I recently came across an article that succinctly and brilliantly covers the recent shift in the modern-day church, in which same-sex relationships are becoming more widely accepted. I have done an extensive amount of research on the subject, and the article I will be referencing here is probably the best and most comprehensive study I have come across to date.
The subject of homosexuality is rampant in our society, and the church cannot afford to stay silent. It must take a position in order to help bring clarity. And while there must be significance placed on an individuals’ behavior and lifestyle, we can never forget that we’re dealing with real people, and real souls. The emphasis should always be on communicating the gospel message and extending the love of Jesus.
While the Bible does warn against certain behaviors, any caution against sin must be met the solution of salvation and the transforming power of the Spirit. But the Bible’s stance, I believe, is extremely clear. And to reverse said stance is an extremely dangerous measure.
Any attempt to “re-visit” or “re-interpret” the foundational teachings of God in His word carries immense risk. As the church, it is our responsibility to guide and teach Christians in the ways of righteousness. Are we allowing social pressures to soften our adherence to God’s word? The fundamental problem with “changing” the Bible is that you better be 1000% sure you’re right because otherwise you would be deceiving people and sending them straight to hell.
There are many issues that the church at large disagrees on. They may be cultural, or denominational. But many of those issues are not sin issues. They are not the difference between heaven and hell. The article is essentially a rebuttal to two authors who believe that same-sex relationships should be accepted within the church. Here are some key points:
1.The suggestion that Biblical writers had no understanding of loving monogamous same-sex relationships (which is to suggest that God himself did not have the foreknowledge. Slippery slope indeed).
“The ancients knew about mutual, non-exploitative same sex relationships. In Romans 1, Paul describes homosexuality as men burning with passion “for one another” (verse 27). That is mutuality. Such a term could not represent rape, nor prostitution, nor pederasty. Paul could have used terms in Romans 1 that specifically designated those practices, but he did not. He categorically condemns all sexual relations between people of the same sex, both men and women. Paul knew about mutual same-sex relationships, and the ancients knew of homosexual orientation. Nothing indicates that Paul is exempting some same-sex intercourse as acceptable.”
2. The argument that since issues such as slavery and the role of women in the church have been changed as we become more enlightened, the stance on same-sex relationships should follow suit.
“Up until very recently, all Christian churches and theologians unanimously read the Bible as condemning homosexuality. By contrast, there was never any consensus or even a majority of churches that thought slavery and segregation were supported by the Bible. This negates the claim that the number, strength, and clarity of those biblical texts supposedly supporting slavery and those texts condemning homosexuality are equal, and equally open to changed interpretations.
The reason that homosexual relationships make so much more sense to people today than in previous times is because they have absorbed late modern western culture’s narratives about the human life. Our society presses its members to believe “you have to be yourself,” that sexual desires are crucial to personal identity, that any curbing of strong sexual desires leads to psychological damage, and that individuals should be free to live as they alone see fit.”
3. The idea that since we don’t follow all the rules outlined in the Old Testament, belief systems condemning homosexual relationships should be outlawed as well.
“The Bible tells us that some of those Mosaic laws — the ceremonial — are no longer in binding on us. The traditional view is this: Yes, there are things in the Bible that Christians no longer have to follow but, if the Scripture is our final authority, it is only the Bible itself that can tell us what those things are. The prohibitions against homosexuality are re-stated in the New Testament (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1) but Jesus himself (Mark 7), as well as the rest of the New Testament, tells us that the clean laws and ceremonial code is no longer in force.”
God’s ultimate plan, the one set forth from the beginning of time, is that the only form of permitted sexual relationship is marriage between one male and one female. Anything else is in contradiction to God’s heart and character.
“It is part of the brilliance of God’s creation that diverse, unlike things are made to unite and create dynamic wholes which generate more and more life and beauty through their relationships. That means that male and female have unique, non-interchangeable glories — they each see and do things that the other cannot. Sex was created by God to be a way to mingle these strengths and glories within a life-long covenant of marriage.”
Following God’s commands does not give permission to be abusive, or hateful, or bigoted. Such behavior also goes against His character. There is enough grace available for everyone, regardless of their situation. Telling someone that there is a Savior who loves them and has the best for them is ultimately more effective than pointing out what they’re doing wrong.
The emphasis on needing sexual fulfillment in order to live a complete life is certainly a factor in this culture shift. When sex and sexual relationships are glorified above all else, any and every alternative will be used to meet that need.
Perhaps if we would return to the reality that true fulfillment comes in Christ alone, whether we’re married or single, we wouldn’t have to go out on every limb in order to fill the void.