Garry continued his ‘Talking Point’ series tonight, looking at the subject of gay marriage. Homosexuality is a ‘hot potato’ in Christian circules and it is important to stress that we are all sinners saved by grace and that God loves everyone. Jn 3:16-18 emphasises God’s love for the whole world in sending Jesus to die to save us; Rom 5:6-8 reminds us that we didn’t have to change to be loved; ‘while we were sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom 5:8) God urges us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mk 12:29-31); not only does He love everyone, but He urges us to love everyone too (including even those we may consider our enemies, see Matt 5:43-45). There is no room for us to hate anyone, whatever their sexual orientation, for God’s love reaches out to everyone.
God hates sin, however (see Is 59:1-3), and we live in a fallen world, where sin separates us from God. These verses show us that there is no ‘grading’ of sin; those whose hands are tainted with blood are separated from God just as are those whose lips spoke falsely. We may perceive some sins as more serious than others, but all sin separates from God and all of us need forgiveness.
There are several passages in the Bible which make it clear that homosexual acts are detestable in God’s sight (see Gen 19:5-7, Judges 19:22-23, Lev 18:20-23, Lev 20:13, Rom 1:26-27, 1 Cor 6:9, 1 Tim 1:9-10). This view, however, sees God as the ultimate authority in our world because He is the Creator and He made the rules. That view has been increasingly challenged in Western society since the 1950s. A pattern of rejection of homosexual practice because it was viewed as sinful gave way to tolerance of such practices to acceptance of these practices to promotion of such practices. Nowadays, homosexuality is seen as just as valid a lifestyle as heterosexuality and justification for this is often given using the following arguments:
- it’s been around a long time
- it happens in nature
- it’s just the way I am
Just because something has been ‘around a long time’ does not, of course, immediately justify it. Nor does what happens in nature immediately strike us as a valid excuse: voles, some fish and wolf spiders eat their young, but no one has ever successfully justified infanticide on the grounds ‘some animals do it’! Even the idea that homosexuality is somehow ‘just the way I am’, an integral part of our identity, does not necessarily mean that it is acceptable. Desire should not necessarily dictate our actions: as humans, we believe we should not be controlled by our desires but should exercise self-control in how we live.
A rejection of God inevitably leads us to question His authority and His rules for our lives. If we reject God, many embrace an evolutionary theory of life, but even here, there are problems with homosexuality, for the survival of the fittest would not last long without procreation, and naturally speaking, the homosexual lifestyle cannot lead to procreation. “This is a paradox from an evolutionary perspective,” says Paul Vasey from the University of Lethbridge in Canada. “How can a trait like male homosexuality, which has a genetic component, persist over evolutionary time if the individuals that carry the genes associated with that trait are not reproducing?” So often, justification for homosexual practice and for gay marriage is based on conflicting ideas that directly oppose the Biblical view that God is the moral arbiter of our world.