Because, if verses 26-27 only apply to those who commit homosexual acts in association with idolatry, and for that reason homosexual acts are not sinful if not committed in connection with idolatry, then the same must apply to verses 29-30 as well. Consequently, we must accept that fornication, unrighteousness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, strife, deceit and so forth, are also condemned by Paul just because they were committed by those involved in idolatry.  Are they then permissible?  Not at all!

This argument is, of course, absurd!  Homosexuality as well as these other sins are not just born of idol worship.  They are indicative of a sinful state, condition.  If we say for example that homosexuality is lawful, permissible as long as it is not the outcome of idol worship, then we must also have to say that these other sins are lawful, permissible as well, as long as they are not practiced as a result of idolatry.


V.   Paul and Arsekokoite:   (I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Timothy 1:9-10)

"Or 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 men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."  I Corinthians 6:9-11 
"Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine."  I Timothy 1:9-10 ESV.

Traditional Position

The phrase, "for them that defile themselves with mankind" (KJV), comes from the Greek word "arsenokoite," meaning "homosexual."  The ESV translation uses this word.  Paul states that homosexuality is wickedness  (lawlessness) and excludes or prohibits those who practice it from entering the kingdom of God.

Pro-Gay Argument

The term "aresnokoite" is a word invented by Paul.  In the Greek translation, this word never appeared until Paul used it in these Scriptural texts. There were other words, at the time, for "homosexual." Had Paul meant homosexuality, he would have used one of the other words already in existence.  Most probably, Paul was referring in this text to male prostitution, which was very common in those days.

Boswell indicates that the word is unusual to Paul, suggesting that Paul was not thinking of speaking of homosexuality when he used it.  Prostitution is Boswell's first choice.  If not that, he suggests that Paul was condemning general immorality.  Anyhow, the term, according to this argument, refers to some type of immoral man but not to a homosexual.

Response

Paul coined 179 terms in the New Testament.  Simply because they are “original,” the terms do not significantly change the context of the verses they appear in.  Nor is it extraordinary that Paul would have invented this one, considering that he obtained it directly from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Septuagint:

"meta  arsenos ou koimethese kooiten gyniakos"  (Leviticus 18:22)

"hos an koimethe meta arsenos koiten gynaikos"  (Leviticus 20:13)

In a few words, when Paul used the term "arsenokoite," he derived it directly from the Levitical texts, in the Greek translation; forbidding homosexual behavior.  This meaning could not be much clearer than it is:  though the term is distinctive to Paul, it makes reference specifically to homosexual behavior.

As for the inference that the word can only be applied to male prostitution, an examination of the word indicates that it implies nothing of that kind.  "Arsane," as mentioned earlier, appears a few times in the New Testament and it appears always to refer to "male."  "Koite" appears only twice in the New Testament, meaning "bed" or "couch," and is used with a sexual connotation:

"Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering (koite) and wantonness, not in strife and envying."  Romans 13:13.
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed (koite) undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."  Hebrews 13:4

Paul used the two words combined to put "male" and "bed" together in a sexual sense.  There is no indication of prostitution in the meaning of either of the words that are combined to make "arsekoite."

The pro-gay theology when examined carefully shows itself to be rooted and built on a very shaky, flawed and weak foundation.  It is a theology as Elodie Ballentine points out, "a theology of desperation."  Understanding its weaknesses and flaws is only part of our task.  Our main task is to learn how to compassionately but firmly, according to the Sacred Text, confront it; speaking the TRUTH in love.  It is our duty before our Creator!


Let us consider some of the pro-gay Scriptural arguments:


1.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "Exactly which Scriptures do you think condemn homosexuality?"

Response:  "Well, Genesis, for example, makes God's intent for sexual relationships pretty clear when it describes the first couple, Adam and Eve."

2.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "There is nothing about gays in those verses!"

Response:  "My point exactly.  The story of Adam and Eve does not say anything about homosexuality, only heterosexuality.  It gives a very clear picture--a standard--of God's intention for men and women.  It is the only standard upheld throughout the Bible.  And the story of Sodom, later in Genesis, makes a very strong statement"

3.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "But not against homosexuality.  The men in Sodom were condemned for trying to rape Lot and his visitors."

Response:  "That, among other things.  But you've got to admit that homosexuality must have been practiced pretty commonly in Sodom, or all the men of the city wouldn't have tried to participate in the rape.  Besides, several other Scriptures refer to Sodom's sins as being sexual, as well as idolatrous and prideful.  Then, of course, there are the two Scriptures in Leviticus."

4.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "But that's the Law.  Christians are not under the Law."

Response:  "No, thank God, we're not.  But the chapters that the Levitical prohibitions against homosexuality appear in also contain other sexual sins condemned in both the Old and New Testaments."

5.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "But homosexuality was associated with idol worship back then.  That is why God condemned it."

Response:  "So if the other sins in those chapters--incest, for example, and adultery--weren't associated with idol worship, then they'd be okay too?"

6.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "Of course not!"

Response:  "Then you can't have it both ways. Either all the sins in those chapters were condemned because of their association with idolatry, or none of them were.  The same is true of the first chapter of Romans.  Paul lists quite a few sins there--homosexuality included.  Of course, homosexuality is not the major sin of Romans 1, any more than it's the main sin in Leviticus.  But it's definitely there, condemned and forbidden."

7.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "But the people Paul described in Romans 1 weren't gay.  That's why it was a sin!  God didn't want them changing their nature.  They were heterosexuals indulging in homosexuality.  What made it wrong was the fact that it wasn't natural to them.  Otherwise, it would have been fine."

Response:  "And what about gossips, adulterers, and backbiters in Romans 1?  Were they also people who weren't really gossips, adulterers, or backbiters?  It didn't come naturally them--that was the problem?  I don't think so.  Nothing in Scripture says a certain sexual behavior is a sin unless it somehow comes naturally to you but not the rest of us."

8.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "But I don't think that Paul had any idea what it was like to be truly gay."

Response:  "Probably not, and I don't think it would have mattered one bit if he did.  It's the behavior he condemned, without even considering what factors might have led to it.  In the New Testament, in I Corinthians and 1 Timothy, he lists homosexuality as one of many other sins keeping people away from God."

9.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "But the word he uses for 'homosexuals' in those Scriptures really means 'male prostitutes."'

Response:  "Where did you get that idea?"

10.  Pro-Gay Advocate:  "I read it.  A Yale historian did a careful word study on Paul, and that's what he found.  The word Paul used--the one we usually think of as meaning 'homosexual'--didn't mean homosexual at all."'

Response:  "Well, it certainly didn't mean 'prostitute.'  The word you're talking about is arsenokoite.  It is a Greek term Paul took directly from the Greek translation of the Old Testament.  In fact, it's from the Greek translation of the Leviticus verses which specifically refer to homosexuality.  Besides, if you look at the word itself--a compound of the Greek words arsane, meaning male, and koite, meaning bed or couch, you'll see there's nothing in the word even suggesting prostitution.  It's sex between men, not sex for money, that Paul is writing against."

11.  Pro-Gay Advocate: "Well, I still believe the Bible doesn't say anything against my sexuality."

Response:  "And you have every right to believe that.  But at some point you've got to ask yourself: Do I believe the pro-Gay theology because I really think it's true, or because, despite the majority opinion of Bible scholars, I want to believe it?  Is it conviction we're talking about here, or convenience?  Only you can answer that."


VI.  General Religious Arguments


1.  General Religious Argument One:   Jesus said nothing about homosexuality.

This one is a favorite at gay parades.  Without fail, when the gay Christian movement is represented, someone always in their group would hold up a sign saying:

WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY:  (What follows is an empty box)


The idea, of course, is that if Jesus did not specifically forbid a behavior, the behavior must not have been very important to Him.  To expand this point further, this argument assumes that if Jesus was not explicitly concerned about something, then we shouldn't be either.

Troy Perry, as is typical of gay Christian leaders, loves to make much of this argument based on silence:  "As for the question 'What did Jesus say about homosexuality?'  The answer is simple.  Jesus said nothing.  Not one thing.  Nothing!  Jesus was more interested in love."  So, according the argument of silence, if Jesus didn't talk about it, neither should we."'

Response:  This argument is misleading and illogical for four reasons:

1.   This argument presumes that the Gospels are more authoritative than rest of the books of the Bible.  To assume that any subject or issue, was less important in the Bible just because Jesus never mentioned it is foreign to the Gospel writers themselves.  At no point did Matthew, Mark, Luke or John declare that their books should be exalted above the Law, the Word of God (Torah) or for that matter, any writings yet to come.  In a few words, the Gospels as well as the teachings (doctrine) are not more important than the rest of the Bible.
 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."  2 Timothy 3:16.  
2.   This argument assumes that the Gospels are more inclusive than they really are.  They are not more authoritative than the rest of Scripture nor are they more comprehensive.  That is, they do not supply us all that we need to know by means of doctrine and practical instruction.

When Jesus promised to send the Comforter, He explained, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:12-13.  The writings of the New Testament are a record of all the things that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to reveal to us through the apostles.  

In fact, some of the Bible's most crucial teachings do not appear in the Gospels.  The doctrine of man's old and new nature defined by Paul in Romans 6; the future of Israel and the mystery of the Gentiles, mentioned by Christ but explained more thoroughly in Romans 9-11; the explanation and the administration of the spiritual gifts described and specified in I Corinthians 12 and 14; the priesthood of Christ illustrated in Hebrews.  All of these appear after the Gospel accounts of Christ's life, death, and resurrection.  And that is without even mentioning the teachings of the Old Testament!  Would anyone dare to say that these doctrines are unimportant simply because they were not mentioned by Jesus?

Let me put it another way,

  • Are we truly to believe that Jesus didn't care about wife-beating or incest, just because He mentioned nothing about them?  
  • Aren't these prohibitions enough to instruct us against incest found in Leviticus and I Corinthians as well as Paul's admonition to husbands to love their wives even if they are not mentioned in the Gospels?  
There are a great many sins Jesus did not mention by name.  Surely, that does not mean they are necessarily lawful for us or condoned by Jesus.  We don't condone such things for that simple reason!

Likewise, Christ's supposed silence on homosexuality in no way negates the very specific prohibitions against it which appear in both the Old and New Testaments.

3.  This argument is faulty in that it assumes that the four Gospels record all of what Jesus said.  The Gospels do not proclaim to be complete accounts of Jesus' life and teachings.  Notice that much of his early years of life are omitted; much of what He did and said still remains unknown.

You see, Luke wrote his Gospel so that Theophilus would "know the exact truth about the things you have been taught."  (Luke 1:4).  John's purposes are limited:  "but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."  (John 20:31).  Notice that none of these authors suggested they were recording all of Christ's words.

In fact, John said that would have been impossible:  "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written."  (John 21:25).

Assuming then that was the case, how can we be certain Jesus said nothing about homosexuality? No one can say.  As a matter of fact, we can know with certainty that there are other matters of equal importance that were left undiscussed in the Gospels, but were mentioned later in other books of the Bible such as the epistles.  And while homosexuality is absent from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, it is clearly present in both Testaments and just as conspicuously, it is forbidden.

4.  This argument wrongly assumes that because Jesus said nothing in particular about homosexuality, He said nothing about heterosexuality as a divine standard.  In Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus was very specific about His plan for men and women and marriage.  This was God's original plan and design. Sadly, that plan and design has been warped and twisted by a sinfulness and hardness of the heart in almost every possible manner.  In this specific case it was divorce, immorality, and adultery.  Immorality like divorce declares that God's provision and design were deficient.

"Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?' 4 And He answered and said, 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.' 7 They said to Him, 'Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?' 8 He said to them, 'Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.'"

In Mark 10:5-9, Jesus spoke specifically about His intentional plan for human sexuality:

"5 But Jesus said to them, 'Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. 7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, 8 and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”'

In both these texts, Jesus was asked a hypothetical question:  Was divorce lawful?  Instead of giving a simple "yes" or "no," Jesus cited the Genesis account particularly to show the divine intent in creation, the divine standard by which we must judge all sexual matters.   By citing Genesis, Jesus emphasized several crucial elements of the intent in creation for marriage and the sexual relationship:

  • Independence was one.  
  • A man was to leave his home so as to establish his own family with his wife.  
  • A "one flesh" sexual union (between male and female, man and wife) was another.  
  • And of course, monogamy.

Even though, Jesus may have not mentioned the term homosexuality, many other sexual variations weren't either.  Jesus could not have spelled out better the standard for sexual expression:  male and female, joined together as God’s intended plan for them.  It cannot be assumed that He approved of anything less.



THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

In our modern culture, more and more public school educators are being pressured to accept homosexuality and present it as a normal lifestyle that should be affirmed in students who feel they might be gay.  The students are increasingly embracing the notion and being indoctrinated with the false belief that homosexuals are born, not made.  In our schools preach the false religion that a "gay gene" compels people to seek same-sex partners.  However, the American College of Pediatricians has issued a warning to educators of the dangers of these falsehoods.

In an open letter addressed to school superintendents, they cited portions of The Language of God, in a book by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins.  He stated that homosexuality is "not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations."  Doctor Collins, also the former director of the Genome Project, summarized his studies by showing that no known gene compels any behavior and also stated that "environment, particularly childhood experiences, and the prominent role of individual free will choices have a profound effect on us."

The college also stated that "schools should not seek to develop policy which 'affirms' or encourages these non-heterosexual attractions among students who may merely be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion."

The letter provided a link to a fact sheet that highlights research-based conclusions that counter pro-homosexual school programs.  These observations, that homosexuality is caused by choices and influences and not by DNA; and that a homosexual lifestyle is completely unsafe are consistent with a Biblical worldview.  

The danger is that adolescents are vulnerable to confusions and outside influences as they make the transitions from childhood into adulthood.  That is why a school environment that encourages a child to "come out" or self-identify as gay, especially based on falsehood and misleading information, can be detrimental and cause severe damage.  The American College of Pediatricians' letter to school officials states:

"It is the school's legitimate role to provide a safe environment for respectful self-expression for all students.  It is not the school's role to diagnose and attempt to treat any student's medical condition, and certainly not a school's role to 'affirm' a student's perceived personal sexual orientation."'

It is often difficult for me, as one who attended public school some years ago, to believe the shocking reports we hear about the decadence, drugs, immorality, inferior teaching and so forth, that seems to reign in our schools today.  I am not denying there were wrong influences present, but they weren't as bad as today.

The mood now in many of the public schools of our nation is aggressively anti-Christian even though there are some fine and devoted public school teachers as well as administrators.  Christian morality and ethics seem to have faded away and often is met with opposition and intimidation.

There is a subtle attempt in our public schools at "values clarification," or the encouragement of experimentation in "sex education" classes, and the inclusion of homosexuality as a lawful lifestyle as well as easy access to abortions through high school clinics.  Literature courses are now less dominated by humanistic classics but instead by occult and demonic readings including ritual murders.  What is happening to our schools in this nation?

Our new humanistic "elite," atheistic educators, are now welcoming New Age and occult influences in our schools.  This new "Science Framework" mandates teaching evolution as well.  There is a conflict over academic freedom which has emerged between proponents of secular humanism and those who accept a Christian worldview.  The Christian worldview is that God made mankind in His image and that He communicates through His inspired Word, principles, concepts and knowledge that we all need to build proper understanding of ourselves, others and the world around us.  On the other hand, secular humanism is based on the belief that man created God as a projection of his own mind, and that the mind of man is the final arbiter of morality as well as the only source of information about ourselves, others and our world.

In our schools, secular humanism is allowed to present (preach, proselytize, and evangelize!) their position to students.  Yet Christians are prohibited from presenting their position on many issues pertaining to godliness because it is unethical that they are teaching religion.  Sadly, many educators are intimidated since they assume it is illegal to teach religion, that is, Christianity.  The humanists argue that because their position is labeled non-religious or secular, therefore it can be taught.  On the other hand, the Bible because it is labeled religious, cannot be taught!

One of the most ambitious causes of the liberals has been that of ensuring "equal rights" among all people.  Yet, this idea was embraced as a religious goal in the writings of the Bible over 2,000 years ago.  Now that the liberals have embraced this cause, it is no longer seen as a religious concept but a secular one.  Therefore, we can now teach the Christian concept of racial equality.

There are other concepts where students rarely hear an objective and effective case presented against abortion, homosexuality and fornication.  Again, one side of these issues tends to be labeled as non-religious allowing teachers to discuss topics while the other side tends to be labeled religious where the teachers are not allowed to discuss and are off limits in the schools.  The truth is that for whatever reason, teachers often indoctrinate their students with only one point of view, the secular, humanistic, position.

"Anything that affects our belief structure is going to affect us religiously."

When viewing this concept of religion in general, it is impossible to take religion out of the schools because religion or its lack, is a fundamental part of our life which is going to affect our total belief structure and outlook in life.  Anything that affects our belief structure is going to affect us religiously.  Religion is a belief structure and all fields of knowledge are centered upon belief structures.

To demand that schools teach the entire world of knowledge including the religious point of view of the humanist while excluding religious point of view of the Bible believer is censorship of the worst sort.  There is no academic freedom when every area of knowledge can be taught except one, especially when that one area pervades all other areas of knowledge to some extent.

Many Christians have noticed that those who view homosexuality as an acceptable, lawful, lifestyle openly teach their position in the schools (see "The Gay Movement and the Rights of Children" in the Journal of Social Issues, V.34, No. 2, 1978, pp. 137-148).   Yet Christians who are afraid of being labeled "ultra-rightist," "fanatical," or "uninformed," often stand back and say nothing. This is tragic because our Christian faith demands that we speak up wisely and convincingly when presenting a defense of our faith and the Christian viewpoint on all these vital issues.  We as Christians must support each other and the right to convey the Christian beliefs.  Unfortunately, since many Christian so often do not present their position of faith, students are totally unaware of the "other side" on many social issues facing us today such as abortion, same sex marriage, homosexuality, evolution and so forth.  We as Christian must no longer be afraid to speak out for our position of faith.  We have an obligation to defend what we believe in!  We must take a stand and affirm our faith!

Another reason why we as Christians must speak out is because bondage, sadomasochism, pedophilia and incest are now being pushed as acceptable behavior by some liberals and they are using our public schools as indoctrination centers.  Today, books and articles support the position of incest and it is not considered a sexual deviation but normal, healthful and indeed, can "be a very beautiful relationship as long as the proper steps are taken to prevent conception."  This might seem shocking for many, but the crusade to accept homosexuality likewise seemed shocking.

Today, even “Christian” publications and articles are approving homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.  The same is true with incest which is already taking place.  For example one “Christian” journal argued that there is nothing wrong with incest, even with young children.  Outrageous! They go so far as to declare that society's main problem is that she is outdated with many cultural taboos and that "once these are overcome, we can enjoy sexual pleasures with people of the same sex, the opposite sex, animals, children or any other sexual object, and then enjoy the best of all the sexual worlds.  A person well-adjusted sexually is one who can fully enjoy the full range of sexual behavior available to mankind today requiring full sexual adjustment without any hang-ups caused by outdated religious concepts.  And our schools are the main tools or weapons, used to teach the young people this human freedom."

I guarantee you that if school teachers as Christians were to oppose this evil and speak out in defense of our faith, morals and beliefs, there would likely be repercussions in many schools, including denial of tenure (as is already happening in many cases) and outright firings.  One example is the case of a teacher who lost his job in a private religious school just because he taught creationism in his science class. There are other many similar cases throughout our country and what is ironic is that many of these schools are called Christian schools.

In addition Christians must not be afraid to respond by letter to material which seems inaccurately presented, biased or incorrect.  Consider the following letter written by a Christian in response to an article in McCall's Magazine about homosexuality:

"I am totally at loss as to how you arrived at your conclusions in your article on "How School Principals Feel About Homosexuality."  You State that 7% of the principals reported complaints of homosexual contact between teacher and students compared to 13% complaining of heterosexual contact.  This is a ratio of 35 complaints about homosexuality out of every 100 complaints. In view of the fact that according to the best estimates 5% of the population are exclusively homosexuals, your data would indicate that homosexuals are 7 times more likely to seduce students than heterosexuals.  Yet you conclude that 'homosexual teachers are less likely to molest students than heterosexual teachers.'  In spite of the fact that I have a Ph.D in research and statistics, I am unable to understand your conclusions.  Further, I realize that many writers are anxious to serve as apologists for homosexuality and, possibly as a result of these efforts, I have noticed a number of gross statistical and thinking fallacies in their reasoning.  Please respond to the above comments.'"

The writer of this letter is still waiting for an answer from McCall's Magazine.  While it is difficult for Christians to respond to a vast majority of articles, we must respond wisely to the many blatant errors and ill-founded attacks against Christianity.  If each Christian did, I guarantee you that there would be less incorrect information presented to the public.

"It is imperative that Christians be well informed, well read, and insistent on their rights."

Over the last decade we have witnessed an ongoing disintegration of Christian values, perpetuated by a government that is hostile to Christianity.  A government that is not trustworthy at all.  We trust the same government with the handling of our children in our public schools most of their day.  There they are counseled and taught worldly humanism, though we, their parents, know that humanism hates God.  In the secular school system, our children are being taught the traditions of men (humanism) according to the world, which blatantly disregard God and His inspired Word as the main foundation for learning, or the Truth according to Christ.

  • Do you really think the public school system stands with Christ, making it possible for us to stand with them when we entrust our children to them?  
  • Do you think that the classrooms are filled with teachers who are wise according to Scripture, from whom our children may freely learn to walk in wisdom?  
  • Are all their public school mentors walking in wisdom and righteousness?  
  • Are we being faithful bringing up the next generation to know and follow God's commands.
  • Can we take the chance that the faith that we instill in our children will survive the secular education that denies God and hates righteousness and that looks for man to give them all their answers leading them in the paths of unrighteousness?  
  • An unrighteousness such as the homosexual agenda which is ever aggressive to eradicate God's order of sexuality, making what is perverted seem normal to a new generation?  
  • How soon should we throw our children to the wolves? 
  • What do you think?  
  • I would suggest that you read "The Harsh Truth About Public Schools" by Bruce Short.


We must not be so naive as to trust our children at a young and tender age to somehow resist the deceptions, seductions and pressures of much older adults who are skilled and experienced at promoting a profane and worldly way of thinking. When they are adults they may be mature enough to fight the Lord's battles. It is not fair to thrust them into the battle before they are equipped. You cannot expect them to be prepared with minimal parental input. Children do not thrive on the absence of parents. If that were so, there would be NO NEED for home and family. Not ALL parents are successful, but that does not mean that they are not needed. When your child has been damaged by a trusted stranger, it is too late. You can't take it back!  Let this sink deep in your heart!


CONCLUSION

How Is the Christian to Respond to Homosexuality?

The Word of God is very pragmatic about human nature.  It communicates to us that we all have fallen short of God's standard of righteousness and are worthy of God's condemnation.  However, there is forgiveness, redemption and freedom from the bondage of sin through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Romans 3:10-26.

We are all aware that we live in a world that is sin-sick where lawlessness thrives.  A world that seems to care so little about God's divine standards and that is at war and in opposition to Him and His rule.  A world that it is absolutely at odds with its Creator.  A world as Paul said that walks according to the prince of darkness, Satan, in complete disobedience to its Creator.

"In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience."   Ephesians 2:2

Our Lord Jesus is the best example of One who refused to walk according to Satan's reasonings. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), showing Jesus all the kingdoms of this world making an astonishing "offer," Matthew 4:8-11.

"And he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.' 10 Then Jesus said to him, 'Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ 11 Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him."'

It is no surprise to find sexual immorality being exhibited in such a world of darkness.  Indeed, when Paul told the Corinthian church not to associate with immoral people, he did not mean with the immoral people (fornicators) in general, otherwise they would have to leave this world in order to avoid them (I Corinthians 5:9-10).  It is vital when taking a moral stand in this fallen world to remember the primary issue.  If people are dead because of their sins, they are without Christ and His hope.  Their immorality or present state of sin is secondary.  Taking a public stand against their sins demands an invitation to grace, redemption and an acknowledgment of their sinful state which is a symptom of spiritual sickness and death because of sin.

The present day civil law as well as the sympathetic Post-modern world ethic on homosexuality constitute a challenge for Christianity.  As Christians, we are commanded to be salt and light in this world of darkness, Mat. 5:13-16. It is our duty to utter God's moral Law on homosexual sins as well as other ethical moral issues, Ephesians 5:11.   But we must remember that this must be done in a loving, caring and compassionate way.  Remember that Jesus always taught the Truth in love without compromising the Truth and God-given principles in Scripture in a dying culture.

Jesus was not afraid to confront the sins of His day and deal with those issues.  He was very firm in pointing out these sins to the religious leaders of His time who proudly held on to them.  We see this portrayed in the Sermon on the Mount.  He was not reluctant to offer His grace to those caught in sin and who were repentant, John 8:3-11.  He was not afraid to interact with those who were the cast-offs and despised of society. He lovingly shared the Truth with them, John 4:4-42.  For those who were lost, He was not reluctant to go after them, Luke 15:1-10.  And neither should we!  Our lives must be characterized by grace and Truth.  We must seek wisdom to discern what is most appropriate in word and in deed for every given situation.  

Since we have been granted grace and redemption and have been set free from the bondage of sin, we should be able to empathize with those who are sin-sick and living in darkness.  Although, we must act with love and compassion toward sinners, we must never affirm homosexual conduct as morally right.  Following God’s example, we must love the sinner while hating the sin.  Homosexuality is a sin and like any other sin, it can be forgiven and be cleansed as well as conquered by the grace of God, I Corinthians 6:9-11.  The Gospel of our Lord and Savior offers the "Good News" of forgiveness of sins and the hope for a transformed and regenerated life to homosexuals as well as to all sinners.  Converted homosexuals, like any other sinners, are to be welcomed into Christ's church. In God's church, we all strive to understand God's Way for man and to abide by His revealed Word. In Christ we all acknowledge through the glorious Gospel of Christ, the need for repentance, the saving grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the hope of a new life available through His death and resurrection.  

Therefore, it is imperative that the Gospel message be preached to sinners.  The power that God placed in the Gospel is able to penetrate to the heart of man and meet his spiritual needs by offering redemption and salvation.  The Gospel has the power to transform and regenerate the heart of sinful men.  The sinful man can become righteous when there is godly sorrow that works repentance.  And yes, it can change, mold and transform the heart of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and trans-genders.

As Christians, we must remember the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:4-5, 7-8.  Our job is to sow the Word of God in the heart of men.  We are not responsible for the type of ground the seed falls on. When we look at our work in planting the seed, it seems like it is a failure many times.  Why?  Because many times those seeds don't take root; most of the ground where the seeds fall is hard, stony or thorny.  But there are always some good results as well, even if they seem very little.

We must remember that we are called to present the "Good News," the Gospel.  Our job, as stewards of God's Truth, is to present the Truth of God clearly, completely, lovingly and responsibly.  Let us keep in mind that when standing before the judgment seat of Christ, we are not going to be asked how many homosexuals or sexually immoral sinners we were able to persuade, but rather how faithfully we stewarded the Truth we were given and how boldly and lovingly we presented it.  The church that Jesus our Lord purchased with His own blood must be a loving church in a dying culture. This ought to be our standard.  I am afraid that our lack of love toward sinners, such as the homosexuals, contributes to the growth and strength of this ugly gay movement.  Love demands that we share, confront their sin and declare the Gospel of our Lord and Savior so that they might be brought to the Truth, Acts 20:24-27.  Remember Christ died for ALL sinners in order that they might be saved.  I know that it is very inconvenient for some Christians to teach the Gospel of the grace of God to homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, trans-genders, fornicators, adulterers and so on, but we must if we don't want to be found guilty of the blood of all men.  

May we bring many prodigals back to our Father's house through God's grace.  May God help us and give us wisdom to speak His Truth in love as we confront the gay movement and pro-gay theology. May we be found pleasing to God in that day and hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

“… And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Jude 22-23

Luci


P.S.  I want to leave you with the words of this beautiful song: