Homosexuality: A Biblical Perspective
Pastor, Indian Hills Community Church
F O R E W O R D
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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 Christ, and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
It is no surprise that the unbelieving world practices such sins. However, it should be noted that this type of behavior is being increasingly accepted, and in some cases encouraged, within the Church. What does this say about the spiritual condition of the Church today? Does the Bible support the claims of those who say behavior such as homosexuality should no longer be considered sin? Are these simply the claims of those who have twisted the Scripture “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16)?
In this commentary, Gil Rugh, pastor of Indian Hills Community Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, examines the truth of the Old and New Testaments to present what God’s Word clearly teaches about homosexuality, the “forgotten sin.” It is hoped that this material will help Christians come to a better understanding of God, Who is not only loving, but completely righteous and holy as well.
I N T R O D U C T I O N
In today’s society, homosexuality has become “the forgotten sin.” While Scripture is clear on the subject, the Church has quickly, and meekly followed the world and softened its’ stance. This book examines God’s revealed truth about homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments.
Homosexuals are not to be singled out and rallied against by Christians. Their sin is no greater than anyone else’s. It was James who said more damage is done by the tongue than by any other sin. Christians need to be careful not to gather up our self-righteous robes and attack a particular sin that we, ourselves, do not struggle with. We are to examine this subject as sinners redeemed by grace, not as superiors with authority. Nevertheless, the Church needs to be clear on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. My concern is not that the world has deemed homosexuality an acceptable form of sexual expression, but that the Church has willingly done so.
It should come as no surprise that the world has declared homosexuality a behavioral norm. In a September, 1992 editorial in The New York Times, Dr. Richard Isay asserts that a “consensus is growing among mental health professionals that homophobia, the irrational fear and hatred of homosexuals, is a psychological abnormality that interferes with the judgment and reliability of those afflicted.”1 Isay is chairman of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Issues Committee, of the American Psychiatric Association.
How quickly the world changes. Not long ago, psychiatrists believed homosexuality was a form of mental illness. Now they say homosexuality is normal, while those who oppose it have a mental illness. It is easy to see the total lack of scientific validity of psychiatry or psychology when one understands how their theories are established. Whatever the popular view of the world may be, the “psychological sciences” are sure to support that view.
Notice the definition of homophobia according to Dr. Isay. It is the “irrational fear and hatred of homosexuals.” Does this definition imply there is also a rational fear and hatred of homosexuals? This definition puts anyone who opposes homosexuality in a box. They are irrational and hateful. The problem is, this definition cannot apply to a Christian addressing the subject of homosexuality according to Scripture. Irrational thoughts and hatred have nothing to do with what God says about the subject, but that is not how the world sees it. 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, hateful and cannot make a reliable judgment. Also, if a person does not accept homosexuality as a perfectly normal expression of love, the world says he is mentally ill. There is no way to win.
What positions are Christians taking regarding homosexuality? A recent article in Christianity Today by Andres Tapia proclaimed “Homosexuality Debate Strains Campus Harmony.”2 The article began, “Christian college campuses across the country have become the setting for an intense struggle over homosexuality.”3 That, in itself, reflects a changing attitude. Homosexuality used to be one of the black and white issues all Christians agreed upon: homosexuality was sin. Now, it is in the forefront of intense debates raging on Evangelical Christian campuses across the nation. Proponents of homosexuality assert that gay rights include freedom of speech, academic freedom, and freedom of theological beliefs.
The only 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?”
At Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, great turmoil was raised as an anti-homosexual rights speaker arrived on campus. After more than one thousand students attended his speech, the administrators decided that they must also present the pro-homosexual view. In a similar situation, a group of self-defined “Christian” students from Eastern College (formerly Eastern Baptist College) in St. David, Pennsylvania, marched in the gay rights parade in Washington, D. C., our nation’s capital. Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, also has had serious debate over this issue.
On the other side, the Christian and Missionary Alliance’s Nyack College in New York did not renew the contract of a teacher who proudly displayed a button that read “support gay rights.” The president of the university was also fired for defending the teacher’s actions.
In his Christianity Today article, Tapia went on to write, “most of the schools involved in the recent controversies either officially make, or are considering the distinction between homosexual orientation and homosexual conduct.”4 This is disastrous reasoning. When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a “new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The description of someone as a homosexual, or an alcoholic, or an adulterer, or whatever area of sin someone was involved in, has validity before he becomes a believer. When someone has experienced life-changing salvation through Christ, however, the power of sin no longer controls that person. He is a “new creature.” There is no distinction between orientation and conduct in the Bible.
Introduction – p 2 0f 7
New Testament on Homosexuality, I p 3 of 7
New Testament on Homosexuality, II p 4 of 7
Old Testament on Homosexuality, I p 5 of 7
Old Testament on Homosexuality, II p 6 of 7
Thinking Godly on Homosexuality Conclusion/Bibliography, p 7 of 7
Complete Essay: Homosexuality: A Biblical Perspective
Offered In Christ’s Love,