The Ancient Faith
THE BIBLE AND HOMOSEXUALITY
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, or idolators, nor adulterers, nor effiminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
Thus the Apostle deals with our subject by inspiration. He condemned it in no uncertain terms.
In Genesis 1:27 the Scripture says: “So God created a man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created He them.” Hence, in the beginning God made ONE man and ONE woman! There was simply no possibility for a homosexual relationship to exist. In order for them to obey God’s purpose and bring forth sons and daughters it was absolutely essential that they come together as husband and wife. That brings us to something else.
One of God’s first commandments was the following: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). God did not say that a man should leave his parents and be joined to his boyfriend. Neither did he say for a woman to leave her parents and be joined to her girlfriend. Many so-called “gay Christians” would give a great deal if God had said that. What God did say was for a man to leave his father and mother and “…cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
As Bro. Homer Gay used to say: “All smart men” can see that God intended for ONE man and ONE woman to be married and as husband and wife be “one flesh.” In Genesis 1:28 God told the first male and female who formed the first home to “…be fruitful, and multiply …” No homosexual relationships can fulfill the command to do so. From the beginning then, God intended for one man and one woman to be married and as husband and wife be one flesh. It seems peculiar (doesn’t it?) that if indeed God sanctions the practices that we have spoken of in this writing He made it impossible for it to exist in the first home. He gave no pattern for it at all in the beginning.
However, not only did He not make it a pattern for it in the beginning, but he has condemned it from the beginning! In Genesis 13:13 the Bible says: “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Why were these men called sinners? Obviously, they were guilty of breaking God’s divine laws. But the writer says they were “sinners … exceedingly.” The inhabitants of Sodom were grossly guilty of sin. But notice again: “And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;” (Genesis 18:20). Whatever they were doing was “grievous.” This word means “deplorable; atrocious; heinous,” etc. (Webster). The picture, then, is of sins that are especially disgusting in God’s sight.
A very graphic narration of the Sodomites is found in Genesis 19:1-26. We all remember this incident. Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom one evening when two angels came to him. He finally constrained them to go into his house and spend the night with him. However, sometime before retiring for the night the house was surrounded by the men of the city. They called unto Lot and asked that the men (angels) be sent out unto them that they might “know” them. (See verse 5). At first glance one might think that these men of Sodom wanted to become better acquainted, etc. But this word “know” is from the Hebrew ‘YADHA,” and it is used in Genesis 4:l in such a way as to make it plain to us what these men of Sodom meant by their usage of it. “And Adam knew (YADHA) his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” In other words, Adam knew his wife sexually and she conceived. Hence these men of Sodom wished that Lot would sent out his guests (angels) to them so that they might know them immorally, sexually. Plainly, they were homosexuals and intended such practices with the angels. Lot went out of the house “and said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” (Verse 7).
Lot recognized that what these men of Sodom intended was sinful. He hoped to divert their interest to his own two daughters which he offered them. They, however, were not the least interested in the girls: and I’m inclined to believe that Lot suspected that they would not be all along. At any rate, this incident in the life of Lot pinpoints the sin of Sodom for us. This is the sin that God says is “grievous.” That is the sin that made them sinners “exceedingly.” God would not tolerate it. He totally destroyed Sodom because of homosexuality. From this city comes the name of the sin commonly committed by such men: “sodomy,” so commonly practiced there that it received its name from the location, yet God destroyed the city because of it! Modern-day “gays” tell us that the sin of Sodom was a lack of hospitality rather than homosexuality or sodomy! However, if that were true then I’m certain that Lot, upon going outside the house, would have offered them tea and cookies rather than his two daughters, It is certainly true that God’s people must be hospitable. It is absolutely sinful for us not to be. But I have never read of God destroying whole cities because of the inhabitants being inhospitable. No, God destroyed Sodom because of the terrible sin most commonly committed there: sodomy, the commonly committed sin of homosexuals.
In Deuteronomy 23:17,18: “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the Lord thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
The term “Sodomite” does not refer solely to one who dwelt in Sodom. Unger’s Bible Dictionary tell us that people were so called because of their practice of sodomy! The practice of homosexuality or sodomy was so commonly practiced in Sodom that anyone who engaged in sodomy was termed a “Sodomite.” Hence, in Deuteronomy 23:17,18 the term “sodomite” would refer to anyone who sinned in like manner. Notice that God said: “There shall be no whore … nor a sodomite…” in the house of “the Lord thy God …” In other words, “I don’t want them in my house, and I don’t want their money in my house!”
The phrase “…or the price of a dog …” (Verse 18) presents an interesting point. For years I wondered why God warned of sinners being in his house in Deuteronomy 23:17, 18 and yet spoke of the price of a dog in the same connection. Could He be speaking of a literal dog I wondered? Why pick on a poor dog? Why not speak of a cow or some other animal? However, when I began investigating this topic I learned of some things new to me. It is thought by some that the “price of a dog” (verse 18) is a figurative expression used to denote the gains of a sodomite. The Greeks referred to Sodomites as “dogs” because of the doglike manner in which they debased themselves. This would seem to have an obvious connection with what Christ said in Revelation 22:15: “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolators, and whosoever loveth and maketh a life.” We are told that the above will be foundoutside the holy city, or heaven. Again, why would Christ tell us that no dogs will be in heaven? Are we to suppose that perhaps other forms of the animal kingdom will be? Of course not. While many believe that the term “dog” refers to men who are unclean, etc., why not understand it to refer to such as the Sodomites? They are, indeed, “unclean!” It appears possible that Jesus refers to homosexuals in Revelation 22: 15! Notwithstanding the so-called “Gay Christian’s” logic, Christ says they will be outside of the heavenly city.
In Leviticus 18:22 God says: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Again: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them”(Leviticus 20: 13). The word “abomination” means disgusting, detestable. God plainly said that He would not tolerate sexual relations between two men. He decreed that the offenders should pay with their very lives for the disgusting sins they had engaged in. The plain truth is, God has NEVER sanctioned homo- sexuality at any time of the world. In fact, a study of the Old Testament will show that every Old Testament king who was considered righteous was against sodomy or homosexuality.
But what about the New Testament? Romans 1:24 27: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own bodies between them- selves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up into 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 recompense of their error which was met.” In these verses Paul speaks of both men and woman engaging in homosexuality. Yes, a woman can also be guilty. Such a lady is termed a lesbian by modern society. Webster tells us that the term means “a homosexual woman.” The apostle speaks of their “uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.” (verse 24) Hence, in New Testament times, a practicing homosexual is guilty of dishonoring his or her body. That doesn’t sound as though God has changed His view of the topic much does it? The term “lust” in verse 27 according to Thayer means: “desire, lust, appetite.” Arndt-Gingrich says it means “The men…were inflamed with their desire for each other.” So there can be no doubt about the apostle’s subject. It is still sin no matter how many religious leaders the world over accept it as an all-right thing, no matter how many denominations embrace it.
1 Corinthians 6:9,10: “Know ye that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, or adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, not thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Paul mentions some terrible things here. In verse 9 he speaks of those who are “effeminate” and along with others, says that such will not “inherit the kingdom of God.” Or, in other words, they will not be saved. Many seem to think that the term “effeminate” means only one that appears feminine. That is partially true, but notice the literal meaning. It is from the Greek “malakos” and means: “a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness” (Thayer), Arndt-Gingrich defines it: “especially of catamites, men and boys who allow themselves to be misused homosexually.” The term “catamite” refers to a young man who is used for sodomy. Think about it! The young man who plays the sexual role of female in a homosexual relationship is condemned by the apostle as being “effeminate.” Then, immediately following Paul says: “nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” The word “abusers” as used in I Corinthians 6:9 is from the Greek “arsenokoites” and, according to Thayer, means “one who lies with a male as with a female, a sodomite: I Cor. 6:9; I Tim. 1:10.” Paul could hardly have been plainer as to his meaning in this verse! Some of the later translations plainly translate the phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind” as “homosexuals.” The verse includes both parties of the sin of sodomy. The feminine party is condemned under the term “effeminate.” The individual who plays the sexual role of the male is condemned by the phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind.” There is simply is no way to get around the fact that homosexuality is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments.
After calling attention to the terrible sins mentioned in I Corinthians 6:9,10, Paul says in verse 11: “And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” This shows, quite plainly, that though the church in Corinth had among its members some who had been guilty of such things, they were no longer guilty. They had been cleansed by baptism from such sins and no longer indulged. This must be the case today. All such must not be viewed with tolerance from the Christian’s perspective. There is no way for us to tolerate those who practice that which has disgusted God from the very beginning of time! Personally, I do not wish my children to be presented with homosexuality as part of our twentieth century norm. It is not normal, but abnormal. It is not a political issue, but a moral issue. One cannot continue to practice sin and remain in the favor of Almighty God. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1,2).
In closing, let me say again that I have not written this to combat the practice of homosexuality among members of the faithful church of Christ. I know of no locality which has such a problem at the present. However our children are bombarded on every side with the issue. It seems possible that in the future they may have homosexuals and lesbians as teachers in schools across the nation. Even, if the laws should prevent that (I pray that they do), they will see it presented before them as a very normal thing. It is becoming more and more “respectable” among those of the world, both religious and otherwise. No, I have no fear that they will grow up to become homosexuals. But I do fear them growing up without realizing the tremendous wrong involved. In my opinion, we cannot allow that to happen. Christians everywhere must remember that there is sin at its worst. God has destroyed whole cities rather than tolerate it. It is a disgusting thing to Him, and it must always be viewed with disgust by His people. Our children need to be taught this as they grow up in the church. Recently, with reference to the rising rate of homosexuality in America it was said: “If God doesn’t judge America, He is going to owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.”
[This is from the July 1 1992 special issue of the Old Paths Advocate]