An Open Message to the Homosexuals
By T.F. Tenney
Some time ago I received an unsigned letter from an individual who was admittedly gay. He had read some of my articles, apparently heard me preach, and was ready to do battle. I believe the individual claimed to be sonic type of Pentecostal or Spirit-filled Christian. lie scored me for our insensitivity and lack of love and compassion for the homosexual community He was thoroughly convinced that he was created by God homosexual and could not change it. He said he had tried.
Let me initially say that if you are a homosexual, you matter to God. He loves you. Understand that from the outset. Not only does God love you, but every true believer in Jesus Christ loves you. That does not mean that they agree with your lifestyle or countenance it. But true Christians do love you.
Probably if we totem-poled sin, we would put homosexuality up at the top and pride at the bottom. I doubt if God would. He would probably put pride at the top. After all, that is what got Lucifer. I do not know where homosexuality would come. Sin is sin. Sexual promiscuity, regardless of its gender, is condemned by God.
Let em say again, we need to be open enough that those plagued by this sin can talk to us without fear. Church is their only conduit of grace. We should not speak to them in vile judgmentalism but with a sensitivity to their hurt.
All that having been said, what is really pertinent is, “What does God think?”
First of all, the division of the sexes was God’s idea. He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” He then created for Adam a help-meet. God made the woman and presented her to the man. It is only on the basis of this distinction-male and female-that a man leaves his father and mother to be one flesh with his wife.
James White had an interesting observation on this passage: “First, God created sexual identity Second, when He created sexual identity the identity was male and female. The Scripture says the suitable helper for Adam was a woman. Third, God created sexual intimacy. And, fourth, that sexual intimacy was to take place as the man and woman-became one in the context of marriage.”
There are those followers of the gay pattern who say that most of the passages in Scripture concerning homosexuality were tinder the law. This passage teaches us that human sexuality began at creation. It did not begin with the law Mark Labberton said, “Long before Scripture grapples with the questions, ‘What am I expected to be? And what am I expected to do?’ Scripture answers the question, ‘Who am I?’ God created us, male and female.”
Gay theology does not accept God’s design for man/woman sexuality. But rather it embraces a same-sex position. White went on to observe, ‘”They depart from God’s intent for sexual intimacy to take place within the confines of marriage. When God’s blueprint is on one side and the homosexual departure on the other, it should come as no surprise that when the Bible speaks about homosexuality it suggests that homosexuality is a departure and not God’s design.”
Homosexuality is forbidden; it is called an abomination in Leviticus 20:13. Paul declared that the wrath at God was against such acts. He said, “they exchanged God’s truth for a lie.” And went on to declare that their women lusted for other women and men abandoned natural relations and were seized with a desire for one another.
It is most important for us to remember that every biblical reference about homosexuality is one of condemnation. It is against God’s created order, and it is against the law of God.
The Bible speaks of those that wrest the Scriptures. Homosexuals do this with the Genesis account of Sodom. They want to say that whenever the men asked for the angels to come out “that we might know them,” that they just wanted to meet the strangers that were there and that it had no sexual connotation.
Labberton points out that the Hebrew word used there for “know” is yada. It appears 943 times in the Old ‘testament. Ten of those times the verb “know” refers to physical intercourse. ‘The argument is that because of the disproportionate number of times when the verb Dada is not sexual, it would not be appropriate in this context to speak of it in a sexual way. If that’s the case, why does Lot say, “Leave these men alone. You can have my two virgin daughters”? They already knew who the daughters were. There is no doubt Lot’s words load sexual connotation.
Notice the words used in these passages-“wicked” and “vile.” The sin is certainly more than inhospitality. If the men simply wanted to get acquainted with the strangers in their midst, why did Lot offer his daughters?
Jude affirms that there was homosexual activity in Sodom. Admittedly, homosexuality was only part of their problem. Ezekiel has quite a candid expose on their greed, along with many other weaknesses.
Does not the Bible speak in the last days of a “wicked and perverse generation”? Would that not mean a generation of crooks and perverts?
I will admit it is apparent that those who pursue the gay lifestyle have a great tendency in that direction. They may even have the homosexual orientation.
James White points out that homosexual orientation is no different from any other kind of orientation somebody can have toward a particular behavior or lifestyle that may be outside God’s will. What about pride? Alcohol abuse? Substance abuse? Gambling? Slander? Gossip? All of us have certain aspects of our makeup that shape who we are and make us prone to certain temptations and activities. But an orientation toward something is a lot different from the legitimization of it.
Let us say you believe, “I do what I do because I am what I am.” Test the validity of that statement. Psychologically, it cannot be true. Psychologists will tell you that who we are is a combination of nature plus nurture. In other words, disposition joins with personal choice and that is how we are formed. To say, “I do what I do because of my biological makeup” is psychologically untrue. You may have a particular oriental ion, but you make the choices that reinforce it. If your philosophy is that desire should shape morals, then you believe whatever you desire to do, you should have the legitimate right to go out and pursue it. Suppose your desire was for molesting young children-or for murder? You cannot pick and choose where you want to apply your philosophy. Either it is true or not.
White further points out, “Does the belief, ‘I do what I do because I am what I am,’ hold tip morally? From a moral and spiritual perspective, what matters is not where you are tempted but what you do with the temptation. You might have moments when you want to knock somebody’s block off because your weakness is temper. But that is different than giving in to the feeling.” It is not the desire to sin that is condemned by the Bible; it is yielding to the desire for sin. The Bible says to resist temptation.
We all know temptation comes through desire. Just because desire is there does not mean what you want to do is okay. If you were a heterosexual man and had sexual desires and attempted to fulfill those outside of marriage, it is wrong. It is the same with homosexual temptation. When faced with the opportunity, it is up to us to turn away from that desire.
There are those who think if they do not pursue their homosexual lifestyles they cannot be happy. In their opinion, it is the only way to be happy-and being happy is their primary goal of life. White went on to say; “I need to challenge that assumption with some sobering statistics about just how gay gays are. Homosexual men are six times more likely to have attempted suicide than heterosexual men. Between 25-33% of homosexual men are alcoholics. The national average is 7%.”
Have not we heard it said that the real issue is commitment and love? If they are committed and love, even someone of the same sex, then they are monogamous. Since they arc monogamous all is well. Blumstein and Schwartz, in their extensive study of American couples, found that gay men essentially adopted a lifestyle of adultery. Bell and Weinburg’s study on homosexuality suggests that 1/3 of all homosexuals had had over 1,000 partners in their lifetime. In fact, that study found less than 10% of all homosexuals are in any kind of longterm relationship. McWhirter and Mattison, themselves a gay couple, found in their study of over 100 gay couples that 0% of gay couples were sexually monogamous alter five years.
Having said all of that, it still is a contradiction of God’s original plan which is the marriage of a man to a woman. It is a violation of God’s creative law. It is a violation of the Old Testament teaching. It is a violation of the New Testament mandate of the church.
I have heard it said, “Well, I can’t change. I’ve tried. Even if it’s wrong, I’m hooked.”
Let me just tell you, there is hope. like any other sin that is outside God’s will, there is deliverance-that is, if you really want it. You may have an orientation toward homosexuality, but it is riot all nature. We make choices, we pursue lifestyles.
White pointed out that just as an alcoholic cannot stop drinking by holding the bottle in his lap, so a homosexual cannot turn from his lifestyle if he is sitting in the bathhouse every week. There is deliverance. There are some Christian ministries that have a 90% recovery rate for homosexuals.
It is so important for us to come back to the basics of the Word. One translation of I Corinthians 6.9-11 says, “Don’t fool yourselves. Those who live immoral lives, who were idol worshippers, adulterers, or homosexuals will have no share in His kingdom.” He goes on to say, “Such were some of you. .. but you are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” That’s the good news! Homosexuals can be forgiven, washed in the blood, set free, and begin a new life!
The author I just mentioned said, “Instead of rationalizing our sinful behavior, we want to discover it, bring it to God, ask forgiveness, and become changed people.”
The above material was published by Pentecostal Herald, June 2000. This material may be copyrighted and should be used for study and research purposes only.