If there is one subject guaranteed to generate anger and disbelief it is when Christians talk about homosexuality. It isn't long before charges of homophobia are flying and offence is taken. So what exactly is the Biblical stance on homosexuality?
I am referring to the Bible, because that is the only book we believe to have Divine origins and if we believe it is the Word of God, then that is where we should look for guidance.
The Old Testament Law is quite clear on practicing homosexuality:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
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.
Does this view point change by the New Testament? The answer to that question has to be "no".
25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Homosexuality is not the only "abomination" that the Old Testament describes. Idol worship and the coveting of gold and silver, for instance are also abominations.
So there is no way round it; the Bible says that practicing homosexuality is a sin.
The first point to make is that all humans are sinners in one way or another.
Romans 3We all sin. We all have weaknesses or are more susceptible to some things than others. It does not matter whether we easily lose our tempers, whether we are unfaithful to our spouses, whether we take things that don't belong to us, whether we are judgemental of others or whether we are homosexual; we are all sinners. We all need God's forgiveness, we all need Jesus as our Saviour and we all need to try and overcome these weaknesses with God's help. That is part of repentance and walking in newness of life.
23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. 24 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18The process of salvation includes a desire on the part of the one being saved to do more of the things that God wants and less of the things that God doesn't want them to do. We have to humble ourselves and accept that we have aspects of our lives that God wants us to work on. Only in this way can we draw closer to God.
All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him.(NIV)
We can't really say "I was born that way; it's not my fault!". I could say that I can't help being a womaniser, it's all the fault of my high testosterone levels. Or I can't help being a thief, I need the money to finance my drug habit. It's not my fault I get angry; it's part of my Celtic temperament. We may be born with certain predispositions. That is part of our inherited sinful nature. What matters is whether we allow those predispositions to rule our life, or whether we work with God to get them under control.
The jury is still out on whether homosexuality is a genetic or an environmental or cultural thing. What matters is that it goes against what God wants and for that reason, we have to work to try and overcome it, if we want to be reconciled with God. This means that whilst we may have feelings, we cannot and must not act on them.
The Dawn Christadelphians