QUESTION 1: If God is my creator then why did God create gay people?
The bible says a few big things about all of us. Each of us has been made and created by God to be intentional and personal. We are all fallen and “out of sync” with God. We are not good at being the people God made us to be. Because of our fallen condition (Romans 3:23). Our “desires are skewed” and our “affections are flawed.” It’s not the case that God created gay and lesbian feelings. God created people. God doesn’t create what he opposes but created something good that became broken.
It all started with a desire to sin. That desire came through our resistance to God. Humanity didn’t want God telling them how to live. They wanted to live according to their own rules, feelings and desires. So humanity resisted God and chose to “be god” instead. They didn’t want God “controlling them.” Left under their own control, humanity realized that wasn’t going to work well for them in the long run. They saw their choice to live by their own rules instead of according to God’s love left them wanting. So they recognized their fallen condition and they chose God again. But at a cost. That cost was through the “shedding of blood” to symbolize the severity of a life without God (Romans 9:22). A life that results in spiritual death (Romans 6:23).
Through our reconciliation with Jesus, we have life again. A spiritual future with God forever…just like He intended from the beginning. But while we are “forgiven” we still experience desires and feelings from our “old life.” Those desires are seen from the beginning when my three-year-old son was wanting the world to “revolve around him” and he wanted to live according to only what he wants when he wants it. Our desire to live by our “feelings and desires” are experienced right from birth and will continue till we die. But God makes it clear that those feelings and desires become less and less the closer we follow God and the longer we live for God. Even though you still have those feelings and desires at times, those temptations and sins are not counted against you,
“Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 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.” I Corinthians 6:9-11
You are washed clean. You are sanctified or in modern language, “set apart” as part of God’s family and future. And you are also justified which means “those feelings and actions you may have as a lover of God” won’t disqualify you from heaven. You are just in God’s eyes because of Jesus sacrifice for you and your spiritual future in heaven.
Notice, even the Bible references homosexuality in this text “men who have sex with men” who will become different because of Jesus and their stories of celebration were heard in the church as “that is what some of you were.” Were. They experienced lifechange because of what Jesus has done and they chose to resist and live differently. Not because the church hated them, but because Jesus loved them. That love they experienced compelled men (and women obviously) in that community to live differently . They chose to resist a life lived by their choices and made the singular choice to live for Christ.
QUESTION 2: Ok, so if the Bible disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle, where is it?
One of the most potent verses on homosexuality is found in Romans. Paul is writing to the most prominent culture of the day. Roman culture was the dominant thought and voice of the day. Roman culture was everywhere and God’s people were surrounded by it. So, he writes to expose the culture and those influencing culture (think of those on our modern version of tv, blogs, vlogs, youtubers, etc) within the first few verses.
In the first collection of sentences, the Bible makes clear that at the time, there were those proclaiming to be wise about culture (The Dr. Phil’s of the day, the talk show’s, etc.). But their perceived wisdom was actual “foolish” ideas. Not only that, the people in the culture believed the foolish ideas and they chose to exchange the truth that they had grown up with, what they knew and what they had been taught, and they chose to exchange them for these foolish ideas. And in turn, these choices became lie they believed. These lies effected the families and friends who were outsiders to faith and those who were professing Christians. These lies fueled their passion to live a life that was different from the Bible and ultimately against God.
See the text below,
“18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:18-27
You have to look at the larger context in this passage in Romans 1. Paul is saying God is “revealed in nature.” It’s plain and it’s obvious in creation…and that creation also meaning male and female relationships. Referencing it from the beginning (back to Genesis, even). But people chose to exchange the plain truth for lies. They wanted to “believe in something different.” They proclaimed to have a “wisdom” on cultural issues. Claiming to have “new truth” to give the permission to “live differently.” But the Bible says clearly, their hearts were “darkened.” Professing to be “wise on cultural beliefs and ideas,” they were acutally foolishly wrong on their ideas. They exchanged truth for falsehoods.
Some argue that this is written in context of this passage of homosexuality is written in regards to idol worship. Some argue that Paul was speaking of “pederasty.” Pedersasty is essentially sex between men and boys. That behavior was seen in different types of temple worship. While this argument has some truth, Paul does make it clear by NOT referenceing sex between men and boys, but actually sex between two men. So the issue wasn’t temple worship but homosexual activity that was happening in Roman culture at the time.
Not only that this passage also is the strongest and clearest and only Biblical reference to “lesbianism” in verse 26. This is clearly not about temple worship but homosexual behavior in both genders. People never came up with this interpretation until after the sexual revolution. Giving our current culture “permission” to be in a consentual gay relationship. But again, Paul is referencing relationships beyond temple prostitution and sex. He’s talking about natural created order using several words that he is using form Genesis 1. Basically word for word.
Why believe the Scriptures to be true and authoritative you might be thinking?
Because Jesus believes the Bible to be true and authoritative.
I believe the Bible because Jesus believes the Bible.
It’s a book of truth and not a book of suggestions or options. Even when Jesus comes to bring us the New Testament (NT), He didn’t come to “out-date” the Bible for us but to fulfill the Bible for us. Jesus says Himself,
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-20
When you read the Old Testament (OT), the tendency is to say it doesn’t connect to us anymore. Jesus clearly says here that His entrance into the world makes the OT and the NT work complete. The NT isn’t a “better Bible” but that the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures make us and God’s Word, complete. Jesus loved the OT and we should to. Jesus quotes the OT and we should too. Jesus trusts the Bible and we should too. Jesus is the complete fulfillment of the Bible.
Let’s just go right into it. The Bible puts homosexuality into print in the Old Testament. Let’s take a look at what it has to say:
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Leviticus 18:22
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Leviticus 20:13
These phrases are blatant. It’s wrong. Biblically, it’s wrong. Now, the thought is that these are “outdated Scriptures.” Outdated just like not eating pork, shellfish, wearing make-up, etc. There are spiritual practices in the Bible that speak to God’s people being restricted for national reasons – don’t eat pork or shellfish, don’t sow two different kinds of seeds in your field, don’t have sex with a woman if she’s on her period (awkward but ok), not wearing garments of two fibers such as cotton socks and a wool sweater, getting a tattoo, etc.
But then there are moral practices for all humanity…despite what you worship. Like murder, beastiality, etc. God is speaking in this context that are universal prohibitions that not only for God’s people (the Israelites) that they should not indulge in but even the Egyptians, the Cannanite’s and all other nations shouldn’t indulge in then as well. Spiritual objections for prohibitions for God’s people versus universal moral prohibitions as human beings.
When you look at the specific context of Leviticus, that was specifically in the context of universal moral prohibitions (along with child sacrifice, incest, etc). That’s why God called it an abomination in Leviticus. It’s absolutely wrong in God’s eyes no matter who you are…follower of God or not. While wrong, God is forgiving and loving to no matter where we are at.
What about incest or beastality? Are these just cultural “no-no’s” for the “old Biblical days” or would we say incest is wrong in our day and age or having sex with a housepet? Sorry. Blatant? Yes. Should it shock you? Absolutely. Is it wrong…hard to say it but yes.
The moral laws in the Old Testament, such as those prohibiting killing, stealing, lying, adultery, sexual immorality and so on, are all valid today. Jesus referred often to the Old Testament and said that He didn't come to abolish “the law” but to fulfill it. Jesus referred to the Old Testament often in regard to moral behavior. The consequences of wrong actions may have changed, but the moral implications remain the same. For instance, even though we no longer stone to death those who commit adultery, this does not mean that adultery is acceptable or any less dangerous. Adultery is wrong, even though there aren't legal consequences. The same applies to homosexuality in the Biblical context as well.
QUESTION 3: Did Jesus mention homosexuality?
If you are against homosexuality, you are bigoted, closed minded, hateful, intolerant, etc. But few people think that way about Jesus. So the implication is that if Jesus didn’t mention anything about homosexuality then why are Christians freaking out about it?
Well the answer to that is that Jesus didn’t talk about a lot of things that we would deem as wrong. But the argument from the posture of “silence” is dangerous. Jesus also didn’t speak about drunk driving, abortion, too much “screen time”, etc. The implication is…if He didn’t talk about it, then why are we freaking out about it. Did Jesus mention wife-beating? Canibalism? Does that mean He’s for it? My point: an argument cannot be based solely on silence.
To suggest that Jesus approved of homosexuality simply because He did not use the term homosexual is to imply that He approved of necrophilia, pedophilia, incest and bestiality. But, of course, we know better. From the info we have, it was clear what Jews believed in that day. Jesus does mention…he does address it, actually. Take a closer look at what Jesus says in Matthew,
17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:17-19
Jesus is discussing with the religious community. There are questions about what comes out of the heart is what defiles or contaminates a person. What contaminates a person is defined by Jesus, Himself. One of these words that Jesus included in the list that He uses specifically is the word: sexual immorality. This is the Greek word, “pornia.” This is where we get the English word, pornography. That word is what Jesus used as a “catch-all” term for any sexual behavior outside of marriage: rape, adultery, prostitution, premarital sex, homosexual sex, etc. All sexual relations all outside of marriage. Basically, all sex outside of Biblical marriage is wrong in the eyes of God and is prohibited.
While Jesus didn’t specifically name the sin of homosexuality, He did include it.
For example, let’s say as I’m writing this in my local coffee shop. Someone walks in and says, “I want to give all the dads in here today free Viking tickets.” Now I would be eligible to those tickets? Yes, because I am dad! Although I wasn’t NAMED specifically, I was INCLUDED. It’s the same idea of what Jesus is saying in Matthew 15. While he isn’t “naming” homosexuality, he is including it in his list of actions that defile someone.
Jesus didn’t move in a progressive direction on sex and marriage. He moved in a more conservative direction based on the Biblical narrative from the beginning. When asked about divorce which was becoming a more “common cultural norm” Jesus chose to go narrower and not lean into the more “widened and accepted” interpretation of the day. When Jesus was later asked about adultery, which was happening during the first century, Jesus didn’t give permissions or make excuses because of public opinion. He also went narrower on that subject as well by explaining it wasn’t the “act” that defiles you but the mere “thoughts” is what defiles you. See Matthew 5 below,
The culture of Jesus day and ours seems to attempt to blur our moral boundaries as followers of God. But we should follow the example of Jesus. Let’s take our culturally blurred lines and lift them to a higher level instead of lowering them. The more mainstream the ideas of the day, the more exceptional Jesus’ stance was on the topic. Choosing not to murder was meant to not hate at all. To not commit adultery…simply means don’t lust in your heart. So with all moral issues in Jesus day AND in ours…let’s choose to take them to a higher level. Anything that has a “moral question mark” by it, Jesus chose to go towards an even more rigid Biblical meaning…not more approval. While Jesus embodied and gave grace to many, He still defined Biblical wrongs as clear Biblical wrongs.
QUESTION 4: Is gay marriage really that bad?