Roughly 30 years ago, the topic of homosexuality crept out of hiding. Since then, people have become more open to actually discussing it. Europe has been a pioneer in today’s modern world in taking steps favoring homosexuality and the rights it calls for. The United States, on the other hand, has been timid in its approach to this in that openness to same-sex unions was ‘recognized’ around 1999 in California, and officially in Vermont in 2000. With President Obama’s recent expression on how his opinion has “evolved” to favor same-sex marriage, we can expect things to develop rapidly for better, or for worse, so to speak.
For those of us who have discussed same-sex marriage before, we have heard how it is more open now because society has evolved into something beyond tradition and formalism. Freedom of expression, an understanding of the human mind, and bringing out taboo subjects and un-tabooing them has allowed us to help and accept those who have unduly suffered and been stigmatized such as those suffering from physical and psychological maladies. However, we have to be careful to not take this trend too far towards the direction of crossing Biblical morale.
It is the Bible’s morale to accept anyone who is repentant, and to show love and courtesy to those who are not repentant so that the light of God’s love reflected in us will draw them to truth and virtue. Having said that God is love and we should be loving, in the light of same-sex unions it is crucial to lay on the table the Bible’s stand on this issue.
Leviticus 18:22 says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
The simplicity of this verse leaves no dispute regarding the meaning; it is straight forward and to the point.
Another verse that elaborates on this subject more is: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The Bible puts homosexuals under the category of unrighteousness alongside thieves and even idolaters (people who used to offer their children for burnt offerings). While the Bible in no way condones the actions given above, hope is given to all who repent of these actions because the following verse states: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11.
We serve a loving and forgiving God who will accept us and love us no matter what we have done in our past. He will sanctify us and make us holy so that what we used to enjoy doing, what we were used to doing, is changed so that He can uplift us to the likeness of His character.
Now, there are some people who unfortunately and wrongly condemn those who practice unrighteous deeds without giving them the hope of change and power through God. Such people have given license to those who are practicing unrighteousness to continue in their sin as a statement of rights. There are others at the extreme end of the opposite spectrum who only share the mercy and acceptance of God towards sinners implying that God condones sinful actions. God loves the sinner, but hates the sin.
When approaching the subject of same-sex unions one should do so cautiously, prayerfully, and with an attitude of love and care so as to assure the homosexual of God’s love and assurance yet clearly state that their actions are not tolerated by God. The same way that God does not tolerate murder, or lying, or theft, or covetousness, God does not tolerate homosexuality BUT a murderer can repent, a thief can repent, a homosexual can repent. God loves them before and after they repent, and can work in their lives once they repent.
The attitude one should take to help someone struggling with the weakness of theft is the same attitude one should take to help someone struggling with homosexuality. Is theft to be encouraged? Is it to be accepted and supported by law? No. But what if the person has psychological problems and events in their childhood and past that led them to resort to theft? Can we just stop them and say it’s wrong, or do we rather work with them, encourage them, and support their transition out of the practice of theft? The same is for homosexuality. We should help them come out of it and bring them closer to the Lord who alone can give them the power to overcome it.
Again, we should not judge people who believe and practice homosexuality. We should not be biased towards them, however, we should be loving and caring towards them and help them transition towards holiness. This can be achieved only through prayer and a true connection with God, and in order to do so, we must have a living relationship with God, and in order to do this, we must study the word of God and have the Holy Spirit as our guide, no one else.
It will take a great deal of wisdom to undo what has already been done in changing the sentiment that society has adopted towards homosexuality and shifting it towards God’s original plan: A family of a husband (male) and wife (female), with children. This change starts in us first. Keep it simple, keep it straight forward, and provide no excuse for what the Bible condemns, yet do so out of love and care.