The Old Testament on Homosexuality, I
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C H A P T E R – O N E
What Does the Old Testament Say?
The Old Testament view of homosexuality begins in Genesis. God’s purposes for man and woman are seen in the biblical account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2. The acceptance of homosexuality in the Church can be traced to an erosion of the understanding that men and women have very distinct roles that differ from, yet compliment each other. In the past, the majority of churches recognized the truth that the Bible defined homosexual behavior as sinful. More recently, however, the roles of men and women began to be blurred to the point where the only difference was that women could have children, while men could not. Thus, these churches created a unisex humanity. Suddenly, homosexual behavior was not so hard to accept.
Genesis 1:26 recounts the creation of mankind. Moses wrote, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’ ” Continuing in verse 27, we are told, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” In Genesis 1:31, Moses tells us the opinion God had of His creation, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” This includes, at that point, the one man and one woman that God had made.
In Genesis 2 an elaboration of the creation account is given. In Genesis 2:7 Moses declared, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Then God placed man into the garden He had created. God created the first man. He was perfect. He had no flaws, no imperfections, and no shortcomings. Yet something was missing. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Incidentally, the word “helper” is not a put down as so many feminists love to claim. It is a word that was used for God Himself in the Old Testament. God knew that man was not complete by himself. He needed a helper who complemented him. He needed a helper who was fitted to him.
First, however, God created the animals (Genesis 2:19). Why did He do this? He wanted Adam to realize that he was alone. It was not that God all of a sudden realized Adam wouldn’t be happy having a cow as a mate. God wanted Adam to be receptive of the woman He was going to create for him, and understand that he was not yet complete.
Genesis 2:21-24 gives the account of the creation of woman, and establishes the foundation for the marriage relationship of all men and women. Moses said, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother; and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” This account is foundational to all Scripture. The Old and New Testaments build continually and consistently on the truth of the creation of man and woman with distinct roles within the marriage relationship.
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul referred to the creation account to make his point that God established a certain order of authority. Paul reminds us, “For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake” (1 Corinthians 11:8, 9). Men and women were created differently. Adam was created from the dust of the ground, but Eve was created from Adam’s rib. God created man and woman differently for a reason. He could have created both man and woman from dust, but God did not want two separate, independent entities. He wanted two people who were fitted together, complementing each other.
A woman is the perfect counterpart for a man. She is necessary for the man to completely fulfill his responsibilities before God. Only those with the special God-given gift of celibacy have the ability to meet these responsibilities without the help of a marriage partner. Consequently, we understand that God did not create men and women to go their own separate ways, but intended a man and a woman to be together, helping each other in a lifelong marriage relationship.
The establishment of the marriage relationship is seen in Genesis 2:24. Adam and Eve began as one flesh. He was part of her, and she was part of him. The bond established in a marriage relationship supersedes the physical relationship between a man and woman. It also supersedes the relationship between parents and children. This bond between a husband and wife is expressed through the sexual relationship. Although the relationship goes beyond sex, it is this sexual union that expresses the oneness that God intended for the husband and wife.
In the New Testament, Matthew 19:4-6 validates what the Old Testament says on this subject. When asked about the subject of divorce, Jesus said, “Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? ‘ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not knowing the truth of Genesis 2. Not only did Jesus emphasize that relationships are to be between males and females, He specifies that relationships are to be between one male and one female, for an entire lifetime. Men and women are perfectly fitted to meet one another’s needs.
Today, the Church is following the world’s pattern. In 1972, 76% of all adults were married. By 1992, that figure had dropped to 54%. It is apparent that Christian men need to get back into the Scriptures and take a spiritual leadership role in their families. A man is to leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife. We should not be surprised that the world rejects the Word of God concerning marriage, but it is appalling that those within the Church also reject His Word concerning marriage.
In the New Testament, Hebrews 13:4 reminds us that there are consequences to rejecting the Word of God. God said, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” When men and women are called before the judgment throne of God, the question will not be, “what was the law and accepted practice in your state?” The question will be “what does God’s Word say?” That is the divine authority.
The problem today is that the Church has rejected the roles God outlined for men and women. In Christian homes across the country, daughters are encouraged to act exactly like the sons in the family. There is no distinction between the roles of men and women. As the world becomes more rebellious and contrary to the mandates of Scripture, so too, does the church that is not grounded in the Word of God.
It is easy to understand how these types of churches have come to reject the established male and female roles found in the Bible. When gender lines are erased, what does it matter if a man has a sexual relationship with another man, or a woman with another woman? They love each other don’t they? Surely God understands that this is the 1990s. This is the worldly attitude that many churches are taking, but it is in direct opposition to the Word of God.
By: Pastor Gil Rugh http://www.ihcc.org/
Retrieved from: Bible Bulletin Board http://www.biblebb.com/