Archives For Homosexuality

God and the Gay ChristianAs the Supreme Court has recently heard arguments regarding a federal mandate that would legalize homosexual “marriage,” it’s important for the church to be equipped to defend their position from Scripture. True Christians are not against gay “marriage” because we are mean-spirited, bigoted misanthropes who love to force our opinions on others. We are against gay “marriage” because God Himself is against it, and He has told us so in His Word, the God-breathed Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16–17). Scripture tells us that to embrace homosexuality as spiritually permissible is to commit (or help others to commit) eternal suicide. And no one who truly loves homosexuals would ever be a part of that.

Because God has spoken on this issue, it falls to the church to herald His Word on the matter. Passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 are clear:

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 – Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • 1 Timothy 1:9–11 – realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

However, those who would argue that homosexuality and Christianity are not mutually exclusive argue that these clear passages have been mistranslated. The word translated “homosexuals” in each of these verses is arsenokoitēs, and, the argument goes, that original Greek word doesn’t refer to “committed same-sex relationships” but “abusive male-male” relationships. Such an argument has been widely popularized by author John Boswell, whose arguments, though refuted by Robert A. J. Gagnon, are constantly marshaled by liberals as evidence of the compatibility between homosexuality and Christianity.

For example, I came across a post from Dr. Gagnon’s Facebook page (courtesy of James White) in which a commenter sought to advance this argument. (The following is lightly adapted for readability and accuracy, as the commenter misspelled numerous Greek words a number of times.)

“There is adequate evidence through exegesis of the Scripture and through transliteration of the words in question that supports the view contrary to your belief. 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:9–10 refer to abusive male-male relationships. As I’m sure you know, the former contains the Greek words malakoi and arsenokoitai and the latter contains only arsenokoitai. They each have, within certain translations, been falsely translated to the word homosexual, as these words are not a reference to homosexuality per se, and certainly not a reference to loving, committed, same-sex unions. Other Greek literature of the same period of time supports the view that arsenokoitai makes reference to a male-male relationship with an imbalance of power, for example a pederastic relationship.

Greek Manuscript“Generalising arsenokoitai to refer to all gay men and women is entirely incorrect. Its meaning is akin to that of men who abuse their power, economic or otherwise, to have sex with another (usually younger and weaker) male, or to humiliate another male. It may even be seen as an inadvertent reference to sodomites in the true sense of the word, being those who wanted to use male-male rape as an act of abuse, hence the term ‘homosexual offender’ in the NIV. The arsenokoitai often took advantage of younger male prostitutes; malakoi is translated to male prostitutes in the NRSV. The arsenokoites was the active male in the pair and, as I’m sure you know, such cult-temple prostitution was very common in the Greco-Roman world of Paul’s time. This is what Paul was referring to.

“On a final note John Boswell suggests in Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: ‘Perhaps the most extensive evidence that arsenokoitai did not connote “homosexual” or even “sodomite” in the time of Paul is offered by the amount of writing extant on the subject of homoerotic sexuality in Greek in which this term does not occur. It is extremely difficult to believe that if the word actually meant “homosexual” or “sodomite” no previous or contemporary author would have used it in a way clearly indicated with this connection’ (1980: 345).”

Here’s my question to all Christians who argue based on Scripture that homosexuality is a sin: How would you respond to this kind of argument?

Continue Reading…

Baucham PreachingBack in 2012, Voddie Baucham, Pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, wrote an excellent article in reply to the oft-repeated claim that homosexual “marriage” is an issue of civil rights, akin to the plight of African-Americans in the 1960s. Responding to a popular article written in 2008, Baucham titled his article, “Gay is Not the New Black.” If you haven’t read that article, or if you don’t quite know how to respond to the accusation that your failure to enthusiastically celebrate homosexuality is the same as being a racist, be sure to read it today.

This week, Grace Family Baptist Church hosted their Semper Reformanda conference, addressing the topic, “Civil Authority and Christian Responsibility: Religion & Politics.” Pastor Voddie delivered a pair of addresses on the subject of homosexuality and how Christians should be thinking about the issue. I found both of the talks enlightening, well-researched, and instructive. These seminars are very capable tools for equipping God’s people to be salt and light in our world, faithfully representing God’s Word on this issue to a culture that wants nothing to do with truth.

Pastor Voddie takes on all the common questions and sound-byte arguments that homosexual activists are fond of leveling against the biblical position, including some questions which we’ve answered here on The Cripplegate (e.g., Why do you even care?, You’re just picking and choosing which Bible commands to follow!, But love is love!, and Jesus didn’t even address homosexuality!). Baucham answers these and other arguments ably and faithfully, modeling for God’s people how we can respond to these questions as well. The videos are worth the two hours they’ll take to listen to. I trust you’ll be benefited by listening.

Gay is Not the New Black

Beyond the Rhetoric: Applying Biblical Truth to the Homosexual Debate

A video of Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has gone viral, as a Christian pastor asks the Prime Minister, who supports homosexual “marriage” and also identifies as a “devout Christian,” why he doesn’t believe what the Bible says about the sinfulness of homosexuality.  You can hear his response here:

There’s a lot to address in his response. Al Mohler has already responded to the Prime Minister’s speech in his September 3rd episode of “The Briefing,” which you can (and should) listen to here. His treatment of this issue starts at around the 14:30 mark. Andrew Courtis provides a a transcript of portions of Mohler’s response here.

But I notice that Mr. Rudd makes a lot of the same arguments that we’ve actually already sought to address here at the Cripplegate (too bad he’s not a reader; we could have cleared all this up ahead of time!). And so I’d like to adapt the answers we’ve given to Rudd’s presentation above, not because I want to pick on him but because his reasoning represents that of an enormous amount of people who try to reconcile homosexuality with Christianity. It’s a bit longer than a normal post, but I hope it will be beneficial to you, and will serve those who erroneously believe that faith in Jesus and His Word can be reconciled with attempts to legitimize homosexuality.

Continue Reading…

I used to referee professional soccer,  and before every game the referees were supposed to check the player’s passcards. You looked at the card, looked at the player, and made sure they matched. There was one game I refereed involving a minor league team when I caught an illegal player. He handed me the card, and the picture didn’t’ look right. I asked him for his place of birth (on the card), and he got it wrong. I asked him his birth date, which he also botched. I asked him when he signed for the team, and he missed that one too.

I reported it to the league, who said…they didn’t have the power to do anything. Now, I imagine the other team felt cheated. But more than that, I looked at how much time I had spent checking passcards. Players at every level used them, and I had been checking them for thousands of games (15 min a game, times bazillions of matches…)—all for naught. It was one big charade.

facebook-doma-scotus-judge-gay-marriage-ruling-posts

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Proposition 8 has me feeling like that about our legal system. I wrote yesterday about the history of Proposition 8 (and today’s post really should be read after reading that).. To summarize, Californians passed a law in 2000 saying that marriage was between a man and a woman, but authorizing same sex domestic partnerships with all the benefits of marriage except the word marriage. Four years later an unelected county clerk in San Francisco started giving out marriage licenses to same sex couples, and this lasted for five months until the State Supreme Court stopped it. Then four years later (2008), the court reversed itself, saying the 2000 law was unconstitutional. Christians were essentially told if they wanted to define marriage, they needed a constitutional amendment to do that. Which is what Proposition 8 was, and it passed only a few months later (an unprecedented turn around in California).    Continue Reading…

Since I posted this, the Supreme Court ruled that the defenders of Proposition 8 had no standing to appeal the ruling that the proposition was unconstitutional. The result is that Prop 8 is struck down, and same-sex marriage is legal in California, as of 7:30 am today.

prop 8 poster

Having lived in California during the passage of Proposition 8, and now in Washington DC during the amendment’s legal challenge, I have realized that most people—even most Christians—don’t understand what was at stake with this lawsuit. Many people simply don’t grasp the lies behind the challenge to Proposition 8.

The first lie: the challenge was about gay marriage. The truth is that it is about a Christian’s right to vote.

The second lie: Proposition 8 took away a right to gay marriage. The truth is, that right never (legally) existed in California.   Continue Reading…

fb equalMonday’s announcement by Jason Collins that he is gay is the latest example of the homosexual “issue” being elevated into the secular marketplace. The new normal is for homosexuals to announce their sexual identity, and then receive affirmation for their bravery, boldness, and honesty from their co-workers and clients (or, in the case of Collins, journalists).

This puts Christians with secular jobs in a predicament. Most believers understand perfectly well the concept of hate the sin and love the sinner. But that concept is more and more being seen as inadequate simply because homosexuals often perceive their sexual orientation as their identity, thus rendering any attempt to love the sinner while hating the sin as contradictory.

The difficulty is compounded for believers who work with, for, or around those who are openly homosexual. How should Christians respond to those in the work place who are homosexual? If you manage a company with homosexual employees, or if you have homosexual co-workers, how do you find the balance between hating the sin and loving the sinner? Here are six suggestions:

Continue Reading…

HomosexualityA couple of months ago, I began responding to a couple of popular arguments for why some believe that homosexuality is reconcilable with Christianity. My hope was (and still is) that I might be able to serve those who are mistaken in this regard by helping them to see that faith in Jesus and His Word cannot be reconciled with attempts to legitimize homosexuality. I had addressed the semi-sarcastic objection that we as Christians are inconsistent in condemning homosexuality on the basis of the Levitical law, since we don’t also condemn eating shellfish and mixing fabrics. I also addressed the objection that in condemning homosexuality Christians are being unloving—getting caught up in the details while forgetting that our cardinal Christian virtue is love. If you haven’t read those, I hope you will.

But today I want to address another popular argument for reconciling homosexuality with true Christianity. And that is the objection that Jesus Himself never said a word about homosexuality. Those who make this argument grant that Paul condemned it as sinful (Rom 1:26–27; 1 Cor 6:9–10; 1 Tim 1:9–10). But the sentiment behind this objection is that Paul had corrupted the way of life and the ideology that Jesus came to propagate, and that Jesus would have been “loving” and “accepting” of homosexuals, just as they are.

But is it true that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality?

Continue Reading…

What is LoveAs I mentioned yesterday, Wednesday’s post on Chick-Fil-A Day generated a lot of discussion on various topics. In particular, a couple of commenters listed a number of popular arguments for why they believe homosexuality is reconcilable with Christianity. I wanted to take Thursday and Friday to address a couple of those arguments that I encounter most often. My hope is that I might serve those who erroneously believe that faith in Jesus and His Word can be reconciled with attempts to legitimize homosexuality.

Yesterday, I addressed those who object to our prohibiting homosexuality while failing to prohibit the mixing of fabrics, the eating of shellfish or pork, and other regulations of the Mosaic Law.

Today I want to address what I think is the most widespread objection in the entire discussion. I honestly think that this issue gets to the very heart of the disagreement. This goes deeper than just our views on homosexuality or the definition of marriage. It strikes at the very core of the worldview of contemporary wisdom. It has to do with the notion of love.

The objection goes something like this: “In the midst of all of your attention to details of various Bible verses, you’ve lost the big picture. The cardinal virtue that Jesus taught His followers was love. If you value love, what’s the problem with two consenting adults making a commitment to each other out of love? Love is love. To insist that homosexuality is sinful and to deny them the right to get married is simply not loving, and therefore not Christian.”

Continue Reading…

Eat More PorkOnce again, a brilliant post of Jesse’s has stimulated a lot of discussion. Yesterday’s post, in which Jesse shared four thoughts regarding Chick-Fil-A Day, sparked a ton of discussion in the comment thread.

Among other issues, a couple of commenters listed a number of popular arguments for why homosexuality is reconcilable with Christianity. For today and tomorrow, I’d like to address a couple of those arguments that I encounter most often. My hope is that I might serve those who erroneously believe that faith in Jesus and His Word can be reconciled with attempts to legitimize homosexuality.

The objection I want to address today basically boils down to this: “There are plenty other commands in Scripture that Christians don’t follow today, like the prohibition against mixing fabrics (Lev 19:19) or eating shellfish (Lev 11:10–12) and pork (Lev 11:7–8). So why not one more?”

Continue Reading…

In the aftermath of President Obama’s announcement that he supports redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, many news outlets featured stories that compared the desire of gay couples for marriage to the plight of the American slaves. In fact, it became a common theme that black churches who opposed gay marriage were guilty of cultural and biblical hypocrisy.

Many of these articles even expressly stated that the use of the Bible to limit marriage to heterosexual unions is tantamount to supporting the kidnapping, sale, and perpetual ownership of Africans as slaves. After all, some slave owners used the Bible to defend the institution of slavery, and some Americans are using the Bible to define marriage, so the similarities should be obvious.

Here is an excerpt from one example, titled “Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?” from CNN’s religion blog:

Continue Reading…