Summary: When the popular view conflicts with the Bible view, which view should we accept?
INTRO: Homosexuality is not a new way of living. So why has it come to the forefront of cultural issues in the past generation? Is it true that those who oppose homosexuality are prudes, homophobes, gay-bashers, and self-righteous bigots? I suppose that depends on who you ask.
What would you call a Christian who sincerely tries to help someone deal with this temptation and overcome this sin (James 5:19-20)? I would call him a loving person—someone who really cares!
Are some of our popular views toward homosexuality correct? Even among the heterosexual population many of these views are accepted and unchallenged. The only place we can find our answers is in the Bible.
I. THE POPULAR VIEW VS. THE BIBLE VIEW
A) The popular view is that the Bible does not condemn homosexuals, only intolerant religious people do. We are told that God still loves the practicing homosexual and won’t demand that he betray his sexual orientation. Is that what the Bible says?
1) “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites... will inherit the kingdom of heaven.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). God does love the homosexual—enough to send His own Son to die, so He can forgive one who will repent of his sin!
B) The popular view is that gays should “come out of the closet,” be open and proud of their lifestyle, and we should not oppose their choice. Is that right? Do we leave them alone now that they are open about it?
1) “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” (Ephesians 5:11-12). There is nothing noble about sinning openly, “The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves.” (Isaiah 3:9).
C) The popular view is that homosexuality is just as natural for the homosexual as heterosexuality is for the rest of us. We are told it is actually harmful for one to suppress his natural sexual inclinations. Is this a natural, inborn trait? Does the Bible address that question?
1) “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:26-27). There may be physical or sociological factors that make the temptation to be homosexual stronger for some people, but there is nothing natural about it! If someone convinces us that there is, it becomes easier to accept the sin.
D) The popular view is that homosexuality is a choice, an “alternate lifestyle.” We are told to leave others alone and let them have the freedom to choose it even though we might not. Yet, the important question pertains to whether God has ever accepted this as an alternate lifestyle.
1) He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, in part because of this “grievous sin” (Genesis 18:20-21; 19:1-13; Jude 7). He charged that those who were guilty of this “abomination” were to be put to death under Old Testament law (Leviticus 20:13). And He gave them up to their “vile passions” (Romans 1:26-27,32). Would God punish and condemn men and women whom He had created that way?
E) The popular view is that a homosexual cannot change his sexual orientation, because it is part of himself and God would not expect him to change. Actually, God expects us to cease committing any sin.
1) After stating that homosexuals “cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), he indicates that many in the church at Corinth had changed, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11). God promised that there would always be a limit to the strength of our temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
CONCLUSION: When the popular view conflicts with the Bible view, which view should we accept?