What are your thoughts on homosexuality and same sex marriage?

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.

Replies:

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.

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2 thoughts on “What are your thoughts on homosexuality and same sex marriage?

  1. Marriage is not unique to Christianity. I have a problem that the church is getting involved with law and legislation, and I really don’t feel that is its place. I am pro-gay marriage. I am not gay. If the church doesn’t feel that gay marriage is appropriate, then they have the right not condone or perform gay marriage (if legalized) within their premises. I don’t have a problem with this. It feel it should however, be an option for two gay people to marry to legalize their union.

    Also, there are many many abominations in the bible, many seem crazy his day and age. See http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/drlaura.asp

    If the sole reason you object to gay marriage Is because of the bible, how do you feel about the above? It seems contradictory to be a purist in one sense (gay marriage) and let other abominations slide.

  2. Fair call. I agree that problems arise when the Church is also State, but it’s not, it’s just part of society.The church does represent part of society who should be able to stand up for what they think is good for society, as do the gay lobbyists and any other group that wants to make their voice heard.
    It’s helpful to point out what seems to be contradictory. I read the letter and looked up each of the verses – I could address each one, but that could get even more lengthy. I’ve read the laws and agree that they are good, I think they just make sense when they’re about how to live in a way pleasing to God.
    Context is necessary, though. All the references mentioned are from the Old Testament law, which was written for God’s people in that time. He redeemed them from slavery and gave them the law so that they would be able to honour him, because he needed to make it clear as they didn’t know how. This was part of the Old Covenant between God and his people, and throughout the Old Testament, his people failed to live up to the name of being God’s people. As a result, God’s name was profaned among the nations. He made a new promise for the future that he would change their hearts and restore their relationship with him.
    Ultimately that promise is fulfilled in Jesus, who upheld the Old Testament law, but also exposed their hypocrisy – that the Jews obeyed the law not for God’s glory but for their own. As they tried to keep the letter of the law, Jesus revealed the heart of it and showed how to truly honour God, e.g. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean?’ For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body. What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean’. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come even thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit…etc.” (Mark 7:18-22)
    The new covenant/promise also meant that it was no longer just the Jews who were included in God’s people, but the nations as well. The way to be included is to believe in Jesus Christ, and from then until now, God has been holding back his judgement (whereas he often judged his people according to how they were upholding their promise to obey him) until the time when Jesus comes back or until we die.
    The problem with humanity is that God has made himself clear and yet we still prefer to think we know better. The law was put in place to assist them in honouring God – if they obeyed, the consequences would not be necessary. There is no longer any priesthood, and judgment (e.g. the consequences raised in the letter) will be God’s alone when he decides it’s time.
    I never said that I would let other abominations slide – homosexuality is just the topic of the moment and someone asked so I shared. The root of the problem is that we keep looking for excuses and loopholes to reject God, and the New Testament writers teach against those as well. All of the references that I gave above are from the New Testament. There are many other ‘abominations’ that deserve attention in our society, it’s just that homosexuality is on the table at the moment.
    I’m not sure that I’ve done a very good job at explaining that, perhaps someone else could also pipe up and help because I’m not good at being brief (I know this isn’t that brief, but I’ve just tried to summarise a humungous theme in the bible. If I’m incorrect on any point, can someone please correct me?).

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