Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Homosexuality and the Words of Jesus-“If He was silent…”

People crack me up. They honestly do. One of the most amusing things that I see from time to time is someone who claims to be a Christian yet wants to hold to a false or heretical doctrine in spite of the clear teaching of the bible. I’m not talking about just minor issues either—I mean actual heresy. For instance, there are people who claim to be Christians who say that homosexuality is not a sin. God, in their view, accepts loving, committed homosexual relationships and that those relationships are not sinful. They use many methods to try to skirt around the clear teaching of the bible on this issue. We’re going to take a look over a series of 3 posts at 3 of the main arguments used by “Gay Christians” and their supporters.

One of the favorite defenses employed by the “Gay is OK” crowd is the claim that Jesus didn’t talk about homosexuality and, therefore, it must not really be that big of a deal to God. They suggest that in fact cultural prejudice has lead to Christians calling homosexuality sin and that we should exhibit a more Christ-like spirit and accept the fact that since He didn’t preach against it, we shouldn’t preach against it.

There are a few facts that these individuals tend to forget. First of all, Jesus came primarily to minister to the Jews (Matthew 15:24). Jewish culture was quite strict regarding acceptable and unacceptable sexual behavior. There were few sins in the Old Testament that would earn someone the death penalty—homosexual behavior under any circumstances was one of them. Therefore, at least one reason that might explaion why we don’t have any records of Jesus teaching on homosexuality is that it wasn’t a problem for Jewish people. It was rarely found among them. This was not the case for the Roman culture of the day. In fact, it was considered quite normal for men to engage in homosexual relations. The culture even went so far as to suggest that the most compatible sexual partner for a man was another man. Jesus came to preach the gospel everywhere He went and certainly He ministered to Gentiles. However, as noted in the verse from Matthew above, Jesus’ primary ministry was first to the Jews. It was not the Jews who had a problem with homosexuality but rather it was the Hellenistic culture of the Romans.

Second of all, it is important to note that what we have recorded in the 4 gospels are the inerrant, inspired words of God. The church has always held to verbal plenary inspiration. In other words, every word that is in the original autographs is the exact word that God intended for the writer to write and there are no mistakes or errors at all in whole or in part in scripture. However, that does not mean that the 4 gospels record every word that Jesus ever spoke verbatim. We don’t have a transcript of His life, We have rather 4 complimentary views and records of His ministry. It would seem unlikely that Jesus taught about homosexuality. On the other hand, as John notes in his gospel (21:25), we have a written account of Jesus’ life and teachings for the purpose of leading us to repentance and faith not for the purpose of an exhaustive inventory of everything He ever said or did.

Finally, we should recognize that the gospels are not more authoritative than other scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. Furthermore, as Peter notes in 2 Peter 1:20-21 that all scripture has the same origin—inspiration by the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, we cannot simply choose to ignore clear teachings in Romans 1 concerning homosexuality simply because Christ is not recorded as having taught on the subject. In fact, Paul himself puts the teaching that he gives in scripture such as Romans as being equal to the teaching of Christ Himself (I Corinthians 7:12).

Therefore, because we have the sure, true word of God we can know that homosexuality is a sin and that, just like any sin, it must be repented of. Praise God who so graciously grants repentance and freedom from sin.

17 comments:

Clay M said...

Nice job on this subject, Joe. I hadn't previously considered your point regarding Jesus' primary audience (the Jews). Makes sense.

The attempt to legitimize homosexual behavior seems to echo familiar patterns that our adversary has used throughout the ages. It comes down to subverting or twisting the Word of God.

"Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" (Gen 3.1). Did God really say homosexuality is a sin?

Clay

Joe Blackmon said...

Clay,

Thanks for the comment. I would agree this is just a page out of Satan's old playbook. The sad thing is those who fall for it are blind and deaf without eyes to see and ears to hear. It's really pitiful.

Anonymous said...

This is not pitiful..dis is actually great..i was gonna post somethng against homosexuality on my fb page..and I saw this great piece and I think about how the devil is trying to take over our people and call us bigots for not supporting homosexuality..i ont dislike these people because they've been taken over with the spirit of homosexuality and are blind of whts going on..im not a bigot..im just a Christian refusing to call God a liar in his face by admitting homosexuality is not a sin and it really is..God doesnt support that..so why should I? God is flawless..and another thing, if you don't God destroy cities because of there sinful ways reasearch the city of Sodom and Gomora if my spelling is correct and get the full understanding of that story and ask God for salvation and deliverance from homosexuality

Anonymous said...

Did Jesus not preach acceptance and love for all humanity? Would you condemn your children to hell if they were gay? Or any of your friends or relatives? Homosexuality is a biological fact and has been since the dawn of man. Your cognitive dissonance is disappointing. Please return to caring for the sick and the poor and leave the bigotry back in the 19th century please.

Anonymous said...

Blog author. Please allow my statement to be posted at least as an opportunity for your fellow believers to either cement their views or ask tough questions. Is it not through introspection that our faith can become deeper? Or, there is the fear that your unexamined assumptions may be wrong, but if your faith is real then that shouldn't be a problem. ---- 26 year old Lutheran sick of conservative Christianity fouling up our political process. Thanks.

Joe Blackmon said...

Anon,

Please point to one verse in scripture that demonstrates that sex between people of the same gender is anything other than a sin. Until you can, your claim of "bigotry" is nothing but hot air.

Joe Blackmon said...

Further, Anon, Jesus never said that homosexuality was a sin. It is not unloving nor is it rejection of anyone to call sin what the Bible calls it--sin.

Joe Blackmon said...

Obviously, that should say "Jesus never said that homosexuality was NOT a sin". He never addressed the subject. From my post, there are logical reasons why.

Anthony said...

First, I'd like to say that I enjoy discussions that are civil even if we completely disagree.

Second, I'd like to address the 'fact' that the Bible or even just the 4 Gospels are inerrant. This isn't true. It's been proven that words have been mistranslated and changed over the years to other words that mean different things. This would be an "error". It's just fact. It happens. I still believe in the Bible, but it is not without it's manmade limitations on accuracy.

Third, I would like to see in the original Greek or Hebrew where it specifically states homosexuality is a sin. In the Old Testament, it was an abomination. And yes, worthy of death. However, shrimp were an abomination. It's because they lived in the water yet didn't have scales like a fish. A penguin is an abomination because it has wings and doesn't fly. It simply means these things were unclean. This doesn't mean that the penguin is sinful or evil.

As for worthy of death, well, if your daughter didn't bleed on her wedding night, she was to be stoned to death. We now know for FACT that every woman does not bleed for various reasons. I can't imagine this rule being made by God. It was most likely a priest that made these rules. This one in particular was because women were property and to mess with another man's property was not tolerated (obviously if they thought it was OK to kill the woman..even though the Ten Commandments state Do Not Kill)

There is evidence throughout the bible for culture bias. As a gentile, I'm not bound by the old laws. I live by the new one, made by Jesus' death and resurrection. He said the two most important commands are Love the Lord thy God and love thy neighbor as thyself.

I wish people would at LEAST look at the Bible and think. Why are we willing to keep this ONE outdated view, but completely toss the other 6000+ commands in the Bible out?

Also, if you hate or intolerance for any group, you're a bigot. That is the definition given by Webster's dictionary. This is regardless of what the Bible says is a sin. I only bring this up because if we're making mistakes on the definition of our own language today, then why are we so certain our translation of a 2000 year old (and older) text is 100% correct? Especially knowing that there have been errors that were corrected w/in the last 50 years.

Just think and research. Don't just believe what you're 'told'. And try to put your own pre-conceived ideas aside. If you're right, then you have no worries in doing so.

Joe Blackmon said...

Anthony,

I wanted to respond with sarcasm but I recognized how sinful that was. Thank you for your comment. I don't agree with any of it, but I appreciate you taking the time to read what I wrote and respond to it. If you'd like to dialogue further, my email is joe(dot)blackmon72(at)yahoo(dot)com. Email would work better than a blog comment thread because, quite frankly, it's hard for me to get time during the day to moderate comments but I can answer an email pretty quickly. Thanks again for the comment.

Anonymous said...

The belief of certain circles is that Jesus did not specifically speak on the subject of homosexuality and since they believe He did not, then He must condone it and even bless it. It is a fact indeed that Jesus is never quoted as saying the word homosexual or the like. I will say at this point, however that when one person of the trinity speaks they all speak.

When our Creator-Father spoke then Jesus was also speaking. When the Holy Spirit spoke Jesus was speaking too. In addition, I have always seen in God's Written Word Him protecting heterosexual monogamous marriage: God warns against adultery, promiscuity, lusting, divorce and even the coveting of another man's wife. All of these commands are directed for the protection of the heterosexual monogamous relationship. No other type, of relationship is guarded by God as this one. The Lord never gives directives for a homosexual relationship (monogamous or otherwise). In fact he guards the heterosexual monogamous relationship from homosexuality! Let's look at his perfect intentions.

Mt. 19:J3 "And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?"
Obviously the question is regarding divorce. Why, then does Jesus answer in the following way:

Mt. 19:4 - 5 "He answered, 'Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?' "

Jesus is quoting Gen. 1:27 & 2:24 above. Jesus has taken their question to a deeper level. It is not just a "man" and "wife" question Jesus is desiring to bring the topic to include the Father's intentions for sexuality. He uses the words "male" and "female " to do this.

It is in this inclusive context that Jesus continues by saying, Mt. 19:6 "What therefore God has joined together. Let not man put asunder.

The Father is commanding us to not put the male to female union asunder. Do not divorce the male to female union He says. The Creator-Father has designed male and female for one another specifically and exclusively.

Together male and female are the greatest reflection of the image of God.
Gen. 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
God is protecting the male and female relationship (thus the husband and wife relationship). The father has put very clear boundaries on the male and female relationship. No other relationship is for the male or female. No male to male, no female to female unions, no bestiality, lesbianism, polygamy, promiscuity.... "What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder." (Mt 19:6)

Once again the Father is clearly showing us His divine intentions regarding human sexuality.

"The Creator Father

has designed male and female

for one another

specifically and exclusively. "

Going back to the Pharisees original question--Jesus answers them, but only after affirming heterosexual monogamy.

Was Jesus silent on the issue of homosexuality? I think it is clear in Jesus' teaching from Matthew chapter 19 that Jesus was aware that man's sinful condition could seduce one into sexual relationships outside of heterosexual monogamy. Jesus says no to homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

Here's the elephant in the room: not everyone is a Bible-believing Christian. However, Christians are convinced to their core that their way is the ONLY way - (yeah, yeah, I know - your book says so - I've got a book that says MY way is the only way...nah-nah-nah-nah).

OK, I'm being a little silly, but the point remains - many people don't derive their beliefs from the same place you do. Christianity says homosexuality is a sin - fine. Don't be a homosexual if you're a Christian. What most of us object to is you trying to foist your code of living and your morals on the rest of us.

I challenge you to honestly reflect if your way is any better than the countries that practice Islam and other places where government and daily life is controlled by a set of religious standards and practices. Christians are NO DIFFERENT than Muslims in this respect. They have Sharia Law and you have Mosaic Law. You both want to control the entire population with the rules of your supposed righteousness.

What's the difference?
("But we're right - cuz the Bible sez so," is not a valid answer.)

Anonymous said...

Joe I am just curious as to your educational background is, are you a scholar who has studied Hebrew or the Hebrew Culture? What are you basing your definitions on? I understand from reading the Bible (the Old Testament) that it lays out the act of homosexuality clearly Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13. I also understand that this is one of the books of Law. I am logically to assume that you abide by Lev 19:19, Lev 19:20, Lev 19:27, Lev 15:15, Lev 15:20..I could go on. So based on your logical proposition you still abide by the Jewish law outlined in Lev and don't eat seafood, make sure to wash your clothes as soon as you come in contact with a woman on her period, cut your hair and beard in the appropriate manner, and are prepared to adhere to proper birth rituals as outlined in the book. If so then man I give you props, if not then you are just picking out what suits you and not reading things in its proper Hebraic context. Consider John 7:53-8:11...where Jesus speaks of condemning people..the question was posed was "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" Jesus answers, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first cast your first stone." What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Dear writer of this blog,
There's something you are doing completely wrong here. Your whole blog focuses on one thing - "homosexuality". You use it as a thing, an object, a concept. The problem is, it's not a thing, nor an object, nor a concept. It's people. People, like you or me. People who want love and families, and were made the way they were. They could be a 100x stronger Christian than you or me. They're people. Fathers, mothers, husbands, wives. And Jesus teaches, "Love all people". Yes, Jewish law condemns homosexuality. But, it also condemns leprosy, blindness (as people who have sinned or parent's have), and prostitution. And Jesus did not agree with these things, either. But, when the PEOPLE affected with these things came to Jesus, he loved them. He healed them. Because Jesus loves all PEOPLE. What is the main focus of Christianity - "You should follow Jewish Law?" - NO. It's "You should love God and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." So, lighten up, truly act like Jesus, and Love. All. People.

Joe Blackmon said...

Anon (May 9)

Proverbs 26:4.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to believe the lie. No one was created that way. Things happen in the world, but this do not attribute to the Master and Creator. When I approached my redeemer He restored me to His original ersion of myself. Little children keep free from idols. Praise the name of the Lord forever.

BRIAN DAVIES said...

To anonymous .....

Jesus, did indeed, teach love for all of humanity. He was also a Jew, meaning He still held to the Ten Commandments. Christians do not condemn anyone to Hell - humans don't have that authority - people condemn themselves to Hell by sinning without asking for redemption. Homosexuality IS NOT a biological fact (biology clearly works with the sole purpose of perpetuating a species). Your lack of scientific evaluation is disappointing.