Defend the Bible's Message about Homosexuality
- Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Proponents of the homosexual lifestyle are fighting hard to gain credibility for their sexual preferences. Their voices can be heard loudly in our culture, and they're becoming increasingly louder in churches as well. Desperate for a sense of approval, some homosexuals are even trying to revise God's Word on that matter.
It's crucial for faithful Christians to know how to defend biblical truth about homosexuality. Only then can we offer real hope to those struggling with it.
Here's how you can defend the Bible's message about homosexuality:
Let Scripture interpret itself. Study the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah, the passages in Leviticus that prohibit homosexuality, and the apostle Paul's writing on the subject in Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy. Notice how the Bible makes clear distinctions between moral law and ceremonial law, and that God's Word clearly and repeatedly condemns both the desires and deeds of homosexuality as contrary to His moral law. Understand that, while the Old Testament's ceremonial law (such as animal sacrifices) applied just to the Hebrew people at that particular time in history, God's moral law (on such topics as murder, theft, and sexuality) is perpetually binding on all people for all time. Know that grace doesn't do away with the moral law. Instead, grace frees us to be able to grow in righteousness with God's help.
Know what's truly loving. Understand that it's not loving to simply accept homosexual couples - even those in committed relationships - and leave them in bondage to their sin. Know that deviant sexual behavior never occurs in a vacuum; it hurts the two people involved, and it always hurts others by tearing at the fabric of our society. Realize that the only truly loving thing to do is to encourage homosexuals to obey God's commands so they can enjoy the freedom and abundant life that He wants them to have.
Remember God's design. Know that God created the institution of marriage, and described it clearly as a union between one man and one woman. Understand that part of the purpose of marriage - to produce children - cannot be fulfilled in a homosexual union.
Offer real hope for real change. Don't buy the line, "God made me this way." Realize that no conclusive research has yet proven any genetic predisposition to homosexuality. Understand that, even if people were predisposed to homosexuality, that would still not make it morally acceptable. Know that, in our fallen world, everyone is a sinner, and different people are vulnerable to different types of immoral behavior (such as pride, greed, or drunkenness). Remember that God, through Christ, can forgive and heal anyone. Help people in the homosexual lifestyle discover the grace to live free from the bondage of sin. Pray for them, befriend them, and study the Bible with them.
Adapted from The Same Sex Controversy, copyright 2002 by James R. White and Jeffrey D. Niell. Published by Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Mn., www.bethanyhouse.com.
James R. White is the author of several acclaimed books, including The God Who Justifies and The King James Only Controversy. He is an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church, director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, and a seminary professor. He and his family live in Phoenix.
Jeffrey D. Niell has an M.A. from Fuller Seminary. He is pastor of Emmanuel Covenant Church, a Presbyterian congregation in Phoenix, Arizona. He and his family make their home in Phoenix.
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