The Bible And The Punishment Of Homosexuals
One objection to the Leviticus statement remains. Dr. Walter Wink and others point out its punishment for homosexuality: If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death their blood will be on their own heads .
If we no longer execute those who practice homosexuality, are we justified in ignoring the prohibition against such activity entirely?
Those who argue that homosexuality is a biblical lifestyle point to this outdated penalty as reason to consider the prohibition to be equally irrelevant to society today.
No one I know would argue that homosexual practice should result in the death penalty today. But lets consider two facts.
First, the Levitical code was given to Israel at a crucial time in her early formation.
The nation had no functional law process or court system. Her moral character was not yet formed. And so the Lord gave the nation clear and enforceable standards that would help solidify and preserve her spiritual future. The spirit of the Levitical prohibition is clear: homosexuality is not to be practiced or accepted by the nation.
Second, a reinterpretation of the penalty prescribed by a law does not justify the decision to ignore the law itself.
How Should Christians Treat Lgbt People
There’s a growing controversy about how Christians should be treating the LGBT community. Many ministers have come out teaching that they should be accepted, but there are many others who stand on firm convictions that they shouldn’t be. What do you think?
What God Says
The Bible clearly tells us that homosexuality is sin and those participating in it will never inherit the Kingdom of God .
That’s a strong word, but it’s true. You won’t see any gay person sitting beside God in His Kingdom, but He does want the LGBT community to be with Him â but only in the right way .
Christ came to destroy all the works of the devil and sin . His death on the cross strips the power off sin and Satan, and those who are in Him can embrace the right way of life: a holy life bent on pursuing Christ-likeness
So how should Christians relate to and treat people in the LGBT community? Here’s how:
1. See Them the Way God Does
All men have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God . Straight or not, all men have sinned . Sin distorts our thinking, destroys our convictions, and ultimately leads us to a downward spiral of sinfulness unto death and hell. No one is exempted here.
God saw the sorry and pitiful state of man. Because of sin, all of us have been separated from Him. That’s why He sent Christ to bring us back to Him.
Christians should thus see the LGBT people as people who need God as much as anyone does. We all need God, don’t we?
2. Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner
Proposition : Two Of The Three Passages That Possibly Refer To Homosexuality Are Simply More
1 Corinthians 6:910 says that certain types of people will not inherit the kingdom of God. The list of such people begins with fornicators, idolaters, and adulterers, and it ends with thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Near the middlebetween adulterers and thievesare the two Greek words translated in the New Revised Standard Version as male prostitutes and sodomites. But no special emphasis is placed on these people they are simply listed along with the others. Similarly, 1 Timothy 1:811 says that the law was given not for good people but for bad people, and it then provides a list, giving representative examples of who these bad people might be. Included in the listthis time near the end but again without any special emphasisis the Greek word translated in the New Revised Standard Version as sodomites. In both texts, such people are mentioned simply in passing, in more-or-less miscellaneous catalogues of unacceptable behaviors, but with no special emphasis or attention called to them.
Group B is where they putcha if you may not be moral enough to join the army after committin your special crime. There was all kinds of mean, nasty, ugly-lookin people on the bench there. There was mother rapers . . . father stabbers . . . father rapers . . . Father rapers! sittin right there on the bench next to me!
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Jesus’s Discussion Of Marriage
In Matthew 19 and parallel in Mark 10, Jesus is asked if a man can divorce his wife. In that context, Jesus replies:
He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Robert A. J. Gagnon, a theologian, argues that Jesus’s back-to-back references to Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 show that he “presupposed a two-sex requirement for marriage”. On the other hand, Bart Ehrman, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, states of Jesus’s references to Genesis 1 and 2, ” not actually defining marriage. He’s answering a specific question.” Ehrman notes further “And here the conversation is quite easy. In our surviving records Jesus says nothing about same-sex acts or sexual orientation. Nothing. Nada.”
Who Gets To Say What The Bible Says
Those who use the Bible to persuade others actually put themselves in a dangerous place. They presume to speak for God as one of His spokespeople. According to James 3:1, such people are considered “teachers.” Teachers are subject to strict judgment both for their character and for how well they handle Scripture. Unfortunately, biblical literacy is at an all-time low, even in churches today. The naïve give equal weight to every opinion on or about the Bible and are apparently unable to discern the many illegitimate would-be teachers who are out there sowing confusion.
An authoritative teacher of the Bible possesses certain observable character qualities clearly spelled out in Scripture. Titus and 1Timothy tell us they are to be…
above reproach, the husband of one wife He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. Titus 1:5-9
above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach .
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What Does The Bible Say About Lgbt
Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Saving America
Steven Andrew is leading the nation to reaffirm covenant that the USA follows Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches covenant is the most important action to save lives, restore safety, strengthen the church, and raise godly generations.
I know of no one doing everything they can to help our nation to turn away from wickedness and sin, and turn back to God, like Steven Andrew.
Giving to USA Christian Church is the most powerful way to support God’s will for the nation and defend Christianity.
Sexual Activity Not Sexual Desire
The Bible condemns homosexual activity, not homosexual desires. The Bible also condemns heterosexual activity if it is not between a husband and wife, but it does not condemn sexual desires.
Jesus said that giving place to sexual desire, even in thought, is wrong . This is extremely difficult for men, whether heterosexual or homosexual. It is nonetheless commanded by Jesus, and we should do our best to help one another with this problem.
I have a page with advice for overcoming sexual desire, whether same-sex or heterosexual.
It is important to say right here that most Christians have barely tapped into the power of God that delivers us from sin. This is the reason some Christians don’t look for help and other Christians don’t stand up for sexual purity. They don’t know it is possible.
If a Christian with homosexual desires cannot change their sexual orientation, then they need to remain celibate. The Christian church has never had a different solution, but in the past churches had a much better idea of the power of God and much more ability to share it.
The solution to this problem is to restore the knowledge of the power and grace of God, not to gloss over sin because we are powerless to overcome it.
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.
What Would Jesus Say
Pastors have training in handling the other sexual sins, but the sexual sins becoming so dominant today bring in their wake very little counsel so far for helpers and many undiscussed problems to work out. Yet we are biblically commanded tospeakouttowarnthewickedtoturnfrom their wickeddeedsandlifestylesothat they maylive . We also hopefully can follow in the steps of Jesus who was able to treat first the heart and then tell his listeners to go and sin no more.
May the following seven things begin to move us to thinking and action. The Lord seems to say in his word to all sinners :
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Corinthians : 9 And 1 Timothy : 10
“Hope Remains” indulges in some more fantastical Greek interpretation in this section of their web site. They suggest that malaki in 1 Timothy 1:10 is referring to rich people because the word usually means “soft.”
Why do they do this? Because Jesus said that people who wear soft clothing live in palaces .
It’s hard to know how to respond to this kind of unfounded speculation.
Ironically, the speculation is unnecessary. Real translators suggest that Paul is talking about male prostitutes when he uses malaki. Since “Hope Remains” agrees that prostitution, whether homosexual or heterosexual, is sin, they have no reason to spend time exposing their inability to translate Greek. The real translation does their argument no harm.
The real issue is arsenokoitais, found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. There, ironically enough, we agree on the meaning of the Greek word.
As “Hope Remains” points out, the word means “lying with a male,” but they then go on to unintentionally expose their ignorance of the Greek language.
In their email, Hope Remains says, “Our lead translator taught both Hebrew and Greek, published in Hebrew and done translation into English from biblical Greek.” Okay, then maybe they can also explain why he is ignorant of the simple facts that follow, which I learned in my first-year Greek class.
That statement is a confession that they do not actually know how to translate Greek.
While We Wish To Offer The Dignity And Respect Of Christian Grace To All Persons We Cannot Truly Love Them While Endorsing That Which Is Unbiblical In Their Lives
As intolerant as the next sentence may seem, it is honestly motivated by a sincere desire to speak the truth in love: we can and should pray for those in the homosexual lifestyle to come to repentance and transformation.
After including homosexuality in his list of sins , Paul next told the Corinthians: And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God .
I recognize that some will read this paragraph as bigoted prejudice. However, any of us would want to help those we care about to practice a biblical lifestyle that leads to the fullest abundance of Christs joy . This is the honest motivation behind my suggestion that such intercession is appropriate for the gay people we know and love.
I must offer one last suggestion, a statement that will engender further resistance from many in the gay community:
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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.
What Should The Churchs Attitude Be Towards Our Lgbt Friends
So far weve looked at what the Bible says about homosexuality. Ive argued that it identifies same-sex activity as sinful, even though that may rub us the wrong way. But weve also seen that its not our root problem. All of us have a much deeper issue. All of us need Gods grace. Our real issue is that we are proud, and refuse to give God glory for creating us.
I want to shift and ask what our attitude should be towards our LGBT friends. And I want to make three quick points, and then close.
First, lets stand against all kinds of hate and bullying. Here we can actually find a lot of common ground. Homophobia has no place in our culture, and we can all agree to stand against it. Whenever we dont treat another person with the dignity they deserve as someone made in the image of God, we dishonor God and compromise our Christian witness.
My friend Stan Fowler argues that what we really need is something he calls principled pluralism. This means that we should work towards a society in which we practicing homosexuals and those who consider it a moral issue can coexist with mutual respect and civility, while we recognize a serious difference of opinion. I agree. We need to stand against anything but respect and civility. We need to defend the rights of others, including our LGBT friends.
Rosaria Butterfield, the professor I mentioned earlier, speaks highly of the friendship she developed with a pastor. It was a friendship without an agenda. It was just a friendship.
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What Does The Bible Teach About Sexual Relations
The historic Christian view according to accurate biblical interpretation is that sex outside of the sacred bonds of male-female marriage is wrong. One practical reason the Bible forbids it is because of how powerful sex is. God created sex to be a strong adhesive, bonding two fragile souls together. This is why feelings of “heartbreak” often happen when people who’ve engaged in sexual intercourse then go their separate ways. In God’s good design, sex is reserved for a man and a woman who have entered into a legally binding marriage covenant. This kind of life-long commitment forms the basis for a garden-like relationship in which true intimacy can grow into a loving family. Multiply that same model many times over and a healthy society blossoms and thrives.
You may not agree with this view of human sexuality, but it’s what the Bible teaches. If the point of this conversation is to foster better understanding, let’s agree to accurately represent each other. To be a Christian, then, is to be a reasonable person who promotes wholeness, joy, and genuine love. We aren’t judgmental prudes who are dead-set against anyone enjoying life. We are for human flourishing. We aren’t bigots or homophobes. Such name-calling is weak, counterproductive, and it ultimately distracts from a fair consideration of the issue.
Time Out for a Quick Disclaimer:
But in light of this widely used tactic, I offer the following disclaimer to the reader:
Is There An Objective Way To Respond To These Assertions
First, lets consider the claim that this Old Testament law has no relevance for New Testament believers but should be classified with kosher laws and such.
A basic rule of biblical interpretation is that any Old Testament teaching repeated in the New Testament carries the weight of command to the Christian church and faith. And the prohibition against homosexual activity is most certainly present there .
Even those Old Testament statements that are not repeated in the New Testament carry the force of principle. For instance, kosher laws tell us, at the least, that God cares about our bodies and health.
Second, it is claimed that the Leviticus passage expresses a worship code, not a moral standard.
The logic is that Leviticus is written with regard to the Levitical priests and their duties of worship preparation and leadership and does not apply as such to the larger family of faith. However, the chapter in question begins, The Lord said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and say to them . . . . .
Nothing in the chapter limits its application or significance to the Levites. Rather, the chapter exhorts all Israel to keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them . It proceeds to forbid incestuous relationships, child sacrifice, and bestialitystandards I presume critics of Leviticus 18:22 would consider universal.
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