gay

Leviticus and the same-sex debate

This is the fifth in a series of columns about same-sex attraction, adapted from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Same-Sex Attraction,” available in print at mobaptist.org/apologetics and in Kindle format at Amazon.com.

gaySix passages of Scripture speak directly to the issue of same-sex conduct. This column offers a brief survey of two verses in Leviticus:

“You are not to sleep with a man as with a woman; it is detestable” (Lev. 18:22).

“If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have both committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood is on their own hands” (Lev. 20:13).
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Come out of her, My people – Revelation 18:4-5

Previously: The nations have drunk – Revelation 18:3

The scripture

Rev. 18:4 – Then I heard another voice from heaven: Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins or receive any of her plagues. 5 For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. (HCSB)

Come out of her, My people

There is “another voice from heaven” that speaks in verses 4-8. It may be the voice of the Lord, for He says, “Come out of her, My people” (v. 4). Yet the voice later speaks of “God” and “the Lord God” in the third person. It’s possible this is Jesus, speaking to distinguish Himself from God the Father. In any case, there is urgency in His voice and a command for God’s people to separate themselves from the earth’s wicked people because judgment is falling.

“Come out of her, My people,” the voice cries, “so that you will not share in her sins or receive any of her plagues” (v. 4). A few commentators understand the rapture of the church to take place at this time. If so, it is late in the tribulation period and precedes Christ’s return by a brief span. Futurists are divided as to whether the rapture takes place prior to, in the middle of, or at the end of the tribulation.

Another way to view this call, however, is as an ever-present urging for believers to separate themselves from the sinful ways of the world. Jesus reminds us that while we are in the world, we should not be of it. “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you,” He tells His disciples. “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). Later, in His high priestly prayer, Jesus tells the Father, “I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world as I am not of the world” (John 17:15-16). The apostle Paul exhorts us, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).
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Sodom, Gomorrah and same-sex conduct

This is the fourth in a series of columns about same-sex attraction, adapted from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Same-Sex Attraction,” available in print at mobaptist.org/apologetics and in Kindle format from Amazon.com.

Six passages of Scripture speak directly to the issue of same-sex conduct. This column offers a brief survey of Gen. 19:5: “They [the men of Sodom] called out to Lot and said, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!’” (HCSB)

Summary

God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah because of the people’s wickedness, expressed most egregiously in their homosexual behavior. Jews and Christians traditionally have understood the story of Sodom and Gomorrah to speak directly to the issue of homosexuality – revisionist explanations of this passage notwithstanding.

Gen. 13:13 tells us, “Now the men of Sodom were evil, sinning greatly against the Lord.” When the Lord, accompanied by two angels, visits Lot, He says, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious” (Gen. 18:20).
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The nations have drunk – Revelation 18:3

Previously: Babylon has fallen – Revelation 18:1-2

The scripture

 Rev. 18:3 – For all the nations have drunk the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from her excessive luxury. (HCSB)

The angel spells out the reasons for the fall of Babylon the Great in verse 3: “For all the nations have drunk the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from her excessive luxury.” The wickedness of the world system opposed to God has been exposed. Not only has Babylon the Great abandoned the one true and living God, but she has replaced Him with multiple false deities that lure the world’s inhabitants through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the sinful pride of one’s lifestyle (1 John 2:16).

How applicable is this indictment of Babylon on today’s society, which embraces “spiritualism” at the expense of true worship. As the apostle Paul warns, “But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

When we boast that we are spiritual but not religious; when we lament the addition of a fish to the endangered species list but celebrate the right to end the life of an unborn child for any reason; when we abrogate the responsibility of individuals and families to work hard and care for their own by increasing our dependency on government entitlements; when we insist that ethics are situational and reject absolute truth as a vestige of less-enlightened times; when we say all forms of religious expression are fine as long as the name of Jesus is excluded; when a 50th wedding anniversary between a man and a woman is rare but gay marriage is normative; and when a theory of origins based on time and chance is called an indisputable fact but a theory that points to intelligent design is considered rank scientific heresy – we have become the people who drink the wine of Babylon the Great’s sexual – that is, spiritual – immorality. And we have invited the wrath of God.
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Gay and  LGBT flag rainbow hand, culture symbol.

God’s creative intent for sex and marriage

This is the third in a series of columns about same-sex attraction, adapted from the new MBC resource, “What Every Christian Should Know About Same-Sex Attraction,” available in print at mobaptist.org/apologetics and in Kindle format at Amazon.com.

Gay and  LGBT flag rainbow hand, culture symbol.The best place to begin a Biblical analysis of same-sex attraction is, well, in the beginning. The first three chapters of Genesis introduce us to God, reveal His eternality, instruct us in His sovereignty, suggest His triune nature, and demonstrate His power and purpose in creation.

He created man and woman as the crown of His handiwork (Gen. 1:26). He created us for exclusive intimacy with Him; that is, He shares His glory with no other god and is jealous for our full devotion to Him.

He also made us for exclusive intimacy with our spouses, and gave us an expression of His creative power through procreation in the context of monogamous, life-long, heterosexual marriage.

Note that God allows Adam to discover he is alone and in need of a helper. The animals are not suitable helpers for the man – not because they lack utilitarian value, but because they are unable to help Adam carry out God’s command to “fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28).

Eve, however, satisfies this role. Together, the first two human beings procreate, engaging in sexual intimacy that results in other humans who bear the image of God.
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