(1/25) In June last year, Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, signed a law forbidding the promotion of "gay propaganda" among minors that could be interpreted to ban any public event in support of gay rights. Activists argue that the law also condones homophobia and violence against gay people.
Russia is hosting this year’s Winter Olympic Games. Some countries including our own have decided to snub Mr. Putin for his position, including our own. President Obama in announcing our delegation to the games included no high-level politicians, something that has not happened in almost two decades. At the opening ceremony, the Americans will be led
by University of California President Janet Napolitano, and at the closing, by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. And in a clear reference to the Kremlin's anti-gay campaign, Obama included openly gay athletes: Billie Jean King, Brian Boitano (who came out shortly after the delegation was announced), and Caitlin Cahow, an ice hockey Olympian. Obama issued no comments
about his choice of delegates.
Our President is proud of our country’s growing Gay Rights position and apparently believes that every country should adopt the same.
Wikipedia states, "Same –sex marriages are legally recognized in some jurisdictions within the United States and by the federal government. As of January 2014, seventeen states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont,
and Washington), as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized same-sex marriage, although the Illinois law will not become effective until June 1, 2014. Eight Native American tribal jurisdictions issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Oregon recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states. Ohio recognizes out-of-state marriages for death certificate
purposes only. Missouri recognizes legal out-of-state same-sex marriages for joint tax returns purposes only. Utah recognizes same-sex marriages performed while they were legal in the state for tax purposes only."
The growing sentiments in our country appear to be that anyone who does not support gay-rights is a, "Homophobe." Webster defines Homophobia as: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.
The second great lie, I want to address is that, Same - sex relationships are normal and should be accepted as good. TV shows encourage the acceptance of homosexuality. Comedies are based on homosexuality. Celebrities embrace homosexuality. Government leaders see it as a civil rights movement. In addressing this, I want to go beyond homosexuality to
that of homosexual marriages. The reason is simple. Any sexual relationship outside of the bond of marriage is wrong. Pre-marital, extra-marital, promiscuous, one night, or any sexual intercourse outside of marriage is forbidden regardless of whether it is Homosexual or heterosexual.
I. The Lies
We will deal more with that next week. But the argument is that homosexuals can have a committed relationship with someone of the same gender and it is good; it is normal; and it can be Biblical and Godly. I believe the lies include things like, God made homosexuals with a same sex gender preference; The Bible should be interpreted culturally; the
same-sex acts that are forbidden have to do with idolatry and not to committed relationships. Love takes precedence over law and the issue of circumcision in Acts 15 is used as proof of that.
II. The Texts
There are 5-6 primary texts that directly speak to homosexuality and then others that speak of God’s intent in our sexuality. I want to look at each one with you even if we have to continue this next week. Please open your Bibles.
A. Genesis 18:16-21; 19:1-9 – Many want to say that the problem here was not homosexuality but in-hospitality. But consider these texts
1. Isa. 1:9-18, The residents of Sodom and Gomorrah were religious but extremely unholy.
2. Jeremiah 23:14, "Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: They commit adultery and walk in lies; They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one turns back from his wickedness.
All of them are like Sodom to Me, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah. Jeremiah makes it clear that inappropriate sexual behavior and dishonesty and approval of un-holiness were among the sins of Sodom. To them evil was called good.
3. Ezekiel 16:49, "As I live," says the Lord God, "neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were
haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit." Proud, arrogant, no compassion for the poor, lazy, and committing abominations. But it does not say exactly what those abominations were.
4. Jude 7, "…as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Where do we get the idea of homosexuality as their sin? The answer is that in the context of Genesis 19:4-5,
"Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally." Men from all over the city demanded to have the men (angels, or God incarnate), to be handed
over them so they could know them. It is argued, that the men just want to make sure they were not spies, and wanted to show hospitality. But the word know, is the word that is translated several times as to know sexually, and the fact that Lot offers his daughters, in their stead, implies that the desire of the men was homosexual gang rape. It is from this understanding that
we get the word Sodomy and have substituted sodomite for male homosexuals. Though Homosexuality was not the only sin as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel show us, it was a major abomination that Ezekiel and Jude refer to.
B. The Leviticus Texts
There are two places in the book of Leviticus that speak about Homosexuality.
1. Lev. 18:22-24, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out
2. Lev. 20:13, "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
Notice two things, first, this practice was prevalent among the Canaan people and was part of the reason God was bringing judgment and giving their land to Israel. Secondly, homosexuality was a capital offense. Some will argue that this was a prohibition against idol worship practices that included male and female prostitutes. But that is forcefully
reading into the text what is not there. These are texts establishing sexual boundaries. If we took the time to examine the whole texts we would see, it prohibits sex with any family member except a spouse and it forbids any sexual union with an animal. This practice accepted and encouraged among the people of the Palestinian area at the time of Moses was detestable to God
and part of the reason He ordered the land completely cleansed of all its inhabitants.
C. Romans 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
It is argued that since Paul says it is unnatural, he is not talking about all homosexuals since it is very natural for some. A second argument is that Paul is speaking about promiscuous sex and not committed relationships. Again this is forcing a pretext upon the text. It is not natural, despite one’s orientation. As we will return to in a moment.
Homosexual sex is totally against nature. A woman is not designed to receive a woman, nor is a man designed to receive a man sexually. Any sexual act between same genders is contrary to the way we are designed, even if one believes in evolution, our bodies were not designed to receive sexually someone of the same gender. The plumbing doesn’t fit. The entire text implies that
people know it is wrong, and they know it is deserving of judgment but still continue to do and to promote it.
D. Paul then mentions it in two more texts
1. 1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
2. 1 Tim. 1:9-10, "knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other
thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,"
The word for homosexual in 1 Cor. 6:9 refers to one who plays the passive role in a homosexual relationship, a male prostitute. The word for sodomite in both 1 Cor. and 1 Timothy refers to one who is aggressive in a homosexual relationship, a man who takes a man to bed. Taken all together, the Bible writers spoke of homosexuality as against natural; a
characteristic of nations who did not know God; a deliberate rebellion against God; and a detestable sin that deserves God’s judgment.
III. The Creative Design of Humanity and Marriage-Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25
It’s important that we stop and look at God’s creative design and His intent for marriage. While we know from the lives of Jesus and Paul, that singleness can be a calling and can be good, people were for the most part designed for community. While God created all animals as male and female, man was created from the dust of the earth and all of
maleness and femaleness were somehow present in him. But there was no one that corresponded to his uniqueness as the image bearer of God. So, God said that this part of His creation was not good. Man needed someone to correspond to Him. He needed a suitable helper. He put Adam to sleep and extracted part of him and created someone who would perfectly correspond to him- A
woman. God didn’t speak her into existence. Neither did God, take dust and form her like He did Adam, but took her out of Adam and then gave her to Adam as a proud father at a wedding. Adam’s response was one of wonderment and awe. A Eureka. Wow! This is it! This is what was missing.
Eve was mentally, emotionally, and physically different, intentionally designed to be sexually intimate with her husband. I would like to quote John Stott about the sexual union called one flesh, "We may be certain that this is deliberate, not accidental. It teaches that heterosexual intercourse in marriage is more than a union, it is a kind of
reunion….it is the union of two persons who originally were one, were then separated from each other and now in the sexual encounter of marriage come together again.
Heterosexual intercourse is much more than the union of bodies; it is a blending of complimentary personalities through which the rich created oneness of human beings is experienced again. The complementarity of male and female sexual organs is only a symbol at the physical level of a much deeper spiritual complementarity," (P. 456, Issues Facing
Christians Today, Zondervan, 2006). Look at verses 24-25. God designed:
A Man – Here, Man is not symbolic of the whole human race but of the male members of humanity,
Is To Leave Parents – symbolic of a public ceremony
And Cleave in a covenant relationship – (marriage)
To a Wife, a woman who compliments him in a heterosexual union
And To consummate or complete that covenant by becoming one flesh in a heterosexual marriage.
The end result of two people in a loving and covenant marriage is the reproduction of themselves with children from that heterosexual sexual union.
No matter how loving and sincere homosexuals may be, they cannot fit the established order and design of humanity and marriage. It is that simple. This is the only union that the Bible says God looks at with approval (Prov. 5:15-21). When our Lord Jesus was questioned about divorce in Matt. 19:4-6, this is what He said, "And He answered and said to
them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
Nowhere is there an exception clause for two people of the same gender who are attracted to each other or would prefer a same sex relationship.
IV. The Arguments –
There are many who want to say that same sex attraction is something someone is born with, but there is absolutely no evidence to support that. "God made me gay so that must be okay." They also say things like, "What may seem abnormal to you is very normal to me." Or, "homosexual couples are capable of having a loving and committed relationship. Love
is the most important thing."
Why do some people seem to be naturally homosexual in their mannerisms, desires, and speech? I honestly don’t know.
Why do people turn to same sex relationships? I also can’t say. There are those who believe that some is outright rebellion. Some, it is postulated, results from some un-fulfillment from the same sex parent during childhood. The person then grows to seek that fulfillment from someone of the same sex during adulthood. I heard a testimony from a
homosexual man that said his father had a sporting goods store, and because he never had an interests in sports, he was always chided by his father. "When are you going to hunt, fish, or throw a ball like a man? Never affirmed by his dad, he found self-esteem from another man who befriended him and then entered a sexual relationship with. Is the story the same for all? Not at
all. But I am not a psychologist, I am a preacher.
V. The Christ- Followers Response
Again, I encourage you to follow the suggestions of 2 Tim. 2:19-26, that we spoke of two weeks ago as you speak the truth in love and remember that the homosexual is not your enemy, he or she is a victim of the enemy.
A. Teach these scripture passages to your children and grandchildren, and know them well enough to share with those who want to know. They will not hear these thing in school or on TV.
B. We must offer faith. Faith has two components
1. Trust. We must show them that though we don’t always understand why we do what we do, God’s way is the best way to live and love. Even if the desires never go away, God is able to give anyone the grace sufficient to handle any temptation or desire.
2. Obedience. Jesus said, if we love Him we will keep His commandments. It’s that simple. Whether one is homosexual or heterosexual, the mastery of his or her body is his or her responsibility. The Holy Spirit is able to gift us with self-control, but we must tell the body what to do, and not follow the desire. Jesus said, that to follow Him one had
to, deny self, take up the cross and follow Him (Matt. 16:24). If we will trust and obey God (Prov. 3:5-6) God will enable us to control our emotions and bodies.
C. We Must Offer Hope. Perhaps a homosexual who wants to follow the truth will change their orientation, but they may not. They must look ahead in their struggle to Romans 8:18-25, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the
creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs
together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it
with perseverance. There is coming a day when our struggle will end and all will be right and perfect in God’s presence if we repent and choose to follow Christ. We must stay focused on the finish line.
D. We must offer the Love of Jesus Christ
To those who are homosexual, we must offer friendship. Not a sexual friendship, but same sex friendship. The kind of friendship that is willing to listen, sympathize, and be able to speak honestly with. Again, I remind you that Jesus was a friend of sinners. He did not encourage, endorse, or approve of any sin, but Sinners felt comfortable with Him.
Homosexuals need to know that the Church cares. But if all they see, hear or feel from us is our anger, why would they ever want to know our Jesus. This is one reason why homosexuals have formed their own churches, though not the only reason. Someone has said that many homosexuals feel that the Bible is for them what Mein Kampf was to the Jew of Europe in the last century.
"It is the theory and Practice of Homo Holocaust."
Just a caveat here. If there is open and flagrant homosexuality among church members, we have the responsibility to discipline with grace and gentleness, but the church must be known as a people practice holiness while they demonstrate grace (see 1 Cor.5).
Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost, and die for all sinners, no exceptions. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? "Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will
inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God"(1 Cor. 6:9-10). Just as homosexuals were saved in Corinth, they can and will be saved today, as we share the truth with grace.
May God bless you as you speak the truth in love.
Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman