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God, Homosexuals and Loving Christians

by Alex Wilson

Notice at least seven key words underlined in the following Bible passages. They clearly show what GOD thinks about homosexuality. And more passages could be given as well.

From the Old Testament scriptures: “Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin.” –Leviticus 18:22.

From the New Testament scriptures: “Men are without excuse …. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened… 23 They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images…. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another…. 26-b God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural 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 indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” –Excerpts from Romans 1:20-27. Notice those key words again.

Why do I mention all this? Because, as we know, our society today is engrossed in homosexuality, and there is a big push to legalize same-sex marriage and other far-out practices.

Present Trends and Threats

In his newsletter of April 6, 2010, Christian commentator Tony Perkins deals with these issues. Here are some excerpts:

“Dear Reader, Do you think it’s right for liberals who are running our government to …

“That’s the nightmare you could face if… Congress passes the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). And that’s why it must be exposed.

“This law would change America forever by allowing all of the outrages I’ve stated above— and more. And the most chilling fact is this: liberals in Congress almost passed ENDA in 2007!

“ENDA should be called The Discrimination Against Christian Workers Act. Why? Just ask …

“If the federal ENDA law passes, what happened [in the cases just mentioned]…could happen to any Christian or person of moral conviction, anywhere.”
We need to PRAY, and to Work together to protect religious liberty.

If it passes, “ENDA will give [the national government] virtually unlimited power to force every business with more than 15 employees to treat immoral sexual behavior as normal and worthy of celebration . . . or face harsh federal sanctions.

“Yes, Even CHURCHES! The ENDA law provides some limited protection of religious institutions, but still the federal government could punish your church with an expensive lawsuit for ‘discriminating’ against a homosexual applicant for a position such as [youth] director.

“There are similarly thin exemptions for CHURCH SCHOOLS, but inevitable court challenges would leave all churches and schools vulnerable to ENDA’s punishing provisions.” [end of quote]

Speaking of schools, this issue is a hot issue in COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES. A Campus Minister in the Greater Cincinnati area received an invitation to be 1 of 8 panel members in a discussion at Northern Ky. University regarding homosexuality. He said: “While I think everyone should be equal before the law, I hold, with the apostle Paul, that homosexual activity is a sin from which God calls us to repent.”

ALL the other seven speakers disagreed! “Their main message was that you could be ‘a person of faith’ and also be a practicing homo-sexual.” [a widely held view in universities] Another Campus Minister (at the U. of Missouri) wrote: “Christians here are assaulted – called insensitive, close-minded, hateful, stupid, judgmental and ignorant. Christian organizations on campus are denied the basic rights that all other student organizations have (such as office space and financial aid). Every Christian who comes to the secular university should realize that remaining neutral is impossibility. We are on a battlefield.” [From Christian Standard]

Homosexuality is not only widely justified and even applauded, but it also holds a powerful grip on many of those who practice it, especially men.

James Dobson writes: “Studies show that homosexual men, in particular, have a difficult time honoring even the most basic commitments of [what they call] ‘marriage.’ A study in the Netherlands found that the average homosexual relationship lasts only 1.5 yrs, and that gay men have an average of 8 sexual partners per year outside of their ‘primary’ relationship!”

Some other people (whose number seems to be growing) advocate allowing marriage between homosexuals and/or between lesbians.

And some folks go further than that. They are seeking to repeal all laws that restrict the gender and/or number of persons entering into a marriage unit! If 3 or 4 or 5 people want to have a group marriage, sure – why not! In fact, why not have four or five “husbands” marry each other and at the same time marry seven or eight “wives.” Or, what-ever?

And a few other people (for instance, Michael Kinsley, columnist with the Washington Post) go even further. He wrote that the best “solution” to our marriage problem is “to END the Institution of Marriage” altogether. Think through the implications of that view!

Thus much of our culture now resembles the lawless period in Israel’s history described in the book of Judges. More than once the writer says: “In those days every man did what was right in his own eyes.” It was moral anarchy.

Urgent Facts Widely Overlooked

Back in 2005 some of these issues were discussed for several weeks in Louisville’s main newspaper, the Courier Journal. A number of articles were published, and numerous letters from readers were run too.

I decided to join the discussion. Here’s the letter I mailed in:

Several letters in the Courier-Journal have ridiculed the idea that we must act now to save marriage. They claim that gay unions are “no threat to marriage.”

Yet facts indicate that gay unions are indeed a clear Threat – a threat to GAYS! Even though homo-sexuals are a small percentage of our population, it is known that they have about 50% of the Syphilis cases and 60% of AIDS cases in the U.S. Also gay men get Hepatitis-B 20 times more often than straight men. The average gay’s life-expectancy is about 42 years, contrasted with 74 for straight men. The average lesbian lives 45 years, while the average straight woman lives to 79.

Don’t take my word for it. Check it out on the web: on average those who practice homosexuality die over 30 years sooner than straights! These facts are not publicized as they ought to be. They are not just cold statistics, but people. I once heard a speaker say, “We hate homosexual practice because we love homosexual people.” [end of letter]

The Courier-Journal did not run that letter, nor reply to it. So we sent the letter again, and later a third time and even a fourth! But they never ran it. And they never informed me why they didn’t want anyone to read those facts.

Will Marriage Itself Fade Away?

Is homosexual marriage really a threat to marriage itself? In World magazine Gene Veith wrote, “Sweden was the first country to legalize homosexual unions. Today a majority of children [there] are born out of wedlock.” In fact, “younger couples are dispensing with marriage altogether. The few young couples [there] who do get married often do not like to admit it, since what they have done is so far out of the norm that they feel embarrassed.”

Yet Not All is Lost — there is Still HOPE!

Yes, there is still hope for homosexuals. Because their God-forbidden practice is Forgivable and also Escapable – through Christ Jesus! Ponder another passage from God’s word. Paul begins with news that is bad and sad for sinners; but he ends with glory!

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11, NIV.)

That passage strongly contradicts anyone who tries to justify homosexual behavior. For such conduct fits into several of the practices which Paul condemns there: sexual immorality, homo-sexual activity, and also adultery (if either person is married). So how can any serious Bible-believer justify homosexuality?

But while that conclusion seems airtight, there is another point we need to make. So excuse me for veering off our main topic for a while. You see, in preaching from this very passage recently, I noticed something for the first time. While Paul here lists nine types of terribly evil practices which prevent people from inheriting God’s kingdom, he also includes one very “minor” kind of sin! In other words, He dares to include in this list of awful sinners one kind which I would have omitted: people who are greedy or covetous. This got my attention, because I cannot say that I’ve never engaged in that seemingly mild vice! Have I not sometimes (or often) greedily wanted and taken more than I was entitled to? And what about you?

That thought led to another: The list of forbidden sins in the 10 Commandments makes a similar point! After listing the big commands – “Do not murder, nor commit adultery, nor steal, nor bear false witness,” the Commands end with a command that seems small: “Do not covet.”

What an anti-climax! Why mention that minor detail after already listing all the really major sins? Well, the answer is probably not so hard to find. Without greedy coveting, many of those “big sins” would not be committed! Eliminate the evil root and you conquer its rotten fruits. The Lord’s views of which sins are major and which are minor may not fit our views—and actions!

“O God, have mercy! Purify us from the inside out. Create in me a clean heart, O God!”

The Really GOOD News

Now, after that repulsive but searching list of sins and sinners in 1 Corinthians 6, do you remember what Paul goes on to say?

“And such were some of you (past tense)! B-U-T you were Washed, you were Sanctified, you were Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Hallelujah! Converts are Washed, Sanctified, Justified! Made clean, and made holy, and given a righteous standing before the Judge! This great salvation (or better, this great Savior) is our only hope. It’s also the hope we can offer other sinners, ALL sinners — including homosexuals. “What He did for others, He’ll do for you,” an old song says.

There is hope for all of us, in spite of our hang-ups–addictions, enslavements, meanness, anger, hatred, selfish-ness, coveting, smug pride …whatever. Christ offers to cleanse and forgive anyone and everyone who turns to Him with faith and repentance. And He not only cleanses our past sins, but also by the Holy Spirit gives us new power to overcome temptations and longtime selfish habits.

Many gays and lesbians feel that there’s no way they can overcome their powerful urges. “I would if I could but I can’t” – that seems to be their motto. Some have tried over and over but always failed, so they don’t try any more. But there is good news for them too.

An ad came in the mail for a book of 192 pages. Its title is Portraits of FREEDOM: 14 People Who Came Out of Homosexuality. (Publisher: Inter-Varsity Press.) The ad continued:

“Ann Phillips was once immersed in an 18-year lesbian relationship….Tye Gamey lived a double life and, though married, pursued secret encounters with men…. Kevin Oshiro began experimenting sexually at a young age and became involved in the gay community after college.

“You’ll meet each of these people and 11 others in the chapters of this book. Each person offers a unique and powerful testimony – showing how God honors the desire to change. Healing and change are possible through Christ.”

It’s possible, and it’s happening—thank God. But that does not mean it’s easy. Another ex-gay Christian wrote a book entitled No Easy Victory. He says, “I’m a Christian husband and dad who, day by day, has to resist my homosexual desires.”

Thus many gays are gripped by the temptation, “I can’t quit now and I never will be able to.” They’re plagued by hopelessness. But we “non-gays” must beware of other temptations — to be proud and smug: “Oh, I would never do anything like that.” Don’t be puffed up. (Have you ever coveted anything?)

Also listen to Ezekiel 16:49-50. It deals with “Sodomy” but in a way that’s different from ours. He lists 5 other sins before getting around to their detestable homosexuality! Note his accusations:

“This was the sin of Sodom: They were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did Detestable Things before me. Therefore I did away with them.”

Yes, let’s abhor Sodom’s detestable actions of Sodomy (see Gen. 19:1-5). But let’s not fail to notice the other sins mentioned too, such as arrogance, being overfed and unconcerned, and not helping the poor and needy.

One sin that some of us may be guilty of is contempt and hate for gays! What if a gay or lesbian or several of them attended your church next Sunday? What if they kept coming back, too? How would we respond? How should we respond? The old saying “Hate the sin but love the sinner” hits the nail on the head. But of course it’s not easy to carry out. Yet “God’s power can make us what we ought to be!”

By the way, if handled carefully it would be wise to discuss these issues with the youth in our homes and churches. Researcher George Barna’s research shows we are not doing very well in that area. He writes:

Today, the most common perception is that present- day Christianity is “anti-homosexual.” Overall, 91% of young non-Christians and 80% of young church- goers say this phrase describes Christianity. As the research probed this perception, non-Christians and Christians explained that beyond their recognition that Christians oppose homosexuality, they believe that Christians show excessive contempt and unloving attitudes towards gays and lesbians. One of the most frequent criticisms by young Christians was that they believe the church has made homo- sexuality a “bigger sin” than anything else. Moreover, they claim that the church has not helped them apply the biblical teaching on homosexuality to their friendships with gays and lesbians. [End of quote from Barna.]

May our Lord Jesus help us more and more to do what He would do. During His life on earth, He criticized the prim religious Pharisees far more than the adulterers, thieves and robbers. Nor did He hesitate to associate with those who were “down and out” not only socially but morally.

O Lord, fill us and guide us with Your Holy Spirit. May we, like You, be friends of sinners and yet walk in holiness.

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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8