#(Godly)LoveWins

Although I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexuality, I think in some ways it has been good. Personally, it has caused me to reexamine scripture in a more intricate way. I have read many articles, pulled out concordances and of course cross referenced several scriptures. I would venture to guess that I am not the only one that has been challenged to do this.

It has intrigued me over the years that Christians are able to agree with homosexuality. In skimming the surface of the scriptures there are multiple references to homosexuality as a sin alongside many scriptures that deal with the family unit, none of which define it outside of a man-woman bond. On a Facebook post that I shared one of my friends shared an article that enlightened me on how a Christian can make the jump to believing that God does not condemn homosexuality. It is a well written piece. Unfortunately, it stretches scripture and Greek meanings of words and excludes scriptures that help us to understand passages.

I have to start by addressing those who feel that this post is a condemnation. I want to clearly state from the start that I am grateful that I do not have the burden of deciding where anyone will spend eternal life. Only God is wise enough to do that. I am using scripture to pull out what God defines as sinful behavior. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (NIV) commands that we use scripture to correct. This is a God-given directive, not one that we as Christians simply decided to start doing. Secondly, the passage starts out with “All scripture”. That means they are all relevant in some way and need to be regarded as direct words from our Lord.

One of my major frustrations in the homosexual argument is the usage of the Old Testament as binding law that we are to follow today. For those who are not Christian, I can understand that they might not know this, but those who do need to be cautious in how they approach using the Old Testament to back their argument.

The Old Testament allows us to understand the New Testament better. We see a pattern of God’s nature; where prophesies are fulfilled; and are able to better appreciate what the mindset was of the Jews who were being converted. However, once Christ died, we were freed from its restrictions unless they were duplicated as laws in the New Testament. So, when a Christian is using Old Testament scripture in discussing homosexuality such as Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 we are setting up a pattern, not saying it is binding.

At the beginning of the Old Testament Genesis 2 starts out the discussion of marriage. In verse 24 we are told, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (NIV). A man is united with his wife. There are a multitude of scriptures that discuss family life, none of which contradicts the definition of the marriage as something besides a man to a woman.

In Genesis 19 we see the example of Sodom and Gomorrah. I have read a few articles that want to make the leap that the sins of those cities do not include homosexuality as it is in our society today. It was either homosexual rape, sex with male children or even the sin had nothing to do with sex – it was inhospitality and the failure to aid the marginalized. We do see that line of thinking backed in Isaiah 1:10-17 and Ezekiel 16:48-49, but when we look at Jude 6-7 “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (NIV) {emphasis mine}, it clearly backs that sexual sins were the downfall of the cities. When we see the men in the cities desiring sex with other men (not children) combined with Jude 6-7 there is no leap to say that we are dealing with homosexuality here.

Additionally, as mentioned above we see in Leviticus homosexuality addressed twice. No one seems to debate the meaning of these passages. These get attacked by listing out all sorts of other things that are addressed in Leviticus that no longer apply today. (Thankfully!) Christians do not use these passages to bind the laws listed in Leviticus to apply today, but to show another example in the Bible where it is addressed.

Moving into the New Testament, the law that is required that we follow, we come to Romans 1:26-27, “26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (NIV). The particular article that I was reading argues that conservative Christians are misinterpreting the Greek word “physikos” to mean natural according to nature and that it really means natural as in the way God created us to be, including those created as homosexuals. According to the writer the real sin in this passage is not being true to yourself.

If we isolate verse 26, I can see where one might be able to interpret the scripture that way, but I cannot go onto read in verse 27 where it specifically states “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men..” and find the argument valid. If we are saying that the word “Physikos” should be translated to mean the way in which God created us to be, we have to follow suit in verse 27 and switch out “Natural” to the same, which would force us to acknowledge that God created men to desire sexual relations with women not men. Obviously, that contradicts the argument that God creates some of us to desire same-sex intercourse.

Going further into the New Testament we also see homosexuality list as a sin in I Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV). Then, again in I Timothy 1:9-10, “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.” (NIV). Again, those who are pro-LGBTQ lifestyle insist that we have interpreted homosexuality the wrong way. If men wanting to have sex with men was seen as a sexual perversion in Genesis 19, backed by Jude 7 and Romans 1 indicates that it is not natural for people to desire same-sex intercourse, I think we can safely say that these two passages do address homosexuality as we understand it today.

Through the Bible we see homosexuality addressed to a multitude of audiences which negates the argument that it was specifically targeted to the recipients of the letters. We see it listed in both the Old and New Testament which negates the argument that it was culture specific scripture. We see it virtually spelled out in Romans 1:27 as to what God views as natural desires. I do not see how Christians can continue to hold onto God’s acceptance of a homosexual lifestyle without purposely excluding scriptures. Going back to the beginning of this post, I Timothy reminds us that “All scripture is God-breathed..” What our all-powerful God wanted in the Bible is there. He was absolutely capable of guiding those who bound the Bible we use today.

The #LoveWins campaign needs a modification. All that I say today is in love, not judgement. Yes, I am using scripture as commanded to correct and rebuke, but I have no say over anyone’s eternal judgement. In love, I want to point out what scripture says. Ultimately, it is not loving for Christians to sit quietly and let others continue in a sinful situation. Love does win, but only if it starts as a love of God and a desire to follow Him. From there, everything else falls into place.

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5 comments

  1. I have to admit, when I saw the graphic for this on godinterest.com, I thought your article was going to be pro-gay, full of justification for the gay lifestyle. I’m glad I felt compelled to read this before commenting. The graphic really is misleading, what with the rainbow stripes and all. But your post was very good, and handled beautifully. I love how you use scripture to point out that we are commanded to use scripture to correct and rebuke, but that we are not qualified to judge one’s eternal life. well done!

    Like

  2. i tried doing this from my other browser and it didn’t work… or maybe it did and you haven’t yet approved it. if that’s the case, you can skip approving this one 🙂 or maybe approve this one and not the other… this one is better.

    i was sharing my most recent blogs on godinterest when i saw yours shared there. the graphic was quite misleading. i thought surely you were going to be one of those who somehow found justification for a sinful lifestyle in scripture. i decided to come read for myself before commenting though.

    you did a wonderful job of writing the truth, with love and compassion, and devoid of condemnation. you are exactly right… God commands us directly to use His word to correct and rebuke. That’s not the same as judgment, which is His, and His alone.

    i want to thank you for boldly proclaiming the gospel, and for the gentle reminder that 2 Timothy 3 isn’t just a suggestion, but a directive.

    Like

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