Tuesday, June 10, 2014

9. Focus on New Testament Passages

The current climate of political correctness in our culture certainly favors homosexuality. It is being normalized in all sectors of our society. Every week something new happens. For example, just a few days ago a judge in Wisconsin struck down the state's ban on gay marriage. With the cultural tide flowing in this direction, we need to know both why we believe what we do and how to explain it.

It is right and good to turn to the bible for what we believe about homosexuality. In fact, the scriptures must be our supreme source of authority in what we think on this issue (along with all other issues). That said, where we turn in the bible is extremely important. I believe we should focus primarily on New Testament passages. The reason for this is that if we turn to the Old Testament law we can easily end up in the middle of a debate over which O.T. passages still apply today. I've seen this happen numerous times; it ends up accomplishing little.

When looking in the bible, my suggestion is to first turn to Genesis 1-2. This shows God's creation of male and female. We also see Adam and Eve form a binding relationship together. After setting this as the foundation, move to the New Testament to focus on New Covenant practices. The New Testament praises marriage within the confines of God's standards. The N.T. also consistently condemns homosexuality. The following verses illustrate this:

Romans 1:26-27, "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error."

I Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

I Timothy 1:8-11, "Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted."

There is certainly a time for turning back to the rest of the Old Testament to show that God has been consistent in his views on homosexuality all throughout scripture. However, in order to avoid debates over which sections of the O.T. law apply to the church today, I advise to focus primarily on what we see in the N.T.

1 comment:

Arthur Sido said...

What is critical to remember is that the witness of the New Testament and the Old are the same on this issue, many people try to pit the New against the Old but they are completely in agreement.