Summary: This sermon seeks to answer 3 questions about homosexuality including; Is homosexuality a sin? What about gay marriage? Can you be gay an still be a Christian?
WHAT ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY?
We are concluding our series today on Love and Marriage. We have looked at the biblical basis for marriage and last week looked at what happens when marriage is broken through divorce. In today’s world, you cannot talk about marriage without also addressing the issue of gay marriage. On July 20, 2005 Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same sex marriage. This past June the United States Supreme Court ruled that bans on same sex marriage were unconstitutional.
As we enter into this discussion, I want to speak the truth but I want to speak it with love. I have heard it said that when people of my generation hear the word homosexuality they think of an issue, when a young adult today hears the word homosexuality they think of a person. We are not only dealing with an issue today, we are dealing with the lives of people.
I want to try to answer three questions today that often come up when addressing this issue;
1. Is Homosexuality a Sin?
As a Christian, I believe that God through His word has the final say in all issues of life. We do not say that something is right or wrong based on our own thoughts or feelings about a particular issue. We judge an issue based upon what God says about it. In terms of homosexuality, we cannot interpret the bible through the lens of our sexuality, but we must interpret our sexuality through the lens of the bible. So what does the bible say?
Leviticus 18:22 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
In the KJV homosexuality is called an abomination. In the Hebrew this is a very strong word and means something that is offensive to God.
Leviticus 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.
In the Old Testament. Homosexuality was a capital crime and was punishable by death. It was placed in the same category as incest, idolatry and adultery.
Some people have argued “So what if the Old Testament forbids homosexuality. It is full of strange laws and ideas. It also forbids the eating of pork and shellfish.” There is a big difference between the ceremonial or dietary laws in the Old Testament and this law. Homosexuality was a capital crime – something deserving the death penalty. To say that homosexuality and eating shellfish is the same is like arguing that it is OK to commit murder because it is just like speeding. Both are illegal, and speeding is no big deal, so murder should not really be a big deal either? Speeding and murder are both crimes but they are different. The way you know that they are not the same is in the fact that the penalty for committing them are not the same. They are different.
More importantly, this passage speaks about things that are universally wrong as opposed to things that were ceremonially wrong only for Israel. There were some laws that only had to do with Israel and the other nations were not expected to keep those laws. God never judged the Philistines because they did not follow the Jewish holidays are ate shellfish. God did judge the nations based upon the universal laws that he is giving here in Leviticus 20. He sums up the chapter by saying;
Leviticus 20:22-23 'Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them.
Like the other sins listed here like adultery and incest, homosexuality is declared something that is universally wrong everywhere, not just ceremonially wrong for Israel. We also see this in Genesis;
Genesis 18:20-21 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."
The prevailing sin in Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality. Some argue that Sodom and Gomorrah cannot be considered as a scriptural basis for the sin of homosexuality because these homosexual relationships were not between two loving, homosexual partners. Rather, they claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah had to do with the fact that sex was forced on those who did not willingly participate. In other words, homosexuality was not the sin, rape was. However, the book of Jude is clear;