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Proclamation Index

Homosexual Practice

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

 

In June of 2015, a landmark decision (Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644) was passed down by the United States Supreme Court that repealed the federal ban on homosexual marriages and broadened the long held legal definition of marriage as existing between one man and one woman to include marriage between same sex individuals as well.  Following this decision, June has now been labeled as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. The topic of homosexuality is one that is at the forefront in our society and June has become a month filled with various events and celebrations that focus on those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ movement and their allies. The Supreme Court decision not only provided legal backing for those who sought same-sex unions, but also provided fodder for those whose sole intent was to wage war on traditional values as held within orthodox Christianity.


Scripture recounts the original intent for marriage in the opening chapters, an institution which was ordained by God for the purpose of relationship, procreation, and raising children in the nurture in the admonition of the Lord. However, the world today provides an ever-changing, omni-malleable, definition of what marriage is to be. While there may be various processes by which marriages are solemnized, many anthropologists argue that there is no known society in which the concept of marriage does not exist in some way or another. Therefore, when looking at the institution of marriage, it is important that we understand the biblical testimony as pointing to marriage being between one man and one woman as the standard for societal good in every context. The biblical narrative explicitly defines marriage as only being legitimate when consummated between one man and one woman. Yet, there are many who suggest that narrative may not provide an accurate representation of God’s intent for marriage. Author Mark Achtemeier is one such individual. He proposes, “The New Testament records some very drastic instances of people trying valiantly to follow biblical law and still failing utterly to align their lives with God’s will.” Achtemeier ultimately proposes that those who follow the traditional definition of marriage are misguided and fail to account for the context of Scripture references regarding the defining of marriage.


When looking broadly at marriage, Genesis 1:28 (NIV) reads, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” This command does not allow for the argument of misinterpretation of the intent of marriage to be applied. Marriage is intended to be relational and procreational. This is not possible in the context of homosexual marriage. While relationship could arguably be achieved in a homosexual union, obviously procreation cannot. While there may be those who are unable to procreate due to various reasons, this does not diminish God’s original intent for marriage.


When looking at the whole of Scripture, there is clear evidence for the opposition of homosexual practice. Many within the LGBTQ+ movement who seek to identify as Christian are quick to propose that the prohibition against homosexual practices among the ancient Israelite people was simply for ceremonial purposes and no longer applies to 21st century followers of Christ who are no longer bound by Levitical law. While there are some laws that Israel was charged with keeping such as dietary laws that no longer apply, there were also universal / moral laws which were applied to all people which included prohibition of rape, murder, adulterous behavior, and homosexual practices. These were viewed as morally wrong which indicates that they are always wrong for all people in all places. Thus, they exceeded the boundaries of things like dietary laws and were intended for more than just the Israelite people. Moral wrongs do not change with time or with the preferences of a particular society. In the history of the United States, it was once legally acceptable to own minority individuals as slaves. However, that did not change the fact that it was and is still morally wrong to do so. The acceptance of slavery was and is still morally wrong regardless of culture’s stance on the matter. The same is true of homosexual practice. It was and is morally wrong to engage in homosexual practices regardless of society’s acceptance of such things.


Dr. Linda Sieler, who formerly identified as transgender, in her book, Trans-Formation, proposes a question, “Why in the world is homosexuality a hill Christians must die on?” She then provides the answer to that same question. “The answer lies in our understanding of the ultimate submission to God’s ultimate design for our sexuality. God created us in His image with sexed bodies for a purpose: to reflect His character and nature and point toward the good news of the Gospel.” All people were created in the image of God, but society argues for a type of expressive individualism wherein the identity of every person is self-created, and often directly connected to the articulation of inner feelings represented by particular sexual choices. There is no standard other than what the individual feels is right for them. This is counter to what was intended. When God created, He created in the Imago Dei (image of God). Each individual was created intentionally through purposeful design. Homosexual practice is a significant issue for believers because it ultimately taints the image of who God created us to be. When one comes to Christ, they are a new creation. They are no longer identified by their old self, but rather are identified as a child of God. It is that image that we were ultimately intended to bear.


The proposition of the LGBTQ+ movement is that God was mistaken in His creation. God was not, in fact, mistaken. While the views of orthodox Christianity are counter to what culture deems as acceptable, this does not diminish the responsibility of the believer to interact with the culture around them regarding sensitive issues. We must understand that Christ’s call on our lives is not to comfort culture. Christ in us actually compels us to counter our culture. For this reason, believers must intentionally engage the culture around them. The world is desperate and dark in many ways, but we have a message that frees the captive and brings light to darkness. May we not shy away from the truth of that message as we seek to proclaim the Good News which will ultimately lead to the transformation of the world.

 

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