Homosexuality
The Bible requires believers to love and respect homosexuals. I don't see that happening very much ...

Kelly Jo asks: What does the bible say about two believers living together, one a female and one a male with homosexuality struggles, trying to live for God. They have been great friends and support to each other.
Question about Right and Wrong in the Bible: Homosexuality
Motivation - Curiosity: Discussion with friends; Guidance: Looking for a solution
Bible view - The Word of God - [question 131, Sunday, 27-Jan-2013]

Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'
- Genesis 2:18 [NASB]

What, precisely, does the Bible say about homosexuality? The question posed by Kelly Jo is an unusual one: Consider two Christian friends, one male and one female, both struggling with homosexuality issues, living together in the same household. What does the Bible say about this situation? We admit it is an intriguing question, and, yes, the Bible has several guidelines that apply directly.

The Role of the Christian Church - In our view, it is well past time that Americans address the question of homosexuality. Of course the issue is more and more in the spotlight recently, which is a good thing. It took almost 100 year for Americans to wake up and abolish slavery, and that only after a brutal war. Another 100 years saw the Civil Rights movement and a giant step in the right direction. Resolving the homosexuality issue will not be quick, but it must be done. The Bible places responsibility clearly on the Church to take the lead, but we have been slow to accept the role.

Cause and effect - The Bible addresses the causes and effects of the homosexual lifestyle only in a general way, with no specific information given (see Romans 1:17-28, discussed later). There are four compelling scientific arguments in this exchange on debate.com that homosexual tendencies are mostly caused by pure biology, that is, homosexuality occurs naturally and is not a result of choices made by individuals. However, this Wikipedia article casts doubt on these scientific assertions, citing several non-biological factors and acknowledging that conclusive evidence is not fully available. The cause of human homosexuality is not very important to Bible discussions.

Similarly the negative effects of homosexual lifestyles are described simply as 'the wrath of God' with no details provided in the Bible (Romans 1:18). It would be negligent, though, to ignore the direct results of a homosexual lifestyle. In addition to the obvious deadly effect of AIDS, William Lane Craig (Hard Questions, Real Answers) notes that homosexual activity, 80 percent of which is carried out by men, is very destructive physically, resulting in problems such as prostrate damage, ulcers and ruptures, and chronic incontinence and diarrhea.

The moral question is not one of cause and effect, but of how heterosexuals and homosexuals treat each other. This is where the Bible comes in.

Gay marriage - To be of any value, this article must address the current issue of gay marriage. Between homosexual individuals, the Bible indicates that the current push for gay marriage may be the result of a God-ordained need for human companionship. As a political movement, the Bible indicates that gay marriage may be the result of a God-ordained progression of societal decay. The tension between these two poles: personal companionship and societal deterioration, makes gay marriage a super-charged issue. We present our understanding from a biblical point of view.

Structure of this article - The remainder of this article covers a lot of ground. It is broken into five main sections with several subsections. Most of the Bible-based development is in the 'Culture Gap' section.

Structure of article on homosexuality

Bridging the Culture Gap

Books of the Bible are between 2000 and 3000 years old. How in the world, you may ask, is the Bible relevant today? This is a good question and one which must be answered up front, before homosexuality in modern culture can be discussed.

Even if you do not believe in God and the morality He prescribes, the Bible contains a code of ethics that has been proven to work over time. Great Britain based her laws on it and influenced the whole world for good. America adhered to biblical codes for almost two full centuries and flourished like no other nation. It has been the Jew's focus for four thousand years, and they are still here, preserved as a distinct and successful people. So the Bible has authority from God Himself and, even for the non-believer, from a time-proven track record.

Historians tell us that homosexuality in Bible times involved abuse of slaves and wild, lawless orgies. These are not issues today. In the passage about Sodom and Gomorrah (discussed later), the issue was gang rape, and there are no proponents of gang rape in modern society. Does this invalidate the Bible? Certainly not. Timeless biblical principles still apply today, even though the culture is different.

Bridging the homosexuality culture gap involves these important topics:

  • The sinfulness of homosexual behavior
  • Love, tolerance, and understanding
  • Isolation, inclusion, and exclusion
  • Free will and selfish behavior
  • The doctrine of Doubtful Things

The sinfulness of homosexual behavior - Sin is the breaking of God's law (1 John 3:4), and, according to the Bible, if you sin you will suffer harsh consequences. These consequences come during your life on earth and ultimately, during life after death. Homosexual behavior is always counted as sin in the Bible, and the Bible always prescribes one remedy for sinful behavior: stop sinning! Theologians have a big word for this. They call it 'repentance.' But for the rest of us, stop sinning gets the idea across just fine.

There is a mistaken notion that the New Testament does away with the Old Testament. When it comes to questions of morality, quite the opposite is true. The New Testament affirms, strengthens, and expands the moral law of the Old Testament, as seen in Jesus' clear teaching on the seventh Commandment:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
- Matthew 5:27 [KJV]

What changes between Old and New Testaments is God's response to sinful behavior. The cross of Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament demands of religious ceremony and animal sacrifice, and a new intimacy between God and mankind emerges in the New Testament. God's grace, that is, His favor toward mankind (even though we don't deserve it), becomes unfettered.

In a famous passage about the woman caught in adultery, Jesus does not condemn the woman for sinful behavior, but He tells her to stop sinning.

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
- John 8:3ff [KJV]

In this passage Jesus has an important word for those who condemn a sinful person, 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.' So in addition to the first timeless principle in the passage, stop sinning, there is a second timeless principle, love sinners. Even though 2000 years old, these principles apply today, and they are especially relevant to questions of homosexuality in modern culture.

Love, tolerance, and understanding - Does the Bible teach straight people to tolerate gay people, and vice versa? Does the Bible propose that common decency be extended between the two groups? Absolutely yes. In the prior section on sin, the timeless principle love sinners applies directly. And we are all, every one of us, sinners before God [Isaiah 64:6]. You might think of tolerance as 'passive, studied indifference.' The Bible takes it further to 'active, purposed understanding.'

The classic passage about tolerance and common decency puts forth another timeless principle, live peaceably, as prescribed by the Apostle Paul:

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
- Romans 12:17ff [KJV]

Another biblical principle related to love, tolerance, and understanding is show no partiality. Discrimination is not allowed by the Bible. We develop this idea more fully in our article on racism, but the Bible says repeatedly that all men and women are created equal and God treats them that way. He treats believers equal to unbelievers, He treats Jews equal to gentiles, He treats males equal to females, and He treats gays equal to straights. God then tells us to do the same. Showing partiality is sinful behavior, as brought out in this passage in the New Testament book of James.

If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,' you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
- James 2:8ff [NASB]

To mature believers, one of the biggest reasons to show no partiality is because we are all in this together. Life on Earth is full of trials and difficulties and, while no two people have identical troubles, the Bible says there is a common thread to all of them. Anyone who has lived more than a few decades knows this. In To Kill a Mockingbird, lawyer and father figure Atticus Finch reflects:

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ... until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.

The Bible says we have all climbed into another person's skin to some extent, because we all know what trials, troubles, and temptations are like. In this passage in 1 Corinthians, God limits troubles for godly people, a source of comfort in times of trial:

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 [NASB]

In modern parlance, we should show no partiality because we have been there, done that!

Isolation, inclusion, and exclusion - Man is a social being, and the Bible is all about human relationships. It is not good for the man to be alone [Genesis 2:18] starts the Bible narrative and immediately establishes a timeless principle amplified throughout Scripture: isolation is not good.

Loners in the Bible are relatively few, but they exemplify negative aspects of being alone. God ministers directly to outcast Hagar in Genesis 16:8 and tells her to return to her difficult family setting rather than be alone. Naomi finds herself alone after her husband and children die, saying 'Call me not Naomi (pleasant), call me Mara (bitter), for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.' [Ruth 1:20 KJV] Fortunately Ruth stepped in and saved the day. In the New Testament the parables of the prodigal son [Luke 15:11ff] and the lost sheep [Luke 15:4ff] aptly demonstrate the perils of isolation. On the cross, Jesus verbalized only one agony: the break of fellowship with His heavenly Father.

Related to the topic of isolation, there are inclusion and exclusion principles at work in the sphere of human relationships. In a recent video and its related article, Christian leader Steve Chalke expounds on the Christ-likeness of inclusion for all people, heterosexual and homosexual, in church, state, and social settings.

Loners exclude themselves from society or are excluded by others. But Jesus is careful to include people who are willing listen to Him. No, more than that, Jesus goes out of His way to include even the most reviled people:

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'
- Luke 7:34 [NASB]

The timeless principle is this: include all who are willing listen, and we should strive to include people unlike ourselves in our social circles. If we perceive someone to be isolated, we should go out of our way to persuade him or her to participate with us in day-to-day living.

But there are biblical limits to the inclusion principle. Believers are not to include everyone in their circles. Evil exists [1 Peter 5:8]. Rebellious, belligerent, and prideful people who will not listen to reason are actively excluded. Ancient Israel was forbidden by God to intermarry with pagan societies [Exodus 23:32]. Indeed, they were commanded by God to drive sinful cultures away while, at the same time, welcome peace-making strangers [Joshua 1:6, Deuteronomy 10:19]. Some of the harshest words Jesus ever spoke were to prideful religious people. He embraced everyday sinners like you and me, but He soundly rejected hard-nosed religious professionals [Matthew 15:7]. The apostle Paul warns of people who behave like wolves, ravaging the flock [Acts 20:29]. All in all, biblical inclusion reaches limits known as 'bad company' and 'friendship with the world.'

Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals.'
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 [NASB]

and

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
- James 4:1ff [NKJV]

Include all who are willing to listen is a timeless biblical principle. It must be applied by mature believers with careful discernment of good and evil [Hebrews 5:14].

Free will and selfish behavior - Although it may seem strange, the Bible contains no injunction against selfish behavior for everyday people. If you want to be selfish, the Bible will not stand in your way. There is no Commandment 'Thou shalt not be selfish.' If two people, homosexual or otherwise, selfishly desire sexual gratification, the Bible neither prohibits or condemns it. Christians call this free will. Jewish wisdom (see Judaism 101) calls this the yetzer ra, or the desire to satisfy personal needs without regard to moral consequences. God grants all people the ability to choose selfish behavior and indeed, many do. Only people sensitive to moral law respond in love, unselfishly, to the yetzer tov, the opposite of the yetzer ra. In fact, if you are a moral person who does not believe in God, you should ask yourself 'Why am I this way?'

The timeless principle here is people are free to be selfish, and often are. The Bible can explain the spiritual consequences of illicit sex, and doctors can explain its emotional and physical consequences, but you are still free to choose your own actions. Do not be surprised, however, when the consequences kick in.

In the last book of the Bible, God invites all men and women to give up their selfish behavior and come to Him. God is a gentleman. He does not force Himself on people. He says 'Whosoever will may come.'

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
- Revelation 22:17 [KJV]

The doctrine of Doubtful Things - When the Bible provides no specific answer to specific questions, the the doctrine of Doubtful Things applies. You can read about it is Romans chapters 14 and 15. The doctrine of Doubtful Things governs the behavior of believers when no specific Bible passage addresses a current situation. The essence of doubtful things says this:

Refrain from words and actions that may cause a brother or sister who is weak in the faith to stumble, be offended, or break fellowship (see Romans 14:13)

In other words, when in doubt how to behave, don't offend a fellow believer.

In summary, this section bridges the culture gap by outlining several timeless biblical principles that apply to all cultures. These are used as guides to answering Kelly Jo's question about homosexuality. We apply them also to questions about gay marriage and homosexuality in general.

Some of these principles apply to everyone, but some are specialized. For instance, the timeless principle stop sinning applies to everyone. In fact, the negative consequences of breaking the biblical code of ethics are well known and well proven for believers and non-believers alike. On the other hand, the timeless principle people are free to be selfish must not apply to Christians and religious Jews because they have, by definition, surrendered their moral freedom over to the God of the Bible. The table below cites each timeless principle and its application to society.

Timeless PrincipleAll PeopleBelievers
Stop sinningYesYes
Love sinnersNoYes
Live peaceablyNoYes
Show no partialityNoYes
Isolation is not goodYesYes
Include all who are willing to listenNoYes
People are free to be selfishYesNo
Don't offend a fellow believerNoYes

Relationships: Marriage and Friendship

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
- Matthew 27:46 [KJV]

The basic force at work in the homosexual question is the powerful and universal need for human companionship; isolation is not good. No normal person wants to be alone. Kelly Jo does not want to be alone, so she lives with her friend. The Bible says being alone is a bad thing. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. [Genesis 2:18], and the most obvious cure for loneliness is marriage, and the second obvious cure is friendship. Both are encouraged in the Bible, but homosexuality clouds marriage and friendship solutions to the isolation problem.

friendship and marriage
Two obvious solutions to loneliness: friendship and marriage.

Marriage - Heterosexual marriage is the only human relationship where sexual intercourse is biblically permitted. The Bible makes this abundantly clear. God's code of ethics starts with two basic axioms [Matthew 22:37ff]:

  • Love God
  • Love your neighbor as yourself

The biblical definition of love is not the secular definition. In the Bible, love is something you do, not something you feel. Loving God means obeying his commandments [John 14:15]. Loving your neighbor means putting your neighbor's needs above your own needs [Luke 10:36]. It is quite a switch from today's self-centered, feel-good world.

The two basic axioms of God's code of ethics are expanded into the 10 Commandments [Exodus 20:1ff] and the 10 Commandments are expanded into many individual laws. The seventh commandment, Thou shalt not commit adultery, expands into clear and straightforward prohibitions of:

  • Incest - sex with kin relations (prohibited after Sinai) [Leviticus 18:6ff]
  • Fornication - sex with friends and neighbors [Leviticus 18:20]
  • Homosexual acts - sex with members of the same sex [Leviticus 18:22]
  • Bestiality - sex with animals [Leviticus 18:23]

Disobeying any of these godly prohibitions is sinful behavior. The Bible has such high regard for marriage that all impurity against it is prohibited and judged. 'Marriage, the cornerstone of all human society, is here conceived in a purely ethical spirit; and any violation of the sacred character of marriage is deemed a heinous offense, calling down the punishment of Heaven upon both the offender and the society that condones the offence ... Scripture represents marriage not merely as a Mosaic ordinance, but as part of the scheme of Creation, intended for all humanity. Its sacredness thus goes back to the very birth of man.' (Hertz, Dr. J. H., The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, London).

While there are several lengthy passages in the Bible about romance and marriage between men and women, including the entire book of Song of Songs, there are very few passages about homosexuality. You can count the homosexuality passages on one hand:

  1. Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19, with a reference in Jude
  2. Prohibitions, Leviticus 18 (verses above)
  3. Moral decay, Romans 1
  4. Lists of sinful behavior, 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1

There is a thorough treatment of these and related verses in this article by theologian David Field

Gay marriage - By the Bible's definition, gay marriage must be sexless marriage, a fundamental contradiction. The Bible does not permit gay marriage unless a way can be found for the participants to stop sinning which, by the way, is difficult but not impossible (1 Corinthians 7:8). In fact, the Bible recognizes marriage only between men and women with the stated goal of having babies, so same-sex marriage does not fit the biblical use of the word 'marriage.'

The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.' For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
- Genesis 2:23ff [NASB]

Words other than 'marriage' are products of modern culture and do not appear in the Bible. You won't find 'civil unions' or 'domestic partnerships' in the Bible and, according to the Wikipedia page the argument over word choice is far from over. Civil laws governing marriage have evolved over the centuries. Civil laws governing same-sex unions have, to this point, followed the biblical code: they are not permitted. If society wants to disobey the biblical mandate (people are free to be selfish), it will take time, study, and lots of trial-and-error to hone workable solutions. The Bible warns that unless stop sinning is involved, dire consequences will be the ultimate result.

There is a long list of political jurisdictions that legally recognize same-sex unions, but, as shown in the map below (also from Wikipedia), there is a long way to go before a uniform position on gay marriage, or whatever nomenclature prevails, takes hold worldwide. Some nations still invoke the death penalty for homosexual behavior, quite the opposite of God's timeless principle include all who are willing to listen.

Gay marriage map
Political positions on homosexuality. The world is still far apart.

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
- Proverbs 27:17 [KJV]

Friendship - Kelly Jo does not ask about gay marriage; she asks about personal friendship. The Bible has much to say about friendship and, for the most part, encourages it. The pleasantness of having friend is usually based on compatible personalities and common likes and interests, and the classic Bible example is the strong friendship between Jonathan and David [I Samuel 18:1]. The idea that these two men were practicing homosexuals has no foundation in the Bible. They were just good friends, buddies who enjoyed being together. That's great! Kelly Jo indicates that her friend is an important part of her life, and vice versa.

What if two friends, homosexual or heterosexual, want to engage in sexual behavior quietly? What if they are just playing around? What does the Bible say about that? Does the Bible prohibit friends from having sexual intercourse? The answer is 'to a limited extent' because the timeless principle people are free to be selfish applies. Wise people heed the Bible's warnings. While you can choose your actions, you cannot choose the consequences of those actions.

In the case of boyfriend and girlfriend, the Bible says 'Control yourself!' and do not engage in fornication, that is, do not engage in sex with friends and neighbors. To homosexuals it says the same thing: 'Control yourself!' With the freedom to be selfish, the Bible simultaneously invokes the responsibility to control desire. You can't potty-train a monkey, but humans can control their bodily functions. God's code of ethics expects you to stop sinning and He gives you the power to do it.

In the passage below from the New Testament, homosexual sin is lumped in with other forms of sin. An appeal is made to stop sinning based on the Kingdom of God. For non-believers, the basis would be physical and mental well-being.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9ff [NASB]

God often uses the power of the Bible to convict people of their sinfulness. He says:

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 6:23 NASB]

If you are so convicted, I urge you to respond to God in prayer. God forgives sin. He will forgive you when you believe Jesus Christ is who He says He is: the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. That is the Gospel message, a message proven effective in the lives of millions of people. Now is the time to pray. Now is the day of salvation.

Welcoming a sister in Christ
Welcome, sister!

A believer's recommendations for Kelly Jo - It is fairly certain that Kelly Jo's living arrangement causes concern among her Christian friends, and some of them may stumble. The doctrine of Doubtful Things applies: don't offend a fellow believer. There are, I believe, three things that she should consider. First Kelly Jo and her friend could try to find a Christ-centered church with so many strong Christians that full liberty prevails continually. To do this, they would need to find a church completely full of Apostle Pauls. I do not think such a church exists. Second, Kelly Jo could consider marrying her male friend and the two of them work quietly on their sexual issues together. Third, Kelly Jo and her friend could live separately but close to one another, perhaps as next-door neighbors in a residential area or in separate apartments in the same apartment complex. This would remove any stigma of possible improprieties. There are probably other solutions that are consistent with the biblical doctrine of Doubtful Things.

Our best wishes to Kelly Jo and her friend!

Societal Decay

The rise and fall of civilizations - There is a theme that recurs in the Bible about the rise and fall of political entities such as cities, regions, kingdoms, and nations. The pattern is cyclical and straight-forward. Man turns from God and pursues his own desires apart from God's laws, depravity slowly sets in and people eventually suffer and die. Then, in many cases, people turn back to God and prosperity returns. The books of Kings and Chronicles in the Old Testament are laced with such cycles. Twice in the Bible these cycles happen to the entire planet: the flood of Noah [Genesis 6] and the New Heaven and New Earth [Revelation 21]. Sometimes the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation are interpreted as a rise and fall of Church history (see Seven Churches of the Revelation). For the homosexuality discussion, these cycles are outlined in the first chapter of Romans.

Beginning at the 17th verse of Romans chapter 1, the Apostle Paul contrasts the righteousness of God and the wrath of God:

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.' For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
- Romans 1:17 [NASB]

He then goes on to provide details of a downward spiral of unbelief that can grasp an individual or an entire nation. The elements of this downward spiral appear in the table below. Notice that they contain references to sexual and homosexual revolutions.

Stage Verse Mankind's Actions Consequences of those Actions
0 Romans
1:17
Live by faith Righteousness, or right living, prevails
1 18-21 Observe God's creation without thanking Him People's hearts are darkened
2 22-24 Profess wisdom, emphasize nature, but not the God of nature People's hearts become impure and they dishonor their bodies; a sexual revolution
3 25-27 Worship and serve idols People acquire un-natural bodily passions; a homosexual revolution
4 28ff Actively deny and ignore God People's minds become depraved

In America, it appears we are now in the transition from stage 2 to stage 3. The sexual revolution has taken place, and the homosexual revolution is starting. Right now is a good time to trust God and seek His divine protection.

gay marriage
Romans 1:26 and 27 show a relationship between un-natural bodily passions and idol worship. These verses indicate that homosexual revolutions are normal components of the rise and fall of civilizations.

Church in the wildwood
Sin in the Christian Church is responsible for societal decay.

Who is responsible for societal decay? - Does the passage in Romans mean that homosexuals are responsible for downward spirals in society? No. Does it mean that political movements are responsible? No. It simply means that when national morality slides downward, sexual and homosexual activity rises. A careful reading of the passage indicates that God orchestrates the moral decay in response to mankind's rejection of Him.

Who, then, is responsible for mankind's rejection of God and the moral decay it brings? If it is not the homosexuals or the politicians, who is it? It is, instead, the people who believe in God. You don't hear those words very often!

To properly treat this subject, a thorough study of 'God's plan of the Ages' is necessary. For purposes here, God has two human agencies on Earth who represent Him to its inhabitants: national Israel and the Christian Church. God holds these two entities responsible for belief or unbelief of the populous. If Israel and the Church are doing their jobs, nationwide sinfulness decreases and prosperity prevails. If not, Bible-based morality falls and God's judgement increases.

Based on the Meal Offering of the Old Testament [Leviticus 2:1] (see Bible Religion), Jesus likens the Christian Church to salt. Salt is a preservative. Believers are to act like salt and preserve proper morals in society. But if they do not, Jesus says they should be thrown away. It is a sobering thought for anyone who calls himself or herself a Christ-follower:

'You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men
- Matthew 5:13 [NASB]

The definitive verse for preservation of national integrity makes it very clear who is responsible for 'healing their land' and what must be done to accomplish it. God's people must stop sinning. A good place to start is show no partiality.

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
- II Chronicles 7:13ff [KJV]

Behavior Toward Gays and Lesbians

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
- James 1:22 [KJV]

How, then, should a believer behave toward homosexuals? The timeless principles developed above apply.

Behavior toward unbelieving homosexuals - Remember that the Bible teaches that people are free to be selfish and no amount of 'Control yourself!' advice is likely to be taken seriously. However, love sinners works [1 Corinthians 13:8].

In addition to love sinners remember these additional Bible principles: live peaceably, show no partiality, isolation is not good, and include all who will listen. Acting on these principles is doing what God says to do.

Behavior toward believing homosexuals - Stop sinning always applies to heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. Further, this is where the remaining timeless principle comes into play. If you are in a situation with straight, gay, and lesbian believers, then the doctrine of Doubtful Things, don't offend a fellow believer, helps smooth things out along the way.

by Paul Richards

Mon, 26-Jun-2017 03:44:40 GMT, unknown: 642323 ABRhD/LMMlsf6
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