Christianity, Homosexuality, and Confusion

As I was driving down the road yesterday listening to talk radio, someone called in saying they were a gay Christian.  Now, before we go too far, let’s be clear on what makes us a Christian.  I become a Christian when I put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  My faith is proven through my actions and lifestyle.  If I have truly trusted in Christ as my Lord and Savior, then I trust His way of life according to His teachings and the teachings of Scripture.  And none of us are perfect.  Heaven is full of sinners save one, Jesus Christ.  I am not saying that homosexuality or any other sin can keep us from Heaven.  A person may truly want to resist a sin, but fail over and over again.  Only the Lord knows their heart if they truly wanted to be set free or if they were simply playing games.  People do not go into Heaven because they are perfect, but because they are forgiven.  And forgiveness has much to do with the heart and how can we say what is in another’s heart?  None of us will be the final judge, now do we have all of the information the Final Judge.  Though I will not say that any sin can exclude us from Heaven by itself, I will say that any and all sin make it much more difficult for us to accept, grasp, and grow in our faith in Christ.  All sin makes salvation more difficult.

I am not attempting to condemn every homosexual to Hell in any way.  I am simply attempting to address the movement of our society presenting homosexuality as something pure and acceptable to the Lord.  The person on the radio, it was clear from her communication, did not see anything sinful about homosexuality whatsoever.  And she did not see any conflict in being a unrepentant practicing homosexual and a practicing Christian at the same time.  I knew immediately that many Christians would be confused by this.  On one segment of Christianity, homosexuality is a sin.  In another segment, it is acceptable.  We are not seeing this just in individuals, but in denominations.  There are a large amount of self-proclaimed denominations that affirm homosexuality as acceptable and many ordain practicing homosexuals.  Of a list I referenced, out of 37 denominations, only 10 said that homosexuality was a sin and that practicing homosexuals could not be ordained as ministers.  Just in case you are a little slow as I am in the area of mathematics, this means that 2/3 of the denominations listed have accepted homosexuality as acceptable before the Lord.  This has caused splits in many denominations including the Lutheran Church, the Methodist Church, and the Presbyterian church.

There are several passages of Scripture which address homosexuality.  However, the gay community have totally different interpretations.  Let me give you an example.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-28

This passage, in traditional Christianity, has always been used to show that homosexuality is a sin and a consequence of moving further and further away from God.  However, the same Scripture has been presented in a completely different manner by a segment of Christianity in order to refute this as a condemnation of homosexuality.  This other interpretation suggests this passage is directed to heterosexuals, who because of shameful lusts, entered into ‘unnatual’ relations, being same-sex relations.  However, rather than condemning homosexuality, this interpretation condemns the participation of homosexual relations by a heterosexual.  In this interpretation, neither homosexuality nor heterosexuality is a sin.  The sin, according to this interpretation, is found in heterosexuals involving themselves in homosexual activity and homosexuals involving themselves in heterosexual activity.

This is a gross misinterpretation of  Scripture to say the least, however, we need to truly understand how the pro-gay Christian community interprets Scripture.  If we do not understand it, how can we clarify it to those who are searching for truth.  This interpretation is founded on the idea that God has created some to be homosexual.  If God had created some to be homosexual, and then these who by God’s design are intended to be homosexual  engage in heterosexual relations wouldn’t it be considered ‘unnatural.’  In the same way, if God had created some to be heterosexual, but they engaged in homosexual activity, this would also be ‘unnatural.’  According to their interpretation, this is what this passage is addressing.  This would mean then as long as a person was homosexual and only engaged in homosexual activity, it would be natural and pleasing to the Lord and the same would be true about heterosexuals.  Please understand I am clarifying the interpretation of the pro-gay Christian community.  I am not advocating this interpretation at all.  Without the assumption that God has created some to be gay, this interpretation has no merit.

Two False Justifications of homosexuality within the Christian community

There are a couple of places where this idea that God has created some.  From Scripture, Jesus speaks of ‘eunuchs’ saying that some are born this way.

Matthew 19:3-12
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife:and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives:but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery:and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb:and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men:and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
(KJV)

In this passage the pharisees are attempting to ‘trick’ Christ using the subject of divorce.  I do not want to get side-tracked with the divorce issue, but this is the context. When He is finished speaking with the pharisees, the disciples ask Him whether or not it is good to marry.  The Lord then goes on to talk about marriage.  He doesn’t condemn marriage, nor does He condemn those who do not marry.  Then He begins to speak of eunuchs.  Some, He says, are born this way.  Some are made this way by men.  Some are eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.  The pro-gay Christian community has used this passage as a way of suggesting that the Lord made some people gay and that they are born this way.  But to do this, the very definition of a eunuch must be changed.  Eunuch’s that were made that way by men, as Christ said, were men who were forcibly castrated.  The result of this not only made these men sterile, but reduced significantly if not eliminating the sex drive.

The  purpose in this was to make men without sexual desire.  These men were used to be servants in and around the females wives, daughters, and harem’s of kings, princes, and other royalty.  This removed their sexual desire so that they would not be tempted to engage in sexual relations with these women.  It did not make them homosexual.  It did not create in them a new attraction and sexual desire for other men. When Christ then says that some were born this way, He is not suggesting that men were born homosexual, but that they were born sterile with a very low or non-existent sex drive because of a deformity in their sexual organs.  It is very true that the loss of testosterone would make men more effeminate, but even this does not equal homosexuality.  Those who made themselves eunuchs were those who received this command not to marry.  They chose to resist their sex drive and remain chaste to be more fully devoted to the Lord. The point is simply that eunuchs were not gay, nor does Christ saying that some are born that way an admission of God creating some to be gay.  There were plenty of homosexuals in the Roman culture.  Their sex drive was healthy though their affections were not.

The recent Supreme Court decision is being celebrated by the gay community.  They now have the right to marry.  They want to have this right because they have a romantic love for one another and it appears from all of the affection between gay couples seen on television celebrating this victory there is a strong sex drive.  Homosexuality does not equal a eunuch and neither does a eunuch equal homosexuality.  This passage does not apply to homosexuality.

Now, for the experiential justification.  A common thread in the gay community is that it was not a choice to be homosexual.  Many have expressed that they don’t want to be gay, but it is in their makeup.  I suppose some people may choose to be gay or may choose to be straight, but for the vast majority of people, there is never a choice either way.  No one wakes up on their 13th birthday and says, “Well, today I have made the decision to be straight.”  There is neither a day when someone sits down, ponders and considers the difference between gay and straight and then decides based on the positives versus the negatives.  Homosexuals may be able to note the day they made their sexuality public, but not a day where they decided upon a sexual orientation.  There is a misconception I believe in the fundamental Christian segment that homosexuals choose to be homosexual.  I don’t believe this to be true.  If we never made a choice to be straight, how can we assume others did choose to be gay?  I can choose to act upon my affections.  A gay person does make a decision to act upon their same-sex affections just as a heterosexual chooses to engage in pre-marital sex or adultery.  But our sexual orientation is not something that we decide upon.  We choose to act upon it, but we do not choose the gender to which we are attracted. However, the fact that a choice is not made does not indicate in the least that God created some to be gay.

If this argument was able to stand, it would be able to stand in other areas as well.  For example, I doubt that many people who are insecure woke up one day and decided to hate themselves or hate their bodies.  Does this mean that God made some people prone to insecurity, anorexia, bulimia?  I struggle in another way.  I like to eat…too much.  I struggle with gluttony, but I never chose to be a glutton.  Don’t get me wrong.  It is my choice that I eat too much, but I never chose to have an affection for food like others might have an affection for drugs, sex, or shopping.  Why do I struggle with eating and not drugs?  Why do some struggle with smoking, but not with laziness.  It is about our affections.  Some have affections for sleep.  Others for work.  I have an affection for food.  Does this mean that God made me a glutton?  Or others work-aholics, bums, addicts? Did God put this affection in me?  Some men have stronger affections for blondes.  Some women have stronger attractions for the ‘bad boy.’  Did God create us this way?  Would we say of women who move from one abused relationship to another that God created them to be abused?  Of course not! It is impossible for anyone to suggest that God has created some to be gluttons, some to be work-aholics, some to be attracted to blondes, others to brunettes.  In the same way, it is impossible to say that simply because someone did not choose to be the way they are that God created them to be that way.  I doubt if pedophiles would say that they had a day in their life when they considered the positives and negatives, then decided they wanted to pursue sex with children.  Is our society next going to suggest that God made some to be pedophiles craving sex with children, even babies?  I pray that we do not go there, but society has been there before and I am afraid we are headed that way again.  Twenty years from now will we be celebrating pedophiles right to marry six year olds?  Help us Lord!!

Scripture defines homosexuality as sinful.  Only through an assumption that God has created some people as homosexuals can Scripture be interpreted differently.  And there is not even one Scripture that supports this idea.  My intent was to address why there is confusion.  For those who read the Scripture as it is written, it is difficult to understand how others could justify homosexuality within Scripture. Hopefully, I have helped articulate how some are able to justify homosexuality in Scripture, but also I hope to have shown how these justifications do not hold water when taken within the full context of Scripture.  But let’s go further into this issue…

Why does the Lord consider homosexuality a sin?

So many people would say that homosexuality is a sin, but when posed questions as to why it is a sin, the response tends to be, “Well, the Bible says so.”  And truly it does say so, but why does it say so?  If all of the law hangs on loving the Lord and loving others as yourself, how can homosexual, married relationships be sinful if they are loving God and loving others?  It is sinful, but this is the part the homosexual community does not understand.  We need to understand it so that we can better minister to them.

First, we need to understand the nature of sin.  The Bible calls sin wicked and evil.  And we, especially Christians have taken these terms of evil and wicked to new heights.  We have used these terms to condemn the homosexual community.  We have to remember that anything that distracts us or moves us or tempts us to partake in anything that is less than God’s best, He considers sin.  We would only label some sins such as murder, rape, and perhaps homosexuality as wicked and evil.  But certainly gluttony is wicked.  Insecurity is evil.  Little white lies are full of wickedness.  Lust is pure evil.  Greed is absolute wickedness.  We, humanity, have decided which sins are acceptable and which are not.  But we have done so in rebellion to the Lord who considers everything that leads to less than His perfect plan for us is wicked and evil.

It is for this reason that Scripture refers to homosexuality as a sin.  So many have referred to the incident with Sodom and Gomorrah as proof that homosexuality is evil, wicked, and horrible.  However, there was so much more going on in that story.  The men of an entire city, which was a huge city, came wanting to rape the two male visitors visiting Abraham’s nephew Lot.   Anyone would have to admit that the evil we see in this story far exceeds homosexuality.  We have a degree of perversion that involved the men of the entire city not only in homosexuality, but rape.  We have to remember that just before this happened, the Lord promised to Abraham not to destroy the cities if only ten righteous people might be found.  Not even ten God-fearing people could be found in the entire city.  The burning sulfur from Heaven did not fall simply because there were some people involved in consensual homosexuality.  We do, however, see the progression of sin and how it intertwines with homosexuality as stated in Romans 1. The further we move away from the Lord, the more our affections lead us to less than God’s best.

To really understand why homosexuality is less than God’s best for us, we need to go back to Genesis.  When the Lord presented Adam with Eve, he responded by saying, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.”  In other words, he was acknowledging that Eve came from himself.  When the Lord made Adam, He breathed His spirit into Adam to give him life, but this was never done for Eve.  Eve had life because the spirit breathed into Adam was shared with her.  This phrase ‘bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’ refers to the idea of completion.  What had been separated from Adam was now returned to Him in the form of Eve, a woman.  Both man and woman were made in the image of God, but some of the characteristics of God are more dominant in men while other characteristics of God are more dominant in women as a result of Eve being taken out of Adam. There is no hard and fast rule, but even non-religious sociologists and scientists have revealed major differences between men and women.  Men have been designed to be decision-makers.  Sometimes, compassion has to be set aside in order to make decisions.  Women, though, are full of compassion.  Both the ability to set things aside to make a decision and compassion are strong characteristics of God.  These are just a couple of examples of how the different characteristics of God are more dominant in one sex or the other.  The greatest potential of finding God’s good and perfect plan is found in marriage between a man and a woman, not same-sex marriage.

The Spiritual Danger of Homosexuality and other attacks on the traditional family

The Bible says that the Lord is spirit.  Then we have Jesus who is the personification of this spirit who became flesh and walked among us.  And then we have the Holy Spirit which is the spirit of God dispensed into the world to convict and guide into all truth.  These form the One God, the Trinity. But when Christ comes, He refers to God, who is spirit, as His Father.  And when Christ comes out of the water at his baptism, there is a voice heard from Heaven referring to Christ as God’s Son.  The Trinity of God is not a physical father-and-son-type relationship as we know it to be.  The Lord has given us these relationships in order to help us understand Him.  He was saying, “I want you to understand that the depth of my love is like a father giving up his only son.”  He was saying, “I love you like a good father would love his child.”

The Lord also gives us the analogy of Christ as the groom and the church as the Bride.  He ordained marriage between a man and a woman because He was trying to give us some reference by which we might understand Him better.  He is like the groom who sacrifices for his wife continually loving her never doing anything selfishly.  When we understand the depth of His love, we are able to trust Him and return that love.

The design of family relationships have been given to us by God for the revelation of His character.  When these relationships break down, the revelation of who He is becomes fuzzy, cloudy, if not darkened completely.  Attacks on the family are some of the most spiritually dangerous campaigns of the enemy.  It is for this reason, we are seeing a loosening of morals making room for sexual relationships without the commitment of til death do us part.  We are seeing babies being destroyed from the time they are in the womb.  There is a spirit of molestation and rape that is pervasive in our society.  The sanctity of marriage has diminished so that divorce is accepted so easily. All of this is to break down the relationships that, when pure,reveal the character of God.  It is no accident that the family has been attacked so vehemently.  The justification of homosexuality within the church is the wolf in the sheep pen.  These are relationships that will rob children of the revelation of God found in a man if they have two Mom’s.  It will rob them of the revelation of God found in a woman if they have two Dad’s. Not only is homosexuality breaking down the family and God’s full revelation of Himself, but it is being accepted within the church.  We must understand there is no degree to sin.  God hates gluttony just as much as He hates homosexuality, pride, greed, and every other sin.  But there is a variance of degree in the consequences of sin.  The more Christians and Christianity accept homosexuality along with the many other attacks on the traditional family, God’s help for the world to understand Him will be hindered significantly if not destroyed.  What should we do?  Teach the truth.  Don’t be deceived.  And above all, put clothe yourself in the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Lee is the Lead Pastor at CrossRoads Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. His message focuses on the healing power of Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the Father of three awesome sons and he is madly in love with his wife, Amy. And his favorite past time is losing golf balls in the rough while attempting to play a round of golf.

Posted in Doctrine, Homosexuality, Marriage, Salvation, Sin, Social Commentary, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,
2 comments on “Christianity, Homosexuality, and Confusion
  1. Isaac Suydam says:

    Fantastic post as always! Thanks for the time you put into these articles.

  2. Greg Woolsey says:

    Very well stated.Thank you for making these things clear.

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