In View of the Bible, Should Churches Accept Homosexuality?
by Abraham Smith
Homosexuality has infiltrated more and more churches. Will homosexuality be normalized as an acceptable and legally sanctioned lifestyle? Or, will those who practice it be identified as sinners in need of redemption? Will those who regard homosexuality as sin and therefore refuse to accept homosexuals as members in good standing be forced to do so by social activists? By court decisions? Does freedom of religion in such cases mean the freedom to force acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle upon every church in the land? The controversy rages.
To accept God as our Creator and Sustainer is to implicitly acknowledge His ability and right to instruct mankind on everything that pertains to life and godliness. The question of whether the homosexual was "born that way" will be answered by the One who created humanity: "known to God from eternity are all His works" (Acts 15:18). The Bible, the inspired word of God, gives us an accurate message of truth (II Timothy 3:16-17). It will guide us in the way we should go. We should orient ourselves to its path of righteousness, not the path of "personal expression" and "sexual orientation" that abandons divine truth for human will and experience (Jeremiah 10:23).
Divine truth does not change according to the will and whim of people. It is unchangeable by men and therefore reliable. Jesus noted that "heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away" (Matthew 24:35). Isaiah said, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8). If you want teaching you can depend on to settle today's disputes about homosexuality and the church, look no farther than the Bible. It is neither outdated nor irrelevant. (Why have the "word of God" and then charge that it is nothing more than the word of men?)
God has been clear concerning homosexuality: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10); "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22); "Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:27).
Therefore, we affirm that homosexuality is not forced upon any person. It is a deliberate, sinful and unnatural choice one makes. Homosexual tendencies may exist in a person because of a number of factors, but the choice to practice homosexuality is set squarely upon the shoulders of each individual.
Now we have Bible "scholars" who tell us the Bible does not mean what it clearly says about the sin of homosexuality. Let it be noted that when they contradict the foregoing statements they oppose God's prophet Moses and Christ's apostle Paul. The underlying problem of such "scholars" is they long ago rejected the Bible as the inerrant word of God. To them, the words of an apostle of Christ are not the commandments of the Lord (I Corinthians 14:37). Yet, they have the audacity to claim themselves lovers of God and lovers of divine truth! The have a form of godliness, but deny its power (II Timothy 3:1-5).
Will those who wish to throw open every church door to homosexuals do the same for those who are "filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, (and) unmerciful" (Romans 1:29-31)?
For instance, why don't we see them promoting church acceptance of malicious whisperers and backbiters? After all, we could make a case that these unfortunate and misunderstood souls are simply expressing themselves and their "normal" tendencies and impulses! The real problem is that those who promote the homosexual agenda in churches today not only reject the simple message of the Bible, they also scoff at the very idea of sin. Jesus' prescription for all sin, including homosexuality, is repentance (Luke 13:2, 3).
Just as the whispering gossip can choose to cease his or her sin, the homosexual can choose to cease homosexual actions. If the homosexual is not a sinner in need of redemption, who can charge the malicious gossip with evil?
Whether one is practicing gossip or homosexuality, the sinner can be "washed," "sanctified" and "justified" by repenting and obeying the gospel of Christ (I Corinthains 6:9-11; Acts 18:8). The homosexual should not be singled out. All sin of which one does not repent will cause the loss of the soul (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Christ urges all sinners to come to Him for rest (Matt. 11:28-30). But He expects repentance, and will accept nothing less: "unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
Without question one's environment influences the choices one makes in life, including homosexual choices. The defense that "God made me that way" works no better for the homosexual as it does for the malicious gossip. Homosexuality is an issue of morality, not maternity. Accepting God's clear teaching on its sinfulness is a matter of humbling oneself before God: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil" (Proverb 3:5-7).
Will there ever come a day in this land when divine truth (rather than human will) reigns in the hearts of the people?