The Church, the Bible, and Homosexuality: A Brief Survey

In Western culture we have seen a moral downturn in which sexual deviancy is rapidly on the rise. One example of this is the way homosexuality has now become commonplace. A representative survey of biblical teaching on the matter makes plain that the homosexuality is a sin, and like all sin it alienates a person from God (Gen. 19; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:9-10). Some of the readers of this blog undoubtedly have loved ones (be it friends or family members) who are ensnared to some degree with the sin of homosexuality.  With this in mind, we, the Church, need to be ready to lovingly address the issue with the Word of God and the gospel of Christ. 

One of the main obstacles that the Church is encountering in this realm, however, is that there are numerous voices today that are making the claim that homosexuality is not a sin and is not condemned by God. The claim is made that the Bible has been misunderstood and misapplied by the Church to create moral and sexual standards that God does not actually hold us to. There are now even groups calling themselves churches which at the same time endorse homosexual behavior. In order to faithfully bring the good news of Christ’s gospel to bear on the lives of people we need to be able to understand the arguments that are being made and respond to them with biblical truth (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

           I.      Common homosexual arguments against Scripture to justify their lifestyle:

  1. Subjectivism – Interpretation of biblical text must be governed by one’s own personal experience.  
  2. Evolving society – As new information emerges about the biological nature of homosexual behavior we are compelled to reinterpret biblical passages 
  3. Cultural biases of biblical writers – Biblical writers were bound by cultural “baggage” so that they merely reproduced the mores of their own social world

          II.      Church response to homosexual arguments against authority of Scripture:

Our response to these arguments begins by reaffirming basic biblical teaching about the nature of Scripture. Scripture is authoritative for life and sufficient to know God and his will:

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (1 Tim. 3:16-17)

How this applies to the 3 arguments above in order:

  1. Scripture is a revelation from the mind of God and therefore has a single objective meaning that the Divine Author intended.  
  2. Scripture is an expression of the eternal omniscience and wisdom of God therefore does not need to be informed by man’s ongoing discoveries.
  3. God oversaw the writing of Scripture in such a way that humans wrote exactly the words that God eternally intended, the end result being his very word in the smallest parts and as an organic whole.

       III.      Church response to those practicing homosexuality:

  1. Church must at all times love God and neighbor (including those who practice homosexuality) in ways that God prescribes (Matt. 22:37-40)
  2. Church must convey God’s condemnation of homosexual behavior (Rom. 1:32)
  3. Church must evangelize the one practicing homosexuality (1 Cor. 6:11)
  4. Church confront and correct erroneous teaching (1 Tim. 1:9-10)
  5. Church must purify itself (1 Cor. 5:9-13)

There is more that can be said here but I hope that this brief sketch will prove helpful to some. May God help and bless the work of the church in spreading the good news of God’s forgiving love for all sinners (including those who practice homosexuality) and saving power through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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