Homosexuality and the Bible, Pt. 2

Scripture: John 7:24, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Can we make any kind of judgment about this issue as Christians? While we cannot judge the motives of the heart, and while we know God loves all people, we know all unrighteousness is sin.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible and talk about themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned, because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Gary Gibbs. Hi there, Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi, John. We are continuing today a topic that I'm sure made a lot of people sit up and take notice the last time we were together.

John: We're looking at some of the compelling social issues affecting society today and one of those is morality in particular, homosexuality, same sex marriages, ordination of homosexuals, and sex abuse scandals. Some church is saying their churches are being torn apart by this very issue. This is indeed a compelling social issue today.

Gary: It really is, John. You can't turn on the news. You can't pick up a magazine without encountering this whole debate about homosexuality. And I think it's very important that Christians and non-Christians actually look at this quite objectively and form their opinions as to what place homosexuality should have in western society.

John: One of the things I want to ask you right now is about this thing of being objective. Is it OK for the Christian on this question or any other to make a judgment call because no matter how we frame this, someone's going to go away saying, these guys on Bible Talk are being judgmental? They're judging, judging and you know among Christianity today, there's a real move away from being judgmental. Let's just be nice and lovely about everything and everyone in every practice and not say a word. So, judgment calls. Can we make them on this issue or any issue, what's the word?

Gary: Listen, I hope nobody does go away saying we're being judgmental, hateful of homosexuals because that is far from the truth. I have very good friends, people I love who are in the homosexual lifestyle. Now, I can love them without agreeing with their lifestyle. I love people who do a number of things that I don't think are in harmony with the Bible. But we still love each other. Now, when you come to judgment, Jesus said in John 7:24, "Judge not according to the appearance but judge righteous judgment."

John: So, he opens the door to some kind of judging. In other place, the Bible says, "Judge not least be judged."

Gary: Matthew seven verse 1. But you go down to verse 16 in Matthew 7; he says, "You'll know a tree by true." So, we're not to be judgers of people's motivations and hearts. We don't know how a person became an alcoholic. We don't know how a person became a homosexual but, we do know that God loves them nonetheless. He doesn't love their behavior. He doesn't love the damage that does to them or to others but God loves them.

John: It says in the Bible, this is just plain and simple. This is loud and clear, "All unrighteousness is sin." Now, I think we've got it on pretty good authority from the Bible that immorality in any of its guises is sin. What does it say in Exodus 20? "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Moral sins are sins yet and unrighteousness. So, in the eyes of God, perhaps, we need to talk about these things in case there are those who are looking on them as though they're just not that serious and...

Gary: We do. But I think, also, John, we need to look at that, temptation is not sin. A person may be tempted to look on somebody of the opposite sex or the same sex and be tempted with a lustful thought, but that temptation is not sin. It's acting it out. It's living it out that becomes sin. And so, just because a person is tempted to be a homosexual doesn't mean they have to act on those temptations.

John: I would go a step further and say, just because a person is tempted by homosexuality so it doesn't mean they are a homosexual. Just because the temptation comes doesn't mean that you are what the temptation is. When you are tempted to steal doesn't mean you're a thief, does it?

Gary: But let me ask you a question and in Bible Talk, we kind of debate these issues. A person who is tempted with a homosexual thought, I would say that is not the majority of people out there.

John: No, true and don't think for a minute I've given a free pass in saying it's OK to cherish this stuff or want this stuff. I'm just talking about the temptation. Doesn't mean you are what you're tempted by.

Gary: No, but if you have persistent temptations...

John: Oh, you might have...

Gary: All the time, all the time.

John: Sure, you might have a problem.

Gary: Yes, right. You don't have an opposite sex attraction whatsoever. It's always the same sex attraction. Then, you've got an issue. It's a deep issue that's inside you and some people would say, it's a genetic base to that.

John: Well, I've met a number of people who... Now, you know what's dangerous about this, is what I'm about to say to my knowledge. And so I don't know all that's going on in the background. There have been times when I've met people and thought, "Wow! Maybe this person was born this way." What's your answer? We might all have met people that we've said, "It seems as though if anyone was born this way, it was this person." At the same time we've known people who've made deliberate adult choices to follow down his path, what about the genetic thing?

Gary: Right now, all the evidences, inconclusive. We cannot say for sure that there's a genetic base to homosexuality. We absolutely don't know. There have been some studies done but as you look at every one of those studies, they're inconclusive. They're done with very small sample groups. Often, they are done with researchers who themselves are homosexual. And they'll often admit that. In 1991, Science Magazine published an article by Dr. Simon LeVay. He reportedly found brain differences, John, in homosexual men compared to heterosexual men.

John: What was behind that? Was that a legitimate finding?

Gary: No, it was a flawed study. First, the sample size was very small, 41 persons and they were corpses. If you're going to go look at brain, brain differences, you got to go in and do autopsies.

John: Studying dead brains!

Gary: That's right. So 41 of them to be exact. Secondly, all of the known homosexuals had died of AIDS or AIDS related complications. You could say what caused the brain differences? Maybe it was the disease. And 16 corpses that were heterosexual men were only presumed to be heterosexual. It wasn't known for sure if they've been heterosexuals or not.

John: Right.

Gary: And so, Dr. LeVay is a homosexual himself and you can't help but wonder if this didn't influence his study.

John: Couldn't it be said now with this genetic thing? Instead of saying, this is genetic, we know, I think, that there are people who are born with a predisposed weakness towards certain things. You find people, the dad had a bad temper and the son is raised in that home has a bad temper. The dad was an alcoholic, the daughter or the son has a weakness or predisposition towards alcoholism and a weakness there. We see that in some cultures even. Could be any of that involve?

Gary: We don't know. We really don't know and that is the answer. Even if there is a genetic base, does that give license to act on those things?

John: Now, I want to emphasize what you said. It's so important. Even if there is, so what? Right?

Gary: Right. If you're born with a propensity to alcoholism, do you say, "I was born an alcoholic so I'm just going to go drink?"

John: Sure, doesn't justify, does it?

Gary: No, it doesn't and it's harmful to the person and it's harmful to society. All right, here's what would be on Bible Talk today. The thing is a sin. Immorality is wrong. Homosexuality is we believe...

John: And God loves the sinner no matter if they're homosexual or not.

Gary: That's right. Bible base, this is wrong but God loves the gambler, the prostitute, the person with foul language, the homosexual, the whatever, the embezzler. God loves them all, right?

John: That's right. He doesn't love their behavior. He sees it as harmful, it's something that he condemns but he wants to rescue people from this.

Gary: OK and just a moment, we're going to talk about God's rescue plan in just a moment. Right now though, we're offering something in conjunction with today's program. What is that? That's correct. We're offering a little booklet called 'Return To Sodom.' A little booklet that I authored, a little 32 page booklet that covers various aspects of this topic and it could be ordered by calling or emailing us at the address given at the end of the program.

John: If you're looking for more information, if you want to study on this subject, if you want to find a way out, get this book and you'll find it's going to be a great blessing. All right, God's way out, God's plan. I don't think we all suggest that getting the victory of a homosexuality is going to be as easy as falling off a law. Now, perhaps instant victory can come for some people but we know generally this is a process and there are struggles involved even a person who is tempted with regular old immorality, if I can put it that way, that's a struggle for some people to overcome. This is why we have support groups like Gamblers Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous.

So, let's not be flipping and suggest this is an easy thing but I do want to say this. The Bible says, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as common to man but God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able but with the temptation, God will make a way to escape that he may be able to bear it." Does that verse say, unless you're dealing with homosexuality?

Gary: No, it's open ended. That's 1 Corinthians 10:13.

John: So, there's a promise from God that whatever you are struggling with, there is power in the word of God and in the presence of God to help you to have a comeback.

Gary: And I like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Verse 11 says that some people in the early Christian Church had heterosexual and homosexual problems and temptations and had lived those lifestyles but they were washed. They were cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. They were changed. God's power can transform our lives. I've experienced that in my life in the areas of sin that I have dealt with. I'm not perfect but God has done a transforming work and continuous to do that and there are excellent ministries. Like you said, I think sins of the flesh, drinking, smoking, drugs, and sexual sins. Those things are so interwoven to our being and the habits I think work into the very fabric of our being. You know, genetically and functionally, who we are.

John: That's right.

Gary: They're more difficult to overcome and often you do need help and there are groups like Exodus International and others who can help people dealing with this particular temptation.

John: These issues are very deep seeded and they're very deep seeded emotional issues and I would encourage people to rely on the power that is inherent in the word of God and also, as you mentioned, Gary, get some help. Get some help and this is where Christians really got to open up their hearts a little bit. I'll see someone coming to church and stand up and say what God is. Then, "I've been delivered from drug addiction. I've been delivered from alcoholism" and everybody says, "Amen and halleluiah." "I used to be a thief. I've broken to homes." Oh, this is exciting! Man, people love this kind of testimony. But have someone stand up and say, "I am struggling with homosexuality," and suddenly the church isn't so loving any more.

Gary: Oh, they act like he has a plague or she has the plague. They want to go to the other direction. The church really needs to open up like the church in Corinth and say, "We can help you. We want to help you and we want to introduce you to Christ." I'll tell you a quick story here as we get ready to end. I was in the Philippines holding some meetings and a friend of mine and I were up in our hotel room and the phone rang. John, on the other end, there's a gentleman that says, "I am looking for a male companion." That's essentially what he said. I won't tell you exactly what he said. And I said, "Excuse me?" He said, "I'm looking for a handsome man." I said, "Really?"

John: You said, "You've got the wrong number because you're talking to me?"

Gary: I knew it wasn't me. But anyway, he went on. Anyway, finally, he told me he was a homosexual and I said, "Why, I've got just the man for you." And he got excited about that. I said, "You will love this man. This man will meet your needs more than any other man." He said, "Oh, really?" I said, "Do you want to know his name?" He said, "Yes." I said, "His name is Jesus Christ." And he said, "Excuse me?" I said, "Jesus Christ, I want to introduce you to him."

John: And my friend, if you will welcome Jesus Christ into your heart, whatever your issue, you will find the peace that passes understanding. Time flies. Thanks for being here. Join us for more next time here on Bible Talk. [music]

Man: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the text we've just discussed. And expands on the subject including information you want to know. To receive this free informative Bible study guide, simply call, write or email and ask for 'Return To Sodom.' The toll free number is 866-BIBLE-SAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, PO Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678 or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org. Bible Talk has been produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of the Life Talk radio.

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