Archive for the ‘homosexuality’ Tag

Bar Churches for Alcoholics   Leave a comment

Brad wrote this post 2 1/2 years ago and I think it deserves a boost.


Brad, my husband, asked to post on my blog. Since he has something worthwhile to say and he managed to organize it into sentences, I agreed. Lela



It’s rare that Lela allows me to grab the microphone from her. She worries about having a Taylor Swift-Kanya West moment without Beyonce around to protect her, but if I give her convincing material, she agrees to post it. Brad


A while back, we (Lela and I) watched a PBS special on “welcoming and affirming” evangelical churches across America. I don’t know how big this movement really is. I don’t know many evangelicals who agree with it and this is PBS, which has strong anti-Christian political biases. If we don’t have a lot of these churches cropping up in the oh-so-very libertarian state of Alaska, I tend to think the story focused on the three churches in America that are actually doing this, but I could be wrong. Lela says the Internet might beg otherwise, but then maybe the churches that are not “welcoming and affirming” just aren’t advertising that … sort of like our church fails to publicize that we don’t serve alcohol during the service.

The basic story on Erbe’s program was about how loving these “welcoming and affirming” churches were, how God would not judge people for loving someone/anyone and that the church is completely wrong about what the Bible says about homosexuality. The destruction of Sodom had nothing to do with the men of Sodom wanting to have sex with the angels God sent to Lot (Genesis 19). God was angry for the city’s lack of hospitality. Pay no attention to Lot’s offering his virgin daughters to these men and them rejecting the girls because they’d rather have the unwilling angels. No, that’s not evidence of mass homosexuality and the desire for gang rape! That’s just not being friendly.

You get my point?

Someone in the Erbe broadcast said “it was all in the interpretation” whether you think the Bible condemns or accepts homosexual sex. Which got me thinking about Bill Clinton’s “it depends on what your definition of is is.”

Clinton, who claims to be a Southern Baptist, wanted the world in general to pass over his sin of lying by stressing the tense of the word. He was not currently having sex with Monica Lewinsky, so he didn’t lie to the press when asked if he was having sex with Monica Lewinski. Of course, he had had sex with Monica Lewinski – in the past. His rhetorical game worked. He got away with it as far as the press and his supporters are concerned.

Of course, he had a much deeper problem with the catholic (small c intentional) evangelical church of which he claims to be a member. Christians still see him as a sinner and, worse, we see him as an unrepentant sinner. You see, we’re all sinners. You, me, Bill Clinton, and Pope Francis – we’re all sinners. Yes, the pope is a sinner! And so am I!

My particularly favorite sin is alcoholism. I come by that naturally. My father, most of his brothers, his father and his grandfather were alcoholics. Irish Catholic, don’t you know? It’s what we do. On my mother’s side, every one of her husbands, several of her brothers, her father and grandfather were all alcoholics. I’ve personally had trouble controlling my drinking since I was 16. And, I’m an ass when I drink. I do stupid, dangerous, unloving and unChristlike things when I drink, which is why I usually don’t.

When I don’t, I am repentant for my sin. I just wrote that above paragraph. That is repentance. I admitted my sin, I called it what it was, I acknowledged its wrongness. And then, more important than anything else in repentance, I try not to do it anymore. I didn’t say I have never done it since salvation. I said I try not to do it anymore.

That’s my sin and repentance as opposed to Bill Clinton who justified his adultery and his lying about it and is probably doing both again and will justify both again if need be. Until he comes before God and then his excuses won’t do him any good.

What separates me from Bill is my dependence on God. I’m not superman. I am a sinner, but I don’t rely on rhetorical tricks to justify my mistakes. Instead, I continually turn to the “I Am” Who tells me there is “no longer any condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the Spirit. For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1. My sin has been set aside and God will not hold it against me … not because of anything that I have done, but because Jesus died on the cross for all of us who accept Him as Savior and Lord.

We all like the idea of a Savior, but most of us don’t like the idea of a Lord. That means submitting to an Authority greater than ourselves and most humans don’t like that idea. I don’t like that idea. And when I dislike it the most is when I’m drinking. One is the symptom of the other, though I’m not sure in what order. When I am embracing my sin is when I am relying on the “I is” … me, fleshly man with feet of clay. I will justify my behavior – I come from a long line of folk who like to drink and Christian morality gets in the way of my good time – but it doesn’t change that I am violating a covenant I made with God. Jesus saved my soul, and I (in continuation of Romans 8) acknowledge my debt to Him by living according to the Spirit and not the flesh.

Which is why I wouldn’t and couldn’t be a member of a “welcoming and affirming” church. It’s not that I think God hates homosexuals. I think He feels about gays the same way He felt about me when I was drinking. Drinking wine is not a sin. No, it is not! Jesus turned water into wine and it was GOOD! The best wine at the wedding!

Drinking wine the way I drink wine is a sin! It was destructive to my body, mind and relationships. God still loved me enough to die for me on the cross and eventually I accepted that love, but in order for me to fully live in that love, I had to give up my favorite sin, because the way I drink doesn’t show God in a good light and is destructive of His temple in my body.

Sadly … when I was drinking, I didn’t know that. I couldn’t see the harm it was doing to me and I definitely wouldn’t to acknowledge the harm it was doing to my relationship with Jesus. And, I think that may be the sad plight of the “welcoming and affirming” movement. They think the problem is that the church is against them when the real problem is that God loves them so much that He wants them to give up something that He knows is harming them … and they can’t see that.

Thank God, literally, for putting Lela and other Christian friends in my life to point me away from sin, even when I didn’t want to give it up.

Thank God we don’t hold church in bars!

Which is kind of what I think a “welcoming and affirming” church is. If an alcoholic’s utopia is church held in a bar and the drinks are free, wouldn’t a homosexual’s utopia be a welcoming and affirming church that denies key portions of Scripture?

Posted December 4, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity, Uncategorized

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Wrong Side of History   7 comments

Wow, that happened faster than I thought it would!

State forbids pastors calling homosexuality ‘sinful’.

There’s this small part of me that wants to be hopeful, to say that this will go to the Supreme Court and the SCOTUS will rule on the side of liberty that ALL Americans have freedom of religion and speech.

But ….

I suspect the days when American Christians could expect to be treated fairly under the law are over and it’s time for us to accept that we can be on the right side of history or the right side of the God of history, but we can’t do both. It’s unfortunate that Christians are being shut out of the culture. It is unfortunate for the culture because it desperately needs to hear gospel truths. Morality is a rapidly shifting slope when there is no foundation for morality and that is where this culture is right now.

But being shut out of the culture is also not necessarily a bad thing from a Kingdom perspective. The early Christians did a whole lot more to spread the gospel when the Roman Empire was actively trying to kill them than Christians in America have done in the last century and a half when we had all the freedom in the world to talk about what we believe.

The question is — are we going to obey the laws that men put upon us or are we going to obey God’s laws? We can’t do both when man’s laws fundamentally disagree with God’s laws.

How should then we live?

Christians, we should know this, even if we would prefer not to live it.

Posted August 3, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

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Make Your Choice Today!   Leave a comment

I wasn’t going to pursue Friday’s SCOTUS decision, but you’ve forced me to it —

Christians, why are you shocked that the secular temple has betrayed God’s law? Jesus told us that the world would hate us and reject what we believe. Don’t be shocked that it’s doing what Jesus predicted!

Did you honestly believe that you would never have to choose between the world and God? There was a time in this country when a majority of the people claimed a cultural Christianity that generally accepted Biblical principles as a good way of conducting society. Those were good times for Christians because we could be in the world and of it and not have to choose . That time is gone!

Get over it!

The world believes it has won a victory. “Love won.” Christians know the world is foolish and that sex is not love. God is still on His throne and sin is still sin. Despite what the priests of the secular temple have decided, Christians are still called to flee sexual immorality. Choose you this day whom you will serve.


The civil disobedience this decision is going to give rise to will be an opportunity for Christians to explain why we are willing to give up businesses, social standing, our wealth and maybe even our freedom to obey a standard the world mocks. That doesn’t mean we’re going to “win” those secular arguments. It merely means we’re going to bear testimony to how God wants us to be different from the world.

In giving that testimony, we become Paul before Caesar’s court, giving a reason for why he didn’t obey Roman law. Did you think you deserved better than what Paul received?

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first.” (John 15 — Jesus)

Be Careful Who You Call Friend   9 comments

It’s always interesting to me to post something controversial and watch the control freaks come out of the woodwork. Posting on homosexual behavior in the churches or Christians taking a stand for Christ in the world is guaranteed to bring out the hostility. I’ve been told I don’t understand the Bible, that I’m unloving, that I’m mentally ill, that I want to ruin people’s lives. None of that is true, by the way! That’s just the opinion of sinners who resist God’s word.

We’re all sinners. Christians are sinners who know they are sinners and decided to let God do something about it. But there are many “Christians” who are not Christians at all. They’ve claimed the title, but they don’t know Jesus (1John 4:5). The world might like what they’re saying because they’re agreeing with the world, but that’s because unregenerate sinners recognize one another at a soul level.

In James 4, it says that friendship with the world is hostility toward God. If the world likes what you have to say, it may be that you’re not speaking God’s truth.

There are a dozen passages in the Bible that condemn sexual immorality and urge Christians to have nothing to do with it. 1 Corinthians deals boldly with the unacceptability of “loving” someone God has says you shouldn’t — and by the way, that man eventually repented (read 2 Corinthians). There are six places in the Bible where God specifically condemns homosexual behavior. If you’re going to ignore those six passages, you might as well ignore the rest of the Bible as well because you’ve missed its message entirely. Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Judges 19:15-30; 1 Corinthians 6:9; I Timothy 1:10; Jude 1:5-13. I didn’t write these things. They are God’s communication to every Christian and faithful Christians do not have the option to obey God in some areas and not in others.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) and obedience is better than sacrifice (1Samuel 15:22), other passages you might want to be familiar with.

And don’t give me the nonsense that God would never condemn anyone for “loving”, as if God is some sort of simple-minded man who doesn’t know the difference between the love that issues from a relationship with Him and the lust that flows from the heart of man. “Do not love the world, because anyone who loves the world does not have the Father’s love in him.” (1John 2:15)

God created human beings with both the capacity to love and the ability to enjoy sexual activity. Note that He created Adam and Eve, male and female, not a same-sex couple. The Fall, which can rightfully be defined as mankind screwing up God’s creation, resulted in a whole host of things God didn’t intend. His perfect creation is bent because of Adam and Eve’s choice. We shouldn’t  be (and I am not) surprised that mankind has turned the normal healthy expression of sexual desire meant for the marriage bed into something twisted and dark. God allows you the freedom of your choices. Go and do what you like … and reap the consequences. Right now, the world has decided that debauchery is “love”. It’s not! It’s scratching the sin itch and that may feel good, but ultimately, God will reject those who reject Him. That’s not to say that no homosexual or lustful heterosexual will be able to enter heaven. God forgave Moses, David and Paul of murder. He can forgive anything. He will give His grace to whomever He chooses and some Christians may be shocked to discover who will be in Heaven.

However, speaking to Christians here (or those who claim to be) — if you love the world so much that you cannot stand against the current zeitgeist, you need to examine yourself. I’m not just talking about homosexual behavior. I’m referencing sexual immorality, lying, cheating, stealing … there’s a lengthy list. What’s more, if you claim the title of Christian and you falsely state God’s word, you will be judged by God as a false teacher. I can’t do that. God is clear in His book what He expects of Christians and if that disagrees with the world in which I live … well, I’m in good company because the world hated Jesus and His disciples too.

Does It Have To Be?   5 comments

This is my public policy post on this subject. I’ve actually said this before in different words and the more I hang out with anarchists, the more I find myself agreeing with them.

The Bible is very clear that homosexual behavior is a sin. It follows that the commitment ceremonies gays insist upon calling “weddings” are public declarations of ongoing sexual immorality. The Bible tells Christians to FLEE sexual immorality because it corrupts our relationship with God. It is worse than other sins because it involves our own bodies. From those two facts, I judge that God is telling Christians that we may not encourage the homosexual activity of other humans. For the sake of our own relationship with God AND for the sake of the homosexuals we come in contact with, we must NOT participate in their commitment ceremonies, even as an unwilling caterer, photographer, florist, etc.

The Bible also teaches me that I am responsible only for myself and members of my local church. Nobody becomes a Christian by forced conversion. They may become a Christianist, but that is not a true relationship with Jesus Christ, which is what true Christianity is. My faith teaches me that I should always evangelize wherever I go, but it is not me who brings people to Christ. He does that.

So how does that connect to a public policy statement?

Christians need to recognize that we live in a very secular world and we can’t do anything about that. Stop trying to legislate morality. It doesn’t work and it just hardens people against the gospel. I firmly believe that if we stopped trying to use the government to force people to do things our way and concentrated on being friendly, loving, and firm in our beliefs and practices informed by those belief, we would see a sea change. People would be more willing to come to the Lord because they would understand that He is not a dictator and we are not His minions.

Think about that.

To secularists through the United States – I don’t want to persecute you. Everyone has the right to believe as they want and, to the extent that we are not harming others or depriving them of liberty, to live as they wish.

But …

Tolerance in liberty is a two-way street. Your liberty depends on my liberty and mine depends on yours. If you try to force me to participate in the sin of others, I’m going to say “NO!” My resistance is not a form of hatred, but an expression of love. I may not completely understand why God condemns homosexuality, but it is enough for me to know that He who created mankind does in fact say it is a grievous sin. Just as I would not sit down for a beer with an alcoholic because that would be harming the alcoholic, I won’t attend or cater the commitment ceremonies of same-sex couples. Yes, they have a right to commit to one another, but I have a right to not participate.

When you force your ideology on others, you force them to have an opinion on the subject. You’re welcome to your opinion about the practice of my faith, but you are not welcome to force me to violate it. If you don’t want me to resist your sin, don’t ask me to participate in it. That’s tolerance. We BOTH have the freedom to live our lives without interference from the other. Anything less is tyranny.

And this is where the public policy statement comes in.

Government is not the answer to our problems and it is rapidly becoming the source of tyranny. A marriage license is a secular non-religious document – a contract. It does not create a marriage as God understands marriage.

Christian marriage is an institution of the churches. The 1st Amendment makes clear that the government should have no power to tell churches what they can and cannot do regarding Christian marriage, so why have we given the government that power?  Nothing prevents us from “hand fasting” before our churches and entering into “marital contract” with one another. My parents did … my mom still being unable, because Alaska was still under federal law, to get a divorce from her husband, contracted with my dad to own houses together, to receive his life insurance policies, for power of attorney for end of life decisions and for custody of me. It worked out better for her than a marriage license because with a contract, she had actual rights and he had actual obligations. They weren’t Christians, so theirs was a wholly secular decision, and it worked — in the 1960s when almost nobody was doing it.

But I’m a Christian with libertarian leanings and I want my political philosophy to be in line with God’s laws. It might surprise you to learn that God doesn’t say you have to have a government marriage license. For most of Western history, marriage was a private contract between two families … or two individuals, like my mom and dad. For 16 centuries, Christianity defined marriage based on a couple’s wishes. If you claimed you had exchanged marriage vows, the Catholic Church accepted that as a valid marriage. In 1215 the Church (really an amalgamation of church and state) decreed that a “licit” marriage must take place in church, but people who married illicitly had the same civil rights and obligations as a couple married in church: their children were legitimate, the wife had the same inheritance rights, the couple was subject to the same prohibitions against divorce.

In the 16th century, Europeans began to require that marriages be performed under legal auspices, mainly in an attempt to prevent unions between young adults whose parents opposed the match.

The American colonies officially required marriages to be registered, but until the mid-19th century, state supreme courts routinely rules that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage, but then the Civil War happened and the United States began to nullify common-law marriages between blacks and whites.

By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos”, or Asians while 12 states would not issue a marriage license if one partner was a drunk, addict or “mental defect”, and 18 states set barriers to remarriage after divorce.

By the mid-20th century, courts invalidated laws against interracial marriage and other barriers, but governments began relying on marriage licenses as a means to distribute resources to dependents. Social Security survivor benefits require proof of marriage. Employers use marital status to determine whether they will provide health insurance or pension benefits to employees’ dependents. Courts and hospitals required a marriage license before granting couples the privilege of inheriting from each other or receiving medical information. In the 1950s, using a marriage license in this way made some sense because marriage was the default condition of most Americans. Cohabiitation and single parenthood by choice were rare. Today, possession of a marriage license tells us little about people’s interpersonal responsibilities. Half of all Americans aged 25 to 29 are unmarried, but many of them have already incurred obligations as partners, parents or both. Almost 40 percent of America’s children are born to unmarried parents. Many legally married people are in remarriages where their obligations are spread among several households. Children can no longer be denied inheritance rights, parental support or legal standing because their parents are not married.

I favor of reverting back to an older marriage tradition. Let churches decide which marriages they deem “licit”. Let couples write contracts between them for legal protections and obligations. Then just leave each other the hell alone.

Christians understand that the only true marriage is that founded by God. Government need not be involved in that. Our private affairs should be none of its business.

Marriage is a promise made before God with your marriage partner, possibly before a witnessing community. Government is not needed for this to take place.

Souls are not saved by regulating morality. I understand the point of wanting to ban certain behaviors, but it doesn’t work and it is hypocrtical since there are plenty of divorced and remarried Christians in churches and our kids are often sexually active before marriage.

If you want to make a difference in our society, start with your own family and community. God is not surprised by what is happening now with regard to our government. Teach your kids in the way they should go, call your churches to task for where they have strayed. Reach out to friends who claim to be Christians but who are living sinful lifestyles and gently guide them back where they should be. When that fails, churches should consider discipline. Discipline does not make the sin go away. Of the divorced and remarried Christians I know, it’s unlikely any of them could reconstitute their former marriages. But they would be helped immeasurably by confessing their sin and recognizing that they are outside of God’s will before committing more deeply to the relationship they are in currently.

If we want Godly communities, Christians must be leading their families and raising their children in a Godly way. As a whole, we have largely failed at this. If we really want those that are homosexual in our communities to love Jesus, and reconsider their lifestyle as a result, we must first show them the love of Jesus that we claim exists. As a whole, this too we have largely failed at.

To the gay community, please understand that I do not hate you. However, I do encourage you to consider pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ. Not only for your own sake in this life but in the life to come.

The reality is that Jesus hung on the cross for your sin too.

What’s So Wrong?   1 comment

To recap what was discussed previously:

  • Morality stems from God therefore right and wrong are a feature of His character, not dependent upon the cultural zeitgeist of the decade or the region.
  • The Bible clearly and consistently forbids homosexual activity.

So if God’s will is expressed in the Bible, it follows that homosexual behavior is against God’s will.

There are those who contend that God’s true will is not expressed in the Bible. These folks often insist that Biblical prohibitions against homosexual behavior were valid for that time and that culture but are no longer valid today. After all, most of us would probably agree that certain commands in the Bible are relative to the culture. For example, the Bible says that Christian women should not wear jewelry and our heads should be covered. While Christians hold to the timeless principle of dress modestly, but that core principle is expressed differently depending on culture and time period. So why can’t we set aside the Biblical prohibition against homosexual behavior just as easily?

I think this argument represents a serious misunderstanding of and lack of familiarity with the Bible. First, God Himself set aside the dietary regulations of the Jewish Christians in Acts 10. Throughout the letters to the Corinthians, Paul says “I have this from the Lord” and then “This is what I think will work.” When he gives his human opinion, he identifies it as such. Early Christians took everything else as from the Lord. There’s no evidence that Paul’s commands concerning homosexual acts were culturally relative. For one thing, Paul wrote from a society that would make Las Vegas seem tame. Far from being a reflection of the culture in which he wrote, Paul’s commands are downright counter-cultural! Homosexual activity was as widespread in ancient Greek and Roman society as it is today in the U.S, yet Paul stood against the culture and opposed it. More importantly, we have seen that the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexual activity are rooted, not in culture, but in the God-given pattern for marriage established at Creation. You can’t deny that the Bible’s forbidding homosexual relations expresses God’s will unless you also reject that marriage itself expresses God’s will.

Someone might say “I believe in God, but not the God of the Bible. So I don’t believe the Bible expresses God’s will.” Now what is our answer?

First, recognize that if they don’t accept the Bible, they really cannot be called Christians, so the commands concerning homosexual behavior do not apply to them … unless they are attending your church, in which case there is another conversation needed.

God has revealed Himself in the Bible. Christian apologetics has shown ample evidence for the resurrection of Jesus and fulfilled prophesy. Christians are commanded by Scripture to give a defense of the Bible when needful (I Peter 3:15). However, we live in an increasingly secular society, so Christians cannot always appeal to the Bible for our arguments. We need to give reasons which have broader appeal.

I think many people would agree that it’s wrong to engage in self-destructive behavior which destroys a human being who is inherently valuable. We use this argument to say it is wrong to become an alcoholic or a chain-smoker and to say it’s good to eat right and stay fit. Moreover, I think almost everybody would agree it’s wrong to engage in behavior that harms another person, which is why we restrict smoking to certain areas or ban it altogether so other people won’t have to inhale second-hand smoke, and why we pass laws against drunk driving so innocent people won’t be hurt. Almost everybody agrees that you have no right to engage in a behavior that is destructive to another human being. These are actually Christian principles that have been in our society for so long, people have forgotten their origin.

It’s not hard to show that homosexual behavior is one of the most self-destructive and harmful behaviors a person could engage in. Hollywood and the media are relentlessly bent on putting a happy face on homosexuality, but it is a dark, twisted, and dangerous lifestyle, just as addictive and destructive as alcoholism or smoking. The sobering statistics I’m about to share with you are all fully documented by Dr. Thomas Schmidt in Straight and Narrow? (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1995).


  • 75% of homosexual men have more than 100 sexual partners during their lifetime, more than half are strangers.
  • 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women ever have relationships lasting more than three years.
  • Male homosexuals average over 20 partners a year.

Nobody knows the reason for this strange, obsessive promiscuity. Maybe homosexuals are trying to satisfy a deep psychological need by sexual encounters and they find it isn’t fulfilling. According to Dr. Schmidt,

The number of homosexual men who experience anything like lifelong fidelity becomes, statistically speaking, almost meaningless. Promiscuity among homosexual men is not a mere stereotype, and it is not merely the majority experience—it is virtually the only experience. Lifelong faithfulness is almost non-existent in the homosexual experience.

Widespread Concommittant Drug Use

  • 47% of male homosexuals have a history of alcohol abuse
  • 51% of male homosexuals have a history of drug abuse.
  • Homosexuals are 3x more likely than the general population to be problem drinkers.

There is a direct correlation between the number of partners and the amount of drugs/alcohol consumed.

Mental Health

According to Schmidt, “There is overwhelming evidence that certain mental disorders occur with much higher frequency among homosexuals.”

  • 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression (only 3% of males in general suffer major depression).
  • 37% of female homosexuals have a history of depression.
  • Homosexuals are 3x as likely to contemplate suicide as the general population. Homosexual men have an attempted suicide rate 6x that of heterosexual men, and homosexual women attempt suicide twice as often as heterosexual women.

Nor are depression and suicide the only problems. Studies show that homosexuals are much more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexual men. Remember, I used to work in the mental health field, so I have firsthand knowledge of Schmidt’s research.

Physical Health

A well-kept secret is how physically harmful homosexual behavior is. I’m not going to describe the kinds of sexual activity practiced by homosexuals, but just let me say that our bodies, male and female, are designed for sexual intercourse in a way that two male bodies are not. As a result, homosexual activity, 80% of which is carried out by men, is very destructive, resulting eventually in such problems as prostate damage, ulcers and ruptures, and anal prolapse with associated chronic incontinence and diarrhea.

Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant among the homosexual population.

  • 75% of homosexual men carry one or more sexually transmitted diseases, wholly apartfrom AIDS. Herpes and Hepatitis B afflict 65% of homosexual men (both are incurable)
  • Anal warts afflict 40% of homosexual men.
  • HIV infects 30% of homosexual men.
  • Life expectancy for a homosexual male is about 45 years of age (compared to a hetrosexual male’s life expentency of 70).

A very good case can be made on the basis of generally accepted moral principles that homosexual behavior is wrong as it is horribly self-destructive and injurious to another person. Wholly apart from the Bible’s prohibition, there are sound, sensible reasons to regard homosexual activity as wrong.

I am on record stating that I think Christians should look to our own communities and not try to enforce our morality on society as a whole, so discussions of public policy will be brief here. Given the above statistics, why are we teaching kids in public schools that a homosexual lifestyle is a healthy option? Shouldn’t we be telling them the same truth about the harmful effects as we do with alcohol, drugs and smoking?

I’m an individualist and I approach this as a Christians speaking to Christians. Society will do what it will do and it is bent on destroying itself. There’s not a lot we can do about it. So, what practical application does all this have for us as individuals?

I am speaking wholly to Christians here. If you are not a Christian, you are not bound by the laws of God, although if you want to attend a Christian church, you may be subject to discipline.

First, if you are a homosexual or feel that inclination, keep yourself pure. If you are unmarried, you should practice abstinence from all sexual activity. I know personally how difficult that is, but God is asking you to do is pretty much the same thing that He requires of all single people. Purity does not just apply to your body. It especially applies to your mind. Just as heterosexual men should avoid pornography and fantasizing, you need to keep your thought-life clean. Resist the temptation to rationalize sin by saying, “God made me this way.” God didn’t make you this way. Your body has been bent and your mind darkened by the Fall, which warped God’s perfect creation. Regardless, Christians are still responsible to live as God would have us to live. The Bible makes it very clear that God does not want you to indulge your desires, but to honor Him by keeping your mind and body pure. Seek professional Christian counseling. It has worked for many so that they came to enjoy normal, heterosexual relations with spouses of the opposite sex. There is hope, if you will seek it. And know this, that your struggle is no different from the struggle of any Christian with a pet sin. There are sober alcoholics and drug addicts and celibate heterosexuals living their lives before the Lord without indulging their favorite sin. You are no different than they are. We are all tempted to sin and called to refrain.

Second, for those of us who are heterosexual, we need to remember that being homosexual is not a sin. Most homosexuals did not choose such an orientation and many would like to change it if they could. We need to accept and lovingly support brothers and sisters who are struggling with this problem. We need to extend God’s love to homosexual people. Vulgar words or jokes about homosexuals should never pass the lips of a Christian. If you find yourself feeling glad when some affliction befalls a homosexual person or you find feelings of hatred welling up in your heart toward homosexual people, you need to reflect long and hard on the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew:

“It will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgement for Sodom and Gomorrah than for you” (Matthew 10.15; 11.24).

Many heterosexuals are just as guilty of sexual immorality as are homosexuals. How many Christians do you know who are divorced and remarried and still show up to church every Sunday? Maybe the churches need to have a conversation about that? How many Christian heterosexual singles have sex before they get married, then attend church every week like they’ve not sinned? Men, do you take that long second look at the long-legged blonde in the parking lot? Ladies, how many of you read erotica (uh, do they still call them romances)?

We are all sinners. That doesn’t give us an excuse to sin, Christians, but it also doesn’t give us an excuse to hate people who sin in different ways than we do. In God’s eyes, our sins are all the same color – deep red scarlet. Christ’s forgiveness of our sin does not give us license to sin some more and it doesn’t allow us to rate our sins according to some social acceptability scale. We should lay all that aside, confess our sins to one another, repent before God in Christ’s forgiveness and then get busy helping one another be conformed to Christ with our minds renewed by His grace.

If the Corinthians could do it, living in what was essentially an entire town of brothels, why do we think we can’t?

What Does God Have To Say About It?   4 comments

Quick recap of prior posts here and here.

The question of the legitimacy of the homosexual lifestyle is a question of what God has to say about it. If there is no God, then there is no right and wrong, and it doesn’t make any difference what lifestyle you choose—the persecutor of homosexuals is morally equivalent to the advocate of homosexuality. But if God does exist, we can no longer base our moral stance on our own opinions. We have to find out what God thinks on the issue.

Okay, God doesn’t hang out at Barnes & Nobel waiting for someone to ask Him what He thinks on a given issue. Christians look to the Bible and the Bible says God forbids Christians to engage in sexual immorality, which includes homosexual acts.

Here’s the reasoning:

  • Christians are obligated to do God’s will.
  • God’s will is expressed in the Bible.
  • The Bible forbids homosexual behavior.
  • Therefore, homosexual behavior is against God’s will and is wrong.

To resist this reasoning requires that you either deny that God’s will is expressed in the Bible or deny that the Bible forbids homosexual activities.

We are talking about behavior here, not orientation. This is an important distinction. Being homosexual is a state or an orientation. A person who has a homosexual orientation might not ever express that orientation in actions. By contrast, a person could engage in homosexual acts even if he has a heterosexual orientation. The Bible condemns is homosexual actions (behavior), not having a homosexual orientation. The idea of a person’s being a homosexual by orientation springs from modern psychology and may have been unknown to people in the ancient world. What they were familiar with was homosexual acts, which is what the Bible forbids.

There are enormous implications in this distinction. The whole debate about whether homosexuality is something you were born with or is a result of how you were raised really doesn’t matter in this discussion. Your orientation is not the crux of the matter. It’s what you do with it that matters. Some defenders of homosexuality are very anxious to prove that your genes, not your upbringing, determine if you’re homosexual because then homosexual behavior is normal and right, but the Bible doesn’t allow that option. Just because you’re genetically disposed to some behavior doesn’t mean that behavior is morally right. Some researchers suspect a genetic predisposition for some people to become alcoholics. My husband would be one of those. He does not get an excuse from the Bible or from society if his drinking disturbs the peace. He’s expected, if he can’t control his drinking, to abstain from alcohol so as to prevent misbehavior. The sober truth is that we don’t fully understand the roles of heredity and environment in homosexuality and it doesn’t really matter. Even if homosexuality were completely genetic, that fact alone still wouldn’t make it any different than a birth defect, like a cleft palate or epilepsy. That doesn’t mean it’s normal and that we shouldn’t try to correct it.

People don’t generally choose to be homosexual. Many homosexuals testify how agonizing it is to find yourself with these desires and to fight against them, and they’ll tell you they would never choose to be that way. The Bible doesn’t condemn a person because he has a homosexual orientation. The Bible condemns homosexual acts. It is perfectly possible to be a homosexual and be a born-again, Spirit-filled Christian.

Just as my sober husband stands up at an AA meeting and says, “I am an alcoholic,” so a homosexual who is living straight and keeping himself pure ought to be able to stand up in a prayer meeting and say, “I am a homosexual, but by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m living chastely for Christ.” I have heard that statement and was pleased that the Christians there welcomed the speaker as a brother in Christ.

But, does the Bible forbid homosexual behavior? The Bible is so realistic! You might not expect it to mention a topic like homosexual behavior, but in fact there are three in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament where this issue is directly addressed. In all six of these passages homosexual acts are unequivocally condemned. Then there are all those passages dealing with marriage and sexuality which have implication for this issue.

  • Leviticus 18.22 — It is an abomination for a man to lie with another man as with a woman.
  • Leviticus 20.13 — The death penalty is prescribed in Israel for such an act, along with adultery, incest, and bestiality.

Sometimes homosexual advocates make light of these prohibitions by comparing them to prohibitions in the Old Testament against having contact with unclean animals like pigs. Just as Christians today don’t obey all of the Old Testament ceremonial laws, they say, we don’t have to obey the prohibitions of homosexual actions. The problem with this argument is that the New Testament reaffirms the validity of the Old Testament prohibitions of homosexual behavior, as we’ll see below. This shows they were not just part of the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament, which were done away with, but were part of God’s everlasting moral law.

We know homosexual behavior is a serious sin in God’s eyes. The third place where homosexual acts are mentioned in the Old Testament is the Genesis 19 description of the attempted gang rape of Lot’s visitors by the men of Sodom. God destroyed the city of Sodom because of their wickedness.

The New Testament also forbids homosexual behavior. In I Corinthians 6.9-10 Paul wrote, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be decieved: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.” The words in the list translated “men who practice homosexuality” refer in Greek literature to the passive and the active partners in male homosexual intercourse (I checked this with two Greek scholars I know).The second of these two words is also listed in I Timothy 1.10 along with fornicators, slave traders, liars, and murderers as “contrary to the sound teaching of the Gospel.”

The most lengthy treatment of homosexual activity comes in Romans 1.24-28 where Paul talks about how people turned away from the Creator God and begun to worship false gods of their own making:

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Liberal scholars have done acrobatics to try to explain away the clear sense of these verses. Some have said that Paul is only condemning the pagan practice of men’s sexually exploiting young boys, but that ignores the clear wording in verses 24 and 27 that these homosexual acts by men were committed “with one another” and in verse 26 where he speaks of lesbian homosexual acts. Other scholars have said Paul is only condemning heterosexuals who engage in homosexual acts, not homosexuals who do. That interpretation is contrived and anachronistic. Remember that it was only in modern times that the idea of homosexual or heterosexual orientation developed. What Paul is condemning is homosexual acts, regardless of orientation. Given the Old Testament background to this passage and what Paul wrote in I Corinthians. 6.9-10 and I Timother. 1.10, it is clear that Paul is  forbidding all such acts. He sees this behavior as the evidence of a corrupted mind which has turned away from God and been abandoned by Him to moral degeneracy.

The Bible is very forthright and clear when it comes to homosexual behavior as contrary to God’s design. It is sin. Even if there weren’t all these explicit passages dealing with homosexual acts, such acts would still be forbidden under the commandment “You shall not commit adultery.” God’s plan for human sexual activity is that it is reserved for marriage: any sexual activity outside of the security of the marriage bond—whether pre-marital sex or extra-marital sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual—is forbidden. Sex is designed by God for marriage.

Someone might say that if God intended sex for marriage, then just let homosexuals marry each other and they would not be committing adultery, but that completely misunderstands God’s intention for marriage. In the creation story in Genesis, God made woman as a suitable mate for man, his perfect, God-given complement. Then it says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” This is God’s pattern for marriage, and in the New Testament Paul quotes this very passage and then says, “This is a great mystery and I am applying it to Christ and the church” (Ephesian 5.32). Paul says that the union between a man and his wife is a living symbol of the unity of Christ with His people, the Church.

Viewed in this light, homosexual behavior is a mockery of God’s plan. It flies in the face of God’s intention for humanity from the moment of creation.

No, Jesus never specifically condemned homosexual behavior, but He also did not specifically mention lots of things which we know are wrong, like bestiality or torture. His silence does not mean he approved of those activities. What Jesus does do is quote from Genesis to affirm God’s pattern for marriage as the basis for his own teaching on divorce. In Mark 10.6-8, He says, “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh. Consequently, they are no longer two, but one flesh.”

For two men to become one flesh in homosexual intercourse would be a violation of God’s created order and intent. He created man and woman to be indissolubly united in marriage, not two men or two women.

The Bible makes itself clear, so there can be no argument that the Bible allow some wiggle room on homosexual behavior. It is sin, according to the Bible. But maybe Christians are required to follow the Bible or maybe the Bible as we have it does not reflect the true will of God.

We’ll look at that.

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