Homosexuality: A Crisis in the Church and in Western Culture

Homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God, who states early in the Bible what marriage, and the only appropriate sexual union, should be. God tells Adam and Eve to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen 1:28).* Genesis 2:24 states, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh,” which implies sexual union. God wants a man and woman to join as husband and wife. Any other sexual union is an abomination. The relationship between husband and wife is also symbolic of that between Christ and His bride the church [see Ephesians 5:22-33]. And God expects fidelity of the marital relationship: “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers [fornicators] and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

After God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden, “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain” (Gen 4:1); the text later states that “Adam knew Eve his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth” (4:25). In all three references, “know” implies sexual intercourse.

Though “know” does not always have a sexual meaning when used throughout the Bible, frequent uses of “know” in Genesis refer to sexual intercourse. The same is true in the New Testament. For instance, Joseph “knew her [Mary] not till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew 1:25). When the angel Gabriel tells Mary she will have a son, Mary asks, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34). Mary did not mean knowing someone as a common acquaintance, because she was already engaged to Joseph; Mary’s meaning in “know” was purely sexual. The natural union is male and female, not male and male, or female and female. These last two pairs Paul calls “unnatural.”

Those who commit these sexual sins, in thought or action, are sinners against God and the body. Our body, soul, and spirit are not our own; we should praise God with our bodies, not bring Him sorrow. Some may differentiate between sin and sinner, or thought and deed. However, if Christians commit sin, they must repent. Jesus says, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Here Jesus makes no distinction between thought and deed. Christians may struggle in their hearts with a particular sin, and the devil may tempt them with evil thoughts. As long as Christians do not give in to these thoughts and tell the devil to flee, they are safe. The devil may tempt us; but if we give in, we are to blame, not the devil, and we are sinners who must repent before God.

There is also the issue of genetics regarding homosexuality. Recent studies on the possibility of “gay genes” are inconclusive. However, though there may be no “gay gene” or literal inheritance of homosexuality, the Bible does say that through Adam, we inherited the tendency to sin, and its consequence of death, but through the grace and shed blood of Jesus Christ, as Christians we receive everlasting life (Romans 5:17-18). Some believe the inherited tendency to sin includes specific sins like alcoholism, homosexuality, disease, anger, etc. However, although we inherit sin, any sin we commit is still our fault; we cannot blame Adam and Eve, the devil, or our ancestors for our sins.

Others may ask how we as Christians can hold the world to our standards. Non-Christians may not consider the Bible the inspired Word of God, but they are still sinners before God. Paul addresses the Romans about this situation, saying, “[W]hen the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness” (Romans 2:14-5). If we cannot hold the people of this world to our standards, then how can we call them sinners, or expect them to repent and believe in Jesus’ saving grace? What is the point of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:20)? Expecting the world to have a standard of its own is tolerance and relativism, neither of which should be found among believers.

Another controversial topic is placing homosexuals in church leadership. Church leadership includes ministers, preachers, youth pastors, worship leaders, evangelists, Sunday school teachers and helpers, elders, and deacons. Some biblical requirements for church leaders are given in the books of 1 Timothy and Titus. Leaders must be “blameless…vigilant, sober, of good behavior” (1 Timothy 3:2). They “must have a good report of them which are without; lest [they] fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. . . .And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless” (3:7, 10). A minister should be “a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate, holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught” (Titus 1:8-9).

How can persons be ministers of the Word unless they are saved? God does not save unrepentant sinners who may not view their sin as sin, but only those with repentant hearts and minds who are willing to forsake all and follow Christ. Some homosexual ministers in churches across this nation practice their abhorred sin and do not consider themselves ungodly sinners. If homosexuals want ministerial licenses or ordination in their churches, they must recognize their evil practice as sin, abstain from it, and repent before God. If unrepentant, they are hypocrites and liars, to themselves and their congregation. If they preach that homosexuality is not a sin, the result is twisted faith and sermons.

Many persons think removing a homosexual from ministry is not loving, understanding, or tolerant. According to the Bible, what is the most loving thing Christians should do? We should not close our church doors on homosexuals, but should love them as persons created in the image of God. However, we should rebuke their sinful lifestyle and ask them to repent. We should “[speak] the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). We should be loving and compassionate toward homosexuals, but speak the truth of God’s Word. We should tell homosexuals that they are sinners and need salvation. If we condone homosexuals’ actions by ordaining them in the church, we are actually hurting them by not speaking the biblical truth; they may end up in hell. If we lovingly rebuke homosexuals, they may later repent of sin and be reconciled with God.

What the church of Jesus Christ should realize is that what is right in the eyes of the state is not always right in the eyes of God. The state passed the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, where women supposedly own their own bodies and can choose to abort their unborn babies. God loves everyone, including the unborn child, but it hurts Him to see His people sinning. The churches of this world, no matter what denomination, should pray for their countries’ government leaders and decisions and those whose voices have been silenced, suffering oppression, because of this controversial issue. Prayer and godly intervention are the only keys to America’s salvation. The devil is working in the world today, which means the battles of homosexuality and other ethical issues are spiritual ones. Believing prayer in the name of Jesus Christ is America’s only answer. It is the only answer for the world.

Homosexuality is sin
Sodom and Gomorrha: Lot brings two angels into his home for the night. The men of the city ask, “Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them” (Genesis 19:5). The meaning of “know” here is sexual in nature. How do we know? Lot later offers the men his two daughters, “which have not known man” (19:8).

Ezekiel 16:49-50: “Sodom was haughty and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”

2 Peter 2:6-8: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them, with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly, and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds).”

Jude 1:7: “Sodom and Gomorrha … [gave] themselves over to fornication, and [went] after strange flesh … suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

Leviticus 18:22: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” What is God’s punishment for such sin? “Therefore I do visit the iniquity … upon [the land], and [it] vomiteth out her inhabitants” (18:25). “Whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people” (18:29).

Romans 1:26-27: the women “did change the natural use into that which is against nature. Men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators … nor effeminate [homosexuals], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [sodomites] … shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Homosexuality is sexual immorality; consequences: death and hell
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 6:13, 18-20: “Now the body is not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. . . .Flee fornication. Every sin that man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you. Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Galatians 5:19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 6:7-8: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

Ephesians 5:3, 5-6: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints … for this ye know that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

Colossians 3:5-6: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection [passion], evil concupiscence [desire], and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 8: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication [sexual immorality], that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor, not in the lust of concupiscence [passion of lust], even as the Gentiles which know not God … for God hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness.”

Titus 2:11-12: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”

1 Peter 2:11: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”

Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 22:15: “For without [the city gates] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”

*King James Version (KJV)

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