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Controversial Issues 5

01 Aug

3. Homosexuality Is In the News Again

I think people are getting tired of hearing about the latest development in same-sex marriages or what celebrity has decided after all these years that they are suddenly homosexual. Yet the media cannot seem to get enough of these stories.

One of the most recent is the following decision in Arkansas:

http://theweek.com/article/index/261353/speedreads-arkansas-judge-strikes-down-states-gay-marriage-ban

Saying Arkansas had “no rational reason” to prevent gay couples from marrying, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down a 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage late on Friday.

“This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality,” Piazza wrote in a decision reported by The Associated Press. “The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.”

I am not a homosexual or same-sex marriage supporter and I do take offense at what the Judge said in that quote. There is a ‘rational reason’ to prevent homosexuals from marrying because marriage has been defined for thousands of years as a ‘union between 1 man and 1 woman’.

That is rational enough but if we want more rational reasons we can point to the inability of same-sex partners becoming one, reproducing, and contributing to the general health of society as well.  I would say spiritual health but too many people either reject such ideas or have alternatives for that to have any effect but in reality believers do know that the spiritual health of a nation is very important to its survival and well-being.

The judge there  also said that homosexuality is a minority but that idea opens the door to allowing people to marry their pets, or farm animals, it opens the door to bigamy and allows for religious groups to claim minority status for their multiple wives doctrine and so on.

We do not change the definition of an institution because a few people refuse to follow the rules. By doing so, the judge has set marriage on a slippery slope it cannot recover unless it closes the door to same-sex marriage.

Biblically, and again too many people will not like what I will say as they hold to their own alternative ideas but, there is no admittance of homosexuals into the institution of marriage. Peter laid it out very clearly when he wrote:

and if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter. (2 Peter 2: 6 NASB)

Homosexuality wasn’t the only sin practiced in those cities but it was not excluded either. Since there is nothing of God in the practice of homosexuality, it stands to reason that that preference would originate and allow other sins to be practiced as well.

We do not need a theological debate on the words ‘that we may know them’ to understand that the driving sin, the foundation sin in Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality. We see their sinful practices today as they ignore biblical teachings while claiming to be Christian.

If God was in homosexuality, the homosexual would not participate in so many other sins or allow their community to accept and endorse their use. Biblical teaching would permeate their lives but we know it doesn’t.

Now why did I use that scripture to support the point made? Because since homosexuality was the foundational sin of those cities, it stands to reason they allowed same-sex marriage. In order to say that one needs only to turn to the words of Solomon in Ecc. and read:

That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. (1:9 NASB)

Same-sex marriage did not originate in the 20th or 21st century. It has been around for a long time and God has shown his displeasure of that practice by leaving Sodom and Gomorrah as an example for all time periods.

I have come to the realization, hopefully it is brought by God, that since the definition of marriage was made thousands of years prior to the writing of the American constitution, that constitution has no authority to include those who have been excluded by God’s defining of marriage.

Appealing to the constitution is a coward’s way out of a situation where no one will be happy with the conclusion made by a judge.

But this isn’t the only homosexual topic in the news today. McGrath does a book review at his website on the book God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/05/review-of-god-and-the-gay-christian.html

Now the first problem with that author and book is that the only way for a homosexual to be Christian is to repent of their sins and give up the practice of homosexuality. Anything else, the homosexual do not have the right to call themselves Christian.

John makes that perfectly clear with the following words:

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1 John 1 NASB)

There is no middle ground with God. Now I have not read the book and the following will be based upon what McGrath says the author wrote or what McGrath writes himself.

That is why Vines’ book is so important. It is written by a conservative Christian who is gay. It accepts the authority of Scripture. And it makes a convincing case within that framework that what the Bible says does not provide a basis for disapproving of same-sex marriage

There are many problems within that quote. First, one cannot be a conservative Christian and be homosexual. A conservative christian holds to the one man and one woman definition of marriage and does not allow for alternatives to be included in the marriage institution.

Second. How can one accept the authority of scripture yet still practice sin and say that that sin is good? One is calling God a liar by doing so.

Third, The Bible does provide a convincing basis for disproving of same-sex marriage. It says

because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16 NASB)

Do a study on the word ‘holy’ and you will never see homosexuality or same-sex marriage included in God’s definition of that word or practice. Just because the Bible does not explicitly state the words ‘same-sex marriage is not marriage or right’ does not mean that the bible does not provide a basis to disprove of that act.

Vines points out that the Bible itself asks people to look at the fruit that is produced by people and by teachings.

This is a classic example of cherry picking the verses one wants to use in support of one’s faulty arguments. Yes the Bible talks about knowing someone by their fruit but it also talks about what happens to those who disobey. We only need to turn to the story of the conquest of Jericho and Ai to see that in action.

What kind of fruit does homosexuality produce? More disobedient people and disobedience is not favored by God. So we do know the homosexual by their fruit, its fruit is tainted and evil while not being of or blessed by God.

The second chapter starts with Galileo and how new information requires us at times to let go of earlier interpretations of Scripture.

The problem with this point is that ‘interpretation’ is not truth nor is it usually biblical truth. New information may dispel interpretation because interpretation does not usually contain inspired words.

Galileo’s and other astronomers’ work did not overturn any biblical teaching but it did expose what false ideas looked like when it comes to biblical references to the universe. It also shows how those who do not believe the Bible or God  do not understand what the Bible is teaching when it mentions things like,

He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. (Ps. 104:5 NASB)

Most people would not think that upon hearing the following words

Let heaven and earth praise Him, The seas and everything that moves in them. (Ps. 69:4 NASB)

You stretched out Your right hand, The earth swallowed them. (Exodus 15:12 NASB)

that the earth possessed a mouth, a stomach and a breathing apparatus thus we can say that those who held to the sun revolving around the earth when hearing the Ps. verses were misguided and the anti-creationists are simply ignoring how the scriptures should be read and  use such misguided thinking to for their benefit..

People will use interpretation to their advantage which is why we are not to follow it.

For most men in the Greco-Roman world, sex with other men was not an alternative to sex with women, but something which was pursued, in the eyes of critics, because of the insatiability of their lusts, seeking novel pleasures.

If you read modern homosexual literature alone and did not find any heterosexual romance novels you would draw the same conclusion. The above quote is making an over generalization  based upon a few ancient manuscripts whose intent and purpose cannot be discovered.

It is an insult to the ancient world to draw such conclusions from sparse works. Homosexuality has been around for a very long time thus it is no stretch to conclude that they wrote their own literature, had their own plays describing their lusts, behaviors and desires.

It is like reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette and deciding that every person of Shakespeare England killed themselves after a love affair went bad.

Chapter 3 focuses on celibacy, noting that there is no suggestion anywhere in the Bible that people may have natural attraction to people of the same gender and that they are called to celibacy

They are called to repent of their sins for acting on those attractions, which I doubt are natural, or looking to God to relieve them of such desires. The Bible only leaves room for heterosexual marriage thus that or celibacy is those people’s only choices. Because the Bible doesn’t speak on the issue doesn’t mean it grants permission for people to marry the same-sex.

Marriage has already been defined by God and why should he be redundant and say the same thing over and over throughout the Bible just to appease those who did not get the message the first time? Same-sex advocates are looking for any loophole to justify their pursuit of sin.

noting that the attempted same-sex act in the story was gang rape, which is wrong regardless of whether the victim is male or female, as Judges 19 shows.

This is a very big stretch and the scene alluded to illustrates how depraved the people of Sodom had become because of their sinful pursuits and alternative lifestyle.  Homosexuality does not spawn godly behavior and we can see that today just by looking at the ‘gay pride’ parades, the homosexual bar scenes and the homosexual response when told ‘no’.

The desire to ‘know the angels’ does not provide any justification for same-sex marriage. The men of Sodom had anyone in their city to marry so that episode falls well short of providing any evidence in favor for modern same-sex marriage.

The chapter shows that not all rules about sexuality found in Leviticus carried over into Christianity, and thus Leviticus cannot be cited simplistically on the matter.

This is pure desperation on the part of the author of that book. He cannot find any real biblical support for his same-sex desires or marriage thus he grasps at straws and does the old ‘you ignore the food laws why should we obey the laws against homosexuality’ argument.

One reason is that the OT food laws are not repeated in the NT nor is a command to follow them placed there for Christians telling them to adhere to those laws WHILE repeated rejections of homosexuality and homosexuals are found in the NT. I Cor. is quite clear that the homosexual will not see heaven

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 [f]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (ch. 6 NASB)

That is quite a difference thus that argument does not hold water.

we need to ask why Paul wrote what he did, so that we can understand the underlying principle and its application, and then seek how to relate that to our current context. Vines concludes that Paul was not speaking about “homosexuality” in the sense that we use that term today:

Really? So sin of Paul’s time is not sin in our time? Since God does not change that is a laughable idea. Actually the act of homosexuality has not changed at all since Paul’s time to now nor had it changed from Noah’s time to Paul’s.

Homosexuality is still the same unnatural act of man and man or woman and woman. There are no degrees of that sexual preference and what God has declared sin and an abomination doesn’t change either.

There is no biblical support for that quoted idea and it is all subjective eisegesis  that would even suggest such a change took place. Trying to change what sin is  shows a very desperate person trying to find some way to justify their decision to participate in what God hates.

Chapter 7 tackles the words malakoi and arsenokoitai. A survey of past translations highlights that it is only recently that the former was connected with same-sex intercourse.

This is another desperate ploy. Attack the translation of ancient words when all else fails. The problem for those who know ancient languages yet do not believe in Jesus is that they do not know what the truth is and would not be able to provide any replacement translated meanings to those passages that would be correct.

Their work is influenced by their bias and far from objective and even further from having God’s help. Translation of biblical words isn’t dependent upon knowing many ancient words and their meanings, it is dependent upon following the Holy Spirit to the truth.

Homosexuals trying to re-translate scripture are trying to change God’s word in their favor in order to claim they are following God by having same-sex relations.

Chapter 8 then moves from showing that these texts are not about committed same-sex marriages in our context, to making a positive case for same-sex marriage from the Bible.

The word ‘committed’ is being used here as some magic pill that makes sin go away. It won’t work because being committed to one’s partner (in the homosexual’s case) or spouse (in the heterosexual’s case) doesn’t mean one is obeying God.

Commitment is not necessarily obedience. One can be committed to their spouse and still slip and have an affair or a one night stand. Commitment doesn’t mean one is ‘saved’ or has repented from their sins. It just means one has chosen to stay with one job, one pet, or one mate/partner.

If that partnership is an adulterous one (pre-marriage) or a homosexual one then one is still wrong and living in sin and disobeying God. Being committed does not change what sin is.

And when we reject the desire of gay Christians to express their sexuality within a lifelong covenant, we separate them from our covenantal God, and we tarnish their ability to bear his image.

This quote shows that the unbeliever has no clue about what being the image of God is all about. They also ignore the fact that homosexuality is sin. They refuse to accept that fact and think that it is Christians that are separating homosexuals from God. It is their acceptance and practice of sin that is separating them from God.

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil [c]has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is [d]born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is[e]born of God.10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: [f]anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3 NASB)

The homosexual is passing the buck to Christians instead of accepting the responsibility for their own choices and their desire to practice sin.

In the final analysis, it is not gay Christians who are sinning against God by entering into monogamous, loving relationships. It is we who are sinning against them by rejecting their intimate relationships.

This is just a lie. There is no scripture commanding that anyone accepts a same-sex marriage; there is also no scripture granting permission for same-sex marriages. There is scripture saying that homosexuality is wrong and sin and it is the homosexual who is deceiving themselves and sinning not the believer who rejects their sinful practices.

Vines’ book is full of sound contextual exegesis. None of it bothered me or seemed dubious to me from my perspective as a liberal, but none of it is a liberal interpretation or based on a liberal view of the Bible.

McGrath is no one to give recommendations about such topics. His anti-biblical stance is well-known thus his approval and  assessment  about this book means nothing. He is an unbeliever as well thus anything that goes against biblical views he will delight in. He also would not see where Vines goes wrong in his treatment of scripture and this topic.

It is the blind rubber stamping the work of the blind

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