By: Frank Fulop June 2007
The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. (Psalm 145:9)
Have you ever heard people say of homosexuals, that God made them that way (or they were born that way); they can’t help being the way they are and we just have to accept it?
Have you ever heard people say, “HIV/AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexual behaviour”?
Have you ever heard it said, “You have to understand that if the scriptures were written now, they would be very different from those written a few thousand years ago”?
Have you ever wondered if homosexuals should be welcome in the church?
I am sure you have heard many similar things. Let us have a look at what God’s Word – the Holy Bible teaches us about homosexuality.
First and foremost, we need to remember that God is love. (1 John 4:8). Our sins are great but his love is greater. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (now and after we depart the earthly life).(John 3:16) Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43) Hallelujah! The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) He is prepared to forgive all of our sins, including sexual immorality, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, murder, idolatry, stealing, greed, drunkenness, slander, swindling and others. God does not delight in wickedness but his heart is that all will repent and come to a knowledge of him in a personal relationship and to enjoy all the good things he has in store for us, now and for all eternity.
God did not make them that way – Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. 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.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust and longing of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father (God), but from the world.(1 John 2:16) The whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19) In these scriptures, as the Lord has included homosexual offenders in the same category as other sinners, he is teaching us that homosexuality (and other behaviours) is a lifestyle choice, we are not born that way. God’s goodness continues, but the devil is permitted freedom for the time being, and complicates every issue. (Reinhard Bonnke)
God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27) The genders of male and female are displayed throughout all of God’s creation. Homosexuality is not of God’s making. For most people, this can be difficult to accept. Haven’t we been made in the likeness of God? (James 3:9) Does God make us do wicked things which he detests? Doesn’t he want us to be pure and holy like himself? If we believe homosexuals ‘are born that way’, then we must also be prepared to believe that all wicked people are also born that way! People are generally prepared to believe that most people who do wrong have chosen the lifestyle they are leading, whatever the reasons, but are unwilling to accept that homosexuality is also a lifestyle choice. All wickedness comes from the world through our sinful nature. God has given us a free will to choose to walk in the ways of the world, or in his ways. Godliness and godlessness are lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle choice – Let us look at some instances of where people have chosen to enter into a homosexual relationship. With wickedness on the increase in our world, escalated and normalized through internet platforms, media, cultural and social change, most of us are now aware of people who have chosen to enter a same-sex lifestyle for love, acceptance and relationship. There are some people who have been abused in some way at a young age (by a family member, family friend, or someone else), only later to be attracted to members of their own sex. Their parents may not have known of their abuse and the child may even have blocked out any memory of it. There are some people who feel low self-worth, or not attractive to be loved by the opposite sex and who choose to enter into a same sex relationship. There are some heterosexual couples who have had children only for their marriage or relationship to end up in divorce and sometime later, for the wife or husband, hurt and bitter from the breakup, choosing to enter into a homosexual relationship. The break-up of the parents may also have skewed their child’s sexual preference to that of their own sex. It is clear that there is much brokenness in our world today. Human beings are complex creatures and sometimes we just don’t know what has happened in someone’s life for them to change their behaviour, only God the Creator knows. There are other reasons why people choose the homosexual lifestyle.
Furthermore, let us not forget that there are also people filled with lust and have chosen to pursue the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. Men and women have exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones … inflamed with lust for one another. (Romans 1:24-27)
As far as punishment for wickedness is concerned, we can’t say with certainty that HIV/AIDS is not a punishment from God. There are many examples throughout Scripture where people were punished for their wickedness, and also examples of those who went unpunished. Even though the Lord punished wickedness, it was always in the hope of getting people to repent so as to rescue them from their sins. Let us not forget that we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of (our) spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
I the Lord do not change. (Malachi 3:6) – Christians know that God does not approve of the homosexual lifestyle. The Lord cannot be any clearer on this matter. The Lord said … “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:7-8) Thankfully, we no longer live under the Law of Moses required by the old covenant, whereby homosexuals were put to death. We live underthe new covenant of God’s amazing love and grace through Jesus’ dying on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. When we repent of our wickedness and believe in Jesus, we are assured that our sins are forgiven and we have received the gift of eternal life.
Are homosexuals welcome in the church? Most certainly! Coming to church is an opportunity for all sinners, homosexuals included, for there is no one that does not sin (1 Kings 8:46), to hear the truth of the word of God, to hear of God’s holiness, and the things that he approves of, and those that he detests, in a loving and caring way. Jesussaid,“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
(1 Timothy 1:15) How are people going to learn the difference between right and wrong, if they have not learnt from an early age, and through the Word of God? How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:1) Also, coming to church is an occasion to learn that God himself made a way for sinners to be redeemed from their sin by his own sacrifice on the cross, that none should be lost but that all should come to know him in a personal relationship. This is his amazing love.
If we want to be put right with God, we need to repent, seek his forgiveness and lay our sin before him. Also, we need to be completely honest with him. If we are unable to recall what turned us off from the opposite sex because it has been blocked out, or it is too painful to think about, just tell God that you can’t recall, or it is painful, and leave it with him. He knows what turned us off from the opposite sex anyway, because nothing is hidden from him. All he asks of us is to be truthful with him. He is loving and understanding, and wants us to be in right relationship with him. If we are not prepared to repent and change our ways, but continue to live in sin, walking in the ways of the world, we cannot expect to inherit the kingdom of God, and sharing in all that he has in store for us who believe in him.
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:17-18)
Repent and believe the good news! (Mark 1:15) Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. (2 Timothy 2:19) Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13) Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6) He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. (Ephesians 1:6-7) (NLT) Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. (Acts 13:38)