Summary: The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin from which there is hope of freedom in Jesus Christ.
Clarity or Confusion?
Feb. 14/15, 2004
MAIN IDEA: Homosexual behavior is a sin. Homosexual desires are temptations that can be defeated through the work of the Holy Spirit.
JOKE:After she woke up, a woman told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine’s day. What do you think it means?"
"You’ll know tonight." he said.
That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it - to find a book entitled "The meaning of dreams"
INTRO:Gay support group at OHHS? Gay marriage? Churches hiring actively homosexual men and women? It’s the issue that won’t go away, it seems. And Christians who oppose such things cannot escape the ugly labels of “homo-phobes”, “intolerant”, and “hateful”.
What I want to do today is to cut through the confusion of our culture and it’s views on homosexuality, and discover the clarity of God’s eternal word on this issue. We’re going to take a look at how gay theologians interpret this scripture, and how these interpretations are lacking. We will then discover the commonly held notion that people are born gay is simply a misrepresentation and an exaggeration of what scientists have truly discovered. I will close with how I believe God’s word would have us respond to people who are homosexual, with a word of hope and encouragement for any here today who are struggling with homosexuality.
Before I start I just need to say this: When we talk about homosexuality, we are talking about people.
• People with FACES
• People with NAMES
• People with STORIES
• People with PAIN.
• Sometimes, people who are Christian.
If we neglect the FACES, we neglect the GOSPEL.
I am indebted to an article by Joe Dallas, founder of Genesis Counseling, called Responding to Pro-Gay Theology for much of the research and insights I will share today.
MYTH 1. The Bible does not teach homosexual behavior is a sin. (Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 6:9-10)
Lev. 18:22 “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
Lev. 20:13 “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
• Since these passages are contained in the holiness code which exhorts the people of Israel to separate from the practices of the surrounding nations, we are EXEMPT from these laws as Jesus freed us from the OT law and gave us a new law – the law of love.
• The word “detestable” does not usually mean something that is intrinsically evil, but rather something that is ritually unclean for the Jews.
• These passages are referring to the cultic practices of ritual male prostitution in the worship of idols, not homosexual behavior as we know it.
Problems with this interpretation:
• If we accept the idea that, as part of the “holiness code” these laws are no longer binding upon us, then we are forced to accept the following behaviors as acceptable as well, since these are prohibited right alongside homosexual sex.
o Incest with family members (Lev. 18:6-18)
o Sex with children (Lev. 18:17)
o Adultery (Lev. 18:20)
o Sex with animals (Lev. 18:23)
o Prostitution (Lev. 19:29)
• It is more accurate to say that Jesus has freed us from the ritual purity laws (e.g. avoiding certain foods, things like mildew, certain hairstyles, and clothes made of mixed fibers) than to say he has freed us from the laws governing MORAL purity.
TRANS: But even if one were to concede the point that perhaps the OT law found in Leviticus no longer applies, there are still clear passages in the New Testament which speak about homosexual behavior.
Rom. 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Rom. 1:21 ¶ For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Rom. 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
Rom. 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Rom. 1:24 ¶ Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
Rom. 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.