What are God’s standards concerning homosexuality?
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”Leviticus 18:22
As addressed in the previous blog, it is important for us to look at context as we read God’s Word. Let’s not just jump onto the train of following rules or simply reading Scripture for an understanding of how things were. Instead let’s look at the differences/purposes behind these rules & regulations to determine whether or not they apply to us today. These following questions can be helpful to us:
- Who instituted the rule?
- The purpose behind the rule
- Who the rule was purposed for?
- And were there any conditions to the rule? (time restraints/etc)
Let’s step back from our current topic and use this on something less controversial to start with.
New Moons and Festivals – There are Jewish feasts that many of us don’t practice any more. Why? Let’s answer our four questions.
- God instituted the feasts
- There were multiple purposes behind the feasts. Most of the purposes were to celebrate and remember what God had done in the past (ie Passover, Sabbath)
- These feasts were for the Jewish people.
- The Sabbath and some of the feasts were a shadow of Christ, who was to come. When Jesus came the legalism of the Sabbath was no longer in affect, because the real deal was there. Most Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday or Saturday, not because we have to, but because it is a reminder of Jesus becoming the Sabbath for us. (See Hebrews 4)
“Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17
Now let’s hop back to our beloved subject of homosexuality and ask the same questions.
- Who instituted the rule against homosexuality? God is the one saying you should not lie with a male as you would a woman.
- The purpose behind the rule. God says it is dishonorable. It goes against God’s order (Please refer to Why Should I Care?).
“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. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” Romans 1:26-28
3. Who the rule was purposed for? Men who practice homosexuality. That is not a people group, it is a broad scope including all men (humans).
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: 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. And such were some of you. 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.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Can we focus on the “and such were some of you”? If Jesus washed and sanctified the drunkards, greedy, idolaters, should we not conclude that He is calling us out of those choices/ ways of life? Is not homosexuality in this verse as well?
You may say “I was born gay, I can’t help that”. What about someone who was born a lady’s man and is attracted to multiple women? Is it then ok for him to engage in multiple sexual relations with whomever he pleases because he “can’t help” that he’s attracted to multiple women? What about people who were born with anger issues? Is it then ok for them to practice bursts of outrage? No, instead we encourage them to learn how to control that anger and give healthy outlets for it. I have no idea if homosexuality is something you are born with. But let’s say for sake of argument that it is. Why do we discriminate between what we are born with emotionally and sexually? If we accept any sexual orientation people claim to be born with and encourage them to do whatever makes them feel good, why don’t we accept the emotional orientation of anger, depression, chronic lying… the list goes on. Should everyone be left to their own devices based on personal desires? What a scary world that will be.
God calls us to order. He calls us out of what is against His will. He calls us out of our ways and into His ways.
4. “Were there any conditions to the rule (time restraints/etc)?”Homosexuality is grouped in with the previous acts God calls unrighteousness. If we assume homosexuality being wrong is a time sensitive (only Bible times) “rule”, then what are we to assume of God’s view on drunkenness, the greedy, swindlers? Would they not also be in the same time sensitive group? However, I do not see any verse that specifies a time restraint.
“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
“Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” 1 Timothy 1:3 -11
Men who practice homosexuality. We all are sinners and born in sin. I have the issue of pride and wanting my own way. God has called me out of that. He desires for me as a prideful person to lay that aside and be humble, put others first, love them. I as a prideful person can choose with the help of God not to practice pride. In the same way, God uses the law to instruct/command us to not practice homosexuality.
“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Galatians 3:24-25
Should we who are called out of something go back to it and say it is good?
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:1-2
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” 1 Peter 2:16
And so we come to the final statement we must address if we accept that the Bible evolves to become more loving. Let us look back at the statement that started these last two blogs:
“…we don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. Your parents are Christians who believe that the Bible is inspired by God, just like people are. And since the Bible is a living thing, it is in its very nature to evolve toward becoming more loving.”
What is sin? Sin is anything that rejects God’s way. A person may say they don’t believe homosexuality is a sin. Anyone can believe what they want to believe. I can believe with all my heart the sky is green. But the question is, do I believe what is true?
Don’t ask yourself, ‘what does society say?’ For societies’ whims change like my nieces’ diapers — often. We must look to Someone higher than ourselves for our standard of order, or we will be tossed back and forth like waves in the sea. Instead of creating answers for ourselves, let us ask these questions: What does God have to say about it?’ What did He set in place? What were His intentions? Support your answers with God’s Word and not your own opinion.
If after hearing this whole argument you are still leaning towards the belief that the Bible evolves, I would like to leave you with these questions. If the Bible evolves to become more loving, then wouldn’t you also have to accept the statement that sin has evolved to become more loving? If the Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination and we believe that this no longer applies to us in our day in age, and homosexuality is not part of a completed picture, then homosexuality has evolved to become love instead of abominable. Can sin evolve to become love? If the answer is yes, what sin is next on the list to evolve?