Image Credit: Wikipedia CC 2.0 (Ludovic Bertron)

Image Credit: Wikipedia CC 2.0 (Ludovic Bertron)

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision today, here are six articles from The Master’s Seminary Journal that address the issue of homosexuality from a biblical perspective.

1. God’s Word on Homosexuality: The Truth about Sin and the Reality of Forgiveness

Abstract: Through following a distorted meaning of “love,” some in the present day have condoned homosexual practice, without realizing that biblical love excludes homosexuality because of its sinfulness. Christians can best share the gospel with homosexuals by calling their lifestyle what the Bible calls it—sin. Genesis 1–2, Matthew 19, and Ephesians 5 describe clearly the way that God has instituted marriage as a monogamous, heterosexual relationship. Genesis 19, Jude 7, and 2 Peter 2 illustrate how the Fall almost immediately eroded the purity of human sexuality, including a devastation of the divine institution of marriage. Leviticus 18 and 20 and Romans 1 lay out very plainly God’s instructions about how repulsive homosexuality is in God’s sight. Yet Isaiah 56 and 1 Corinthians 6 make plain God’s plan for homosexuals to find freedom and forgiveness through a life-changing faith in Jesus Christ. The door is wide open for homosexuals and lesbians to accept God’s invitation.

2. The Church’s Response to Homosexuality

Abstract: A tidal wave of immorality has inundated the United States and the rest of the world, demanding that the church respond to homosexuality in four ways. First, it must expose the sinfulness of homosexuality as depicted in the NT. Second, it must clarify that the grace of God and forgiveness extends to homosexuals also. The NT also makes this clear. Third, the church must expel practicing homosexuals from its fellowship. For them to remain a part of the church activities is a blemish that cannot be tolerated because it would indicate moral compromise, a lack of courage in confronting sin, and a failure to exercise the biblical prerogative of excommunication. Fourth, the church must resist the assault of homosexuality on society as a whole. The purposeful effort to sell the homosexual lifestyle is organized and dangerous and needs a concerted resistance to halt that movement.

3. Christian Parenting and Homosexuality

Abstract: The difficulties encountered in parenting, including that caused by children’s depravity, are best resolved through implementing biblical principles. In a society that is permissive and even positive toward the homosexual lifestyle, Christian parents should adopt eleven biblical goals in rearing their children. (1) They should do everything to reflect God and His glory. (2) They should help their children understand the gospel so that they receive salvation. (3) They should protect their children from physical and spiritual harm. (4) They should instruct their children in the truths of Scripture. (5) They should interpret Scripture so as to give their children a Christian worldview. (6) They should prepare their children for the responsibilities of adulthood. (7) They should prevent their children from falling to temptation by teaching them the consequences of sin. (8) They should correct any tendencies their children display toward sinful activities. (9) They should provide for the physical and spiritual needs of their children. (10) They should provide positive behavioral examples for their children to follow. (11) They should establish clear lines of communication with their children. These goals will help them deal with the same morally degenerate world as existed during NT times.

4. Cultural and Medical Myths about Homosexuality

Abstract: Three questions need to be answered regarding cultural and medical myths about homosexuality: (1) Is there a “gay gene”? In giving a positive answer, some sources cite two categories, nature and nurture. Behavioral genetics have sought and allegedly found a source for homosexuality, but many scientists have strong questions about behavioral genetics. Various studies have failed to prove conclusively that a “gay gene” exists. (2) Is it possible for a person to change sexual orientation from being homosexual to heterosexual? The current consensus in the mental health profession is that attempts to convert a homosexual to a heterosexual are too likely to be harmful. A possibility of change has been demonstrated, but worldwide consensus continues to view such a change as impossible because of biological and psychiatric factors. Studies by Spitzer and Jones/Yarhouse have identified examples of change without harm to individuals involved. (3) How have homosexual activists impacted modern cultures throughout the world? Various pieces of legislation, both national and international, have put at risk anyone who dares to oppose homosexuality. Even some ecclesiastical leaders have softened their tone in speaking against this sexual deviation.

5. The Source and NT Meaning of Arsenokoitai with Implications for Christian Ethics and Ministry

Abstract: Traditional interpretation of rsenokotai (arsenokoitai, “homosexuals”) in 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 refers to sexual vice between people of the same sex, specifically homosexuality. Some restrict the term’s meaning to “active male prostitute,” but stronger evidence supports a more general translation, namely “homosexuals.” More recently the definition “homosexual” has been opposed on cultural and linguistic grounds, the claim being that the term “homosexuals” is anachronistic. In addition, criticism of the traditional rendering says the term today includes celibate homophiles, excludes heterosexuals who engage in homosexual acts, and includes female homosexuals. A concern for acts instead of the modern attention to desires was the only factor in the ancient world. The foregoing opposition to the translation of arsenokoitai by “homosexuals” has a number of debilitating weaknesses. Finally, this study argues that Paul coined the term arsenokoitai, deriving it from the LXX of Lev 20:13 (cf. 18:22) and using it for homosexual orientation and behavior, the latter of which should be an occasion for church discipline (1 Corinthians 5-6) and legislation in society (1 Tim 1:8-11).

6. God Gave Them Up: A Study in Divine Retribution

Abstract: Isaiah speaks of the judgment inflicted by God’s wrath as His strange act and His strange work. The Pauline picture of human history in Rom 1:18–3:20 tells more about God’s judgment and why it is “strange.” His threefold use of paredôken tells of God’s giving mankind over to deserved punishment, which is more than a permissive divine action and more than a privative action—a withholding of common grace. It must be a judicial act of God in imposing His wrath on mankind. The devolution in human history is reflected in the more recent tendency of society to accept the sin of homosexuality and other sexual deviations as a mere sickness and not as sin. Civilizations throughout the world, particularly in the United States, are hurrying to their destruction by neglecting the righteousness of God in Christ, thus bringing on themselves the judgment of God as described in Rom 1:18–3:20. This is God’s temporal judgment which is preliminary to His eternal judgment on a rebellious human race. Retributive justice is an attribute of God and a necessary feature of His actions toward unbelieving humanity.

  • Romans 3:23-24: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”

  • jenna thompson

    The cross of Calvary and the blood of Jesuss covers a multitude of sins….thats how…

    • roger

      Jesus’ death and resurrection did not pay for the sins of them who reject him. If you believe that you have to believe in universalism where everybody and their uncle eventually gets saved.

      • jenna thompson

        Roger clearly if Jesus as been rejected a person is not saved. And the Bible does state that a conscience can get seared over and they are turned over to a reprobate mind. This is a hopeless state and for Historiented post below…yes..if a homosexual relationship is ongoing, then Christ has been rejected…this lifestyle is rejected by God and Im personally tired of libs and gays ignoring scripture about it. They only seem to know one scripture…”do not judge” which doesn’t mean as they interpret it in any.

        • Ryan James

          So “all sins will be forgiven a man, except for the sin of homosexuality”, can you help me find that vers please.

          All sin seperates us from God, ALL SIN, are you without sin? Because that is what you are suggesting. You think god is enraged at homosexuals only. How about the idolatrous, and the adulterous, what about those muslims who hate jesus and murder christians! What about the catholics, who perfected the art of murdering and condeming christians. What about Luther, i suppose accordiny to yours and rogers theology, he was never saved. Oh here is one for you, i have a good christian brother, he descipled me and turned me toward jmacs preaching, and was intigral in my salvation, .. but i guess according to your theology he is a false convert. He lives a hedonistic lifesty for 30 years, bisexuality, and then got really sick, (schizophrenia) and raped and murdered a women. He later gave his life to christ.

          And then there was me, i was a practicing witch, i worshiped pegan gods, and i rejected the God of my youth, you see i grew up in a christian home, went to sunday school and youth group, then i rejected God, lived a prophlegat hedonistic and satanic life for years, befor i got saved. And yes i had sex with many different people if both sexes, sometimes in the ceremonies our coven preformed we would have orgies.

          But i guess according the your theology i am not saved and indeed cannot be. … hmm im guessing you two dont do any sort of prison or street ministry.

      • Ryan James

        You sir are a man filled with alot of hate., why are you even reading articals from tms, you clearly have different theology.

        I happen to know former homosexual, who are saved, and an elder in their church. He is a very Godly man and obedient to the Lord. His testamony and the testamony of many other homosexuals who have been elected, called and drawn into the sheepfold, tears down your argument. Also god is soverign over salvation, 100%, from begining to the end.

        • Historianted

          Ryan, he will never understand. He is filled with hate, anger, rage and he will subvert the words of Christ to Advance his personal rage. He has no idea about the new Covenant with man…which is Jesus Christ and it says so in the Bible.

      • Historianted

        No Roger, I have read the Bible; sadly, you may have, but you’re interpretation is corrupted. I dare say, you are Christian in name only. You clearly have no idea as to why Christ died on the Cross. Sad. But continue spreading you judgement and hate and let’s see how that goes for you.

    • Justin Vernatter

      They have to change though. If they don’t Hebrews says this.
      Hebrews 10:26 ESV
      [26] For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

  • Steve Crawford

    Great question. Two Scriptures can point to an encouraging answer to this question:

    1.) In 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Paul writes to the Corinthian church: “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. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” By the tenor of Paul’s words, it appears that many of those who had been redeemed and were now part of the church in Corinth had at one time been sinners, including “sexually immoral,” “adulterers,” and “men who practice homosexuality.” Though these had done such things, they still received forgiveness when they repented from their sins and trusted Christ to be their Lord and Savior.

    2.) In a very sobering section of Scripture, when Christ warns of the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (which some of the Pharisees were very close to committing, if not already committing, because they were defiantly, deliberately, and repeatedly attributing Christ’s miraculous power not to the Spirit but to Satan, even though it was plain to see that Christ was clearly One sent from God), Jesus says in Matthew 12:31 that “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” It’s sobering to think about these men committing the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, but isn’t it encouraging to know that Christ Himself, God incarnate, declared that forgiveness is possible for every other sin? (I’m not saying that this is some support for antinomiansim or licentiousness – not by any means! – but rather this should be an encouragement to any who think that a sin like homosexuality is beyond salvific forgiveness.) (I am indebted to Phil Johnson’s sermon series on the Unpardonable Sin for this particular exegetical insight.)

    It is from these texts that I believe Scripture teaches that one who has committed the sin of homosexuality can indeed receive forgiveness and salvation, if they repent of all their sins and turn to Christ in faith and trust Him to be both Lord and Savior. However, it should be stated that if a person persists in ANY sin (not just homosexuality), they run the terrible risk of becoming like Pharaoh and having their heart hardened, such that they will never turn to Christ in repentant faith. In this scenario, it would not simply be the sin of homosexuality itself that singularly separates them from Christ, but rather their love of their sin and consequently, their refusal of God. They are like the deceived ones Paul describes in 2 Thess 2:10 who “are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”

  • Chris Austin

    yes they can ,you do not know the power of his blood,if God can save a murder he can save all those things you mention.

  • rodeo

    The Bible clearly states that there is one unforgiven sin.
    Mark 3:28-30: “Truly I tell you, all sins and blasphemes will be forgiven for the sons of men. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”
    completely forgiven you have to give up the sin and turn away from it and never come back to it again

    • roger

      My friend, you are teaching salvation by works… No one is ever saved by “giving up” sinning. YOU CANNOT DO THAT. No Christian who is saved can GIVE UP sinning. You do it all the time because you are FALLEN. The only way to be saved is to call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

      This is the criteria for salvation:

      — Romans 10: 9-10
      9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
      10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

  • Ryan James

    Roger as far as god is concerned, sin is sin, the typ of sin does not matter it all alienats us from god. That is why there is grace!

    • Siegfried Pretsch

      Pathetic

    • Justin Vernatter

      but it says in Hebrews 10 that if you keep committing the sin there is no more sacrifice for you.
      Hebrews 10:26 ESV
      [26] For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

  • roger

    No worries, I understand your position. It’s not rude to state your mind. All you need to do is read Romans until you understand it. Read the old testament to also get a reminder on what God thinks about sodomites. The problem with Christians today is that many of us have gotten soft. We compromise. The state of the nation is pretty much a consequence of the word not being preached and people not being told the truth. Where do preachers preach about this anymore?

    • jenna thompson

      So true. believers get accused of being bigoted or hate filled but in reality are we being loving towards our brother to stay silent and allow them to remain in error? Of course not. Its the responsibility of the church to teach sound doctrine, but we always should examine our own lives before we start throwing scripture around. In Ephesians 4:14-16 Paul explains the need for truth.

  • Ian Torrente

    The Church is the body of Christ. (Matthew 18:15-17) If a professing Christ follower is a member of a local church and is commiting a sin, then they’re to be confronted by one person. If they reject that, then they are to be approached by two or more. If that doesn’t work, then the church is made notice of their sin. If they refuse to listen to even the whole (local) church, then they are to be -as I like to colloquially say it- “kicked out”.

    Can tax evaders, prostitutes, murderers, and homosexual people walk into a church and be welcomed? Of course! As Christ followers, we aren’t the ones to judge them. But can they be a part of the church? No, at least not while they haven’t given their lives to Christ? Now if they repent of their sin (as all Christ followers have done) and made a personal choice to make Christ the center of their life, then they join the Church..

    What you’re getting at was Jesus accepting and allowing anyone to come to him during his ministry. The church was established during Pentacost (Acts 2), well after Jesus was gone, well, physically gone.

    TL;DR – Anyone can come to Christ, but only Christ followers can be members of a church

  • Rosa Escobosa

    I couldn’t even get through a whole paragraph. All the hateful language is disgusting.

  • Justin Vernatter

    They can be saved but they have to change there ways. You can’t continue on living in the same things God has forgiven you of.

  • Ryan James

    They are not talking about the neighborhood (community), they are talking about puting them out of the church community.