Summary: What does the Holy Scripture teach us about God’s view of homosexuals and homosexuality. This is not an anti-gay sermon.
What does the Church Say About Homosexuality
A few weeks ago the church down the road ran a couple of messages on its sign that said “Homosexuality is a sin. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.”
The newspaper called and asked me my opinion. I told the reporter that I thought it was great that the preacher there had the courage to speak the truth on a subject that was in the national spotlight.
Then the paper became a daily crucifixion of my self and this church as being hate mongers, intolerant, self-righteous, narrow-minded, unchristian bigots.
I felt there needed to be a response from this church but did not trust the newspaper as the proper venue for such a response. So, today I are giving my response to the editorials and to homosexuals who need to hear the truth about what the Christian faith says to them.
The issue is tremendously complex, too complex and large to cover in a single sermon. So… I am going to say that this is a Christian church that believes the bible is the authoritative, inerrant, trust-worthy word of the one true God. It is our ultimate source of authority. Thus our starting point and our guide will be the bible.
So we will be answering the question, “What does God say about homosexuality and all other sins.”
We are to examine this subject in the same way we should any other subject; as sinners redeemed by grace, not as moral superiors.
One of the charges leveled at this church and me is that we are homophobic. This morning I want us to answer the question, “Are Christians Homophobic?”
In a September, 1992 editorial in The New York Times, Dr. Richard Isay, chairman of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Issues Committee, of the American Psychiatric Association, defines homophobia as “the irrational fear and hatred of homosexuals.”
The problem is this definition cannot apply to a Christian addressing the subject of homosexuality. Why?
As for IRRATIONAL: Rational means according to reason. It means to have a sound basis or foundation for what you say or believe. Christians do have a very sound basis for what they say…. GOD”S WORD!!!! The Christian message is founded on the inerrant, unchanging, authoritative word of God… the bible.
As to FEAR OF HOMOSEXUALS: Christians do not have a fear OF homosexuals… we have a fear FOR homosexuals. We fear because we know that the wages of sin…. All sin…. Even homosexuality…. is death = eternal separation from God in hell.
Christians fear that if homosexuals, and murderers, and adulterers, and co-habitors, and liars, and thieves and all sinners do not hear the gospel, confess their sinfulness, and accept the salvation offered through Jesus Christ… they have no hope.
As for HATRED OF HOMOSEXUALS: Christians are not to hate anyone. The scripture is clear that we are to abhor sin, in order that we are to avoid it. God too abhors sin. But, like God, we are to love all persons. We are never allowed to mistreat, be rude to, or be unloving to any persons.
Therefore… irrational fear and hatred of any group is impossible for obedient Christians.
But… so is denying the truth of the Word of God.
Thus Christians are called to walk a fine line between being faithful to the Word of God, not compromising the truth of scripture and not allowing ourselves to act in any way that is unloving towards those who are involved in sin.
Do you see the catch 22 of being a modern Christian: If a Christian condones homosexuality, he is in open rebellion to the Word of God. On the other hand, if a believer opposes homosexuality, the world says he is irrational and/or hateful. There is no way for the Christian church to win.
For the church the question that needs to be addressed is that of theological beliefs. The subject of homosexuality as a sin has nothing to do with the Constitution of the United States of America, but it has everything to do with the Word of the Living God. The issue is, "What does the Bible say about homosexuality and homosexuals?" The issue is not what "feels right," what the government says, what science says or what preachers say. The only issue is, “What does the Word of God say?”.
So… What does the scripture, the Word of God, say about sin, and specifically about homosexuality?
First of all… the term, homosexuality, is not found in scripture. It is referred to by another term, “sodomy.” The term comes from the inhabitants of a town named Sodom. It was a town in the OT where Lot lived. You will find the story in Genesis 19. There we read that the inhabitants of the town were homosexuals.