Given the culture war regarding this particular sin, especially the explosive week regarding the Duck Dynasty controversy, and given that there are many eyes reading or re-reading these essays, I'll speak to the subject again.
S. Lewis Johnson wrote in an article re-published 2010,
"The devolution in human history is reflected in the more recent tendency of society to accept the sin of homosexuality and other sexual deviations as a mere sickness and not as sin. ... This is God’s temporal judgment which is preliminary to His eternal judgment on a rebellious human race."
It may surprise some to know that God judges people and societies before they die and go to hell. But He does. God ordains "thus sin shall be punished by sin" said Heinrich Meyer. Homosexuality is the final earthly judgment in the process of traveling away from His holiness into carnal rebelliousness. When the verse says "He gave them over," it doesn't mean God threw up His hands saying 'Kids these days!' It means a holy, judicial act has occurred.
"He positively gave men over to the judgment of “more intensified and aggravated cultivation of the lusts of their own hearts with the result that they reap for themselves a correspondingly greater toll of retributive vengeance." (S. Lewis Johnson & John Murray, Epistle to the Romans)
The passage speaking to this is Romans 1:18-32. It is titled in the ESV, "God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness". Lest you think I am cherry picking, in the NIV the section is titled "God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity." Even the NLT says "God’s Anger at Sin".
It begins this way:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth." (Romans 1:18)
The wrath of God IS REVEALED. Present tense, and means "uncover, revealing what is hidden". So? Where is all this wrath? Do we see fire and brimstone coming down on San Francisco as it did to Sodom? Do we see lakes of fire opening up under the NYC Gay Pride Parade? His wrath will be that blatant on His Day, AKA the Tribulation period, but it is being revealed now too. It is being revealed every day since the Garden, when man became cursed with a sin-nature.
Think on this, the first thing Jesus did when He went to Jerusalem at the start of his public ministry - His first public act - was to wrathfully overturn the tables of the merchants at the temple, crying out against their defilement of his temple. As John MacArthur said, Jesus didn't send an advance committee and make His statutes sound like harps and flowers. Instead, in wrath He cried out against their defilment of His temple.
|Jesus casting out the money changers at the temple - Carl Bloch|
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?" (1 Corinthians 6:19a)
And today the holy wrath against defiling His temple is just as strong!
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
His wrath was revealed in the curse. It was revealed in the Flood. It was revealed in the sacrificial system. It was revealed on the cross. It is revealed as Romans 1 states, when He allows the moral order to collapse.
People today who want to re-define homosexuality as acceptable and gay marriage as normal are usually concerned with two overarching themes. Besides actively participating in the moral collapse of society, one thing they are inordinately concerned with is “love” and the other is “judge.”
Scripture can be used correctly or incorrectly. It is the word of God, breathed from Him to men, inerrant in the original language and profitable for all teaching, correction, and reproof. (2 Timothy 3:16). It is the bread from heaven (John 6:32) and the way we learn about who God is…AND what His standards are. And He’s got standards. We cannot simply clip out of the bible that which displeases us.
|Photo by Alexandria Searls, are of the two Bibles from which|
Thomas Jefferson clipped text to create
"The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth." Source Jefferson Library
It is up to each Christian to determine if the things they are being taught are based on a correct understanding of scripture, and to “judge” whether a teaching is valid or not valid. In this way, you reader, too, “judge”. (1 John 4:1-3). And I certainly hope you test what I've written against the scriptures in context.
In the bible, God said that He has standards for behavior, morals, language/speech, sexual fidelity, marriage, and etc. He listed specific sins that disqualify one from heaven. He continually reminds us that our default condition as sinner precludes us from heaven. Man tries to writhe out of His standards, but to do so is death to him.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
Helping someone who is knowingly or unknowingly struggling under the false conclusion that they are not sinning is not judging them. It is loving them. There are many lists of sins that He hates, (Proverbs 6:16-19,1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 5:11) and one of them in particular, He used as a benchmark of a society’s collapse. Homosexuality. (Romans 1:28-32). Sin is serious!
Not everyone is qualified for marriage. Not everyone is getting into heaven. Not everyone worships acceptably. For example, it is a sin to come to the Lord's table unrepentant. (1 Corinthians 11:27-2). It is a sin to come to church drunk. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13). Not everyone behaves in a way that pleases God. He has standards. Though the bible is the clear and plain outline of what standards will please Him, some fail the standard. Society hates to hear this.
|"Heaven visited me" Creative Commons, by Kevin Dooley|
“Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.” (Proverbs 2:4-5)
Homosexual marriage is not a marriage, because it is outside God’s law. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Period. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-5).
Homosexuals have the “right to love” as much as any sinner! They can choose to love Jesus and His statutes. Or they can choose to hate Jesus and His statutes. But they are not qualified for marriage. And they do not have the right to love one another in a sexual way. Sodomy is not “love” - it is hate against God’s statutes and standards. It is loving to tell them so, in order that they may repent.
Do you approve of sex between a 37 year old man and an 8 year old girl? No? Then you are “judging” aren’t you? Do you approve of relations between a 42 year old man and his German Shepherd dog? No? Then you are “judging.” Do you approve of your spouse having sex with another person while you’re married? No? The bible forbids those acts, by the way, just as much as it forbids sexual acts between same sexes.
Yes, I am intolerant, in the way people want to use the word. I am intolerant of sin, my own especially. I’m intolerant of people who try to change God’s laws to suit their own carnal desires. I try to tell them that they are doing a disservice to Jesus and to their own selves, but some won’t listen. Yet I persist because I love them. I love them in the biblical way: because Jesus first loved us, and came to seek and save sinners. Jesus's first ministry words were an order, not an invitation and certainly not harps and flowers. He said,
"Repent and believe." (Mark 1:14-15).
|Creative Commons, Art4theGlryOfGod|
Further Reading, in order:
Rachel Held Evans: If my son or daughter were gay
Elizabeth Prata: Open Letter to Rachel Held Evans
Dr Joel McDurmon: To Rachel Held Evans, RE: “If my son or daughter were gay…"
Elizabeth Prata: Rachel Held Evans asks "What if my son or daughter were gay..." and gets a response from Dr Joel McDurmon
Rachel Held Evans: Everyone's a biblical literalist until you bring up gluttony
Fred Butler: No sympathy for the fat guy
What letter would you write to a gay son?
Other Rachel Held Evans mentions from this blog:
The Feminist Agenda
How the new Christian Feminists are redefining biblical womanhood