Great Stuff — What should Christians think about homosexuality and “homosexual marriage”?

March 30th, 2013 Post by

Another great piece found on Pr. Mark Surburg’s blog, surburg.blogspot.com:

 

I have written in a recent post that it now seems inevitable that” homosexual marriage” will attain full legal status in our nation (“Homosexual marriage changes nothing and it changes everything: A post-mortem on marriage in American culture”; http://surburg.blogspot.com/2013/03/homosexual-marriage-changes-nothing-and.html).  Unfortunately, we live at a time when an incredible shift is taking place in our culture.  We are witnessing the homosexualization of culture.  Powerful forces in the world around us are promoting homosexuality as a normal, acceptable and even praiseworthy lifestyle. They are about to achieve one of the primary goals for this movement: legal recognition of homosexual marriages.

As public attention has focused on this issue in recent days, it has been remarkable to see how many people who describe themselves as Christians support homosexual marriage.  When we encounter these forces and see their impact on the world and Church, it is crucial that we as Christians return to God’s Word and listen to what He has to say about these issues.  We must start at the beginning and acknowledge that in establishing His created order, God made humanity as male and female.  We read in Genesis 1:27: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  God determined, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper corresponding to him” (Genesis 2:18) and he created woman as the necessary partner for man.  He instituted marriage as the one flesh union of a man and woman (Genesis 2:24) which was to carry out the necessary task of procreation – God told Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).

God’s Word teaches us that He established marriage for three reasons.  First it prevents mankind from being alone (Genesis 2:18).  Second, it provides for the continuing life of humanity through procreation (Genesis 1:28).  Third, it curbs the inclination toward sin and lust in this fallen world, for as Paul wrote: “But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2).

Homosexuality runs directly counter to this ordering of creation provided by God.  God’s Word in the Old and New Testaments is absolutely clear on this point.  Because it is crucial to actually listen to what God’s Word says on this topic, I have set forth the full text of these passages below:

Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Roman 1:24-27 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.  Amen.  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their woman exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire towards one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

1 Timothy 1:8-10 But we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.

It is important to realize that the Old and New Testaments stated this condemnation of homosexuality in the midst of the ancient world that believed there was nothing wrong with homosexuality (though the specifics of this position are not what the homosexual movement would have us believe: http://surburg.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-ancient-greeks-and-homosexuality.html).

Homosexuality has gained wider acceptance as it is promoted by powerful forces in our culture. One of the most common arguments is that homosexuality is a natural state.  It remains an open question whether homosexuality has a genetic component.  In the July 2005 issue of theConcordia Journal Dr. Robert Weise surveyed the current state of research and wrote, “While there may be biological factors influencing sexual orientation, they do not appear determinative or causative” (pg. 239).  It seems likely that there is a combination of genetic inclination and societal influence in varying degrees within each person.

However, even if it were conclusively proven that homosexuality is a genetic condition, it would not change the truth that God’s Word shares with us about the sinfulness of homosexuality.  The entrance of sin into the world in the Fall (Genesis 3) warped and twisted God’s creation.  The presence of the genetic predisposition to cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or any harmful condition bears witness to the impact of sin on creation.  It does not make these things “natural,” but rather makes them part of a sinful, fallen world.  A genetic predisposition to homosexuality would be no different than the genetic predisposition to alcoholism.  The struggle against these sins would be caused by the impact of sin in the world, and not through any personal fault of the individual.  However, in neither case would this give an individual the right to engage in homosexual acts or drunkenness and the abuse of alcohol.  Both would remain sins that Christians must avoid and for which they must repent when they have committed these sins.

As a result of our sinful, fallen world a Christian may have sinful homosexual inclinations and desires, in the same way that a Christian may have sinful heterosexual inclinations and desires that break the Sixth Commandment.  In both cases, the Sixth Commandment forbids Christiansfrom acting on these desires and calls us to repentance in the face of these desires.  When Christians fall and engage in a homosexual act they need to repent and receive God’s forgiveness, just like Christians who engage in a heterosexual act that breaks the Sixth Commandment.  At the same time, it is important to realize that sin is sin.  Homosexuality is one form of the many ways that people sin.  Christians must strive in their lives to avoid all forms of sin.  We know that we frequently fail to do this in many different ways.  On those occasions, we take comfort in knowing that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ provides the assurance of forgiveness to all who repent and turn to Him in faith.

Reflection on God’s Word also leads to the conclusion that Christians cannot endorse any form of “homosexual marriage.”  As we have seen, God’s Word teaches us that marriage has three purposes: 1) it prevents mankind from being alone (Geneis 2:18); 2) it provides for the continuing life of humanity through procreation (Genesis 1:28); 3) it curbs the inclination toward sin and lust in this fallen world (1 Corinthians 7:2).  Since homosexual relationships violate the second and third purposes of marriage, they do not reflect what God calls marriage and Christians are not permitted to call them marriage.

Ultimately the discussion about homosexuality is really a discussion about the authority of God’s Word.  If we believe that the Scriptures are God’s inspired and inerrant Word, then we will recognize that they remain God’s authoritative revelation to us.  They will continue to guide the God pleasing life that reflects and respects His ordering of creation.  However if we treat Scripture as a human document that we must evaluate and then decide which parts we wish to accept, the result is that we lose God’s Word as the guide for our faith and life.  As Dr. David Adams has correctly judged regarding the topic of homosexuality: “If successful in their efforts to undercut the authority of the biblical witness on this subject, the proponents of homosexuality in the church will have effectively deprived the church of the means to apply what the Bible says about virtually any moral issue to the life of the church today” (Concordia Journal, July 2005, pg. 228).

Unfortunately, the general acceptance of homosexuality in our culture is here to stay.  If the Church is to be faithful to God’s Word, it will increasingly find itself to be counter-cultural as it tells the world what it doesn’t want to hear – just as things were at the beginning of the Church during its first few centuries of life.  Yet if the Church is to remain Christ’s Church, she must listen to God’s authoritative revelation about all subjects – including homosexuality.  May the Holy Spirit grant each of us the faith to listen to God’s Word and confess the truth about the ordering of God’s good creation that He has made known to us.






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  1. Carl Vehse
    March 30th, 2013 at 20:08 | #1

    When an unrepentant pro-homosexual blaspheming legislator is immune to excommunication, and his sympathetic Lufauxran congregation similarly is not subject to removal from Missouri Synod membership, and when (almost!) no one dares mention the use of imprecatory prayers to God that He bring to repentance or annihilate the wicked and traitorous political and judicial regimes in DC and various states, then it is not surprising to read:

    “Unfortunately, the general acceptance of homosexuality in our culture is here to stay.”

    BTW, that degenerate genocidal Demonicrat (sub)culture is not my culture, nor should it be the culture of any other Christian, including those who claim to be U.S. citizens.

  2. jim davis
    March 31st, 2013 at 09:24 | #2

    The Republican party has major elements on both coasts, and elsewhere, that have no interest in helping people (the 47% according to Romney) who are not successful on their own. Jesus always helped the poor, the downtrodden, the infirm, etc. Many Republicans shove them aside. How can any Christian be a part of that party?
    I see problems with the Democratic party and agree with Carl about Christians not being part of that party.
    Perhaps a new political party, the Christian party, needs to arise.

  3. DK
    March 31st, 2013 at 10:26 | #3

    Wow, great article. These battles can be used for the good–to affirm what God’s intent for His creation is and means for us fallen, sinful creatures. Through this battle, I have learned so much about God’s intent for marriage (thanks Steadfast) and now see how incredibly beautiful marriage was designed to be.

    Not only do we as Christians need to address homosexuality, but ANY extramarital sex. Just heard from a church-going neighbor that her son will be going to another country for a couple of years with his girlfriend. No mention of marriage in the works. It’s so common place now that parents aren’t even ashamed that their children are living in a sinful state.

    There was a really interesting video I saw on Planned Parenthood by the American Life League called “Hooking Kids on Sex.” It explained that a significant part of their agenda was to “hook” kids–even grade school age– on sex (similar to hooking kids on drugs) so that they can make cash from the services they provide ie: receive federal funding for birth control, STD testing, and abortions then if a pregnancy does occur. Included is of course the “normalizing” every perversion of sex out there. Once again, the society is being duped into believing a lie that distorts truth so someone at the top can reap financial rewards–and the sheep follow blindly over the cliff.

    Sometimes I wonder if God is “given the US over to their lusts” as he did in the days of the Bible when the society so blatantly engaged in this sort of behavior?

  4. Harry Edmon
    March 31st, 2013 at 22:45 | #4

    I wonder if time has come to turn the tables. Start by asking someone what is their definition of marriage. Then attack their definition with the same methods they use to attack the Biblical definition. For example, say the definition is “Marriage is a life long commitment between two people who love one another”. Start with the question “Why two?” Whatever answer they give, tell them that is just their “cultural” bias, that there is no reason to make it just two. Another question – “Do they need to be adults (or even human)”? Challenge them to justify that decision. The two arguments to make back at them when the reject your challenges are:

    1. That is your society bias or you own belief that you should not impose on someone else.
    2. If they claim some defect about the relationship, say since we have never tried it we don’t know if that defect is true.

    Basically, once you reject the Biblical definition there is no logical basis for any other definition. I doubt this will change anyone’s mind, but it may make them squirm at least a little bit.

  5. Joe Strieter
    March 31st, 2013 at 23:38 | #5

    @jim davis #2

    How does the Democrat Party “help” anyone? Only by taking money from others. There simply is no other way. The last time I looked, the laws of economics had not been repealed. A political party, no matter what its name–“Christian Party,” if you like–can only help those who are not successful on their own (whatever that means), by taking money from those who are successful–whether ever their level of income and resources, and however “successful” is defined.

    When a Political Party says it want to “help” anyone, look out! Coercion will be coming, and there’s nothing “Christian” about coercion, no matter what the party label.

  6. Alan
    March 31st, 2013 at 23:42 | #6

    @Harry Edmon #4

    Attack? Why must I attack anyone?

  7. jim davis
    April 1st, 2013 at 08:04 | #7

    Joe #5:

    I am not promoting the Republican or Demorcartic parties; I see problems for Christians with both of them.

    I was proposing a new “Christian Party” that would support pro-life and adoption. Expanding and promoting adoption is critical to giving the children the love and nurturing that they need.
    Charity (helping others) should also be promoted. Charity and giving of money, time, and talent through your church or through other charitable organizations in your area. Let us get the politicians out of the charity business and do it through the local people.

  8. Harry Edmon
    April 1st, 2013 at 08:14 | #8

    Not attack them, attack their argument. A better word would be to refute.

  9. Becky
    April 5th, 2013 at 21:29 | #9

    I don’t think Jesus always helped the poor. He was on
    A mission to seek and save the lost rich or poor, not establish
    A civic religion.

  10. Nicholas
    April 5th, 2013 at 21:41 | #10

    @jim davis #2

    The idea that “the Republican party doesn’t care about the poor” is false. It is Leftist propaganda that you have unknowingly swallowed. What they are implying is that anyone who doesn’t support socialist big government and social programs “doesn’t care about the poor.” Socialism simply doesn’t work. It never has worked, it is not working in the West now, and it never will work. You should spend some time here: http://www.discoverthenetworks.com

    You are also guilty of confusing the Two Kingdoms. I would not expect this from a Lutheran, but I suspect that a lot of LCMS laity are poorly catechized and taught. Jesus’ commands for Christians concerning the poor and “downtrodden” make no mention of government whatsoever.

  11. Carl Vehse
    April 12th, 2013 at 11:48 | #11

    Today the WMLT blogsite posted copies of three letters President Harrison sent to all 2013 LCMS delegates:

    1. On Holy Baptism in the Large Catechism
    2. Letter on the Augsburg Confession
    3. A Plea for Delegates to Be at Prayer (along with a booklet, A Simple Way to Pray—For Peter, the Master Barber)

    In the letter, “On Holy Baptism in the Large Catechism,” Pres. Harrison refers to the Supreme Court cases on homosexual “marriage”:

    In the past weeks, I’ve been paying very close attention to the Supreme Court cases on gay marriage. What is billed as simply allowing people to love whom they please, in reality threatens to rule unconstitutional the divinely created mandate that marriage is between one man and one woman And we who hold to natural law and the Scriptures are increasingly labeled “bigots.” The assault on our religious freedoms will increase exponentially—and soon, as we refuse to capitulate to the world. Our world is slipping so rapidly away from sanity that I shudder to think what is just ahead. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

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