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Scripture Reading: Isaiah 5:13-21
Homosexual Marriage: Deconstructing the Bible
1. America has been engaged
in a culture war for the past 50 years. The sanctity of life (abortion),
the morality of restraint (sexual revolution) and the dismantling of
marriage (divorce rate approaches 50%) are some of the battle lines that
2. Homosexual (“same sex”) marriage is currently making a huge legal and public relations push after same-sex marriage amendments were defeated in AZ, CA and FL in Nov 2008.
3. Legal: MA, CT; “Civil unions”: NH, VT, NJ; “Domestic Partners”: WA, OR, CA, ME.
a. This would not be an issue except for the increasing acceptability of homosexuality.
b. Evil grows worse and worse until finally; Lord destroys it, 2 Tim. 3:13 (Gen. 15:16).
4. To justify homosexual marriage, its defenders must deconstruct the Bible and its teachings on marriage and homosexuality. (“Our Mutual Joy,” Lisa Miller, Newsweek, Dec. 15, 2008)
I. THE BIBLE ON HOMOSEXUALITY.
A. Homosexuality is Sin, Gen. 18:20-21.
1. Abomination and confusion, Lev. 18:22-23; 20:13.
2. Against nature and dishonorable, Rom. 1:24-27.
B. Homosexuality is Fornication.
1. Definition of porneia: “illicit sexual intercourse in general,” (Thayer, 532).
a. The general, inclusive term for all sexual immorality.
b. Homosexuality is a specific form of fornication:
2. Homosexuality (arsenokoites: “one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual,” Thayer, 75), 1 Cor. 6:9 (1 Tim. 1:10). “Going after strange flesh”, Jude 7.
C. The Traits of Fornication therefore, can be attributed to Homosexuality:
1. It is chosen behavior, 1 Cor. 6:18.
2. Lustful (heart), Mk. 7:21; Matt. 5:28 (Prov. 6:24-29); It is not love.
3. Loveless (not a love affair; innocent pleasures), 1 Ths. 4:6.
4. Against the body and dishonors it, 1 Cor. 6:13, 15, 18 (1 Ths. 4:3-5).
5. Punished by God, 1 Ths. 4:6; Rev. 21:8.
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II. DECONSTRUCTING THE BIBLE: TRANSFORMING THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY INTO AN ACCEPTABLE PRACTICE, Isa. 5:20; Prov. 17:15.
A. Assertion: The Bible Allows Homosexual Marriages.
1. Deny the literal, final nature of the Bible’s message. (You cannot endorse homosexuality by simply reading and applying the Bible as a literal message!)
“Biblical literalists will disagree, but the Bible is a living document, powerful for more than 2,000 years because its truths speak to us even as we change through history. In that light, Scripture gives us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be (civilly and religiously) married—and a number of excellent reasons why they should.” (“Our Mutual Joy,” Lisa Miller, Newsweek, Dec. 15, 2008)
a. This must be done because the Bible clearly and emphatically condemns homosexuality, 1 Cor. 6:9-11.
b. Disagree with the author’s definition of the Bible as a “living document”:
1) The Bible is not changing; it is constant and settled in heaven (Psa. 119:89).
2) The Bible is powerful; able to change lives, Heb. 4:12-13.
2. Jesus didn’t say “not to” have same-sex marriage.
“...while the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and
family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one
a. FALSE! Jesus explicitly identified marriage as a relationship between male and female, Matt. 19:4-5.
b. Citing Moses, Jesus affirmed God-ordained marriage between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24).
B. Assertion: Many Marriages in the Bible were far from the Biblical Ideal.
1. Deconstruct the marriage pattern: man and woman.
“In the Old Testament, the concept of family is fundamental, but examples of what social conservatives would call ‘the traditional family’ are scarcely to be found. Marriage was critical to the passing along of tradition and history, as well as to maintaining the Jews’ precious and fragile monotheism. But as the Barnard University Bible scholar Alan Segal puts it, the arrangement was between ‘one man and as many women as he could pay for.’” (Miller)
a. God’s ideal, Gen. 2:18-25.
b. Man’s corruption, Gen. 4:16-19.
1) Polygamy began in worldliness, not holiness.
2) Homosexuality was always viewed as going after “strange flesh”, Jude 7.
c. God’s law through Moses restrained unjust treatment of wives, Exo. 21:10; Deut. 21:15-17; 17:17; 24:1-4.
d. Bible does not condone unholy marriages or unholy conduct in scriptural marriages, Heb. 13:4.
e. The Bible never endorses homosexual marriage.
2. Deconstruct the roles within marriage to be defined by society and tradition and not by the literal word of God.
“Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?” (Miller)
“Religious wedding ceremonies have already changed to reflect new conceptions of marriage. Remember when we used to say “man and wife” instead of “husband and wife”? Remember when we stopped using the word “obey”? Even Miss Manners, the voice of tradition and reason, approved in 1997 of that change. “It seems,” she wrote, ‘that dropping ‘obey’ was a sensible editing of a service that made assumptions about marriage that the society no longer holds.’” (Miller)
a. Headship established by God’s word, Gen. 3:16 (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-25); Titus 2:5.
b. Arrogance toward God for man to change the roles in marriage, Rom. 9:20-21.
c. God saw marriage, as He arranged it, as “very good”, Gen. 1:31.
d. Men have sought out their own inventions, Eccl. 7:29.
e. God’s arrangement works; Men’s changes inject confusion, corruption and chaos into marriage and the family.
C. Assertion: Only one Type of Homosexuality is Condemned in the Bible.
1. The Bible only condemns lust and violent expressions of homosexual conduct.
-Concerning Romans 1:24-32, we are told that Paul only condemned men who “were inflamed with lust for one another" (which he calls "a perversion") is really a critique of the worst kind of wickedness: self-delusion, violence, promiscuity and debauchery.” (Miller)
“In his book The Arrogance of Nations, the scholar Neil Elliott argues that Paul is referring in this famous passage to the depravity of the Roman emperors, the craven habits of Nero and Caligula, a reference his audience would have grasped instantly. ‘Paul is not talking about what we call homosexuality at all,’ Elliott says. ‘He’s talking about a certain group of people who have done everything in this list. We’re not dealing with anything like gay love or gay marriage. We’re talking about really, really violent people who meet their end and are judged by God.’” (Miller)
a. Yes, the Bible condemns violent lust and all its attendant evils.
b. Violence is a separate action added to lust.
c. Lust is sin, and when violence is added to it, the sin increases.
d. But the sin of lust exists even where there is no violence! Col. 3:5 (1 Jno. 2:16)
e. At Sodom, the lust of homosexuality existed before the threats of violence! Gen. 19:5, 9
2. David and Jonathan are offered as examples of homosexual love.
“Gay men like to point to the story of passionate King David and his friend Jonathan, with whom he was "one spirit" and whom he ‘loved as he loved himself.’”
“David rends his clothes at Jonathan's death and, in grieving, writes a song:
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
You were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
More wonderful than that of women.
“Here, the Bible praises enduring love between men. What Jonathan and David did or did not do in privacy is perhaps best left to history and our own imaginations.” (Miller)
a. Perversions of 1 Sam. 18:3 and 2 Sam. 1:25-26; Great friendship of these men.
b. Evil imagination is the best anyone can do to build a case of homosexual love between David and Jonathan!
c. The words and meditations of the homosexual and their supporters are quite unlike David’s! Psa. 19:14 (Acts 13:22).
3. Love is defined as a committed relationship, not obedience to God’s will.
-We hear of “gay love”...
“Terry Davis is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hartford, Conn., and has been presiding over "holy unions" since 1992. ‘I'm against promiscuity—love ought to be expressed in committed relationships, not through casual sex, and I think the church should recognize the validity of committed same-sex relationships,’ he says.” (Miller)
a. There were “committed relationships” in Ezra 10:10-12, yet they did not please God!
b. There are remarriages today that are committed relationships, but they do not please God! Matt. 19:9
D. Assertion: Bible Believers are Not Consistent in Their Use of the Bible or in Their Own Lives about Marriage.
1. Divorce: “Paul argued more strenuously against divorce—and at least half of the Christians in America disregard that teaching.” (Miller)
a. It is true that some Bible believers sin by sundering what God has joined together (Matt. 19:6).
b. That no more condones divorce or homosexual marriage than the fact that some Christians lie condones lying!
2. Adultery: “In the NEWSWEEK POLL, 55 percent of respondents said that married heterosexuals who have sex with someone other than their spouses are more morally objectionable than a gay couple in a committed sexual relationship.” (Miller)
a. God will judge all adulterers – and fornicators! Heb. 13:4
b. This argument only tries to silence critics by saying “you have done worse things.”
E. Assertion: People Get Married “For Their Mutual Joy.”
1. When homosexual relationships bring joy they are just as acceptable as heterosexual marriage.
“People get married ‘for their mutual joy,’ explains the Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center in New York, quoting the Episcopal marriage ceremony. That’s what religious people do: care for each other in spite of difficulty, she adds. In marriage, couples grow closer to God: ‘Being with one another in community is how you love God. That's what marriage is about.’”
a. Yes; Godly joy should attend marriage, Eccl. 9:9.
b. Being with one another is not necessarily how we love God, cf. Mk. 6:17-18!
c. Loving God is keeping His commands, not following sin disguised as “love.”
d. Jesus would reach out to homosexuals to call them to repentance and salvation, not in continuing to commit fornication! cf. Jno. 8:11; Lk. 15:1-2, 7 (Acts 17:30)
1. The Bible stands against every attack made on it by faithless men and women.
2. God defines marriage as a covenant He establishes between man and woman (Mal. 2:14; Prov. 2:17; Matt. 19:6; Rom. 7:2-3).
3. Adulterers and homosexuals make covenants and call them marriage; but they are not approved by God! Matt. 19:9; Heb. 13:4