My last post (click to see) explored the biblical instances where homosexuality is considered a sin. It would also be helpful to note that there is never a biblical instance where it is NOT a sin. Also, we looked at some secular thoughts on homosexuality, and came to these conclusions:
1. The Bible declares homosexual activity as sin, just as it does lying, theft, adultery, etc.
2. The culture’s arguments for genetic causation and progressivistic justification are lacking.
3. The Bible offers hope for freedom from sin through the person of Jesus Christ.
In this post, I’d like to discuss how this information should affect Christians, and also, I would like to offer a word to homosexuals who read my blog…
What started this blog topic was a link to a facebook page where a self-proclaimed “Christian” indicated (publicly, mind you) that he wished all homosexuals would catch AIDS and die. I don’t think that’s the way Jesus would’ve handled it…
Jesus: Maybe you don’t realize this – Jesus was harsh toward Pharisees and Sadducees. NOT sinners! He scolded, debated with, drove out, and embarrassed the religious elite who claimed unique authority on scripture and spiritual things, but lived in a constant state of hypocrisy (see Mat. 23:1-7). These people were more concerned with their own positional security and pious elitism than with representing God and being an example and a channel of His blessings, love, and truth to the people around them.
The only other group of people (that I can think of) with whom Jesus got a little upset were the disciples. In Matthew 26:40-46, Jesus seems a little agitated with the fact that they couldn’t stay awake to pray for Him. Another instance of Jesus’ frustration with His disciples is in Matthew 16, when they didn’t quite understand Jesus’ allusion concerning the yeast of the Pharisees. He calls them, “ye of little faith!” (v.8).
But we don’t see examples of Jesus being harsh, angry, or agitated with the lost. In fact, we see the opposite. In John 8, we read the story of a convicted adulteress – a reprehensible sin/crime – whose sentence is stoning. But Jesus says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Then, he speaks to her, “I don’t condemn you… Go and sin no more.” He told her what she was doing was a sin – but He offered forgiveness.
Luke 7 tells a short story of a woman who “was a sinner” that brought fragrant oil and poured it out on Jesus’ feet, then continued to wipe his feet with her tears and wash them off with her long hair as he was reclining at the table with a Pharisee. The Pharisees were upset that Jesus would let someone so disgusting, so stained by sin even come close to Him – But we read His words to Simon in vs. 44-46, “you gave me no water, but she washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with fragrant oil.“
Jesus met sinners, even the ones who were social refuse, at their place of need. He offered them forgiveness. He addressed their sin as such, but displayed unconditional love, hospitality, kindness, and heartfelt compassion at the same time.
The New Testament letters also tell us a great deal about how to treat sin (including homosexuality), as well as how we should feel about it.
The New Testament Letters: In Part 1 of this subject, I stated that we would revisit 1 Corinthians 6:9. Paul lumps homosexual offenders together with idolaters, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, greedy people, etc. and the judgement is that “they” will not inherit the kingdom of God. Let me take a brief pause here to say that the greatest damage that is being done by these individuals is not to our society, is not to our family, and is not to our legal system. It is to their eternity. Our first, most heartfelt response to any kind of sin should be that those without Christ will spend eternity separated from God in a real place called Hell. Secondly, let me point out that there is a dichotomy represented here. Two “kinds” of people… (1) those labeled as “thieves, homosexual offenders, liars,” etc., and (2) those who are “justified in the name of Jesus” (v. 11). Just as it is impossible for someone who is a practicing, non-repentant homosexual to be part of Gods family, so it is for a practicing, non-repentant adulterer, greedy person, or swindler. Homosexuality is not “the sin” that disqualifies one from being saved. It is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ that leaves individuals unregenerate, unjustified, and bound for Hell. If one accepts Christ, he or she becomes a completely new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). He or she is no longer defined by sin, and likewise, will not seek to unrepentantly participate in it. Instead, he or she is defined by position in Christ, and will now seek to participate in His righteousness and holiness.
There are plenty of NT passages that deal with this subject specifically. Let’s move on to something a little deeper. Read this from Paul: