[20]   Sex (2): Homosexuality

STORY: In 2003, a Christian placed an ad on the newspaper. The ad’s theme was that the Bible opposes homosexual behavior although no such words were used. The only words are references to 4 Bible passages (but without the texts of the actual verses). They are Romans 1; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. An equal sign was placed between these references and a symbolic drawing of two persons (apparently males) holding hands overlaid with the universal nullification symbol – a circle with a diagonal bar. The ad was found to be hate speech and he was fined $4,500. Which city do you think it is? >>> Saskatoon.

In 2001, a printer refused to print letterhead for a homosexual advocacy group, he was charged and found guilty of discrimination and fined for the maximum amount allowed of $5,000. Where do you think is this? >>> Ontario.

Background:

Homosexual activists always claim that about 10% of the population are homosexuals (some even claim 1 in 6). However, two recent US studies reported that the proportion of homosexuals is 1 to 3%. In the 2001 Census of Canada, 0.5% of all couples claimed to be homosexual couples.

In 1996, the Liberal government in Canada passed Bill C-33 making discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. On September 16, 2003, the Liberal government defeated a motion to define marriage as “one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.” The next day, the Liberals helped pass Bill C-250 which prohibited hate speech based on sexual orientation. The legislation can be used to classify the Bible as hate speech. They have also introduced legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. They asked the Canadian Supreme Court to evaluate the legality of their proposal. Then they appointed two strongly pro-same-sex justices to the Supreme Court in August 2004.

In November 2003, a Massachusetts court ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. The state government was forced to officially sanction same-sex marriages.

91.  What is the Christian viewpoint on homosexuality?

a.   Homosexuality is consistently regarded as a serious sin in the Bible.

·         The Old Testament specifies that homosexuality is an “abomination” and is to be punished by death penalty (Lev 18:22; 20:13). Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God partly because of their homosexual activities (Gen 19:1-11).

·         In the New Testament, Ro 1:26-27 and 1Co 6:9 specify clearly that homosexual act is a sin because it is against God’s created order and is a perversion. Unrepentant homosexual offenders are barred from the kingdom of God.

·         Homosexual unions are specifically forbidden and are described in Scripture as manifestations of the basest forms of sinful conduct since they degrade human dignity and desecrate God’s creational design (see Lev 20:13; Ro 1:26-27,32; 1Co 6:9).

b.   Homosexuality is also a very unhealthy lifestyle:

·         While the life expectancy for the general population is 76 years for men and 80 years for women. The life expectancy of homosexuals has been found to be about 40 years, based on scientific studies. Thus, the life expectancy is shortened by more than 30 years. In comparison, cigarette smoking only shortened life expectancy by 8 years.

·         Homosexuals are at a much higher risk of contracting HIV (AIDS); hepatitis A, B and C; “gay bowel syndrome,” human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Three quarters of all homosexuals will contract a sexually transmitted disease in their lifetime.

·         30% of gay and bisexual male adolescents have attempted suicide at least once.

·         Gay men abuse alcohol at least twice as much as males in general, and lesbians have a 7 times higher rate of alcoholism than women in general.

·         Gay men are more prone to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, paranoia, depression, and unhappiness than are heterosexual men.

·         Homosexuals have higher murder and suicide rates.

·         The average homosexual has 50 partners a year.

c.   Christian must insist that homosexual behaviour is immoral and must oppose the encouragement of homosexuality as an “alternative lifestyle”.

92.  What are homosexual’s arguments on the legitimacy of homosexuality?

a.   Contemporary culture: Homosexuals argue that Biblical teachings on homosexuality are culturally relative. They do not apply to today’s society.

·         Response:  Homosexuality and sodomy are described as “detestable” or “abominable” to God. [the same description as the anti-Christ (Da 9:27; Mt 24:15).]  As God is unchanging (Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17), what is “abominable” to God 3,000 years ago is still abominable to God today.

·         Homosexual acts are unnatural (against the law of nature). In contrast, heterosexuality and procreation are natural. If everyone is a homosexual, the human race will be extinct in one generation.

b.   Inborn nature: Homosexuals claim that homosexual tendency is hereditary or inborn. Therefore, it is not against nature. A related argument is that most homosexuals do not choose homosexuality by choice.

Is homosexuality hereditary?

Small scale scientific studies (less than 50 subjects) show larger hypothalamus (neurons in the brain) for homosexual males. But there is no evidence whether it is the cause or result of homosexual activities.

·         Response:  Homosexuality is a sign not of God’s created order but of disorder from the Fall. Homosexual tendency cannot be proved to relate to inborn genetic factors as there is no evidence to show that homosexuals are chromosomally different from heterosexuals. The evident difference in the brain of homosexuals may be the result of homosexual acts (similar to the distinct physical posture and movement of homosexuals).

·         Psychologists believe that homosexuality is likely a socially learned response, possibly the result of a domineering mother and/or an uncaring father. Some are taught (by the knowledge in homosexuality) to be homosexuals, as demonstrated by significantly higher incidence (up to 10 times) of homosexuality in urban than in rural areas.

·         It is true that many homosexuals do not choose homosexuality by choice. While they are not responsible for the homosexual tendency which is not a sin by itself, they are responsible for the homosexual act which is a sin.

·         One cannot say that stealing is acceptable if the tendency for stealing is taught and encouraged by one’s father who is a thief.

c.   Importance of love: Many homosexuals have truly loving relationships. Such commitment of love should be affirmed as good and not rejected as evil.

·         Response:  The emphasis of love above all else is situation ethics. For Christians, Biblical norms are absolute and cannot be broken in the name of love alone. If love is the highest priority, would an adulterous but loving relationship outside marriage be acceptable to God? No. Or, would sexually motivated love between adults and young children be acceptable to God? No.

d.   Gospel of acceptance: If God accepts a homosexual and calls him/her to salvation, how can Christians reject him/her? Ro 14:1 teaches us not to judge the weak.

·         Response:  God loves the sinner but not the sin; persistent sinning is not acceptable (1Jn 3:6). Genuine faith and true salvation includes accepting God lordship too.

·         Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS):  It may be God’s judgment on homosexual activities or sexual promiscuity but it should not be described as a blanket condemnation by God on all persons with AIDS as some are innocent victims (see Lk 13:1-5). However, AIDS is predominantly a result of the sin of homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and drug addiction. If one is not involved in any of these activities, the chance of getting AIDS is practically zero.

93.  What should Christian oppose laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation?

a.   The term “sexual orientation” is never defined. Laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation could be used in the future to justify all kinds of sexual immorality such as polygamy, pedophilia, and other sexual perversions.

b.   Such laws will encourage more people to involve or at least try homosexual activities.

·         Homosexual activities are now accepted by laws in western countries as no more than an alternate lifestyle. Already, pro-homosexual books have already been introduced into school library, starting from kindergarten.

c.   Such laws encourage the public to accept homosexuality and lead to same-sex marriage.

·         There is also an increasing proportion of people viewing homosexuality as acceptable once the government indirectly encourages it. In 1994, the Liberal government in Canada passed Bill C-41 including “sexual orientation” for the first time in federal legislation. The support for same-sex marriage has increased from 37% in 1993 to 54% in 2003.

·         However, a more recent poll in November 2003 indicated that respondents were asked to choose one of three options, 30% said marriage should include only heterosexuals, and 37% said the definition of marriage should stay intact but a new category that includes same-sex unions should be created. Only 31% said traditional marriage should be opened to gays.

d.   Such laws become tools for the government to persecute Christians. This is already evident in many rulings by liberal Human Rights Tribunal or Commission.

e.   Such laws actually give extra rights giving to homosexual persons.

·         Assaulting a homosexual is now regarded as more serious than assaulting a child (according to the sentencing guideline in Bill C-41).

·         A homosexual who loses in a job application can always sue for discrimination, while others cannot.

94.  Why should Christians oppose same-sex marriage?

a.   Same-sex marriage will weaken the family as foundation of the society and will cause many social problems.

·         Children growing up in intact families with married parents have the highest academic achievement and have the lowest incidence of mental and psychological problems, and antisocial behaviour and crime.

b.   Same-sex marriage will deprive the children in those households from a father or a mother.

·         Both the father and the mother are important in the bringing up of a child and both have very different roles.

·         More adopted children will be put at risk, as agencies stop favoring married couples and put children in motherless or fatherless households.

c.   It would encourage children to experiment with homosexuality. This would ensure that more teens fall into the unhealthy lifestyle.

·         The journal AIDS reported that in the Netherlands, where homosexual “marriage” was legalized in 2001, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are soaring among homosexual men, even among those who are “married.”

d.   It would encourage more people to remain trapped in homosexuality rather than seek counseling to rechannel their sexual desires.

e.   It would pit the law against the beliefs of millions of people who believe homosexuality is wrong, thus creating grounds for more attacks on the freedoms of speech, religion and association.

·         If same-sex marriage is established as a right, Christians’ freedom of religion will be threatened (see below).

C&MA Manual on homosexual marriage

In no case ought any person to enter into any so-called “marriage” with a person of the same sex. Homosexual unions are specifically forbidden and are described in Scripture as manifestations of the basest forms of sinful conduct since they degrade human dignity and desecrate God’s creational design (see Lev 20:13; Ro 1:26-27,32; 1Co 6:9).

95.  How would special rights for same-sex people threaten Christians’ freedom of religion?

a.   Homosexual activists have gained numerous rights in recent years. They want full acceptance of homosexuality by the society, including a prohibition of any speech classifying homosexuality as sin.

b.   Progressive demands by homosexuals (a “slippery slope”):

·         accepted in laws as an alternate lifestyle (Bill C-41 in 1995)

·         gain adoption rights for children (based on Bill C-33 in 1996)

·         gain equivalent to spousal benefits (68 federal statutes amended in 2000)

·         legalize homosexual marriage (proposed by the Liberal government)

·         prohibit public speech against homosexuality as hate speech (Bill C-250 in 2003)

·         force solemnization of homosexual marriage in all churches [likely in the future]

·         gain employment as church workers by claiming discrimination

·         gain full acceptance by prohibition of anything that describe homosexuality as immoral; the Bible containing verses against homosexuality to be prohibited from public distribution

c.   The government promises to include a religious exception. But eventually it will be overruled by the liberal judges in courts as once a right is established, there can be no exception.

·         For example, slavery is prohibited because everyone has the right to freedom. Can a church claim religious exception and keep slaves in a church? Of course not, because religion cannot be used to deprive a right.

·         Churches which are determined to be faithful to the Bible may be forced to close when they lose charitable status and tax-exemption.

96.  How should Christians treat homosexuals?

a.   A homosexual person is under social pressure (being discriminated against) and psychological pressure (feeling guilty). Christians should treat them with compassion.

b.   Inside the church, those who have homosexual tendency need our understanding and love as well as mutual prayer and encouragement to change this tendency. Master and Johnson (wellknown American researchers in human sexuality) reported a 66% success rate in reversing homosexuality provided the patient is willing. Success is most likely with the help of the Holy Spirit and the support of the church.

c.   Homosexuality is a sin, like many other sexual sins such as adultery and fornication. Those who committed homosexual acts need to repent. Homosexuals who repent must be accepted by the church. However, church membership cannot include someone who sins persistently. Unrepentant practising homosexuals can be treated like non-believers; they are welcomed to attend church functions but cannot be accepted as members.

d.   Outside church, homosexuals may be treated like any other sinners. They should be told that homosexuality is sin in the eyes of God but they should not be harassed or persecuted. However, laws or practice endorsing or legitimizing homosexuality should be opposed because they indirectly affirm or promote homosexuality as an acceptable alternate lifestyle. Such attitudes would adversely influence our youth.

Position on Homosexuality (Free Methodist Church of Canada)

Persons with homosexual inclinations are accountable to God for their behaviour (Romans 14:12). For those who have fallen into the practice, the grace of God is available and completely adequate to forgive and deliver (I John 1:9; Hebrews 7:25; Luke 4:18; I Corinthians 6:9-11). However, because the practice is a perversion of nature, therapy and healing will be necessary. The church has a corporate responsibility to be God’s agent of healing, ministering love to homosexuals and giving them support as they learn to live a Christian life that is wholesome and pure (I Corinthians 2:7,8).