Summary: Same-sex attraction and homosexual lifestyles - hardly mentioned in public a few years ago - are mentioned daily in news, entertainment, and other venues. Public acceptance is on the rise. How is the Christian to respond to this development?
Homosexuality and the Christian
Read the story of Lot in Sodom (Genesis 19:1-11)
God destroyed Sodom because of its utter sinfulness. Clearly, theirs was homosexual sin.
When I was coming of age in the 1950’s, I was barely aware such a thing as homosexuality existed.
I naively thought the slang words associated with it were just derogatory playground epithets. It hardly entered my mind that such a condition and lifestyle might be real.
II. World Is Changing
The world is changing rapidly around us, and it appears to be on a downward course.
• Things considered unmentionable in polite society just a few years ago are now commonplace.
• The Supreme Court recently cleared the way for states to approve same-sex marriages and grant all the legal standing, rights, and privileges as a marriage between a man and a woman.
• As of August 2013, thirteen states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington), and the District of Columbia, had legalized the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses. Today--four years later--Wikipedia reports “In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in all states, Washington, D.C., as well as all U.S. territories except American Samoa, but not on all Indian lands…”
• We are being pushed to accept homosexuality as simply an “alternate lifestyle,” and to consider it a social norm, long and wrongly repressed.
• Those who do not accept that premise are labeled as bigots.
• Acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle is being “preached” in politics, news reporting, and entertainment.
• A July poll by Gallup found support for gay marriage at 54%, a record high, and double the support of 27% Gallup first measured when the question was asked in 1996. In 2017, Gallup reports that support has risen to 64%.
• One can hardly watch a program on TV without seeing any disapproval of this “new enlightenment” of sexual mores ridiculed and shamed.
• Public figures such as office-holders and star athletes are praised for “coming out.”
• And now there is a massive push in American Society to accept homosexuality as part of the mainstream of thought and morality, and to consider dissenters to be outside the widely accepted norm.
• The number of people who have homosexual tendencies appears to be on the increase, at least in the public awareness if not in reality.
As homosexuality gains increasing acceptance in America, Christians can’t ignore the headlines.
III. Chosen or Inborn?
Much is made of the proposition that “God made me this way, so it must be okay.”
But even if that were a valid argument in favor of any condition, we don’t know everything about the roots of same-sex attraction—is it:
• genetic, or another biological factor?
• the result of child molestation or other traumatic experiences?
• some other aspect of an aberrant parent-child relationship?
• a choice people make to cultivate within themselves, as one acquires a taste for some food?
It seems to be unknown--or at least debatable--whether same-sex attraction is reversible.
It is not conclusively known whether faith, prayer, and Christian association erase or reverse the same-sex attraction or if it can be reversed with therapy.
Not knowing, I doubt that Christians should hold that out as a promise.
IV. Is the Homosexual Lifestyle Sinful?
Whatever its cause or causes, its upsurge in the public consciousness cause questions to sprout in the public debate about the moral and spiritual implications.
Have we as Christians been misguided, overly influenced by society’s values of yesteryears, as is claimed daily on TV?
Are those who feel homosexuality is wrong simply resistant to change?
How does the New Testament treat the subject?
The New Testament’s treatment has two prongs—one direct and one in principle.
First, and directly, the practice of homosexual lifestyle is shown to be sinful.
• Romans 1:26-27 – writing about those upon whom the wrath of God is to be revealed, Paul wrote (read)
• 1 Tim 1:8-11 – read
• 1 Cor 6:9-11 – writing about who will not inherit the kingdom of God (read)
Developments occurring in society do not dictate the rightness or wrongness of anything.
The Bible never gets out of date.
It is given to us by a deity who lived before time began, and who will live on when time shall be no more.
Sin matters, for it separates souls from God.
The soul that sins, it shall die. (Ezek 18:4,20)
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Romans 6:12-13