Gay-Marriage Is Not About 'Rights,' Part 1
My hope is that readers will read the entire article before drawing any conclusions. I have nothing but compassion for those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle. Those who strongly believe in the Bible and God’s will regarding sexual behavior, also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness. To say that authentic Christians hate, or fear, those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the principles of the Christian faith. To “speak the truth in love” simply comes from a desire to honor God, and to truly love and care for others.
The ability to relate to a person on their level, show genuine concern, and love them regardless of their lifestyle is the mark of true Christianity. Unfortunately, Christians often embrace one of two extremes. At one extreme are those who insult, or who are violent toward, those trapped in this lifestyle; homosexuality appears at the top of their sin list; there is very little love or compassion. The other extreme excuses this sin and looks the other way. Both extremes are wrong and offer a false impression of genuine Christianity—we must extend compassion but without compromise.
If warning, confronting, challenging, and advising can all be categorized as “hate-speech,” as many say, then, based on this definition, many parents hate their children. But of course the opposite is true: Parents love their children, so much so that they warn, confront, challenge, and advise daily.
Certain “rights” and “wrongs” called absolutes are given by God to save man from himself. In the same way that a foundation supports the entire structure—house or skyscraper—foundational biblical truths support the social structure. Nearly all of our social issues are related to the stability and structure of the God-ordained family.
Ironically, a postmodern leader recently made headlines by saying, "I believe that those who embrace the homosexual lifestyle can live in harmony with biblical Christianity." Consider this, and please be sincere: Many say that we cannot take a position on homosexuality because all positions will hurt someone. Here’s my question: “Are those who defend homosexuality, or who say nothing, truly loving the homosexual, or are they simply seeking to avoid conflict?” If they are more worried about being liked than being truthful, do they really care for homosexuals more than the person who is willing to risk their reputation, and quite possibly their safety, in order to speak the truth in love? The answer is obvious: Authentic Christians love the truth, and others, so much so that they are willing to risk the consequences of confrontation in order to help others. This is genuine love, not hatred. “When we become so tolerant that we lead people into mental fog and spiritual darkness, we are not acting like Christians—we are acting like cowards” (A.W. Tozer).
Would we say, “I believe that those who embrace pornography can live in harmony with biblical Christianity.” Or, “I believe that those who embrace adultery can live in harmony with biblical Christianity.” Or course not. Unfortunately, one of the greatest mistakes in our culture today involves not being able to discern between right and wrong. The battle cry is focused on “individual rights,” instead of what does God’s Word say?
For example, pornography and other similar forms of so called “personal expression” that harm individuals, as well as society, do not fit within the perimeters of exercising personal rights—logically, biblically, or historically.
Ironically, many cases of sexual violence and adultery can be traced directly back to pornography. Personal rights were intended to operate freely, but only within the framework of God’s Word, and social responsibility. For example, few can dispute the significant relationship between STDs and promiscuous sex, AIDS and homosexuality, broken homes and adultery, and so on. But those in support of gay-marriage often claim that it’s about “rights.” However, when we speak of Constitutional rights, we are referring to “God-given” rights. God orchestrates these rights—the definition and the perimeters—they correspond with His nature, His will, and His Word. When we replace “God-given rights” with “man-given rights” we create an environment where there would be little recourse, and no end to what man could advocate.
Yes, we will always have the “freedom” to choose what we do, but no one has the “right” to do what is wrong. God’s Word is very clear on the dangers of homosexuality, adultery, pornography, and other sexual sins. If our sexual preferences run contrary to God’s Word we must change our preferences, not the other way around.
Gay-marriage is not about “rights”—it’s about sexual “choices.” But can we legislate morality? No, we cannot change a person’s heart by forcing a set of laws or rules upon them, but we can deter wrongdoing. You may say, “Times change.” And you are correct, but God’s standards do not. No matter how many laws are passed in favor of same-sex marriage, it will not change God’s mind. His principles are guardrails through the canyons of life. They don’t prevent us from enjoying life; they protect us from falling.
A Biblical Response To Gay Marriage, Part 2
As I have stated before, I have nothing but compassion for those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle. Those who strongly believe in the Bible and God’s will regarding sexual behavior, also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness.
To say that authentic Christians hate, or fear, those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the principles of the Christian faith. To “speak the truth in love” simply comes from a desire to honor God, and to truly love and care for others.
God’s Word is very clear on the dangers of sexual sin—homosexuality, adultery, pornography, fornication, and so on. If our sexual preferences run contrary to God’s Word we must change our preferences, not the other way around.
Times change but God’s standards do not change. No matter how many laws are passed in favor of same-sex marriage, it will not change God’s mind. His principles are guardrails through the canyons of life. They don’t prevent us from enjoying life; they protect us from falling. Consider the following:
1. The “moral” laws in the Old Testament such as killing, stealing, lying, adultery, sexual immorality, and so on are all valid today. Jesus referred often to the Old Testament, and said that He didn’t come to abolish it, but to fulfill it. Although many of the ceremonial and dietary laws of the Old Testament do not necessarily apply today, the moral laws do. They are as significant today as they have been throughout history. For example, Leviticus 20:13 states, “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination….” To suggest that this verse is invalid today is to advocate the dangerous practice of redefining or deleting what God has said.
The consequences of wrong actions may have changed, but the moral implications remain the same. For instance, even though we no longer stone to death those who commit adultery, this does not mean that adultery is acceptable or any less dangerous. Adultery is wrong even though there aren’t legal consequences. The laws of a nation should reflect God’s word, but they are never above it!
2. Jesus condemned “all” sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications…these defile a man” (Matthew 15:19). Jesus was implying that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is harmful and immoral. The word “fornication” in the Greek is porneia; where the word “pornography” comes from. It includes all illicit sex. Jesus understood that sexual sin often results in the death of a family, a marriage, and the integrity of an individual—the entire family, and society, loses. The Bible is clear on this issue.
3. An argument cannot be based solely on silence. To suggest that Jesus approved of homosexuality simply because He did not use the term “homosexual,” is to imply that He approved of necrophilia, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality. But, of course, we know better.
4. Other passage in the New Testament are clear on this issue as well. Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 are good places to start. In short, mankind did not see fit to acknowledge God and they suppressed the truth; therefore, God gave them over to a depraved mind—to do those things which are not proper. Homosexual behavior, and sexual sin in general, is comparable with dishonoring the body and turning from God. “The sexual disordering of the human race is a judgment of God for exchanging Him for the creature” (John Piper).
5. Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh. He adds, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9).
Jesus would often speak out against sin, but His love and mercy also reached out to those who regretted and hated their condition. Forgiveness is a mark of genuine faith. We should have compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, but at the same time, we should not condone or excuse this type of sin any more than we condone or excuse any other sin.
Again, no matter how many laws are passed in favor of same-sex marriage, or how many leaders support it, it will not change God’s mind. He told the biblical writer Malachi, “I am the Lord thy God; I do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
Marriage between a man and a woman is a foundational truth that should not be degraded, changed, or altered. With the influence of the media and the promotion of recreational sex through movies, TV, music, and the Internet, we would do well to carefully monitor our own thoughts and actions before casting the first stone.
As a final word of encouragement, if you’re hopeless, depressed, and confused, look to the One who created you. He has the answers. No matter what you have done, you have the ability to turn to Christ and start anew. It’s all about Who you know: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).