Has God Spoken on the Subject of Homosexuality? 
Frank Worthen 

The Decision That Must Be Made
Today, we find many of the mainline denominational churches advancing the idea that God has NOT spoken on the subject of homosexuality. In the past, this was not an issue. Traditionally, the church has always considered homosexuality a sin and, in fact, reacted rather badly at times to this problem. It was not seen as just one sin among many sins, but as a special sin, a crime against nature. Many times in church history, punishment was extreme, including torture, humiliation and burning. Whether homosexuality was a sin or not was not open to question: sin it was. 

The Situation Today
It seems incredible that such a homophobic church could come full circle and now openly advance the idea that gay is good. Yet we are seeing this take place before our eyes. We find Anglican theologian Norman Pittenger saying, "Gay is an expression of God's intended variety in His creation." The Episcopal Church has ordained two lesbian priests and 50 male priests who are homosexual. The United Presbyterian Church unites with the gay church to present "Gay Day" to a community and to jointly run a pro-gay ministry to homosexual people. 

The Catholic Church allows Dignity, a pro-gay group, to use it's facilities and helps in planning a pro-gay conference. We've come a long way ... but have we came too far? 

Did God Say?
There is an urgent question facing the homosexual person today: Has God spoken on the subject of homosexuality? Now where have we heard these words before? Do they have a familiar ring? The three words, "Did God say ... ?" have had a more devastating effect on mankind than all the nuclear explosions man could ever set off. Found in Genesis 3:1, Satan questioned God's directives and mankind's personal relationship with his God was severed. Today, since we live in a fallen world, we serve under fallen authority. So it is right that we carefully examine what authority is telling us to do. There can be no blind trust. 

Does a Standard exist? Is there a message from God that is not affected by the Fall? We know that the Bibles we hold in our hands contain misprints and other discrepancies from the original manuscripts. Do these things disqualify the Bible? Does this mean that we are free from divine direction? What if we discard God's Word and believe the message of the serpent. "You shall not surely die?" Will we die, or will we live? When the Apostle Paul says, "Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven" (I Cor. 6:9), can we dismiss him as some bigoted fool who simply wrote his own personal viewpoints into Scripture? Some difficult and pivotal decisions must be made. 

One of the first Biblical encounters with homosexuality is the story of Sodom (Genesis 19). From the city named Sodom comes the word "sodomite", the legal term for a person who engages in some type of same-sex behavior. But does the Bible say that the men of Sodom were homosexual? Does the Bible say that they were judged for their homosexuality? It is "no" on both counts. We can ask a multitude of questions about the story of Sodom, but we will never arrive at a clear and satisfactory answer to our queries. The Bible simply does not give specific answers to all our questions about this incident.

The next encounter is in the book of Leviticus chapters 18 and 20. These two passages have much the same message. Men are not to use other men as they would use a woman. This seems crystal clear as to it's meaning, yet it is sandwiched in between other directives that we no longer consider valid, such as the breeding of domestic animals with different kinds of animals, or the wearing of garments of linen mixed with wool. 

The New Testament
Using the technique of viewing the Old Testament through the New, we now turn to Romans 1. This is a chapter of great magnitude, of almost unlimited scope. Here, Paul tells us that we all know the truth. God has not withheld the truth, but has shown every person His truth in their innermost being. God will not deal kindly with those who distort and hinder His truth. He tells us that mankind is without excuse. Man knew God, but rejected Him. He left behind the "natural" and sought after the "unnatural". 

But what IS natural for man? Have we come so far from natural that we can no longer recognize what natural was? Today, after thousands of years and many printing and copying errors, the Biblical message remains the same. One has only to read the Genesis account of Adam and Eve to see that heterosexuality is God's norm. We find the same statement over and over again, "a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife." This is described as a "one flesh" relationship. Jesus reaffirmed this Genesis account in Matthew 19:4-6 when He said, "He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female." Paul picks up this message in Ephesians 5. He uses the same words (vs. 31) and relates man's relationship with his wife to that of Christ and His Church. Natural isn't something we feel is natural. It is not defined by how many people are doing it. Natural is determined by how God made things in the beginning and this is the Biblical message. 

Paul says that it is not natural for men to burn in lust for one another, or for women to use each other sexually. Paul carries his message to great lengths, saying that even those who approve of such behaviour are out of the will of God. There can be no doubt that Romans 1 is talking about homosexuality, sexual relationships with people of the same sex, the kind of relationships that gay people engage in today and that gay people engaged in during the time of Paul. There are no new sex acts. 

Paul again addresses this issue in 1 Corinthians 6:9. This verse considers almost all sex outside of marriage. We see the mention of fornicators, those who engage in sexual relations while unmarried. Paul then speaks to the issue of adultery, sex with someone other than your marriage partner. Two words are used to describe homosexual relations. The first in the Greek is malakoi; the second, arsenokoitai. Greek scholars have generally considered these two words to mean the passive and active side of homosexual sex. The reasoning is that, even though a person may allow himself to be used sexually by another, he is still without excuse and must bear the penalty. While pro-gay theologians attempt to alter the meaning of these two words, they do not speak with one voice. It would be very discomforting to a person who wants to remain gay with God's blessing to review the various theories on this single passage. It seems that when someone comes preaching a different Gospel, certain things simply do not fit together. 

One position is that malakoi does not mean a homosexual person. It's describing a man who identifies himself as a woman, thus transferring the sin from homosexual people to transsexuals. This seems grossly unfair and one wonders just where is the sin of the transsexual person? Does identity confusion immediately bar one from the kingdom of heaven? 

Many think that arsenokoitai describes a male prostitute. They see this as engaging in sex for money rather than for love. He may be seen as a heterosexual street hustler type of person, or a homosexual person who violates the gay theologians' concept of loving relationships.

For centuries, sex was seen as a privilege of marriage, rather than as a human right. Humanists today see sex as everyone's right, regardless of marriage commitments. They see all sexual relationships as right before God if they contain the element of true love. Thus, we may engage in loving fornication, loving adultery and loving homosexual relationships without guilt. 

A few consider the two words in question to mean the child and his molester. One immediately wonders just why the victim of such abuse would be barred from heaven. 

Another view is quite complicated. This passage is seen as speaking of two differing kinds of heterosexual men. One is a passive man who thinks he is a woman (yet he remains quite heterosexual) and the other, a homosexuallyactive heterosexual man. One wonders just how all this is possible, or just how often such a case might turn up that Paul would address such an obscure issue. 

Still another view is that it takes the two words together to mean a homosexual prostitute. This causes one to wonder why Paul used only one word, arsenokoitai, in 1 Timothy 1:10. 

Those Who Distort Scripture
Peter knew that people would distort Scripture. In fact, they were already doing it in his time. In 2 Peter 3:16, we read: 

"There are some things in the Epistles of Paul that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant twist to their own destruction, just as they distort the rest of the Scriptures." 

Isaiah also knew that people wanted things their way, not God's way. He said: 

"Prophesy not to us what is right, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceitful illusions." Isaiah 30:10. 

Is this not what gay theology is doing today? The stakes are high. Our happiness is not our only consideration -- our eternity rests on our decision. Are we to accept the scrambled rambling of the pro-gay movement as Gospel truth, or are we to accept the traditions of the church handed down to us from the very first century? 

Has Scripture become so distorted that it is no longer understandable? Are we willing to bet our eternal life on this? If we take this viewpoint, we are then discounting all recent archaeological discoveries that continue to prove the Scriptures remarkably accurate. If homosexuality was really within God's will, would all Scripture (whether considered valid today or not) be negative towards it?

"They promise them liberty, when they themselves are slaves of depravity and defilement, for by whatever any one is made inferior or overcome or worsted, to that person or thing he is enslaved." 2 Peter 2:19 (Amplified). 

Are you following a blind guide? 


This article is reprinted by permission from:

Love In Action
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San Rafael, California, 94912