Gay ‘marriage’ and the consistent outcome of Genesis compromise
Published: 30 June 2012 (GMT+10)
Globally, there is a debate about what marriage is, and whether we should, or even can, redefine it to include unions between two men, or between two women. Many make this into a civil rights issue, saying that to deny the right to marry to two people who love each other is deeply and fundamentally unjust. To complicate matters, many people have friends and family who identify as homosexual, so this becomes a personal issue for a significant portion of the population. Even more complex is the existence of church leaders supporting gay marriage, even professing evangelical ones.
A widespread western phenomenon
It’s a significant political issue, too. Recently, US President Barack Obama explicitly expressed support of gay marriage.
[Update, 11 February 2015: While before the 2008 election, Obama claimed to oppose gay marriage, this recent revelation suggests that he said that just to dupe Christian voters:
A striking admission of political dishonesty from the keeper of the Obama flame
Barack Obama misled Americans for his own political benefit when he claimed in the 2008 election to oppose same sex marriage for religious reasons, his former political strategist David Axelrod writes in a new book, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. From Time, 10 February 2015]
Soon Australia’s parliament will be voting on homosexual marriage, though most commentators believe that it is likely to be defeated due to low support, even among people who are otherwise politically liberal.
In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to legalize gay marriage. One of his parliamentary colleagues in the Ministry of Justice, Crispin Blunt, said that church exemptions could face legal hurdles. (This highlights the risk to Christian freedoms—see box below.)
In Canada, the gay agenda is even further advanced. For example, a Quebec homosexual activist group has launched a ‘registry of homophobic acts’ with support and funding from the Quebec Government’s Justice Department.1
This debate is even controversial in the Church, despite the Bible’s clear statements against homosexual behavior. There is a growing group of people who say that the Bible would allow committed, loving, permanent relationships between gay couples, and that it would be a good thing to let them be married. In fact, among the forefront of this push are some supposed evangelical leaders.
Why this is so relevant to our ministry is that marriage is a Creation ordinance, defined in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, and affirmed by Jesus Himself (Matthew 19:3–6, Mark 10:6–9). So it should shock no-one—although many are indeed shocked—that when professing Christians reject a historical Genesis, they are just being consistent when they reject the doctrine of marriage based on this (as is every other Christian doctrine).
Keith Mascord, a former lecturer at Moore Theological College in Australia, recently wrote an article titled “Beliefs must be tempered by facts”, which was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.2 In this he argues that Christians today should accept gay marriage.
Moore Theological College in Sydney is an Anglican institution, and is known (as is the Sydney diocese in general) for being a bastion of evangelicalism in Australia—and to this day still, the majority of Sydney Anglican leadership takes a strong public stand on Christian marriage. E.g. Archbishop Peter Jensen, a theistic evolutionist, said:
The biblical ideal of sexual relationships specifically excludes same-sex relationships. The biblical teaching makes this a matter of spiritual life and death. That is crystal clear from both the Old and New Testaments.3
Dr Broughton Knox, former principal of Moore College (1959–1985), denounced evolution and saw the dangers of compromising with it (see quote from 1988). But unfortunately despite this reputation and fine precedent from Dr Knox, Moore has been openly opposed to a historical Genesis since Knox, and has resisted all efforts of CMI to present biblical creation evidences there.
The Moore College blind spot on Genesis has been noted by a number of its students who support CMI’s stance. For example, one informed us a few years ago that all the Moore commentaries on Romans believed that Paul taught a literal Adam (Romans 5) and that God cursed the whole creation at the Fall (Romans 8). It was not difficult to foresee that students and theologians would find it increasingly difficult to resolve the cognitive dissonance between rejecting a historical Genesis and affirming the trustworthiness of the New Testament which affirms this.
The media has at times exploited this vulnerability in questioning the Sydney Anglican establishment (whose near-universal position is denial of such things as a global Flood and acceptance of millions of years) on their opposition to the encroaching homosexual agenda. (Such as, in reply to a Sydney Anglican leader defending marriage as a creation ordinance found in Genesis: OK, Genesis says marriage is a man and woman, but it also teaches that God created in six days, and you don’t believe that, do you?)
The Rev. John Dickson is another Sydney Anglican establishment figure who has not only come out strongly against straightforward Genesis history, but before Mascord’s piece appeared, has hinted at the need for evangelicals to ‘rethink’ their biblical understanding on homosexuality. And, like Mascord, the justification given was ‘science’—causing observers to wonder about the ‘cracks appearing’ in the previously solid Sydney Anglican biblical stance on sexuality. In a 2011 newspaper opinion piece, Dickson wrote:
Conservatives are very resistant to accepting the growing body of evidence revealing physiological factors behind sexual orientation. No ‘gay gene’ has been found but many specialists think the data suggests that homosexuality, bisexuality, polyamory and other sexual orientations are natural inclinations and not simple lifestyle choices.
However, instead of grappling with the data and developing other arguments for traditional sexual ethics some conservatives simply deny the evidence, dismiss it as a conspiracy of the gay lobby or cling to the absence of evidence for a ‘gay gene’.4
Mascord’s view is stronger and more open. His logic and argumentation are instructive, and shows how an unbiblical view of social issues like gay ‘marriage’ is a logical consequence of compromising about the truth of the Bible’s historical claims. He openly uses the denial of a global Flood to move on to denying the Bible’s statements about marriage.
Mascord argues that “it is possible to go back to the relevant biblical texts … and to rethink them in the light of contemporary knowledge and experience. Indeed, in failing to do this, those Christians who refuse to budge on homosexuality also find themselves locked into unsustainable ways of reading the Bible.” To illustrate, he goes to the story of Noah’s Flood, which he takes (correctly) as a story about a Flood that is actually presented as global:
Moreover, whenever the story is referred to elsewhere in the Bible, the writers appear to take the story as factual. Jesus appears to have accepted the story in this way (Luke 17:26–27). Jewish and Christian interpreters have also mostly taken it that way as well, until the past few hundred years.
But, Mascord concludes, “The big problem with this is that the Noah flood story is almost certainly not factual.” He goes on to say that creationists who insist on a global flood have the advantage of consistency, but have to deal with the scientific evidence. He makes it clear that the text doesn’t allow the localized flood that many people prefer to believe in. He argues:
the only reason a plain (and church-history-long) reading of the Noah story has been overturned in favor of seeing it as a localised flood, even if unconvincingly (or more convincingly, as myth), is that scientific discoveries have made that necessary. Many of the first geologists were Christian clergymen. It was under pressure from their discoveries that the biblical text came to be reread and reappropriated.
But this is simply not the case. Geological pioneer Nicolaus Steno (1631–1686) was a biblical creationist. However, things changed after the ‘Enlightenment’ in the 18th century, which rejected biblical revelation in favor of autonomous human ‘reasoning’. This was the framework by which many geologists, even in the Church, rejected the biblical text in favor of faulty interpretations. This is very clear from the ‘father of uniformitarianism’, the physician and deist James Hutton (1726–1797), who decreed, ‘the past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now.’ Then the lawyer Charles Lyell explicitly wanted to free geological science ‘from Moses’.
There was strong opposition from the Scriptural Geologists, including some who were more knowledgeable in geology than Hutton and Lyell, such as George Young and George Fairholme. They warned of the serious danger to biblical truth of the long-age compromise, and also showed how weak their science was.
Having said that Christians need to ‘reinterpret’ (code for ‘disbelieve’) the Bible’s teaching, Mascord goes on to say:
“There is good reason to think we will need to do the same [i.e. overturn ‘the plain (and church-history-long) reading’ of the Bible’s words] with the issue of marriage equality. Throughout history and across cultures, and within the Bible itself, homosexual practice has been almost universally condemned. But we now know, or have increasingly strong reasons to believe, that people are born gay or lesbian.”
Though it would in any case not alter the clear and authoritative stance of the Bible on the matter, the irony is that many gays disagree with the ‘born gay’ argument. For example, in our article What’s Wrong With Bishop Spong? we relate how one lesbian in Wellington, New Zealand, argued that the ‘born gay’ (and ‘gay gene’) argument “implies a naturalness to heterosexuality and an aberrance to homosexuality”. She further claimed that this was dangerous “ … because the underlying assertion is that if we weren’t born that way, we wouldn’t want to be like this.”5
In any case, the reasoning displayed by such evangelicals urging a ‘rethink’ on gay marriage is unchristian—by definition. If to be a Christian means to follow Christ, then part of this would be thinking the same way that Jesus thought. If someone says, “Jesus believed X, but I believe not-X”, then it is not a slur to call this unchristian—it is simply descriptive. But if we’re going to make scientific acceptance the basis for whether we accept what the Bible says or not, the logical end would be deism at best and outright atheism at worst.
In the same way, accepting homosexual marriage is unchristian—Jesus did not accept homosexuality as a non-sinful option, and neither does the rest of Scripture. Some people argue that Jesus did not say anything about homosexuality, but this is a dishonest tactic. During His earthly ministry, Jesus’ audience consisted of Jews who universally viewed homosexual behaviour as a perversion—there was no need for Him to tell them so. But Jesus expressly affirmed that marriage was a male and female. He also condemned sexual immorality (Matthew 15:19), which to a Jew talking to Jews would automatically include homosexual acts.
Conversely, Paul was ministering in a Gentile context where homosexuality was much more accepted, and he made it clear that both male and female homosexual behavior is a sin. This was along with other sexual sins such as adultery and fornication. See the article Homosexual behaviour v. the Bible.
But the Bible passages about homosexuality are only half of the equation. When we look at what the Bible says about marriage, we understand why homosexual unions are so fundamentally out of line with God’s purposes for human sexuality and marriage. One major biblical meaning of ‘sin’ is ‘missing the mark’ (cf. Romans 3:23),6 and this applies to all sexual relations outside God’s standard of marriage.
The world is sinful and fallen—this includes man’s inclinations. So it’s useless to appeal to the desire of some to have sexual or married relationships with people of the same sex—that’s a product of the Fall, just like adultery, lying, and any other sin . The Bible says a few things about the need to resist all sinful desires, and the good news that Jesus is the answer, including to homosexuals (“such were some of you”—1 Corinthians 6:11).
God’s will—His ‘mark’ we should aim for—was revealed in creation itself when He created humans as two equal and complementary sexes—male and female, and He created them to be in married relationships that would promote childbearing. That doesn’t mean that every person will be married, or that every married couple will have children, but that this is the normative and proper setting for human sexual relationships (Genesis 1:28, Malachi 2:15).
Furthermore, theologically, marriage is used as a ‘picture’ of the relationship between Christ and the Church. This suggests that an unbiblical view of marriage may also result in an unbiblical view of Christ’s relationship with His Church—does a definition of marriage that accommodates homosexual unions still accurately depict Christ’s relationship to believers?
The slippery slope of ‘science says’
Mascord agrees that a consistent reading of the Bible presents a global flood and a ‘young’ earth—around 6,000 years old. He rejects the consistent witness of Jesus and the authors of Scripture based on ‘science’. (The ‘science’ he is appealing to in his acceptance of homosexual marriage is in any case uncertain—for more information see Creationism and the problem of homosexual behavior).
This is in effect raising science to be an authority over Scripture, and even over the words of Jesus Himself. ‘Science’ says that virgins don’t give birth and dead people stay dead. And generally, this is the case. But the Bible makes claims that aren’t strictly scientifically testable because 1) they deal with historical, one-time events, and 2) many times, the entire point of the claim is that it isn’t something that normally happens—that’s how we know the power of God was at work in that instance. See also The limitations of physical evidence and Miracles and science.
As we have pointed out before, this is hardly an isolated incident, or just an Australian thing. In America, the ostensibly evangelical theistic evolutionary organization BioLogos published a paper which stated:
If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, John wrote Scripture without error.7
Summary and conclusion
If naturalistic scientism and secular psychology are taken as authorities, then all of the Bible’s major claims would be overturned, because the premises that underlie these secular ways of thinking are fundamentally opposed to the claims of Scripture. And when Christians take secular ideas as their authority, it is simply consistent when they use them to justify ever-further departures from Scripture’s teachings. This is what we feared would happen as a result of the compromises as promoted by even once-solid institutions such as Moore College. And it is now being demonstrated in those from such circles such as Mascord, who are, tragically, only being consistent.
Gay marriage, politicians, and the rights of Christians
Everywhere the gay agenda has advanced, Christian freedoms have been sharply curtailed8, which is why this should be a major issue in the Church. However, by and large, the church has been taken by surprise. Many times, the homosexual lobbyists have promised that churches and Christian schools would be covered by exemptions. But this is only a ploy to pass the legislation. Once it is through the door, these groups will point out that a law with an exemption is a bad law, and fight to remove these exemptions.
We can already see this in Scandinavian countries. For example:
The nation of Denmark has voted to force churches in the established Evangelical Lutheran Church to perform same-sex ‘marriage’ ceremonies inside their sanctuaries, although one-third of all the denomination’s priests say they will not participate in such rituals.
And in Sweden, Pastor Åke Green was even jailed for a sermon on the wrongness of homosexual acts, although he also said that people who commit them can be “set free and delivered” and “We cannot condemn these people — Jesus never did that either. He showed everyone He met deep respect for the person they were (…) Jesus never belittled anyone.” He was later acquitted on appeal, but the case shows the intolerance of many homosexual activists.
It may therefore be futile to think Christians will be safe if they ‘stay out of politics’—the politics won’t stay out of the Church for long. Also, anti-Christians can just define more and more issues as ‘politics’, such as marriage and abortion, and the church’s ability to be ‘salt and light’ is further diminished.
- Muehlenberg, B., This Is Exactly Where All This Is Heading, billmuehlenberg.com, 19 June 2012. Return to text.
- Mascord, K., Beliefs must be tempered by facts, smh.com.au, 18 June 2012. Return to text.
- Cited in: McNeil, J., Sexuality—a make or break issue, Challenge Weekly, New Zealand, 21 May 2006. Return to text.
- Dickson, J., Art of persuasion not so simple, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 July 2011, accessed at m.smh.com.au 7 August, 2011. See Patristics scholar Dr Benno Zuiddam’s refutation of Dickson’s attempt to use the Church Fathers to justify his unbelief in Genesis. Return to text.
- There are also many examples similar to the UK politician Crispin Blunt, mentioned above. He left his wife of 20 years “to come to terms with his homosexuality” (although they had two children together). This seems more consistent with the notion that his homosexual inclination was developed later, not inborn. Return to text.
- Enns, Paul, Moody Handbook of Theology, p. 310, Moody Press, Chicago, 1989. Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon entry for the Greek word for sin, ἁμαρτάνω (hamartanō), the normal NT word for sin, says, “1. to miss, miss the mark, hence 2. Generally, to fail of doing, fail of one’s purpose, go wrong: to be deprived of a thing, lose it.” Simon Wallenberg Press, 2007. Return to text.
- Sparks, K.,“After Inerrancy, Evangelicals and the Bible in the Postmodern Age, biologos.org, 26 June 2010; accessed 27 June 2012. Return to text.
- CMI contributor Bill Muehlenberg documents some examples on his website billmuehlenberg.com, e.g. his columns “But We Told You So”, 8 June 2012, and “Homosexual Marriage: Everything Will Change”, 15 May 2012; and in his book Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality. Freedom Publishing, 2011. Return to text.
How do we respond to gays who have decided to remain celibate? Example: men or women who have decided they are gay, but choose to remain celibate due to what the Scripture says.
Also, how do we as Christians respond to the view of giving gays the rights they are requesting, thus supporting the separation of church and state? Should Christians reprimand/delegate the actions of non Christians? Going off of this should Christians concern themselves with only homosexuality inside the church?
Some fair questions there, but a small point to start with: “celibate” properly means “unmarried”. The right word is chaste or abstinent.
Certainly abstaining from homosexual acts is a good start. But as stated in Handling the barrage of homosexual half-truths, there are still spiritual dangers there. Jesus pointed out in Matthew 15:19 that sinful acts are preceded by sinful thoughts.
There is nothing about “separation of church and state” in the US Constitution. Circuit judge Richard Suhrheinrich ruled in ACLU vs Mercer County (KY, 2005) (with fellow circuit judge Alice Batchelder concurring):
[T]he ACLU makes repeated reference to “the separation of church and state.” This extra-constitutional construct grows tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state … our Nation’s history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some cases, accommodation of religion. … (“There is an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life from at least 1789.”) After all, “[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” … Thus, state recognition of religion that falls short of endorsement is constitutionally permissible. [Cited court cases omitted] …
About “rights”, one of the best answers was given by economist and author Dr Thomas Sowell:
Marriage has existed for centuries and, until recent times, has meant a union between a man and a woman. During those centuries, a vast array of laws has grown up, all based on circumstances that arise in unions between a man and a woman. To apply a mountain of laws based specifically on experience with relations between a man and a woman to a different relationship where sex differences are not involved would be like applying the rules of baseball to football.
The argument current marriage laws “discriminate” against homosexuals confuses discrimination against people with making distinctions among different kinds of behavior. All laws distinguish among different behavior. What other purpose does law have? …
The question is not whether gays should be permitted to marry. Many gays have already married people of the opposite sex. Conversely, heterosexuals who might want to marry someone of the same sex in order to make some point will be forbidden to do so, just as gays are.
The real issue is whether marriage should be redefined—and, if for gays, why not for polygamists? Why not for pedophiles? …
Marriage is not a right but a set of legal obligations imposed because the government has a vested interest in unions that, among other things, have the potential to produce children, which is to say, the future population of the nation.
Gays were on their strongest ground when they said what they did was nobody’s business. Now they are asserting a right to other people’s approval, which is wholly different. None of us has a right to other people’s approval. …
To continue from Sowell’s last paragraph, the trouble is that it never stops there, as shown in the box Gay marriage, politicians, and the rights of Christians in the main article.
You guys really think a Deity who has the power to ignore the Laws of Thermodynamics gives any care [obscenity deleted per our feedback rules]? Regardless marriage predates this religion by a longshot and is not its creation, if churches want to lose all their membership due to their hate let them. I guarantee you in a hundred years people will look at you homophobes the same way we look at racists. It’s no wonder why the Church is failing. I think Ghandi had it right, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Yes, I really think He does care, because He has told us so in his written Word, the Bible!
I am so touched by your concern for the church. But there is no need: it’s the liberal homosexual-appeasing churches that are dying while conservative ones are booming. One infamous example is Bishop Spong’s diocese of Newark, NJ, whose membership hemorrhaged by 43.5%, including closing at least 18 parishes or missions. Quite ironic for a Bishop who preached “Christianity must change or die” that his own diocese is the one on life support!
Its decline was 86% faster than the Episcopal Church as a whole. And that’s saying a lot, because this denomination is hardly a picture of health due to its widespread liberalism. It’s just common sense: theological liberalism is really summed up as the Church becoming more and more like the world. So why shouldn’t more and more people will think, why bother with the church at all since I can get all this in the world?
Finally, the ‘hate’ is coming from your side. Just today I read from Bill Muehlenberg:
Another news source adds this vital piece of information:A man suspected of shooting and wounding a security guard in the lobby of a Christian lobbying group had been volunteering at a community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
A law enforcement official has identified the suspect arrested in Wednesday’s shooting as Floyd Corkins II of Herndon, Va. Investigators were interviewing his neighbors. Another official says the shooter made a negative reference about the work of the Family Research Council before opening fire.
Hmmm, so someone who has associations with the homosexual community shoots a pro-marriage and pro-family fellow. Just a coincidence? No hate involved? Simply turn the story around: someone who has associations with a Christian pro-marriage and pro-family group shoots a fellow in the homosexual community.
The latter story would be front page news in the New York Times, Washington Post, and every MSM TV station, radio network and newspaper in not only America but the Western world. “HOMOPHOBIC HATE CRIME” the headlines would shout.
I wonder if kleptomania should be equally tolerated?
You guys sure make a good point re Christians saying “I refuse to enter politics because it’s a dirty game.”
The other day, I was reminded of the story Richard Wurmbrand told of the 2 secret police who burst into the church in Russia brandishing pistols, saying “anyone who is not willing to die for Jesus can leave now.”
When many had left, they put their pistols away and began embracing the saints with weeping. The 2 ‘secret police’ were actually Christians working under cover to warn the saints.
Were the secret police a ‘dirty business’? Yep, doesn’t get much dirtier!
What a slack excuse this is to not enter the realm of politics. God bless you guys for your love of THE TRUTH. Jesus is the TRUTH.
I wonder why this topic get so much attention? Why don’t the lies that I told in the past get as much attention? Is it because we all agree that telling lies are sin, but some people try to distort the clear message of the Bible that homosexuality is a sin as well.
Young Christians may have trouble getting rid of this ugly habit, and they may struggle through it to get over their sin. Just as the person addicted to alcohol have a difficult time to overcome this sin.
Our task as fellow Christians, and especially as elders in our local churches, is to lead/encourage homosexuals to repentance. This should be done without condemnation, and with a truckload of love. But the point is to help them to see their sin, and repent.
First of all, there is always forgiveness in our Lord Jesus Christ. Along with forgiveness, is healing and a new start.
After forgiveness, this is no longer a spiritual problem, only an emotional problem.
Then we should assist them to sort out the issues that lead to their homosexuality in the first place. Should it be an abusive father that were the main reason to hate men, or growing up with a twisted view about sexuality, it should and can be solved. This is where effective counseling comes into the picture.
Sometimes solving emotional problems requires making nutritional changes. A healthy body hosts a healthy mind (emotions).
The answer is not to try to justify homosexuality and try to argue that it isn’t sin. The answer is to repent and solve the issues that caused the homosexuality in the first place.
Apparently, we must believe the homosexuals and their friends that we don't know what marriage is until they define it.
The definition of a racket is an unfair and/or dishonest practice, therefore, since the homosexuals are complaining that we, the heterosexuals, are denying their right to be married, we are using marriage too exclusively, then, the homosexuals, are denying us our right to be gay. They are using the term gay too exclusively. They are telling us only they can define things. No wonder they have problems like violence being thrust upon them. We can change this situation around by not using the term gay for homosexual and letting them know they weren't going to tell us they were going to use the term gay exclusively. I'm saying it works both ways. We have to start now! Stop using the term gay for homosexual.
Thank you for the well thought out article. I live in Ireland and work at a Baptist Church. Things are really heating up over here concerning this issue of gay marriage, and I have given much thought as to how I might present a Biblical viewpoint against. You have made my job much easier, and I wish to use this article extensively. I have been a supporter of CMI for years and I praise God for you as well as all the other contributors to CMI.
Carry on and, Thanks again.
Daniel in Ireland
Concerning the tendency where same-sex marriage laws are passed to subsequently move to abolish Christian celebrants’ right to choose not to perform such marriages: Did anyone notice in the current legislation before Australia’s parliament, that one of the bills has a section authorising changes to the proposed act by ministerial regulation? This would avoid the need to go to parliament to modify the act further. Talk about back-door clauses!
Why if I reject homosexuality view, I am considered intolerant? Why if an homosexual rejects my Christian view, (s)he is NOT considered intolerant?
One of the most wonderful sermons I have ever heard about homosexuality was from Matt Chandler.
[Link deleted as per feedback rules]
He went into the main arguments of homosexuals and caringly explains the bible.
Just as an example some arguments were:
1. If by orientation God wired me this way why would he judge me then being like this?
WEll, pretty much ever man if it would be by what he feels to be wired, would hunt after women all his life. Every man could argue, why did he wired me this way and why is he holding me back from running over every women I see and desire.
2. As we can even see in nature that there is same sex relations happening, how can it be against God's will?
Well, we also find in nature spider who eat their husbands right after they their closest contact. Some animal fathers try to kill to their youngsters as soon as they are born.
He also goes into the questions of if we are not hurting anyone, how can it be wrong and why Christians judge homosexuals (which do real Christian do not) when we are as sinful as them.
He is explaining those questions very well too. That if a true Christian sins, we repent and want to change, rather than happily continuing.
But I am not a good writer so just watch for yourself. He speaks very gently and warm toward our brothers who live in homosexuality. But he puts a hold to silly arguments.
Compelling stuff, and thank you again CMI for using sound reasoning and strong biblical evidence to structure your argument.
I wonder though if we are missing the whole point of this issue. I don’t doubt that homosexuality is a sin, that seems pretty clear. The part that worries me is that the persecution of this growing minority tells them they can never be saved because they sin. Surely that isn’t true.
I was saved as a sinner, not because I brought my life into line with Jesus’ teachings and he rewarded me with salvation. If we judge homosexuals (and here’s where it gets hard because we must love everyone whether they are sinners or not) are we separating them from Jesus, and therefore salvation? If a pedophile came to church would we tell him he had to be reformed before he could be saved? Surely that’s not the way of salvation. I was saved before I was reformed, and I think that should be our main concern as Christians. We may not understand it, we may know it to be sin, but we need to make sure these people know that Jesus loves them and salvation is waiting for them, gay or straight.
I would love to hear how other Christians feel about this.
Any ‘persecution’ seems to be going the other way, as the article documented in the box, with more and more infringement on the rights of Christians with homosexuals as a new special class.
It is quite common for homosexual activists to blame suicide in their ranks on ‘homophobia’. ‘If we would just be more tolerant and accepting of homosexuals, these rates would drop’ they claim. But are these claims in fact true? The evidence seems to suggest that they are not.
A simple way to test this is to look at places where homosexuality is very much accepted, such as in nations like Holland, or cities like San Francisco. One would expect less suicide and other mental health problems amongst homosexuals in these places. But that is not the case. There is as much if not more suicide and related problems in these localities. So homophobia cannot be to blame.
As one commentator puts it, “Studies done in the Netherlands and New Zealand, for example, where there is generally high tolerance of sexual ‘diversity,’ found the same high rates of psychological difficulties as those done elsewhere.” A number of international studies have borne this out.
The ideal is what the article on this page said:
The Bible says a few things about the need to resist all sinful desires, and the good news that Jesus is the answer, including to homosexuals (“such were some of you”—1 Corinthians 6:11).
Indeed, we believe Ephesians 2:8–9:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Yet the passage goes on to say that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” The good works are not performed to earn salvation (which is impossible), but something saved people should do. Thus there is a place for church discipline for unrepentant repeated sins, and even more for those who flaunt this.
Brilliant article!! I have been seriously inching to see an exhaustive article by the indefatigable Dr Jonathan Sarfati about the homosexual shenanigans and out-right lies being spewed by both hypocritical so-called Christians and anti-Christian organisations. You guys at the CMI have made my day! Dr Sarfati’s comments about this overused “homophobes” label was spot on!
Also homosexuality is not and can never be a civil-rights issue, since it is a destructive behaviour that can be altered. You will never be an Ex-black or Ex-white person, but you will always come across an Ex-homosexual person! The presence of Ex-homosexuals like Michael Glantze, Stephen Bennett, Richard Kelley and thousands of Ex-homosexuals completely blows out of the water the satanic notion that homosexuality is innate, or that one is ‘born’ that way!But the corporate media never covers or mentions the reality of Ex-homosexuals for it flies in the face of their homosexual-rights campaigns.
Great work Dr Jonathan. I would like to include one more proof for “God dislike h___.”
Every Christians knows that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. But most of the people don’t know why God destroyed it. Please read Genesis 18:18 to Genesis 19:18.
Indeed. There is some revisionism about this by the gay churchians, who claim that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality and selfishness, based on Ezekiel 16:49. Of course, an attempted homosexual gang rape is one aspect of their inhospitality and selfishness. And the very next verse says “did an abomination before me” which suggests that they committed a grave sexual sin. And Jude 7 makes it clear that Sodom committed a grave sexual sin:
… just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire … .
A wonderfully well-written article :) Thanks Jonathan.
I am a Christian and a proud supporter of same-sex marriage. [Web link deleted as per feedback rules.] I also believe in Creation science since there’s lots of evidence to support it. No, not every person who is LGBT is a friend of mine, nor is everyone who is straight! However, I got lots of safety and love from the LGBT community, I am bisexual, and Jesus loves me. No homophobe is going to make me insecure or fearful because I know who I am in Christ Jesus.
Say what you like, but Christianity and homosexual behaviour are not compatible, as documented in the article. We might expect some new Christians to struggle for a time with this and other sins, but one must wonder about a wilful, unrepentant, and repeated practice of such a sin. As in the article, Paul talked of those who were involved in homosexual practices but no longer thanks to Christ.
James 2 discusses those who claim to have faith but their works don’t match; there is no reason that other people should believe this claim. And while it’s good that you accept creation science, we have always said that design is not enough, and James points out that even the demons believe it as well.
I am not sure what a “homophobe” is meant to be, since the Greek etymology suggests “fear of the same”. But then, I suppose that those who oppose child molestation are “pedophobic bigots”, and those who disagree with atheist Peter Singer and still oppose bestiality are “bestiophobes”.
We have to separate a person from their actions or deeds. The age-old argument that the gay community uses is that if God is a God of love then He is ok with us. Wrong. God loves the sinner but hates sin.
It makes me mad when professing Christians accept gay and lesbian relationships. If you really understand what Jesus went through to have this type of sin forgiven then you would think twice about your actions. …
A previous commenter mentioned the rainbow. I find it sad and ironic that God’s reminder of His promise never again to destroy all life on account of human sin has become one of the more prominent symbols of ‘gay pride’.
It is because many Christians hold on to a compromised view of Scripture starting with Genesis that many will come to defend gay marriage or theistic evolution not realizing that by doing so, logically, their Christian witness is already dead in the water. Soon a question will inevitably come along and blow them out of the water and sink their lives into oblivion just like the documented life of the late Charles Templeton. Articles like these are just what is needed, like a pail of cold water poured on a sleeping Christian witness in order to wake them up. So Doc Jonathan, thanks and pour on.
What I find the most galling about this subject is the loss of our most vital freedoms, the freedom to free speech and the freedom to live our lives how we wish. The so called human rights movement is in reality destroying the freedoms which we sacrificed so much to gain. They have become the thought police, and more and more it is becoming illegal to even disagree with those in authority. To have an opposing view is to be labeled as dangerous to society, mentally deranged, because those who do wrong, know what they are doing is wrong, and can tolerate no opposition, in deed, word or thought to their desires that enslave them, and in which they wish to enslave others. (Do not try to use this argument to say God is wrong, God tolerates people right up to the day they die the opportunity to all to turn and repent, no one else even comes within a parsec of the tolerance of God towards those who do what he hates).
What we are seeing happening today is an enslavement of the world by evil persons. These same persons who claim to be acting for the freedoms of humanity, really? Good grief when I was a kid, if someone said something that upset you, you were expected to behave like an adult and get over it! Nowadays people seem to think it is justification for imprisonment and killing.
I have often heard the sentiment bible believing Christians deserve it because they are trying to push their belief system on others. Really?! If that is the ultimate evil, then all of humanity is guilty of it and we all deserve to be summarily imprisoned and executed. This is what happens when you turn your back on God, enslavement, and the stifling of true god given creativity, having to live your life in fear, not even allowed to speak ones opinion.
Good grief, the only reason you are even allowed to complain is you live in an ex-Christian society that is still running on it last dregs of Christian heritage. Try going to a non-Christian society and complaining, see how long you last. Wait a few years and see the continual erosion of freedom in the west as we have leaders who do not believe in God, and so are not answerable to him as leaders. People need to wake up and look beyond themselves and actually see what is happening in the real world … . Then read the Bible every day, come before God in prayer and ask him in all humility to open your eyes, and your mind to what he means, if you do this in all sincerity, willing to pay the cost of following God, then there is really one answer to is this right or wrong. It is the same question as Satan said to Eve, did God really say?
If you want an out side sorce of homosexuality just look at history, every society in history that has openly accepted it has led it self down the path of self-destruction. The generals of Rome who took their toy boys with them. It dose not supprise me to see our society also geting more and more violent, and having to introduce more and more laws. With out the controlling influence of Christ in their lives, we are having to legislate everything, and based on [autonomous] human reasoning all such efforts are in vain. With Christ there are just two laws, without there are a multitude of constantly growing number of laws, that effectively ensure lawlessness. …
Indeed, G.K Chesterton pointed out:
When you break the big laws, you do not get liberty; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.
Classic CMI—turning an issue that the majority of evangelical Christians are united in, saying no to gay marriage (including the current faculty at Moore College) into one that is divisive, destructive, and deceptive.
Classic critic: missing the main point of the article. The point was that ex-Moorite Mascord is just being consistent: applying Scriptura sub scientiā to the passages about marriage just as he does to the Flood narratives. And don’t be too sure about other Moorites and associated Sydney Anglicans, as per John Dickson cited in the article. Also, Mascord’s own blog says, referring again to Sydney Diocese:
I personally have made my peace with the idea that the Bible is not inerrant. I mention in A Restless Faith a question Michael Jensen asked his father Archbishop Peter Jensen at a School of Theology a few years ago, ‘Isn’t it time we gave up on inerrancy?’ I agree with Michael’s question and with its implied answer. We do need to. Inerrancy obscures and misleads as much as it (positively) produces a patiently respectful attitude to the text.
As for “divisive”, we document from Scripture that it’s rather those who bring contrary doctrines to those the Apostles taught (thus including global flood) who are the real divisive ones.
We leave “deceptive” to atheistic evolutionists, who are just acting consistently with their belief system, as documented.
In the Herald on the following day Dr Constantine Campbell from Moore College replied to Keith Mascord’s article,demonstrating the same intellectual confusion.
Dr C. asserted that Genesis 1–11 was pre-science and pre-history and is best described as “saga” (not myth).
How an historical account can be pre-history beats me.
Saga seems to be an genre invented to cope with rejecting the historical nature of the text whilst keeping some sort of theological value. I'm not sure what he means by it.
He quoted Romans 1:18–28 , which includes verse 22: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
Paul applies this to non-Christians , but it seems that Christians are prone to the same problems of self- delusion.
Near the end of this article Dr Sarfati quotes the American K. Sparks as writing:
If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, John wrote Scripture without error.
It appears to me that the quoted statement as it stands makes perfectly good logical sense. The problem is that it is based of a faulty premise—that “Jesus … erred.” Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus “was in all points tempted lke as we are, yet without sin.” (emphasis mine) And if the original premise is false, so is the dependability of any conclusion based on it. So we can depend upon the writings of “Moses, Paul, John” and other writers of parts of the Scripture, based on the twin facts that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16) and “God … cannot lie” (Titus 1:2).
How someone who feels that (s)he can pick and choose which parts of Scripture are true and which are "in error" can call himself or herself a Christian (a follower of Christ) is beyond me.
Dr. Sarfati and others at CMI, God bless you,and keep up the good work for Him.
Reading the article to the part about a real flood, we just had rain & the sun is now shining … I wonder … got up and looked out the window … there it is … a bow in the sky … Amen!
One area of this subject, I have never seen discussed is the question of why God prescribed the penalty of death for homosexual behavior. He must, for some reason, equate the sin of homosexual behavior with the seriousness of other capital sins such as murder and adultery. Or does this aspect of the subject seem to present God as some kind of monster and therefore shouldn’t be discussed because it might present God in a bad light, because as we moderns know, God loves everyone unconditionally and just the way they are.
He must have some very good reason for specifying the death penalty in order to, as we are told in the Bible regarding all capital sins, remove the evil from the land.
In the Noahic Covenant in Genesis 9, God prescribes capital punishment for murder. This has never been revoked—otherwise we must logically conclude that His promise never to send another global flood has also been rescinded.
Under the Law of Moses, to the signatories of the Sinaitic Covenant, there were far more capital crimes. There seem to be at least two reasons:
- This was the people through whom the Messiah would come. So it was important to preserve them from the sins common to the surrounding nations.
- The book of Deuteronomy is a typical ancient near eastern suzerain-vassal treaty, with God as suzerain and Israel as vassal. Breaking these major laws of God was in effect an act of treason against the acknowledged suzerain, and throughout history this has been a capital crime in most places. See also ‘Christian’ vs evolutionary atrocities.
See also Is the Bible ‘evil’? Moral accusations against God and Scripture fall flat. Actually, we had recently commissioned a Creation magazine article to refute the ‘monster God’ attacks recently popularized by the ‘new atheopaths’.
As always Jonathan great stuff and also as always, but not always said, very much appreciated. Keep up the fight!
Yes—the compromise begins seeping in, and takes over, within the Church.
That is exactly what the enemy calls for—sin proclaims "equality".
And the scientific evidences—oh my! It points clearly to the Word of God, and the infallibility of His Word!
Dr Sarfati writes:
In any case, the reasoning displayed by such evangelicals urging a ‘rethink’ on gay marriage is unchristian—by definition.
Yes! Fight on CMI! let us all fight on!
Oh thank you God, that Dr Sarfati and those at CMI keep speaking and writing the truths—again and again and again—it helps me eat of it, and proclaim it to others—all glory and honor to God.
And CMI—here, Dr Sarfati, writes the truth IN LOVE!
Dr Sarfati writes:
The world is sinful and fallen—this includes man’s inclinations. So it’s useless to appeal to the desire of some to have sexual or married relationships with people of the same sex—that’s a product of the Fall, just like adultery, lying, and any other sin (see Handling the barrage of homosexual half-truths). The Bible says a few things about the need to resist all sinful desires, and the good news that Jesus is the answer, including to homosexuals (“such were some of you”—1 Corinthians 6:11).
Amen. Amen. Amen. Who can saves us from ourselves? Yes—Lord Jesus can and has and does and will. He is the answer!
The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. Ps 22:26
Thank you Lord God for those at CMI, and all the readers and those who comment—not by power nor by might, but by His Spirit. He has called us—let us step up and stand!
Thanks for a very relevant article to our times and for standing on the truth of Genesis. Church and Christian leaders who avoid the implications of compromise on Genesis are failing to be salt and light. As mentioned—it’s time for revival in our Churches lest our children suffer.
As a Dane, it grieves my heart to see the Church here disobey God—or to be more precise—openly rebel against God!
And to make it even more unbearable—this is Church leaders!
Yes we are all sinners—but we have been washed, and cleansed by repentance and obedience to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God.
My partner and I are both gay, and both practising Christians. We do not believe that God or Jesus has a problem with us.
While we could settle for a non-religious, “civil partnership”, we feel that is a second-class option and would much rather make our vows before God.
Or should we just tell Jesus “Thanks but no thanks” and become atheists?
It seems that you need to practise harder about being Christians, such as following what He says about marriage (as documented in the article). So whether you believe Jesus or God has a problem with you is irrelevant; we can go only by what They have explicitly taught in the Bible.
What you tell Jesus is between you and Him—it won’t work as emotional blackmail on us. But He asks people to forsake everything else if asked—even wealth (Matthew 19:16–30) and close family (Matthew 10:37) must not come before Him. So I would suggest that telling Him that you won’t forsake a type of sexual relationship that He has forbidden might not work so well.
All God's blessings on Dr Jonathan Sarfati and his colleagues,(including our faithful little CMI team here in South Africa! Please be assured that as you work together in the fight for the truth of God’s Word, (and most especially regarding controversial matters such as homosexuality for instance), in His strength you stand like a firm rock in the midst of today’s tumultuous sea of compromise and wholesale rejection of Scripture truth. Knowing we have such leaders brings a sense of deep comfort to ‘ordinary’ folk like me, who know little of science but who do choose to believe in the utter trustworthiness of our Bible. Especially as, tragically, so much argument against it comes from so-called ‘Bible believers’ who claim to be authorities and who would of course fall short of saying straight out that God is a liar, but certainly imply it all the same. So it deeply gladdens my heart to know the Lord Himself has raised up such rocks as CMI to reinforce our faith in literal Bible truth—in these godless days.
Thank God for you all, and may you know His ongoing strength in the vital work you're doing for Him.
It struck me during recent media appearances by prominent Anglicans in Sydney, that while they weighed in on the ‘gay marriage’ question, they did not use the opportunity to make a relevant connection with the gospel. In the final analysis, plenty of conventionally married heterosexuals are not in Christ. No matter how much ‘moral tinkering’ the church gets up to, the only question, really, is that of salvation.
Some who profess to be Christians and support gay marriage and homosexuality should re-read the Bible (eg, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Jude 6–7, 1 Corinthians 6:9–11). Furthermore, the Bible defines that marriage is only eve between a man and a woman. If they refuse to agree with what’s recorded then they certainly are not Christians. If they refuse to repent they will be dealt with accordingly as per the Bible.
Thank you for this excellent and timely message. It’s time for a revival in our churches.