Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homosexuality and the church

This is a subject I have been thinking about for some time now.  I have heard from both sides of the issue and the friction that it causes in modern day society, more specifically in the church.  Over the years, homosexuality has become more accepted in society.  Back in the 1970s, for example, anyone who was homosexual kept it a secret from friends and family for the most part.  It was not socially accepted.  Today more and more people are "coming out of the closet," as they say, and embracing their homosexuality.  I honestly don't know if this trend is a result of growing social acceptance or peer pressure or what.  So, for the purposes of this paper, I'll leave that alone.  That's a whole other research paper. 

The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin.  In my research, I found there are 43 scriptural references in the Bible pertaining to homosexuality.  One old testament example is Leviticus 20:13 (ESV)  13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. It also talks about homosexuality in the new testament.  In 1 Timothy 1:10 English Standard Version (ESV), the Bible says  10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,[a] liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound[b] doctrine. 

I am a born-again Christian.  I am also a sinner.  We are all sinners.  We all fall short of the glory of God.  It is only through Jesus Christ and believing in Him and his death on the cross for our sins that we can be born again.

 Homosexuality is a sin, but so is stealing.  Murder is a sin.  Gossiping is a sin.  All are sins in the eyes of God.  We are ALL guilty of committing sin.  That's why we are all sinners.  God does not have "degrees" of sin.  Sin is sin in God's eyes.  The problem in regards to homosexuality as a sin, as I see it, is how Christians act/respond to homosexuals.

 Homosexuality is not part of God's plan for us.  As I pointed out earlier, the Bible clearly speaks against it.  Theoretically speaking, if we all were homosexual, the human race would die out as we could not reproduce.  God intended for us to "be fruitful and multiply."  He also said in Mark 10:6-9 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’  ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,[a] and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Many of the verses on homosexuality in the Bible are in the old testament.  This was the old covenant.  Extreme measures were taken on those who practiced homosexuality.  Like in Leviticus 20:13, it says, " If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them."  Likewise, in the old testament, it speaks against adultery.  In Deuteronomy 22:22 it says, “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel."  Clearly, in today's society, death is not the punishment for adultery.  Nor should it be the punishment for homosexuality, especially at the hands of Christians.

 I think the issue here is not whether or not homosexuality is a sin, but how Christians deal with homosexuals.  Yes, it is a sin.  The Bible clearly states that.  So, why do we Christians persecute homosexuals on a grander scale than we do, say, adulterers?  Thieves?  Gossipers?  Are they not sinners as well?  Or is it easier to hide such sins from others?  I think much of it has to do with the fact that homosexuality is not "normal."  It's not understood, so the easiest thing to do is condemn those who practice homosexuality.   Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.  No one?  I thought not.  

Why do we not accept them into the house of the Lord like we would anyone else?  The Bible teaches us to love the sinner, hate the sin.  If all of us had our sins exposed as a scarlet letter, how would others treat us?  Think about it. Regarding whether homosexuality is a lifestyle choice as opposed to something one is born with, I am unsure of the answer.  I don't think anyone truly knows the answer.  I believe environmental variables have a huge impact on how one is "bent" in this regard.  Your upbringing, home life, emotional health, etc all plays a part in how you see the world and how you fit in.  Again, all these factors would require much deeper research to adequately address them all. 

Reference:  http://www.openbible.info/topics/homosexuality