Questions About Morality
1. Does God really condemn homosexuality?
Amazingly, many in our sinful world do not realize that homosexuality is sin. I have studied with more than one individual who had this persuasion even though they were not homosexuals themselves. I Corinthians 6:9-10 makes it very clear that God condemns homosexuality. The word translated “effeminate” by the King James Version, is translated “homosexual”by the New King James, and “male prostitute”by the New International Version. Thayer says the word means, “soft; soft to the touch…in a bad sense: effeminate, of a catamite, a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness.” The word translated “abusers of themselves with mankind” by the King James Version, is translated “sodomite” by the New King James, and “homosexual offenders”by the New International Version. Thayer says the word means, “one who lies with a male as with a female, a sodomite.” Notice that Paul states that such will not inherit the kingdom of God. Notice also that some in the Corinthian church had formerly practiced homosexuality but now had ceased this practice and had been cleansed by the blood of Christ.
I Timothy 1:9-10 uses this same word, translated “sodomite” by the New King James. In this text Paul says that such is “contrary to sound doctrine.”
In Romans 1:26-27 Paul tells us that the Gentiles turned to “vile passions” and that both men and women turned to homosexuality by exchanging the “natural use” for what was “against nature.” In verse 32 he states that those who practice such things “are worthy of death.”
2. I believe that the homosexuality condemned in the Bible is only of the type condemned in Sodom and Gomorrah where it was practiced with multiple partners. When it is monogamous it is not sinful.
Nothing in the scriptures indicates that homosexuality practiced with one partner is any different than when it is practiced with multiple partners. To believe such one would need to show scriptural proof that God has authorized two people of the same sex to be physically intimate. We must have authority for what we do. God gives authority for a man and a woman to marry and become one flesh (Genesis 2:24), but where is the authority for sexual relations under any other circumstance? God said He made them male and female and that a man should leave father and mother and cleave to his wife.
Sometimes the story of David and Jonathan is given as authority for a homosexual relationship with an appeal being made to II Samuel 1:26 where David says, “Your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women.” I Samuel 18:1 states, “…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” There is nothing in these words that suggest that David had a homosexual relationship with Jonathan any more than when the scripture says that Jesus loved the apostle John (John 21:20). A person who would conclude such is only trying to justify their unclean mind.
3. Homosexuality is not sinful because God made us homosexual just like He made some people heterosexual.
We have already noticed that God made us “male and female” and authorized a male and female to come together as one flesh in the marriage relationship. The scriptures never indicate that anyone is born homosexual or that God has made anyone in such a way that they would have no choice but to practice homosexuality. We can certainly grant that there is a small percentage of our population that has homosexual urges, but that does not mean they must fulfill those urges. From teenage years on practically everyone has sexual urges, but that does not mean they are allowed to fulfill those urges in any way other than a man and a woman in marriage. We all often experience desires that are wrong, but having the desire does not imply God made us to fulfill that desire.
Consider Paul’s argument on this point in I Corinthians 6:12-20. The Corinthians were asserting that just as the belly was made for food and the food for belly, so the body was made for sex. No, Paul says, the body was made for the Lord and the Lord for the body. Therefore Paul teaches us that just because the body has desires or has the capability of performing certain actions, does not mean that God has authorized these actions.
4. Homosexuality is only condemned in the Bible when it is practiced by heterosexuals.
As we have noticed from the texts cited in the previous questions, God condemns homosexuality. He does so unconditionally. There is absolutely no reference to the type of person who would practice this sin, only that it is sin when practiced. In I Corinthians 6:9-10, some of the Christians at Corinth “were” homosexuals, but Paul said those who practiced this would not inherit the kingdom of God. Leviticus 18:22 simply states, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” In fact, 18:23 states, “Nor shall you mate with any beast, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before a beast to mate with it. It is perversion.” Shall we argue that if a person is born with the urge to mate with beasts that this would be acceptable to God? No, God’s prohibitions of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and bestiality are wrong no matter who commits them, no matter their background or their orientation. The burden of proof lies on the shoulders of the person who believes the above statement. What passage gives authority for homosexuality to be practiced under any circumstances?
5. I left the Lord and my spouse many years ago and lived a life of sin. I remarried about five years ago and have two children by my second marriage. I now realize how wrong I was and would like to come back to the Lord. What do I have to do?
The teaching of the Lord on the subject of divorce and remarriage is very straightforward in Matthew 19:3-12. I believe it is important when teaching any person who asks questions concerning this issue to simply turn to the text and read it. Here are some things the Lord plainly states in this text:
a. The authority for marriage as well as the prohibition of divorce was given in the beginning (Genesis 2:24) and therefore applies to all men, believer or unbeliever.
b. The words of Moses in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 did not give authority for a person to divorce or remarry, but was given because of the sinfulness (hardheartedness) of the Jews. What God “suffered”during this time was not God will or law “from” the beginning. In using the word “from” Jesus shows that the law given in the beginning has always been the law.
c. Only one person was given the right to both divorce and remarry and that is the person whose mate had committed fornication. No one else is given that right. Anyone else who does divorce and remarry is committing adultery.
d. Therefore, there can be only one conclusion for the person who admits what the person asking this question admits. When Herod and Herodias were accused of unlawfully marrying one another, John the Baptist told them that separation was the only solution in order to be pleasing to God (Mark 6:14-17).
6. I was a faithful member of a denominational church for many years. At a time of weakness I left my husband for another man. I have now been married to this man for ten years. I want to become a Christian. What must I do?
The principles given in the answer to the former question also answer this person’s condition. Many would like to argue that since this person was not a Christian, Christ’s laws concerning divorce and remarriage do not apply. Remember, however, that Christ said His teaching was based on a law that was “from the beginning.”Marriage, nor the laws concerning it, are “church” or “Christian” ordinances. They were given to Adam and Eve and all who descended from them. Consider also that when a Christian sins he must repent in order to be saved. The same command is given to the non-Christian. If repentance for the Christian who has divorced and remarried is separation in order to cease adultery, then repentance for the non-Christian is the same. Remember that both believer and unbeliever needs the blood of Christ in order to be saved. Is the blood of Christ so strong for the unbeliever coming to Christ that they need not separate from their adultery, but the same blood of Christ is not strong enough to save the Christian who remains with his or her unlawful mate? The law is the same for both believer and unbeliever. Neither can stay in sin and expect to be saved.
7. My boyfriend and I are really in love and plan on marrying soon. If we say our vows privately to each other, can we begin sexual relations?
If this couple plans on marrying soon, they are admitting that saying their vows privately is not getting married. If the law of the land (that is, even the heathen) does not recognize this as marriage, God certainly doesn’t. This is fornication and it not only is against God’s law, it cheapens the commitment of marriage.
8. I work for a liquor company driving a truck and selling liquor to retail outlets. Do I have to quit my job in order to become a Christian?
Anything a person is practicing that involved sinful activity must be ceased when they become a Christian. It may be one thing for a person to work as a clerk in a supermarket that sells alcoholic beverages, but to be a salesman in the employ of a liquor company and therefore in the position of promoting the sale of that which is sinful before God is wrong. Paul gives the principle in II Corinthians 6:14-17: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” Again, Paul states in I Corinthians 10:21: “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and the table of demons.” In II John 9-11 we are told that we cannot even bid God speed to a false teaching without participating in his evil deeds. Working for a liquor company would certainly be promoting evil.