Homosexuality in the church is a very contentious subject today as society’s views on what are right and what is wrong are evolving, and churches are being pressured to change. Historically, society was encouraged to conformed to God, but today, its the other way around.
I read in the news yesterday that the Church of Scotland has renounced the biblical prohibition on same sex relations. This seems to be a logical step for them since the church already accepts priests in openly gay relationships.
Jesus Was Silent on Homosexuality and so Should the Church
This “God of the Gaps” approach, is a new but weak argument made by proponents for the acceptance of gay sex by the church.
Does absence of commentary equate to affirmation or approval? No, it does not. Conrary to some critics, Jesus was not as silent on homosexuality as they would have the public believe and I will explain why below. If the God of the Gaps argument holds water, then those who participate in the behaviors below should be able to make the same claim. Jesus was silent on these as well
- Child Molestation and rape
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Bestiality [sex between humans and animals]
- Marrying your goat
What Did Jesus Say About Homosexuality
- Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
Jesus affirms God’s original plan and established scripture. “From the beginning” suggests that this decree is ongoing and has not stopped. What is clear is that Jesus does not legitimize any marriage other than between a man and a woman. There is no ambiguity in Scripture regarding covenant relationship between a man and a woman.
The silence defense could be turned around. Jesus did and said far more than what was recorded in the bible. Though he know he would not have contradicted existing scripture, he could have elaborated more specifically on the prohibition of same sex relations.
- Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.
Does Jesus Ignore Old Testament Scripture?
- There are 283 direct Old Testament quotes in the New Testament
- Jesus quoted from 24 Old Testament books
- He said he came to fulfill the Law not abolish it;
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. – Matthew 5:17-18 – Jesus
Jesus chastises the religious leaders of his day for equivocating tradition [Cultural observances] with biblical doctrine. Jesus is making a distinction here between scriptural doctrine and cultural observances that have been added.
Matthew 15:2-3, 9,
- Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition?… they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
Jesus Is The Word
John 1:1, 14
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God… Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us.
2 Timothy 3:14-17
- But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 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. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Jesus is the living embodiment of the word of God. Both Old and New Testaments owe their inspiration to Jesus, so there is no reason to think he has changed his mind over time. In fact, Jesus takes it to another level.
- You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Jesus raised the bar of abstaining from sin. He said it is more than mere physical obedience, it extends to the motivations and intents of the heart. Something we cannot control, only Christ’s spirit in us can.
- out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.
- you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Jesus Only Said What His Father Told Him To
Jesus didn’t speak on his own, he and the Father are in perfect agreement. What was sin in Genesis, is sin in Jesus day, and is sin today.
- But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.
Jesus and the Father are one. There is no argument that says God is one way, but Jesus is another. They are in perfect unity.
- The Father and I are one. John 10:30
- John 14:9-10;
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! … Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.
- Jesus is the author of all scripture [he is the word of God] and does not contradict what has been said already
- God of the Gaps: Silence is not approval, Jesus is silent on many other behaviors recognized as abhorrent
- The argument cuts both ways as Jesus could have specifically prohibited the act
- He clearly states that marriage [sex] is between one man and one woman
- Nowhere in scripture is there ambiguity on the covenant of marriage being between one man and one woman
- Jesus made a distinction between cultural doctrine invoked by leaders and God’s commands
- Finally, Jesus’ disciples did explicitly refer to same sex relations. Remembering of course that all scripture is inspired by God, including the New Testament. So, indirectly, Jesus did explicitly address same sex relations.
Why is this so important? Because scripture says anyone who practices immorality will not see the kingdom of God. Same sex relations is immorality according to God’s word.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 18-20
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, … will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Astonishingly, the religious leaders argued with Jesus over scripture. Jesus, who is God and called the word of God, was put to death because of priests who objected to his interpretation of his own words. Is it any wonder, that it is still occurring?
2 Timothy 4:3-4
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
In my previous blog post “Biblical Homosexuality” you can read further on the complete argument from scripture prohibiting same sex relations.