Thoughts to Ponder

How should a Christian view homosexuality?

I receive a lot of letters from "Christian" homosexuals, who tell me I am wrong on my views of homosexuality. They will tell me that God made them homosexual and He is loving and would never condemn anyone for being who they really are. I also get a lot of letters from Christians that tell me that I am intolerant and do not show Christ's love because I choose to pick out those passages from God's word that tend to show my point of view and ignore all those love passages which show that God loves everyone unconditionally. So I decided to dedicate this issue of Thoughts to Ponder to this issue.

The short answer to the question posed in this Thought to Ponder is that a Christian should view homosexuality the way God's word says we should. So at the risk of being told I am again pulling out those passages which (only) tend to show that God agrees with my view point, here is what God's word has to say:

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. [NIV]

Leviticus 18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. [NIV]

Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. [NIV]

Romans 1:26-27 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. [27] In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. [NIV]

1 Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders [10] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [NIV]

All of these passages are very clear and easy to understand. There is no pulling them out of context or anything else going on, this is what God's word says. That could really be the end of this article, God said it, I believe it and that is the end, but I won't do that, I will examine this further.

First God created men and women to be married to each other, to become one in Christ. That means the man is enhanced and fulfilled by his wife and the wife is enhanced and fulfilled by her husband. This was and still is God's plan for men and women.

Secondly God calls homosexual acts detestable. In another place He tells us that the wicked practice such things and that they will have no inheritance in His kingdom. In another He calls homosexual relations shameful and unnatural.

God leaves no doubt that homosexuality is a sin. So we need to examine what sin means. First it means rebellion against God, but what does that mean? It means that it is something that a person chooses to do. If God were to say that having blue eyes or having brown hair is a sin, then He would be unfair, because we have no control over those things. We are born with or without blue eyes and there is nothing we can do to change that. We are born with or without brown hair and again there is nothing we can do about it. Oh, I guess we could dye it, but it would still be brown under the dye.

The same is true of homosexuality, if we are born that way and therefore have no choice in the matter and yet God calls it a sin, then He is unjust. So either God is unjust, or people are not born homosexual. We know that God is not unjust so that leaves us with one conclusion, people are not born homosexual.

But what does it mean that they are not born as homosexuals? We are all born into this world as sinners and will choose to sin.

Genesis 8:21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. [NASB-U]

Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. [NIV]

This is a complicated question, but it has a pretty simple answer. We are all born into this world as sinners and we all choose to sin. We are not all tempted in the same ways, but we are all evil and will choose to sin in one way or another. Yet this fallen condition is not the same as being born with brown hair. Let me explain what I am talking about.

When I tell people that homosexuality is a choice they often go off on me, and tell me they were born that way and would never have chosen to be homosexual. So who is right? Well we are both right. I believe they were born with a tendency towards homosexuality, meaning that this is an area where they are susceptible to temptation, but it is not like being born with a gene for brown hair.

Let me change the sin for a moment to make my point. If I am a liar, meaning that I find it much easier to lie then to tell the truth and face the consequences of my own actions, that does not mean that I have a lying gene that causes me to lie. What it means is that I have a tendency towards lying. Or if I am hot tempered and do horrible things when I lose my tempter, that does not mean that I have a hot temper gene, yet I might find it extremely hard to control my temper.

Why would I find it hard to control my lying or my temper? Or for that matter the tendency towards homosexuality? Again the answer is in God's word:

Romans 6:4-7 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. [5] For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, [6] knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; [7] for he who has died is freed from sin. [NASB-U]

Romans 6:16-18 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? [17] But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, [18] and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. [NASB-U]

Romans 6:20-23 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. [21] Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. [22] But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. [23] For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [NASB-U]

Do you see the point Paul is making? When we are sinners we are slaves to sin, we are under sin's control and therefore we cannot just decide to quit sinning. Yet in a real sense, sin is a choice, it is a choice because God offers us the ability to be free from the slavery of sin. See salvation is not just the forgiveness of sins, but also the freedom from sin.

So the choice isn't really to be a homosexual or not, because a sinner can't quit sinning, but the choice is to either confess our sins and follow God who offers us the freedom from those sins, or remaining in our sins whatever they are.

When people try to tell you that they were born as homosexuals or liars, or whatever, what they are trying to say is that they should not have to answer to God because it is not their fault. We are all born sinners and we all sin, but that does not mean we have no responsibility for those sins, it means we must come to God and confess that we understand we are sinners and that we need a Savior and that God sent His only Son to be that Savior. Until we are willing to admit our condition there can be no forgiveness.

So how should a Christian view a homosexual? The same way we view any other lost soul, with compassion and love, because they are loved by their Creator, they are no more filthy and dirty then we were before we were cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. We should not soft pedal the idea that homosexuality is sin, because unless we call it what it is, they will never understand that they need forgiveness.

E-Mail Ralph

These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

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November 2004