Thursday, August 30, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage: The Biblical Answer, pt. 2

The Bible is crystal clear on the issue of homosexuality. Yesterday, I looked at the Biblical texts in the Old Testament on this issue. In almost everything that I have read by those in favor of same-sex marriage, the passages in the OT take the brunt of their arguments. But not many people who claim to be "Gay Christians" are willing to take on the passages of the New Testament. But they must be looked at to get a full picture of what the Bible has to say on this issue.

Jesus View of Homosexuality
We first have to acknowledge that there is no place in the gospel accounts where Jesus says "homosexuality is a sin." But He didn't have to say that. He was speaking to Jewish people who already believed that it was a sin (they believed in the OT). But just because Jesus didn't say those words does not mean He didn't believe that it was not God's intended plan for mankind.

First, Jesus is God. If we believe that, then we have to acknowledge that He is the One who condemned homosexuality in Leviticus 18 & 20. In addition, there is one passages where Jesus unequivocally affirms that marriage is for one man and one woman. In Matthew 19, the Pharisees comes to Jesus to test Him about the issue of divorce. In His answer, Jesus clearly states that God made mankind male and female. He affirms that God had brought them together to make one flesh. By referring back to Genesis 1-2, Jesus clearly says that marriage is between one man and one woman.

But then Jesus does give an exception clause for divorce. He says that if anyone divorces their spouse except on the grounds of sexual immorality (pornea), and marries another, they have committed adultery. This term, pornea, is a general term that was used to refer to anything sexual outside the marital relationship is wrong. And don't forget that Jesus just defined the marital relationship as one man and one woman.

So this means that sex before marriage, sex with someone other than your spouse once your married, looking at or reading sexual things (yes, that means 50 Shades of Grey is included), sex with animals, sex with prostitutes, sex with children, sex with relatives, and the list continues all the way down to even sex with someone of the same gender. It couldn't be clearer.

Romans 1: The Clearest Argument
The Apostle Paul's argument is the clearest teaching in the New Testament on homosexuality. He says that the practice is "shameful," "unnatural," "indecent," and a "perversion." Those are some strong words. Let me show how he gets to this conclusion.

Verses 18-20 -- Paul states the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth of God. Paul is very clear that knowledge of God is evident to all men through their conscience and creation.

Verses 21-23 -- In rejecting the knowledge of God available through creation, people claim to be wider than God. Propping ourselves up as god lies at the core of every human heart. It is what is at the root of all of our rebellion. But in doing so, we prove that we are fools.

Verses 24-25 -- Mankind is now worshipping and serving the creature instead of the creator. This is a huge problem which leads to . . .

Verses 26-27 -- When people consistently turn away from the true revelation of God, when they find themselves worshipping the creature instead of the creator, they invariably find themselves in the worshipping of the body in sex. And sex and sexual experiences is the height of their pursuit of life. A person would have to do some major hermeneutical gymnastics to get around Paul saying that homosexuality is sinful in this context. It is as clear as it could be.

Verses 28-32 -- Is there any doubt that this is where we find ourselves today. We are a generation that not only practices these things, but gives hearty approval to those that practice them.

1 Timothy 1: Another Example
I have a hard time seeing how anyone could interpret Paul's words in 1 Timothy 1:10 to mean anything other than he thought it was sinful. Paul says that the law was given to point out sin in the life of people. And one of the things that he lists is "the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality."

1 Corinthians 6: The Clearest Hope
This is a passage that speaks against the so-called "Gay Christian." I have read several biblical arguments (although really bad ones) from those from this camp, but I have yet to see someone address this passage.
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (6:9-11).
Do not be deceived. Those that practice things like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. One of the things mentioned is "men who practice homosexuality." If someone practices such things, they will not go to heaven.

I think it is impossible to look at the OT or NT to argue that the Bible says it is okay to be gay and that God will accept you for it. The Bible is very clear on this issue.

So what is someone to do? Do we just use these verses as hammers over the heads of those who are wrapped up in the gay world? This is what I will write about next week. There is hope in the gospel. Until then . . . 

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