Summary: The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality; it's holiness.
What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?
Rev. Brian Bill
June 1-2, 2019
In a comprehensive report released by the Barna Group this year, 9 out of 10 pastors see helping Christians develop biblical beliefs about specific issues as a major part of their role. While homosexuality is the issue pastors feel the most pressure to address, 44% feel limited in their ability to speak out because they are afraid of offending people.
In his book called, Counter Culture, David Platt writes: “On popular issues like poverty and slavery, where Christians are likely to be applauded for our social action, we are quick to stand up and speak out. Yet on controversial issues like homosexuality and abortion, where Christians are likely to be criticized for our involvement, we are content to sit down and stay quiet.”
We’re now in week six of our Glad You Asked series and our topic this weekend is, “What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?”
I want to ask a favor. While I normally enjoy “Amens” while I’m preaching, please refrain from making any comments during the sermon. Let’s remember a couple things.
• Someone who struggles with same-sex attraction, or has a family member who does, might be sitting near you. I received a text this week: “I’m very interested in your topic…I am also extremely nervous since [my daughter] is marrying a woman next year.”
• You struggle with sin, too. Be careful about casting the first stone. In five of the passages that address homosexuality, a number of other sins are also listed.
Pause and Pray
Kevin DeYoung lists six groups that may be listening when we speak about homosexuality.
• If we’re speaking to cultural elites who despise our beliefs, we want to be bold and courageous.
• If we are speaking to strugglers who fight against same-sex attraction, we want to be patient and sympathetic.
• If we are speaking to sufferers who have been mistreated by the church, we want to be winsome and humble.
• If we are speaking to shaky Christians who seem ready to compromise, we want to be persuasive and persistent.
• If we are speaking to those who are living in sin, we want to be straightforward and earnest.
• If we are speaking to belligerent Christians who hate or fear persons who identify as gay or lesbian, we want to be clear and corrective.
That’s my challenge today because all six groups are no doubt present.
According to a Lifeway survey, 7 in 10 young adults say there is nothing wrong with same-sex adults having sexual relations – up from 16% in 1988. 55% of young adults believe homosexual couples should have the right to marry, jumping more than 50 percentage points in 30 years.
This issue has become front and center in our society. Here are three recent news items just from the past six weeks.
• Because of its views on traditional marriage, Chick-fil-A was removed from the San Antonio airport and the student government at Trinity University in Texas voted unanimously to ban its food.
• In the season premiere of the PBS show “Arthur,” Mr. Ratburn came out as gay and got married. Here’s how CNN reported it – listen for their editorializing: “The Arthur premiere gave us all the happy feelings – not just because the PBS animated series is back for its 22nd season, but because Mr. Ratburn finally got the happy ending he deserves…the title character’s third grade teacher marries another male character – leaving us all in happy tears. ‘It’s a brand new world!’ one of the students says during the wedding. Truly.”
• At a recent fundraiser, a presidential candidate said this about his same-sex “marriage”: “[It] has made me a better man [and]…moved me closer to God…if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
As we take up our questions with the Creator let’s keep three things in mind.
1. We won’t clobber sinners. We must always remember the gospel is for sinners. It’s OK to be incensed about evil but we’re to extend love to those who may sin differently than we do.
2. We won’t cave on sin. Our aim is not to be politically correct, but to be biblically correct. It’s time for churches to speak out…and reach out to those who are ensnared by sexual sin. As our culture spins out of control we must maintain our call to be salt and light in a decaying and dark world.
3. Our model is Jesus Christ. We won’t cave on sin or clobber sinners but will instead follow Christ as our example. John 1:14 says Jesus is “FULL of grace and truth.” The word “full” means, “abounding and abundant; complete and perfect.” When a woman was caught in adultery in John 8:11, Jesus ministered grace to her and told her truth: “Neither do I condemn you [grace]; go and sin no more [truth].” Likewise, we’re called to minister in truth and with grace or as another pastor puts it, with “bold truth and sweet grace.” I strive to be convictional and compassionate.