F. Lagard Smith starts his book, Sodom’s Second Coming, with a call to Christians. He writes, “It’s time we Christians had a frank talk about [homosexuality]. Everyone else has: the media, the military, state legislatures, city councils, teachers’ unions, local school boards—even the President of the United States” (Sodom’s Second Coming, 7). He claims that Christians have become the quietest voice of all in the debate over homosexuality and that more and more people, including many “Christian” organizations are becoming convinced that homosexuality is a normal, healthy, and acceptable lifestyle in the eyes of God.
For many of us, who just know that homosexuality is a sin, it is difficult to articulate how we feel. For something that has always been wrong to us, it may seem impossible to put into words our Christian, our Godly, viewpoint. While homosexuality is not entirely analogous to other immoral acts, what is happening today is just like if somebody were to approach one of us and tell us that murder and rape and child abuse are now morally acceptable. We should never have to defend our viewpoints on matters such as child abuse because. . . well, because it’s just wrong! But that is what is happening today with homosexuality. What once was just wrong is now right, and what was once right is now wrong!
This subject has become increasingly interesting for me because of recent personal experience with the homosexual community, and the amount of press that the Episcopalian Church has received as a result of their ordination of a homosexual priest. I have a very good friend who is openly gay and we had a discussion over his homosexuality, his lifestyle choices (which are not choices in his eyes), and the obvious dangers of the homosexual life. I have a great fondness for this person, who is around my same age. At the same time, I feel great remorse for him because of the sin that is in his life, and for his refusal to look at the facts in the Bible.
So I thought it best to prepare a sermon on homosexuality, because it is a sin just like every other sin. It is a choice, it is a step toward Hell, and it can be corrected and suppressed with a proper knowledge of the Gospel and a sincere desire to change.
It is of great importance for Christians to be knowledgeable in this subject because, as it says in 1 Peter 3:15, we are to “always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” When we go out on a limb and say something so extremely politically incorrect (that is, that homosexuality is sinful), we must have an answer for everyone. We must make a defense for our beliefs. Too often, especially with subjects as controversial as this, Christians can tend to just speak off the top of their heads. Christians know that homosexuality is wrong, but they do not have the right facts, the adequate research, or the proper attitude to make a good defense of their beliefs. Many homosexuals see Christians as bigoted, opinionated, and uneducated. They see Christians as blindly following an outdated faith, unenlightened by the proofs of science. But if we study and research and know our facts, non-Christians will see that we believe in something very logical and scientific.
So I want to study with you how it is that we can pursue a change of heart in a homosexual. I will do this by first examining what the Bible says about homosexuality, and then I will show you just how prevalent this sin is in our culture, and finally I will explain some methods of aiding a homosexual in his or her journey toward salvation.
The Bible and Homosexuality
First, it is important for any Christian to know and understand what the Bible really says about the practice of homosexuality. Like any error in human thought, homosexuality can be stamped out of the minds of potential Christians or converts with the simple, pure milk of the Gospel. Paul tells us in Romans 1:16 that he “is not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every man. . .”. When the time comes to speak the truth on issues such as the one we are discussing, we have to be prepared to speak exactly where and how the Bible speaks. We cannot be ashamed of what the Bible says, simply because what it says is no longer politically correct. We must not water down the Gospel, or try to avoid the subject. We must take a stand for the Truth and proclaim it boldly to those who would oppose Christ.
Naturally, there must, of necessity, be tact and kindness in our proclamation of the Truth. A subject like this can really turn off potential Christians if it is handled poorly and in a way that is rude, demeaning, or misinformed. Again I turn to the advice of Paul in such matters of importance. Please take a look at 2 Timothy 2:24-26. The subject of homosexuality is no different. The end result, hopefully, is the salvation of souls, and mishandling scripture or being homophobic is not the best way to change the ways of one who practices such sin.
There are basically two kinds of scriptures that deal with homosexuality; instances of homosexuality and its effects, and outright condemnation of the practice.
Genesis 19:1-11 – Here is an example of an instance of homosexuality. The phrase ‘have relations with them’, translated ‘that we may know them’ in many versions, is clearly a proposal for sexual relations with the two guests. Many have tried to argue that the phrase simply means ‘to get to know them’, seeing as how they were strangers and all. But if this is true, then why does Lot call their intentions ‘wicked’ in verse seven?
Also notice that the men of the city obviously wanted homosexual relations, nothing else. Lot offered his two daughters to them to spare his guests from the rape, but they did not want daughters, they wanted the men. And it is because of this sin, and others, that the angels destroyed the city that very night, razing it to the ground.
Many have tried to argue that it was not for their homosexuality that they were killed, though. Rather, it was for their long list of other sins. But while their other sins may have contributed to their demise, Jude 7 makes it clear that homosexuality was certainly the most contributive factor. The phrase ‘strange flesh’ simply means ‘flesh that most people do not desire.’ This is an obvious reference to the desire of men for men and women for women.
Leviticus 18:22 – Very strong, but undeniably clear language! This would fall into the category of scriptures that condemn homosexuality flat out, no exceptions, no loopholes. In fact, it says that homosexuality is an abomination! This is the translated word to’ebah, which means “something loathsome, or detestable”, especially in contradiction to the nature of God (Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible).
Another verse that corroborates this one is in Leviticus 20:13. Again, the language is strong but clear. Many argue that a lot of the Old Testament references to homosexuality are simple mistranslations of that word, and that the scriptures simply refer to people who practice homosexuality who are naturally heterosexual. But this verse is no mistranslation! It does not even have the word homosexuality in it to be mistranslated! It clearly outlines that anybody (regardless of whether or not he or she is naturally homosexual) who lies with a member of the same sex in the act of intercourse is doing a detestable thing.
Romans 1:26-27 – It is not just the Old Testament that condemns the practice of homosexuality. Here, the act is clearly defined and described as homosexuality. Again, many want to argue that homosexuality is just what is natural for some, but this verse clearly claims that what is natural for a man is found in his woman counterpart, and what is natural for a woman is found in her man.
Another argument against this verse states that it is only perverted homosexuals who are condemned, while law-abiding, peaceful, “married” homosexuals are not included. John J. Davis stated in response to this, “It will not do to suggest that the Apostle was condemning only “irresponsible” or “promiscuous” homosexual acts. Given the context. . . it is quite evident that homosexuality per se is contrary to the will of God” (Evangelical Ethics, p. 118). This writer notes that in this passage, homosexuality is not presented in a Judeo-Christian context, but as a sin against human nature, against any moral code.
Part of the success that can be found in this passage of scripture comes from the fact that it argues a rational, responsible, practical truth. That is that the natural, biological thing for a man to do is procreate with a woman. A man and a man cannot procreate! It is an impossibility, and God knows and thus He has imparted that knowledge onto Paul in this scripture.
Paul goes on in two more of His letters to openly condemn homosexuality. Open up to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Homosexuals are counted in the same category as idolaters, fornicators, drunkards, and a host of other sinful agents. The end result for people like this is made clear in the passage; they shall not inherit eternal life! So tell me, how can a lifestyle like homosexuality possibly healthy, normal, and acceptable to God is it leads to eternal damnation? There is certainly nothing healthy about Hell! Paul makes the same basic statement in 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
There has been quite a bit of debate, however, in scholarly circles about the accuracy of the translations with regard to the word for homosexuality that Paul used. The NIV has translated the word to mean homosexual offenders, and sometimes just perverts. The KJV has translated it into “abusers of themselves with mankind.” The English Bible, the worst of them all, simply calls it “homosexual perversion,” as if homosexuality is not the perversion. These versions have watered down the blatant homosexual meaning of the word in order to ‘glaze over’ the subject. They want to make it seem as if homosexuality is not the sin, but that it is other acts that are sinful. Homosexuality is fine, but promiscuous homosexuality is bad, or pedophilia is bad, or homosexuals who produce pornography are bad.
But as we will see from the Greek word itself, the NAS has translated the phrase more precisely. The Greek word is arsenokoitai, which is literally a compound word that means “sexual male.” The literal etymology, according to most scholars, however, suggests “males who go to bed with males [in a sexual manner].” (Evangelical Ethics, 121). This word is only used twice, in these last two scriptures, in the New Testament.
The argument then arises that Paul was simply a bigot and he did not accurately teach the Gospel, because his personal beliefs got in the way. Well, according to the scriptures, Paul preached exactly what Christ wanted Him to teach! Turn to Acts 26:16. We also see that Paul knew he spoke for Jesus in 1 Corinthians 14:37. He writes, “the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.” Paul was not just going off a feeling he had, or a bias, or a prejudice, but off of the words of Christ.
The same thing needs to be true for us when we confidently make the assertion that a good friend or co-worker is in sin. Do not let the person be angry at you, but only at the scriptures. Use scripture to combat evil and sin, do not use personal opinions or prejudices.
The devil is a crafty critter and he has a way with arguing against the truth in twisted ways. There are some very smart people in the world who assert some very sinful, strange ideas, and we need to know how to answer a person when he or she makes a tough argument. So I want to look at a few of the most common [and tricky] arguments that homosexuals and their supporters use to fight for their lifestyle decision.
“There are more of us than you think!” – Most homosexuals activists would have us think that homosexuality is so prevalent in our society that it must be a normal lifestyle. After all, the more common something becomes, the more acceptable it becomes to the general public. Much like foul language or immodest dress, the more we see of the sin, the less shocked we are by it. I hardly notice now when a person on the television uses a foul mouth – many people now hardly think twice when they discover a co-worker or friend is openly homosexual.
This argument was precipitated by the supposed “10 percent” research that was done in the forties and fifties by a doctor named Kinsey. His research, titled “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” (1948) and “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female” (1953), stated confidently that at least 10% of the U.S. population was homosexual. For years, his research was unquestioned.
Recent study, however, by both sides of the argument, has shown that his research was not scientific and that it does not accurately represent the U.S. population. Part of the problem was that his research was done entirely in institutional population, such as prisons and mental hospitals. University of Washington sociologist Pepper Schwartz says, “that number is just not real.”
One might as well make the assertion that if he did a survey of men in a gay bar, he would find that 100% of the U.S. male population were homosexual.
More likely, according to French, British, and American researchers, the percent of homosexuals in the total population is more like 1-4% (Sodom’s Second Coming, 47).
“Stupid Parents, Enlightened Teachers” – Not being a parent myself, it is difficult for me to understand how infuriating it would be to discover that my son or daughter was spending more time in diversity training learning about homosexuality and proper use of contraceptives than learning about reading, writing, and arithmetic. Unfortunately, in schools across the country, this very thing is happening!
One of the easiest ways to indoctrinate the country into accepting the homosexual way of life is to start with the children. Homosexuals have many friends in high places when it comes to education, one of which is the NEA (National Education Association). Another is the GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight, Educational Network. Both of these foundations donate millions and pour massive amounts of resources into promoting homosexuality in schools.
There are thousands of cases every year of children being told by teachers, counselors, and administrators that their conservative parents are wrong, and that they should reject all the religious ideas and practices that have been “forced” upon them by “Bible-bigot” parents.
One example happened very recently. “A parent removed a child after discovering the content of a four-day “sexual harassment” program dealt with homosexual behavior (it replaced algebra). The teacher told the student to return, stating: ‘Your parents don’t have to know’” (The Homosexual Agenda, 63).
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, administrators have dubbed the entire month of June “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” and force students to attend educational seminars. In Beverly, Massachusetts, after a week of “Homophobia Week” seminars at her school, a fourteen-year-old girl told her father that he was a homophobe. “In Chelmsford, Massachusetts, high schoolers attended a mandatory assembly called “Hot, Safer, and Sexy” held by AIDS “educator” Suzi Landolphi. Parents were not notified about the assembly that was filled with graphic sexual information” (The Homosexual Agenda, 63). In all these cases, parents were kept out of the loop, because schools feared that conservative, religious, responsible parents would not approve of this kind of biased propaganda.
And what does the Bible say about this matter? Turn to Proverbs 22:28. Also see Ephesians 6:1-2. It is a foolish child indeed who rejects the sound teaching of good parents! Wisdom from the Bible saves souls, but “education” from liberal activist groups only produces disobedient, ungodly, and truthless children!
It happens here in Oregon also, parents! Time does not permit me to go into greater details of the numerous cases of biased education. Religion is being stamped out of our children every day. When school should be a place to learn about reading, writing, and arithmetic, it has become a cesspool of homosexual indoctrination!
“This is how God made me. I can’t change myself!” – There has been much debate over what really causes homosexual tendencies in people. Even Christians sometimes become very angry with each other over differing ideas.
There are generally three possibilities of what causes homosexuality. First, one may call it a learned behavior, that is, that children are taught at an early age that a certain activity is acceptable or desirable and they learn to mimic their heroes. Adopted children of homosexuals may themselves display very effeminate qualities.
It may also be that homosexuality is a hormonal imbalance, which results in males who act like females and vice-versa. This is the most commonly held view about homosexuality. Many homosexual men refer to themselves as “women caught in a man’s body.” According to a German researcher named G. Dorner, hormonal irregularities during the fourth to seventh months of prenatal development may predispose one toward homosexuality. His research has never been duplicated, though, and Dr. John Money, of Johns Hopkins University, stated that if this were a factor, it would nothing more than predispose one toward homosexuality. He says that it is still societal factors that lead a person to learn homosexuality (Evangelical Ethics, 111). So, a person with a hormonal predisposition toward homosexuality would never actually become a homosexual unless somebody told him he was and taught how to be one.
Also, there is some evidence to suggest that the combination of a domineering mother and a passive father may lead some children to choose homosexuality. “It should be noted. . . that evidence does not appear to indicate that such a constellation of factors is ether a necessary or sufficient condition for the genesis of homosexual behavior” (Evangelical Ethics, 111).
There is evidence for any of these three possibilities, but please notice that in any case, according to all the research done that has been noted above, choice is still the overriding factor in homosexuality. Whether it is hormonal, chromosomal, learned, or psychopathological, a person still chooses to follow a certain lifestyle. Homosexuality is not the motive, homosexuality is the practice.
The key in any case is that we must endeavor to show a homosexual who is considering the Gospel that God always provides a way of escape in any temptation. Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 10:13. Homosexuality is not an inescapable condition. There are numerous examples of individuals who have abandoned homosexuality altogether and now live healthy, happy completely heterosexual lives with children and wives.
Take the scripture that we read in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, for example. Paul goes on to write that many of the Corinthians were homosexuals, or adulterers, or idolaters, but they were washed and they repented of their sins! Work done by Master and Johnson, two psychoanalysts, has resulted in a nearly 66 percent success rate in converting homosexuals from their lifestyle and into productive heterosexuals lives (Evangelical Ethics, 125). And, my friends, if purely secular methods can be used with such astonishing success, then just imagine how much more effective the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ can be in changing people from their ways! According to J.J. Davis, “Such biblically based hope is one that Christian congregations should be in a position to hold forth as a tangible possibility for those who find themselves caught up in this sin” (Evangelical Ethics, 125).
“Times are changing and the Bible is outdated. Get with the times, man!” – This is another common argument against the conservative, truthful view of homosexuality. But it wouldn’t surprise many of us to know that this is a very new argument. In the history of mankind, no society has ever accepted homosexuality as openly as our society does now. The Egyptians, ancient Hebrews, and Assyrians all had laws against homosexual practices (Homosexual Behavior, 76). In ancient Greece, homosexuality was a deplorable act. Aristotle, Herodotus, Aristophanes, and other stoic philosophers all expressed moral disapproval of such practices. There is no evidence in Viking, Visigoth, Celt, or Vandal history that they approved of homosexuality; some of these pagan cultures even punished those who practiced it. According to Visigoth law, practice of homosexuality was to result in burning at the stake. Only very recently, relative to history, has the homosexual subculture become more prevalent in Europe and the Americas.
According to Christ, the Gospel will never change. He says in Matthew 24:35 that “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” And Christ spoke through the Apostles, therefore, what Paul and Peter wrote about homosexuality is valid as scripture and command even beyond the day that Heaven and Earth burn with intense heat.
Peter writes about the word in 1 Peter 1:23-25. He makes it clear that we are born again through the Word, which is imperishable. Imperishable. While flowers die and seasons change, while the words of men wax and wane with the culture, the word of God will never fail. It abides forever. And the Word is what was preached to all of us through the writings of the Apostles.
What this argument seeks to do is make society the judge of what is right and wrong. Our society believes that homosexuality is okay, and that everybody should embrace it with open arms. But if we follow this same argument (that is, that society is always right), then we have to accept that what Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany did to millions of Central Europeans was what was right. Their society believed in their cause, didn’t they? We also have to accept that slavery was okay in the 19-century because the majority of our society thought that black people were lesser humans. That is what society believed, was it not?
Well, today, people believe that homosexuality is okay, and, perhaps, 200 years from now, future generations will look back on the early 21st-century and wonder how we ever thought that this sin was so wonderful! They will watch re-runs of “Will and Grace” with disgust or consider how despicable the liberal political candidates were for their support of such blatant bigotry in giving special rights to homosexuals in the workplace, in the schools, at college campuses, in the media, and just about everywhere else!
My intention is not to leave any of you with a bad taste in your mouth. I understand that this message may seem, at times, to be rather depressing or ill-willed. Unfortunately, there too many Christians today who treat homosexuals as if they were worse than any other person. We can tend to alienate them, or treat them differently than we would any other sinner. But is homosexuality any worse than lying, or stealing, or pornography, or being a lukewarm Christian? Homosexuality is a sin, like any other sin, and sins can be suppressed. We already noted that in 1 Corinthians 10:13 there is no temptation which we are not able to resist if we really try.
My friends, when other people may see my message as one of bigotry, or intolerance, I hope that you will see that my message is actually one of great hope and joy. Let us read Ephesians 2:1-5. We all formerly lived in sin, we all formerly were partakers of vanity and sensuality and forms of evil. But baptism and a sincere faith in God made us alive. Brethren, what I want you to know is that the Jesus Christ can save any person from his or her sin, even homosexuals! If, then, a person who is so deep into a sin like homosexuality can be saved by Christ – if even that person can be washed, if even that person can reject the temptation and live a new life in Christ Jesus – then anybody can!
I hope that all of you will walk away today with a smile on your faces, knowing that Christ has come into the world to present to us salvation, and that no temptation, no sin, nor any power in all the world can separate us from the love of God and the salvation that is offered to us freely (Romans 8:35-39).
Salvation is available for anybody who is willing to take up his cross and follow after Christ. The plan of salvation is simple; we must believe in Christ, we must confess that belief, we must repent of our sins and remove all of the dirt from our souls, and we must be baptized in the waters of remission for the forgiveness of all of our sins (Mark 16:16). If there is any need that you have at this time, then why not obey the call of Christ?