Presentation on theme: "Where we’re going tonight: 1.Intro: What We’re Doing Here Tonight 2.The Christian Worldview and The Bible’s Relevance to our Modern World. 3.Homosexuality."— Presentation transcript:
Where we’re going tonight: 1.Intro: What We’re Doing Here Tonight 2.The Christian Worldview and The Bible’s Relevance to our Modern World. 3.Homosexuality in the Bible: What has God Really Said? 4.The Personal Witness of a Christian to Sinners 5.FAQ: Some Attempted Answers 6.Q&A
Initial Considerations: Things that are true of all of us, whether homosexual or not. We are all… …made in the image of God. …fallen through sin. …eligible for forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice. …able to find new membership in Christ’s body
Why are we doing this? Believers in Christ need to know how to speak to unbelievers about all relevant subjects. Unbelieving Homosexuals need to hear the gospel clearly. Believers who struggle with these things need clear truth. This is a crucial issue in terms of ideas in our current cultural climate.
We’re not doing this to: …condemn gay people or make them feel hated. …make anyone feel excluded or beyond God’s love. …win arguments. …shut our eyes to reality.
God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door By: Alan Chambers And the Exodus Int. Leadership Team
Leaving Homosexuality: A Practical Guide By: Alan Chambers
Part 1: Worldview The Christian Worldview is Comprehensive.
The Christian Worldview is comprehensive It includes Creation, Fall, Fix, Restoration What everything is (The world was made. Humans are made in the image of God. Love and sex are part of His creation and His good plan.) Why things are messed up(Humanity fell through sin. Thus we are now broken. Creation has a curse of entropy on it.) How things can be fixed (The Creator entered His creation as a real man in history. Jesus took on all the penalty of our sin and paid our debt. He rose again to show we can be forgiven and completely redeemed. We can be fixed.) Where it’s all going (He’s coming back to fix it all.)
The Christian Worldview is comprehensive This complete understanding gives us: The ability to define things. The ability to evaluate things. We can know the value and significance of things. We can answer questions:“Is this…Good? Beautiful? Moral? Right? Beneficial?”
The Christian Worldview is comprehensive Two observations about this: 1.Parts of it are not understandable outside of the whole. 2.Our views are not made up, self-generated or even self-chosen.
The Christian Worldview is comprehensive Parts of it are not understandable outside of the whole. Many views Christians hold might not make sense when seen from viewpoint that doesn’t believe in the entire picture. We need to know and tell the whole story.
The Christian Worldview is comprehensive Our views are not made up, self-generated or even self- chosen. Our definitions come from the revelation of the mind of the one who created them. We understand the true meaning of: the universe, humans, love, sexuality. We can give direction for what each thing (and word) means and how each thing is to be used because we simply repeat the directions of the maker, who has the authority to give direction.
The Christian Worldview is comprehensive Our views are not made up, self-generated or even self- chosen. A Crucial Question for our Day: Is any definition is possible without authoritative information? (Where will it come from? Who has it?)
Other competing meta-narratives fall short. In our Creator’s revelation we find full definition and explanation of the world as we know it. To get definition, especially in morality, you need authority. Only in the Bible do we find the revelation of the this authority—Infinite & Absolute Personality.
Other competing meta-narratives fall short. Only in the Bible do we find the revelation of the this authority—Infinite & Absolute Personality. The two other options: 1.Non-Christian Spirituality: Finite Personal Gods, ruled by a Great Impersonal. (Over-Soul, Fate, Force, Energy) 2.Modern Naturalism: Matter/Energy is the Ultimate.
Other competing meta-narratives fall short. Only in the Bible do we find the revelation of the this authority—Infinite & Absolute Personality. God is infinite: Therefore He has power. So we have an explanation for our existence. God is personal: Therefore He has authority. So we have an explanation for our personality.
So the issue is, not what we as Christians want to say or think is nice, but what has the creator said? People often act like we are simply unreasonable, but that ignores the main issue: Where do they get their moral judgments from? On what basis do they define right, wrong, love, …human? How do they know we're sinning for calling something sin?
The dilemma: People in our culture don’t believe in sin. They don't believe in an understandable revelation from a Creator. So…they don't believe we should be able to make pronouncements about what He has said. But this ignores that if there's no revelation, there's no basis for their telling us what we should and shouldn't say. (In fact, there's no basis for rational conversation at all.)
So the issue is, not what we as Christians want to say or think is nice, but what has the creator said? We, on the other hand, don't believe we have the right to generate morals from ourselves. We believe they come from someone who is beyond human. So we don't have the right to bend: we must simply seek to understand rightly and report faithfully what He has said. There are no other options between this kind of living and totally amoral relativity.
Part 2: Homosexuality and the Bible What Has God Really Said?
The Bible and Homosexual Practice By: Robert A.J. Gagnon Abingdon Press / 2002 / Paperback
The Main Texts for thinking about the issue: (The Whole Bible.) Genesis 1-3: Creation, Adam, and Eve Genesis 19: The City of Sodom Leviticus 18-22: The Holiness Code in the Law 1 Samuel 18: David and Jonathan The Gospels: Jesus’ teachings Paul’s writings: Romans 1 & more…
Genesis 1-3: The Beginning This passage provides us with the framework for all knowledge. God makes (so we exist), God speaks (so we know) It also gives us God’s design for what Humans are… and what our Bodies are, and what sex is. Beginnings of answers for: 1.What gender? 2.What is sex?
Genesis 1-3: The Beginning 1:26-28 “male and female He created them” Maleness & Femaleness are part of the image of God. The story here is complementarity. The physical design of the human body speaks something to its purpose in its role in multiplying. “God’s intent for human sexuality is imbedded in the material creation of gendered beings.” (RJG)
Genesis 1-3: The Beginning 2:18-25 and Human Sexuality 1.Sexuality is part of the fulfillment of our purpose. 2.Must not be too unlike (not the beasts of the earth (v.19-20) 3.Must not be too like – Eve is human, but not male. In both worship and human love, humanity is directed towards the other.
Genesis 1-3: The Beginning In Genesis 3, humanity sins, leading to brokenness. This is why everything is messed up.
Genesis 19: Lot in Sodom Not the best text for understanding the Bible's view of Homosexuality, but not irrelevant. See Ez 16:49-50 and 18:10-13, note use of word “abomination” same word in Lev 18:22. Ezekiel interpreted Sodomites actions in light of Lev 18.
Leviticus 18: The Holiness Code The Holiness Code: Leviticus 17-26. Part of the OT law given to Moses, to direct the life of Israel until Christ came. 18:22 and 20:13 have the explicit reference to SSP. 18:22 occurs within a block of laws that forbid incest (18:6-18), adultery (18:20), Child sacrifice (18:21) and bestiality (18:22). All these are considered valid today.
Leviticus 18: The Holiness Code The whole point of the Holiness code is the distinctive holiness of God's people, not accommodation to the surrounding cultures. (see 18:1-5) The God giving these laws is the Creator who made them “male and female.” All of these laws are to protect the original design of human gendered-complementarity in sexuality. “Abomination” here has to do with a radical denial of the creator's will as revealed in our bodies.
Leviticus 18: The Holiness Code If we don’t keep some of the laws in the OT today, why do we stress others (like those prohibiting homosexuality?) 1.We follow the New Testament’s teaching in this area. 2.Jesus interprets and applies the law for us. 3.The parts of the OT law for the temple and ceremonial observance we’re fulfilled in Christ. 4.The moral holiness the Law commands is what Christ came to enable us to live out.
1 Samuel 18: David and Jonathan They related as brothers, not a romantic couple. David was clearly a heterosexual. Not censored, but played up: Which means there was no worry that anything in the stories would have made readers think they were about homosexuality. Why then? to show the nation that Saul's heir gave his blessing and support to David's taking the throne. (1 Sam 23:17)
Things He didn’t “accept”: 1.Murder/Anger (Mt 6:22) 2.Adultery & Lust (Mt 5:28) 3.Laxity towards sin (Mt 5:29) 4.Easy divorce (Mt 5:32) 5.Revenge (Mt 5:39) 6.Hatred (Mt 5:44) 7.Religious Hypocrisy (Mt 6:1) 8.Amassing wealth (Mt 6:19) 9.Anxiety (Mt 6:25) “Go and sin no more” (Jn 5:14) The Life and Teachings of Jesus Today, Jesus' main trait is seen as being “accepting.” This is an incomplete and inaccurate picture of Jesus.
The Life and Teachings of Jesus True: Jesus never commented directly on homosexuality. But… He was aware of the stance of the Jewish culture of His day. He never repudiated it. It is unlikely He would have held a different stance. His conflicts were on matters having to do with people’s need for repentance and who Messiah was.
The Life and Teachings of Jesus True: Jesus never commented directly on homosexuality. But… See Mark 7:21-23. He mentions fornication “porneia” - to his audience this would have included all the sexual sins listed in Lev 18- 20. He understood homosexual practice to be contained in that word.
The Life and Teachings of Jesus True: Jesus never commented directly on homosexuality. But… See Mt 19:3-9 : He is stricter on divorce than the culture, and He says we know what marriage should be based on the how God created humans. Conclusion: Jesus’ sexual ethic was more rigorous, not less, than the surrounding culture.
The Writings of Paul Rom 1:24-27 is most substantial explicit text on homosexuality. Context: Rom 1:18-32 is about people knowing what is right based on what is created, but rejecting the knowledge they have, rejecting the creator and His design, and choosing to love, worship and serve created things instead.
The Writings of Paul In Rom 1:18-32 Paul is drawing a connection between idolatry and homosexuality. Idolatry is suppressing the truth God revealed in the creation—about who He is. Homosexuality is suppressing the truth God revealed in our bodies—about who we are.
The Writings of Paul Rom 1:24-27 Paul says Same Sex Passion is “contrary to nature” --i.e. it parallels the suppression of truth necessary for idolatry. “Nature” means for Paul, not, “the way things are usually done,” or “how we tend to feel inside,” but the “material shape of the created order.” In other words: Homosexual practice denies the truth about humanity as revealed in our bodies themselves.
The Writings of Paul 1 Cor 6:9-11 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals [malakoi], nor sodomites [arsenokoitai], nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
The Writings of Paul 1 Cor 6:9-11 Malakoi = the passive partner in homosexual intercourse, the most extreme of which are intentionally feminizing themselves to erase masculinity. Arsenokoitai = “lit. man-bedders.” i.e. those who take men to bed as if their partner was a woman. The two words arsenos and koiten appear in the LXX of Lev 18:22 and 20:13.
The Writings of Paul Gagnon on 1 Cor 6:9-11: The focus on the act makes the term more inclusive, not less, because it does not matter if the act is done as a result of “orientation” or in a “long-term consenting monogamous relationship.” It is the act itself that is sinful, without regard to the motives for doing it. Mentioning both partners shows the relationship is consensual.
Part 3: Witness The Personal Witness of a Christian to Sinners.
Jesus & Sinners: Our example Available Proactive Approachable Warm Winning Uncompromising
Jesus & Sinners: Our example 1. Jesus and the “prostitutes & tax collectors.” See Mark 2:15-17 2. Jesus and the sexually immoral. John 4:10-19 John 8:10-11
Other considerations: Our own past and our own nature How God views sinners. He is not put off by their symptoms. He has addressed their need. We are now in the “day of salvation.” The Holy Spirit: Our empowering.
1.Why would God forbid people to act the way He created them? 2.If God is a God of love, How can He deny Homosexuals happiness? 3.Does God send people to Hell because they’re gay? 4.Why single out this one sin? 5.If you're a sinner too, who are you to judge? 6.Do Christians hate Gays?
Homosexuality and slavery are different issues: 1.Gender complementarity is pre-fall and rooted in creation. Slavery is post-fall and rooted in Sin. 2.Homosexuality is a sin the Bible condemns strongly consistently. Slavery is an institution the bible permits and regulates but sows the seeds to dismantle in the NT. 3.American slavery was a sin Christians and the culture disapprove of. Homosexuality is a sin the culture approves of. 4.It is not simply “our views have changed…”