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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Biblical Response To Homosexuality

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Unstoppable moral declension: a sign of our Lord's return

For more than two decades, there have been relentless efforts all over the world, in all realms of life, to get homosexual behaviour accepted as an alternative lifestyle. People from all walks of life - psychologists, politicians, religious leaders, actors and actresses - were seen trying to get society to accept this unnatural behaviour as a norm.

Now in Singapore, homosexual behaviour is becoming widely accepted. Influential people, even some "Christian" leaders, have publicly referred to homosexuality as a natural, harmless orientation with which some people are born. Some have excused it as an "alternative lifestyle"; others have referred to it as "sexual orientation". There are also claims that homosexual tendencies are caused by genetic deformity or disorder. All such explanations are attempts to legitimise this sexual perversion in our society.

The rhetoric of gay-rights activism portrays sexual sins as harmless and in wholly non-moral terms. But anyone, who has looked at societies that have long accepted homosexuality, can also see that many social evils have followed its acceptance.

There is nothing much we can do to stop our modern society from such moral and spiritual declension. The Bible clearly predicts that moral degeneration will be a clear sign of end times. Our Lord Jesus said clearly that before He comes again, there will be a time of depraved behaviour in the world such as in the time of Noah and Sodom, an ancient city known for her homosexual activities (Luke 17:26-30).

As homosexuality receives more acceptance in our society, there will be more propaganda and homosexual activities. These will ensnare the souls of our children and spouses. Temptations will be everywhere. The aftermath of legalized homosexual activities will be detrimental to the sanctity and peace of our homes. There will be increased marital break-ups and other sexual perversions. If homosexuality is acceptable, why not bestiality? Why not incest? Why not adultery?

The Apostle Paul warned: "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:6-7).

Though we can do very little to prevent society from morally and spiritually degenerating, we must teach our church, our families and ourselves what Scripture says about homosexuality. The truth of God's Word is our only shield. If we believe and preach what the Bible says, we can protect our souls and can deliver some who are tempted or fallen. So Paul advises us in 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

Biblical response to the spread of homosexuality

(i) Homosexuality is a detestable sin prohibited by God:

Humanistic psychopathology has been trying for years to blame all kinds of sinful behaviour such as alcoholism, theft, drug addiction and sexual perversion on genetics. Today, the same voices are heard in support of the legitimisation of homosexuality.

However, Scripture clearly speaks of homosexuality as a sin. We must have the same mentality if we are to keep ourselves away from its snares.

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination . . . Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you" (Leviticus 18:22, 24). "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" (Leviticus 20:13).

Pro-homosexual teachers have opposed the validity of the above Scripture verses by saying that Christians are no longer under the Mosaic law. But we must carefully distinguish the dietary or ceremonial laws (abolished in the New Testament – Hebrews 10:8-10) from the moral laws (reinforced in the New Testament and still applicable today – Mark 7:20-23; Matthew 5:27, 28). Some have argued, "Why do Christians quote the Old Testament on homosexuality, then ignore the commands that prohibit eating shellfish or wearing clothing of mixed fibres?" The important distinction between these laws is reflected in the Old Testament penalties for breaking them: disobedience to the ceremonial laws resulted in uncleanness (Leviticus 11:24, etc.), while breaching the moral law meant death (Leviticus 20:13).

Moreover, the New Testament itself condemns homosexuality in an explicit manner. In Romans 1, the activities of gays as well as lesbians are depicted as deplorable and damned deeds of corrupt minds. This passage is usually considered the most thorough and clear condemnation of homosexuality in the Bible. "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: . . . For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet" (Romans 1:24-27).

God's hatred for the sin of homosexuality is seen in His pronouncement of the death penalty on those who committed it. Therefore, to accept homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, is to entertain the very thing that God has clearly detested. This is rebellion. It is wickedness in high places when Christian ministers support homosexuality, and churches go about ordaining homosexuals to be pastors and office-bearers.

Let us neither call what God detests good nor accept what He condemns.

Do not regard homosexuality as a natural sexual orientation but as the sinful choice of a lustful mind. Homosexual activities are the expressions of unrestrained, runaway lust of a sexually perverted mind. When fleshly desires deteriorate, they inevitably lead to all forms of perverted sexual sins such as masturbation, homosexuality, bestiality and incest.

(ii) Homosexuality is a perversion of God's design and purpose of marriage:

 God created a woman for the man and told them that "they shall be one flesh". This truth is taught repeatedly in Scripture (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:8; Ephesians 5:31). According to God's design, sexual activities are only to be practised within the marriage between one man and one woman. Scripture’s advice to those who do not have the gift of being single is "to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2). Scripture permits no sexual pleasure outside marriage.

God did not ordain homosexual marriages; rather, He condemns them. As the saying goes, "God did not create Steve, but Eve, for Adam". Homosexuality is a daring perversion of God's design of marriage and procreation.

Some have argued that Jesus' silence on this issue proves that He agreed to homosexuality. This claim is abominable. There are many types of sexual behaviour that He did not address (incest, rape, bestiality, etc). That does not mean they are permissible. Jesus always upheld the Old Testament law (Matthew 5:17-19), which strictly condemned homosexual acts. And He affirmed celibacy as the only legitimate alternative to heterosexual marriage, not homosexuality (Matthew 19:12).

(iii) Unrepentant homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God:

 First Corinthians 6:9-10 mentions homosexuals in a long list of people who will not inherit the kingdom of God – "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals), nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." This passage is clear about the coming judgment on unrepentant homosexuals and all other sinners. The original Greek expression literally means "a male who lies with a male". There is no exception. All homosexual behaviour is forbidden, no matter what degree of "love" or lust is involved.

(iv) Deliverance from homosexuality is possible if one comes to Jesus in repentance and faith:

  Immediately after giving the Corinthian Christians a long list of sinners, including homosexuals, who will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, Paul wrote, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Pastoral Exhortation