Friday, October 17, 2014

Homosexuality and the Bible

Matthew Vines wrote an article to reconcile the two. Let's see if it holds up to scrutiny. Check out the original article here:

Matthew Vines article

So, Matthew Vines comes out as a homosexual and then sets out on a quest to justify his sin rather than repent of it. Nothing new there. But he claims some success in convincing family and church members that are close to him.

I guess the time is ripe for that, as the Gay Agenda marches on, intent on cramming this down our throat until it is considered normal, mocking and bullying anyone who would disagree and hold to the biblical worldview.

He claims there are six relevant passages, and then attempts to twist the meaning of each one so that he can make the claim that homosexuality is not condemned as sin in the Bible.

Here's a better article on the subject: CARM Bible and Homosexuality

But let's deal with Matthew Vines' article.
For the first one he cites the story of Sodom (where we get the word sodomy from today) and Gomorrah. He doesn't reference the actual passage, however. He simply tells it in his own words and then goes to Ezekiel 16:49 for a summary that he likes better.

Let's look at that one first.

Ezekiel 16:49-50
"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.
50 "They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it."

I notice that Mr Vines left out verse 50, the very next verse. I wonder why. I wonder what abomination it is speaking of, and a Pride Parade perhaps?

Let's go all the way back to Genesis to get the full story in context. I suspect there is a clear reason that Matthew Vines chose to take another passage completely, instead of the original detailed account.

Genesis 19 isn't just about a "threatened gang rape". All of the men of the city came, young and old, ALL of them. And when they were struck blind by the angels, they still did not give up, groping around, trying to find the door in order to get to those men!

I would like to think that if I were struck blind, my priorities might change at that point and I would go home. Not so with these men who were so intent upon raping these strangers.

Anyway, read Genesis 19 for yourself, in context, and determine what is being taught. I don't think it's difficult to discern.

Next up, he goes to Leviticus 18:22, which seems quite clear. I guess that's why he just glosses over it, dismissing it by claiming that other OT laws given to the Israelites are now obsolete because Jesus fulfilled this law.

What? Is he saying that Jesus died so I could continue in my sin? I don't think so. You'll be hard pressed to find a verse that says that.

Then he briefly mentions Hebrews 8:13 and Romans 10:4 in an attempt to disregard the verses he doesn't like, claiming the Old Testament law is invalid today.

Maybe this is a good place to look at the OT law, the division of the law and how it pertains today. John MacArthur explains it nicely in the notes of his study Bible:

The Law can be divided into three categories: Moral, Civil, and Ceremonial.

The Ceremonial Laws (animal sacrifices, the Sabbath, etc) were pointing us to a coming Messiah, and so this aspect of the Mosaic Law has been set aside, fulfilled in Christ.

Colossians 2:14-17 l
"having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a new moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."

The Civil Laws were written to a specific people at a specific time and specific place. The basic responsibility for the civil aspect, showing the application of the moral Law in a community, has been transferred to human government.

Romans 13:1
"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."

The Moral Law finds its basis in the character of God and is presented in outline form in the Ten Commandments. It still stands and applies to our lives now, having never been revoked or abolished, but finds its authority in the New Covenant.

Every unbeliever is still under its requirement of perfection and its condemnation, until he comes to Christ, and every believer still finds in it the standard for behavior.

Romans 8:3-4
"For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

Normally, unbelievers like to quote the most obscure Ceremonial or old Civil Laws, but the real problem they have concerns the Moral Law and submission to the Lord.

Matthew Vines would do well to dig a bit deeper, with a good study Bible like MacArthur's.

However, Mr Vines instead mentions Romans 1:26-27, attempting to minimize the issue by making the claim that Paul was really talking about lust, not homosexuality in itself. Nice try.

Next, he again goes into a completely different subject in an attempt to discredit the topic of homosexuality by using a verse about the length of men's hair (1 Corinthians 11:14). Mr Vines seems to think that if we don't hold to this one, then we can ignore other parts of the Bible, as if it were the same thing.

In answer to this, simply read through the MacArthur quote again in order to discern how the Law is divided into three sections.

Finally, Vines makes the assertion of the "last two likely references" regarding homosexuality from the New Testament. However, he doesn't quote them or even give the references.

Rather, he gives a broad, sweeping assessment that these verses were never talking about homosexuality as "committed, monogamous relationships." He claims "the Bible never addresses the issues of sexual orientation or same-sex marriage"

Well, this is because "sexual orientation" isn't something real. It's simply a preference, a choice, and the Bible clearly condemns it as sinful without the need of each individual instance of it.

Homosexuality is called an abomination, period. It doesn't matter if it's prostitution, rape, or a "committed relationship", the act itself is sin, regardless of any attempts to justify it.

I wonder if Matthew Vines meant to reference 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in his general summary. It's worth looking at.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Do you see how this one breaks out the "sexually immoral" as well as "homosexuality"? This pretty much kills his idea that Paul was only talking about lust and excess in Romans 1:26-27.

Sexually immoral covers lust and excess, and yet, homosexuality is listed as it's own separate subject here. No wonder he didn't quote this one or even reference it.

This one verse in the New Testament completely destroys his entire argument. Case closed.

Soli Deo Gloria