What could be a more hot-button topic today than homosexuality and Christianity? 

Yet, it is one that continues to require ample supplies of wisdom, direction, patience and understanding.  Since all four of those things come from God, let’s take a look at what His word says.

Have you ever read the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament of the Bible?  You wouldn’t be alone if you said no.  In fact, much of the Old Testament is skimmed or skipped entirely by Christians.  However, if you are going to know God, His righteousness, His commands, His judgement, and His love, grace, and mercy, you must read the Old Testament.

Leviticus is admittedly difficult to read.  It is the law as given by God to Moses and the Israelites.  What one needs to understand about the law given in Leviticus, is that it is God’s law.  Since God is the God of the Universe, His law applies to all peoples, whether they accept that or not.  One can argue that until they are blue in the face, but it won’t change the reality of it.  God’s law is not outdated or meant only for the Israelites, while the Church is somehow relieved from its authority.

Christ came to fulfill the law, NOT abolish it (Matthew 5:17-18).  He also promised that not one bit of it will pass away until all of it is fulfilled…which won’t be until man once again lives in the presence of God as Adam and Eve did in the beginning.

Now what does God’s law say about homosexuality?  Leviticus 18:22-24* says the following:

“You are not to lie with a man, as with a woman—that is an abomination.  You are not to lie with any animal to defile yourself with it, nor is any woman to give herself to an animal, to lie down with it—that is a perversion.  Do not defile yourselves in any of these things, for in all of these ways the nations which I am casting out before you were defiled.  The land has become defiled, so I will punish its iniquity, and the land will vomit out its inhabitants.”

God clearly states here that homosexuality is an abomination.  In fact, He lists it as part of the reason the land of Canaan was defiled, and so the people living there were cast out and Israel given the land in their place.

Two chapters later, God says this:

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination, and they shall surely be put to death.  Their blood shall be on them.  If a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness.  They shall be burned with fire—both he and they, so that there may be no wickedness among you.  If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you are to kill the animal.”  Leviticus 20:13-15.

In these two examples, God has declared that homosexuality, (as well as bestiality,) is an abomination.  In one passage, He focuses on the sins and punishment of nations who allow the practice of homosexuality.  In the next, He focuses on the personal sin of it, and the punishment of death as a result.

Lest anyone consider this to be void after the coming of the Messiah, even after the earlier explanation, open your Bible to Romans chapter 1.  The Apostle Paul, author of over half of the New Testament, wrote the following in verses 18-32:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. In unrighteousness they suppress the truth, because what can be known about God is plain to them—for God has shown it to them. His invisible attributes—His eternal power and His divine nature—have been clearly seen ever since the creation of the world, being understood through the things that have been made. So people are without excuse—for even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. Instead, their thinking became futile, and their senseless hearts were made dark. Claiming to be wise, they became fools. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image in the form of mortal man and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them over in the evil desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies with one another. They traded the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to shameful passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for what is against nature.  Likewise the men abandoned natural relations with women and were burning with passion toward one another—men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And just as they did not see fit to recognize God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what is not fitting.  They became filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents. They are foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree—that those who practice such things deserve death—they not only do them but also approve of others who practice the same.”

Homosexuality is labeled as shameful, and deserving of penalty.  I included the entire passage, because I want you to see the first section which states that God put in man the sense of right and wrong, and has made Himself visible in the world He created, therefore there is no excuse for saying that one does not know that God has declared homosexuality as wrong.  Those who deny God, also harden their hearts to understanding the truth of right and wrong within us.  That is the choice we all make.  However, one must understand that with the choice to deny God and His truth, comes the consequences of doing so.  We are all still held accountable for our sins (wrongdoings.)  The only way to avoid the penalty of death for them is to believe that Yeshua (Jesus), God’s son died to take that death penalty for us, and accept His salvation.

With this Biblical base, what is the Christian to do about homosexuality?  We need to recognize it as sin, an abomination before God.  This makes living the homosexual lifestyle unacceptable…for the Christian.  For the unbeliever, the non-Christian, “God gave them over to the depraved mind.”

How, then, are we to respond to practicing homosexuals?  There are two answers for this.  Our response is dependent on whether or not the person is a believer or unbeliever.

Yeshua said, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60).  Also in Matthew 8:22 – But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

This is a topic that needs to be fleshed out thoroughly for a true understanding.

Homosexuality and Christianity.  Two life views that have butted heads for centuries.  What is the appropriate Biblical response of the Christian towards homosexuality?

 

As I prayed about writing this article, this phrase played repeatedly through my mind, “Let the dead bury their dead.”  I knew it was the Holy Spirit telling me that we need to leave the dead, the unbelieving, to their own ways.  It is not for us to change them, or require them to live by the commands of God that we adhere to.  It was as though God was saying to me, “Let them do what they will do.  You worry about what I have for you to do.”

This was confirmed in more of Paul’s writings.  In his first letter to the Corinthians he wrote:

“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.  Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.  For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?  Do you not judge those who are inside?  But those who are outside God judges.  Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person.’”

Two things are in this passage.  First, we are not to judge the unbeliever, the outsider, who is living the immoral life.  That judgement is left to God.  Since there are numerous records of God’s judgement on those who defile His commands throughout the Bible, we can safely say that Paul’s words are true.  We are also not to avoid them or disassociate with them.  Paul was clear in this, as it would mean we would have to leave the earth.  It is impossible to completely seclude oneself from the unbelieving of this world.  On the other hand, we are to avoid company with those believers who are living the immoral lifestyle.  There are other passages of the Bible that speak of how to confront a believer who is living in sin.  Disconnecting yourself from them, and them from the church, is the last step when they have refused to repent and turn from their sinful ways.

It seems clear that the Christian is indeed instructed to judge our brethren when it comes to sinful living, which includes, but is not exclusive to, the life of homosexuality.  And if necessary, cut ties with them until the person repents of their ways.  However, it is also clear that we are not to judge the unbelieving homosexual for their immorality.  God will do that in His own time and in His own way.

In the meantime, we can certainly “go and preach the kingdom of God.”  We can, and should, share with unbelieving homosexuals the love that God has for them, and the salvation from sin (all sin) that is offered through the blood of Yeshua.  If and when, they accept that salvation, then let the Holy Spirit convict them and begin changing them.

As for our brothers who practice this lifestyle, we must confront them, and implore them to repent.  It is wrong to change the message of God’s word.  Galatians 1:9 says, “As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

It is a dangerous path to change and distort God’s word to mean what one chooses it to mean.  God’s word is clear in its stance on homosexuality.  To say that being gay is okay because one believes that they are, or because one wants to support a friend or family member who says they are, is following a dangerous slippery slope.  Once one verse is changed or denied, there will be another, and another.  Soon the Word of the righteous God will be the word of sinful men, with no inherent worth.

Read the Scriptures.  Abide by them.  For in them is our salvation, as well as our judgement.

What then can we do about our brothers and sisters? Pray. Pray, pray, pray.  I firmly believe that people are not born gay. I also do not believe that it is a sickness or a crossed wire somewhere. I believe homosexuality is the cause of a great deception by the devil. Remember that he is the father of lies and the expert at mixing just enough lie with truth to make it all seem good. But just because you put a dash of hot sauce in your sugar cookie dough, does not mean your cookies will come out right. That little dash will ruin the whole batch. We must pray that God will help them to discern the truth from the lie, and seek to return to Him, for He is truth.

 

*All Bible passages taken from the New King James Version of the Bible (NKJV).