The issue of homosexuality has once again been front and center in recent days. First, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on gay marriage violates the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians. Second, celebrity blogger and outspoken homosexual Perez Hilton created quite a stir during his stint as a judge at the Miss USA 2009 pageant in Las Vegas. During the Q&A portion of the contest, Carrie Prejean (Miss California) had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of Perez’s question. The question was, “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?” Man, talk about loaded! Whatever happened to, “Should you win the title of Miss USA, how would you use your crown to promote world peace”?
For the record, I hate beauty pageants. All of the charitable causes and college scholarships in the world can’t change the fact that they are a shameless celebration of outer beauty and an enticement to lust. I watched them when I was a hormone-driven teenager, and I promise you that I didn’t care one iota about the talent competitions, the Q&A segments, or the evening gowns. I just wanted to see beautiful women in bathing suits. I’m not proud of this. I’m just telling you how it was. Not surprisingly, when I gave my life fully to Christ, I stopped watching beauty pageants. To me, they are barely a notch above “soft porn.”
Still, I couldn’t help but empathize with Carrie Prejean when I heard what had happened to her. Many people are now saying that she lost the pageant when she answered Perez’s question by stating that she believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Frankly, I don’t know whether or not that answer cost her the pageant. What I do know is that it is absolutely INFURIATING that Perez got away with asking the question. Someone should have drug out one of those extra-long staffs, the kind with the big crook at the end, and yanked him backstage. Of course, I can’t feel any sorrow for the Miss USA pageant. Keep in mind that they did select Perez to be a judge. When you ask a pseudo-celebrity who thrives on controversy to be part of your show, you get what you have coming to you.
In case you haven’t guessed, I’m not a social activist or a politically correct person. I’m a Bible-teaching pastor. As such, it’s my job to make people aware of what the Book teaches about homosexuality. And what it teaches is that homosexuality is rank sexual sin. It isn’t the only sexual sin. Premarital sex, adultery, incest, and bestiality are on the list too. But, please, let’s declare an injunction on trying to make the Bible and homosexuality compatible. If the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality as sin, it doesn’t condemn anything as sin!
If you are interested (and many aren’t), the scriptural case against homosexuality is as follows:
1. Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 19:4-6: God’s plan for the sexual relationship is obviously man-woman.
2. Genesis 19:1-29; Ezekiel 16:49-50; Jude v.7: Homosexuality was rampant in the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorroh, and God destroyed those cities for their wickedness. The Ezekiel passage uses the word “abomination” in reference to homosexuality, while the Jude verse describes the sin as giving one’s self over to sexual immorality and going after “strange flesh.”
3. Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17: Under the law that God gave the Israelites to live by, homosexuality was a crime. More than that, it was a capital punishment offense (Leviticus 18:29, “cut off” means “put to death”). Again the word “abomination” is used in the Leviticus verses in reference to the sin. Furthermore, the context of the Leviticus 18:22 verse groups homosexuality with incest (Leviticus 18:6-18) and bestiality (Leviticus 18:23).
4. Judges 19:11-30: This passage gives an account from the days when various Judges ruled over different parts of Israel. It labels a group of homosexuals as “perverted men” (New King James Version).
5. 1 Kings 14:21-24; 15:9-15; 22:41-46; 2 Kings 22:1-2; 23:7: The homosexuals (“perverted persons” N.K.J.V.) who are mentioned in these passages were pagan, religious prostitutes who played major roles in the worship of false gods. There is a distinct pattern that is seen in the passages. During the reigns of good kings, these sodomites were banished from the land. During the reigns of wicked kings, they were allowed to remain in the land.
6. Romans 1:18-32: These verses trace the origins of homosexuality and lesbianism back to mankind’s rejecting of God and embracing of idol worship. Homosexuals and lesbians are labeled as people who have: a knowledge of God (v.18-21), no excuse (v.20), a lack of glorifying God (v.21), a lack of thankfulness (v.21), futile thoughts (v.21), foolish, darkened hearts (v.21-22), a profession of wisdom (v.22), a foolishness about them (v.22), a bent towards idolatry (v.23), unclean, lustful hearts (v.24), dishonored bodies (v.24), an abandonment of the truth (v.25), a worship of self (v.25), vile passions (v.26), a desire to pervert nature (v.26-27), shameful conduct (v.27), a forgetfulness of God (v.28), debased minds (v.28), a love of doing those things which aren’t fitting (v.28), a nature geared towards being ungodly in many other ways (v.29-31), a knowledge of the judgment of God (v.32), a worthiness of death (v.32), and an approval of others who commit the same sins (v.32). Actually, the argument that homosexuality is “natural” is correct in one sense. The sin is just as natural to sin-fallen mankind as rebelling against God and worshipping false gods.
7. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: The category “homosexuals” (N.K.J.V.) or “effiminate” (K.J.V.) refers to homosexuals as does the category “sodomites” (N.K.J.V.) or “abusers of themselves with mankind” (K.J.V.). It is noteworthy that this passage teaches that the homosexual doesn’t have to continue in the sin. Verse 11 says “And such were some of you.” The homosexuals cry, “God made us this way.” They think this allows them to equate their movement to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. But the crippling flaw in this line of thought is this: Whereas there are many former homosexuals, there are no former African-Americans. By the way, this passage also teaches that homosexuality has no more place in the life of the Christian than fornication (all other forms of sexual sin), idolatry, adultery (the specific sexual sin of cheating on a spouse), theft, covetousness, drunkenness, reviling, or extortion. But we don’t see any big push to bring these sins into our churches, do we?
8. 1 Timothy 1:8-10: The category “sodomites” (N.K.J.V.) or “them that defile themselves with mankind” (K.J.V.) refers to homosexuals. These verses place the homosexual on the same level as: the lawless, the insubordinate, the ungodly, the sinful, the unholy, the profane, the murderer of a father or a mother, the manslayer, the fornicator, the kidnapper, the perjurer, and anyone else who is contrary to sound doctrine.
Okay, if you are still reading, and your mind is open to the truth, you should now be in agreement with me that the Bible condemns homosexuality as sin. It really is an open and shut case. There is, however, an argument that homosexuals use in their efforts to get out from under obvious Biblical teaching. They say, “If God condemns homosexuality so much, why didn’t Jesus specifically preach against it?” This question is easily answered in three ways.
Answer #1: Jesus didn’t specifically preach against rape, spousal abuse, child abuse, pedophilia, or genocide either. It’s safe to say, though, that He was against such acts.
Answer #2: Jesus did say, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). In three passages (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17), the Old Testament law condemned homosexuality. As for the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah negatively called the sinful people of Israel “rulers of Sodom” and “people of Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:10), and Ezekiel spoke of the “abomination” and “lewdness” of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:44-59).
Answer #3: Jesus confirmed and reiterated the Adam and Eve standard of marriage between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-6). To say that He didn’t speak against homosexuality is the same as saying that a judge who consults the law to render all his decisions, but never specifically condemns the breaking of that law, must be in favor of lawlessness. The argument simply makes no sense.
Oh, before I forget, let me mention another route the homosexuals take in their useless efforts to align their sin with the Bible: They quote Christ’s words, “Judge not that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). This is supposed to be some kind of trump card that muzzles Bible-believers from speaking against homosexuality. Really, though, it is just another argument that doesn’t make honest sense.
I say this because it is obvious to anyone who studies the verses that follow Matthew 7:1 that Jesus isn’t forbidding all judging. (In Luke 12:57 and John 7:24, He even advocates righteous judging). What He is forbidding in Matthew 7:1 is hypocritical judging. He illustrates His point by saying, “If you have a plank (a large piece of wood) in your eye, you have no business criticizing someone else for having a speck (a small piece of wood) in his eye.” Then He says, “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5).
To apply this teaching to my own life, if I am a homosexual who unashamedly engages in homosexual sex every night, it is wrong for me to stand in my pulpit and preach against someone I know to be a closet homosexual. It is only when I have removed the plank from my own eye (repented of my prolific homosexuality) that I can help that closet homosexual remove the speck from his eye (repent of his lesser homosexuality). Please notice, though, that Jesus taught that the goal in each situation is the repentance of the sin, the removal of the plank or speck.
Someone says, “But Russell, why are you singling out homosexuals for a blog post? You’ve already admitted that there are other sexual sins.” Well, as far as I know, those who engage in premarital sex, adultery, incest, or bestiality haven’t banded together to force people to accept their sinful lifestyles. When that happens, I’ll post blogs concerning them.
And I use that word “force” legitimately. Homosexual activists such as Perez Hilton are arrogant, pushy people who are proud of their sin. They demand that we accept, in the name of tolerance, that which is ungodly and immoral. The irony is that they aren’t even tolerant themselves. If you think they are, try crossing one sometime!
Someone else says, “But why do Bible-believing Christians have to fight this fight? Can’t we just agree to disagree? Can’t we all just get along?” We must fight this fight because we don’t want to be lumped in with those who “delight in the perversity of the wicked” (Proverbs 3:14). Instead, we want to learn from David’s experience. He used Psalm 39:1-3 to describe his attempt at remaining “mute with silence” even as the wicked were before him. He said, “I held my peace even from good, and my sorrow was stirred up.” Finally, after his heart had grown so hot within him, he had to speak out against the wicked.
In closing, please hear me when I say that God loves homosexuals. He loves them so much that Jesus (God the Son) died on a Roman cross as the potential payment for their sins, including the sin of homosexuality. But God loves homosexuals too much to leave them in that state. He calls their sin what it is and demands that they repent of it. This isn’t the message they want to hear, but it is the only one that accords with the Bible.