The Compassion of Truth: Homosexuality in Biblical Perspective

From Al Mohler and almohler.com.

“Homosexuality is perhaps the most controversial issue of debate in American culture. Once described as “the love that dares not speak its name,” homosexuality is now discussed and debated throughout American society.

Behind this discussion is an agenda, pushed and promoted by activists, who seek legitimization and social sanction for homosexual acts, relationships, and lifestyles. The push is on for homosexual “marriage,” the removal of all structures and laws considered oppressive to homosexuals, and the recognition of homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, and others as “erotic minorities,” deserving of special legal protection.

The larger culture is now bombarded with messages and images designed to portray homosexuality as a normal lifestyle. Homoerotic images are so common in the mainstream media that many citizens have virtually lost the capacity to be shocked.

Those who oppose homosexuality are depicted as narrow-minded bigots and described as “homophobic.” Anyone who suggests that heterosexual marriage is the only acceptable and legitimate arena of sexual activity is lambasted as out-dated, oppressive, and outrageously out of step with modern culture.

The church has not been an outsider to these debates. As the issue of homosexual legitimization has gained public prominence and moved forward, some churches and denominations have joined the movement–even becoming advocates of homosexuality–while others stand steadfastly opposed to compromise on the issue. In the middle are churches and denominations unable or unwilling to declare a clear conviction on homosexuality. Issues of homosexual ordination and marriage are regularly discussed in the assemblies of several denominations–and many congregations.

This debate is itself nothing less than a revolutionary development. Any fair-minded observer of American culture and the American churches must note the incredible speed with which this issue has been driven into the cultural mainstream. The challenge for the believing church now comes down to this: Do we have a distinctive message in the midst of this moral confusion?

Our answer must be Yes. The Christian church must have a distinctive message to speak to the issue of homosexuality, because faithfulness to Holy Scripture demands that we do so.

The affirmation of biblical authority is thus central to the church’s consideration of this issue–or any issue. The Bible is the Word of God in written form, inerrant and infallible, inspired by the Holy Spirit and “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” [2 Timothy 3:16]. This is the critical watershed: Those churches which reject the authority of Scripture will eventually succumb to cultural pressure and accommodate their understanding of homosexuality to the spirit of the age. Those churches that affirm, confess, and acknowledge the full authority of the Bible have no choice in this matter–we must speak a word of compassionate truth. And that compassionate truth is this: Homosexual acts are expressly and unconditionally forbidden by God through His Word, and such acts are an abomination to the Lord by His own declaration.”

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20 Responses to The Compassion of Truth: Homosexuality in Biblical Perspective

  1. john says:

    scripture does not say homosexuality is a sin, its man who says that scripture says homosexuality is a sin. its tradition that says homosexuality is a sin. but tradition is the limitation of man’s ability to embrace the spirit. the truth is that the teachiongs of christ demand absolute equality between homosexuals and heterosexuals.

    i challenge any one to make a case for scripture saying homo sexuality is a sin

    gen not all prohibitions of themselves were sins. such as household chores on the sabbath.

    num 15:32 32 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.

    gen …….gang rape

    romans 1: 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    what is the truth that was exchanged for a lie and who was it that worshipped and how were they worshipping the created……….that made god give them over to the shamebased lust ridden same sex acts.

    is this a depiction of all hindu cultures , atheists, agnostics, and all the pagan cultures that surronded isreal.

    how does the do shame based lust ridden acts that cause self loathing and low self esteem have anything to do with same sex acts that are motivated by mutual love,respect,attraction and trust for having a committed shared life with another.

    1tim and 1cor the original king james translation is “defiling onself witrh mankind” which though consitant with romans has no connection to homosexuality.

  2. Chris says:

    What does the Bible say?

    The Bible, as God’s word, reveals God’s moral character and it shapes the morality of the Christian. There have been those who have used the Bible to support homosexuality, taken verses out of context and read into them interpretations that are not there. Quite simply, the Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin. Let’s look at what it says.

    Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
    Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”
    1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals1, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
    Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”
    With such clear statements against homosexuality, it is difficult to see how different groups can say the Bible supports homosexuality. But they try by redefining love, marriage, sex, homosexuality, etc. in order to accomplish their goal. But the truth is that God created man and woman, not man and man, or woman and woman. Nevertheless, the Bible is a powerful book, and because it is the homosexuals often try and make the Bible agree with its agenda. But it doesn’t work. The Bible does not support homosexuality as we have seen from the scriptures above.
    Unlike other sins, this sexual sin has a judgment administered by God Himself: He gives them over to their passions (Rom. 1:26-28). This means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins. As a result, they can no longer see the error of what they are doing. Without an awareness of their sinfulness, there will be no repentance. Without repentance, there will be no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is no salvation.
    Finally, with their hardened hearts, they seek to promote their lifestyle in society. This is become more real since homosexuals are gaining strength and forcing those with opposing views into confinement and penalty. So much for fairness. It is okay to demand it for themselves, but they balk at allowing it for those who disagree.

    Objections Answered

    1) If you want to say homosexuality is wrong based on the O.T. laws, then you must still uphold all of the laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

    The Old Testament laws are categorized in three groups: the civil, the priestly, and the moral. The civil laws must be understood in the context of a theocracy. Though the Jewish nation in the Old Testament was often headed by a king, it was a theocratic system with the Scriptures as a guide to the nation. Those laws that fall under this category are not applicable today because we are not under a theocracy.
    The priestly laws dealing with the Levitical and Aaronic priesthoods, were representative of the future and true High Priest Jesus who offered Himself as a sacrifice on the cross. Since Jesus fulfilled the priestly laws, they are no longer necessary to be followed and are not now applicable.
    The moral laws, on the other hand, are not abolished. Because the moral laws are based upon the character of God. Since God’s holy character does not change, the moral laws do not change either. Therefore, the moral laws are still in effect.
    In the New Testament we do not see a reestablishment of the civil or priestly laws. But we do see a reestablishment of the moral law. This is why we see New Testament condemnation of homosexuality as a sin but not with the associated death penalty.

    2) That where homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible it is not how we relate to it in the 21st century. It meant something different to the people in Biblical times and has nothing to do with modern day homosexuality.

    The four Scriptures listed above refute this idea. Let’s look at what they say and see if there is some misunderstanding? The first scripture in Leviticus says that it is an abomination for a man to lie with another man as he would lie with a woman. Obviously this is referring to sexual relationship and it is condemned. The second scripture in Leviticus says the same thing. The third scripture in 1 Corinthians outright condemns homosexuality. And finally, Romans clearly describes a homosexual act as being indecent.
    There is no mistake about it, the view of homosexuality in the Old Testament as well as the New, is a very negative one. It is consistently condemned as being sinful.
    Whether or not people of the 21st-century think homosexuality is acceptable or not has absolutely no bearing on whether or not it is sinful before God. God exists and he is the standard of righteousness. Whether or not anyone believes this or believes that morality is a flowing and vague system of development over time, has no bearing on truth. God has condemned homosexuality as a sin in the Bible. It is a sin that needs to be repented of the same as any other sense and the only way to receive this forgiveness is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

  3. john says:

    if you are so clear about scripture condemning homosexuality, then surely you can explain how the essence of homosexuality………..2 people bonded together, whose bond is motivated by nutual love respect trust and attraction for a shared committed life together comes against loving one’s neighbor as one loves himself (the summation of all the laws.) romans.

  4. john says:

    do you not include the laws about slavery in lev as moral laws. the denial of ones rights of freedom for unlimted exploitation of another, which today, the practice is considered evil.

    where as the practices of the preistly and civil would not be considered evil if practiced today.

    “how is “defiling oneself with mankind ” an inditement against homosexuality. you could say this of all those who conducted the holocaust

    at the time of lev their was little understanding relationships, a man only sexually bonded with something that became his property. psychologically, socialogically there could not have been any sexual bonding of one man with another.

    remember this was a time when one was accountable the sins of another.. in some cases when one member of a family was executed for a violation, the entire family was executed as well.

    lev was merely addressing a sexual practice.

    you are transposing an 1800″s psychological term into a 2000 year old text. dont you think that would corrupt the original menaning? and here again a time when men sexually bonded with only that which was property.

    morality is not a vague term at all

    jesus said you will recognize them by their fruit……….fruit being fruit of the spirit.

    jesus says that all the father has told him he has told us. are you saying that god has withheld understandings about homosexuality from jesus.john16

    test everything keep the good.1 thess.

    what is your spirit test for homosexuality being a sin. i say spirit test, because paul says, in christ, we are led by and “serve the spirit and not in the old way to the written code”.

    maybe i would have a better understanding if you would clarify what you mean by “clearly”

  5. Chris says:

    Contrary to the ideal of persons involved in the homosexual lifestyle searching for a lifelong committed relationship, researchers found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with five hundred or more partners and 28 percent had 1000 or more sex partners!10

    Even among those same-sex couples that live in a “committed” relationship with one partner, the research again demonstrates a very modified monogamy. In the book, Male Couple, the authors report that in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting from one to thirty-seven years: “Only seven couples (out of 156) have a totally exclusive sexual relationship, and these men all have been together for less than five years.11 Stated another way, all couples with a relationship lasting more than five years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships.”12

    This is frankly a common practice among many homosexual men, commonly referred to as “date night” in which a couple will go out in search of anonymous sex. This does not produce self discipline, faithfulness, and security in one another’s professed love. It does not lead to safe sex and physical health.

    Beyond the debasing sexual practices there are the devastating and sometimes deadly health risks associated with homosexual acts. AIDS is one disease that has certainly captured the public’s attention and homosexuals make up over 80 percent of the AIDS cases in America.

    However, AIDS is only one of the many diseases linked to promiscuous homosexual behavior. A survey of literature in leading medical journals reveals a host of medical dangers resulting specifically from homosexual sex acts as well as lifestyle.

    Persons involved in homosexual behavior experience a wide range of bacterial infections, including gonorrhea and syphilis. One study in New York City found that “… 64.3 percent of the [homosexual] men reported a history of gonorrhea and/or syphilis.”14 The heterosexual community has also experienced many of these STD’s — however it is on a significantly smaller scale.

    Because of these unhealthy consequences inherent in the homosexual lifestyle, life expectancy is dramatically reduced clearly demonstrating that this lifestyle is both inconsistent with the natural design and devastating to those who choose to embrace it.

    According to a study that appeared in the International Journal of Epidemiology, which examined the homosexual community in , , the study said:

    “In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in in the year 1871.”

    Another unhealthy aspect of the homosexual population is their vulnerability to dependence on drugs and alcohol. One study that surveyed 3,400 homosexuals found, “Substantially higher proportions used alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine than was the case in the general population.”15

    Homosexual activists would argue that this population suffers from a higher rate of drug and alcohol problems because society will not accept their sexual orientation. However, a psychological study of nearly 2,000 lesbians from all 50 states found that most, 57 percent, considered money the biggest worry in their life. The study went on to state, “Only 12 percent of respondents indicated that they were concerned about people knowing that they were lesbian.”16

    Anecdotally speaking it seems implausible that there are vast number of persons involved in this behavior who would honestly claim to “suffer” as a result of society not accepting their lifestyle in the midst of a culture that seems to both exalt and embrace homosexuality. In fact, it appears in the media as if the acceptance of homosexuality is a mark of enlightenment and moral superiority in today’s culture.

    These are but a small representation of the staggering health risks inherent in homosexual acts and prolific in the “gay” lifestyle. Suffice it to say that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates the devastating physiological consequences of violating natural biological design.

    Can we as caring Christians remain silent or even worse; participate in the promotion of a lifestyle that has proven itself so destructive? Endorsing homosexual behavior is not the least bit compassionate anymore than endorsing the promiscuous lifestyle of heterosexuals would be compassionate. We are called to be compassionate to one another but we are not called to celebrate inappropriate behavior that is clearly self destructive and which God calls sinful.

    This truth is not shared as a condemnation of homosexuals but to illustrate the depths of struggle and bondage in which these men and women live.

    This should be of profound concern to any follower of Jesus Christ – because the gospel is for all sinners including homosexual sinners just as much as heterosexual sinners. But as Paul explained to the Corinthian church after discussing various sexual sins, Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 5:11).

    10 A.P. Bell, M.S. Weinberg and S.K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference, University Press, 1981

    11 David McWhirter and Andrew Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1984), pp. 252, 253.

    12 Ibid.

    13 Department of Health and Human Services — Centers for Disease Control. “HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report.” July 1993 Vol. 5 No. 2.

    14 Koblin BA, Morrison JM, PE, Stoneburner RL, Stevens CE. “Mortality Trends in a Cohort of Homosexual Men in New York City, 1978-1988.” American Journal of Epidemiology, 1992; Vol. 136 No. 6 (646-656).

    15 McKirnan DJ and Peterson P. “Alcohol and Drug use Among Homosexual Men and Women: Epidemiology and Population Characteristics.” Addictive Behavior, 1989; Vol. 14, (545-553).

    16 J, Ryan C, Rothblum ED. “National Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for Mental Health Care.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1994; Vol. 62 No. 2 (228-242).

  6. john says:

    surely you know that narth is a pseudo scientific organization. that established their conclusion first, then looked for facts that supported their conclusion.

    im sure if you check on the subjects that were used , fit in the category of sex addicts. you could find sexually addicted heterosexuals that could give you the same numbers.

    you dont seriously think that those numbers represent 12 million in this country and 320 million worldwide.

    do the homosexuals that you know that have come out of the close,t fit with these numbers?

    why dont you try responding to my comments.

  7. Chris says:

    I have been responding to your comments but there are so many and I have limited very time. The bottom line is that you are arguing the Bible does not condemn homosexual acts but you are incorrect. If you are living this lifestyle I urge you to repent and turn from your sinful behavior and ask God’s forgiveness. Then live according to God’s moral law. Chris

  8. john says:

    first of all you have not responded to my comments. if you need more time feel free. im in no hurry.

    im not arguing, im asking you to show me where it clearly says that same sex bonding is a sin. everything you have shown me,you have filled in between the words with negative images you have accumulated over the years. that’s culture and human,yes, but its not scriptural and not of the spirit of christ.

    perhaps it might be easier for you if you responded to my comments paragraph. by paragragh

  9. Chris says:

    John,

    I appreciate the dialogue but have little time. Although it does not take much time to answer your main question. The Bible is very clear. Instead of trying to distort God’s Word you should admit your sins and ask Him for redemption. We are all sinners. We all need His redemption.

    What does the Bible say?

    The Bible, as God’s word, reveals God’s moral character and it shapes the morality of the Christian. There have been those who have used the Bible to support homosexuality, taken verses out of context and read into them interpretations that are not there. Quite simply, the Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin. Let’s look at what it says.

    Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

    Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”

    1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals1, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

    Sex is a creation of God, who pronounced all His creation “good!” Sexuality is not sinful. It is a wonderful part of God’s plan.

    God put a limit on sex, though. Yes, a limit – only one. There is no long dissertation on the do’s and don’ts of sex. The only caveat to the enjoyment of sex is this: sex is meant to be enjoyed in the context of marriage – not outside of it. Unfortunately, these days we must be specific. Sex is to be enjoyed within the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. That’s it! That’s the limit. Genesis 2:24-25 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Hebrew 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” All sexual sins (i.e. promiscuity, adultery, homosexuality, prostitution, etc.) are sins because they do not conform to the limit of sex being a marital activity.

    The men of Sodom and Gomorrah were the first recorded in the Bible to face punishment for their sexual perversion. In Genesis chapter 19, we find two angels that pay a visit to Lot’s home in Sodom. In verse four, we find that “all the men from every part of Sodom” surrounded Lot’s house, and told Lot to bring out his visitors “so that we can have sex with them.” Jude 7 indicates that Sodom and Gomorrah’s punishment was due to their sexual perversion. Their sin was not simply one of violence (rape) but of sexual immorality (homosexuality). As further evidence of the sinful nature of homosexuality, Leviticus 18:22, and 20:13 both describe homosexuality as “an abomination.”

    The Old Testament is not the only place in the Bible that condemns homosexuality. Hebrews 13:4 where Paul exhorted us to honor the marriage bed and keep it pure – In Romans 1:26-27 Paul is very specific, “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; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” In 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul wrote, “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.” The Greek word from which the King James Bible gets the word “effeminate” is malakos, which literally means something soft to the touch, but is used as a negative metaphor to refer to a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man. The “abusers of themselves with mankind” are those men who engage in unnatural sexual relations with other men – homosexuals. That is also how the NASB, the NKJV, and the NIV translate that verse. Also in the New Testament is verse 7 from the book of Jude, defining exactly why Sodom and Gomorrah were punished – homosexuality.

  10. john says:

    lev …already answered.

    cor …….already answered.

    1 cor 6:11And 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.

    were they washed, sanctified,and justified because they changed their behavior or because they were washed by the blood.

    romans…i suggest that next time you begin with 24 because that is why they were given over to shame based lust.

    what was the lie they exchanged for the truth and how did they worship the created.

    “man would leave his parents and cleave to his wife”……….how he processes that from point to point is up for debate. but yes faithfulness is part of the fruit of the spirit. but, the word “only” is not exercised here. there is no indication that one flesh is limited to opposite sex relationships only. and absence of specification does not mean there is no possiblity of the spirit. fidelity is important in all committed relationships.

    john 16 :12″I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come

    jesus is saying there ius more concerning the truth that they could not now bear. but evenyually the holy spirit will tell all.

    could a 19th century man ever accepted mixed marriages, ethnic equality , equality of the sexes, and religious equality.

    could 1st century man ever been able to embrace the evils of slavery.

    jude 1:7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    8In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.

    sexual immortality is about shame ridden lusts that instill self hatred and low self esteem. they come against the fruit of the fruit of the spirit and are the antithesis of life. homosexuality is a celebration of life and is about self affirmation. how can homosexuality possibly = sexual immorality

    all explanations of sodom and gomorra were about shame based lusts that motivated gang rape.

    if the incestial rape of 2samuel does not condemn heterosexuality how can same sex gang rape condemn homosexuality.

    the rest has already been answered.

  11. Chris says:

    John,

    Are you a person who commits homosexual acts?

  12. john says:

    what has that got to with what scripture says about homosexuality?

  13. Chris says:

    It has nothing to do with what scripture says about homosexuality but it can answer why you are trying to distort scripture. Are you a person who commits homosexual acts?

  14. john says:

    how am i distorting scripture. show me specifically where my reasoning comes against christ?

  15. john says:

    in truth it is you who has an unsubstantiated belief. when a homosexual brother in christ (shares the same inheritance) says i am attracted to the same sex and expressing that attraction affirms me, your unloving response is the “bible says”

    it being without love, scripture says it is nothing. you dont fellowship, weighing the spirit of his words, to determine if his words are about love of self, love of neighbor, and love of god.

    yet scripture Ithess says” test everything, keep the good .”

    but you have no spirit test, not even a sociological test, no test thru fellowship, that offers valid witness, sharing your relationship with christ.

    yes your understanding echoes that of 2000 year. they never tested it. instead their understanding said that if homosexuals pursued this attraction, they would be damned to hell. this same understanding influenced families to abandon them, society to reject them, and influenced possibilites for incarceration, assault , and even murder.

    and knowing this, you still refuse to test it……… a 1john1 test,” which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—”

  16. Chris says:

    Why won’t you answer the question? It is a simple question. Are you a person who commits homosexual acts?

  17. john says:

    give me a detailed description of your sex life and maybe i’ll consider it

  18. Chris says:

    Did I ask for a detailed description of your sex life? No. I asked a simple question to understand where you are coming from with your attempts to distort God’s Word to fulfill your agenda – which is your sinful lifestyle. Your silence answered the question.

    Chris

  19. john says:

    where i am coming from is everydAY IN SECONDARY SCHOOL WITNESSING A BULLING INCIDENT OF SOMEONE WHO HAD THE APPEARANCE OF BEING GAY………………………… and feeling relieved that it wasnt me. and no one i mean no one came to their rescue, not a student , not a teacher, not a principal………………..no one.

    where i come from is the ridiculuous over the top numbers , more than any other group,( neaRLY DOUBLE OR TRIPLE) OF GAY TEENAGERS THAT WERE COMMITTING SUICIDE. their decision was influenced by a society that told them the lie, that they were going to hell if they pursued their feelings. who influenced their families to abandon them, because itself(church) rejected them and also provided an environment where they might be assaulted,incarcerated and possibly murdered

    and in spite of the damage this caused there has been not a whit of contrition by anyone including the church.

    where i come is having lived a life of the spirit for the last 20 years, witnessing miraculous healing, and exercisms, and life giving testimonies, my witness of the spirit ………… “that which i have heard, i have seen with my eyes, listened to and my hands have touched” has shown me in my reading of scripture that scripture does not, and has never declared homosexuality a sin.

    i have engaged anyone who would respond(like huus) to show me where my reasoning is flawed. and like you, no one has been able to respond to my points or show me where my reasoning comes against christ, love of neighbor and self, or love of god.

    on the contrary they have responded with reasoning that is against the teachings of christ.

    leaving me with the conclusion that you cannot fellowship with homosexuals in the love of christ, and still stand on a homosexuality being a sin.

    you cannot have a life led by both the spirit and by the law. to do so you are attempting to serve 2 masters. you will love one and despise the other. paul says that the law is for conscious, but that we are to serve and be led by the spirit.

    that is why my still unanswered question is…………….. what is the essence of the spirit of homosexuality that it would come against the fruit of the spirt ,the spirit of christ, love of neighbor and self, loving one another as christ has loved us, and the love of god?

  20. Chris says:

    Hopefully the article below by the Christian Philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig will help you with your questions. God bless

    A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality

    By Dr. William Lane Craig

    One of the most volatile and important issues facing the Church today is the question of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle. The Church cannot duck this question. Events like the brutal murder of Matthew Shepherd, the homosexual student in Wyoming, or the recent spate of scandals involving pedophile priests, which has rocked the Catholic Church, serve to thrust this question to the front and center of American culture.

    Christians who reject the legitimacy of the homosexual lifestyle are routinely denounced a homophobic, intolerant, even hateful. There is thus tremendous intimidation concerning this issue. Some churches have even endorsed the homosexual lifestyle and welcome those who practice it to be their ministers.

    And don’t think this is happening just in liberal churches. One homosexual group called Evangelicals Concerned is a group of people who are to all appearances born-again, Bible-believing Christians, but also practicing homosexuals. They claim that the Bible doesn’t forbid homosexual activity or that its commands aren’t valid for today, but were just a reflection of the culture in which it was written. These people can be orthodox about Jesus and every other area of teaching; but they just think it’s all right to be a practicing homosexual. I recall hearing a New Testament scholar at a professional conference relate the story of his speaking in one of their meetings. “Folks were really concerned about what you were going to say,” his host said after the meeting. “Why?” he asked in surprise. “You know I’m not homophobic!” “Oh, no, that wasn’t the concern,” his host reassured him. “They were afraid you’d be too historical-critical!”

    So who are we to say that these apparently earnest Christians are wrong?

    Now that’s a very good question. Who are we to say that they are wrong? But this question raises an even deeper question, which we’ve got to answer first: do right and wrong really exist? Before you can determine what is right and wrong, you have to know that there really is right and wrong.

    Well, what is the basis for saying that right and wrong exist, that there really is a difference between these two? Traditionally, the answer has been that moral values are based in God. God is by His very nature perfectly holy and good. He is just, loving, patient, merciful, generous—all that is good comes from Him and is a reflection of His character. Now God’s perfectly good nature issues forth in commandments to us, which become our moral duties, for example, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength,” “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” “You shall not murder, steal, or commit adultery.” These things are right or wrong based on God’s commandments, and God’s commandments are not arbitrary but flow necessarily out of His perfect nature.

    This is the Christian understanding of right and wrong. There really is such a being as God, who created the world and made us to know Him. He really has commanded certain things. We really are morally obligated to do certain things (and not to do others). Morality isn’t just in your mind. It’s real. When we fail to keep God’s commandments, we really are morally guilty before Him and need His forgiveness. The problem isn’t just that we feel guilty; we really are guilty, regardless of how we feel. I might not feel guilty because I have an insensitive conscience, one that’s dulled by sin; but if I’ve broken God’s law, I am guilty, regardless of how I feel.

    So, for example, if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in brainwashing or exterminating everyone who disagreed with them, so that everybody would think the Holocaust had been good, it would still have been wrong, because God says it is wrong, regardless of human opinion. Morality is based in God, and so real right and wrong exist and are unaffected by human opinions.

    I’ve emphasized this point because it’s so foreign to what a lot of people in our society think today. Today so many people think of right and wrong, not as matters of fact, but as matters of taste. For example, there isn’t any objective fact that broccoli tastes good. It tastes good to some people, but tastes bad to others. It may taste bad to you, but it tastes good to me! People think it’s the same with moral values. Something may seem wrong to you, but right to me. There isn’t any real right or wrong. It’s just a matter of opinion.

    Now if there is no God, then I think these people are absolutely correct. In the absence of God everything becomes relative. Right and wrong become relative to different cultures and societies. Without God who is to say that one culture’s values are better than another’s? Who’s to say who is right and who is wrong? Where do right and wrong come from? Richard Taylor, who is a prominent American philosopher—and not a Christian by the way—, makes this point very forcefully. Look carefully at what he says:
    The idea of . . . moral obligation is clear enough, provided that reference to some lawmaker higher . . . than those of the state is understood. In other words, our moral obligations can . . . be understood as those that are imposed by God. . . . But what if this higher-than-human lawgiver is no longer taken into account? Does the concept of a moral obligation . . . still make sense?1

    He says the answer is “No.” I quote: “The concept of moral obligation is unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain, but their meaning is gone.”2

    He goes on to say:
    The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, without noticing that in casting God aside they have also abolished the meaningfulness of right and wrong as well. Thus, even educated persons sometimes declare that such things as war, or abortion, or the violation of certain human rights are morally wrong, and they imagine that they have said something true and meaningful. Educated people do not need to be told, however, that questions such as these have never been answered outside of religion.3

    Do you catch what even this non-Christian philosopher is saying? If there is no God, no divine lawgiver, then there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, then there is no real right and wrong. Right and wrong are just human customs and laws that vary from society to society. Even if they all agree, they’re still just human inventions.
    So if God does not exist, right and wrong do not exist either. Anything goes, including homosexuality. So one of the best ways to defend the legitimacy of the homosexual lifestyle is to become an atheist. But the problem is that many defenders of homosexuality don’t want to become atheists. In particular, they do want to affirm that right and wrong exist. So you hear them making moral judgements all the time, for example: “It is wrong to discriminate against homosexuals.” And these moral judgements aren’t meant to be just relative to a culture or society. They would condemn a society like Nazi Germany which threw homosexuals into concentration camps, along with Jews and other undesirables. When Colorado passed an amendment prohibiting special rights for homosexuals, Barbara Streisand called for a boycott of the state, saying, “The moral climate in Colorado has become unacceptable.”

    But we’ve seen that these kinds of value judgements cannot be meaningfully made unless God exists. If God does not exist, anything goes, including discrimination and persecution of homosexuals. But it doesn’t stop there: murder, rape, torture, child abuse—none of these things would be wrong, because without God right and wrong do not exist. Everything is permitted.

    So if we want to be able to make moral judgements about what’s right or wrong, we’ve got to affirm that God exists. But then the same question we started with—“Who are you to say that homosexuality is wrong?”—can be put back to homosexual activists: “Who are you to say that homosexuality is right?” If God exists, then we cannot ignore what He has to say about the subject. The correct answer to the “Who are you . . ?” question is to say, “Me? I’m nobody! God determines what’s right and wrong, and I’m just interested in learning and obeying what He says.”

    So let me recap what we’ve seen so far. 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 go just on the basis of our own opinions. We have to find out what God thinks on the issue.

    So how do you find out what God thinks? The Christian says, you look in the Bible. And the Bible tells us that God forbids homosexual acts. Therefore, they are wrong.

    So basically the reasoning goes like this:

    (1) We are all obligated to do God’s will.

    (2) God’s will is expressed in the Bible.

    (3) The Bible forbids homosexual behavior.

    (4) Therefore, homosexual behavior is against God’s will, or is wrong.

    Now if someone is going to resist this reasoning, he’s got to deny either that (2) God’s will is expressed in the Bible or else that (3) the Bible forbids homosexual behavior.

    Let’s look at point (3) first: Does the Bible in fact forbid homosexual behavior? Now notice how I put that question. I did not ask, does the Bible forbid homosexuality, but rather does the Bible forbid homosexual behavior? 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. Now what the Bible condemns is homosexual actions or behavior, not having a homosexual orientation. The idea of a person’s being a homosexual by orientation is a feature of modern psychology and may have been unknown to people in the ancient world. What they were familiar with was homosexual acts, and this is what the Bible forbids.

    Now this has enormous implications. For one thing, it means that 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 the end. The important thing is not how you got your orientation, but what you do with it. 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 this conclusion doesn’t follow at all. Just because you’re genetically disposed to some behavior doesn’t mean that behavior is morally right. To give an example, some researchers suspect there may be a gene which predisposes some people to alcoholism. Does that mean that it’s all right for someone with such predisposition to go ahead and drink to his heart’s content and become an alcoholic? Obviously not! If anything, it ought to alert him to abstain from alcohol so as to prevent this from happening. Now the sober truth of the matter is that we don’t fully understand the roles of heredity and environment in producing homosexuality. But that 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.

    If any case, whether homosexuality results from genetics or upbringing, 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. And the Bible doesn’t condemn a person because he has a homosexual orientation. What it condemns is homosexual acts. It is perfectly possible to be a homosexual and be a born-again, Spirit-filled Christian.

    Just as an alcoholic who is dry will still stand up at an AA meeting and say, “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.” And I hope we’d have the courage and love to welcome him or her as a brother or sister in Christ.

    So, once more, the question is: Does the Bible forbid homosexual behavior? Well, I’ve already said that it does. The Bible is so realistic! You might not expect it to mention a topic like homosexual behavior, but in fact there are six places in the Bible—three in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament—where this issue is directly addressed—not to mention all the passages dealing with marriage and sexuality which have implications for this issue. In all six of these passages homosexual acts are unequivocally condemned.

    In Leviticus 18.22 it says that it is an abomination for a man to lie with another man as with a woman. In Lev. 20.13 the death penalty is prescribed in Israel for such an act, along with adultery, incest, and bestiality. Now 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, so, they say, we don’t have to obey the prohibitions of homosexual actions. But 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. Homosexual behavior is in God’s sight a serious sin. The third place where homosexual acts are mentioned in the Old Testament is the horrifying story in Genesis 19 of the attempted gang rape of Lot’s visitors by the men of Sodom, from which our word sodomy derives. God destroyed the city of Sodom because of their wickedness.

    Now if this weren’t enough, the New Testament also forbids homosexual behavior. In I Cor. 6.9-10 Paul writes, “ 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. (As I said, the Bible is very realistic!) The second of these two words is also listed in I Tim. 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. Here Paul talks about how people have turned away from the Creator God and begun to worship instead false gods of their own making. He says,

    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 such an interpretation is obviously wrong, since Paul says in verses 24 and 27 that these homosexual acts by men were committed “with one another” and in verse 26 he speaks of lesbian homosexual acts as well. Other scholars have said Paul is only condemning heterosexuals who engage in homosexual acts, not homosexuals who do. But this interpretation is contrived and anachronistic. We’ve already said 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 as well as what Paul says in I Cor. 6.9-10 and I Tim. 1.10, it is clear that Paul is here 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.

    So the Bible is very forthright and clear when it comes to homosexual behavior. It is contrary to God’s design and 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 this suggestion completely misunderstands God’s intention for marriage. In the creation story in Genesis, it tells of how 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” (Eph. 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. When we think about this, we can see what a terrible sacrilege, what a mockery of God’s plan, a homosexual union is. It flies in the face of God’s intention for humanity from the moment of creation.

    The above also shows how silly it is when some homosexual advocates say, “Jesus never condemned homosexual behavior, so why should we?” Jesus did not specifically mention lots of things which we know to be wrong, like bestiality or torture, but that doesn’t mean he approved of them. 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.

    To recap, then, 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.

    But suppose someone denies point (2) that God’s will is expressed in the Bible. Suppose he says that the 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 men should not have long hair. But most of us would say that while these commands do have a timelessly valid core—like, say, the injuction to dress modestly—that core principle may be differently expressed in different cultures. In the same way, some people are saying that the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexual behavior are no longer valid for our day and age.

    But I think this objection represents a serious misunderstanding. There’s no evidence that Paul’s commands concerning homosexual acts are culturally relative. 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., and yet Paul stood up against the culture and opposed it. More importantly, we’ve 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.

    Well, suppose someone goes the whole way and says, “I believe in God, but not the God of the Bible. So I don’t believe the Bible expresses God’s will.” What do you say to such a person?

    It seems to me that there are two ways to respond. First, you could try to show that God has revealed Himself in the Bible. This is the task of Christian Apologetics. You could talk about the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus or fulfilled prophecy. Scripture actually commands us as believers to have a such defense ready to share with anyone who should ask us about why we believe as we do (I Pet.3.15).

    Or secondly, you could try to show that homosexual behavior is wrong by appealing to generally accepted moral truths which even people who don’t believe in the Bible accept. While this approach is more difficult, nevertheless I think that it is crucial if we as Christians are to have an impact on our contemporary culture. We are living in a society which is more and more secular, more and more post-Christian. We can’t just appeal to the Bible if we’re going to influence lawmakers or public schools or other institutions because most people don’t believe in the Bible anymore. We need to give reasons which have a broader appeal.

    For example, I think many people would agree with the principle that it’s wrong to engage in self-destructive behavior. For such behavior destroys a human being who is inherently valuable. Thus, many people, I think, would say that it is wrong to become an alcoholic or a chain-smoker. They would say that it’s good to eat right and stay fit. Moreover, I think almost everybody would agree with the principle that it’s wrong to engage in behavior that harms another person. For example, we restrict smoking to certain areas or ban it altogether so other people won’t have to inhale second-hand smoke, and 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.

    But it’s not hard to show that homosexual behavior is one of the most self-destructive and harmful behaviors a person could engage in. This fact is not widely publicized. Hollywood and the media are relentlessly bent on putting a happy face on homosexuality, whereas in fact 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 his remarkable book Straight and Narrow?4

    To begin with, there is an almost compulsive promiscuity associated with homosexual behavior. 75% of homosexual men have more than 100 sexual partners during their lifetime. More than half of these partners are strangers. Only 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women ever have relationships lasting more than three years. Nobody knows the reason for this strange, obsessive promiscuity. It may be that homosexuals are trying to satisfy a deep psychological need by sexual encounters, and it just is not fulfilling. Male homosexuals average over 20 partners a year. 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.

    Associated with this compulsive promiscuity is widespread drug use by homosexuals to heighten their sexual experiences. Homosexuals in general are three times as likely to be problem drinkers as the general population. Studies show that 47% of male homosexuals have a history of alcohol abuse and 51% have a history of drug abuse. There is a direct correlation between the number of partners and the amount of drugs consumed.

    Moreover, according to Schmidt, “There is overwhelming evidence that certain mental disorders occur with much higher frequency among homosexuals.” For example, 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression. That compares with only 3% for men in general. Similarly 37% of female homosexuals have a history of depression. This leads in turn to heightened suicide rates. Homosexuals are three times as likely to contemplate suicide as the general population. In fact homosexual men have an attempted suicide rate six times 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. Whatever the causes of these disorders, the fact remains that anyone contemplating a homosexual lifestyle should have no illusions about what he is getting into.

    Another well-kept secret is how physically dangerous 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 chronic incontinence and diarrhea.

    In addition to these physical problems, sexually transmitted diseases are rampant among the homosexual population. 75% of homosexual men carry one or more sexually transmitted diseases, wholly apart from AIDS. These include all sorts of non-viral infections like gonorrhea, syphilis, bacterial infections, and parasites. Also common among homosexuals are viral infections like herpes and hepatitis B (which afflicts 65% of homosexual men), both of which are incurable, as well as hepatitis A and anal warts, which afflict 40% of homosexual men. And I haven’t even included AIDS. Perhaps the most shocking and frightening statistic is that, leaving aside those who die from AIDS, the life expectancy for a homosexual male is about 45 years of age. That compares to a life expectancy of around 70 for men in general. If you include those who die of AIDS, which now infects 30% of homosexual men, the life expectancy drops to 39 years of age.

    So I think a very good case can be made out on the basis of generally accepted moral principles that homosexual behavior is wrong. It is horribly self-destructive and injurious to another person. Thus, wholly apart from the Bible’s prohibition, there are sound, sensible reasons to regard homosexaul activity as wrong.

    Now this has very important implications for public policy concerning homosexual behavior. For public laws and policies are based on such generally accepted moral principles. That’s why, for example, we have laws regulating the sale of alcohol in various ways or laws prohibiting gambling or regulations which restrict smoking. These restrictions on individual freedom are imposed for the general good. In the same way, some states, like our home state of Georgia, have laws prohibiting sodomy, and the Supreme Court has ruled that such laws are constitutional. Though such a law is undoubtedly unenforceable, it is legal in light of the health risks posed by such behavior.

    Now in other cases, enforceable laws governing homosexuality might be proposed, and Christians will have to think hard about these on an individual basis. For example, a Christian might not see any good reason why equal opportunity in buying or renting housing should not be guaranteed to persons who are homosexuals. But I could well imagine that a Christian might oppose a bill guaranteeing equal employment opportunities for homosexuals. For some jobs might be inappropriate for such persons. For example, would you want a practicing lesbian to be your daughter’s physical education teacher at school? Would you want your son’s coach to be a homosexual, who would be in the locker room with the boys? I, for one, wouldn’t support a law which could force public schools to hire such individuals.

    Or again, should health classes in public schools teach that homosexuality is a legitimate lifestyle, or should students be given reading like Heather has Two Mommies? Should homosexual unions be recognized as being on a legal par with heterosexual marriages? Should homosexuals be allowed to adopt children? In all these cases, one might argue for restrictions on homosexual liberties on the basis of the general public good and health. This is not a matter of imposing one’s personal values on others, since it is based on the same general moral principles that are used, for example, to ban drug use or pass gun laws. Liberty does not mean the license to engage in actions that harm other people.

    To sum up, we’ve seen, first, that right and wrong are real because they are based in God. So if we want to find out what is right or wrong, we should look at what God says about it. Second, we saw that the Bible consistently and clearly forbids homosexual acts, just as it does all sexual acts outside marriage. Third, we saw that the Bible’s prohibition of such behavior can’t be explained away as just the reflection of the time and culture in which it was written because it is grounded in God’s divine plan for man-woman marriage. Moreover, even apart from the Bible, there are generally accepted moral principles which imply that homosexual behavior is wrong.

    Now what practical application does all this have for us as individuals?

    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 this is difficult, but really what God is asking you to do is pretty much the same thing that he requires of all single people. That means not only keeping your body pure, but especially your mind. Just as heterosexual men should avoid pornography and fantasizing, you, too, need to keep your thought-life clean. Resist the temptation to rationalize sin by saying, “God made me this way.” God has made it very clear that He does not want you to indulge your desires, but to honor Him by keeping your mind and body pure. Finally, seek professional Christian counseling. With time and effort, you can come to enjoy normal, heterosexual relations with your spouse. There is hope.

    Second, for those of us who are heterosexual, we need to remember that being homosexual is as such no sin. Most homosexuals did not choose such an orientation and would like to change it if they could. We need to accept and lovingly support brothers and sisters who are struggling with this problem. And in general, 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, then 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” (Mt. 10.15; 11.42).

    Endnotes

    1 Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1985), pp. 83-4.

    2 Ibid.

    3 Ibid., pp. 2-3.

    4 Thomas Schmidt, Straight and Narrow? (Downer’s Gove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1995).

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