fbpx

Elephants in the Church: Homosexuality​ (Steve Higginbotham

There are things that need to be talked about, but they are not talked about in many places.

Homosexuality is one of them, we don’t talk about it because it is an uncomfortable and delicate subject; it is delicate in the way it has to be handled. We have to address it in a way that doesn’t offend sensitivities, but it is a real problem that affects our culture and our churches nowadays.

The church has to speak about it; we have to let our voices be heard; since we speak for God on this matter.

We have a challenge we face regarding this topic. Our society has undergone this cultural shift very quickly. One generation ago this topic didn’t need to be talked about; it was not an issue to be discussed in church.

We have undergone an amazing change, from a point where almost everybody thought it was wrong to the point now where most of the external influences that bear in our culture say it is right, and those who oppose it are wrong.

Isaiah 5:20

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness”

We have undergone that switch in our culture, now we are hearing that homosexuality is right.

The homosexual movement has been picked up, in our culture, as a civil rights issue and which it is not. It is a morality issue. But, since it has been entitled as a civil rights issue, it has gained a lot of support from people; this adds weight to the augments that they try to make.

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

Of all the things that the Bible talks about, and all the things that should be evident; we would think that most people would realize homosexuality is neither normal nor natural.


As of July 9, 2017, there were 50 denominational bodies in North America, including Canada, that support homosexuality as a practice; we are not talking about sexual orientation but the practice.

There are religious bodies, in their national organizations that have stated that they support it, and have nothing against it.

Some years ago, a well known denominational body in the United States made a study and assigned a committee of people to research and recommend what their standard should be toward sexual issues.

Here are 3 recommendations this denomination came up with after their convention; and asked their congregation to adopt:

  1. Whether you are heterosexual, homosexual, married or not, that everyone has the right to experience and to be a sexual person.​
  2. All people, whether heterosexual or homosexual, whether single or partnered, have a moral right to experience “justice love” (equal love) in their life, and to be sexual people.
  3. Worship resources be designed to celebrate same sex relationships. This means that we should have some songs in our songs books, we need to have teachings and publications that celebrate homosexual relationships.

They say that the problem before the church today is not sexual sin, but the prevailing social, cultural and ecclesial arrangements in conformity of the unjust norm of compulsory heterosexuality.

They state that they don’t have a sin problem. The problem is not people engaging in sexual sin, but it is that we are binding heterosexual relationships according to them.


Just As I Am by Robert Williams

​There is a book written by Robert Williams and the title is “Just as I am” a practical guy, to be out proud and gay. In this book, he argues not for a cultural view that “If you are just a person ,that is not religious, there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.”. He argues that from a biblical position, that homosexuality is biblical and normal, and that it should be accepted.He states that in the Bible there are many images of positive homosexual relationships, shown not as something wrong in a negative way or to be condemned, but positive homosexual relationships portrayed for us in the scriptures.

He claims the following are examples: David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, the centurion and his slave, Paul the apostle and even Jesus!

We Christians don’t seem to understand how he can get these ideas, but that depends on the interpretative method. He says that we have to read the Bible “through queer colored glasses” to find homosexual relationships in this stories; he says that when we do it this way, we can see it.

That is called Eisegesis, referred to as reading into the text. The reader would find what he wishes to find. Rather than Exegesis, getting out of the text, that is what the text ACTUALLY says.

He admits that it is what he does, he reads the Bible with a PRECONCEIVED notion as he comes into this stories, and if someone comes with this preconception then he will make a lot homosexual role models out of the scripture.

This writer also says that: “a passage cannot be believed unless it brings true to our deepest capacity for truth and goodness; and if it contradicts that, it can not be accepted.” That’s a fancy way of saying “if you ever read anything in the Bible that you don’t agree with, that’s ok. Because if it disagrees with you it is not right, you are right.”

Then we would become judges of the scriptures, rather than scriptures being judges of us.

There are books found now on the market, written by men who are very actively presenting the case for homosexuality while maintaining what they believe to be “Christianity.”


​2 Battle Fronts

  1. There are those who don’t have any religious inclination at all, and they don’t understand what’s wrong with homosexuality.
  2. There is another group that thinks that homosexuality is fine but they also want to maintain their religion. They have come to some point in their life when they believe in God and they are not ready to abandon that. Then they want to merge homosexuality with God, and they make tangles in their mind to get where they want to be.

We need to study what the Bible says, and know how we are to respond to those who find themselves in this situation.

You either accept ALL of the Bible or NONE of it. There is no in between.


​The Practice of Homosexuality is Sinful

There are passages in the Bible that stand in opposition of homosexuality. But the ones that are advancing this agenda also know these passages. We have to know more than just the verses that settle it, we have to understand that they have their take on it.

We have to be able to answer what they have to say about it.

For example:

Sodom and Gomorra, the cities got destroyed because they tried to have sexual relations with those angels that came into the city.

But others could state that this is not about homosexuality but about rape…Two strangers that came into a man’s house and a mob of men came trying to take them out of the house so they could abuse them on the street. So it couldn’t be taken as an example of a monogamous, committed, homosexual relationship; it is rape so it is condemned.

Leviticus 18:22

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.​”

There are even death penalties attached to that in that part of the Old Testament. But others could argue that in that same chapter it is found that you can’t eat some food and wear some kind of clothing, they could state that we are holding on to one but not to the other.

They could say that we are picking and choosing which passages we want to obey, but we are not. Homosexuality was a sin in the Old Testament and again in the New Testament.

In the New Testament

Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy

We find that homosexuality is sinful, but others could say that those passages are dealing with the context of idolatry, the practice of going to temples and having homosexual sexual relations in a pagan context. Others could argue the same; that this is not referring to a monogamous, committed, homosexual relationship.

We need to know those passages, but we also need to know how to answer their arguments about those passages.


Response

Hebrews 13:4

“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

This passage is affirming that sex outside of marriage is sinful.

Genesis 2:24

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and be married to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.”

In this passage we find God’s definition of marriage. The first marriage which we should model after.

Marriage is described as a man, Adam, and his wife who was made to be suitable, comparable to him. And both of them, male and female are brought together in this union called marriage.

If all sexual relations outside marriage are sinful; and marriage involves a man and a woman, a male and a female; what does it say about any homosexual relationship that might exists? It´s sinful because it can not fit in the parameters that are defined in the Bible.

In that way, we don’t have to argue about the context or about the meaning of Greek words; this just ends the discussion very quickly. This definition states how God feels about this matter.

Sometimes people state that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, and they might ask us to show where in the Bible which verse, Jesus is against homosexuality, and they even may say that we are putting words into his mouth.


Jesus did not condemn all the things by name

There are many things that Jesus didn’t list one by one to let us know that these are wrong, for example incest.

There are 2 ways in which Jesus talked about homosexuality

– Mark 7:19-23

“That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

He was talking about how a man defiles himself, He said that it is not what we eat that defiles us; but the way we behave, what proceeds from our hearts-our motive.

Fornication is a broad term for sexual immorality, in which He is covering ALL of the kinds of this immorality.

– John 16:12-14

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When The Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

Jesus said “there are some things that I like to tell you but I can’t right now, but The Holy Spirit will come later and He´ll take those things that are mine and He will tell you then”

These men are the inspired apostles, those who wrote:

– Romans 1: about viles passions as he calls them: man with man, and woman with woman

-1 Corinthians 6: “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men”

-1 Timothy 5

So Jesus lets us know that there are some things He wants us to know, but somebody else will tell us later, and what they told us came from Him.

Sometime people say that homosexuality is something that they didn´t choose, that they can´t see how it is wrong since it is not something they choose for themselves, that if they could choose they would choose something different; but that is just the way they feel.

They may even say that they don’t want to be this way, they might pray to have it removed from them; and that if that is the case it couldn´t be wrong.

Apart from the discussion of all the factors that can make a person have the orientation that they have, if it is genetic predisposition or for any other reason… it really doesn’t matter.

The reason why this doesn´t matter is because the orientation doesn’t give us the right to act upon that orientation; whether we are heterosexual or homosexual. We can not give into that temptation. Not only homosexuals face sexual temptation, heterosexuals face sexual temptation too, such as promiscuity or pre marital sex.

The sexual desire is subject to The Spirit that rules their life.

We can have compassion, understanding and sympathy for the person that might be in this position but there is not a reason for justification.

The fact that we might have a temptation, a desire, or an urge within us, doesn’t give us the right to act on it.


How can we as a church respond to those who live in this lifestyle?

We have to make distinction between orientation and practice:

If a person is struggling and fighting to resist a temptation, we would be fine with this person, since he is trying to live for the Lord and under the Lordship of Jesus. Everyone is struggling with some type of temptation.

A person may be attracted to another person of the same sex; but if they don´t want it, and they are fighting against it and trying to resist it; we should treat them with love and respect as any other person that is resisting anything in his life.

We have to make a distinction between one who is a brother and one that is not

1 Corinthians 5

Paul said “that we are not to keep company with sinners”

One needs to be careful not to fall in sinful behavior based on company, however, if someone is open to learning about the Bible, there is an opportunity to teach them.

There is a difference in how we treat a brother who is engaged in this activity and one that is not a Christian. We need to go easy on our expectations of the world with someone that does not know Christ.

Sometimes it is easy to condemn other people, but maybe they act the way they do because they don´t know better. Maybe they haven’t been taught to love God, nor have been introduced to Him. Maybe they are living the only way they have come to know.

These people need our patience, love and teaching.


For reflection:

Philippians 2

This book talks about the fact that there are people groping in the darkness, and we are supposed to be lights that enable them to see the way out of that darkness.

  • We need to go easy, to be patient and love people who are in the world and don´t know Jesus nor His ethics yet.
  • We need to conduct ourselves in a way that people cannot claim that we don´t love homosexuals. Some people say that the church loves everybody but homosexuals.
  • We shouldn’t get involved in snide remarks, profane jokes and make fun of them; then we are giving legitimate reasons to say that we do not love them.

We have to conduct ourselves in a way that expresses to sinners that we love them. We have to send a clear message that allows them to find a safe place to confess and a place to work in to become more Christ-like. It has to be clear that we don’t want to run from them, but that we are here for them. Christians and non-christians are not immune to sin, we all fail at some point, but the Bible pushes Christians to strive for God’s perfect standard. Christians want to abide by and share the differences between what is right and wrong according to God’s Word.

Sometimes we have gossip in the assembly, and we should stop it and preach about gossiping.

  • People need to be addressed in their sin, but be helpful about it.
  • We have to treat homosexuals as any other person, because they are.
  • Homosexuals need to see the love of Christ in us. The church doesn´t love the sin, but we love the sinner. We have to take the gospel to them so they can come to Christ.

Focus more on the gospel than on some political agenda

We are speaking here specifically about social media.

  • People get involved in roundup about the things that are happening now in our nation, things that have been politicized.
  • Instead of making this a matter about politics, let’s make it about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Lets teach people about what Jesus and God expect from us in Their ethical system.
  • Leave the politics out, it is not a political issue, regardless of what our country might say. What really matters is what God says. It’s not our opinion. It’s God’s plan.

In conclusion:

-We are not against homosexuals.

-We are in war with the devil, who has taken captive these people by their sin.

-Homosexuals are not the enemy, the devil is.

-We need to work, love and do all that is at our hand to help those people, so they can find redemption and be released from their bondages.

The reality is, that, The Gospel of Christ is offensive.

There is no way to sugar coat it. It is that way, to pierce us. To convict us of our sins so we can be right with God.

The Gospel is offensive because it says we are sinners, it says that we are lost, it says that we messed up and that we are deserving of hell. That cannot be dressed up.

The offense of the cross and of the Gospel will cause some people to be humble and repent, and they can turn their lives around and be in accordance with the ways of God.

Let’s take the truth to those who need it with love and respect.

Do not compromise the word of God.

Jesus is savior to those who humble themselves and live according to His standards and follow the steps of salvation.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Sermon Notes

Notes on popular sermons delivered once a week.

Comments

Leave a Reply