Written by πίστις
Homosexuality is a very contested subject in today’s world, even within the Church. We see in the news Christians being persecuted for refusing to serve various people or functions that are within the realm of LGBT. Same-sex marriage is now a hot-button topic in the Church, even more so in our country as the Supreme Court will rule on this issue soon.
There are some “Christians” who support, even participate in homosexuality claiming the Bible does not preclude “loving committed same-sex relationships”. I disagree with this line of thinking, there is no evidence in the Bible that same-sex relationships are ok in any way shape or form. Those who see support for homosexuality in the Bible are viewing the Bible – the Word of God through their own cultural lens. One can find support for almost anything in the Bible if one reads it with a predisposed viewpoint intentionally seeking evidence to support that view.
According to Tim Keller, the two most read volumes that argue the Bible allows for or supports homosexuality are written by Matthew Vines (God and the Gay Christian) and
Ken Wilson (A Letter to my Congregation).
“Vines and Wilson relate stories of people who were sure that the Bible condemned homosexuality. However, they were brought to a change of mind through getting to know gay people personally. It is certainly important for Christians who are not gay to hear the hearts and stories of people who are attracted to the same sex” Keller wrote. Keller goes on to say, “And when I see people discarding their older beliefs that homosexuality is sinful after engaging with loving, wise, gay people, I’m inclined to agree that those earlier views were likely defective. In fact, they must have been essentially a form of bigotry. They could not have been based on theological or ethical principles, or on an understanding of historical biblical teaching.”
Basing a viewpoint on homosexuality and gay marriage etc. on someone’s personality is just plain foolish; just because someone is a homosexual, lesbian etc. does not mean that said person is incapable of being a nice person, and/or being an engaging loving person. What it does mean is that what these folks are doing is wrong – biblically wrong.
We cannot base our thoughts, our viewpoint on the issues that surround same-sex marriage and homosexuality on the person. Our position must be based on what the Word of God says, and not what we want it to say.
“Vines and Wilson claim that scholarly research into the historical background show that biblical authors were not forbidding all same sex relationships, but only exploitative ones — pederasty, prostitution, and rape. Their argument is that Paul and other biblical writers had no concept of an innate homosexual orientation, that they only knew of exploitative homosexual practices, and therefore they had no concept of mutual, loving, same-sex relationships” Keller writes.
Vines and Wilson’s arguments are flawed and without merit; same-sex relationships are nothing new, in fact they are referred to throughout the Bible. As well one can find references to them in plenty of secular writings as well. Consider the Words of Paul: Romans 1:26-27 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: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another…
It sounds like to me that Paul understood exactly what was going on. Again – look at the words of Paul:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived : neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God – The Greek word for fornicators is Pornos – meaning those men who have sex outside the law, outside the law means sexual relations outside of marriage, and sex with other men as well.
Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 clearly forbid homosexual relations, their is no differentiation between committed relationships and simple sex. Do you really think that God forgot to make that clear? I think not.
“Vines and Wilson claim that they continue to hold to a high view of biblical authority, and that they believe the Bible is completely true, but that they don’t think it teaches all same-sex relations are wrong. Vines argues that while the Levitical code forbids homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22) it also forbids eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:9-12). Yet, he says, Christians no longer regard eating shellfish as wrong — so why can’t we change our minds on homosexuality?” says Keller.
Vines reasoning here is misplaced; Leviticus 11:9-12 forbids eating shellfish – that is a Mosaic ceremonial law that is no longer in effect. The law against homosexuality however is God’s moral law and that IS in effect. This is backed up in the New Testament in several places: (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1) Christians do not have the right to decide what is right and what is wrong, right and wrong are laid out in the Bible for us – God’s Word is to be our guide, otherwise what is to stop us from stepping outside the boundaries imposed by God on whatsoever issue(s) we desire? Yes there are gray areas and room for differences and Paul mentions this in Romans 14, but the larger issues concerning our lives and how we are to live are contained in the Bible – homosexuality is not a gray issue.
Keller writes: More explicit in Wilson’s volume than Vines’ is the common argument that history is moving toward greater freedom and equality for individuals, and so refusing to accept same-sex relationships is a futile attempt to stop inevitable historical development.
Historical development? – what does that have to do with anything? The acceptance of abortion is a historical development, does that mean that abortion is right and good? The persecution and murder of Christians is fast becoming a “historical development” as well, is that ok too? This line of thinking is fallacious.
If one reads the Word of God, throughout the entirety of the Bible it becomes very apparent what God’s design for sex is – it is to be contained within the marital relationship and nowhere else. God created Adam and then from Adam God created Eve (Genesis 2:7; 2:21-24) – if God had wanted a man to be with a man (or woman with woman) He would have created things that way, or expressly communicated His desire that such relationships were allowed and blessed. Instead God blessed the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman modeling this special relationship after the trinitarian relationship of God Himself (1 Corinthians 11, 1 Peter 3)
Just as homosexuality, same-sex marriage etc. is wrong – so too are Christians who spew hatred for these people. We will never convince someone that their actions are wrong by hatred or vilification. While standing up and defending the Word of God is good, denigrating people is not good. Condemn the action not the person – love thy neighbor as thyself.