14 Aug Is Homosexuality Wrong? – Our Link Mar-Jun ’90
Homosexuality is a way of life has gathered considerable momentum in the post-Christian western culture so that, the stand of the Christian church and biblical concensus go unheeded by an overriding popular public opinion. It is appalling to note that the Christian church is also infiltrated by ‘gay ministers and there are even called the ‘Christian Gay Movements’.
Homosexuality, although a sad problem in university campuses of the western world years ago is currently becoming a menace on university campuses in India. I am shocked to hear about the practice of ‘Lesbianism’ in some of the women’s college hostels in South India, and lady wardens being bisexuals.
When I was a medical student over a few decades ago ‘Homosexuality’ and ‘Oral sex’ were taught as ‘Sexual perversions.’ During the last decade, with the increasing curiosity of ‘Sex Education’ and emergence of a pseudo-discipline – Sexology’, with scientific organizations like the W. H. O. exhibiting keen interest, the above perversions are being defined as other forms of normal sexuality just as the hitherto accepted normal heterosexuality and heterosexual behaviour. Developing nations like ours are still grappling with problems of over population, poverty, under nutrition and malnutrition. What about the affluent nations who do not have these problems. Dr. James Dobson in his letter May 88 speaks about the moral deterioration in the USA. Their foundation is giving way. The values which served them so well since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 are giving way. Those who hate Christian values and are passionately dedicated to their destruction, are orchestrating with great earnestness to achieve their diabolic ends and amongst this formidable army are the gay and lesbian movements.
With this background what should be the stand of the ‘Evangelical Student’ with respect to this issue of homosexuality? I endorse Dr John Stott’s masterly and dispassionate treatment of this issue. The biblical proscription and prohibition of Homosexuality based on (1) Gen. 19 1-13, Judges 19, (2) The Levitical texts 18,: 22, 20: 13. (3) Paul’s portrayal of the decadent pagan society of his day (Rom. 1 : 18 – 32). (4) Two Pauline lists of sinners each of which includes reference to homosexuality practices of some kind – (1 Cor. 6 : 9-10 & 1 Tim. 1: 8-11), have been seriously assailed by biblical scholars raising serious doubts whether these references could be taken as prohibition of the present day gay movements in Church.
Although the arguments raised by biblical scholars to show that the above biblical texts do not specifically condemn homosexuality as it is practiced now are certainly not convincing. I agree with Dr Stott that our stand proscribing homosexual behaviour is essentially not on those texts but on those dealing with the institution of marriage in Genesis 2. Genesis 1 affirms complementarity of the sexes which constitutes the basis for heterosexual marriage. Three fundamental truths which emerge in this creation accounts are: (1) Gen 2 : 18. It is not good for a man to be alone. (2) Gen 2 : 20. The divine provision to meet the human need. A special work of divine creation took place. Sexes became differentiated. Out of the undifferentiated humanity of Adam, male and female emerged.
History’s first love poem is Gen 2 : 23, (3) Resulting in the Institution of marriage v. 24, because of v.23 “for this reason. . .” This teaches that hetro-sexual intercourse in marriage is more than a union – it is a kind of reunion. It is the union of two persons who originally were one, were then and now in the sexual encounter of marriage are brought together again.
This according to Dr Stott explains the profound mystery of heterosexual intimacy about which poets and philosophers have celebrated in every culture, including our great Indian culture. Heterosexual intercourse is much more than a union of bodies, it is a blending of complementary personalilties through which in the midst of prevailing alienation, the rich created oneness of human beings is experienced again. Oh, the sublime wisdom of God! To experience this sacred mystery, Dr Stott elucidates in his inimitable way, the constituents of marriage, as ordained by God, Gen. 2: 24-25. Our Lord endorsed this in Mark 10 : 4-9.
So I agree with Dr Stott, that scripture defines marriage as that which God has instituted in terms of heterosexual monogamy. Scripture approves of no other kind of marriage or sexual inter course and God has not provided any other alternative.
Every sexual relationship or act which derivates from God’s revealed intention is displeasing to Him and is under His judgement. This includes polygamy, polyandry or polygyny, clandestine unions, casual encounters, temporary liaisons, adultery, fornication, divorce and homosexual partnerships.
Divine institution of marriage is a principle of divine revelation universally applicable, transcending times and cultures heterosexual monogamy having been established by creation and not by culture – its validity is both permanent and universal. True liberation is found only in accepting them. As regards the argument by homosexuals that they are created that way and by nature they are such and that there are no eternal standards of normality of naturalness the answer is again that God has established a norm for sex and marriage by creation. Paul condemns in Romans 1 – human behaviour against God’s order. The other subtle argument is that the greatest thing in the world is love (Lust being treated as love) as the criterion to judge every relationship. The biblical Christian cannot accept the basis that love is the only absolute and besides it all the moral laws can be overlooked. Love needs law to guide it. While emphasizing love for God and the neighbour as He gave two great commandments, our Lord did not discard all the other commandments. Our Lord said, ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments’ and Paul wrote that love is the fulfiling of the law John 14 : 15, Romans 13 : 8-10. Quality of love is not the only yardstick to measure what is good and right.
Fulfilment of our highest human welfare is realized in obedience to God’s law and purpose and not in revolting against them. Although God accepts us just as we are, His acceptance means that He fully and freely forgives all who repent and believe and not that He condones our continuance in sin. We are fellow pilgrims, but not fellow sinners who are resolved to persist in our sins – no acceptance is promised to those who harden their hearts against the Lord’s word and will. From what has been presented I am sure there is incontrovertible evidence that in the light of the whole biblical revelation, homosexual practice is not a variant within the wide range of accepted normality, but is a deviation from God’s norm.
Perplexing and painful as the homosexual Christian’s dilemma is, our Lord Jesus Christ, Dr Stott concludes, offers to us faith to accept His standards, grace to maintain them, the hope to look beyond present suffering to future glory and the love to care for and support one another.
1. Personal Communication – Dr.James Dobson May “88.
2. Issues Facing Christians Today – Dr John R W Stott.
About the Author
Dr R D Stevens, a former Vice President, of UESI, is a retired Surgeon who has traveled widely and held various posts in Government medical institutions. He and his wife live in Coimbatore.