A WORLD GONE GAY
By Will Graham
At times it seems as if the world has gone gay. Hardly a day goes by without hearing something being said about homosexuality whether online, on the news or on the street. Being gay is the new ‘in’ thing. It’s cool to be gay. Or so they say.
I must confess I’ve never found it strange to find the whole world around about me given over to a pro-gay spirit. After all, ever since the tragic Fall in the Paradise of Eden humankind’s predicament on Earth has been characterized by the anguish of relentless and ruthless rebellion. Sin turned men and women violently against the Lord’s design and decrees. I suppose the only thing that really shocks me is that there’s not more homosexuality on display than at present.
What really took me by surprise, however, was when I found out that certain sectors of Christianity also waved the pro-gay flag. Ok, liberal Christians I could understand. At the end of the day, theirs is a man-made religion based upon the philosophy of Egypt. But conservative Evangelicals? I mean, Bible-believing Christians? Born-againers? Gospel-lovers? Jesus-preachers? That unpleasant revelation left me as dumbfounded as old King Nebuchadnezzar the day he chucked three Israelites into a fiery furnace. How on earth could anyone reconcile the Scriptures with a gay lifestyle? Were they reading some version of the Word of God I didn’t have? Did my Bible have a couple of chapters missing? Had the Lord somehow repented of His previous stance towards same-sex relations?
Having debated with various pro-gay ‘believers’ over the years, I have found the same old arguments popping up time and time again. Firstly, there is the outlandish assertion that the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality. Secondly, there is the equally ludicrous notion that even if the Bible did condemn it in the past, its moral commands are no longer binding. Thirdly, many reply, “I was just born this way!” And fourthly, there are the ever-so-original insults: “Well, you’re just an intolerant, fundamentalist homophobe!”
Let’s analyze these arguments one by one.
Firstly, does the Bible condemn homosexuality? You bet your bottom dollar it does. Both the Old and New Testaments are one at this point. On the one hand there is Genesis 19:1-11; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17; Judges 19:16-24; 1 Kings 14:24; 15:11-12; 22:43, 46 and 2 Kings 23:3, 7. On the other hand you’ve got Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:9-10 and Jude 7. Some commentators think that Ephesians 5:5; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8 and 22:15 refer to the sin of homosexuality too. What a collection! Even one of liberal Christianity’s leading proponents — the pro-gay bishop John Shelby Spong — openly confessed that the Bible is an anti-gay book. Scripture never once states anything remotely positive about gay activity. It is an accursed abomination in the eyes of the Almighty. It is hard to think how God could have positioned Himself more clearly on the matter.
Secondly, are the moral commands of God still binding? One of the major comebacks of the pro-gay movement is that we cannot possibly take God’s moral commands seriously in the twenty-first century. If we’re going to follow Leviticus’ holy code to the letter, let’s get rid of seafood, pork fillets, beard trimming and clothes with mixed materials. The problem with this type of thinking is that it presupposes God only speaks out against homosexuality in the Law. Nevertheless, as we have just seen, the Bible is awash with anti-gay statements from beginning to end. At any rate, this objection also forgets the theological distinction between the ceremonial law (fulfilled once and for all) and the moral law (still binding).
Another argument in this line of thinking is the post-modern idea that ethics are wholly contextual i.e. the laws given in the Bible were granted for biblical times (not ours). The reason Scripture denounces homosexuality is due to the prevailing moral convictions at work back then in society. Since everyone in Bible times believed that heterosexuality was right then it was only natural that the Bible spoke out against gayness. Again, this is very far from the truth. You’ll remember that the Lord gave those commands going against prevailing practices in culture. They were countercultural orders. Egyptian and Canaanite societies were swamped in the murky sludge of immorality. Granted such sexual deviancy in the neighbouring nations, God called His people to be holy, set apart and different. The same rule applies to the New Testament. The Greek and Roman Empires were well known for their perverted sexual antics. Homosexuality was an unbridled epidemic far worse than E-bola. But Paul didn’t sell his Gospel message to fit in with the contemporary ethics of his generation. As far as he was concerned gayness and lesbianism were among the most heinous expressions of humanity’s fallen nature.
Another related claim from the pro-gay camp is that Jesus never censured homosexuality. Since He never showed public disapproval of it, it must be acceptable. Well, that’s not strictly true. When Jesus was pressed about a case for divorce, He appealed to Eden to put God’s ideal for humanity on view. Adam plus Eve equals divine blessing. One man and one woman together represent God’s plan for human flourishing. Neither two blokes nor two ladies! Another way to respond to this allegation is to say: “Jesus never showed public disapproval of bestiality. Does that make it ok?” or “Jesus never showed public disapproval of cannibalism. Does that make it ok?” It’s a senseless objection. Jesus loved the written Word of God. His life was immersed with Jewish Scripture. He was anti-gay. And if He were pro-gay, He sure would have said so.
Thirdly, the common idea that says: “I was just born this way”. Even though there is no empirical evidence to back up this overly used claim, biological or genetic conditioning does nothing to do away with God’s demands. At the end of the day, every single one of Adam’s fallen race is born into sin. We are all sinners by DNA and nature. Does that mean that we should kick back our feet, relax and say: “I’m going to keep robbing because I was born this way” or “I’m going to keep cutting throats because I was born this way”? Of course not! We are called to wage warfare upon our sinful nature and to put on the righteousness and holiness of Christ. Biological conditioning is no excuse to justify sin. Our greatest enemy isn’t the devil or the world but ourselves! Self along with its carnal desires are our chief nemesis. Once we know that homosexual desires are not from God then we must wrestle against them and deny them any expression. It’s just a part of Christian discipleship.
Fourthly, the ever-so-original insults. Well, no matter where you position yourself in life, you’re going to get flack from someone or somewhere. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Gay activists may tag us as “Intolerant, fundamentalist homophobes”, but let’s not forget they’re “Intolerant, fundamentalist pro-homosexuals”. Regardless of what we believe, we all start from some kind of presupposition in life. The presupposition of the Bible-believer is that homosexuality is wrong because God says so. The presupposition of the pro-gay school is that homosexuality is good because they say so. Both positions are as equally intolerant and fundamentalist as the other. The burning question, then, is: what group should I belong to? I don’t know about you, but I’d far rather follow what God says than fallen man (woman).
Independently of the four major arguments produced by contemporary pro-gays, there is some horrendous statistical evidence that reveals just how vile homosexuality is. Here I am indebted to William Lane Craig and Thomas Schmidt. I’m grateful to William Lane Craig (in his book Hard Questions, Real Answers) for drawing my attention to the following statistics and to Thomas Schmidt (in Straight and Narrow?) for producing them. Read ‘em and weep...
1.- 75% of homosexual men have had more than 100 sexual partners during their lifetime (more than half are total strangers).
2.- Only 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women ever have relationships lasting more than three years.
3.- Homosexual men average more than 20 partners a year.
4.- The concept of lifelong faithfulness does not exist within homosexual relationships.
5.- Homosexuals are three times more likely to have problems with alcohol than the general population.
6.- 47% of homosexuals have a history of alcohol abuse.
7.- 51% of homosexuals have a history of drug abuse.
8.- 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression when the rate for men in general is 3%.
9.- 37% of homosexual women have a history of major depression.
10.- Homosexuals are three times more likely to contemplate suicide as the general population.
11.- Homosexual men have an attempted suicide rate six times higher than men in general.
12.- Homosexual women have an attempted suicide rate twice as high as women in general.
13.- Homosexual men are far more likely to be paedophiles than men in general.
14.- Homosexual activity produces prostate damage, ulcers, ruptures, chronic incontinence and diarrhoea.
15.- 75% of homosexual men have one or more sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) e.g. gonorrhoea, syphilis, bacterial infections, parasites, herpes, hepatitis A and B.
16.- 40% of homosexual men have anal warts.
17.- The life expectancy for a homosexual male is about 45 years (70 years for men in general).
18.- AIDS affects 30% of homosexual men. With AIDS, life expectancy drops to 39 years.
So, in all seriousness, who can continue believing that homosexuality is a gift from God? Or that being gay is cool, hip and fun? Surely these statistics reveal that the homosexual lifestyle is a damned curse from beginning to end. Would anybody want to be plagued by such a tragic existence characterized by such unfaithfulness, substance abuse, mental and physical torment as well as a markedly reduced lifespan? Can we not see that the way of blessing is the way that God created in the beginning: one man and one woman together for life to the exclusion of all others? The way of unity in diversity i.e. the way that reflects the beauty of the Triune God.
Before we finish, it must be said that there is indeed hope for homosexuals in spite of such spine chilling stats. There is forgiveness available for sinners through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Know ye not that that unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?” On that list of unrighteous people were homosexuals. But Paul went on to say, “Such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:10). Washed, sanctified and justified! Homosexuality, then, does not have to be the last word. God’s grace is greater than gay sin.
To every homosexual there is the hope of coming glory if they turn from their sin, repenting of their past iniquity and placing faith in the saving work of the Lord Jesus. So flee from this world gone gay and open your arms to embrace the coming Kingdom of God’s mercy, grace and holiness which frees us from the pest of homosexual sin.