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.
A Leviticus 1: 22 Prohibition Of Homosexuality In The Law
Lev 18:22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman it is a detestable act.
This straightforward law prohibits all homosexual acts. It makes no distinctions as to whether or not they were consensual. It comes in the midst of a section of laws related to sexual relationships. No consequence is given here in each verse for the individual laws, but rather they are all listed as things that must not be done. All of the items in this chapters list are said to defile and are called abominations . In balance, homosexuality here is not singled out from among the rest of the sexual sins , but is included with the rest. Likewise, those who break any of these laws are to be cut off from the midst of their people . These various sexual activities are ones which brought about the punishment of God upon the previous inhabitants of the land . Thus in the law homosexuality was an offense against God. It, along with the other sexual sins, was not to exist in Israel at all.
Strange Flesh The Bible And Homosexuality
So is being Homosexual a reality and how has it come about? Well the answer is yes, being homosexual is a reality
The question is why? Lets see
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity whisperers,
So we see above that the Most High has allowed people to continue blindly in their sins when they choose not to acknowledge him.
But more specifically these sins can result in people of the same sex coming together. The bible calls this vile affections, and the act of burning in their lust one toward another men with men working that which is unseemly.
Here we see that yes! It is possible to be homosexual, but its due to our ignorance, disobedience and unwillingness to keep the Most Highs commands.
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The Core Issue Of Sexuality: What’s Your View Of God
At the core of the topic of human sexuality, as with all topics, is either a sound understanding of God or a flawed understanding of God. People may say that morality can’t be legislated, but that simply isn’t true. Indeed, some view of God undergirds every political decision and law that gets passed. This is not always apparent but is especially visible with issues surrounding the LGBT agenda. Unavoidably, someone’s view of morality is codified into human law, and the other views of morality are marginalized.
Rightly understood, the Christian view of sex is just as offensive to any unmarried teens and singles who are involved in premarital sex as it is to a transvestite marching in a parade. God condemns all sexual expression outside of male-female marriage. So, the issue isn’t just about homosexuality. The rainbow flag that flies on government buildings simply provided the flashpoint for the broader discussion about marriage and sexuality.
One basic guideline for good Bible interpretation is that whenever an Old Testament moral principle is re-stated in the New Testament, it makes the moral principle binding today. The passages quoted above from Matthew, Mark, 1 Timothy, 1 Corinthians, Romans, and Hebrews are all in the New Testament. They are excellent examples of this basic principle.
Jewish And Christian Criticisms Of Same
This cultural approach is alien to us, so hard to accept. But Jewish criticisms of male same-sex activity in Roman times assumed that one of the participants would be a boy pederasty. Heres an example from Philo, who lived about the same time as Paul, and like Paul was Jewish.
And let the man who is devoted to the love of boys submit to the same punishment, since he pursues that pleasure which is contrary to nature
Philo, Special Laws 3.39
The earliest Christians also attacked pederasty as something routinely accepted by society but rejected by the Church. The earliest interpretation of Romans 1:26-27 that we have assumes that Paul is talking about pederasty:
For those who have set up a market for fornication and established infamous resorts for the young for every kind of vile pleasure, who do not abstain even from males, males with males committing shocking abominations These adulterers and pederasts defame the eunuchs and the once-married
Athenagoras, Apology 34.
And this assumption carries on through the first few centuries of the church. Writer after writer condemns pederasty, calling it child corruption 6).
This, then, is the background to the world of the New Testament. It was a world where a freeborn man was expected to demonstrate his masculinity and dominance through intercourse with his wife, his slaves and prostitutes, whether the slaves or prostitutes were male or female.
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God Is The Highest Authority
Our personalities, inclinations, reactions, orientations, viewpoints, opinions etc. are complex. Some of these are hardwired in our genes, whereas others are influenced by our environment, circumstances, education, upbringing, and other factors.
Societies, cultures and norms are continuously changing and evolving, but God and His Word and the Spirit in the Word remain unchanged. When God specifically forbade homosexual activity and other sexual immorality, it wasnt because He was unenlightened, naïve, or intolerant. The law was given because people had strayed from His original purpose and blessing. What was immoral by Gods standards then has not become moral today just because the majority tolerates and accepts it.
We are fortunate in this day and age that human rights and freedoms have been in focus, clamping down on oppression, abuse and injustice. Every person has the right to choose their own faith, outlook on life and way of life, and that must be respected. However, if we want to live as believing Christians, Gods Word cannot be ignored. The Bible gives us many promises, but also conditions, for a good and happy life. God is our Creator, and it is only His will, as expressed in the Bible, that is unchanging and perfect in time and eternity.
The Plain Meaning Of Scripture
Most of the time, our problem with the Bible isnt trying to understand it, but trying to follow it in our daily lives. Love God and love your neighbour are simple and straightforward. But we keep on trying to obey, and keep on failing, and keep on throwing ourselves on Gods mercy.
Understanding is straightforward, doing is hard so hard we need grace.
Theres the grand protestant tradition of expecting everyone, not just priests or academics, to read scripture, relying on its plain meaning. And most of the time, that is right.
Most of the time but not every time.
If we apply our modern, cultural understanding of sexuality when we read the Bible it will mislead us.
Occasionally, we can get tripped up, and not even realise that how we understand the plain meaning of a passage is utterly different from what people in the first century would have understood to be the plain meaning.
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Seek The Intended Meaning Of The Bible
And so I must begin with an interpretive word.
When I taught principles of biblical interpretation at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, I often told my students, The Bible can never mean what it never meant. We must seek the intended meaning of the text as understood in its original context.
I also said often, The only word God is obligated to bless is his word. What matters to us today is not my opinions or yours, but Gods.
Such a position is not held universally on this subject.
For instance, Dr. Walter Wink states in his thoughtful booklet, Homosexuality and the Bible, Where the Bible mentions homosexual behavior at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether that Biblical judgment is correct .
Dr. Wink then compares homosexuality to the issue of slavery: he argues that the Bible condones slavery, states that the Bible was wrong on that subject, and concludes that it is equally wrong on the issue before us .
I greatly respect Dr. Winks enormous contributions to New Testament studies, especially on the subjects of spiritual warfare and nonviolence. But I could not disagree more strongly with his assertion, The issue is precisely whether that Biblical judgment is correct.
For my purposes, the only question well seek to answer is: What does the Bible intend to teach on this subject?
Insights From Other Bible Scholars
“The homosexuality the New Testament opposes is the pederasty of the Greco-Roman culture the attitudes toward pederasty and, in part, the language used to oppose it are informed by the Jewish background.”Robin Scroggs, Professor of Biblical Theology,Union Theological Seminary, New York City .
“One cannot be absolutely certain that the two key words in I Corinthians 6:9 are meant as references to male homosexual behavior.”Victor Paul Furnish, Professor of New Testament, Perkins Dallas .
“The strongest New Testament argument against homosexual activity is intrinsically immoral has been derived traditionally from Romans 1:26 , where this activity is indicated as para physin. The normal English translation for this has been against nature. Two interpretations can be justified concerning what Paul meant by the phrase. It could refer to the individual pagan, who goes beyond his own sexual appetites in order to indulge in new sexual pleasure. The second possibility is that physis refers to the nature of the chosen people who were forbidden by Levitical law to have homosexual relations.”John J. McNeill, Adjunct Professor of Psychology,Union Theological Seminary, New York City .
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Q6 Are Homosexual Acts Worse Sins Than Other Sins In The Bible
Scripture does not give the clearest grading of sins. That makes this a hard question to answer. On the one hand Jesus said that if the works that had been done in Capernaum had been done in Sodom it would have remained to that day . Additionally, He said that it would be more tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment than for Capernaum . This seems to indicate that the severity of Gods judgment will vary depending upon the knowledge and witness of God: those who should know better more so will be judged more strongly. On the other hand Romans 1 does specifically point out homosexuality as an example of persistent rebellion against God and as being an example of the judgment of God. Interestingly, in this passage it does seem like there is a strong knowledge of the sinfulness of their activities. It is despite their knowledge of God and His judgment that they pursue their course and encourage others to do the same. From these examples we can see that Scripture does not really answer this question directly. However it does seem to indicate that the more willful a sin is the worse will be Gods judgmentregardless of what the practice of the sin is. Even more clearly than that though, and more importantly Scripture answers a different question about homosexuality. The question it answers is whether Gods grace is sufficient to rescue and deliver from this sin. It is.
What About The Separation Of Church And State
When confronted with the conundrum of calling something right or wrong, Turek notes that churches and the Bible ALSO teach that murder, rape, and child abuse are wrong, but one does NOT say that laws prohibiting such acts are a violation of the separation of church and state.
If the government could not pass laws consistent with church or biblical teachings, then all criminal laws would have to be overturned because they are ALL in some way consistent with at least one of the Ten Commandments.
Furthermore, as Turek notes, some churches actually support same-sex marriage, so if there is a strict separation of church and state, then I suppose we also must remove any pro-same-sex laws as well, according to this rationale.
Here is Frank Turek’s HIGHLY ACTIVE page, where he goes to colleges and universities, and is challenged with some of the most difficult apologetics questions college students face today:
There is no scholar who can, in good conscience, tell us that the Bible is silent on its position on homosexuality, or worse, that it actually encourages such behavior.
Some people do NOT want Christians legislating morality, but ALL laws legislate morality.
THINK ABOUT IT – do not ALL laws legislate some type of morality?
The question is not whether or not we can legislate morality but, Whose morality should we legislate?
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Does The Bible Promote Prejudice
Still, some people would say that the Bible promotes prejudice against homosexuals and that those who adhere to its moral code are intolerant. The Bible was written at a time when people were narrow-minded, they claim. Today we accept people of all races, nationalities, and sexual preferences. To them, rejecting homosexuality is the same as rejecting people of a different skin color. Is that comparison valid? No. Why not?
Because there is a difference between rejecting homosexual conduct and rejecting homosexual people. The Bible tells Christians to be respectful of all kinds of people. But that does not mean that Christians must accept all kinds of conduct.
Consider a comparison: Suppose you view smoking as harmful and even repugnant. What if you have a workmate who is a smoker? Would you be considered narrow-minded just because your view of smoking differs from his? Would the fact that he smokes and you do not smoke automatically mean that you are prejudiced against him? If your workmate were to demand that you change your view of smoking, would that not make him narrow-minded and intolerant?
Jehovahs Witnesses choose to live by the moral code set forth in the Bible. They do not approve of the actions that the Bible prohibits. But they neither mock nor mistreat people whose practices differ from their own.
Q2 How Does One Determine If The Practice Of Homosexuality Is Right Or Wrong
To determine if anything is right or wrong one must have a standard by which the questionable action may be measured. The only one with the full authority to set such a standard is the creator and sovereign of all things. Since God has given humankind His Word in the Bible that is the source of determining if anything, including homosexuality, is morally right or wrong. Cultural and personal preferences vary, however the standard of the creator who made all things does not.
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Q7 How Do You Explain Marriage Ceremonies In Which Two Persons Of The Same Sex Are United By An Officiating Clergyman Or Justice Of The Peace
Governments in a number of regions have legalized this practice and officially recognize these unions as a marriage. This does give legal authority to them and to many it also gives the appearance of moral sanction. However, only God can truly give moral approval. He has declared homosexuality to be sin. Christians should respond to this like they should respond to all other sins: with truth and love. Some clergy and denominations claiming to be Christian allow for same sex marriages. Their actions are without sanction of the Bible or God. This is readily apparent from the contradiction between their actions and the truths of Scripture seen in this article.
The Biblical Truth About Homosexuality
Pro-homosexual statements and actions are occurring more and more in our world. It shouldn’t be surprising to see a Christian response to the contrary. Of course, some “Christians” aren’t exactly shining examples of tact and grace, though such a tone should always be our aim. The New Testament urges Christs followers to share the truth in love . And the Holy Spirit enables us to explain what we believe with gentleness and respect .
But it’s usually the inarticulate, angry-faced ranter who gets the spotlight in our ’round-the-clock news world. Those kinds of “Christians” don’t speak for me and they certainly don’t represent Christ. True Christians graciously express what Christians have believed about marriage and sexuality for 2000 years. Do we really deserve the scarlet letter B now just for believing that the Bible teaches what’s best for families and for society? The Christian view of marriage does have a pretty good track record for promoting thriving civilizations, after all.
1. Why should I care? Like any father, I wonder what kind of world my children are going to inherit when they’re adults. I have two sons and a daughter . Where the world is headed isn’t a huge worry that weighs me down, though, because I know the world belongs to God. Ultimately, He’s in control. In His mercy, he allows sinful people to do whatever they do, even as He gives them an opportunity to turn to Him.