Homosexuality: The Battle for the Bible
by James R. Aist
“Christians are surrounded, sometimes almost deafened, by the siren songs of those who want them to stop being awkward customers who behave Christianly and become worldly wimps who only do what those around them are already doing. Christians must learn to disregard these distracting noises. We cannot follow Christ in holiness unless we are willing to stand out from the crowd and swim against the stream.” — J.I. Packer
Before I delve into the substance of this introductory article, I want to make it very clear that I explicitly differentiate between people who have same-sex attractions but do not act on them, people who have same-sex attractions and practice homosexuality, and the “gay agenda” per se. Those are three completely different things, as just because someone is a homosexual person doesn’t necessarily mean that they push the “gay agenda”, and just because someone is pushing the “gay agenda” doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a homosexual person. Thus, when I speak against the “gay agenda”, I am not speaking against any individual as a homosexual person, but against a social movement with which they may have only a fringe association.
The Battle for the Bible
“If we pick out which parts of the Bible we dislike, we actually have a god we’ve created. How can that god ever call you out on anything?” – Tim Keller
The religious battle surrounding homosexuality in America has, at its core, a struggle over what the Bible really is. If you believe that the Bible is what God has said through men whose words were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, then the Bible is, for you, the accurate, unchanging and final word on whatever topic it addresses. In short, you believe what the Bible says. You believe that God, through the Bible, says what He means, and that He means what He says. On the other hand, if you believe, for whatever reason, that what the Bible says “ain’t necessarily so”, then you will either disregard the Bible altogether, or pick and choose which parts you want to believe and disregard the rest. Or, worse yet, you will re-write the verses in the Bible about homosexuality to make it seem that the Bible does not condemn homosexual sins after all. This is exactly what was done in The Message paraphrase of the Bible and in the Queen James Bible (click HERE) that was published in 2012. Both of these false Bibles deviate from the actual text of the ancient manuscripts on which modern English versions are based, in order to leave a false, favorable impression of God’s view of homosexuality.
The Bible mentions homosexuality several times, in both the Old and the New Testaments. In every instance the Bible clearly, unequivocally and consistently characterizes homosexual behavior as being evil, and therefore, as “sin” (Genesis 19:5 with Jude 1:7; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Judges 19:22-25; Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-10; and I Timothy 1:10). The biblical witness is as clear in this regard as it is about murder, lying, adultery, idolatry or just about any other sin you could name. And yet, there are those who have chosen to deny that the Bible really condemns homosexual behavior as sin, rather than repenting of homosexual sin, in an attempt to justify a homosexual lifestyle within the Christian church. What they fail to comprehend is that the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian is conviction of sin, not denial of sin. This is why I see homosexuality as a “litmus test” for one’s view of the Bible: if you do not believe that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior as sin, then you do not view the Bible as the accurate, reliable, unchanging and final word of God. In that case, can it be that your god is a god created in your own image and is not really the God of the Bible?
Why does this matter? It matters because, to those who do not hold to the Bible as the Word of God, biblical views are of little or no consequence. I get that. So, when I discuss what the Bible says about homosexuality, I realize that I am writing, primarily, to an audience of Christians who do care what the Bible says. Basically, this would be those to whom God has given “ears to hear” (I have developed this point more fully elsewhere: click HERE). It is very important to me that this audience be spiritually wise and well-informed concerning homosexuality, especially in this day and age in which politicians, celebrities and even Christians are rushing to publicly endorse and approve of the homosexual lifestyle. If they knew what I know about homosexuality and what the Bible and science have to say about it, perhaps they would want to re-think that. Ephesians 5:11 sums up nicely my main goal in writing about homosexuality: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
God’s View of Homosexual People
It is important to keep in mind that God does not categorize people as “heterosexuals” or “homosexuals”. He sees us as created by Him in His image and dearly loved. This is our true identity. What people do sexually is not really who they are. Although we are all sinners, we are so strongly loved by Him that He offered His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for us, in order to reconcile us to Himself. No one is outside the scope of His love. I believe that we would all be better off agreeing with God on this point.
Having said that, I would like to say a few words about the acquired condition of homosexuality. Most homosexual people are, at some point in their life, dissatisfied with their same-sex attractions and feelings. Same-sex attraction is a powerful temptation, but biblically speaking, it is not a sin. To have such attractions is akin to a married heterosexual man having opposite-sex attractions to women other than his wife. These attractions are temptations to sin and nothing more; they are not sin, although they would lead to sin if acted upon, either mentally (lust) or physically. Apparently, same-sex attractions are not something that anyone chooses initially. Rather they seem to occur initially in homosexual persons without their volition or intent. This is an important distinction that Christians need to be aware of. The Bible condemns homosexual sex acts, but it does not condemn the experience of being tempted by same-sex attractions. If the Bible did condemn the experience of being tempted, then Jesus would not have been without sin, would He? In dealing with these unwanted attractions and feelings — eventually, either to change them or to make peace with them — homosexual people typically experience powerful feelings of frustration, disappointment, failure, fear and sadness (Nicolosi, J. 1991). Although only a homosexual person can really know what it’s like to be homosexual, aren’t we all familiar with similar feelings as we struggle to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12-13)? God has compassion for all people who are struggling with their sinful condition, whatever it may be (Exodus 34:6-7), and so should we.
(For more articles on HOMOSEXUALITY, click HERE)
Nicolosi, J. 1991. Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality. Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, NJ.