Title: What does the Bible have to say about Homosexuality?
Text: Leviticus 18.19-23; Romans 1.18-32; Jude 7; Gen 19.1-22; 1 Corinthians 6.9-11
CIS: Our people are being pounded everyday by the world to embrace homosexuality. But what does the Bible teach us about this?
Introduction: Last week we began with a video from FRC. Then I presented to you a few introductory statements:
My Audience: you – Calvary Baptist Church
My Purpose: to prepare you to take a public stand for the Biblical View of Marriage.
My Goal: to arm you with Scripture and give you a clear understanding of the Biblical View of Marriage
My Text: my standard is the unchanging Word of God.
A Word of Caution: I can’t cover everything in this limited time.
- The Biblical View of Marriage
- Man’s Perversion of God’s Design
III. Why We Cannot Endorse Homosexuality in the Church
Let’s begin with a quick review. We started with what we call The Biblical/Traditional View.
I. The Biblical View: Marriage is between one man and one woman.
- The Design of God: Genesis 1.26-28; 2.18-25;
- Jesus Taught this View. In Matt. 19:4–6 and Mark 10:6–9 Jesus teaches the principles found in Genesis 2, specifically v.24.
- The Apostles Taught this View. Acts 15 James, the brother of Jesus, Simon Peter, Paul and Barnabas, Silas. Ephesians 5.22-33; or 1 Corinthians 7; Note: The terms husband and wife are used for the English, but the Greek is very explicit with the use of man for husband and woman for wife and to intensify this, personal possessive pronouns are used (i.e., her own husband, his own wife). Peter in his 1st Epistle has a similar passage with similar wording identifying one man and one woman in a marriage.
- The Scriptures are consistent with this View: We’ll look at a few more in just a moment, but usually at this point, someone would comment that the Biblical record on Homosexuality is rather small. And that would be true, but it is larger than most assume.
Scriptures: Genesis 9.20-27; 19.4-11; Judges 19.22-25; Leviticus 18.22; 20.13; Ezekiel 16.50 (and possibly 18.12 and 33.26); Romans 1.18-32; 1 Corinthians 6.9-11; 1 Timothy 1.10; Jude 6-7 and 2 Peter 2.6-7. But there are more when you consider homosexual cult prostitution (Deuteronomy 23.17-18; 1 Kings 14.24; 15.12; 22.46; 2 Kings 23.7; Job 36.14; and Revelation 21.8; 22.15).
- Historical Tradition
- The Westminster Confession of Faith proclaims: “Marriage is to be between one man and one woman.”
- King Alfred the Great first established the English Common Law in 890 AD. He basically assigned his men the responsibility of delineating the Scripture into English Law.
- In the 13th Century Henri Bracton wrote On the Laws and Customs of England. He basically put into writing the judicial laws and practices of the English that had been in use even before King Alfred established the English Common Law.
- Sabbath-Breaking, Public Exposure, Fornication and Adultery, Incest and Homosexuality, Polygamy, Arbitrary Divorce, Prostitution, Gambling, Drunk and Disorderly Behavior.
Transition: What I was saying is that God’s perfect design fulfills all that he requires. Sin entered through the rebellion of Adam and Eve and everything has been affected. Man’s variation of God’s perfect design breaks it down somewhere along the way. Meaning: it’s no longer perfect because we pervert it. This is the definition of sin: when we take God’s perfect design and create variations of it to fulfill our own selfish desires. That in essence is rebellion – sin.
Transition: So we have God’s perfect design for marriage in Genesis 1. But we see sin enter the world in Genesis 3. As early as Gen 9, we see sex being perverted. We see it again, this perversion taking place, in Gen. 19.1-22; And that brings us to the 2nd pt:
II. Man’s Perversion of God’s Design
- Sodom and Gomorrah: The Perversion of God’s Design. Genesis 19.1-22; Instead of taking time to read all of this, let’s turn to Jude 7;
I have come across two arguments on this text:
- Their argument is inhospitality and not homosexual partnerships. And, there is some truth to that in this story. I agree; however, inhospitality wasn’t the only issue. There were many sins Jude is placing emphasis on here. The context in Jude is one of perversion and sensuality. Rd 3-5; so we see a perversion of what God ordained with what is detestable. Rd v 6-7 now; they perverted God’s authority; they perverted the natural sexual relationship designed by God to pursue fleshly lusts.
- There are those who say that this doesn’t apply to God’s design, because the issue here deals with gang rape and not consensual, life-long, monogamous homosexual relationships. The argument continues that these men in Sodom wanted to have sex with angels – and that was there perversion, that was their sin. But the text clarifies for us that… rd 7… Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding… God destroyed these other cities that indulged in sexual immorality – not just sex with angels – or even the desire for sex with angels.
- He destroyed the other cities, too.
- 2ndly, they didn’t even know they were angels – they thought they were men!
Transition: Next, With the perversion of God’s Design for sex within the marriage context of one man and one woman, God establishes his laws for his people. Specifically, we see this in Leviticus 18.
- Establishing Laws on sexual relationships: Leviticus 18.19-23; In Genesis, God chooses and builds a nation. In Exodus, he brings them out of slavery to the Mountain of God. In Leviticus, he gives them his standard – his law for them to live by. In the law, He reiterates once again that the only proper design is between one man and one woman in the 1st vs 6-8; vs 9-18 covers every form of incest – the familial relationships; Now, in v 19, God outlines perversion by a certain type of growth in degradation. Or, maybe I should say a dissension by degree as the sin mentioned gets further away from God’s intended design. V 19 is sexual sin in selfishness; v 20 is sexual sin in selfishness through adultery; v 21 is spiritual, sin through spiritual adultery; v 22; is sexual sin through homosexuality, then bestiality; note the words God uses: abomination (22) perversion (23); unclean [24, (vs. clean)]; he repeats them;
Review: So Genesis 1-2 outlines for us the traditional view of marriage. By Genesis 19 we see the corruption and perversion of God’s design. A commentary of this is found in Jude 7; In Leviticus, God outlines for the Jews how they are to be distinct from the other nations. Specifically, in chapter 18, God describes for his people what is perverted, abominable and unclean when it comes to sexuality.
Transition: at this point, there are many who argue that those laws are all OT laws and we don’t abide by them anymore. If we were to follow the OT laws, then we couldn’t eat catfish or get tattoos! There is some truth to that – why don’t we follow the OT laws to a T?
- Christian confirmation of God’s standard: In Acts 15.28-29 it was ruled that Gentiles did not need to become Jews first to be saved; however, it was decided that they must abstain from
- from what has been sacrificed to idols, and
- from blood
- from what has been strangled, and
- from sexual immorality.
Gentiles who committed their lives to Christ didn’t have to observe the OT Laws. They could eat bacon! And catfish! However, there were these four large areas – topics that needed to be observed. The 2nd one mentioned here is sexual immorality. The Gk word is πορνεία. You see it in the English used as porn – pornography. It is no doubt that the Apostles Decree was based upon the Levitical law, specifically, chapters 17-18.
- Leviticus 17.1-9 deal with sacrifices. The command is given: 7So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations. Idols – other gods; they were to no longer offer these outside the camp and bring them into the camp – that is to eat or whatever;
- Leviticus 17.10-16 deal with blood. God states that life is in the blood and the blood is what makes atonement for your souls. A reminder that the sacrifice takes our place and pays the penalty of death sentenced against us. So, do not ingest blood.
- Leviticus 17.13-16 – deal with the way animals are to be cared for when hunting and when coming upon dead animals.
- Leviticus 18 deals with sex. And, we’ve already discussed this in detail.
The word used here for sexual immorality is πορνεία is used to describe all types of sexual misconduct. Let me show you what I mean.
Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon:
1 illicit sexual intercourse.
1a adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
1b sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18.
1c sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12.
2 metaphor: the worship of idols.
2a of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols.
- In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul uses this word to describe an incestuous relationship between a man and his father’s wife.
- In Revelation it is used to describe the great Prostitute;
- John in 8.41 uses it to describe Adultery or even fornication; the list goes on.
There are two passages I want to close with:
I think the strongest passage in the NT against Homosexuality is Romans 1.18-32; read and comment;
I think also the most encouraging passage is 1 Cor 6.9-11
III. Why we cannot endorse homosexuality in the church:
- Because the Bible clearly condemns same-sex behavior. God warned the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4.2: You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.
- Addition is Legalism – Can someone say that you have to go to Sunday School? Anyone who isn’t enrolled in Sunday School is breaking the 4th That’s legalism.
- Taking away is Liberalism – Let’s take the same commandment: Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. (Deu 5.20). Can someone say, ‘I don’t have to go to church, I’m out here fishing in God’s creation? This is my church!’ Is that keeping Deu. 5.20?
- Sexual immorality is to be confronted in the church. The church is to police itself. We’re not to be taking lawsuits against each other in civil courts. We’re supposed to go one on one and lead the brother to repentance.1 Cor. 6.11 clearly communicates that we all are sinners and many of us have come out of just such a lifestyle. Which brings me to my 3rd sub-point.
- Because the church is a place for repentant sinners! We say we’re all sinners. And we are! But the church is a place where sinners come in repentance. We’re called to hate our sin and repent of it. Repent is the call…for everyone. We don’t pull out certain sins and say, k. You don’t have to repent of that. Please note the difference:
- All sinners are welcome. Period. Any and all sinners are welcome to come and worship. Participate in Bible studies, etc.
- Membership requires repentance. It begins with acknowledging that Jesus died for our sins. All of our sins are placed on him through faith and his perfection is received in faith.
- Because our faith isn’t based upon feeling, but rather commitment. We don’t look at God’s commandments through emotions. Yes, it can be emotional – but that emotion doesn’t drive us. I’d like to look at three emotional statements:
- I was born that way. I can find no factual evidence for anyone being born Gay. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Jeffery Satinover. Nature vs. Nurture; my environment made me this way! Again, even if science could prove that someone is born gay, and mind you now, I find no such evidence, the Bible still condemns it. My answer is: what does the bible say? There are men who have unusually high levels of testoterone and are driven to adultery or rage to satisfy their desire. We don’t condone that. We don’t find that an excuse to say ok.
- Why can’t I just love whoever I want to love. There is nothing wrong with love between two people of the same sex. I think we’re supposed to love each other. Men, you should have a friend who is closer than a brother. I think it’s perfectly natural to have a David and Jonathon relationship. Satan perverts that relationship.
- We’re all born with sexual desires. I think we’ve been called to live as disciples to walk in purity. All of us have been called to restrain and practice discipline. There are examples of where couples have had to go through struggle with strokes and cancer and other illnesses that left one of the partners unable to have sex. We don’t make excuses. We see God’s standard and we live by it. Another example of this is a man who has more testosterone than other men. His drive is intense. We don’t make excuses for him to live in adultery because his testosterone is high anymore then we do for men who are effeminate.
- What’s at stake here? Marriage, children, health, a slippery-slope in what is moral. So, why hold to a Biblical View?
This is difficult because this is real. You and I know people who are gay. They are our family members, our brothers and sisters, our parents, our children. They are our cousins and relatives and friends and co-workers. There are faces before us. That makes it rather difficult. So what is at stake?
- We will lose what God has established. We can see this already. Marriage has lost it’s value. God’s Word is no longer held in high esteem.
Ill.: from Denny Burk, professor of Biblical Studies, Boice College; Quotes Luke Timothy Johnson: I think it is important that we do in fact reject Scripture and accept another authority. I have little patience with efforts to make Scripture say something other than what it says, through appeals to linguistic or cultural subtleties. The exegetical situation is straightforward: we know what the text says. But what are we to do with what the text says? We must state our grounds for standing in tension with the clear commands of Scripture, . . . I think it important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good. And what exactly is that authority? We appeal explicitly to the weight of our own experience and the experience thousands of others have witnessed to, which tells us that to claim our own sexual orientation is in fact to accept the way in which God has created us.
App.: If we choose what to obey and what to cast away, we lose. It will then become a slippery slope. Eventually God’s Word will be removed and we’ll become just a civic organization doing good things in our community. Our sermons will be ‘feel good’ stories to motivate you.
- So, how are we to act outside of the church? So, we don’t endorse same-sex marriage in the church, what about out there? What if a friend invites you? What if you’re asked to participate?
- 1st, it is my personal opinion that when two people enter into sacred matrimony – it is just that…sacred. It is holy. You’re in the presence of God. You shouldn’t be a part of that. Your presence endorses their sinful behavior. I know this is a struggle. We take what God has made holy and make it unholy.
- 2nd, I think you should love those you serve – to the best of your ability. So, in business, sell everyone your goods, just don’t endorse their events. That’s my take. One last word on that…
- If this becomes the law of the land and Rome tells you, you have to do this – that is cater their weddings, or be their photographer or do their flowers – well, if you are forced to, then you have to make a decision. I can’t tell you what to do.
Ill.: there is a faulty illustration passing around the Internet. If someone asks you to bake them a cake, bake two. Matthew 5.38-48; The context is retaliation. Retaliation is what’s evil.
- Our Witness. We’ve been called to be distinct. Not haters, but rather those who love. If we embrace what the world is offering us now, we will in effect loose our witness as a lighthouse in a dark and dying world. – You’re no different than me.
- Our Message. If we remove sin, what will our message be? It will no longer be “repent”. We’ll have no more authority to speak into anyone’s life. No discipline – we’ll become like the people in the time of Judges when everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Sin will become relative to one feels.
Sin is not relative to what others think or feel. Sin is real and it is rebellion against what God has defined. I’m calling for you to take a stand today.
- Repent from your sins and be saved. It doesn’t matter to me what you’ve done or where you’ve been. What matters is where you’re going. Jesus calls you to turn from you sin and follow him.
- Take a Stand against what the world is trying to make you do. I know there are those who stood as racists in the 60’s and 70’s and have been persuaded to change their minds. Preachers who preached for segregation and against integration. I stand here today as one who is preaching against the immorality of homosexuality and I stand on God’s Word. Will you stand with me? It will cost you.
- Last week I showed you a video. The bakery Sweet Cakes was fined Friday $135,000.00 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Just like the people we saw in the video, your jobs are at stake, your businesses. I’m not asking you to discriminate or prejudice yourselves against the homosexual community. Not at all! Serve them when they come into your businesses, love them with kindness. But, when you are called to celebrate their sin and rebellion as holy in God’s eyes – then, you must take your stand.
- Pray…Tuesday our Supreme Court is hearing these cases before them. They will render a judgment and it will become the law of the land. Pray for these men and women to follow God’s leadership. Ask God to accomplish his desire in the court.
- One final word: This is not our home. Those streets out there are not ours. We drive on them because we abide by those who make the rules. We get insurance. We stay on the same side of the road. We go below the speed they set. We get inspections and we register our cars. We abide by their rules. And so it is with the laws that are passed. That is until it goes against the laws of God. And when that does…
Does this sound familiar?
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Are we there yet? I don’t know, we’ll see. You be in prayer this week and in the coming weeks as the judicial branch makes it’s decisions.