HOMOSEXUALITY - MENU
There is a ton of information here. Use this menu to help or just scroll down! Please note this is not intended to cause offence so no hate. This is what we hope is a Biblical look at this topic from the perspective that God made man and woman, distinct from each other and in his own image. The male-female barrier is one God does not want broken down.
We're sorry there's so much information here... But it should give you some help. Please note, this site does not exist to create any kind of hate or animosity. God created mankind and he loves people, though not all of what we do! Please approach this subject with God's love and God's heart.
For an excellent article that lists very valid reasons why gay marriage should not be legal - visit this christianity today article. I strongly recommend this as useful and well balanced reading. Apart from anything, the whole concept of marriage originated in the Bible! The battle is with evil powers and authorities in the spiritual realm who seek only to undermine the Bible and God. Our battle must not be with gay people at all. All of us are broken people and need God's changing power and transformation in our lives. For many people, in many ways, this can be a long process and needs Christians to pray and stand with them, not judge and condemn. Jesus said he did not come into this world to condemn but to save.
What is homophobia? The irrational hatred of someone because they are gay. But on many occasions, someone is described as being ‘homophobic’ simply because they express a negative opinion to do with same-sex agendas. People who are far from homophobic are labeled as being so. This does little to help informed debate, instead throttling debate in its tracks, making people fearful of reprisal. But if the gay lobby want equality, then they must allow opposing views to be expressed as equally as their views without fear of people being verbally or physically abused (as has happened repeatedly in the UK and US, even inside some churches) or being labeled with disparaging soundbites. There does seem to be an active attempt by some in the gay lobby to bully people who express different viewpoints into agreeing with them, or at least keeping quiet. But this in itself is a phobia, a phobia of debate, or a phobia of allowing others to express an alternative viewpoint. It could even be regarded as hateful in itself. It is the belief that others should not be allowed a contrary viewpoint that is both narrow minded and fundamentalist in attitude, and the one that should be challenged. While people have the right to be loved and express love, we must be careful not to throttle valid debate, at the same time opposing hatred on any side.
It is too easy and simple to throw out the label ‘homophobic’ when in fact we should reserve the term for those who are full of hate, not simply everyone that disagrees. With any right comes a responsibility. You can have a right to behave how you like, but this must be balanced with the responsibility of allowing different views and even the consequences of our actions. Taking a completely different example, you can be free to murder but there is a terrible result of your actions that must be faced. There are consequences for all of our actions and society at large is paying a large price for the liberty of many individuals in many areas of life who live and do as they please – and that includes all of us. Thinking specifically of the homophobic issue, you cannot live however you want, shout about it publicly and then expect others to stay silent when there are arguments that must be debated properly. While gay people have faced and do face persecution, the gay lobby has no right to claim any moral high ground in the debate, then start to persecute those who may have differing views – all of which must be heard in a democracy. Otherwise you then become the persecutor, lose any arguments about rights and freedom, and create others without rights – namely those who share different viewpoints. While tolerance can be a good thing in some instances (although not always – should we be tolerant of murder for example?), the gay lobby cannot demand tolerance for people to agree with them, while being intolerant of anyone who doesn’t share their world view – otherwise the charge of hypocrisy could be leveled. Let’s not fall victim to hate of any kind, nor to name calling. Let’s value each other’s opinions and belief systems respectfully, learn from each other and let’s none of us act like spoilt children who can’t get their own way - or like the school bully.
People who are homosexual should be welcomed in the church, just as anyone who is divorced, living heterosexually with a partner and so on. Jesus did not discriminate who he spoke to, but neither did he water down his message either. If we are to refuse entry to people who are homosexual, then we should refuse entry to ourselves too. We have all sinned (and do sin), as the Bible makes clear.
LOVE AND JUDGEMENT - Sometimes we must set aside what is 'absolutely the truth' in order to reach out to and accept people for who they are and who they can become through Jesus. If we lay down too many rules about who can be what, who is who, who we will work with, we become just like the Pharisees in the Bible. How do we express God's love if we've already alienated people? Why would people want to come into your church anyway? Are we displaying the love of God, do we have sharing, caring and loving communities, do we recognise that we've all sinned (and sin)?
I'm aware this is a very sensitive subject. In this I want to communicate God's truth. I don't believe there is such a thing as 'evangelical' or 'traditional' or 'liberal' opinion on this or anything else. I believe that the only truth is correct interpretation of God's timeless, unchanging Word - The Bible.
This is not intended to cause offence or division to any opinion or any person. This is not intended as judgement either. All people, including me, have sinned and fallen short of God's glory and standards, in many different areas. We aren't called to judge but to bring the life and truth of Jesus to a hungry and hurting world. Where Christians have brought pain and hate and rejection, we must repent. But we must not hold back from speaking God's truth in love.
We accept that we do not know it all. We are honestly not arrogant (or hateful or bigoted) and realise we may have parts of this wrong. We have tried hard to be balanced and reasoned - unlike many of the Bible's opponents, whose arguments often degenerate into name calling, abuse and hatred. Please forgive us if we cause offence, this is definitely not the intention.
God's Standard - Revelation 19
Revelation 19 is the climax of the return of Jesus. In it, we find the earth and the heavens giving praise to God. In verses 7 and 8, we find a wedding taking place. This is of the Lamb, to the bride. The Lamb is Christ, the bride is the (his) church. In Revelation 21, we find the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven 'prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband' (verse 2). So the climax of the Bible involves a bride and a bridegroom. This is God's standard. In fact, this is the standard he set in the Garden of Eden when he said that it was not good for man to be alone and so he created woman. When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce (Matthew 19), he referred them back to Genesis. He told them that marriage is God's standard. While Moses allowed divorce in some circumstances, this wasn't God's ideal but the result of humanity's fallen state. The key is that the 'marriage' between Jesus and his church is between a bridegroom and bride. That is clear, that is God's standard.
Stats show harm of gay relationships..
Cultural Apologetics have news from an article with a radical homosexual advocacy group whose leader makes some astonishing admissions:
- the higher disposition to drug abuse among gays, in particular, Crystal Meth.
- despite the universal knowledge among gays of the risks associated with homosexual acts, most continue to engage in life-threatening behaviours.
- the leader asks himself and others, "Does it occur to you that we have brought this plague of AIDS upon ourselves? And you are still murdering each other?" The leader also acknowledges that he too is "guilty of murder."
- in addition to AIDS, "sixty-percent of the Syphilis in America is in men who have sex with men." Studies in New York indicate rates as high as eighty-two percent.
- According to one of the most extensive studies conducted in Canada on the health risks associated with homosexual behaviour, "life expectancy at age twenty for gay and bisexual men is eight to twenty years less than for all men." The study went on to say, "If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged twenty years will not reach their sixty-fifth birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871."
Who says that sin has no consequences. Similar patterns can be found with hetrosexuals sleeping around, those who drink alcohol excessively, those who use drugs excessively. Yet still people want to live their lives without moral boundaries. And we pick up the pieces - broken families, broken individuals, illness, death and higher taxation. And we still do nothing to change, only march further down the path of hedonism.
Following Jesus gives you a full life, an eternal life. Now we can add that it will also give you a longer life!!
This article challenged me from 24/7-Prayer. I hope it will challenge you too. The church has sat back inactive, ineffective and apathetic for too long.
Debating arguments from the Gay Christian Community
The Metropolitan Community Chuches ('a worldwide fellowship of Christian churches with a special outreach to the world's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.') have their own website where they present their take on sexuality and the Bible.
What is clear is that this 'denomination' and site has already decided exactly what they believe and want to do - and attempts to re-interpret the Bible to fit their cause and lifestyle. However, what we should do is to interpret our lives in the light of the Bible. We need to shift focus from ourselves and our human 'wisdom' - and we need to put God first and at the centre, as revealed through his Word. We don't interpret the Bible in the light of science, we interpret science in the light of God's Word. Believers must do the same for everything in their lives - sexuality included.
An argument used by the gay christian community says that the sins of Sodom & Gomorah were not sexual (as many Christians claim), but only to do with injustice and selfishness. But this is poor or deliberate mis-teaching and takes account of only part of the Bible picture.
God spoke through Ezekiel in Ezekiel 16.49 because was angry with the city of Sodom. He said, 'This was the sin.. of Sodom.. she was proud and had plenty of food and lived in comfort, but she did not help the poor and needy.' So God was also angry with Sodom because of her injustice, pride, selfishness in not helping the poor and the needy.
So we do indeed know that Sodom sinned because she did not help the poor and needy. However, we learn that this is not the complete picture. In Genesis 13.13 we read, 'Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.' So this sheds a little new light on the situation. Was it only the men who were guilty of injustice?
We then read in Genesis 18.20: 'Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous.' Something is going on out of the ordinary in those places.
In Jeremiah 23.14 we read: 'And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah." The sins that Jerusalem is accused of include: idol worship (Jeremiah 23.13), adultery, lies, strengthening the hand of evildoers. So we know that these too were sins of Sodom and Gomorah. Adultery is included as one of the sins - this includes all sexual intercourse outside of marriage. So sexual sin is definitely one of the sins of Sodom and Gomorah.
Then this in Genesis 19.4-5, 12-13: Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." ... (The angels said to Lot) "Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
So in verses 24 and 25 - Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.
So, (although possibly the Angels were sent by God to destroy Sodom and Gomorah before the men of Sodom arrived at the door of Lot and had to be rescued by God), we find that the destruction of Sodom immediately follows from this worrying incident. There is something highly disturbing and extreme in the way that every man (both young and old) saw the angels and came round violently demanding sex with them. Only God's supernatural hand protected them. We then see God destroy not only the cities of Sodom and Gomorah, but the entire plain and all the vegetation in the land. That is extreme cleansing.
It is quite apparent that it is not merely injustice that caused God's fierce anger. We see injustice throughout the Old Testament and God does not destroy places. We only see rampant, mass, aggressive homosexual practice in Sodom (and probably Gomorah) in the Old Testament. These are the only places that God destroys supernaturally with flame.
It is very interesting that it is only the gay issue that the gay Christian lobby take issue with. But if the Bible is wrong in this (as they wrongly claim), then how do they account for the rest of the Bible being true? Surely if the Bible has something so wrong, it must all be wrong! But we know that the Bible is not wrong, it is the inspired word of God. As RT Kendall says, the Bible is perfect and the Holy Spirit didn't miss anything! He's not sitting around saying, "I wish I'd put that in the Bible..."
The gay lobby has called for tolerance but this has been charcaterised by their own intolerance towards anyone who opposes them. In Canada, homosexual activists want 'anti-gay' crimes to be added to the nations list of 'hate crimes'. This would include The Bible. Tolerance seems to be the wrong word here. As has been argued here: who is the bigot? The one who stands up for something, or the one who refuses to allow others to have a contrary opinion? The church in the past is regularly accused of not allowing others to hold an opinion, other than the 'church' opinion. Yet those who seek to silence Christians are guilty of the very same thing.
Is it hateful to stand up for what you believe? If so then the gay lobby are 'hateful'. Is it wrong to make a moral stand against something you consider to be wrong? If so, people who rightly oppose paedophilia are wrong. Is it acceptable to add being 'anti' something to a list of hate crimes? If so, we must add the being in the gay lobby to the list of hate crimes for being 'anti-Christian'. Truth is that we cannot be 'tolerant' of everything. We cannot be tolerant of everything. Are we to be tolerant of people who kill, who destroy, who commit cruelty, to famine, abuse, poverty? No. We must be intolerant to these and many other evils.
In these days in which we live, Christians can now be considered a 'minority' and have the right to have their rights protected. If we were so inclined, we could claim that many in the homosexual lobby and in our nation are guilty of being Christophobic, let alone 'bigoted' and guilty of 'hate' crimes themselves. However, Christ calls us to a higher standard of living than this.
I have no doubt that many people who consider themselves homosexual feel very alienated by the church. Working with young people (and homeless people and various addicts before that), they too feel the church is very alien. Jesus has called us to reach out to AND TO LOVE all people, regardless of race, colour, or sexual orientation.
I am sorry for any offence that may or may not be caused. You will need to be very sensitive about this topic and this session. I recognise that change is hard and painful. Most of us, in our different areas of Christian struggles, do not want to change because it is too hard or do not feel supported. I also recognise there are valid other viewpoints about this topic and do not claim to know everything or the complete truth as I'm not God!
Homosexual temptation and thoughts are not specifically mentioned in the Bible, which talks about homosexual acts. However, Jesus does call thinking of sleeping with someone's wife as 'adultery' (Matthew 5.28) so this gives us our guide. Thoughts are not necessarily sinful (but often are) - the action certainly is.
Approving of sin is also sinful. Romans 1.32, (referring to Romans 1.24-31) says, 'They know God's law says that those who live like this should die. But they themselves not only continue to do these evil things, they applaud others who do them.' Paul affirms Old Testament Law here and makes it clear that applauding others who sin is a sin in itself.
But let's be clear, many acts, actions and thoughts are sinful, not just homosexual acts. We as Christians should not judge sinners as we ourselves ares sinners. However, this is one area where many Christians sin in terms of their actions and words against people who are gay. We must not be guilty of homophobia or bigotry or hate. Jesus has commanded us to love one another as he loves us (see John 15.12)
Homosexual sin is not the worst (or only) sin so let's not get too hung up on this!
Many clergy are gay but many do not believe in fundamentals of the Christian faith or deny them - such as the Resurrection! According to the Bible I doubt these clergy are truly disciples of Jesus. There are many very important areas where the church needs to re-affirm truth and the Word of God and challenge, even remove those who deny the basics of the Christian faith. The result of not doing so is the mess the church is in today.
Proverbs 6.16-19 in The Message says this:
Here are six things GOD hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.'
Pride tops the list of these things that God hates. Homosexual sins are not mentioned. Let's not get things out of proportion!
However, in regard to sin, we must be aware of the waning of Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.1-5 where he confronts the topic of 'sexual sin' and confronts it head on, calling it 'sin' directly. He then warns that a ''little yeast' makes bread rise. In the same way, a little sin can damage something much bigger. We need to be aware that all sin needs confronting and sorting. A recent US TV programme saw Reverend Andrew Aquino state to the homosexual person - 'We love you. Come and struggle with us against sin. Don't give in to it.'
My message is the same.
One thing that we must think about is applying the Word of God to our lives and testing what we do. This is the correct Biblical procedure for anything we do or think about doing - is it in the Bible or is the principle in the Bible or does the Bible speak against something. Our way cannot and should not be to decide what we want to do and then make the Bible fit to our ideas. That is wrong and one sure way to move away from God.
The gay Christian theology states that the Bible passages 'against homosexuality' have been wrongly interpreted. Interestingly, these passages are the only ones that gay Christian theology has a problem with. The rest of the Bible is taken as truth. Strange how the authors of the Bible inspired by the Holy Spirit (of truth) got these 5 or 6 Bible passages 'wrong' and no others huh! I don't think so. The Bible speaks against all sexual sin as being sin. You cannot take one sin and say it's right, you can't take one sin and say it's worse. Nope - they're all sin bro and we all need to get right with God.
The problem is that many people take the Bible and read their theology into the Bible instead of taking their theology (belief in God) from the Bible. Let's all take a closer look at the Bible in all we do and apply its truth to our lives. All of us!
1. Are you aware of any young people in your group struggling with issues of sexuality? How would you handle this kind of situation?
2. Are any of do any of your young people know people who are gay? What are these people like?
3. Do they think there is a difference between people who are gay and those who are aggressively gay? I believe those who are aggressive and violent are in fact fighting against 'God in them' convicting them of their sin. You?
4. What about the actions of Peter Tatchell who is actively gay but who confronted President Mugabe over human rights abuses in Zimbabwe? Should we show this same courage?
5. Various celebrities come out and say they are gay. How do we react?
6. Would your group get involved in Pride events? How? Why not?
7. How can we show Christ's love to people who are struggling with being gay? What about those who don't care they are gay and are proud, how do we demonstrate Christ's love to them?
8. What about other heterosexual sexual sin in our lives? Challenge people. Have they slept with others or had other sexual contact? Sinful sexual thought? (This is like committing adultery according to Jesus)
9. Have we got the right to judge people who are gay?
10. Are they aware of the physical issues, STDs, injuries about gay sex?
11. Firms in the US are making employees sign policies about not discriminating against homosexuals, some policies are contrary to the Bible. Some Christians have been fired for making a stand, and now in the UK also. Some cases have gone to court where some Christians have won their case. How would you respond?
12. How do we support Christians in our nations who are persecuted and removed from their jobs because their Biblical views conflict with secular notions of tolerance and equality?
The Church of England has had some vicars who have recently stated that the church needs to accept gay vicars and clergy because it needs to be 'more inclusive.' Others have stated that the church needs to 'come into the 21st Century.' One vicar on national TV suggested getting rid of the word 'sinful' in relation to this subject. Many people have questioned the 'so-called' Bible references against homosexuality, believing they have been misinterpreted.
Exodus International - resources to help people in homosexual relationships:
INTRO - It's right to say Jesus accepted all people. But not completely. He did not accept all their actions. See Matthew 23 when Jesus speaks with holy anger to the Pharisees. When we become Christians, we have to do so on the basis of turning from our sins, saying sorry to Jesus, asking Jesus into our lives and then allowing the Holy Spirit in to change us to be more like Jesus. As Paul says in Galatians, we do not have freedom to sin but freedom from sin.
JOHN 4 - A great example of our reaction should be comes from the time Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman in John 4. In this, Jesus broke with traditional 'rules' of not talking to Samaritan women. He made himself vulnerable and open to accusations. Jesus sat down with the woman, spent time with her, loved her and forced her to identify areas of her life that needed forgiveness and change. He gently challenged her and she in turn responded and in turn she believed in Jesus and brought many others along who also believed.
This process identifies a key aspect which many people who believe in 'inclusion' do not want to confront. Change. Challenge. Jesus accepts us as we are but he demands change from all of us. If the Spirit is truly at work in our lives we cannot help but change!
JOHN 8.1-11 - This is the story of the woman caught in adultery. Imagine replacing this woman with someone committing homosexual acts. The religious people stood this person before Jesus demanding He started drawing on the ground and said, 'Anyone who hasn't sinned is welcome to throw the first stone' then carried on drawing on the ground. When he looked up all the accusers had gone. 'Has no-one judged you guilty?' he asked. 'No-one sir.' was the reply. 'Then' replied Jesus, 'I do not judge you guilty either. Go and sin no more.'
The key here? We should not judge as we are all sinners in different ways. However, we should confront wrong (the Bible calls this 'sin') and challenge people to make a change. The key is change - 'Go and sin no more.'
MATTHEW 19.16-30 - This is the story of the Rich Young Ruler who asks Jesus what he must do to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus confronts the man with the 10 Commandments. 'I have obeyed all these' replied the ruler. 'Then go and give away all your wealth' replied Jesus. The rich young ruler turned sadly away, unable to do this.
What do we learn? The rich young ruler wanted to be in the Kingdom of God but was not prepared to change. His wealth was a barrier to him being in the Kingdom but he wouldn't give it away and put Jesus first. His mistake was that he wanted to be in the Kingdom of God but carry on with the way of life he had. Jesus doesn't accept this. When we become a Christian the old nature dies, a new person is born by the Holy Spirit. We cannot carry on with our old lives if we are Christians because we have become a new person. The old self and the new self war with each other but the new self, God in us, must have the ultimate victory. This is a challenge in every area of our lives. Daily.
The church should be inclusive. The church is the body of Christ and we want all men and women to know Jesus personally so they will not go to hell. Very simple. The church should be the hub of the community, the place where truth and love, hope and help is offered. The place where people meet Jesus through the salt and light of God's people. The place that pushes back evil through the spread of God's truth. All people should be welcome in church and loved. We must say sorry for the hurt we have caused to many people.
We must not let our search for truth in Jesus become like the Pharisees - pushing people away, failing to show God's love to people in our demand for truthful doctrine. That is sinful itself.
Yet the church of Jesus Christ must be a church led by the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, the example of Jesus. Inclusion of people does not mean acceptance of their actions and lifestyles. Inclusion does not mean we bend the Bible. An example I have used before is that we'd stop a small child putting their hand into a fire. Why? Because if they put their hand in they will get burnt! Another illustration - we couldn't expect to join a millionaire's club unless we were millionaires.
God's Kingdom has conditions. It is not inclusive. You cannot simply expect to get into it. You have to obey the conditions laid down in the Bible. A church that does not accept Bible truth is no longer a church. When clergy and vicars talk about an inclusive church they forget that God demands change in our lives. Many in the church want God in their lives but on their terms, not God's. They need to read the Bible through the power of the Spirit of God, not through their own eyes. (1 Corinthians 1.17-31)
'Bigotry' and 'Homophobia'
2 words regularly used against anyone with the courage to take a stand against homosexual practice. What does this mean? Are you bigoted? Bigotry is irrational hatred and I'm sure many of us have been guilty of this in our lives. However, we must all be allowed to make an opinion and be free from allegations of 'homophobia'. Interesting that those people accusing others of bigotry do so in a very aggressive and hostile way, not wanting debate but only seeking to accuse.
If there is such a thing as homophobia, there is such a thing as myviewophobia. This is a phobia against others having a different view, while seeking to silence their views. We need to be very careful in the to hear all opinions without the creeping menace of myviewophobia. And let's make sure as Christians we conduct ourselves without bigotry. Incidentally, if I believe drugs are wrong as they mess up 1000s of lives, cause crime, kill people, cost 10s of £millions to combat - does that make me drugaphobic? (And I've been there, seen it, believe)
1 Corinthians 6.9-10
This Bible chapter is about Christians judging one another. As you may guess by reading through Corinthians, there were lots of problems in the church! In this passage, Paul challenges the church in relation to believers cheating one another and doing wrong to one another. In the previous chapter Paul confronts evil stuff going on in the church - like sexual sin - and challenges believers to get rid of people doing evil from their fellowship if they refuse to change.
Paul goes on to say - 'Surely you know that the people who do wrong will not inherit God's Kingdom. Do not be fooled. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes (these were at the temple) or men who have sexual relations with other men (the AMP Bible says 'those who participate in homosexuality'), those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others or rob - these people will not inherit God's kingdom.'
So. Men who have sexual relations with other men are doing something that is wrong and this means they will not inherit God's Kingdom. It's important to note that the Bible also speaks of adultery as sin, worshipping idols as sin, lying as sin. So is laziness, which the Bible speaks against on many occasions. We should not get too hung up on one sin over another. How many times have you heard a preacher speak against laziness for example?
So we can see that not only does the Bible speak against male prostitutes, it also speaks against men having sexual relations with each other. The Bible doesn't say here or anywhere that it's OK to have same-sex sexual relationships if the relationship is a steady, loving one. Men having sexual relations with each other is Biblically wrong. Period.
In 1 Corinthians 6.11 the Bible says,
'In the past, some of you were like that, but you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.'
So the Bible says that in the past, some of the Christians were like that but now they have been washed clean. From this we can see that the sins listed (including homosexuality) do not belong in God's Kingdom. They are unclean and that in God's Kingdom, people have been cleaned from this and the other sins by God's grace. We also see here that God can make a change in the lives of sinners - including homosexual sins - and change people's lives.
The chapter continues with some important words.. under the heading of using your bodies for God's glory. Paul makes the point that we can do all things but not all things are good for us. Verse 13 says, 'The body is not for sexual sin but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.' Paul talks about not having sex with prostitutes specifically but goes on to tell us to to 'run away from sexual sin' as it is a sin against the body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (the place where the Holy Spirit lives in us).
Argument over this passage centres on whether the Bible is simply condemning homosexual prostitution and straight men having gay sex. However, the vast majority of Bible commentators do not agree with this and believe the 2 Greek words at issue here ('Malakoi' and 'Arsenoiti') should be interpreted as meaning the active and passive partners in the male sexual act.
Speaks about a time when people were doing so much evil, God gave them over to their own evil desires. Romans 1.24-25 says 'Because they did these things (worshipping idols, not glorifying or thanking God and filling their minds with useless thinking, false wisdom and darkness), God left them and let them go their own sinful way, wanting only to do evil. As a result, they became full of sexual sin, using their bodies wrongly with each other. They traded the truth of God for a lie.'
So God withdrew because people insisted on going their own way. Because of this people went their own sinful way and did only evil. This led to them becoming full of sexual sin and using their bodies wrongly with each other. What does this mean? Well, drop down to point 6 (below) for more on this. Interesting that people's evil manifested itself as sexual sin.
In Romans 1.26-27 the AMP Bible says,
'For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one. (The Youth Bible says, 'Women stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women.') And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another - men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrongdoing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution. (AMP)
We see that people became full of 'vile affections and degrading passions.' This isn't exactly unambiguous language, it's very clear and to the point. What are these 'vile affections and degrading passions'? Well, women having sex with women and men having sex with men. We read that these acts are not natural, that they are shameful and that the physical body and personality of people changed as a result of their actions. As with all the points in this session, this is something we see only too clearly in our society today. The turning away from what God calls 'natural' to what is un-natural.
People claim that it is OK to do what you want - do what feels good. But the Bible has safeguards which protect us if we obey them. Your life, physical well-being and health can be directly related to your obedience to God. We see in the Bible evidence that committing wrongful sexual acts can manifest itself physically in the body. Many hospitals will testify to the nasty injuries caused by gay sex. It's common sense and very clear physically that God made our bodies for sex between a man and a woman.
These passages in Romans 1 raise debate over the word 'Paraphysin' meaning 'unnatural.' The gay lobby argue that since homosexual acts are not unnatural to them, it is OK. However, as the True Freedom Trust point out, the Bible is not a book to be interpreted by our standards and man's ideas and theories, it is the Word of God, reflecting God's standards and plan. God said 'be fruitful' (meaning have children), the Bible clearly condemns homosexual sex acts elsewhere so the argument of the gay lobby falls flat again.
There is no mention in the Bible of same-sex relationships being acceptable, despite the teaching of people who say that as long as people are in a steady relationship that is OK. The one mention of this kind of thing going on is in Sodom and Gomorrah. As we've seen elsewhere, the homosexual nature of the men wasn't the only sin in that place (click here) but it was one of the many sins that God found offensive enough to compel him to destroy the city.
We find the story of Sodom in Genesis 19. Two angels came to visit Lot in the city. Before bedtime, the Bible says that old and young men from every part of Sodom surrounded Lot's house and demanded Lot bring out the two angels, 'so we can have sexual relations with them.' Even when Lot refused, said 'No, my brothers! Do not do this evil thing' and even offered his daughters (!!) the men outside wouldn't relent. Eventually the angels struck all the men with a blindness so that they couldn't find the door to Lot's house.
It was then that the angels spoke to Lot and said, 'The Lord has heard of the evil that is here, so he has sent us to destroy it.' Interesting that it was the event of the men surrounding the house and demanding to have sex with the angels (or 2 men, as the people thought they were) that triggered the angels to speak against the city and to warn Lot and his family to leave.
Once again we learn that men having sexual relations with other men is considered 'evil' by the Bible. But surely this passage only speaks against forced sexual activity? Why then is Lot prepared to give over his daughters to the men? Surely they would have been raped also. Is this OK? Of course not. The Bible cannot be read out of context. In other parts of the Bible we read that even consensual same sex is evil. Whether consensual or not, it is wrong in the sight of God.
The Gay Christian Movement and others claim that The Bible has been wrongly translated and that the men simply wanted to get to know Lot's visitors. However, despite this we see that Lot responds saying 'don't do this EVIL thing.' I'm not sure getting to know people could be described as being evil. Lot also offered his daughters sexually to these men, a clear sign of offering an equivalent of what the men of the city wanted to do to Lot's visitors. The True Freedom Trust also note that the word 'Yadha' in the Hebrew meaning 'To Know' is used to imply sexual union regarding Eve being created.
Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every [wild] beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name. And Adam gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the air and to every [wild] beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other's presence.
What do we learn from all this?
God was involved in making a helper for man. This helper could not be found initially as there was nothing that was suitable. Out of part of man, God made woman. We therefore see that woman is the God-appointed, suitable and complementary helper for man and to ease man's loneliness. Woman, not another man.
The Bible tells us that therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and become one with his wife. There is no suggestion of any other relationship, however long-lasting or committed as being God's way. Man and wife is the only God-appointed way. Nothing else.
In Genesis 1.27 the Bible says, 'So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.'
God went on to give Adam and Eve a command in Genesis 1.28, 'Have many children and grow in number.' It is fairly clear that even with the advent on the technologies now available, the world needs man and woman in order for children to be 'produced'. As soon as we step outside the God-given 2 parent situation, we store up trouble as proved in the world today with the huge emotional and financial impact of broken families. Again, not another 'rule's but another wise God-given safeguard for our benefit!
From the time of Genesis 3, sexual relationships have been distorted and broken.
These passages state: 'You must not have sexual relations with a man as you would a woman' and 'If a man has sexual relations with another man as a man does with a woman, these two men have done a hateful sin.They must be put to death. They have brought it on themselves.'
The debate is over whether these passages can apply to Christians today with some arguing these Laws no longer apply. The True Freedom Trust point out that there are 3 kinds of Levitical Laws. Ceremonial Laws - fulfilled in Christ, Civil Laws (such as the verses above) which have principles relevant for us today and Moral Law (10 Commandments) which are relevant for all time. I would add that 2 Timothy 3.16 says 'all Scripture is useful..'
Also that in line with Biblical interpretation, we could quite easily say that although we are no longer called to kill people committing same-sex acts, those involved must put these things to death in their own lives if they are to live in Christ. It is the same as committing adultery - we don't kill people for that but we must not tolerate this in our lives as Christians.
Is in the context of Jesus talking about divorce. Verse 12 says, 'There are different reasons why some men cannot marry. Some men were born without the ability to become fathers. Others were made that way in life by other people. And some men have given up marriage because of the Kingdom of heaven..'
The first 2 categories in this Bible passage are used by the Gay Christian lobby, using some translations to say they were born homosexual or have become homosexual in life, and therefore this supports their case. However, the passage is about celibacy and is therefore not support for homosexual acts. I would also argue this is a misinterpretation of the passage. This part of Jesus' teaching is more about why men cannot be fathers (for example not a high enough sperm count or other medical reasons)
'It's obvious, isn't it, that the law code isn't primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I've been put in charge of by this great God.'
In many translations there is a word 'profane' in verse 9. This actually refers to the male sexual act. Interestingly, this is once again identified with adultery, also a sin.
Some people have suggested the relationship between David and Jonathan was more than simply a friendship and use it as evidence of Biblical validity of same-sex relationships. Any careful reading of 1 Samuel 18-20 (in conjunction with the rest of the Bible) demonstrates the false testimony of this viewpoint.
Firstly, this part of the Bible has been deliberately written so that we understand that Saul's son (Jonathan) who was in line to the throne of his father, gave legitimacy to the rule of David. In effect, Jonathan said 'I accept that David has been appointed as king to be by Samuel.' (see 1 Samuel 16.12)
Secondly, Jonathan was not unique in admiring and respecting David (see 1 Samuel 18.6-7, 1 Samuel 18.28). Like so many around him - except King Saul - Jonathan recognised there was something God-appointed about David.
Thirdly, there is no doubt that the relationship between David and Jonathan was very close. So was the relationship between Jesus and his disciples, especially John. However, any suggestion of anything more is a perversion of the Bible. Let's look more closely still at some specific verses used..
1 Samuel 18.1 - The Amplified Bible says, 'When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own life.' Note that it doesn't say Jonathan loved David but loved him as his own life. The original Hebrew word for the word 'love' here isn't some kind of soppy love but respect.
1 Samuel 19.1,2 - 'Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants that they must kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David, and he told David, Saul my father is seeking to kill you. Now therefore, take heed to yourself in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself.' So we see that Jonathan was prepared to support David above his Father due to his respect for David. Jonathan knew his Father was jealous, acting irrationally and against God.
1 Samuel 20.41 - 'And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose from beside the heap of stones and fell on his face to the ground and bowed himself three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another until David got control of himself.'
So they kissed? So what? Jewish tradition was one of expression of emotions (more so than here in stuffy Britain). Men and women kissed each other in greeting and sadness. In the New Testament we see Judas kissing Jesus to mark him out to be taken away to be killed. This act of treachery hardly an example of love of any kind. Today in France, across the Middle East and all over the world people kiss each other as a greeting. Men hold hands in public in places like Albania. It's a custom and doesn't 'mean' anything! Those who seek to interpret this to promote a gay agenda, misinterpret the Scripture. The 'kiss' was a sign of friendship, respect and favour in the Old Testament. Even today, Jewish people kiss as a sign of respect (even kissing the scroll of the Law before reading). See here...
In the Bible we find kissing in several places:
Isaac kissed his father Jacob (Genesis 27.27); Esau kissed Jacob (Genesis 33.4); Orpah kisses Naomi (Ruth 1.14); Laban kissed his sons and daughters (Genesis 31.55); Elisha desires to kiss his father and mother goodbye (1 Kings 19.20) and so it goes on. It is a greeting, a sign of affection and nothing more.
In 1 Samuel 18.22 we read that the King's servants loved David. Again, the word does not suggest the love between a man and a woman but respect! In 1 Samuel 18.21-28 we see that David even got married. We see later - in 2 Samuel 11 that David's lust is towards women!
It is simply wrong, even sinful, to see the relationship of David and Jonathan as anything other than a deep friendship. I am deep friends with a missionary couple currently in Brazil. I'd defend them to anyone. Do whatever I could to help. When we see each other we hug. We love each other. This is a deep Godly love based on respect, trust and having worked together for God. Same as for David and Jonathan.
This debate revolves around whether people who are gay are born like it or become like it through their circumstances. I believe that many people who are 'gay' are not born like it but can become gay through life choices, broken homes, sexual assault, the desire to do whatever, to try new things, legitimate needs for same sex love not met in childhood (eg. no mother, father around), a dominant mother.. and as men and women turn away from God into lifestyles they want.
However, there are no doubt internal factors which cause people to be more prone to be homosexual than heterosexual. I'm not an expert but I understand some of the motivations behind some of the studies may produce results not always guided by truth but by agendas. Let me make it very that I do not look down on anyone because they may or may not be homosexual! Love the sinner (please), hate the sin!
Change is possible, although for many people this is a difficult, time-intensive and painful process, like many things in the Christian life. But God is the God of change and care. If we read the Bible with open eyes we see that God provides for our complete needs, he did so through Jesus on the Cross. Therefore Jesus through his Spirit and the Word of God are the basis of help. The church should be the place where people's needs are confronted in love, met and developed. For homosexually inclined people, as with all people, a personal transforming relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, plus the support and love of positive Biblical relationships are the practical basis.:
- The True Freedom Trust recognises 9 steps to healing:
1. Faith in God as revealed in Christ
2. A recognition that God says no to homosexual sex and why (Gen 2.21-24)
3. Repentance (turning away) from a homosexual lifestyle, associations and thought patterns. (Acts 17.20-31, 2 Cor 5.17)
4. Experiencing God's love and forgiveness (Heb 8.12)
5. Finding a new identity in Christ rather than homosexuality or heterosexuality (Rom 3.21-26, Mark 12.25)
6. Discovering the needs that homosexuality is seeking to meet: eg. love, acceptance, identity, self worth
7. Learning how God wants to meet those needs and to heal in relationship with God and others and self (Rom 12.13, 1 John 4.7-12)
8. Finding the hurts, fears and insecurities which are obstructing this healing (Psalm 139.13-16)
9. Understanding the need for accountability, confession, fellowship and support. Giving and receiving ministry (James 5.16)
- Exodus International also provide a statement of healing. CLICK HERE.
Please note we cannot be responsible for the content of external web sites - please check these sites yourselves before referring young people to them
http://www.gideonsarmy.com - Biblical stuff countering many of the 'pro-gay Christian lobby' arguments
http://www.exodusinternational.org - excellent web site
http://www.exodusyouth.net - the Exodus web site for young people
http://www.walking-wounded.net/html/christians_and_sexual_temptation.html - offers some practical help
http://home.messiah.edu/~chase/h/helplis.htm - lists helpful links
I think Youthwork (UK) Magazine did an article on homosexuality. I haven't seen it but it is in the July 2003 edition I believe. I'm sure this will be very helpful.
In February 2004, San Francisco (taking its cue from other US cities and states) legalized gay marriage. This was in stark contrast to the Governor of California's comments and those from President Bush. Both men declared that they were opposed to so-called gay marriage. Over 3000 'gay couples' have had a 'marriage licence' from authorities in San Francisco.
Reading many articles on the BBC website, leads me to take a closer look at this difficult subject. Click here to see what other people are thinking.
In many ways, this shows how far we have come. It shows how God and The Bible are being left out of people's lives and decision making. It shows how much ground the gay lobby has taken from Christians. It shows that religious people are seen as fundamentalists and 'anti' everything. It shows how far we have to go to get across God's truth and yet love all people despite their sin (just as God loves us all despite our mass of sin). As stated clearly, God made man and woman and this barrier between man and woman is sacred to God and must be upheld. Let's look at 2 arguments:
Gay 'Marriage' doesn't affect me so what's the big deal:
1. All our actions affect others. The Bible tells us that all creation is groaning. Why? Because of the mess our planet is in through the actions of mankind. You cannot act without it impacting someone. If you sit in your room and do nothing, you are having an impact. You can have a positive or negative, massive or tiny impact - but your actions matter.
2. Study after study has shown that children benefit from a married family (man and woman) and that this brings stability and confidence, even health and security. The same cannot be said therefore for gay couples, taking one example.
People claim to want to uphold the rights of children yet we see the impact of damaged children and young people. Yet people consider gay 'marriage' as a 'right'. They are in effect saying, 'our right is more important than the right of children and society now and in the future.' This kind of selfishness and self-addiction is prevalent across all people (including in the church) and is part of the root of the world's problems - sin.
3. Gay activity, like any activity can and will affect people. Advertising works. That's why companies spend millions. Therefore, what we see affects our behaviour. Gay marriage may well offend many people. It may lead people to think they are gay when they are not. Gay sexual behaviour can be very physically damaging. It has been shown that gay relationships so not last as long as other relationships (especially between men). Relationship break up can be damaging. So, more damaged people. Higher medical care costs. People giving in to desires that don't really make them happy. (Again, this is prevalent across all sections of society in all kinds of ways).
4. It can also impact on freedom as the gay lobby can aggressively market their agenda. Many in the gay lobby do not simply want 'equality', they want their way. This agenda means they can go into schools in the US and market their beliefs whereas you cannot do that as a Christian. Marketing works (positive or negative) and impacts lives.
5. It impacts on freedom of speech where you cannot take a verbal stand for what you believe freely, if what you believe is against what society deems acceptable. In a time where secular is dominating God's way, this will be an increasing issue in many areas.
6. All decisions have an impact, whether behind closed doors or not as it's what's in someone's heart that is the problem. Sin, especially deliberate pro-active sin, will have negative consequences to individuals and society. We see the evidence every day.
Gay 'Marriage' is a fight that is the modern day equivalent of the racial struggles in 20th Century USA:
Not a chance. Gay marriage is in itself a misnomer as marriage is between a man and a woman. Gay marriage is a lifestyle choice. The gay movement is a minority group, prevalent mostly in Western and decadent countries. Just look at the hedonistic lifestyle of the Romans. What happened next? Rome fell. So will any culture that promotes homosexuality.
The racial struggles were rooted in injustice and slavery, oppression and hatred. Millions of black men and women were abused and oppressed at the hands of evil (and ignorant) men. It involved the murder of 10s of 1000s (across the world), torture, attack, rape, violence and subjugation. Black people were denied rights of going to the same schools as white kids, couldn't use the same bars and hairdressers, shops, buses and walk down the same streets. It was harsh, cruel and evil. It had no basis in anything other than ignorance and wilful manipulation.
The only similarity I find between gay marriage and racism is that in God's eyes, they are both wrong. Sorry. We reject God's law at our own risk.
As Christians we must unite and take up the cause in love, while serving gay people in other ways (people we meet in life). My friends don't agree with my Christian standpoint, I don't agree with all they do but I still love them and support them. To not love people is as much of a sin as anything else. And here I'm talking to you and me - the church. Don't lets be responsible for more problems than Jesus has called us to solve through his loving truth!
This is the constant clamour from the gay lobby. But equality is not what they seek. They want homosexuality to be the norm, to be embedded into our culture and schools (note that the pro-gay lobby have access to lessons in US where Christians do not). Equality - whatever that means anyway - is only a stepping stone for much more.
Equality is the wrong word anyway. Equality doesn't always exist. Someone is better than me at graphics, rapping and understanding the Bible, someone is better than you at something, someone has a greater right to speak on micro-biology than you (a micro-biologist).. Secondly, some things are not equal for good reason. Equality could mean a person can marry a 10 year-old as equally as an over 18. However, equality has to give way to child protection. In other instances, equality has to be viewed as a moral judgement (as in the case just mentioned) or perhaps in the case of someone saying they want equality to kill on the basis that soldiers in a war are allowed to kill people, yet a person in civilian life cannot kill.
So in our example of the gay lobby demanding the same equality for gay couples as for married hetrosexual couples, we must conclude that equality is not always possible or right - morally, physically or practically.