Whats Next For The Church
Everyone was made in Gods image, but not all people embrace Christs message of hope, peace, love, mercy, and justice. One reason for this is religious arrogance Christians who act as though they are in a position to condemn or pardon.
But if churches shut their doors to those who defy Gods commands about sexual intimacy, the doors would be shut to everyone. The duty and privilege of Christs disciples are to offer all who will listen to the message of salvation and the promise of a love greater than anything.
His love and justice go together, but all who call on Christs name for salvation are covered by his blood. Each of us is a work in progress. We can teach his inerrant Word but must always do so without judging or persecuting anyone.
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What Was The New Testament Attitude Toward Slavery
And how does this stance affect our study of the issue of homosexuality?
Slavery in the Roman era was dramatically different from the despicable practice as we know it in American history. If you had been walking through any first-century Roman city, you would not have been able to distinguish between slaves and free. Patterns of work, relationships, or faith were no different between the two. Slaves served not only to do manual labor but also as doctors, nurses, household managers, and intellectuals. They administered funds and cities. They were typically given an excellent education at the expense of their owners so that philosophers and tutors were typically slaves.
Even more amazing to us, it was common for people to sell themselves into slavery to secure such privileges. A person who desired citizenship in the Empire could achieve it by enslaving himself to a citizen, then purchasing his freedom. Slavery was more a process than a condition.
While there is no doubt that many slaves were abused physically, sexually, and socially, it is also true that at least as many were part of the more privileged strata of society. And the total dependence of the Roman economy upon the labor of slaves made it impossible for the Empire to conceive of abolishing this institution. If an economist were to propose that we refuse all goods and services imported from outside America, wed be equally surprised.
Does the New Testament then argue for slavery? Absolutely not.
What Does The Bible Say About Homosexuality
This article is an exploration of the specific passages that mention homosexual behaviour, but its important to remember that Gods blueprint for sexuality is interwoven throughout Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. The passages below need to be set in the wider biblical framework of teaching on sex.
It is a surprise to many people to discover that there are only a handful of passages in the Bible that directly mention same-sex relationships. Yet despite its infrequent mention, where the subject does come up, the Bible has some very important things to say about it. We need to understand them if were to avoid the twin mistakes of homophobia and thinking God is indifferent about how we use our sexuality.
The first two passages that directly mention homosexuality come from the Old Testament, the other three are from the New Testament.
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What Do Jehovahs Witnesses Believe
Jehovahs Witnesses believe that the Bibles moral code is the best standard for living, and they choose to abide by that code. This means that Jehovahs Witnesses reject all sexual misconduct, including homosexuality. That is the Witnesses lifestyle choice, and they have a right to it.
Jehovahs Witnesses strive to follow the Golden Rule by treating others the way they themselves would like to be treated
At the same time, Jehovahs Witnesses strive to pursue peace with all people. While they reject homosexual acts, Jehovahs Witnesses do not force their view on others, nor do they participate in homophobic hate crimes or rejoice when they hear of them. Jehovahs Witnesses strive to follow the Golden Rule by treating others the way they themselves would like to be treated.Matthew 7:12.
What About Environmental Conditions
Studies have been conducted of identical twins who were separated at birth, where one developed a homosexual lifestyle but the other did not. Particular family or circumstantial patterns are sometimes seen in these cases to contribute to sexual orientation. But again, other interpreters disagree with such conclusions.
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The Apostle Peter Warns Of The Rise Of Gay Theology In The Last Days
2 Peter 2 invokes Noahs flood, Sodoms incineration and Balaams error, to warn against destructive heresies in the last days which are defined by sensuality and the lust of defiling passions a clear reference to homosexuality.
A heresy is any theory or teaching that directly contradicts the plain truth of scripture. Gay theology is the most blatant example of heresy in the present age and is quite obviously being described in Peters prophecy.
hey have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam.speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved
The phenomenon of destructive heresies warned of in this passage is unmistakably the legitimization of sexual perversion, especially homosexuality. The invocation of Sodom alone reveals that, bolstered by the references to Noahs flood and Balaams error.
Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned. Could any phrase more perfectly capture the essence of the culture war in our age in which LGBT activists and their surrogates champion the sexual revolution while declaring Biblical Christianity to be a religion of hate?
Peter ends his letter with the following admonition, which also alludes to the heresy of Gay Theology.
How To Please God Despite Having Same
The Bible says: Dont be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. To kill wrong desires, which lead to wrong actions, you need to control your thinking. If you regularly fill your mind with wholesome thoughts, you can more readily dismiss wrong desires. While you may struggle greatly at first, it can become easier. God promises to help you to be made new in the force actuating your mind.Ephesians 4:22-24.
The same struggle is faced by millions with heterosexual desires who wish to conform to the Bibles standards. For example, those who are single with little prospect of marriage or who are married to a partner who is unable to function sexually choose to control their sexual urges despite any temptations they might face. They are able to live happily, and those with same-sex urges can do so as well if they truly want to please God.Deuteronomy 30:19.
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As Sexual Perversion Increases In The Post
In Genesis 19, God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, foreshadowing the last-days destruction of the earth . The final insult to God is the attempted homosexual rape of the two angelic witnesses whom He sent to Sodom to confirm its wickedness .
Importantly, the incineration of Sodom and Gomorrah is completely unique in Biblical history. Gods intentional association of homosexuality with the outpouring of His wrath by fire is absolutely unmistakable, as is His warning that it was simply a preview of the last days.
He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter .
Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire .
Why Did The Old Testament Not Decry Slavery In General And Move To Free All Those Enslaved
In many ways, it did.
There were several ways a Hebrew slave could be freed :
- An individual could be purchased and set free .
- A slave permanently injured by his master was to be set free .
- Hebrews were to be held as slaves for no longer than six years .
- And the Jubilee Year, which occurred every forty-nine years, was to free all Israelite slaves .
But still we ask: Why did the Old Testament sanction this practice at all?
In fact, it simply recognized a fact of all ancient civilization. And its rules minimized this evil, protected its victims more fully than did any other society, and provided means for their eventual freedom. But the New Testament would bring Gods word on the subject to much fuller expression.
In the Old Testament era, the primary way persons were enslaved was through capture in war. But in the first century AD, the breeding of slaves swelled their numbers enormously. And large numbers of people sold themselves into slavery as a means of improving their quality of life. Owning and using people as slaves was so commonplace in the Roman Empire that not a single ancient writer is known to have condemned the practice. But all that would begin to change with the advent of the Christian movement.
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What About Leviticus 1: 22
The next text typically cited on our subject is Leviticus 18:22, and it is far less ambiguous: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman that is detestable. The Hebrew is as clear as the English translation.
The obvious sense of the command seems to be: homosexual sexual relations are forbidden by Scripture. This is the way the text has typically been understood by Jewish and Christian interpreters across the centuries. It is the way most read the text still today.
But those who advocate homosexuality as an acceptable biblical lifestyle have found ways to dissent. Dr. Walter Wink admits that this text unequivocally condemn same-sex sexual behavior. But he theorizes that the ancient Hebrews saw any sexual activity which could not lead to the creation of life as a form of abortion or murder. He adds that the Jews would have seen homosexuality as alien behavior, representing yet one more incursion of pagan civilization into Jewish life.
And thats not all. Other critics see the Levitical laws as expressive of worship codes, not universal moral standards. And they argue that all such laws were intended only for their day and time, such as kosher dietary laws and harvest regulations.
Sexual Sin Is Especially Grievous In The Eyes Of God Because It Defiles Both His Image In Us And His Relationship With Us
The teaching of Leviticus 18, which we will address shortly, makes clear Gods perspective of sexual sin as the most destructive to human society and our relationship to Him. It is important to highlight this fact before we proceed to examine the lessons of Genesis 6-19.
As Paul explains Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? . Every human body was created to be a temple of the Holy Spirit! Through Christ, the bodies of the elect are cleansed and made inhabitable by Him, but even the unsaved were created for this same purpose.
Jesus summarized the Mosaic laws with two commandments: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Humans tend to measure the gravity of sins based on the second commandment, and thus we think of murder, or perhaps genocide, as the worst of sins. But from Gods perspective, the worst human sins are violations of the first commandment. You shall have no other gods before me tops the Decalogue, and its violation is certainly the greatest of all possible sins, but sexual sins are uniquely grievous in that they violate both the first and second commandments simultaneously.
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The Tribulation Kingdom Of The Antichrist Will Be Defined By Homosexuality And Religious Pluralism
Revelation 6 warns that the end-times Antichrist will ride forth on a white horse conquering and to conquer holding aloft a bow .
Chapter 6 of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John closely parallels a portion of the Olivet Discourse in Matt 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13, in which Jesus summarized the sequences of end time events before His return. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse represent the four phases or aspects of what Jesus calls the beginning of sorrows just before the start of the tribulation .
The white horse represents the Antichrist, and the bow which he holds is almost certainly the rainbow. Remember that the Antichrist is an imposter who seeks to deceive the world into thinking he is the messiah. The real Christ will return in the clouds at His second coming , and on a white horse. Revelation 19:11 states And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
Remember also that the rainbow, which God set in the clouds after the great flood is the symbol of Gods authority over the earth and evidence of His presence . The Antichrist will apparently appropriate the symbol of the rainbow for himself as part of his claim to deity.
What About Transgender And Transsexual People
The Bible does not say anything specific about either situation. However, the book of Deuteronomy has a prohibition against dressing in clothing of the opposite sex:
A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.
No one knows for sure whether this prohibition was intended as a general principle or was directed at some specific abuse among the ancient Hebrews. Cross-dressing was likely considered an affront to the natural distinction between the sexes ” rel=”nofollow”> Genesis 1:27). It may also have been related to some deviant sexual practice, or more likely, to pagan worship. It is known that some pagan rituals of that time involved women wearing armor and men dressing as women, and the Hebrews were forbidden to do anything that had even the appearance of pagan worship.
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The One Flesh Paradigm: Gods Exclusive Standard For Sexuality And The Model For His Relationship With Mankind
In Genesis 1:27 & 2:24 God sets forth the exclusive one flesh paradigm for human sexuality: the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman created in His image for procreation. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him male and female created he them .
This male/female complimentarity, consummated in marriage, reflects the very relationship of God and Man, as the Apostle Paul explains in Ephesians 5, citing Genesis 2:24.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
All sex outside of marriage is thus wrong and harmful spiritually equivalent to worshipping false gods as in fact God condemns as adultery all idolatry by His people.
Bible Verse About Gay : What Does The Scriptures Say
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There is no need to pretend.
Ive always disliked the act of homosexuality.
That does not mean I hate gays or those that seem to promote the idea.
Of course, I have no right to do so, considering Gods commandment of love.
And also, because I have no reason to judge another .
There are several misinterpretations of the scriptures to suit the idea that being gay is ideal.
But it still does not make common sense considering Gods hatred for fornication and adultery.
Studies show increasing support for gay rights in the United States- including allowing marriage and even the opportunity to adopt children.
It still does not make sense.
God created man in the beginning.
And he made no mistake creating a woman as a helpmate.
And filled with Gods spirit, Adam, not ever heard or witness a marriage at that time, said,
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Indeed, from the beginning, Gods intention for humans was clear.
God dislikes homosexuality.
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How Should Christians Respond To Homosexuals
Im writing today with several personal friends especially in mind: a mother of a gay son, a brother of a gay sister, a son whose father is divorcing his wife and announcing his homosexuality, and a close college friend who several years ago declared his homosexuality and is no longer in vocational Christian ministry.
What would I say to these four people if they were reading this essay?
Two comments are easy to make, the other two not as much so.
Are Homosexual Relationships Mentioned In The Bible
In modern Western culture we associate touching, kissing and the word “love”with a sexual relationship. But that was not at all the case in Biblical era culture. Most Bible scholars say these relationships were no more than close friendships. That is especially clear in the case of Jesus and John – the word translated as “loved”was the Greek word agape, which means kindness and respect rather than romantic or sexual love.
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