frgavin on June 29th, 2011

June  2011

A friend of mine has been engaged in a discussion with someone who cannot understand why Christians oppose “marriage” between two people of the same sex. He’s been struggling with answers and asked me for my thoughts. I thought it might be helpful to post up what I wrote in response.

Dear _______

I’ll try to make this brief but I don’t know that I’ll be able too since your question does require providing some context before diving in.

Usually the conversation starts with a number of assumptions on the part of your discussion partner that you’ll want to challenge:

Here are some of them…

1. Since science has proven that some people are born with desires for people of the same sex. That means, therefore, that God must have “created” them that way.

2. The bible addresses manipulative and abusive same sex relationships. It does not address monogamous, loving, same sex relationships

3. God is love and all love is from God…so if two people love each other why would the church stand in the way of it?

Let’s deal with them in order:

It may well be, though the evidence is inconclusive, that some people are naturally drawn to others of the same sex through some biological/genetic factor. But that we may be born with an orientation toward a certain behavior does not mean that “God made us that way”. People are born with orientations toward all kinds of behaviors–alcoholism, pedophilia, and, of course, heterosexual promiscuity to name just a few. Many behaviors have been argued to have some biological or genetic basis but we would not want to “bless” all of them.

The truth is, human beings are “fallen” by nature. (You might want to read through Romans 1:18-33; Romans 3:10-18 and Eph 2:1-3 at this point). That means that we are not who God originally created us to be. We are all born with an “orientation” away from God and toward the self. The way that orientation plays out is different for everyone and we should not be surprised that some are born with biological/genetic predelections to all kinds of behaviors that are not healthy or right. The average human male is, by nature, oriented toward promiscuity. Does that mean that promiscuity is God’s will? Should men be permitted to sleep with whoever they want when they want because they were “born that way”?

No. The whole point of the gospel is that though we are fallen and enslaved by sinful orientations Jesus has come to give us new life and to redeem us. Not only to die in our place to pay the consequences for our sins but also to give us his own Holy Spirit to break free from the bondage to sin. So a Christian has the power, through Christ, to escape the bondage of sexual sin or alcoholism or any other enslaving orientation or addiction.

The question needs to be: is homosexual behavior something that God needs to heal and free people from or is it something that God wants to bless?

The answer to that question, Christians believe, is to be found in the bible. Here are some of the texts that address homosexuality directly:

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

Romans 1:24-27 (As a result of the disobedience of humanity) “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 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.”

1 Corinthians 6:9 “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.”

There are others, but the above texts are the primary ones because they are most clear.

But it is here that assumption 2 (above) comes into play. Some suggest that long term loving homosexual relationships are not addressed in scripture; that the bible writers knew nothing of them. Even a cursory glance at ancient Greco/Roman culture and literature will demonstrate that homosexual behavior and homosexual relationships, loving and otherwise, were commonplace. If Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles who wrote the most clear NT

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