29 Question 1

This is a very important question.  It’s one that is dividing our nation and our churches.  What was once thought to be sinful is now thought of as normal in most places.  Some states have already legalized same sex marriages, while some appear to be on the brink of legalizing them.  Even our President and Vice-President have spoken openly about being in favor of same sex marriages.  I am going to make this into a two-part question by following this one with another question: How should Christians behave towards people that live a homosexual lifestyle?

As far as your original question, the Bible does not really say anything about same sex marriage.  That doesn’t mean that the Bible approves of it, but it doesn’t address same sex marriages.  The reason for that is that the Bible speaks of marriage as the Lord instituted it, and it is always between a man and a woman.  From the very outset, we see the Lord’s establishment of marriage in the Garden of Eden.  Let’s read Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  The word ‘wife’ here is the same Hebrew word that is translated ‘woman’ in verse 22, which says, “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”  This is the first mention of marriage, and it sets the principal of marriage being between a man and a woman.  The Lord Jesus references this in Matthew 19:4-6 where it says, “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”  Again, we see the Godly pattern for marriage is one man married to one woman.  It is important to note that in all of scripture, there is not one marriage mentioned that is not between a man and a woman.

As a society, people are more receptive to the idea of homosexuality than ever before.  Have we become more civilized and therefore more accepting of all kinds of thought, or have we become cold and indifferent to the clear teaching of scripture?  In today’s society, we are forsaking the Bible as our standard, and therefore we are losing the standards the Lord has set forth.  I am reminded of the nation of Israel in the days of the judges where we read in Judges 17:6 that, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”  Doesn’t that sound like the days we’re living in now?  In our day, someone that takes a Christian stand against homosexuality is called intolerant, bigoted and homophobic.

What does the Bible, the only source of authority say about homosexuality?  Let’s start by looking at Leviticus 18:22-23 which says “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.  Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.”  This is the NIV translation of the verses.  The word ‘detestable’ is translated ‘abomination’ in the KJV.  The word literally means, “Something morally disgusting.”  I realize these are harsh words; words that are not tolerated today by the world.  However, these are not my words; they are the words of the Lord.  In verse 23, the Lord states that it is a perversion to have sexual relations with an animal.  It’s amazing how that thought is still disgusting to society, but verse 22 has been rejected.  In Leviticus 20:13 we see that under the law homosexuality was punishable by death.  It states, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”  There are about six or seven distinct portions in the scriptures that condemn homosexuality.  For the sake of time, I will give you a few so you can look them up for yourselves: Romans 1:24-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Timothy 1:8-11 are some New Testament references.  Notice that homosexuality is not the only sin condemned in these passages; just one of many.

Homosexuality is a result of the fall of man. This fall into sin has infected the entire human race with sin, perversions, and abominations.  It distorts what God created us to be. Homosexuality is clearly a perversion of the created order. Obviously, men and women were designed to “fit” together sexually.  In plain language, the genitals of a man were created to be compatible with the genitals of a woman.  The main purpose for the sex act is for procreation, but two people of the same sex cannot reproduce.  A man has no body part that was created to receive the genitals of another man.  The same is true of women.  Although the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality, you really don’t even have to believe what the Bible teaches in order to recognize that homosexuality is not natural.  Men were created for women and women were created for men.

Let me be clear about another thing.  Love between two people of the same sex is no sin.  Most people are familiar with the words found in Ruth 1:16-17 which says, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:  Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”  You might hear these words at a wedding.  These words were spoken by Ruth to her mother-in-law, Naomi.  Let’s also look at 1 Samuel 18:1 which says, “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”  The love between these two men is well known.  For one person to love another is no sin, in fact it is so commendable.  The perversion is when two people of the same sex become sexually active with each other.

Why are some people sexually attracted to others of the same sex?  I don’t know if that question can be answered except to say that because of the fall of man, there are many perversions in the world.  I do know that many people are attracted to alcohol, many are attracted to children, many are attracted to pornography and many are attracted to gambling.  The list goes on and on.  Just because we find ourselves with a certain attraction, does not justify us acting out those attractions.  Just because there are many others with the same attraction does not make it right or normal.

So, where do we go from here?  How are we supposed to act towards those that participate in homosexual acts?  How are we supposed to feel about them?  How are we supposed to treat them?  Let’s consider those questions now.  (29.1)