The issue concerning whether or not homosexuals should be vicars and/or members of the Christian church is quite odd. To many it seems that Christians are acting in a discriminatory manner; but, looking deeper into the situation, one must question the desire of practising homosexuals to become ‘Christians’ in the first place.
The abomination worthy of death
“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 v 13.
The above Old Testament scripture condemns to death Jews partaking in homosexual activity. Many people are shocked at how violent the Old Testament is, and at how many death sentences there are in God’s law; also, it is often said that the Old Testament contradicts the New. To briefly explain: Old Testament law is specific to the Jews of that time, whereas New Testament law is specific to the entire world. In the New Testament, because of Christ’s death, there is no more requirement for animal sacrifice, people from all nations can be saved, and the need for physical punishment due to sin has been removed (i.e. no more death sentences on Earth).
According to Old Testament law, Jews were only to put practising homosexuals to death if they were Jews: a Jew was not to be concerned about people of other nations; that was God’s business. In the same way, Christians, under New Testament law, are to judge one another within the church, but should not judge those outside the church — although it is necessary to preach the gospel to others outside the Church, and to warn them of the judgment to come.
The Bible outdated?
Many, including Christians, have suggested that the Bible is outdated and needs to keep up with the times; but, really, we have gone back to the old ways. The practice and acceptance of homosexuality is certainly nothing new. Soddom and Gomorrah, well-known cities mentioned in the Old Testament, were destroyed by God because of their homosexual practices. Homosexuality and sexual promiscuity was rife in the past; historical research proves as much. If God didn’t “keep up with the times” back then he isn’t likely to change now. Just as homosexuality was condemned by God in the Old Testament it is also in the New Testament:
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 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.” — Romans 1 v 21, 26-27
Those who commit sins based on the ‘works of the flesh’ are shown as those who reject God. Because they rejected God, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, meaning that he rejected them:
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” — Romans 1 v 28-32
Whereas the Western world was once very Christian in its beliefs it is clear that it has now rejected God. The very things listed in the passage above sound exactly like the people of today.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” — 1 Corinthians 6 v 9-10
It is also interesting to find that homosexuals are not singled out, but are listed with adulterers, fornicators, drunkards and thieves. How many people single out homosexuals and say nothing of people sleeping together while unmarried? Many Christians ignore the ‘smaller’ sins and focus on the ‘bigger’ ones, an attitude that goes against the Bible.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” — Galatians 5 v 19-21
The right way to react
Those who hound homosexuals and abuse them are certainly not walking as Jesus walked. The Bible instructs people to love one another, and even to love their enemies:
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” — Matthew 5 v 44
If Christians are to love others that specifically go out to hurt them, they must certainly show love to people who do not hurt them but live sinful lives. Jesus prevented people from stoning an adulterous woman to death under Old Testament law (John 8 v 1-11), and spent time with thieves and prostitutes (Matthew 9 v 11-12); however, although he clearly loved these people, it is evident that Jesus desired repentance and spoke against the continuation of their sinful ways. To the adulterous woman he said, “Go, and sin no more”. In the same way Christians must love others, including homosexuals. The only reason a Christian should turn away a practising homosexual, fornicator, drunkard, etc., is if such a person claims to be a Christian:
“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?” — 1 Corinthians 5 v 12
According to the Bible, homosexual practices are damnable, and it is therefore expedient to remove practising homosexuals from the church — praying for their salvation, being willing to accept them if they repent, and loving them even if they do not.
“Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” — Matthew 21 v 31-32
Although the Bible tells us that those continuing their sinful works shall not find salvation, as we can read, even those worthy of damnation can find salvation at any time through repentance and belief in Christ, regardless of deeds committed in the past.
The misinterpretation of shellfish
It has been suggested that the Bible treats people who eat shellfish the same as homosexuals, and yet Christians accept the eating of shellfish. This is due to a misinterpretation of the Bible:
“These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcasses in abomination.” — Leviticus 11 v 9-11
There is a difference in the Bible about things being ‘unclean’ and things being an abomination to God. Whereas the Old Testament held that homosexual activity was an abomination worthy of death, the eating of shellfish was not.
Note that with abominations worthy of death the Bible says “it is an abomination” or “it is an abomination unto the LORD thy God“. The words regarding shellfish are “they shall be an abomination unto you“. Nowhere does God say that shellfish are an abomination to him, but that the Jews should treat them the same way they would anything that was an abomination (i.e. they should not consider this law any less important). The laws concerning what was clean or unclean did not require death, but were to instil the importance of purity into God’s people. By refraining from having anything to do with unclean things they were acknowledging God’s requirement of holiness.
If you are a practising homosexual and are unwilling to change your ways, considering that the Bible says you shall not be saved, why would you ‘want’ to be a Christian? It is the same as wanting to call yourself a vegetarian and yet still wanting to eat meat. And why would you desire to change Christianity so that homosexuals are acceptable to God? This is no different than trying to change the definition of vegetarianism to include the eating of meat. Why not just be happy under the terminology of omnivore?
The desire to eradicate or ignore parts of the Bible reveals disbelief in the Bible. If one disbelieves the Bible how can one believe the God of the Bible? If one removes all pieces of the Bible that one disagrees with it is no different than claiming the original God isn’t real, or inventing one’s own god. If one is inventing one’s own version of God why not invent a new religion instead of attempting to alter Christianity? There is little difference.