For centuries Western and Eastern culture alike have condemned homosexuality as wrong. On this point the world’s major religions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism and the anti-religious Socialism that engulfed most of the world in the last century stand shoulder to shoulder. The nearly universal agreement on this point between such widely disparate groups has only one explanation — the condemnation of homosexuality is a fundamental moral principle tightly bound up with the very core of man’s moral nature.
The fact is, though man has been in the process of departing from God for centuries — straying into unbelief, human-invented religion, agnosticism, and atheism — yet he finds it very difficult to let go of his fundamental moral principles. All men know deep in their inner being that things like lying, cheating, and stealing are wrong. They know that sex outside of marriage is wrong. And they know that marriage is between a man and a woman. Such things are moral instincts wired into man’s moral fabric. And these moral instincts — these fundamental moral principles — are the last things that men let go of when they depart from God.
Because these fundamental moral principles are matters of nature, we don’t need written or spoken revelation from God to validate them — though such validation is found in the Bible. Our own consciences validate them every time we stray from them. Every time we stray we feel uneasy — out of sync or out of harmony. We know we are not right. This is God’s design. God gave us a conscience to help bring us back when we stray so that we don’t stay on the path of wrong-doing.
But man can sear his conscience (1 Tim. 4:2). Step by step, issue by issue, he can burn out the circuits in his moral regulator. But man cannot live in a moral vacuum. He cannot live without a moral code. His nature (the way God made him) will not allow him to do that. So every norm that he short-circuits must be replaced with a new norm. But this path is not without its price, for error always has its consequences. The more we replace God’s moral code with our own, the more turmoil we unleash: in the individual, in the family, in the nation, in the world.
Now despite the fact that man has been on the path of overthrowing his fundamental moral principles for nearly two centuries — since the marriage of rationalism and evolution — yet the defense of the “gay lifestyle” in the public arena in any significant degree is a relatively new phenomenon. Why is it that although lying, cheating, and stealing for business and political ends have been widely employed and ardently defended for over a century now, and though we have observed almost universal acceptance of the tsunami of sexual looseness that arose after WWII, yet it is only recently that homosexuality has enjoyed any widespread public defense? Why was homosexuality the last of the fundamental moral principles to be thrown in the trash? Because man found it harder to throw this part of his conscience away. It is more tightly bound up with the core of his moral nature. Our natural repulsion to homosexuality is stronger than our natural repulsion to the other moral failures that befall us. Therefore man had to descend farther down the slope of iniquity — throwing off the Lord’s restrictive “cords and bands” — before he could find the ignoble strength to throw off this last cord.
Now, it does not surprise me to see the world at large hopping on the politically correct “gay is okay” bandwagon, not even large religious institutions which have long enjoyed a reputation for conservative values. Nor does it surprise me that intellectual pseudo-Evangelicals have begun to defend the “gay” lifestyle as a gray area that Evangelicals need to rethink. It is the clear teaching of the Bible that in the last days the entire world will sink in the mire of apostasy, and any Bible-loving Christian can see that all of the world’s religions and most of the world’s professing Evangelicals are part of the world and part of the apostasy.
What does surprise me is that many Bible-loving believers seemed to be intimidated by the flimsy arguments which these intellectual, pseudo-Evangelicals use to portray homosexuality as a gray area, pressing a beachhead for the eventual Evangelical acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate expression of sexuality. But there is no need for the simple believer to be intimidated. For he can have more understanding than all of the learned men in the pseudo-Evangelical world if he makes the Word of God his meditation (Ps. 119:99). The pseudo-Evangelical scholars do not make “what saith the Scriptures” their meditation. On the contrary, their meditation is accommodating the testimony of Scripture to the sentiments and morality of the world: be it the latest in political correctness or science falsely so-called.
Let us examine some of the common arguments raised by the pseudo-Evangelicals in defense of the gay lifestyle as a gray area. In so doing, we shall see that they have no real substance.
Their primary tactic is to raise questions that cast doubts on whether God meant what he said and said what he meant. This is the same tactic that the serpent employed in the garden when he posed the question, “Hath God said?” For instance, “Is the warning against homosexuality in Romans 1 really a warning against homosexuality per se? Perhaps it is better understood as a warning against homosexual rape or prostitution?” Make no mistake. This is not Bible-loving scholarship illuminating those without the benefits of scholarship. This is scholarship which is intimidated by the opinion of the world disseminating the opinion of the world. My friends, don’t be intimidated by scholarship which does not tremble at the Word of God. Romans 1:26-27 plainly states, “Their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly.” This is a plain statement. You don’t need a Ph.D. in theology and the original languages to understand it. You just need to believe what it says. And what it says is that God is not against some instances of homosexual behavior. He is against all instances of homosexual behavior. Homosexuality is contrary to nature.
Another tactic is to make a distinction between “committed” homosexual relationships and other homosexual activities. But what does commitment have to do with the question of whether or not homosexuality is acceptable? Commitment no more makes a homosexual relationship right than it makes a heterosexual relationship right. The only thing that legitimizes a sexual relationship is a marriage that God accepts and honors. This means that all sexual relationships outside of a marriage between a man and a woman are invalid, regardless of commitment or feelings. So even if a gay couple truly love each other and are committed to each other till death do them part, the commitment is entirely beside the point. It cannot legitimize their relationship.
Another common tactic is to pretend that homosexuality is being singled out. First of all, this is drawing the focus away from “what saith the Scripture” and putting it on the character of their opponents in the debate . The use of this tactic — argumentum ad hominem — is, essentially, an admission that one has been bested in the debate. Secondly, even if it is wrong to single out homosexuality and even if Evangelicals are guilty of this wrongdoing, failure in this regard has no bearing on whether or not homosexuality is wrong. The only thing that matters is “what saith the Scriptures?” Thirdly, this claim is entirely without foundation. If you look at Evangelicalism as a whole, and not at one particular segment at one particular moment of time, you will observe that they preach a balanced message — all sex outside of marriage is wrong. Consensual sex between adults is wrong. One-night stands are wrong. Summer flings are wrong. Adulterous relationships are wrong. Sleeping with your boyfriend or girlfriend is wrong. Living together without being married is wrong. Committed relationships apart from marriage are wrong.
Another tactic is to play the “love card.” Those who want to paint the gay lifestyle as a gray area love to point out that Evangelicals have an obligation to love homosexuals. This is true. And no real Evangelical has ever questioned it. But several observations need to be made. First of all, even if Evangelicals fail completely in this regard, that has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not homosexuality is right or wrong. The question turns on “what saith the Scriptures,” not on whether Evangelicals practice what they preach. Secondly, Evangelicals don’t fail in this regard, though they are far from perfect. They love the whole of mankind, regardless of their nationality or race, regardless of the sin or unbelief they indulge. This fact they have proven over and over again in their efforts to lift mankind: not only by pulling them out of the wallows of sin, but also by bringing them peace in the midst of turmoil, joy in the midst of sorrow, and hope in the midst of trial and tribulation. Thirdly, the love that they demand is not the love that the Bible insists on. According to the Bible, love keeps the Lord’s commands (John 14:15) and reproves men for their disobedience and sin (Heb. 12:6, Rev. 3:19). According to the gray-loving Evangelicals, love ignores some of the clearest teaching in the Bible and quits reproving men for some of the most notorious sins in the Bible. What kind of love could treat the Bible in this manner? What kind of love could watch men and women run down the path of rebellion against God, destroying their lives in the pleasures of sin — as fornication, homosexuality, drunkenness, drugs, and violence — and not warn them? Only the love of the world. As the Bible plainly states, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The love of the world always tramples on the love of God. The love of the things of the world always tramples on the love of the things of God. And the love of the opinions of men always tramples on the love of the Word of God.
Another tactic is to remind Evangelicals that homosexuals can be saved. But what is the purpose of this reminder? What are they trying to say? If they mean this in the Evangelical sense that homosexuals can repent and believe like any other sinner — forsaking their sin and following the Lord Jesus — then they are tacitly admitting that homosexuality is sin. But as they are trying to prove that homosexuality is a gray area, it is not likely that they intend this sense. If they mean this in the antinomian sense that homosexuals can, like any other sinner, make a profession of faith and be saved — without forsaking their sin and following the Lord Jesus — then they are tacitly admitting that homosexuality is sin. Again, as they are trying to prove that homosexuality is a gray area, it is not likely that they intend this sense. If they mean this in the politically correct sense that homosexuals can repent and believe and live a faithful Christian life just like straight males and females — with no more need to give up their homosexuality than straight folks have to give up their straightness — then they are assuming what they pretend to be proving. The argument they use to prove the legitimacy of homosexuality is based on the assumption that homosexuality is legitimate.
Another common tactic is insisting that Bible believers who judge homosexuals (saying they are morally wrong) are guilty of playing God. This is exactly backwards. Those who stand on what the Bible says about homosexuality are not playing God, but submitting to the revealed will of God. It is those who reject the plain teaching of the Bible on the subject that are guilty of playing God. They are trampling on the rules and morality of the Bible and making their own rules and morality.
And yet another argument is that the OT focuses on rules and consequences while the NT focuses on love. This is profound ignorance of the Bible. First of all, the consequences of sin in the NT and the OT are exactly the same — trouble in life, hell in death. The only difference lies in emphasis. The OT emphasizes the temporal consequences of sin while the NT emphasizes its eternal consequences. Secondly, it is the NT that has the strongest and fullest message of the awful consequences of men remaining in unbelief and sin. It is the NT that threatens men over and over again with eternal punishment in the torments of fire. Thirdly, the NT teaches us not only that “God is love” but also that “God is light.” In other words, the wonderful Bible message that God sent his own Son to die for mankind cannot overthrow the awful Bible message that God sends all men who refuse to forsake their unbelief to eternal punishment in hell.
In conclusion — such arguments aren’t scholarship. They are unbelief. They are slippery, serpentine arguments from the Father of lies. No real Evangelical can use them. They are used by closet liberals who pretend to be Evangelicals. The fact is, such arguments confuse the God of the Bible with the Devil. These arguments regard the God who says homosexuality is sin as the bad guy and regards the Devil who says homosexuality is okay as the good guy. If the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness.
My friends, don’t be intimidated by the arguments of intellectual pseudo-Evangelicals whose moral compass is no longer based on the Word of God alone. At the very beginning of the Bible we are given the order of God for sexuality and marriage — a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his woman. Not one line in the Bible, OT or NT, departs from or modifies this treatment. And every departure from this treatment is roundly condemned.
Lastly, we can trust God in this matter. His moral prohibitions and principles — what He regards as sin — are not arbitrary. They are designed to promote our happiness and wholeness. And he knows far better than we do what we need for our happiness and wholeness.
a Christian brother
September 3, 2013