Tag Archives: Homosexuality

Ex-Gay, No Way?

This Sunday J Michael McKoy (a.k.a. “Mac”) starts his new, nationally-syndicated show, Restoring Hope Live. This show will air on XM/Sirius Radio and focuses on “Helping people Restore Hope within their Families, Friends and Relationships in the wake of Hurts, Habits and Hangups.”Restoring Hope Logo

For their first show, Mac, who rarely shies away from controversial topics, asks this question: “Can Jesus restore a gay person to a Life that God had Created for him?” Mac’s guest for this topic is Jack Morlan, former Iowa Civil Rights Commissioner and Author of Breaking the Chains. During the 70s Morlan was heavily involved in the gay scene.

Until one day, Moran met a man that changed his life. This man’s name was, and is, Jesus.

Stories like Moran’s are a mortal blow to those that want to perpetuate the gay agenda. Their fundamental premise is that homosexuality, like race, is an inborn trait. In which case, issues like gay marriage are a civil rights issue. If homosexuality is actually a behavior there is no legal or constitutional justification for their positions on anything, especially marriage.

Moran’s incredible testimony also shows that those that feel trapped in this sinful lifestyle don’t have have to stay that way forever. There is a way out! And that way is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

The show will air live this Sunday at 12:00 noon (CDT) on XM/Sirius Christian Talk Channel 131, and WebcastOneLive.com, where they will take phone calls following the live broadcast portion of the show. If you are in church during the live broadcast you can catch the podcasts on the WebcastOneLive website.

Listen in and hear his story as Jack Moran explains how it all happened and how his life has changed. You do not want to miss this incredible testimony!

Marriage, Homosexuality, and The Bible, Part 2

Is Conservative Theology on Homosexuality Clear or Queer?

This is part 2 of a series on what the Bible has to say about marriage and homosexuality (Part 1 is available here).

Christians that hold to a conservative interpretation of what the Bible says about marriage and homosexuality are often labeled as backwards, archaic, and on the wrong side of history. Is this the case? Or are conservative Christians correct when they say that their reading of the Biblical texts about marriage and homosexuality are timeless and not subject to social evolution?

homosexuality-sin-stupid
If you can’t beat ’em, ad hominem!

What Does The Bible Say About Homosexuality?

First and foremost, nowhere does the Bible single out homosexual activity as a sin that is worse than any other sexual sin. Homosexual activity is included in the prohibitions against all sexual activity outside of marriage. Incest in any form, adultery, homosexuality, beastiality, polygamy and fornication are all prohibited in the Bible.

Some would argue that such teachings are archaic and should be ignored, just like we ignore other laws of the Bible. The argument looks something like this:

  • Premise 1: Eating of shellfish is an abomination according to the Bible.
  • Premise 2: Homosexuality is an abomination according to the Bible.
  • Premise 3: Christians ignore the laws about eating shellfish.
  • Conclusion: Therefore, Christians ought to be able to ignore the laws about homosexuality.

The website godhatesshrimp.com exists to expose this perceived hypocrisy in a satiric way. For a more in-your-face example of this argument, watch this video of gay-activist Dan Savage as he bullies high school students at an anti-bully conference (Warning: Contains offensive language).

The problem here is a misunderstanding of the context of the Law, specifically the Levitical Law. Not all of Leviticus is written to everyone. There were laws and abominations that were specific for the Jews. The law against the eating of shellfish (Lev 11:9-12) is one of those laws. This is made clear by the context. God says, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying…” (Lev. 19:1, NKJV). Additionally, in Lev. 11:9-12, the dietary abominations are declared to be “abominations to you.” Three times God says, “They are/shall be an abomination to you.”

Contrast that with what God says about the sexual abominations in Lev. 18:

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God’” (Lev. 18:22-30, NKJV).

It is important to notice the repeated use of the plural “abominations.” Homosexuality is not the only abomination God is warning against.

So, what abominations is God warning against? Contextually, chapter 17 is about blood atonement procedures, so that is for Israel, not for everyone. In Chapter 18 God says to Israel, “According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do;” (vs 3, NKJV).  So, now instead of it applying only to Israel, God mentions things that are done by Egypt and the land of Canaan. In other words, these sexual acts were already abominations before God gave the Levitical law. What were the things those other nations did?  The chapter contains the following:

  • Vs 6-18, don’t uncover the nakedness of various relatives.
  • Vs 19, don’t have sexual relations with woman on her period
  • Vs 20. don’t have intercourse with your neighbor’s wife
  • Vs 21, don’t offer children to Molech
  • Vs 22, don’t lie with a male as with a female
  • Vs 23, don’t have intercourse with animals

In essence, not all abominations are equal. There are abominations in Leviticus only for the Israelites, and there are abominations that were for non-Israelites that pre-existed the Levitical Law.  It is in the latter group that homosexuality is listed. To mix topics intended only for Israel with topics that included the non-Israelites is mistaken hermeneutics at best and blatant dishonesty at worst.

To further illustrate the point that these abominations pre-existed the Levitical Law we can look at Paul’s words in the first chapter of Romans:

The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 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, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in the thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, . . . For this reason God gave them up to file passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 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 (Rom 1:18-22; 24-27, NKJV).

There is no mention of the Law of Moses here. In fact, the context of the first three chapters of Romans clearly shows that Paul is specifically referring to those who did not have the special revelation of the Law of Moses. In the next chapter, Paul states:

[F]or when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written on their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them (Rom 2:14-15, NKJV).

So, we can clearly see that sexual immorality was already part of the broader Natural Law that has existed from the foundation of the world. When God created the heavens and the earth, He also created the Laws of Nature. The Egyptians and Canaanites ought to have been able to understand that their sexual actions were immoral even without the special revelation of the Law of Moses.

Also, because the prohibition against sexual immorality (including homosexuality) is found in the New Testament as well as the Old Testament, we can conclude that God’s position never changes. God’s disdain against homosexual activity appears as early as the first book in the Bible:

Now before they law down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”
So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof” (Gen 19:4-8, NKJV).

Again, we see that Lot, who lived hundreds of years prior to the giving of the Law of Moses, understood that homosexual activity was wicked. The Law of Moses was not needed for this truth to be understood because it was evidenced through the Natural Law. God codified this Natural Law in the Law of Moses and this teaching was perpetuated with the New Testament church.

In addition to Paul’s teaching to the believers in Rome that we have already mentioned, Paul states to the church in Corinth:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9-10, NKJV).

From the earliest record in the Bible to the some of the last, Scripture categorically condemns homosexual behavior. This is understood even by those in the gay community. Pim Pronk, a gay biologist, theologian, and philosopher states:

To sum up: wherever homosexual intercourse is mentioned in Scripture, it is condemned. With reference to it the New Testament adds no arguments to those of the Old. Rejection is a foregone conclusion; the assessment of it nowhere constitutes a problem. It obviously has to be repeated from time to time, but the phenomenon as such nowhere becomes the focus of moral attention. It is never condemned in isolation but always in association with other major sins; unchastity, violence, moral corruption, and idolatry.

Even glbtq.com, which claims to be “the worlds largest encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer culture,” acknowledges this fact:

The bad news from the Christian bible is that it condemns same-sex desire and same-sex acts without qualification of age, gender, role, status, consent, or membership in an ethnic community.

If the Bible is so clear, why are there so many so-called Christian leaders (like Rob Bell) and Christian churches (like the Episcopalian Church) that condone the same practice that the Bible condemns?

If our culture would take an honest look at what the Bible says about marriage and homosexuality, not only would we come to the conclusion that homosexual marriage should not be promoted, but also that homosexual practice should not be permitted and that both ought to be prohibited.

Marriage, Homosexuality, and The Bible, Part 1

Is Conservative Theology on Marriage Clear or Queer?

This is part 1 of a series on what the Bible has to say about marriage and homosexuality.

Christians that hold to a conservative interpretation of what the Bible says about marriage and homosexuality are often labeled as backwards, archaic, and on the wrong side of history. Is this the case? Or are conservative Christians correct when they say that their reading of the Biblical texts about marriage and homosexuality are timeless and not subject to social evolution?

Straw man, anyone?

What Does the Bible Say About Marriage?

The first mention of the institution of the family mentioned in the Bible is found in Genesis where God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him” (Gen 2:18, NET).

The Hebrew expression כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (kÿnegdo) that is translated as “corresponds to him” literally means “according to the opposite of him.” Translations such as “suitable [for]” (NASB, NIV), “matching,” “corresponding to” all capture the idea. (Translations that render the phrase simply “partner” [cf. NEB, NRSV], while not totally inaccurate, do not reflect the nuance of correspondence and/or suitability.) The man’s form and nature are matched by the woman’s as she reflects him and complements him. Together they correspond. In short, this prepositional phrase indicates that she has everything that God had invested in him (1).

Marriage, according to the Bible, was a creation of God. Marriage was not instituted by government, nor was it developed by a social organization. God had a plan (“I will make…) to provide a “companion” or, as other translations say, a “helper” for the man. The word for “companion” is עֵזֶר (’ezer) and is used elsewhere to describe God (Exodus 18:4; Psalm 121:1, 2). The implication here is that the wife, like God, is someone who does for the man what he cannot do for himself. In other words, the wife meets the needs of the husband. It also logically follows that the husband meets the needs of the wife. The two are an indispensable pair. This was God’s plan.

Then God gave Adam a job:

He brought them [the animals] to the man to see what he would name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field, but for Adam no companion who corresponded to him was found (Gen 2:19b-20, NET).

The point of the animals on parade is clear: none of the animals could meet Adams needs. A special creative act was required. So God made Eve. She was equal, but different. She was complementary. When Adam saw Eve, he knew she was perfect for him:

This one at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man (Gen 2:23, NET).

And then, Moses, the writer of Genesis explains this entire scene by telling us “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family” (Gen 2:24, NET).

Here we find God’s definition of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. Heterosexual monogamy is the only approved marriage relationship in the Bible.

Jesus affirms this view. He actually quotes the words of Moses mentioned above. Matthew 19 records:

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt 19:3-6, NKJV).

The only kind of marriage that Jesus endorsed was the same kind of marriage that was initiated at the beginning: one man, one woman, for life. Again, heterosexual monogamy is the only approved marriage relationship in the Bible. The Pharisees did go on and ask about Moses and his allowance for divorce, and Jesus again went back to the creation account and states, “from the beginning it was not so.” Jesus’ emphasis on the original intent of the Creator on the issue of marriage clearly shows that He would not have endorsed or condoned same-sex marriage. The very concept would have actually been unheard of in Jesus’ time. Although homosexual practice was normal and accepted, it was done for recreational purposes. Even the pagan Romans understood that marriage was and ought to be limited to a man and a woman.

The entire scene from Genesis of the creation of the man and the woman would have been incredibly radical at the time that Moses recorded it. No other ancient eastern religion honored the female as an equal partner to the man, and no other ancient eastern moral code commanded sexual fidelity for a husband and wife. In fact, the very opposite was the case. By the time the Torah was given to Moses and the Jews, religions taught unbridled sexual activity as worship to their gods. In Egypt, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Cyrus, Canaan and others, temple prostitution and ritualistic sexual acts were part of their laws and history. This practice became the norm in almost every religious system. The Babylonian goddess Ishtar had seduced a man. The Egyptian god Asiris had an incestuous relationship with his sister. Krishna, the Hindu god, was a polygamist. Zeus married his sister Hera.

Also contemporaneous with the early Jewish religious law was the practice of homosexuality. Gender, when it came to sexual activity, was a non-issue. This can be seen in the laws of Leviticus 18 where God warns the Hebrews against sexual immorality:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord (Lev 18:1-5, NKJV).

They were obviously very familiar with the sexual practices of the Egyptians and would see the same things happening in the land which there were about to enter.

This is the historic and cultural context into which the Torah entered. And it was this kind of thinking that God was trying to get the Hebrews to unlearn. In the Hebrew religion, man was not conceived in a sexual act, but created in a supernatural one. Sex is not recreational activity or worship to their deity, but a sacred act reserved for a matrimonial union. Thus, any sexual activity outside of heterosexual monogamy was prohibited. This was contrary to the aforementioned religious ideologies and shows that the Judeo-Christian God is countercultural, and therefore not just some idea conceived in the mind of man.

Tomorrow we will look at what the Bible has to say about homosexuality.

Gay Love Wins With Rob Bell

Gay Love WinsThis past weekend, former Pastor Rob Bell was the guest speaker at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, where he came out of the closet with an endorsement for sodomy (listen to it here).

Bell answered a question about gay marriage by saying, “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”

When asked about his thoughts on the future of the Evangelical church, Bell stated:

I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. I think there is a very narrow, politically intertwined, culturally ghettoized, Evangelical subculture that was told “we’re gonna change the thing” and they haven’t. And they actually have turned away lots of people. And I think that when you’re in a part of a subculture that is dying, you make a lot more noise because it’s very painful. You sort of die or you adapt. And if you adapt, it means you have to come face to face with some of the ways we’ve talked about God, which don’t actually shape people into more loving, compassionate people. And we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent.

Ironically, Bell accusing conservative Christians of being part of a subculture that is supposedly dying in a liberal Episcopal church that is part of a subculture that is demonstrably dying.

I wonder if Bell thinks that Jesus would have adapted His very narrow position on marriage to conform to the popular position:

Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no lover two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (Matt 19:4-6, NASB).

Based on what the writer of Hebrews said about Jesus, I think it is pretty safe to say that He would have disagreed with Bell. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8, NKJV). Interestingly, the next verse offers a warning against those doing precisely what Bell was promoting on Sunday. “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Heb 13:9a NKJV).

And if that isn’t convincing enough, James stated that “there is no variation or shadow of turning” with God (James 1:18, NKJV). Not to mention the numerous other places in the Bible where it states that God and His Word are unchanging.

Rob Bell offers a choice, “die or adapt”. Jesus chose to die, as for me, I will do the same.