Questions: (modified to conceal identities.)
I’m not sure where exactly the Bible condemns homosexuality. … God created Adam and Eve back during creation: Jesus never explicitly mentions marriage. Besides, population isn’t an issue anymore… So Jesus never actually said a word against homos?
And the things about “sex outside one man one woman parameters” being sin… What about polygamy in the OT?
Ok, maybe I’m splitting hairs, but could you say in romans 1 that Paul was explaining how God brought his wrath out on mankind (ie through homosexuality)? But… Then you could say that God did those actions back then… And now homosexuality is………natural……….. Maybe…………?
And about Paul being endorsed by the HS. He also said people should cover their heads when praying (1 cor 11:4), and clearly no one follows that. So what’s up with that?
And also, why does the church care so much about the strict definition of marriage? Divorce has already tarnished the name of marriage, and it’s clear that the word is already on a “slippery slope”. So why doesn’t the church get its own ‘brand of marriage’ which is EXCLUSIVELY man/woman? Then the secular state can do whatever it wants, and no one cares, and there’s sunshine and lollipops.
By Pastor V:
You have questions loaded in a machine gun. Instead of dealing with everyone single bullets, it is more beneficial if I give you a more complete picture of marriage and sex from a biblical point of view. If you understand the big picture, it will save you a lots of bullets.
Marriage is the Re-enactment of the Gospel:
First and foremost, marriage is a re-enactment of the gospel. You may find it hard to swallow, but you may get the idea from Ephesians 5. This chapter is big on how wives and husbands should best relate to each others – as understood by many; but it has more.
In vv21-33, Paul talks about how the wives should submit to the husbands and how the husbands should love the wives. The part that most people would ignore (because they don’t understand) is the “profound mystery” in v32. Why mystery? It is when Paul talks about wives and husbands; he is actually talking about Christ and the church. This re-enactment is no longer necessary when Jesus come back the 2nd time (see matt 22:30).
Recently, Peter Jenson talked about how wife should submit to the husband; Dr Jenson should be talking about how the wife is the church and the husband is Christ. It is only reasonable for the church to submit to Jesus. The marriage is the re-enactment of the gospel: how Christ saved the church by dying on the cross; in respond to the love of Christ, the church submits to Jesus Christ.
Eph 5 starts talking about “no sexual immorality.” Why not? It is because sexually immoral person is an idolater (v5), they have nothing to do with God’s kingdom, because they worship sex instead of worshipping God. The gospel is about who we should worship – we should worship God of the Bible, because he created us and he redeemed us. We totally belong to him.
The First Marriage in Genesis:
After God made Adam, God said in Gen 2:18, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” The fact that God made a woman for Adam is not a random act; because God said that he would make a helper suitable for Adam. Therefore, it is God’s intention that a man and a woman should join together.
And then in Gen 2:24, the Bible says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” For what reason?
For the reason that a woman is suitable for a man. The fact that the man will leave his parents and be united to his wife; this is the first marriage being mentioned in the Bible. And when they join together in marriage, they become one flesh. The meaning of “becoming one flesh” is way beyond sex. This is not about how we see the sexual act between a man and a woman; this is about how God see the sexual relationship between a man and a woman.
God will look at this sexual relationship with certain criteria: (1) Are they legitimate? Sex within marriage is, sex outside marriage is not legitimate. (2) Are they reflecting the gospel? Sex as if “friends with benefit?” Or, do they have sex out of a loving relationship within a marriage? In another word, are they showing how Jesus loves the church so much that he died for the church? Are they showing how the church responses to the love of Jesus Christ by submitting to Him? That is to trust and obey Him.
Paul says in 1 Cor 6:16, “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” It is God’s design and God’s intention that as you have sex with a person, you are joining with this person as “one flesh.” Therefore, this “one flesh” can be holy – just as Christ and the church. Or, this “one flesh” can be unholy – any union other than what God has intended and designed.
Should We say Anything About Same Sex Marriage?
I believe that Christians have a duty to voice out the truth; but we are not required to fight like Muslim. If you are called to be a Christian lobby and fight it on the political stage, feel free to do so. If not, it is better to just express our opinion from the Bible. It is up to you whether you want to debate the topic or not.
But, can we just let them do it while we have our own heterosexual marriage? I believe it is unhuman, unkind, unloving, and cruel. Knowing that a blind man is walking toward a cliff without barrier, would you do something to warn the blind man? Only a psychopath would let him fall down the cliff. If too much sunshine may results in skin cancer, would you do anything to warn the children to put on sun block? Of course we do. Therefore, if knowing that the LGBT community are on their way to hell, should we do something about it? Of course, we would try to give Jesus.
And yes, if they reject Jesus, there is only one thing we can do – to pray for them. And yes, if they are Christian homosexual people, this is complicated and hard to deal with. They believe in Jesus, but they don’t believe in Jesus. (That’s right, this is not typo!)
Oh, but did Jesus ever against gay marriage? Jesus did not give a talk on gay marriage. But when he was confronted by Pharisees about matter of divorce, Jesus quote from Genesis 2 about God creating male and female; man be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. (Matt 19:4-6) Jesus was referring to the creation narrative and reinforcement the idea of marriage between a man and a woman. (How I wish there were some gay Pharisees challenged Jesus about this issue?)
What about Romans 1:26-27? Paul uses these words to describe homosexual relationship: shameful lusts, unnatural ones, indecent acts, and perversion. Note that Paul isn’t talking about unconsenting or child sex. He was talking about consenting homosexual relationships of adults. To these people, Paul says they “received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
As Christians, should we speak up? We should but out of love, not judgmental condemning attitude. My worst fear is when Christians evangelise with this attitude: I am here to save you! No we are not. We are like a person who had an incurable disease before; someone came by and told you to eat an orange a day and you would be saved. You did. You are healed. Would you not go around helping those with the same disease as you did before? People in the LGBT community also need Jesus.
Misc Questions and Answers:
(1) World population – do we need more babies?
In every second, there are 4.45 people born and 1.8 people die in the world. In Australia, we have an significance drop in baby and increase in elderly people. It impacts our economy, social welfare, health, education, and many other things. Not that we don’t have enough population, but we need a balanced population.
(2) Is it OK to deprive children of parents of both sexes?
It is still a controversial topic; we may not have enough research to backup our worries. Being a father myself, I know how inadequate I am without my wife in bring up my son. We shall wait for more research in 10 years time.
Yes, divorce, and especially divorce among Christian couples have “tarnished the name of marriage” According to ABS, in 2004–2006, there were on average 486,000 one-parent families with children under 15 years. One in 5 children were in one-parent families. They were 20% of all families, an increase of 6% from 1987.
Should we redeem and save. Or, should we add oil to the fire?
(3) Polygamy in the OT?
You need to know how to read OT narrative. They don’t tell you what is right or wrong; they just simply tell you stories. And from these stories, no one would miss out how miserable to have more than one wife.
(4) 1 Cor 11:4-5?
“Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved.”
This is more about contextualization of the gospel rather than a prescriptive instruction. If the culture says that wearing thong is totally unacceptable in this society, I would give the same instruction to ESM that no one should come the church without a proper shoe.
FYI, there is a Christian brand in China do cover their heads when they worship at church.
(5) Homosexuality: are we born this way?
I don’t know.