Thursday, December 9, 2010

Culture Wars - Homosexuality

One of the biggest issues facing the Christian church today is homosexuality.  The secular world says that homosexuality is actually a natural inclination amongst some people, and as a result, these people, in order to be true to themselves, should openly embrace what is deemed a genetic disposition and not so much a choice.  On the other hand, Christianity has had a long history of condemning homosexuality as a sinful lifestyle as evidenced in Scripture.  These two cultures are at odds.  Who is right?  Are homosexual tendencies actually something you are born with or are they merely a choice to disregard God's will?

Different arguments have been put forth about why homosexuality is wrong, but I don't believe most of them are adequate enough.  Some argue that homosexuality is not natural, but there have been many arguments made that call this into question and honestly, the only way to argue this way is to come from the belief that there is a Creator.  Some say that homosexuality is damaging to society, and again, there are plenty of arguments showing that it is no more damaging than other things that are freely accepted.  In fact, the only true way it could be damaging (arguing from a worldly sense) is if the whole human race practiced homosexuality and even then we have the technology to procreate without heterosexual sex.

Let's face the truth, there really is no way to argue against homosexuality when those we argue with don't accept our biblical foundation.  The danger is, because we can't effectively argue against it from a worldly standpoint we feel forced to accept it just like the rest of the world does.  Why?  Because if we don't we are called bigots, intolerant, prejudice, uncaring, etc...  The pressure that is being put on the Christian Church (and Christians) to go along with the culture is tremendous.

Part of this is our own fault.  In the past we have come across as intolerant bigots.  The Christian Church has not treated all sin equally.  We may say sin is sin, but in all honesty we are more gracious with some sins then with others.  For Christians homosexuality has been elevated, to a certain extent, to a position equal with "grievous" sins such murder or even child molestation.  As a result we have come across as uncaring to the homosexual community.  Some very nasty and ungodly talk has come out of the mouths of Christians as a result.  So any speaking out against homosexuality, even with the best intentions, is instantly perceived as an attack against those people who practice (or struggle with) it.

From a biblical standpoint homosexuality is a sin.  The arguments to the contrary are just not adequate enough to convince me otherwise.  It is obvious that the Bible condemns homosexuality as wrong (Sodom and Gomorrah, Romans chapter 1).  There is no way around this.  If Christians believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God then we must see it as being sin.  On the other hand, it is a sin that is no greater then any other sin, and the fact is, everyone struggles with sin.

Everyone struggles with sin!!  It is a fact of life, and the other fact is, not everyone struggles with the same sin. I struggle with overeating.  In fact, it might even be argued that I have a predisposition for overeating.  Does this mean that I should just give into it?  I mean, after all, it's not my fault.  I was born this way.  It's true!!  I was born with a predisposition, but in reality it is a predisposition to sin, and so were you!  My struggle with wanting to overeat is no less or greater than someone else's struggle to want to have a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex.  We both struggle with wanting to give into the temptation to engage in an activity that is wrong.

This is how homosexuality needs to be viewed, and when we view it this way it helps us identify with the homosexual and it gives us a course of action.  "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."  The "cure" is the same for every sin.  Most sin we engage in is done for one of two reasons: We engage in sin to gratify a lusty nature (to maximize on immediate though temporary pleasure), or we engage in sin to cover hurts in our lives (to create a more long term pleasure in hopes that it will mask the pain).  All humans do this to one extent or another.  Again, we are all in the same boat.

We can't acquiesce when challenged over this issue.  On the other hand we do have to be tactful.  The homosexual community has to see that it is the action we despise (as we should despise all sin) and not them as creations of God.  We are convinced by the truth we know.  This truth tells us to also love.  We hate the sin and love the sinner.  We behave as Jesus behaved.  If we fold on the issue of homosexuality it is only a matter of time that we fold on other issues as well.  The Bible will not longer be infallible but merely inspired by God and written by men which means error exists.  If error exists then a door is opened up to endless possibilities that would be detrimental.  Remember, there is only one person whom we should fear.


feetxxxl said...


feetxxxl said...

biblical foundation
romans1: they exchanged the truth about god's love(god is love) for a lie and worshipped and served powers and principalities(creATED....the things christ said we were to battle against) and were given over to those things that served those powers and principalities................shameful lust.(niv) therefore they abandoned the relations that were of their natural inclination,that exuded and embraced the fruit of the spirit( these are of spirit, the things of god are of spirit as well, because god is spirit),gal5 that gave them peace, for relations that were not and were without peace (peace a fruit of the spirit). where there is shame there is self abuse and defilement(wycliffe and kjv)1cor 1tim. it engenders the due penanlty of self loathing and self hatred. where there is lust the only commitment is to the lust. there is no bonding, the persons involved are merely instruments to satiate the lust.

homosexuals bond out of mutual love, respect affection, devotion, and trust, for a shared committed life together, the same as heterosexuals. homosexuals do not have women, never had women not from their earliest sexual memory. that is why they are called homosexual.

rather than marry someone they have no attraction to, they marry those they have been attracted to their entire lives 24/7. believing homosexual marriages are filled with the fruit of the spirit in the same way as those of believing heterosexuals.

homosexuals have never been found wanting in any sector of society compared to heterosexuals. they are not less a brother, friend , attorney, counselor , teacher, father, neighbor.

jesus said we would recognize them by their fruit........the fruit of the spirit that is in their lives.

romans is about the basis of all sin........not giving thanks and glorifying god, abandoning their eternal relationship with the father for obsessing on their mortal one, not thinking it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of god...........

that is why romans 2 says that those that condemn others condemn themselves because they also do the things i just listed of romans1

Pastor Brian B Van Dyke said...

Thanks for commenting feetxxl. I appreciate an honest discussion concerning a view.

I believe the Bible, from Old to New Testament, declares homosexuality a sin. It was condemned in the the Levitical laws. In 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 Paul lists the malakos and arsenokoites as unrighteous not inheriting the kingdom of God. (Yes, I know the arguments against these words posed by the homosexual community. Honestly, I see these arguments as a denial of the Word of God and an attempt to justify this lifestyle.)

To be honest, I don't know why God has condemned homosexuality. I have my opinions, but I don't purport to know the mind of God beyond what he has revealed. My wish is that Christians would not see homosexuals any different then themselves. All people have sin issues in their lives that they struggle with.

With that said, I will now tell you why I think homosexuality is a sin. I cannot claim to know the mind of a homosexual, but I do struggle with temptation and sin. To a certain extent (but not fully) I think I can identify with the homosexual. Also, the homosexuals that I do know, and I know a few who are in "committed relationships," lead me to believe that homosexuality is a bandage; an attempt to cover up pain in a person's life. It is used much the same way as alcohol, drugs, food, pornography, or any other kind of addiction. (I personally identify with food addiction).

Some people are homosexuals because they just blatantly want the sexual satisfaction. I think this is becoming a minority of homosexuals in our culture (True homosexuals that is. Not the "I think it is cool to be bi"). There are many who practice homosexuality for other reasons, and like any sin, have come to justify their actions by using worldly arguments, denying and/or twisting scripture.

It is for this reason that we Christians need to start treating homosexuality differently then we have in the past. It is a sin issue like all sin issues. Homosexuals can, but learning to trust in God, resist the temptation to have such a lifestyle.

Let me say this as well. I believe that two people of the same sex can have a very close relationship without it involving sex. I believe Jonathon and David had such a relationship (contrary to what some homosexuals say). The issue is sex and it is not only the issue of homosexuals. It is the issue of heterosexuals as well. There are too many heterosexuals who focus too much on sex instead of focusing on what is important: doing the best and right thing. I believe that this is really what makes it a sin issue. God set forth his law. We either abide by it or we don't. As has been seen, the Jews could not do it by their own power. Fortunately for us we have Jesus who is very willing, even desiring, to help us resist temptation to sin, recover from past pain, and live for him.

feetxxxl said...

i really have no idea who you have interacted with because your understanding appears to be distanced from those you condemn and appears to indicate that you have never had any of the fellowship of the 1john1 of sharing the oneness of the love of christ with a believing homosexuals. i attend 2 churches one conservative heterosexual of a congregation of 100 and one totally homosexuual of a congregation of 600. the lives and marriages of the congregants of both churches are filled with the fruit of the spirit of christ(gal5) in the same way.

about history of the word "homosexual" in 1cor 1tim. in the 1500's king henry(england)head of church/state made homosexuality a hanging offense. it remained on the books for 300 years. in the 1800's queen victoria, another head of church/state attempted to further the understanding of being homosexual a sin by transposingthe word homosexual into scripture, supported by the cultural influence of the last 300 years. this attempted to make a regulation about being homosexual a sin. english settlers came into this country with the same cutural influence enacting different punishments. during the 600 years being homosexual was illegal, the blanket of illegality has made this understanding unchallengable, because the church is the culture and the culture is the church. no one lives in a purely religious bubble or a secular one.

an attempt to make a regulation of homosexuality a sin comes against the principles of the new covenant. under the new covenant we dont have a relationship to god thru regulation(torn curtain) as in deut 28 but instead directly to the spirit that lives in each believer.

romans "the sons of god are led by the spirit of god"

under the new covenant believers are led by the godlove(love one another as i have loved you) of the 2nd commandment,(love neighbor) which is the summation and fulfillment of all new covenant law, romans and galatians. being homosexual does not come against this love, christ's love.

Pastor Brian B Van Dyke said...

First, I do not condemn homosexuals for only God has the authority to condemn. I do however condemn the act of homosexuality. I do not allow my condemnation of the sinful act keep me from having a relationship with someone who is homosexual. I will just disagree with their lifestyle and not be drawn into it.

Second, humans have an amazing capacity to fool themselves into thinking they are okay with God when in fact they are not. Being a Christian is an ongoing process. Those who follow Christ should find their actions and lifestyle constantly challenged. So just because you see homosexuals who say they are committed to Christ exhibiting the fruit of the spirit really does not mean as much as you make it to mean. The fact is they are like anyone of us in need of Christ's direction which produces constant growth.

Third, when you make an argument could you please reference it. I have done a quick look on the internet and only see people doing what you have done here; stating an argument without referencing. So I cannot respond to your argument until I can take a closer look at it.

Fourth, under the new covenant we no longer have to worry about suffering the ultimate penalty of sin, but the moral law has not been abolished and we still suffer the immediate (while here on earth) consequences that come with sin. I already explained this earlier.

Fifth, if I love others the way I need to be loved then I shall continue to point out sin as I expect those who love me to do when it comes to my life. It is not love when they allow me to continue to wallow in sin. Love is doing what is right and best.

Thanks again for the discussion feetxxxl. I do appreciate that we can sharpen one another through it.