I received an anonymous question, which I think is worth writing about. A few things need to be said first (heads up, this post is quite lengthy).
Firstly, I realise this is a very sensitive topic and that answers to this question sometimes miss the mark with compassion. This is also one of the dangers in expressing it in written form, but it’s the best way for me to be clear in my explanation.
Context and the gospel of grace:
I have a lot of homosexual friends, and I do not judge them by their relationships or sexual orientation. Often, they’re the most lovely people and I love spending time with them. But I also fear that I’ve never really made my beliefs about homosexuality clear. I want to say up front that I’m so sorry that my views will probably offend them, but before sharing my views, I need to share the basis of them.
I am a Christian, that is, I believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the incarnate Son of God, that he lived a human life without sin, that he died in the place of sinful humanity to bear the just punishment for our rejection of God. In his death, God demonstrated not only his justice, but his love:
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:6,8
… he did this to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Christ. – Romans 3:26
I believe that I am going to heaven, not because of anything I have done, but because my sins no longer condemn me before God – I am right with God because the punishment has been paid.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. – Romans 5:1-2
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
I don’t claim to be sinless, the opposite in fact, but Christ has bought my life and freed me to live a life that is in line with what God designed, and with what he has revealed in his word, the bible (that’s why there are so many bible verses – just want you to know I’m not making this stuff up). My life is shaped by the fact that one day we will either die, or Jesus will come back first, and on that day, he will judge each person on whether or not they have trusted in him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. – John 3:36
I want to make clear that if you don’t believe in the above, no one can really tell you what to do or how to act. I do hope that you will believe the above, because the stakes are so very high, eternal life is at stake. So if you don’t believe it, I seriously encourage you to look into the reasons why you don’t and consider them carefully. Please feel free to ask, because I’d be happy to help you think through things.
But if you do believe it and profess to be a Christian, one who trusts in Jesus as their Saviour and seeks to live for him, then every part of your life will be changed by the truths of the bible and the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. – Romans 6:4-7
This is not to say that we contribute to our salvation by our good works or life. But to say we have faith in Jesus and then not act on that faith by living his way is not faith at all, it’s just words. We will always struggle with sin, until we get to heaven, but by God’s grace he has guaranteed our eternal life and has promised us his Spirit to help us live that heavenly, godly life now.
The bible and homosexuality:
Our sexuality is one area of our life that needs to be given to God and shaped by his word. Sex is a good gift from God. But like any good, precious gift, it needs to be used in the way it was intended.
Firstly, sex is to be used within marriage. At the beginning, Adam and Eve were given to each other in marriage and became one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Throughout the bible, God makes clear his intentions for sex and marriage, e.g. there are many laws in the Old Testament which warn against the many wrong ways to use sex. In the New Testament, Jesus continutes to uphold the laws from the past, as do his followers, who write the rest of the New Testament.
The bible is quite clear about how God sees homosexuality, that it is not part of God’s good design. Such strong language is used that it can’t be interpreted any other way than to understand that it is sin. This sounds harsh, and I hesitated to write it like that, but the truth matters, even when it hurts. Some might say that the bible was written for a certain culture and that we live in a different time, but especially in the New Testament, there aren’t many things that only apply to the culture it was written in. In fact, many of the letters of the New Testament were written to churches who came from non-Jewish backgrounds, whose ideals and philosophies are quite similar to the culture we live in today.
For verses related to sexual immorality (which covers more than just homosexuality) and homosexuality itself, here are a few:
Just the verse references are there, so that you can look them up and read them for yourself and make your own decision. I don’t want you to be convinced by my words, but by God’s. We do not need to please men, but God.
If you do believe the gospel and want to live God’s way, but struggle with homosexuality, please know that God forgives. I know there is no off-switch for our feelings, and that changing our beliefs has huge implications for relationships and life. Fighting against our nature is not easy, but we have a great God who works for and in us for his glory.
My 2 cents on the gay marriage debate:
When it comes to national legislation, and Australia being a democracy, voices need to be heard – from both sides. Thankfully in Australia, we all have the right to voice our opinion and beliefs.
Evangelical Christians oppose gay marriage because it goes against what we deeply believe and I think we have a responsibility to fight for God’s values, even if many don’t hold to them. I recognise and respect that many don’t think that people should impose their views on others. But we also need to recognise that it’s just the nature of the law, and the nature of society, that not all will agree with each other and laws are made for the good of society.
I think the current definition of marriage is a good, godly one. “The union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” I am aware that the definition is missing certain elements (like children), but as it stands, it is biblical.
As I understand it, homosexual couples have essentially the same rights as heterosexual married couples. I think this site explains the issue as best I understand it.
I personally have decided not to support gay marriage. I have put my vote in for it not to go through. This does not affect how I treat my gay friends. And if the legislation passes, I need to trust that God is in control of that and I will submit to the authorities he has put above us.
I understand that many people will not agree with what I’ve written here and what I believe. I can’t apologise for what I believe, but I do apologise if I’ve said anything in an unloving way. Thank you for reading.
If you’d like to reply or talk about it, please do so respectfully.