Xexe, just last week, outspoken Presiding Bishop of mega church, Lighthouse Chapel International, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills briefly touched on the subject of homosexuality during a sermon at Grace Bible Church in Soweto, South Africa. It caused a global furore because a certain South African media celebrity who is gay, and a member of that church, stormed out of the church because he felt the message violated his constitutional rights but the congregation cheered the Bishop on. Maybe he expected the congregation to boo the Bishop or at least give him a cold shoulder even though he was preaching the bible and not South African constitution and laws. Later on the pastor of that church chose to distance himself and his church from the Bishop's message. That was unfortunate, but the story is no secret so I will leave it here.
I have heard whole sermons on fornication, adultery, stealing, lying, and other ungodly acts, but hardly do you go to church and hear a pastor preach a whole sermon on homosexuality or lesbianism. And that is not for want of enough biblical verses on the subject. I think pastors try to be sensitive because they acknowledge that ungodliness is a bondage that people need to be helped out of, and not be condemned to. You would therefore notice that the Bishop only touched on the matter briefly, but strongly enough to bring the message home. Maybe he should have read some of the many biblical verses directly and left it at that, so that he would not be accused of preaching an anti-gay or homophobic message. The Bishop did not author the Bible.
Xexe, what does the bible say about homosexuality?
1. Leviticus 18: 22 – IT IS AN ABOMINATION
“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
2. Leviticus 20:13 – IT IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH
If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
3. 1Corinthians 6:9 – HELL BOUND
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN.
4. 1Timothy 1:9-11 – THE LAW FOR THEM
We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, FOR THOSE PRACTICING HOMOSEXUALITY, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine, that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
5. Romans 1: 26-28 – IT IS VILE AND UNSEEMLY
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; MEN WITH MEN WORKING THAT WHICH IS UNSEEMLY and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
6. Mark 10:6-9 – ADAM AND EVE (NOT STEVE)
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
As you can see, there are at least (at least) six biblical verses that speak directly about homosexuality and its place in the sight of God. Six verse is more than enough for a whole sermon on the subject. There are many more verses that imply it, and none of them was written by a Bishop Dag Heward-Mills. Obviously, gay rights may be civil rights, but not Christian rights. I doubt if gay rights are even Islamic rights.
Please understand that Christians/pastors never condemn people who practice homosexuality. It is the act that is condemned, and there is, obviously, enough biblical basis for that condemnation. The people who profess Christianity and pretend those scriptures do not exist, their own conscience is their witnesses. It is strange how such people want the church to compromise the written word just because scientists of today say some men were born with a natural orientation to desire men for sex and some women were also born same.
That kind of reasoning only make show how true the word of God is, that “all things shall pass away but the WORD OF GOD will still remain same.” In time past, no scientist had this so-called proof that some people are born gay. Today, they claim to have made that discovery, and on the basis of that so-called proof, some countries have granted gay rights. We all know how scientific discoveries are disproved over time. There is no telling what contrary discoveries would be made when this generation is dead and gone. So if tomorrow they came with another discovery that the so-called proof of people being born gay is actually fake, what happens, the laws will change, I guess? The other question is, why should the word of God be ignored or be amended just because scientists, with their limited knowledge about creation, claim some people are born gay, so they can't help being gay? God's word is forever. It does not change to suit people's myopic scientific discovery.
The word of God makes no compromises for anyone. It tells it as it is, sharp and straight to the point. But it also instructs believers not to shun and condemn those involved in stuff that the word of God has already declared judgment on. Our duty as believers is to continue to persuade and warn such people in love and also about the coming danger for people engaged in such acts. We therefore separate the persons from the act and we continue to use the scriptures to let people see there is enough grace and strength in Christ to overcome the act. In the same way people who cannot help drinking, smoking, stealing, being paedophiles deserve consideration and help, we strive to help such. It is the duty of Christians to do that.
The problem starts when, in the name of “the church must be considerate of people's frailties”, some suggest that the church should not even preach written scriptures. They forget that one of the key roles of the church is to WARN people about the coming judgment. So what if another group of people engaged in another form of ungodly practice also say we need to be considerate of them, so we do not have to preach about their frailties? Is that what the church is becoming now – preaching only stuff that are convenient and sweet in the ears of people living in ungodliness?
The church is full of people who have one moral issue or the other, but their attitude is to seek grace, strength and guidance (counsel) from God's word to overcome their frailties. Part of that assistance comes as pastors are led by God to speak about the immoral acts as stated in the bible, and this include homosexuality as the six biblical verses above clearly indicate.
Please, let's not suggest for once, that the laws men write for themselves, based on their limited understanding of life, should now dictate moral standards in the church. Should we now seek amendments in the biblical verses just to suit the rights of homosexuals as provided by the Constitution of a country? God forbid. That is an abomination. Let the laws of countries say what they want, but don't tell the church to change or close our eyes to scriptures just because a certain country's laws say people must be allowed to be gay openly. The church is not a social club where people come and do what they want and leave. It is a place people come to seek divine counsel and strength for a better life. And the rules for the church are in a book called THE HOLY BIBLE. So if you are given hard bible-based counsel and you feel that should be second to your rights under your country's constitution, then you need to decide if you want to be a Christian or you don't.
So if tomorrow another country's laws says another thing that is not biblical, do we tear pages from the bible, or delete them or amend them to suit the rights of people as provided by their country's constitution? Where does it end? Can you see how dangerous that proposal is?
The church does well to separate the act from the persons. But when the persons decide to take the liberties in Christ for granted and now take offense because a pastor spoke about the act, as stated in the bible, then obviously those persons are equating themselves to the act and are unwilling to know what the bible says, because they think the laws of their country should be more important than the bible, even in the church.
You can't claim to be a Christian and yet insist that part of the scriptures should not apply to you because they infringe on your rights under your country's constitution. You either want to be a Christian and accept the diagnoses and prognosis of the bible to moral issues or you can just attend church but you are not a Christian. Christians are not perfect, but they at least open up to the prescriptions of the bible rather than resist it and storm out of church. That is totally unChristian and a clear lack of understanding of what Christianity is.
When a pastor preaches what the bible says about homosexuality, he does not say people engaged in it should be shunned. He preaches consideration and mercy for them because the judgment prescribed for them in the bible is dangerous. It is arrogance that make people think what they think about life, based on secular ideas, should take preeminence over what the bible they claim to believe in says.
Those of you who profess Christianity and also think gay rights should be upheld, what is your position on the six biblical verses quoted above?
Let me stop here Xexe.