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Tuesday, May 15, 2012
FW: Homosexuality, God, and The Bible
Feed: Intrepid Lutherans Posted on: Friday, May 11, 2012 11:34 AM Author: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pastor Spencer) Subject: Homosexuality, God, and The Bible
The Whole Truth! There has been much discussion and debate about homosexuality, not just in the secular world, but also within various Christian denominations. In all this, the most important consideration must be what God says on the issue. Therefore, the question for all Christians must be: What Does God say about homosexuality in the Bible?
Human Questions – Divine Answers Question: Isn't the Bible silent about homosexuality, or isn't it true that what is written does not show it to be against God's will, and not really sinful?
Answer: Actually, the Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality in such passages as Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26 & 27, First Corinthians 6:9, and First Timothy 1:10, where homosexuality is called sin. Question: But do these passages really talk about what we know as homosexuality? Answer: In the Leviticus passage God forbids a man to "lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." The word for "lie" is the Hebrew word for bed, and is also used for marriage, and the act of consummating a marriage; therefore, there can be no doubt as to what Moses is referring; for a man to have intercourse with a man as he would with a woman is disgusting to God! Indeed, there are numerous Old Testament passages, that all condemn homosexuality: Genesis 19:1-29; Leviticus 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17; Judges 19; and First Kings 14:24, 15:12, and 22:46. Question: But the Old Testament laws are no longer binding on New Testament Christians, right? Answer: True enough for the most part, but then we have the passages in St. Paul's letters, given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. These are certainly authoritative to any who would claim to be Christians! - In Romans 1: 26 and 27, Paul speaks of "shameful lusts," and describes this as happening when "women exchanged natural relations for un-natural ones," and also "men committed indecent acts with other men." The term "unnatural" literally means "against the natural order of things." As for what that natural order is, all we need to do is look back to Creation. In Genesis 2:24 we see that the natural order is that of husband and wife (i.e., male and female) becoming "one flesh." Therefore, according to the One who created humans, any sexual intercourse aside from male and female is un-natural - not the natural or intended use of the Creator - in other words, wrong! Please forgive the bluntness here, but it is necessary so as to leave no doubt as to what the Bible is talking about. The term "indecent acts" means any "deed of shame having to do with one's genitalia." Since Paul says these acts are being done between men and men and between women and women, the meaning is clear to anyone who is willing to see it: the use of one's genitals with those of the same sex is shameful to God. - In First Corinthians 6:9 God condemns "homosexual offenders" and "male prostitutes." The first term comes from the Greek word for "soft, weak, sick," and was often used for "effeminate" men, and especially for catamites; i.e. men and boys who allowed themselves to be sexually used or even abused for money or goods. The second word was very commonly used for a sodomite, someone engaging in homosexual anal intercourse; or pederast, someone using young children, usually boys, for sexual purposes. The same word is used in First Timothy 1:10; only there, the NIV translates it as "pervert." The term is a compound word from two Greek words meaning "male," and "marriage act, bed, or intercourse." Again, sorry for the explicit language, but the meaning could not be more understandable and to-the-point; male to male, or female to female sexual activity is sinful, period. Question: But isn't it really just homosexual "activity" that's condemned in the Bible, not homosexual "orientation?" Isn't it possible that a person can be a "non-practicing homosexual," like being a non-practicing Catholic or Jew? Answer: The main definition of homosexuality is "sexual desire for those of the same sex" (Webster's New World Dictionary). Jesus teaches us clearly that sin begins in the "heart," or mind (Matthew 5:27,28). Thus, the very attraction itself to members of one's own gender is just as sinful as attraction to someone other than your own spouse, whether any overt action takes place or not. Thus, the Bible is clear that so-called "homosexual orientation" is sinful also. Question: Isn't it possible that certain people are born as homosexuals; and therefore God cannot condemn them because He created them that way? Answer: We have already seen that God does indeed proclaim homosexual thoughts and actions as contrary to His will, and therefore wrong, morally sinful, and thus certainly imperfect. Yet, when we look back at creation, Genesis 1:31 tells us, "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." The Hebrew word here means "good in every way; totally perfect." Thus, it is completely impossible for God to create homosexuals. The fact is, God does not create or make homosexuals anymore than He creates or makes any other kind of sinner! Question: If that's the case, then what is the origin of homosexuality? Answer: In Mark 7:21-23 Christ says, "For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean." And St. James reminds us, "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, not does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (1:13-15) Question: Does this mean that all homosexuals are lost and condemned to hell for all eternity, with no hope of salvation? Answer: Absolutely not! - Yes, the Bible does speak out strongly against both homosexual desire and activity. Indeed, the Holy Scriptures are crystal clear – one could even say quite open and blunt – on the subject. Simply put, homosexual thoughts or acts are definitely against God's will and therefore sinful, pure and simple. - However, they are no different from any other sin. They have been completely paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross and can be forgiven. Homosexuality is not the one and only "unforgivable sin," and homosexuals should not be shunned or looked upon as hopelessly condemned to hell. Question: How can homosexuals be saved? Answer: Just like every other sinner – faith in Jesus Christ as Savior! - However, so that a person may receive the eternal benefits of this free forgiveness, the truthfulness of God's condemnation of homosexuality needs to be acknowledged. People cannot claim to believe in Jesus, but then also say He was and is a liar on a particular subject! - And unfortunately, homosexuals are not going to admit they are wrong, confess their sin, and repent of their soul-destroying life-style if they are told that what they are doing or thinking its fine with God and not a sin, and thus "natural," and "normal." - It is, therefore, a great tragedy that the leaders of most church bodies today deny the clear teaching of the Bible and allow for – or even promote – homosexuality as normal and natural and not sinful. - Such people are actually leading homosexuals away from forgiveness and salvation, and thus shall themselves receive a terrible judgment from God. Jesus said in Matthew 18:6 and 7, "If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!" Summary: Our Savior wants everyone to repent, believe in Him, and be saved. That includes people caught in the sin of homosexuality. It is the church's duty to proclaim this truth. May God help us to always do so clearly, for the salvation of many! Pastor Spencer On Tuesday, look for - God, Marriage, and the State in Our World Today