Those Who Consider Themselves To Be Homosexual By Sexual Orientation Should Practice Sexual Celibacy
Many will counter that I have no idea how difficult such a lifestyle decision would be. Theyre right.
But given that I understand the Bible to teach clearly that homosexuality is an unbiblical lifestyle, the only conclusion I can draw is that the practice of this lifestyle will lead the person out of the will of God and into harmful behavior.
Abstinence is, by this logic, the option that is in that persons best personal interest. I can only hope that my heart is clear in offering this suggestion. My desire is not to condemn but to offer biblical truth as I understand it.
This article is offered with the prayer that the Lord of Scripture will use his word to bring healing, hope, and help to hearts and homes troubled by the issue of homosexuality. To the degree that these thoughts have shed more light than heat, my prayer will be answered.
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.
Does The Bible Endorse Homosexuality
I am not gay, have no family members who are, and have no experience with this lifestyle. So who am I to judge? Why dont we just let consenting adults do what they wish so long as no one else is hurt?
Many in our society take this approach to the subject, whatever their own sexual preferences might be. To do otherwise seems to be intolerant and judgmental, two words our postmodern, relativistic society condemns.
On the other hand, believers and those interested in the Christian faith do well to ask what Gods word says to every subject present in our culture. An objective reading of history and Scripture will inform our faith and make it more relevant to our problems and issues. For many paragraphs, weve considered such a survey. Now lets summarize what weve found and ask how it all applies to our lives and relationships.
We have surveyed the seven passages typically cited with regard to this issue.
In Genesis 19, we find the attempt by men in Sodom to have sex with Lots angelic visitors and Gods consequent punishment against the city. While homosexual practice is clearly part of the text, the passage is less clear as to whether Gods judgment is against homosexuality itself or the crowds abusive attempt to commit homosexual rape.
Next, we found Leviticus 18:22, with its clear prohibition against homosexual activity, and Leviticus 20:13, with its prescription of the death penalty for such activity.
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Why Bruce Millers Excerpt Is Important
Even if we could all agree on the Bibles teachings regarding the nature of sexual sin and how it applies to the LGBTQ+ community, our work would be far from over. Such guidance must form the foundation of our approach, but where we go from there is of great importance to the Lord.
Bruce Millers excerpt will help us think about that approach in an honest and biblical manner. Remember that his excerpt is merely the introduction to a much larger conversation, one that he continues in his book on the subject.
Yet it offers some helpful first steps as we begin to consider how God might use us to help lead members of the LGBTQ+ community to experience his grace and salvation without compromising on the standards of scriptural sexuality.
Homosexuality In The New Testament: Romans : 26
The first is Romans 1:26-27: Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
At first reading, Paul seems clearly to consider homosexual activity to be unbiblical. But there is another way to interpret the passage, suggested by those who support homosexuality as a biblical lifestyle.
In their reading, Paul is addressing the issue of heterosexual men and women who choose homosexual activity, which is unnatural for them. If this is true, Pauls statement bears no relevance to those who consider themselves homosexual by innate or natural orientation.
Is such an interpretation the most objective way to read the text?
No, for two reasons.
First, Paul describes homosexual acts themselves as shameful lusts , indecent acts, and perversion . To suggest that his descriptions relate only to the decision to engage in such activity by heterosexuals is to strain the Greek syntax beyond its meaning.
Second, Paul states that men who engage in homosexual activity abandoned natural relations with women, making clear the fact that he considers heterosexuality to be natural. Likewise, he describes lesbian activity as unnatural.
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Understanding The Root Of Your Child’s Misbehavior
Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their childs behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your childs temperament based on his birth order.
Bible Verses That Have Been Used To Condemn Lgbtq People
When seeking to understand any Bible verse, it is important to know the context of the verse, as well as how the verse has been translated from the original language. The following are points to consider when thinking about the verses that have been used to justify prohibitions on same-sex marriage and full participation in church community for LGBTQ people. Nowhere in the Bible, taken in its original language and context, is there a prohibition against loving, consensual same-sex relationships, nor against people living as their authentic genders.
Genesis 19:1-13 The Sodom & Gomorrah story is preceded by examples of Abraham and Lot being very welcoming to strangers. The lack of hospitality and the desire to do violence to the visitors were considered grave transgressions, regardless of the gender of the visitors. The reference in Jude 1:7 to strange flesh likely refers to the fact that the angels they wanted to assault were not human. Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned they did not help the poor and needy.
Romans 1:26-27 Here, Paul is condemning the sinful and harmful acts he perceives in Roman culture at the time. Since same-gender and non-heterosexual attractions are natural, this condemnation is not directed at LGBTQ people.
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As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.
Homosexuality In The New Testament: 1 Corinthians : 9
The next New Testament text typically included in our topic is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Male prostitutes could refer to men who sold themselves sexually, either in heterosexual or homosexual activity. As translated by the New International Version, the word would not necessarily speak to our subject, as prostitution of any kind is almost universally understood to be immoral.
But the Greek word so translated is more likely a technical term for the passive partner in homosexual activity . And so it may well refer to one who engages in homosexuality, without a necessary connection to prostitution. The activity it describes makes it harder to assert that Paul had no concept of homosexual orientation but meant his words only for heterosexuals who practice homosexual behavior.
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What Does All This Mean For Those Who Deal With Homosexuality On A Personal Basis
Those who practice homosexuality seem to fall into two categories.
Some can remember decisions, choices, and circumstances by which they moved into this lifestyle. Others believe this lifestyle to be a sexual orientation which, for them, existed from birth or prior to conscious choice and intention. It is obviously both impossible and wrong for me to say which category is appropriate to a specific individual.
At the same time, it seems clear to me that homosexuality is an unbiblical lifestyle. So, what practical conclusions can guide those who interpret Scripture as I do as we seek to relate biblically and positively to those who are homosexual?
First, I need to state clearly that homosexuality is not the unpardonable sin .
The only sin God cannot forgive is that sin that rejects his forgiveness. To be more specific, the Holy Spirit works to convict us of our need for salvation through Christ. If we refuse this offer of saving grace, God cannot forgive us, as we have rejected the only means by which his forgiveness can be given.
As a result, whether homosexuality is a persons choice or orientation, he or she does not stand outside of the grace and love of God. Such sexual activity is no more unbiblical than many other sins listed in Scripture, including hatred, slander, gossip, and gluttony. We are wrong to reject the person because he or she is practicing a lifestyle we consider unbiblical. In other ways, so are we.
Claim : We Dont Follow All Sorts Of Ot Laws Today So Why Should We Accept What The Ot Says About Same
We already set the trajectory for this answer when we noted that all the biblical texts on homosexuality, both in the OT and NT, are negative. Yet one other observation needs to be made. Some OT laws deal with the issue of uncleanness tied to the temple and worship, which arent categories of sin but of appropriateness tied to worship. These arent moral laws, but restrictions that distinguished Israel from the surrounding polytheistic nations who were morally loose and sacrificed certain types of animals as part of their worship. This claim shows no sensitivity to these biblical distinctions. In some cases, it ends up comparing apples to oranges since issues of uncleanness were set aside in the NT when Gentiles came into the fold .
We dont read the Bible as a flat text. It progresses, even along certain trajectories, so that with the arrival of the promise certain parts of the law are set aside .
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No Longer Starting With The Negative
Returning briefly to the more traditional, but less equitable and relevant way of deciding on the nature of same-sex relationships it is understandable and morally justified that there is condemnation of heterosexual men engaging in same-sex activities to fulfil their own lust, to debase others in war or who are in an inferior social position, or maybe even in pursuit of some religious sexual rite.
Until recently the Church accepted the commonplace idea that homosexuality was a perversion to be punished or an illness to be cured. Sadly, this is still the case in some churches and some countries. Now, thankfully our received understanding is that some by their very nature as created in Gods image are gay.
So now we react to passages like Romans 1.26f differently than if we look through the lens of illness, perversion and prohibition of difference. As Paul laments the blatant disregard for God and the subsequent descent into ignorance, idolatry and licentiousness, he evidences various debauched same-sex activities. . Paul is not here issuing an apostolic evaluation of the permanent faithful same-sex loving relationships which we see with many of our LGBT+ friends. Rather, he is condemning salacious sexual experimentation, domination of slaves or minors, promiscuity and pagan cultic practices and prostitution.
What Does The Bible Say About Being Gay
In general, Christians have done a poor job of talking about sexuality, especially when it comes to same-sex orientation. For many, it’s a taboo topic to avoid at all costs. Others speak about it plenty, but they focus solely on truth without any love or grace. What does the Bible really say about being gay? And how should we respond to people who experience same-sex orientation? This study draws on three articlestwo from Christianity Today and one from Her.meneuticsto address these questions in truth and love.
What Does the Bible Say About Sexuality?God’s Word has a high view of sexuality, and it affects everyoneregardless of orientation.
There’s no question that we live in changing times. Many Christians are looking for ways to uphold God’s truth with love and grace. This is especially true as many of us have friends or relatives who are gay. What does the Bible really say about being gay? In this study, we’ll look at what the Bible says about sexuality and what that means for people who experience same-sex orientation. Plus, we’ll explore better ways to talk about sexuality as a whole.
Is Same-Sex Orientation a Sin?How should the church respond to believers who experience same-sex attraction?
Loving Our LGBT NeighborsFollowing Jesus’ example to love people who are different from us.
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Why Is There Such A Debate About Homosexuality
If we are going to really understand why there is such a debate about homosexuality in the world today, we must understand not only the positions each side holds, but also why they hold those positions.
First, we need to understand what the homosexual community believes and why they believe that. And they need to understand what Bible-believing Christians believe and why we do. The presuppositions of each side need to be addressed.
The homosexual community believes that their position is a moral alternative: that there is nothing wrong with it, it is just different. The presupposition is that they were born that way, therefore it is who they are it is not simply something that they do, it is their identity. They believe that God made them that way, or genetics made them that way, or even early childhood rendering made them that way, but it is who they are. It is their identity. And therefore it is a natural and normal way of being for them.
So if it is normal and natural and that is just the way that they are made, then when people disagree with that, we really have a civil rights issue on our hands. African-Americans are made different, Hispanics are made different, Asians are made different and we have rules, regulations and laws to protect them. Their thought process is, If I am made differently, then I should have the same civil rights as other minority groups.
That is their position and those are the presuppositions by which they function.
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Same Sex Attraction / Orientation Is Not A Sin
Heres a few things the Bible says about homosexuality. Keep in mind, it is very important that we dont add to the Bible or subtract from the Bible.
If you have Scriptural evidence that says otherwise, I humbly and honestly invite you to share it with me.
I have lots of conversations with my Bible-believing brethren about homosexuality since its something that I blog about relatively frequently . The biggest hurdle / misunderstanding that Ive found heterosexual Bible-believing Christians have about what I espouse is they think that same sex attraction / orientation is the same thing as lust. They hear me say The Bible says the action is wrong and they fill in the rest as so everything outside of actual sex is okay. What needs to be understood by all is that lust is an action. By action I mean a conscious choice. Lets break this down in terms that straight Christians like myself can better relate to.
I am attracted to many women.
Have I just sinned?
Pause and think about it before you answer.
Am I sinning because I find a woman to be pretty? Am I sinning because I find a certain hairstyle, fashion, personality, weight, or body shape more appealing / attractive than a different hairstyle, fashion, personality, weight, or body shape other women?
What Is Our Definition Of Marriage
We believe that the term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other.
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity.
Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the church.
Gen. 2:24 Lev. 18:1-30 Rom. 1: 26-32 1 Cor. 5:1-2 6:9 1 Thess. 4:1-8 Heb. 13:4 1 Cor. 7:10 Eph. 5:22-23 Mark 10:6-9
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