The Church and Gays

The below note was written to an individual that heard me refer to homosexuality as a sin.  When I was in college it seemed Rock music was a water shed of debate in families and the church.  Today the debate over homosexuality is causing a lot of division and hatred.   I wish we could all see our sin in this issue.

Hey ________,

Thanks for asking questions that came to mind during the sermon.  It helps to clarify perspectives and makes us both dig into God’s good word!   The most clear and concise descriptions of God’s thoughts concerning homosexuality can be found in the below Scriptures.

I think one of the most important things for Christians to remember is that God loves the sinner and hates the sin!  I think another very important point to remember is that people (including me) tend to read into Scripture what they want to find.  Many people that know somebody which is struggling with homosexuality want to believe that it isn’t that bad of a sin. They then look for Scriptures to minimize it is as a sin. On the other hand people that grew up in the church and doesn’t have someone close to them that has decided they are gay, tend to point out Scriptures that point out the Old Testament view of homosexuality.

God’s goal is to deliver us from Satan’s deceptions, our slavery to sin, and eternal condemnation resulting from our choices to rebel against His will.  (John 10:10 “The thief (the devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” and  1 John 3:8-9 “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”)

Always remember that God thinks of homosexuality the same as he thinks of every sin. The consequences (STD’s, role confusion for children, etc.)  may be different from other sins, but God’s perspective is the same for all sin.  It separates us from Him and enslaves us to self-destructive behaviors.

Another thing to keep in mind also is that when reading the below passages in the Old Testament texts they are written from the perspective of people needing to learn right from wrong and God’s desire to create a group of people that love good and hate evil.   This means sometimes the Old Testament talks about judging and punishing people who commit sin, while the New Testament tends to focus on winning people to Christ so that they might be saved from their sin. Or in other words the Old Testament tends to describe painful ways to handle people who sin in effort to keep them from committing those sins.   On the other hand the New Testament tends to focus on God’s desire to win people to himself (heaven) and away from sin (hell).  The New Testament emphasizes that the homosexual (people who see their identity defined by the sin of sexual relations with individuals of the same sex.) will not go to heaven (1 Cor. 6:9).  But the Bible does not say that people who struggle with the sin of homosexuality are hated by God (see Ezekiel 18:23).

Lev. 18 and John 8:3-11 are good examples of the different reactions of the Old Testament vs. the New Testament  the sin of adultery.  In the Old Testament God said the guilty needed to be executed.  In the New Testament Jesus said “go and sin no more.”   The context of John 8 demonstrates that the deeper issue that Jesus was dealing with was the Teachers of the Law were trying to trap Jesus.  But that is another discussion. Take note though of the harsh, clear line of right and wrong in the Old Testament and the desire for Jesus to have the woman walk away from sin and be freed from its destructive consequences.

The key difference is whether a person recognizes homosexuality as a sin and fights through God’s grace to avoid it. Or if a person decides homosexuality is not a sin and chooses to embrace it as an alternative lifestyle.   An unbiased study of Scripture will lead a person to the former view, not the later.

Some people say homosexuality is OK, some people say homosexuality is a sin.  THE QUESTION GOD WANTS US TO ASK IS – “WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?”

An interesting set of assumptions that lead to confusion on this issue are these:

  1. People who want homosexuality to be OK with God assume that the sin of “homosexuality” is not included in the New Testament classification of “sexual immorality.”  Therefore, they say a condemnation of homosexuality is not in the New Testament.
  2. People who view homosexuality as a sin view the New Testament words “sexual immorality” as a grouping of several sexual sins including homosexuality.

Which is God’s view?  Read Romans 1:26-27 &  1 Cor. 6:9 and give me your opinion.  Does God mean for us to view men having sexual relations with men and women having sexual relations with women as “sexual immorality”?

Bottom line to remember in this discussion: God loves the sinner and hates the sin.  The Christian’s job is to learn, see, and LOVINGLY show others the deception that allows a person to become enslaved to the self destructive behaviors such as homosexuality.

OLD TESTAMENT

GENESIS 2:21-25 & GENESIS 19:1-14

LEVITICUS 18:22 AND 20:13

NEW TESTAMENT

ROMANS 1:26-27

1 CORINTHIANS 6:9 AND 1 TIMOTHY 1:10

JUDE 7

NOTICE WHAT THE BELOW VERSES SAY ABOUT “SEXUAL IMMORALITY.”  I AM CONVINCED BY OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES COMBINED THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS JUST ONE FORM OF “SEXUAL IMMORALITY” AND IT IS A DESTRUCTIVE SINFUL LIFESTYLE.

1 Corinthians 5:10

9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

 

Galatians 5:19-21

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 Ephesians 5:4-5

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

1 Timothy 1:9

8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that lawis made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers — and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Hebrews 12:14-16

14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

Hebrews 13:4

4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

Revelation 21:8

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Revelation 22:15

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Let me know if you have more questions,

Doug

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