Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
I just finished watching a documentary about gays in American society and the various Christian interpretations of the Bible surrounding the issue: For the Bible Tells Me So (2007). I think that my understanding of this issue is pretty solid now; in fact, more solid than it has been in earlier years. Let me begin by saying that I have preached and written on this subject before, and I would like to ask for the forgiveness of gay people everywhere if ever I have been too harsh, condemning, guilt-tripping, shame-inducing, gay-bashing, hateful, etc. Westboro Baptist Church, the poor and misguided street preacher church that is renowned for its “God Hates Fags” signs–is nothing like what I want to come across. Because homosexuality and its interaction with American theology is a relatively new issue, it is probably the case that clearly defined lines of the different views have not been established, at least by me in my articles or videos. From what I can see, there are three views:
1. Against Gays: The Gay Bashing View – This can come from misguided Christian groups that find Biblical laws and passages that condemn homosexuality in no uncertain terms, but then out of an immature, demonic, and hateful spirit–misuse the Word of God, and use it to brow-beat homosexuals. This is no different than the devil misusing the Bible with Jesus in the desert. I have to confess I have been in this camp before, and I pray, in time God will have completely delivered me from any such unloving homophobia and unholy tempers. Even atheists and other non-Christians can fit into this camp.
2. Help Gays, But Resist Gayness: The ‘Love, But Seek Transformation’ View – This is the New Testament view of homosexuality; the view of apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 6:11), and I hope in time, it will be the only view I take. I would believe this is the view of Jesus too. This is the view of certain kind, godly, and compassionate ex-gay ministries. James 4:7: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
3. For Gays in Every Way: The Pro-Gay View – This view is supported by two groups: the secular psychiatric community, which states that modern science proves a gay “gene” in some people that is unchangeable; although a chemical disorder, it is viewed as natural and acceptable, and not as a mental illness in need of treatment (as previously done in the 1950s and earlier); liberal Christians and universalists take the conclusions of modern science at face value, write books about it, and evaluate the truthfulness of Scripture’s claims about homosexuality based on the conclusions of modern-day scientists. In the court of public opinion, it seems this is the more popular view: to take the negative statements about homosexuality found in the Bible, and to dismiss or ignore them, because modern science says: 1. Some people are genetically gay, so it is harmful to try to convert or transform them into heterosexuals. 2. Some ex-gay ministries have pressured gays to change and it has resulted in suicide. 3. We should all be gay rights activists, because modern science is right about this subject, and the Bible is wrong (or the writers of the Bible lived in the ancient world, where the new information afforded us by modern science wasn’t available: liberal Christians follow the same reasonings when it comes to evolution theory, and are hence “theistic evolutionists”).
Gays, Modern Science, and the Bible
I love everyone. Some people are harder to love than others, but as a follower of Jesus it is my duty to love and embrace everyone, including gay people. Jesus made this clear in his teaching on the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). I never realized it, but gay people are persecuted quite a bit (name-calling; career discrimination; religious bigots; family rejection, etc); they actually have a very hard time getting along in society. Gay people are in a sense tragic figures–because their lives are literally filled with heartaches, broken relationships, and tragedies. I am not surprised when I hear about gay people committing suicide. But they don’t have to do that and shouldn’t! The least the church can do is show some compassion to these people; and try to hear their heart from a compassionate point of view–even if you are still not persuaded by their, “I was born gay and I can’t change…science proves it” pitch.
I am not persuaded by all of the conclusions of modern science. My approach to science and its claims is–BIBLE FIRST, SCIENCE SECOND, not the other way around. If a scientific claim ever contradicts a clear Biblical statement, then that scientific claim is not true. The Bible is right about the subject. Any scientific claim that contradicts the Bible is “pseudoscience” or false science in my view; and this is a matter of faith as well as perspective. 1 Timothy 6:20-21: “Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith.” I believe Darwin’s theory of evolution is a profane, vain babbling, and a false science; and I believe there are liberal Christians today who, because they doubt a plain reading of Genesis 1-2, put more confidence in On the Origin of the Species, and modern scientific claims based on its perspectives, and eventually slide down the slippery slope to naturalism and atheism, and thus “err concerning the faith.” The gay issue is of the same category as the evolution issue, because it once again takes a claim of modern science: “Gay people are genetically so, and cannot change, as the Bible says–therefore the Bible is wrong about this, and we must consign this view to a primitive, pre-scientific perspective–not that the Biblical writers were wrong, but just misinformed”–this kind of distorted thinking is the same demonic trick that the serpent used in the garden on Eve, “Did God really say?…” (Genesis 3:1). And also, this pro-gay view can’t be trusted: because all modern scientists and psychiatrists before the 1970s believed the opposite: that homosexuality was a mental disorder, was treatable, and was not seen as natural nor acceptable.
Gays and the Authority of the Bible
From the 1500s to the 1700s, people called gays “sodomites”–probably a gay-bashing term, and no doubt found in the King James Bible: 1 Kings 14:24 (who ironically was gay himself): but its clear that what was then called “sodomy” was associated with a view that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God through fire and brimstone for one major reason: the gay communities that lived there (Genesis 19). Scientists in the Renaissance era, at least in England, would have been familiar with, and probably used the word “sodomite” whenever it was necessary in conversation. I would challenge gays to research that. The point I’m trying to make is that very smart scientists existed in the past as well as the present; and just because secularism dominates modern science and its interpretations and claims, it does not follow that truth should be determined by Bible-hating scientists, simply because they make claims to the contrary. This is when faith counts; and when the rubber meets the road. Science is good when used properly: to illustrate, and illuminate medical or technological progress, etc. But modern science and their professors are also committed to certain interpretations and perspectives–and it doesn’t take long to discover that the modern scientific community is dominated by two major groups: atheists and liberal Christians.
Conservative, evangelical Christians (like myself) are immovable in their commitment to the truth of Scripture, and their faith in the plain reading of the Bible, even on issues like the six-day creation or gays:–in which modern science and the Bible often have conflicting interpretations and claims. We are safe to trust a plain reading of Scripture on all issues. 2 Timothy 3:16, NLT: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” This should be our attitude toward the Bible, if we are going to approach the gay issue, with any realistic faith in God.
What the Bible Says About Gays
“Gay theology” dismisses a lot of what the Bible says about homosexuality. Its actually a very weak theology; and a hard case to make. Its a sad, sad excuse for sound exegesis and Biblical hermeneutics, and it betrays the fact that they really have more faith in modern scientific claims than the Holy Spirit inspired, divinely revealed Biblical claims about gays. For example, in Genesis 19, in the story of God’s destruction of the gays in Sodom and Gomorrah–they twist it and say that it was only the inhospitality of the people of that city (Ezekiel 16:49) and the possibility of them gang raping the two angels–which is why God destroyed the cities. True, I’ll admit they were inhospitable–but Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 lead us to believe God also saw gays as committing abominable actions (hateful, despicable actions in God’s eyes). The Sodomites were “sinners before the Lord exceedingly” and Abraham refused to receive gifts from the king of Sodom (Genesis 13:13; 14:23). Jude 1:7 makes it clear that the people were destroyed because they went after strange flesh (gay sex). While gays will say the Leviticus statements against homosexuality were merely ceremonial laws, given the context, it does not follow into the New Testament as merely a ceremonial prohibition. Any Old Testament law that carries over into the New, is considered the moral law. In Reformation theology, “No Christian man whatsoever is free from the Commandments which are called Moral” (The 39 Articles, “Of the Old Testament”). Antinomians, including gay ones, in all ages, have always tried to dismiss moral laws in the Bible under a distorted guise of grace and love.
Romans 1 clearly condemns the gay lifestyle as something that angers God in which “the wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven” on account of it. Gays look at this as the apostle Paul just merely describing pagan homosexuals. What I want to know is:–why won’t gays side with God rather than the pagans? They don’t. They say Paul was unenlightened by modern science: that they know better than he does; to them this is not a matter of supernatural, divine revelation–but a matter of a pre-scientific, primitive view of gays on the apostle Paul’s part. Once again, a sort of naturalistic, Sadducee view emerges. In order to be a “gay Christian” you basically have to reject the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit on the Bible’s statements about gays.
1 Timothy 1:8-10, NIV, referring to God’s moral law, in no uncertain terms, says: “The law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.” It is not sound Biblical doctrine to practice homosexuality; being gay is contrary to sound doctrine. I don’t care what you feel inside. You need to pray for healing and deliverance! In Jesus’ name call on Him for help! He loves you and is there to help you! The Holy Spirit will help you walk uprightly if you will only let Him in; and stop arguing, debating, and fighting against the Word of God! Gay people hear me! God’s Word makes it clear, that in the eyes of God’s moral law in the New Testament (not ritual, not ceremonial), but the moral law that condemns men to an eternity in Hell: it puts gays in the same category as all lawbreakers and rebels! Turn to the cross of Jesus Christ now and confess to God in prayer that being gay, acting gay, and gay sex–IS ALL SIN and RENOUNCE IT RIGHT NOW IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST.
Pray this: “Lord Jesus, I renounce my sin of homosexuality. I am sorry I have been so foolish in not trusting your Word. Please help me to fully turn away from this sin of gayness. I put my faith in the blood of Jesus Christ; and I am clean from all my unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Help me to read the Bible and obey Your commandments. Help me to find a kind, godly church that will help me to escape from the temptations of the gay lifestyle. Help me to forsake any gay relationships I am in; and to start all over with You again. In Jesus Christ’s name, AMEN!”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, 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.” Ex-gay ministries are right! Some gays CAN be EX-GAYS: and though these testimonies are not popular: they rejoice that through the transforming, supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, by faith in the blood of Jesus that cleanses from sin-guilt: “THAT IS WHAT SOME OF THEM WERE!” They used to be gay! But they are gay no longer! Jesus Christ has set them free!
Kerby Anderson’s A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality.
Joe Dallas’ The Gay Gospel? How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread the Bible.