Bible Study 1 (Photo credit: DrGBB)
Conservative Christians find ourselves in the middle of a major cultural battle over homosexuality whether we want to be or not. The question is –do we want to continue on a course that many say is on the ‘losing side of history’? Currently our reputations and religious freedoms are being challenged.
Some are now calling us bigots and homophobes and ‘hate mongers’ while others are even questioning whether we should even have the right to continue teaching ‘out dated’ traditional biblically based teaching about homosexuality.
Then there are some fellow Christians who have popularized the idea that ‘Jesus didn’t really say anything against homosexuality’ so we shouldn’t either since He taught that we should love everyone and treat others like we would hope to be treated. Besides, they reason, Leviticus is Old Testament and the teaching of Paul is more culturally bound and he really wasn’t one of the original Apostles who walked with Jesus anyway. So the question for Bible believers is whether or not we still believe in its teaching when it comes to homosexuality or anything else for that matter.
One thing for sure, we all need to have a clear understand of what the Bible actually has to say about this issue particularly since Bible believers are risking so much. In the following article Biblical theologian Wayne Grudem does an excellent job at bringing clarity to the actual teaching of the Bible on marriage and homosexuality and dispels some of the popular theories (excuses) in the process:
God’s Original Design
In God’s original design, human sexual conduct was to occur within the context of marriage between one man and one woman. The first chapter of the Bible says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Differentiation of the human race into two complementary sexes (“male and female”) is the first fact mentioned in connection with being “in the image of God.” In Genesis 2, which describes in more detail the process summarized in 1:27, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). Genesis then applies the example of Adam and Eve to all marriages: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This “one flesh” sexual union was thus established as the pattern for marriage generally, and Jesus cites Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 as the normative pattern that God expects all marriages to follow (see Matthew 19:4–6). Furthermore Paul, as a good disciple of Jesus, likewise strongly echoes Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 in his two primary texts on homosexual practice, Romans 1:23–27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9. Jesus and Paul both assume the logic of sexual intercourse implied in Genesis: a sexual bond between a man and a woman requires two (and only two) different sexual halves (“a man” and “his wife”) being brought together into a sexual whole (“one flesh”).