Gay marriage/Same sex marriage, what does the Bible say?
This is a very sensitive issue that divides people, even family, relatives and long-time friends. It has become a dilemma for people in business, i.e., not baking cake or provide service, and for relatives dissing attending marriage ceremonies. In light of an overwhelming “yes vote” for gay marriage in an Australian survey (1) that will become law and the heightened activity globally, this issue takes on even more urgency to discuss. And, respectfully, failure to address this subject is a dereliction of duty to the love and care we all should have for one another, notwithstanding sex preference.
To start with, “marriage” is traditionally taught in religious circle to have started in the garden of Eden. This was presented to be based on “love“, being taken from the “rib” (close to the heart) as in Gen. 2:21-23, and for the couple to “go and multiply“(Gen. 1:28; Gen. 9:7). It takes male and female to “procreate“.
Regarding homosexuality, by definition, it is not an actual act of sex but a sexual preference of persons for the same sex; whereas heterosexuality refers to male to female predilection. No one knows the genesis of “sexual preferences” but it starts in the “mind“. Of and by itself, sexual preference is not sin and the person should not be discriminated against. It is when the “preference” is acted out “mentally or overtly” against the moral laws, i.e., committing homosexual act or adultery that it becomes sinful. For all, whether heterosexuals, homosexuals or bisexuals, they should avoid sexual immorality, including adultery. We should welcome all, irrespective of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, status, etc. as we are all created by one God. As the saying goes, “love the sinner, not the sin”. Love for all is the mantra while not necessarily condoning actual sin or ignoring that it exists and we should guard against it.
Temptation devolves into Sin
Temptation per se is not synonymous to sin, although it starts with it. Notice the stages of sin from temptation and how “lust” develops into sin:
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”(James 1:14-15 KJV)
“These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death”.(James 1:15 NLT)
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire”.(James 1:14 ESV)
With our “desire or lust”, we are tempted, lured or enticed towards sin. Then, when we “dwell, concentrate, imagine, or got carried away“, this progresses to mental or actual physical acts, both of which constitute sin/eternal death.(Matt. 5:28; Mk. 7:20-23).
The word “abomination” that characterizes ” homosexual acts” is exemplified in:
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.”(Leviticus 18:22).
The word “abomination” comes from Hebrew word “toevah” (plural, toevot) and occurs 103x in the Old Testament. It almost always has the connotation of a non-Israelite or Gentile cult practice. In the Torah, the primary “toevah” is “avodah zara”, foreign forms of worship, and most other “toevot” flow from it. The Israelites are instructed not to commit “toevah” because other nations do so, as in, Deut. 18:9-12. This word is akin to our present understanding of the word “taboo“, referring to cultural indictment, shame or stigma.
Having stated the preceding, homosexual acts (not preference itself), though different, are sinful and worthy of “eternal death” as adultery, fornication, incest, pedophilia and other sexual perversions. To overcome such practices, one should follow the following principles:
“Flee fornication… fornication sinneth against his own body. …your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?…ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s“. (I Cor. 6:18-20KJV)
“Flee from sexual immorality.”(1 Cor.6:18 ESV)
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: …that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;”(1Thes.4:3-5 ESV)
“He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:”(I Cor. 7:32)
“Now concerning virgins (either gender)…I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”(I Cor. 7:25-26)
“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: … both they that have wives be as though they had none;“(I Cor. 7:29)
In a similar vein, having a gay priest/minister, as in Episcopal church, is not sinful…so long as he/she does not continue with past homosexual acts. This tolerance is based on accepting a “murderer” like apostle Paul, as a leader of early church, since he did not continue with his murderous past. We are all forgiven of past sins. To see a previous murderer like Paul or a gay priest to shun evil and overcome past sinful acts, is a testament to the power of the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in man; God is glorified with such transformative experience.
Blame should not be a factor to insinuate against the cause of Paul’s murderous past nor the pathophysiology of “homosexuality”, as we really don’t know. Instead, as evil as those acts are, do these things happened “for the glory of God”? Notice the narrative in John 9:1-3
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
This is consistent with the principle that things happened “for the glory of God“. For what could be more glorifying than to see a change in the person?
As prophesied, we who are “deaf can hear and blind can see” spiritual things to change to be “one” with the Father. What a powerful proof that is !
In summary, for anyone with any sexual preference, be “baptized” with the Holy Spirit of power to empower yourself to have “control of your body” and flee from the temptation of sexual immorality or “pull of the flesh”, whether adultery, fornication, incest, rape, homosexual acts, etc. Marriage for homosexuals is not sin per se, but brings the couple closer to the temptation of committing homosexual acts in the “privacy of their homes“; that marriage should be avoided, discouraged and not condoned. People attending homosexual marriage maybe sending a wrong message of “encouragement” to do homosexual act.
Flee from temptation. But if you must, despite advice against it, just remember that gay marriage does not confer legitimacy or morality for the “homosexual act” and can not be used to “cover” acts of immorality. Celibacy for heterosexuals or LGBTQ maybe an option for those with proclivities toward sexual immorality. The apostle Paul (a heterosexual) adopted this “alternate behavior” as Catholic priests also took this as their “vow”, although a few failed. Some gays also hold firm to stay celibate. Similarly, “straight people” should flee from temptation that leads to adultery.
The Holy Spirit will sanctify us and strengthen the “weak flesh” for the glory of God. Believe in God and this gift of the Holy Spirit of power (at the appointed time and calling) will be given to us to overcome temptation before it degenerates to sin. All of us are sinners and subjected to this temporary “flesh-composed bodies” predicated on “hope“, which is anchored on the role of Jesus in paving the path to our salvation for those who “believe” and are empowered to be “overcomers“.
For further explanation of this plan, please access Salvation Series 1-6:
1. Same-sex marriage. Retrieved 11/17/17 from http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/14/asia/australia-same-sex-marriage-yes/index.html
Hyperlink version posted 6/20/19