Homosexuality is a controversial subject. It ranks with abortion as the two subjects which many churches, apparently, do not wish to address. Yet the Bible is very clear concerning homosexuality. What is not clear is today’s thinking on the matter by professionals. Homosexuality used to be listed in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as an aberration. This is no longer the case. Some will say that homosexuality is a sexual preference with which certain people are born.
But is goes even further. Grammar school children are being introduced to the subjects of sexual preference, gender preference, and the need to explore one’s sexuality. This has caused many young people to classify themselves sexually, even before the age of puberty.
How should the church handle homosexuality? Should we accept homosexuals into the church? The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth about a sexual matter:
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral persons — not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? God will judge those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)
What does the New Testament say about it? The Apostle Paul wrote:
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Are we born as homosexuals? What does the Bible say about the origins of homosexuality? The Apostle Paul wrote:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools; and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:22-27)
We live in a confused age. Young people who discover that they are tempted to have sex with a person of the same sex are now told that this is probably their sexual orientation or preference. They may have been encouraged by society to explore their sexual orientation even before puberty. They may be confuse by thinking that some people, who do not approve of their behavior, do not accept them. Again, the Church needs to accept everyone. As members or leaders of a church, we need to be sensitive to and understanding of the conflict which many homosexuals are going through. They are told, on the one hand, that their sexual preference is Okay, but on the other hand, that this preference is morally wrong.
The Church has a lot of teaching to do. Too often it has folded into today’s social agenda and taken the path of least resistance. We do not want to be offensive. Yet, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is offensive. Let us reach out to everyone, including homosexuals, with compassion and the love of Christ. Jesus was accused of eating with sinners. He did not forbid anyone to come to him. In act, he sought the sinner out.
For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Our task, as a church, is to bring in as many people to the table as possible. But our table should be the Lord’s table. There we all ask God for forgiveness, healing, and deliverance, so that we may share in the body and blood of our Lord. God will receive us. He will love us. Though he may discipline us and change our hearts and mind to conform to his Word. The Church should receive the last in the name of the Lord. But the Church must also provide teaching and healing to all who come to the Holy table. God has said:
Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)