by | Jun 24, 2022 | Email Advice, Homosexuality

Email Advice: Is Homosexuality Wrong?

by | Jun 24, 2022 | Email Advice, Homosexuality

This is an "Email Advice" post...

I often receive emails that ask for my advice. When it feels that the things the Lord gives me to say in response to these requests could be helpful for others, I post the question (anonymously) and my responses here. May God use them for His glory and the equipping of His people.

QUESTION:

 

I love this podcast and feel that you are a great representative of the Lord.

I am facing something very difficult and am at my breaking point. I have been dating this girl for awhile, even though I know what the scripture says about same sex relationships. We are about to tell our parents and I am scared.

I feel conflicted about weather or not the Bible is correct in what it says about homosexuality. I wonder if it has been mistranslated…I just don’t know.

I am not asking you to tell me what to do in this relationship, I am asking for your guidance on understanding if homosexuality is truly an abominable sin?

Josie (not her real name)

I hope you are doing well today. 

I appreciate that you felt comfortable asking your question. I know it’s a difficult or awkward subject to talk about but I’m happy you were able to articulate it so well. 

I understand the confusion it sounds like you have over the subject. There has been a lot of effort made to discredit what the Bible says about homosexuality and other sexual practices in our day. One of those things, which you mention, is the assertion that the Biblical texts have been mistranslated. It’s true that we sometimes find mistranslations based on the copies of the Bible that we have, but it’s always the case that such mistranslations are in one isolated text, not a broad swath of them. The reason I bring that up is that there are many Biblical texts that teach that homosexuallity is a sin. It’s next to impossible that all of them have been mistranslated. I’ll do my best to be brief, but it’s important not only that you understand what the Bible (God’s word) says, but that you understand God’s heart behind what he’s saying. 

We sometimes look at the Bible as God’s “rule book” or “laws.” Truly, back in the Old Testament much of what was given WAS indeed laws… God was setting up a new nation of people (Israel) so they desperately needed laws to govern their society. But it’s important that we look at the REASON behind ANY rule God gives us. It’s not to restrict us unnecessarily, it’s for our protection and provision. Always. He gives us rules/guidelines/laws to keep us out of harm’s way, like any good parent would. The instructions we have about homosexuality are exactly that. 

Let’s walk through some of the texts. 

LEVITICUS

 The first mentions we have of God’s prohibition toward homosexuality was in the law given to Israel. Here are a couple of versions of how it is said…

Leviticus 18:22,24 – Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable… 24 Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.
 
Leviticus 20:13 – If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Both of these passages specifically mention men engaging in homosexual practices, not women. But it’s logical to assume that if the men, who were understood to be the leaders in their society, were forbidden to do such things, the women would be likewise.

Notice the specifics of what is said…

  • Homosexuality is a “detestable” practice in God’s eyes
  • Homosexuality is a “defiling” practice in God’s eyes

Q: Why such strong words? 

A: To express how serious the sin is.

Homosexuality is exactly the opposite of what God designed for human sexual interactions (male & female). When we do things that are opposite of what God intends and sanctions, we are rebelling against Him. It’s that simple. That is on TOP OF the fact that we are removing ourselves from His protection in that area by doing what He says we should not.
 
That begs the question, “What are we being protected from through prohibitions like this?” We don’t know the whole answer, but we can logically assume that at least some of what we’re being protected against are sexually transmitted diseases that seem to only or mostly transmit to others during homosexual acts. But it’s also likely that He’s protecting us from emotional, physical, or mental damage of other sorts that come about through homosexual relationships, of which we may or may not be aware. Let’s jump to the New Testament and we’ll receive a bit more clarity on that…
 

ROMANS 1

For the sake of context, it’s important to understand that Romans chapter 1 is the very beginning of Paul’s explanation of why Jesus needed to come to earth in the first place. We humans were trapped in our sin and God cared for us enough to send us a Savior (Jesus).

Paul begins by explaining God’s attitude about sin, in general. This is a long passage but please bear with me. The flow of thought here is so powerful.

Romans 1: 18-27 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

It’s important to notice what God is saying about sin IN GENERAL, and where homosexuality fits into what he’s saying…

  • God is opposed to (and angry about) ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness – vs 18
  • Unrighteousness causes us to suppress or deny the truth about God – vs 18-21
  • When we refuse to acknowledge the truth about God like this, we develop foolish and darkened hearts – vs 21-22
  • The next step is that we change (in our own minds) the glory of God into “images” (things) we are more comfortable with – vs 22
  • The God gives us over to the path we’ve chosen and sexual “uncleanness” is a result – vs 24
  • God calls this alternate path we choose “exchanging the truth of God for a lie” – vs 25. Don’t miss this. When we reject what God says, we are rejecting Him (not only His rules).
  • Homosexuality specifically comes in at the end of this long progression (vs 26-27). It’s like the final step away from God by going in the exact opposite direction from what He desires. Here female homosexuality IS specifically mentioned, and in a way that implies “it gets SO BAD that EVEN WOMEN turn toward homosexuality.” Read it carefully. That IS the tone of what it’s saying.
 Does this mean that homosexuality is “worse” than the other sins? Not that it’s worse, but it’s a more clear indication of how clearly the person engaged in homosexuality has rejected God Himself.Notice that Hannah… choosing homosexuality is choosing your sexual preference and the benefits you believe come from it, over God Himself. This can surely be said of other sins, but this passage makes it clear in regard to homosexuality, specifically.THAT is why homosexuality is such a big deal. Paul explains the results of it in another passage…

1 CORINTHIANS 6

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

It’s not the particular sin that causes a person to miss entrance into the Kingdom of God, it’s the rejection of God that the sin demonstrates. But, as you can see, homosexuality IS in the list of things that demonstrate this kind of rejection.

My counsel to you Hannah, is two-fold…

1) Give yourself to Jesus, fully. By faith, accept what Jesus did on the cross to forgive you of this and all other sins in your history. Confess this sin to you and ask Him for cleansing and liberty from its grip. Allow Him to provide you full righteousness and acceptance through Him. He will make you a new creation, as He promises.

2) Embrace what the Bible teaches about homosexuality for your good and for your protection – not just in this life but in regards to your eternal destiny. Break things off with the woman you’ve been in relationship with, making it clear to her why you are doing so. God will help you do it through His Holy Spirit if you are His child. Perhaps God would use your bold and determined stance to help HER see the truth and turn toward God as well?

I’m happy to correspond further about this if you like.

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