A Christian Response to Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage
The issue of homosexuality is an issue that confronts the church today not only as a sin to be spoken out against, but also as an issue that calls for compassion towards those engaged in this sin. Homosexuality is clearly condemned in Scripture (see Lev. 18:22, Rom. 1:26-27, and 1 Cor. 6:8-10). Homosexuality has also been regarded as sin throughout the two thousand years of church history after Christ. Furthermore, Christ clearly condemns homosexuality and same-sex marriage by setting forth the God-ordained institution of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6:
Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female ... For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
- Jesus answers the Pharisee’s questions about divorce by lending His own authority to the account of marriage as given at the beginning of Genesis and confirms that this account is absolutely authoritative and determinative when identifying what marriage is.
- The Lord affirmed the distinction between male and female when He created “them at the beginning male and female.” This is coupled with the Genesis command to procreate. It follows, then, that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice; it does not arise from some particular gene that dictates sexual orientation.
- The application to Christ’s statement, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife,” is universal and to be observed throughout all generations. This was not given simply for Adam’s good but for the good of all.
- Man should leave his paternal home and cleave to his wife. His wife alone was able to be the true help meet for him. She was designed psychologically, emotionally, and physically to help him in his quest to glorify his Creator, and she alone was created by God to assist him in fulfilling God’s command to fill the earth.
- Marriage is the primary and most sacred institution of all of society. Even parent-child relationships must be secondary to the marriage relationship. In the eyes of the Lord, marriage outweighs every civil relationship. It is therefore not to be taken lightly when marriage is redefined in order to accommodate a minority within society.
- There must also be faithfulness and morality within marriage. If marriage is the primary social institution but lacks faithfulness between a husband and his wife, what can we expect elsewhere in society? If marriage lacks morality, what can we expect from the rest of society? Marriages must be examples of faithfulness and morality.
While marriage is a civil institution in that it was ordained before the Fall and therefore applies to all mankind, it is also a divine ordinance. This is clearly shown in the words of the Lord: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
What then should our response be to homosexuality and to Christ’s teaching about marriage? The church must contend based on Micah 6:1, “Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.”
We must cry to the LORD. The issue of homosexuality underscores the need for prayer. We must encourage people to pray that the sanctity of marriage would be preserved. Our prayers must be broad and full, praying with thankfulness to God for the gift of marriage and for the stability that marriage brings to society. Divorce between Christian couples is surely a great indictment on the church today and a poor example of Christian marriage. We must pray for parents to train their children so that the children would benefit from the marriage bond. We must pray that the innocence of our children be protected. We must also remember in prayer the many children today who are being raised within civil partnerships with no proper role models, and where their environment will convince them that homosexuality is the norm. We must pray that the leaders of our nation will repent of their godlessness, as the heart of the king is like water in the hand of the Lord – He turns it wherever He wills (Prov. 21:1).
We must cry to the church. In the light of recent developments regarding homosexuality, we must cry to the church to repent of accepting the sin. We also must acknowledge that homosexuality is not only a sin but also a judgment upon sins that precede it. Romans 1 makes that abundantly clear and then declares that God “gave them up to uncleanness,” to “vile affections,” and “to a reprobate mind” (Rom. 1:21-32).
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?1 Peter 4:17
Those who teach and/or practice homosexuality are not true ministers of Christ and ought to have no place as such. Christ defines marriage in terms of a man and a woman. But He also says, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples” (John 8:31). It is incumbent upon ministers and elders to speak God’s Word regarding homosexuality. It is not only time to speak out and hold on to biblical norms for marriage and sexuality, but to preach the gospel to those who are trapped in sin and seek to save them from the fire (Jude 22-23). It is time for the church to examine herself and repent of the sins with which she has been stained.
We must cry to the nation. The demand by a minority to change the definition of marriage has little to do with equality, but has everything to do with imposition. Redefining marriage will impose same-sex marriage upon society, and we believe this will have a major impact on virtually every family in the country. We believe that this is only another step towards homosexuality being imposed on our children. Schools will no longer be able to speak about marriage without teaching the equality of same-sex partnerships; children’s books from infants upwards will be required to recognize it because the law recognizes it.
Will ministers be forced to perform same-sex unions, and be persecuted for speaking out against same-sex marriage? We already have one example where a minister was barred from praying at a presidential inauguration for his views on homosexuality. What will be the effect on parents who send their children to public schools? What will happen to private schools that do not condone same-sex marriage? The people of our nation are well aware that homosexuality is a sin; the Bible says so, an examination of history confirms it, and our consciences cry out as an echo of God’s truth. However, men suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18) in two ways. The first is to normalize homosexuality and have it entrenched in law so that all societal institutions will be forced to recognize it. The second way of suppressing truth is to muzzle or marginalize anyone who expresses any counter-opinion. The germ of this is already being witnessed in our nation. Let us cry to our local, state, and federal governments to consider the serious ramifications of accepting homosexuality.
We must cry to the homosexual. To the homosexual, we say we are not your enemies. We seek nothing but your spiritual good. We recognize that there are those within society who employ gratuitous and abusive language against you. Sadly, there are even some who use physical violence against you. True Christians are not such people. On the contrary, we deplore such behavior.
However, in seeking your spiritual wellbeing, we are duty-bound to speak the truth to you. Were you to see someone heading for a cliff and certain death, would it be a kindness on your part to just walk past and remain silent? For the love of your souls, we must cry out a warning. That warning is not simply our warning, it is the Bible’s warning: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
You may feel it is offensive to be challenged by us about homosexuality being a sin. After all, are Christians perfect?
We are not perfect. Indeed, many Christians were just as annoyed and offended when they were challenged about their particular sins before coming to know the Lord.
Paul writes, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:8-10
This is indeed a formidable list. Yet the full potency of this list is really only seen when you read verse 11: “And such were some of you.” Obviously there were Christians at Corinth who had been thieves, fornicators, extortioners, and, yes, homosexuals. Yet the gospel of Jesus Christ changed their lives. This is what they had been, but now they were different. Paul continues, “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
The gospel or good news of Jesus Christ is available for all sinners. It is this gospel that meets the needs of every kind of sinner. In Christ there is forgiveness of sin; there is a righteousness that is perfect, and power to overcome sin and to live for His glory. All this is in Christ and nowhere else. We see this clearly portrayed in John 8. The Pharisees brought an adulterous woman caught in adultery to Jesus and asked Him if she should be stoned to death. Jesus responded, “If anyone of you is without sin let him cast the first stone.” They all left, convicted of their own sins. Then Jesus told her to “go and sin no more.” How could she go free? Because Jesus died on the cross in her place so that she could be forgiven and escape God’s wrath.
It is for this reason that we as Christians invite you to come humbly to Jesus Christ today. We would exhort you to repent and believe the gospel, even as we are called to do the same. It is a call to faith in Jesus Christ alone for all your righteousness. We know that if you come to Him, He will never cast you away. He will bless you with the blessings of salvation.
True marriage typifies the relationship between Christ and His church. It shows the wondrous love of Christ who gave Himself for His bride, the church. We pray that you will come to personally know this wondrous love of Christ in your own life.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.Isaiah 55:6-7