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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 20

[The previous two posts quoted all of the seven passages from the Bible that mention homosexuality, all of which condemn it. Jesus didn't mention homosexuality, as far as we know.]

A stronger Biblical argument against homosexuality is that, throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, marriage between a man and a woman is presented as God’s ideal. In Genesis, it says that the two will be one, and in Revelation, the church is the bride of Christ. There’s an entire book on love between a man and a woman, the Song of Solomon, and another book, Ruth, which is mostly about how a couple met, fell in love, married, and had a child. There are allusions to God’s plan for heterosexual marriage, and to his displeasure when that plan is violated, in many other places throughout the Bible. For example, See Ezekiel 16, or the Book of Hosea.

What about people who are born with homosexual tendencies, or who are raised by their parents in such a way that they have homosexual tendencies? Isn’t it unfair to prohibit homosexual activity for these people? God is not ever unfair. He may demand more of some than others, in certain aspects of their lives. All of us are born with tendencies that we must control in order to live Christian lives. It isn’t just homosexuals that are called to life-long celibacy -- some heterosexuals are. All heterosexuals are, until they are married. And there are non-sexual tendencies. For example, some people have more of a natural tendency to deceive than others. They have to work and pray harder to keep this tendency under control than some others do.

What about church membership for homosexuals?

Let me stipulate that a church member is someone that a congregation, or its leaders, believes is a converted Christian, and who is in agreement with basic Bible doctrine, and Christian practice, as understood by that church. Also, to be a member, the person must want to become a member of that congregation. (There are other ways of defining church membership.) 1 Corinthians 5 speaks to having fellowship with practicing sinners who claim to be believers:

1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; 10 yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortionists, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. 11 But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person.

I don’t see any reason to deny membership to a person with homosexual tendencies, as indicated in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (see above). Persons engaged in homosexual activity should not be taken into membership, any more than active adulterers, idol worshipers or unrepentant murderers should be. The good news is that the same passage states that some of the current members of the Corinthian church used to do some of these things, but had been redeemed from such activities, presumably including homosexuality.

The above is an excerpt from my recently published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, public domain.

The previous post in this series is here. God willing, the next excerpt will continue  discussion of a this topic.

Thanks for reading!

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