The apostle Paul warned the Christians of his day about the evil of those who follow after "the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves… women [who] 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" (Romans 1:24-27).
Today, in our society, there is a growing and vocal movement to legitimize homosexual behavior. While they certainly have the right to live their life as they choose, what they want is not just the right to practice their beliefs but to promote them and they want society to accept their behavior as normal and natural. If they cannot do this through persuasion then they seek to have laws enacted that will force people to comply with their way of thinking.
The way they seek to persuade people to accept their behavior is by presenting themselves as simply offering an "alternative lifestyle." By this they mean that the way they show their affection with others is merely a different way of doing the same thing that heterosexuals do. To bolster their argument some claim that what they are doing is showing "love" to their fellow man or woman without showing any discrimination based on sexual identity. As such, they claim they are actually following the highest ideals of the Christian faith (Matthew 19:19).
At the heart of this debate is whether or not there is a God who has given man a code of conduct that either forbids or approves of a homosexual lifestyle. When it comes to the subject of God and religion, homosexuals fall into two categories. The first and most common category contains those who don't believe in God and reject any condemnation of their behavior based on religious principles. There is also a sub-group who do believe in God but don't feel He has any controlling influence over how they live their life. For all practical purposes they're attitude towards religious principles is nearly identical as those who do not believe in God.
The second category of homosexuals are those who do profess a sincere belief in God and strive to live according to the teachings of their religious faith. However, they do not believe the Bible prohibits homosexual relationships. Because of this, they feel there is no conflict between their behavior and their faith. Because there are these two types of homosexual attitudes, in order to determine the validity of their position we must examine the arguments of both of these categories.
The non-religious homosexual community in America increasingly is demanding that society should not only accept their way of living but that they should be accorded the same rights heterosexuals have, such as the right to marry and the protection of the law that marriage affords. Their argument is that the Constitution of the United States guarantees them this right. But does it?
The United States of America is unarguably the freest country in the world. By that we mean the American people have more freedom to live as they choose than any other country in the world, and those freedoms and liberties are protected in a document called the Constitution. However, the Constitution of the United States was founded on the principle that there is a divine Creator who created us and who determines what is right and what is wrong behavior. In their declaration of independence from Great Britain, the future writers of the Constitution wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
To the framers of the Constitution it was a self-evident truth that all men, regardless of nationality, sex, or beliefs, are the product of a divine Creator who has endowed each person with certain "unalienable rights." That is to say that these "rights" were not bestowed upon us by any man or group of men but come to us by divine decree from God. It was the belief of these men that everyone, regardless of their station in life is "entitled" to those rights which "Nature's God" has granted us and that no government has the right to take them away. That is what the word "unalienable" means. They further stated that governments were instituted for the purpose of protecting those rights. However, they then stipulated that whenever any government begins to destroy those rights then people have a duty either to alter or abolish that government and institute a new government that will protect their God-given rights. This is the basis upon which all of our laws are made and is the foundation on which homosexuals build their argument.
While the non-religious homosexual community fully agrees they have certain "rights" as guaranteed by our Constitution that grants them the privilege to pursue happiness as they define it yet they nonetheless reject the idea that these rights come from God. And the reason for this is simple. If God can grant us "rights" then that clearly implies He can also define what is "wrong." However, what non-religious homosexuals seek is to have all the "rights" that God bestows upon us while wanting no condemnation for doing any of the wrongs that this same God forbids.
To some this may seem to be a hypocritical position but homosexuals argue that the Constitution is purely a man-made document that enshrines in law the rules by which our society is governed. Therefore, they conclude that it is the Constitution, as written by mortal men, that grants us our rights. Therefore, they reject the idea that our rights come from a divine Creator. To them, the fact that our founding fathers believed otherwise is completely irrelevant.
However, this is a very dangerous argument for them to advance because it actually undermines their own cause. This country was founded on the idea that there is a divine Creator, as defined by the Judeo/Christian faith and that this Creator has stipulated in writing what is correct behavior and what isn't. If we take that premise out of our laws then we have nothing on which to base our rights. If the homosexual community wants to say there is no such Creator then they are likewise saying they have no "unalienable rights." In that case our "rights" become whatever the government wants them to be. That means the government can deny or take away any so-called "rights" that the homosexual community wants to claim they have. And since our government is a democracy, it is the majority who makes the laws. Since the homosexual community is in the minority, they must depend on the majority for the issuance of their rights.
But, interestingly, it is the very people who are most vocal about how their rights come from man rather than from God who complain the loudest whenever a legislative body or court is influenced by those who oppose their behavior. What makes this attitude particularly offensive to some is that it seems not only to be hypocritical but arrogant as well because it is seen as the minority wanting to be the ones who not only set the rules but to change them whenever it doesn't suit their purpose. Then, to add insult to injury, more and more homosexuals tend to vilify and defame anyone who disagrees with their viewpoint by labeling them with such derogatory names as "homophobic," "narrow minded," "intolerant," "extremists" or other similar words. Too often it seems that the goal of those who use this tactic is either to shame into silence those who oppose them or eliminate their threat through intimidation. And that is where the danger of their argument lies because while striving to assert their own rights, they end up seeking to take away the rights of others.
This kind of behavior often invites a backlash because it causes an incensed majority to rise up in rebellion against such treatment. Our Constitution has established a representative democracy as our form of government which means that the majority rules through those whom we elect to represent us in government. When the majority feels that a minority of people are being oppressive in their demands they become more inclined to take away the so-called "rights" of those whom they feel are abusing their system of government. In fact, when we as a country allow the minority to determine the laws of our society then we are in danger of destroying the very system of government that grants us our freedom. Since our government is run by majority rule and if it is the majority who determines our rights, then they could legally ban all forms of homosexual behavior if they choose to do so and the homosexual community would have no "rights" with which to complain.
But if we say that our Constitution is based on the premise that there is a divine Creator who grants all men certain unalienable rights that no government can take away then we are also compelled to acknowledge that such a Creator likewise has the right to determine what is and isn't proper behavior. And this leads us to the second category of homosexuals who do believe in God but who claim that He approves of, or at least doesn't condemn, a sexual relationship between people of the same gender.
We have already seen that the apostle Paul expressly condemns those who follow after the lusts of their own hearts by dishonoring their own bodies between themselves. This includes women who change the natural use of their bodies by doing that which is not natural and he likewise condemns those men who forsake the natural use of the woman in order to lust after other men.
To most Christians, these verses of scripture clearly refer to homosexual behavior, however, homosexuals don't understand these verses the same way most people do. It is their contention that using our bodies to express love for another individual is perfectly natural. Therefore, since Paul is talking here about those who behave in ways that are "not natural" they feel he is not referring to acts of homosexually. Or they claim that Paul is only condemning those who "lust in their hearts." Therefore, it is their contention that as long as someone is having a homosexual relationship that does not involve "lust" then they are not doing anything God would disapprove of.
However, in the law of Moses, God specifically states, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as [you do] with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you" (Leviticus 18:22-24).
Most Christians understand these verses as specifically condemning homosexual behavior as well as the practice of bestiality. Homosexuals on the other hand contend that Christ did away with the Law of Moses with its strict reliance on works. Since we are saved by grace and not by works they say that what really matters is whether or not a person has accepted Christ as their Savior, not who they choose to lie with. But is that true? The answer to that question lies in understanding God's purpose for creating us.
There are those who believe that man came into existence as a result of natural laws rather than by the act of a divine Being. This process is known as evolution and states that life on earth began spontaneously millions of years ago as a single cell animal and, through a series of mutations in its genes, has been evolving ever since, creating untold numbers of creatures including man. When viewed from this perspective man is nothing more than a biological machine created by an accident of nature. This concept of life also denies the existence of an immortal soul that lives on after death which means that whenever anyone dies that is the end of their existence. Therefore, according to this theory, life has no higher purpose than survival. If this is true then there can be no eternal consequence to our actions. And if that is the case then nothing we do in life is inherently right or wrong except that which we as a society decide for ourselves.
The non-religious homosexuals use this argument to justify their behavior, but, surprisingly, religious homosexuals use a very similar argument. More and more of them are claiming that their sexual preference is a result of their biological makeup. That is to say their sexual desire for the same gender is a result of and is determined by their genetic code. In other words, they were born that way. Therefore, it is their contention that since God made them the way they are then their sexual preference is perfectly natural and normal and approved of by God. And if that is the case then they can't possibly be doing anything wrong.
But is this a valid argument? If man has an immortal soul that lives on beyond death then there has to be a higher purpose to man's existence than merely eating, sleeping, and dying. Therefore, the real question we need to answer is: What is God's purpose in creating man?
For those who believe in Jesus Christ, God's purpose for creating man is so he can inherit eternal life and live with God forever in heaven. And it was for this very reason that Christ died for our sins. Jesus taught, "if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:17). The idea of keeping God's commandments is a central theme in both the Old and New Testament and, in fact, the New Testament repeatedly tells us that it is by keeping God's commandments that we show we love Him and is the basis upon which He loves us (John 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 John 5:2).
The first chapter of Genesis not only gives us an account of the creation of life but it also provides us with an understanding of at least one of the purposes of life. Beginning in verse 11 we read, "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so… And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth… And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
The very first commandment God gave all life was to multiply after their kind. Thus, one of the purposes of life is to propagate or reproduce itself after its own kind and this very commandment was likewise given to man. In the beginning God created both male and female and in that creation He designed their bodies with the ability to fulfill and keep that first commandment. The female body was created with a womb that is designed to conceive and nourish life until it can live on its own. But the male body was not similarly equipped. Rather, it was created with the ability to produce sperm. Thus, for a man to reproduce life takes both a male and a female. Two men or two women living or loving together cannot fulfill this commandment and God has never replaced, changed, or annulled it.
The very purpose of a homosexual lifestyle is to have a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender. In fact, this is what the very name "homosexual" means. If there was no such thing as sexual behavior involved in these relationships then there would be no such thing as a homosexual relationship. Instead of denying this fact what homosexuals argue is that there is nothing wrong with two men or two women having sex with each other even if such behavior doesn't produce children. They further bolster their position by arguing that not all sex among heterosexual couples result in conception. While this is certainly true, the fact still remains that reproduction can still happen between men and women. However, no matter how much two men or two women may want to have children, they can't. It is a physical impossibility. Even though they may be expressing their love through physical means and claim that God created them to be homosexual, the fact remains that their behavior cannot fulfill one of God's most basic purposes in creating man.
The counter argument is that homosexual couples can adopt children. But the first commandment given was that man should reproduce his own kind and adoption does not fulfill that commandment. Furthermore, while adoption may be a worthwhile endeavor, there is no divine commandment to do so. Therefore, this argument doesn't actually address the question, it merely sidesteps it.
But there is another important reason why God created men and women to be together. In the very beginning when God first created man He said, "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper who is meet for him" (Genesis 2:18). Who could be a better helper for man than another man? But God did not create Adam and Ed. Instead, He created Adam and Eve and there was a very good reason why. Men and women are different, not just physically but psychologically. God specifically and deliberately created each gender with a different set of attitudes and abilities that are meant to compliment, enhance and enrich the life of the other. Just like a hammer without a nail won't secure two boards together or baking ingredients without oven heat will not produce a cake so likewise, a man without a woman cannot fulfill the purpose for which God created them.
It is a well known and established fact among psychologists that children grow up better in a home when there is the influence of both a father and a mother because they learn different values from each of them. As such, the child grows to become a better, well-adjusted individual. On the other hand, homosexual couples cannot provide that kind of complimentary benefit to each other let alone to any children they may raise.
God created man with a purpose in mind and He instilled in man's body everything needed to fulfill those purposes. When homosexuals say they were made that way by God, their argument goes contrary to every other aspect of man's creation. It is unreasonable to say that God created a woman with the ability to bear children yet placed in that same woman the desire not to mate with someone who could fulfill her creation. And the same is true of men. Furthermore, the fact that a person chooses to live that kind of a lifestyle doesn't mean they can't choose to behave any other way. God has also created us with the right to make our own choices, which includes choosing not to obey God if that is our desire. That is what makes the difference between a saint and a sinner. People choose, of their own free will, to sin or not sin; to do that which God commands or refuse to obey Him.
Part of God purpose for us is to allow us to make choices in life and to experience the consequences of those choices. That is how we grow and learn. As much as they might like to deny it, being homosexual is a choice, not a compulsion. It's an attitude of the mind, not an addiction of the body. Just like people can choose not to marry or not to have sex outside of marry, so people can choose to engage in sex with the same gender or not. The fact that someone may have a strong attraction to a member of the same gender doesn't eliminate the power of choice.
While Bible believing homosexuals may claim the Bible doesn't forbid same gender relationships, yet they cannot point to any Biblical statement that God condones such behavior either. When we were created God gave us certain unalienable rights but along with those rights He also gave us certain absolute wrongs. When God created man He had a purpose in mind and in many ways the practice of homosexuality runs contrary to His stated purposes. The apostle Paul wrote, "neither is the man without the woman, [and] neither [is] the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:11). From the time of Adam to the time of the apostles the only union that God has sanctioned is that between a man and a woman.
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