Friday, May 11, 2012

The Bible and Homosexuality: A Reply to Matthew Vines

I recently watched a video lecture by a Harvard student named Matthew Vines entitled "The Bible and Homosexuality" ( hereafter referred to). In the lecture, Vines seeks to present the Biblical case for homosexuality, and attempts to prove that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality as sinful, thus allowing homosexuality to be a valid form of sexuality and marriage within the Christian worldview. I was glad to hear a thoughtful, intellectual argument for homosexuality based upon the Bible. Vines seems to understand that the Bible is the big issue in the debate. I agree that it is. God's revelation is everything. If we are to be people who conform our lives to the truth of God, we must hear from God. This means resisting every temptation to go along with what we merely want or feel; it means clearing out misinformation and dogma; it means honestly listening to the only one who is wise and omniscient: our loving Maker who knows what is best for us.

What follows is an exegetical examination of Vines' lecture and is said in Christian love.

I believe Vines is wrong in his conclusion that the Bible does not teach that homosexuality is sin, or that it is ambiguous at best. I believe the Bible teaches quite clearly that homosexuality is sin, and that to say otherwise is Scripture twisting. Let me explain why I am convinced of this.

Vines' argument for Biblical homosexuality is as follows. He first takes the position that homosexuality is natural (this position is not arrived at from the Bible), and then proceeds toward the text, seeking to show that the common verses used against homosexuality are invalid. Since the Biblical case against homosexuality is based upon what is regarded as explicit texts which negatively condemn homosexuality, he must of course deal with them. In this way, he is not so much bringing forth positive Biblical evidence for homosexuality (as I think he himself admits that there is none), but is only trying to show that there isn't any Biblical evidence against it. Fair enough given the Biblical data. But it is important to note this, that the Biblical case against homosexuality is in fact based upon what is believed to be explicit evidence in the Bible, while the Biblical case for homosexuality is in fact not based upon explicit evidence in the Bible, but upon what is conceived to be silence concerning homosexuality in the Bible, and the extra-Biblica belief that homosexuality is natural. Vines' positive argument from the Bible is that Christianity is all about love, and that it is unloving to deprive homosexuals of their natural God-given desires. Thus it is Christian and Biblical to accept homosexuality.

If the Bible were explicitly silent about homosexuality, that wouldn't necessarily make homosexuality right, but nor would it necessarily make it wrong. At that point we would have to govern our belief of the Bible's stance concerning homosexuality upon general principles in the Bible which would reveal God's implicit will concerning it. I believe there is an implicit case that could be made against homosexuality from the Bible. The original design of God with Adam and Eve, the numberless examples of relationships in the Bible between a man and woman, the absence of any homosexual relationship in the Bible, the order and convenience of creation that is stressed in the Bible, the raising of godly seed that is one major divine purpose of sexuality, and the true marriage of Christ and the Church of which earthly marriage is but a picture. The implicit case that Vines is purporting is not as strong as the implicit case that can be made from the other side.

Vines argues from Matthew 7:15-20 that "good teachings, according to Jesus, have good consequences" (Vines, 12:22), and that the consequences of the Church's position against homosexuality have not been good but bad, thus showing that the Church's traditional position against homosexuality is bad teaching. But there are two serious problems with this argument. First, deciding what is a good consequence and what is a bad consequence is highly subjective and relative. What may be seen as a good consequence to one may not be seen as a good consequence to another, and therefore it becomes impossible to discern what is good teaching based upon this criteria. One could argue just the same against Vines' position using this criteria, since good and bad consequences are in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. But Jesus was most certainly not giving us an impossible subjective standard to judge teaching by, which brings us to the second problem with this argument. Vines is actually misunderstanding this saying of Jesus, for if you compare this passage with its parallel passage in Luke 6:43-43, and with its counterpart passage in Matthew 12:33-37, you see immediately that Jesus was not saying that you know a teaching is good or bad based upon its consequences, but rather that you know a teacher is good or bad based upon his teaching. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45) "For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned." (Matthew 12:37) What Jesus is actually talking about is false teachers and their words, which words enable you to know whether they are false teachers or not. In fact, you won't be able to discern false teachers based upon any other criteria, because "they come to you as wolves in sheep's clothing". By saying this, Jesus is in keeping with the Old Testament which gives only one method of testing false prophets: by what they say - that is, whether their words agree with what God has revealed or not (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, Isaiah 8:20).

Therefore, the ultimate question concerning our topic at hand is: does the Biblical case for homosexuality or the Biblical case against homosexuality agree with what God has revealed in the Bible? Simple enough. That is the test of whether a teaching is Biblical or not; not whether it's consequences are good to whoever thinks it is.

Having said all that, we must now turn to the main body of his lecture, and to the main issue of the debate. Vines attempts to show that the Bible does not explicitly condemn homosexuality as sinful (which he must do if his case will stand) and concentrates his efforts on dispelling this idea. In this attempt I am convinced Vines fails. Beside there being an implicit case in the Bible against homosexuality, there is an explict case to be made against homosexuality from the Bible, which I am certain Vines did not dispel. So long as there remains an explicit case to be made, it necessarily ends the debate for all who take the Bible seriously as God's revelation. But let us take a look at the relevant Scriptures to see for ourselves. Though Vines discussed six different passages in the Bible, I'll consider the three which I believe are most important.

Sodom and Gomorrah. Some have commented that this is his strongest point, and I agree. But it is not that strong. Vines argues that while Christians have traditionally thought that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality - thus proving that homosexuality is sin - the Bible in fact states that God destroyed these cities because of other sins instead, such as pride, selfishness and greed.

The Bible certainly points to other sins as well which brought the wrath of God down upon them (Ezekiel 16:49). Certainly homosexuality was not the only sin of Sodom and Gomorrah nor the sole reason the wrath of God was kindled against them. This is important for people to realize. But to point out these other sins of Sodom and Gomorrah is not an argument that homosexuality was not also their sin. One very important verse concerning Sodom and Gomorrah that Vines failed to mention was Jude 1:7. "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going aside after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Here we see that fornication (unlawful sex) was indeed a major sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, and one that contributed to their overthrow. It is no coincidence that the only type of sex that we know Sodom and Gomorrah had from the Old Testament was homosexual sex, and that the following phrase in Jude 1:7 confirms this as an explanation of the fornication: "going aside after strange flesh". Given that we have no other details in the story as to what else this could mean, it must mean homosexuality. Vines point is therefore pressed too far. It is true that the traditional view of Sodom and Gomorrah needs to be modified, but it does not need to be wholly consumed by fire and brimstone.

Leviticus 18:22. This verse is most certainly the clearest prohibition of homosexuality in the Bible. Therefore it is extremely important to the debate, and both sides know this. It is as follows: "You shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination." Its counterpart in Leviticus 20:13 is equally as clear: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." Vines argues that these verses are no longer valid to us today because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He points out how the New Testament teachings make clear that, because of Christ, Christians are no longer under obligation to obey the Old Testament Israelite law. He highlights the fact that many laws of the Old Testament have never been observed by the Christian Church, such as the vast array of dietary laws and ceremonial commandments contained in the law of Moses, and Vines proceeds to argue that homosexuality should be seen in the same light. "Christians have always regarded the Book of Leviticus, in particular, as being inapplicable to them in light of Christ’s fulfillment of the law." (Vines, 26:51)

Now I am a huge advocate of the gospel of Christ setting us free from the law; that is my favorite subject! However, it is absolutely critical that we realize that it is one thing to say that as Christians we are set free from the obligation of having to keep the law, and quite another thing to say that the law's commandments are morally irrelevant to us. I am confident Vines would wholeheartedly agree with me. For example, Leviticus - which Vines states is a book that has been regarded as inapplicable by Christians - contains what Jesus Himself said is the second greatest commandment in the law: to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18, the chapter immediately following the verse in question). As Christians, we are no longer obligated to love our neighbor as ourselves as a condition for inheriting eternal life (otherwise we'd all be damned), yet loving one's neighbor still remains morally relevant and something we should do as Christians. Likewise the commandment to not steal is no longer obligatory to a Christian as a condition to inherit eternal life (since it is by grace we are saved), but it is still morally relevant nonetheless. So the question of Leviticus 18:22 is not whether we are obligated to obey it or not as a condition for inheriting eternal life, but whether it is still morally relevant to us today. Or to put it another way: is Leviticus 18:22 in that class of commandments which we would label moral and thus still relevant to us today, or does it belong to that class of commandments which we would label ceremonial and symbolic (ex. Col. 2:16-17) and thus morally irrelevant to us today?

The simplest and most natural answer is that Leviticus 18:22 falls into the moral category, and that it is still relevant to us today. The entire chapter concerns sexual sin, all of which we would consider moral and relevant today (except, as Vines points out, 18:19, where there may be some debate regarding a woman on her period. One could argue that it is therefore immoral to have sex with a woman on her period, and that the common Christian position on this command is wrong. If, however, we take 18:19 as ceremonial, then we still must ask whether 18:22 fits more naturally with 18:19, or with the rest of the verses in the chapter. I believe it is obvious that 18:22 fits most naturally with the rest of the chapter. In 18:19, the ceremonial aspect is clearly given. It states, "Also you shall not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness." Because she is ceremonially unclean, she is "put apart", and therefore to have sex with her when she is "put apart" is to sin. Sex with a woman is not prohibited here, but only sex with a woman when she is ceremonially unclean. The issue in 18:19 is about when you should not have sex, it is not about who or what you shouldn't have sex with, as the rest of the chapter and 18:22 is concerned about. There is simply no reason to suppose that the prohibition of homosexuality falls into the category of ceremonial law). 18:22 is in keeping with the rest of the chapter which prohibits who and what you should have sex with. Incest, beastiality and homosexuality are all similarly prohibited. God reveals that it is not morally acceptable to have sex with your family members, animals, or people of your same sex. It follows that therefore this verse remains a clear and explicit pronouncement against homosexuality in the Bible.

In John chapter 8, when the crowd brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery, the law clearly required that she be stoned to death (see Leviticus 20:10), but Jesus remarkably rescued her from the demands of the law, telling her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." (John 8:11) Truly, because of Christ, we are set free from the demands of the law and the penalty that we deserve. He bore our sins on the cross so that we do not have to bear them ourselves. But by saying, "Go and sin no more", Jesus showed us that the morality of the law is still relevant to forgiven sinners. We do not have to obey the law in order to be forgiven: indeed we need forgiveness because we do not obey the law! Nor should we pick up stones to execute justice upon others who have broken in the law: God alone is the judge, and we are in no place to judge our neighbor, and God has in love undertaken to save sinners through His Son Jesus Christ. But the morality of the law is still righteous, holy and good, relevant to us today in the 21st century. We ought to go and sin no more.

Romans 1:26-27. Vines is right that this is the largest treatment of homosexuality in the Bible, and that because it is in the New Testament it does not have any of the Old Testament legal intricacies that could be appealed to in order to escape its claims. The passage is as follows: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Vines' explanation goes like this: the real issue in this chapter is idolatry. Men exchange the truth of God for a lie, and by so doing, they also exchange what is natural for what is unnatural. But here is Vines' kicker: Vines argues that if these people were heterosexual, then what is unnatural and sinful for them is homosexuality, but if what is natural for people is homosexuality, then they commit no sin by being homosexuals, since that is natural for them, and there involves no exchange. To Vines, the exchange of natural to unnatural itself is the main point, not what is exchanged - not what is natural or unnatural.

Vines fails to see that exchanging one's sexuality from X to Y or from Y to X is not the point that Paul is getting at. It is not exchange itself that is wrong to Paul, but what is exchanged for what. Exchanging the truth of God for a lie is sin, and exchanging the natural use of sex for the unnatural use of sex is sin. And to Paul, the natural use of sex is clearly said to be between a man and a woman, and the unnatural use of sex is clearly said to be homosexual. This point can only be escaped by manipulating the passage to say what it is not saying. Paul uses words such as "vile affection", "against nature", and "unseemly" to describe woman to woman and man to man sex. This is how he describes X, not the exchange from Y to X. X, or homosexuality, is sinful in this passage, and I do not see how this conclusion can be avoided unless we completely ignore Paul's definition of what is natural and unnatural, leaving them undefined - something Paul does not do.

The danger of Vines' idea, that exchange itself is the sin, is that this can be utilized to justify all behavior. So long as someone states that a behavior is natural to them, then it is no longer sin for them to do it, but it actually becomes sin for them not to do it! If a man says he has a natural attraction to animals, then it would be sin for him to not have sex with them, and sin for him to have sex with a human. If a man said he was naturally attracted to children, then before God he is justified in having sex with children, since that is what is natural to him, and to exchange this with adult sex (something he is not attracted to) is itself a perversion of nature! It is absurd to argue this way. It is not Paul's point, and it is subjective and capricious to make your case from what is natural for you. Our convictions must rest upon the word of God and what He says is natural and unnatural according to His design. If we find ourselves lusting after what is unnatural, we need to recognize this for what it is.

I am convinced from our study of the most important passages of Scripture on homosexuality that the explicit Biblical argument against homosexuality still stands. If this is difficult for homosexuals to accept, at least let them acknowledge that the case for Biblical homosexuality is not as bulletproof as they would like, and that the traditional Biblical case is not as irresponsible as they may have thought. I hope Vines acknowledges this.

I am truly glad he gave the lecture and that he is grappling with the Biblical text. The more we do this the better, and the clearer things will become.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Homosexuality: What Does God Have to Say?

What does God have to say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality sin, or is it not? Is there enough information in the Bible to discern the will of God on the issue? What is the message that Jesus Christ has for homosexuals? Is there really truth in the midst of so much disagreement?


Homosexuality has a lot of people asking questions. Not too long ago, most people simply took it for granted that homosexuality was unnatural, sinful, and should not be accepted as an alternative lifestyle; yet things have changed. Today, many people are uncertain as to how to answer questions about homosexuality, while sharp lines are being drawn in the sand as people take their side on an issue that has become greatly obtrusive and controversial. Polemics are engaged in from both sides; slander and name-calling are not uncommon. Whether it is "fag" or "homophobe", such insults stem from fear and an inability to explain or convince another of one's point of view. Even violence has been resorted to and is increasing in frequency. Where will all this lead, and when will it end? Will truth prevail in the long run?

What is urgently needed is for God’s voice to speak into the chaos, and to calm the storm that threatens to sink us. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. If a hungry man eats bread but does not listen to the words of God, he is not better off. It does not matter if one side wins through political muscling and gets their own way; if we are not listening to God it profits nothing. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they that build labor in vain. Unless the Lord guard the city, they that guard watch in vain. ” (Psalm 127:1) Are both sides willing to humble themselves before God and before each other so they can listen to the voice that matters? If not, how can mere political victory be real victory? The objective for both sides needs to be to hear from God and obey His voice, rather than merely to get their own way. Truth, not preference, must be our desire.

It is important for those who are opposed to homosexuality to understand and empathize with the homosexual man or woman. Homosexuals are under great pressure and feel that their fight is a fight, not only for their liberty, but for their very identity. Such issues are not to be handled insensitively. If they lose the fight, they feel they will have lost everything, and must resign themselves to an existence within a hostile society that is, for them, without a hope and a future. The high rate of suicide among homosexuals must not be passed over lightly. The homosexual is in a desperate struggle for meaning, acceptance and survival, and understandably cannot see much comfort in anything short of victory.

It is likewise important for those who are pro-homosexual to understand and empathize with the heterosexual man or woman who is opposed to homosexuality. For them, they too feel belittled and are made to seem stupid simply because they disagree that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, while at the same time they feel that their concerns have not been answered in any satisfying way. Thus they feel ignored and swept aside as contemptible for their convictions, without any explanation. Such treatment inevitably causes frustration. It is vital that pro-homosexuals understand that most often the conviction of people who are opposed to homosexuality is the result of a sincere faith in God, which faith involves the belief that God has revealed to mankind, both through reason and revelation, that homosexuality is sinful. Thus for them it is not merely a stuffy tradition nor an insensible fear of progress that causes them to oppose; it is a much deeper and fundamental conviction that such "progress" is not actually progress at all, but rather digression, because it goes against the will of God. This must be taken into full consideration and likewise treated with sensitivity.

If we reflect upon these things, we should see quite quickly that the answer to the confusion has absolutely everything to do with God. If the belief in God's revelation of the sinfulness of homosexuality were satisfactorily refuted, then the case for homosexuality would surely stand, and religious people would feel like they were not ignored and their objections were answered. Such a strategy is now being undertaken by many; yet the main strategy from the pro-homosexual side has unfortunately been one of aggressive domineering through politics and the media rather than intellectual engagement. This is, in my opinion, immoral. If the pro-homosexual cause desires to achieve their goal in an honest manner, they would command more respect if they were more concerned about truth than about airtime. Ends do not justify means, and it is not right to silence another voice without hearing it out and satisfactorily answering it. If there is a God, and if God has revealed His judgment concerning homosexuality, and if that judgment is that homosexuality is sinful, then the matter is settled, and it only remains to show the homosexual how there is a hope and a future with God through Jesus Christ. I am persuaded that homosexuals would not feel the need to fight so desperately for their identity and for hope if they only knew what incredible things belong to them in the promises of God, and sadly I do not think the Church has clearly communicated this to the homosexual, thus contributing to the despair. It is my desire now to share that good news with homosexuals.


I'm sure most people who are involved in this discussion have read the prominent Scriptures that relate to homosexuality in the Bible (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Romans 1:26-28, 1 Timothy 1:9-11, Jude 1:6-7, etc), and since so much good information on the subject can readily be found, I won't reinvent the wheel by reproducing what has already been done. It is, in my opinion, beyond a reasonable doubt that the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality as sinful. Any attempt to prove this plain fact otherwise must engage in Scripture twisting of the worst kind, and therefore, it is far more honest to disagree with the Bible than to try and make the Bible disagree with itself (for an example, see here). Whatever may be said about the Bible and homosexuality, it is that the Bible reveals God's judgment concerning homosexuality, which is that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful. Such was the conviction of people in the past.

But what, then, is God's will for the homosexual? Is it that they perish in hell, because they are sinning? Such is often the impression churchmen give. I am persuaded that this question has not been answered satisfactorily by many Christians who are ignorant of what Christ actually has to say to the homosexual person. I want to apologize to anyone who has had a bad experience with Christians regarding this issue of homosexuality. The gospel means "good news", and that includes good news for homosexuals. God's message from heaven is glad tidings for sinners; all sinners, everwhere. Absolutely no one should be excluded from the hope, peace and joy that the gospel offers to all! To exclude anyone because they are a certain kind of sinner is to distort the very nature of the gospel itself. What is worse: homosexuality or distorting the gospel of God?

I recall once having a conversation with a very angry homosexual. He was angry because he discovered that I was Christian, and though I had said nothing about the matter, he was certain that my belief was that all homosexuals should be hamstrung and hung upside by the feet until they recanted their homosexuality (reminds me of the "show me your horns" stereotype)! Finally he thrust his finger into my chest and in an accusatory tone he demanded an answer: "Do I have to stop being a homosexual in order to be saved? Tell me!" I got the impression that he fully expected what I would answer and was just waiting for me to say it so that he could counterattack with a vengeance. I said, "No." Suddenly his face went from a look of anger to utter astonishment. His jaw fell involuntarily, and the once belligerent man was suddenly silent. He had just heard what he had not expected; most likely he had just heard what he had never heard before. This homosexual had never before heard the gospel of grace. I then said, "But once you are saved, you will want to stop being a homosexual." He still could not say anything. Several seconds passed and what had just been said hung heavy in the air; then he changed the subject. He was completely disarmed.

Most homosexuals have never heard the true gospel before, and therefore they are fighting against a god and a gospel of their own incorrect imagination. They do not even know God, since it is the gospel alone which reveals who God is to us. God is revealed through the gospel to be our Father in heaven. The good news is, a homosexual does not need to stop being a homosexual in order to be forgiven and reconciled to the Father. For what does the Bible say? "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by God's grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23-24) "By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) "But we believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." (Acts 15:11) This is just a small sampling of the Scriptures which tell us of the wonderful news of salvation. What so many do not realize is that the Bible is a book about grace, not about rules. The only thing a homosexual needs to do in order to be saved is the same thing that any and all sinners need to do in order to be saved: believe in Jesus Christ, trusting alone in what Christ accomplished on man's behalf. This is not to say that homosexuality is not sin, but that homosexuality, just like every other sin, has been atoned for by Christ 2000 years ago. The gospel is the joyous news that "God so loves the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but has eternal life." (John 3:16) God the Father gave His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Christ died once for all on the cross to reconcile us to God the Father, by paying the penalty that our sins justly deserve. Now, no matter how sinful you are, no matter what kind of a sinner you are, you are invited to the feast of God's amazing goodness and grace! A homosexual sinner, like any other sinner, simply needs to believe the gospel to be saved. Isn't that wonderful news? Isn't God good? God loves sinners. God loves homosexuals.

When Christ was crucified, He revealed two crucial truths about God. First, Christ revealed that God is a righteous God. All sin, regardless of what kind, is not passed over. Every sin that is committed is judged. At the cross, the Father demonstrated that His justice will never be slackened, even in the act of forgiveness. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6) All sin, including lying, pride and homosexuality, was laid upon Jesus Christ at the cross, so that we can be forgiven. The cross teaches us that sin is never forgiven cheaply or superficially: God can only forgive us because Christ suffered the penalty for our sins, otherwise forgiveness would not be possible. When God forgives us, it is not that He overlooks our sins as if they were no big deal, but it is that Christ died for sin, and in the very act of forgiving us He has dealt with our sins in the way that sin deserves. By way of simple analogy, “we did the crime, and Jesus paid the fine”. Sin is forgiven in such a way that it is not ignored or made out to be anything less than what it is. This is a powerful truth not to be forgotten! It tells us volumes about the Father.

The second truth which the cross of Christ reveals is this: that God is love. It was the Father's love that sent His only begotten Son to the cross to bear our sins so that we might be saved. It is not as if Christ had to die on the cross in order to change the Father's mind about us! Rather, the cross of Christ tells us exactly what the Father thinks about us: that He loves sinners and doesn't want them to perish for their sins. Christ came in obedience to the Father. Far from the cross being a statement of God's unwillingness, it is rather the definitive statement of God's willingness to forgive us the only way He can: justly. God must be true to Himself. He is righteous, and therefore sin must be justly dealt with. But God is also love. In the atoning death of Christ we see God's perfect love and perfect justice meet in the broken body and poured out blood of Jesus.

Here is love, vast as the ocean; lovingkindness as a flood,
When the Prince of Life, our ransom, shed for us His precious blood.
Who, His love, will not remember? Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten throughout heavens eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion fountains opened deep and wide,
Through the floodgates of God's mercy flowed a vast and gracious tide;
Grace and love like mighty rivers, poured incessant from above;
And heaven's peace and perfect justice, kissed a guilty world in love.

Let us learn the lessons of the cross. To all sinners everywhere: God loves you! Because of your sins you have incurred great wrath, but greater still is the grace of the Father for you. Look to Jesus Christ, and there you will see the Father’s redeeming love and unfathomable righteousness. He will not let anything go unjudged, and yet you can be saved! Oh what a mystery! Trust yourself to God to save you from God. Who but He can save you from Himself? "There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." (Isaiah 45:21-22) Simply believe in Him, and be forgiven and saved forever.


Such is the awesome good news for homosexuals everywhere as it is in the Bible. Homosexuality is indeed sinful, but you do not need to stop being a homosexual in order to be saved; otherwise we would have to be consistent and say that you would have to stop being sinful entirely in order to be saved, which is impossible. We are not to arbitrarily draw lines and say that this sin or that sin must be stopped in order to qualify for God's grace. All sin is equally damnable in God’s sight, and therefore if we had to qualify for grace we would never obtain it, and moreover, grace would cease to be grace! Grace is receiving something that you do not work for nor deserve (Romans 4:4-5). It is the unmerited favor of God. If you have to be worthy of it, then it isn’t grace anymore.

So rather than be hypocrites and judge one another, we should rather build one another up in the grace of the Father. The Bible shows us that the grace of God not only saves our souls, but it also teaches us how to live in this life as people of grace. We are not saved by what we do, but what we do as Christians is inspired by the salvation we received through Christ. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a special people, zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11-14) Thus the only appropriate response to the amazing salvation which we received from the Father is to seek to live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to Him. It is not that He will take salvation back from us if we don't; it is a matter of loving the Father because He first loved us. God's love for us is unconditional and unrelenting. But such wondrous love inspires within us a love for Him: how can we not fall in love with our God, who gave Himself for us? (If we do not, we are simply insensitive and do not know love when we see it!) When we love someone, we desire to do what pleases them. Since sin is displeasing to God, and was condemned at the cross, it is only right to put it away. We should be motivated, not out of fear, but out of love, and love is a powerful motivator. Let us remember that the Father will never take His grace away from us. Even when we sin as Christians, "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

Therefore homosexuals who have believed in Jesus Christ should, out of love for God, and in the light of the grace of God, turn away from homosexuality. There is a new life to be lived. They should join the rest of the Christian community in together seeking to put away sin and to learn holiness and sanctification of heart and body. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor." (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4) This is the Father's will for His beloved children, and He will faithfully work in them both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. The Christian community is also there to help and love each another in the process. We are all sinners saved by grace, and many have gone through the same struggles. The Church is not a group of perfect people; just a group of forgiven people who know the Father and love Him and each other all because of grace. Because of grace, no one needs to hide anymore but may come into the light and experience real joy and peace in Jesus Christ!

It is vitally important that Christians begin to share the good news of salvation and new life with homosexuals, and stop judging them as if they were worse sinners than others. None of us stand before God by anything other than grace, and God only forgives any of us because of His Son. We need to learn to see people through the eyes of Christ, and realize that Christ is for the homosexual, not against them. He loves them and does not want them to perish, and salvation is extended to them the same way it is extended to us all: freely. Failure to see people this way sadly results in turning them away from the Father due to misrepresentation.

A word to homosexuals: Even though, to God, the pro-homosexual cause is sinful and should not be fought, there is hope and salvation for you in Jesus Christ. You do not need to find your identity in homosexuality; indeed you will not find it there. Discover your true identity as one who is created in God's image, who, though fallen by sin, is loved and redeemed by your Father in heaven. You do not need to throw your life away because you are a homosexual: you have a glorious hope and a future in Jesus Christ! God loves you so much! We can rejoice together in the truth that the Lord God Almighty loves us sinners and has done an amazing work of reconciliation through His Son at the cross. We can have peace knowing our sins are forgiven. We can have joy knowing that we have eternal life forever. And there is abundant life to be lived with God right now, lived in His amazing grace, as well as eternal life in the hereafter! All this is the free gift of the Father to you through Christ. This is definitely good news! Good news for all men, including homosexuals. You can receive this new life today. If you are still uncertain, ask questions and investigate the things I have written about. Read the words of Jesus and find out about this amazing salvation through God's grace. You will be surprised at what you find.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)