Gender, Marriage, and Sexuality

Homosexuality is the indulgence of sexual desire, or romantic love, for persons of the same gender. It is strongly condemned in the Bible in both the Old and the New Testaments, (e.g. Lev. 18:22 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Homosexuality is not a devotion to, admiration for, friendship with, or preference for the company of persons of the same gender, regardless of how strong or devoted it may be. Neither, on the other hand, is homosexuality definable as a discomfort with, or distaste for, the company of persons of the opposite gender. Homosexuality specifically concerns yielding one's imagination, speech, or will to erotic and romantic passions toward people of the same sex.

Multimedia

Passages related to Homosexuality

Genesis 19 (cf. 2 Peter 2:7 and Jude 7)

Leviticus 18:22

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

Matthew 19:3-12

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Romans 1:26-27

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 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.

Denny Burk writes,

"For Paul, nature (????? word group) is not a reference to one’s own private sexual orientation. Nature refers to the creational purposes of God in the primeval event of making male and female. To depart from nature is to depart from the heterosexual norm established in Gen 1–2. Scroggs’s pederasty proposal fails because there is not one scintilla of evidence in the text that Paul is talking about relationships between men and boys. Paul speaks of ??????? ?? ??????? (lit., males in males) in Rom 1:27 without saying anything about young boys. Paul condemns same-sex relations between females in verse 26, but there is no evidence from antiquity that women and young girls are in view. Thus, in both verses 26 and 27, Paul is prohibiting same-sex relations in general... The traditional understanding still holds in many if not most of the major critical commentaries."  Denny Burk, " Why Evangelicals Should Ignore Brian McLaren: How the New Testament Requires Evangelicals to Render a Judgment on the Moral Status of Homosexuality."  Themelios, volume 35, issue 2, July 2010.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

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.

1 Timothy 1:10

...the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine

Al Mohler on homosexuality

In a Time Magazinearticle, An Evangelical's Concession on Gays, by Michael Lindenberger ( Time Magazine), Albert Mohleris reported to have argued that genetic inclination toward any behavior does notimply that such a behavior is "normal" in an ethical sense. In contrast, some argue that, should a genetic cause be found this would decisively show homosexuality to be an aspect of the person's God-given identity and therefore not a sin; but this is not Mohler's view. What is novel in Mohler's comments is his controversial, implied acceptance as a scientifically settled fact that same-sex attraction is genetically determined, in his remark: "We sin against homosexuals by insisting that sexual temptation and attraction are predominately chosen". But by separating the issue of genetics from the Bible's own concern, Mohler is following the established Biblical understanding of how genetic considerations are included in the issue of how men ought to conduct themselves in the war between the lusts of the body and the Spirit of God. Romans 7 vividly describes inclinations toward what God condemns, which work like an innate and irresistible law within the body, so that no one is able to do what is right or to resist doing wrong simply by approving what is right and condemning what is wrong.

Mohler also writes,

We cannot lie to persons about the sinfulness of their sin, nor comfort them with falsehood about their moral accountability before God. The rush of the liberal churches and denominations to normalize homosexuality is now a hallmark of their disobedience to the Bible. But this is not the end of the matter, and we know it. When gay activists accuse conservative Christians of homophobia, they are wrong. Our concern about the sinfulness of homosexuality is not rooted in fear, but in faithfulness to the Bible — and faithfulness means telling the truth. Yet, when gay activists accuse conservative Christians of homophobia, they are also right. Much of our response to homosexuality is rooted in ignorance and fear. We speak of homosexuals as a particular class of especially depraved sinners and we lie about how homosexuals experience their own struggle. Far too many evangelical pastors talk about sexual orientation with a crude dismissal or with glib assurances that gay persons simply choose to be gay. While most evangelicals know that the Bible condemns homosexuality, far too many find comfort in their own moralism, consigning homosexuals to a theological or moral category all their own. [2]“But we as evangelicals have a very sad history in dealing with this issue,” he continued. “We have told not the truth, but we have told about half the truth. We’ve told the biblical truth, and that’s important, but we haven’t applied it in the biblical way.” “We have said to people that homosexuality is just a choice,” Mohler said. “It’s clear that it’s more than a choice. That doesn’t mean it’s any less sinful, but it does mean it’s not something people can just turn on and turn off. We are not a gospel people unless we understand that only the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ gives a homosexual person any hope of release from homosexuality.” [3]

John Frame on Innateness

"Innateness has nothing to do with normality... Genes may impel, but they don’t compel... All of us have moral 'weak spots,' areas where we are especially vulnerable to the Devil’s enticements. These areas of temptation have many sources, heredity being one of them. Others may be environment, experiences, and our own past decisions... "Would a genetic basis for homosexuality eliminate the element of 'choice?' Certainly not. A person with a genetic propensity for alcoholism still makes a choice when he decides to take a drink, and then another, and then another. The same is true for an xyy male who decides to punch somebody in the nose. If we assume the existence of a genetic propensity for homosexuality, it is true that those with that makeup face greater temptation in this area than others. But those who succumb to the temptation do choose to do so, as do all of us when we succumb to our own besetting temptations. Homosexuals certainly choose not to remain celibate, and they choose to have sexual relations. They are not forced to do this by their genes or by anything contrary to their own desires... "If it were true that repentant homosexuals continued to experience homosexual temptation, it would not cast the slightest doubt on the power of God’s grace to heal such people." [4]

Jonathan Edwards on humility

Jonathan Edwards once resolved:

"... to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God." [5]

Books

  • Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality, by Wesley Hill - ISBN 0310330033

See also

External links

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