Jun 26, 2015

Homosexuality and Scripture

In case you have been on vacation driving through the Appalachian Mountains and had no contact with the outside world, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same sex marriage is legal across our country.  

I would say that this case has the power to change the makeup of our society as much if not more than Roe vs. Wade which brought the sexual revolution to main stream culture through legalizing infanticide. 

For the pastors and church leaders watching, we were not surprised. We all braced at the SBC convention expecting this verdict to come down.  

As a citizen of America I have resigned myself to the law of the land. As a believer in Jesus Christ my heart is broken because our country has institutionalized and celebrated what is contrary to God's design for men and women. 

These verses on my heart today: 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. 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. 

As I thought through this passage a few things popped out to me. 1. The bible is clear that Homosexuality is a sin. 2. We as believers are not morally superior people. We are sinners. 3. Jesus Christ died to set us free from our sin. 

I know the moment I post this that my more liberal thinking friends will attempt to explain away homosexuality's sinfulness. I believe if anyone is intellectually honest about scripture and Christianity then you can't explain away the simple truth that scripture describes this practice as contrary to God's nature for man. 

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. - Leviticus 18:22

understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. - 1 Timothy 1:9-11

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. - Romans 1:26-27

Yep, I know what I just did, I just became one of those judgmental Christians who tells other people about how sinful they are... Back to the 1 Corinthians. 

1 Corinthians teaches us that it's ok to call sin a sin, but it also teaches that you must deal with your own house as well. As a believer in Christ I can in no way claim a moral high ground. On my own I am a sinner who deserves the wrath of God upon me. God has set me free from sin to live for him. 

The mark of a believer is that they are set free from sin. It means we are called away from the lifestyle that brought us death. Look back at that verse... "and such were". To embrace Christ you must leave your sin. 

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. - Romans 6:1-4

Here is the bottom line, when you read the bible for what it says, for what the author intended and what Christian tradition affirms, you cannot ignore that homosexuality is sin. It is not, though, an unforgivable sin. God's call for couples in same sex marriages is his call for any other person struggling in a lifestyle of sin. His call is to turn to Christ who died in order that you might be set free from your sin and experience abundant life following God's call.

As believer and pastor my ethics are always going to be scripture centered, and my hope will be the gospel. I am "such were some of you".    

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