Purpose of Guarding the Treasure

The purpose of this blog is to encourage readers to invest their time into the Word of God and "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." Paul wrote these words to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:14) in his presumed last letter before his execution. May we be those who see the word of God as a treasure, guarding it with our lives, investing in it with our hearts and minds, and reaping the fruit of an abundant life while getting to know the God who loves us and created us for His marvelous pleasure and glory.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Bible on Homosexuality

I hope to provide you with some food for thought by pointing you to the Scriptures on this controversial topic that has been in much debate especially over the past several decades.  In our culture of late, the homosexual lifestyle has been promoted in our media as acceptable and, in fact, quite natural behavior.  Many claim that a person’s sexuality is determined by nature, not by choice.  From a Christian perspective, this would infer that God designed some people in their mother’s womb to be homosexual.  That is quite a claim!

Culture changes all the time.  While our culture seems to cater to homosexuality today, this has not always been the case.  Check out this video regarding homosexuals from the 1950s produced by the Inglewood California Police Department - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehsg2UIMnHM.  Talk about a 180 from what goes on in California today!

While culture is always changing, the Bible does not change.  In fact, the author to the Hebrews writes this of Jesus, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

It is an undeniable fact that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior.  Levitical law states clearly, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22).  The New Testament includes homosexuality as a sin deemed immoral (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:9-11).  In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he includes a vivid description of the depravity of humanity engaged in sexual sin, especially homosexual sin, which is just as applicable for us today as it was nearly 2,000 years ago -- “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” (Romans 1:24-27)

This Scripture passage describes homosexuality as “degrading,” “unnatural,” “indecent” and an “error.”  Now to imply that God made a person a homosexual would literally imply that He is the author of sin for that individual and quite a hypocrite because His word clearly condemns homosexuality and labels it sinful.  In the words of Paul regarding our God, “May it never be!”

So why are some people homosexuals?  Due to the depravity of humanity from our inherited sinful nature, from birth each of us has a natural bent to do wrong, not right (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:10-12).  We each have our own sinful vices that appeal to the lusts of our flesh and separate us from God.  Check out this laundry list of sins – “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.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)  Paul did not mince words.

God did not make us sinners.  We are doubly sinners, not only by inheritance from the fall of Adam, but also by choice (Romans 5:12).  On that basis, one could state that homosexual tendencies were inherited from the fall of mankind and are chosen by people through the natural lusts of their flesh.

The ugly truth about our sin problem is hard to admit, but admitting that we have a problem is the first step toward the salvation we ultimately need.  Salvation is offered freely to us by faith in Jesus Christ! (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9)
However, sin is sneaky and deceptive.  It is very much a part of who we are in our fallen condition (Ephesians 2:1-3).  As we engage in our sins, we grow accustom to them and often comfortable with them.  Naturally we begin to justify them in our mind often times by saying that everyone else is doing them too and they feel right or make me happy.  When we see others openly engage in sin whom we love, we are pressured to compromise on what we believe to be true about sin.  Societal pressures also seek to change our beliefs in the name of acceptance and tolerance.  Paul said this in Romans 1:32, “and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”  Our society pushes this today and portrays the sinful as acceptable.  Their message is clear - “There is no absolute truth.  Everyone can decide what is true for them.  Don’t judge, just love and accept others the way they are.”  However, the Bible stresses that sin enslaves us and brings us death.  Rather than freeing us and giving us life, sin actually kills us and ultimately keeps us separated from an intimate relationship with the very God who made us!

It is apparent that our culture has adopted the mindset of the Israelites in the days of the judges – “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)  The problem with that mindset is clearly stated by the words of Proverb 14:12 – “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  It may seem right to let each person do as they please and not have standards of morality based upon an ancient historical religious book, but in the end, God’s word will hold true and those who live by His word will be blessed while those who fail to heed His word will be cursed.

Genesis is clear that from the very beginning God’s design for humanity was for man and woman to be together in a marriage relationship (Genesis 2:18-24).  In other words heterosexuality is the only sexuality chosen by God!  Eve was created by God out of Adam as the “helper suitable for him.”  (Genesis 2:18)  God did not make another man for Adam.  He made a woman.  This was His design.  This is some of the clearest evidence that God’s intention all along was for marriage to be between man and woman.  I didn’t have to choose to be heterosexual.  God designed me that way.  If anything, I have to choose not to be homosexual.  I also have to choose to not be an adulterer, rapist or pedophile.

Another aspect missing within the homosexual relationship is the possibility of procreation.  God’s will for human beings within the context of marriage is to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)  This is simply impossible between homosexuals.  Thus, God’s will is not accomplished in the homosexual relationship.

Finally, I also want you to think about other sins that are culturally condemned such as murder, rape, theft, etc.  What if a person claimed that they were naturally born to be a murderer?  That murdering others felt natural to them and to do anything else would go against who they are as an individual.  This is clearly silly and we would rightfully agree that such an individual should be locked up for the betterment of society.  You see that just because something feels right or natural to someone does not make it right!  God’s word provides a standard of morality that the world hates!  The world says, “What right does God have to tell me how I have to live my life?”  The answer: He has every right just as He is your CREATOR and has the power to give life to you and take it away whenever He so pleases.  

The real issue is that people do not want to call homosexuality a sin.  If people are born naturally as homosexuals then they can’t help themselves and they have a rationalization.  However, if homosexuality is a sin then those who engage in homosexuality have a serious problem especially with God.  

Critics of Christians who stand on the truth of Scripture, which says that homosexuality is unacceptable and unnatural, are deemed intolerant, bigoted and homophobic.  The media pushes the homosexual agenda with the goal of creating a more enlightened culture that is tolerant of almost anything except the biblical Christian worldview.  The world system is heavily influenced by Satan.  The flesh within each of us desires naturally to confirm itself to the world.  Even the President of the United States of America has come out in support of same sex marriage.  This is the America we live in today.  The world’s message is, “If it feels good, do it.  Obey your thirst!”  Our flesh is appealed by this message because it helps us justify our own sinful behavior.  Everyone else is doing it so it must be okay.  But as Christians we must get our truth from the Scriptures, confronting ourselves with the truth about what is sin.  Paul wrote this, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)  We all need transformation and only God can do it in us as we submit to Him.  We must renew our minds daily so we can fight the good fight and go against the tidal wave of this world trying to shape us into its corrupted mold.

In closing, as Christians we must make a choice to believe the Bible over the culture.  Cultural changes occur all around us and the moral fabric of America has been ripped to shreds over the last century.  We can choose to be conformed to this world which is easy and natural or we can be transformed supernaturally by the renewing of our minds daily through a living relationship with Jesus Christ that consist among other things of letting the Scriptures shape our worldview.  In doing so, we will have a much better shot of remaining obedient to God, receiving His blessing and living in accordance with His will.  God bless you and may the truth of God’s word transform your life!