Whether it’s the Mardi Gras, politicians arguing about gay marriage, or the token ‘gay’ character in reality TV or a sitcom, there’s no denying that homosexuality is a part of mainstream culture. That’s why it can be hard for Christians to talk about homosexuality because it’s so accepted in modern society. It can also be hard for Christians because they know the Bible says something about homosexuality but are not quite sure exactly what it says or why. I hope over the next 3 weeks that these short articles can bring some clarity.
Who are we listening to?
Firstly, let’s clear the air: love is not the problem. I have no doubt that two men or two women can love one another deeply. The Bible doesn’t argue against that. What I want to try and show is that the Bible’s issue with homosexuality is more to do with our design. You see, when God designed us, he wanted us to listen to him, love him, and obey him. But we didn’t! We decided to listen to ourselves instead. So we exchanged listening to God for listening to ourselves. Paul writes to the Romans about this very issue:
"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator" (Romans 1:25)
Our decision not to listen to God but to ourselves impacted all our subsequent decisions including who and what we would have sex with. Paul continues:
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men". (Romans 1:26-27)
The problem Paul raises is humanity’s failure to operate in accordance with our design and listen to God! It’s a matter of valuing our individual freedom at the expense of living how God designed us.
Everyone has sinned
Let’s not be too fast to pick on homosexuality. What about the areas in your life where you’re failing to listen to God and live in accordance with our design? Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:3?
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
God's intention was for none of us to lie, cheat, abuse people, be greedy, or disobey our parents.
However, it’s often easy to condemn sexual sin more severely than all of these other sins. Why? Probably because sexual sin is more obvious than other sins. But remember, when we start following Jesus, he calls us to listen to his word and mould our lives on Jesus’ life.
Let’s pray we live more like Jesus each day!
Coming up: In the next two articles, I will look at 'The gospel & sexuality', and 'Loving the homosexual community'.