Culture Shock: Homosexuality
Each week during the Culture Shock series, you will have the opportunity to submit follow-up questions on the week’s topic to our pastoral staff. If you have a question, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. We heard examples [in the service] today of homosexuals who, after salvation, either live a celibate lifestyle or experience a change in orientation and enter a heterosexual marriage. There are also those who claim the scriptural passages condemning homosexual acts don’t apply to those who are in a same-sex marriage. How do we as individuals and as a church respond to them? Also how do we respond to those who are transgender?
A. Thanks for your question and your desire to work through these issues from a biblical perspective. As Christians, in engaging those who have a different sexual orientation, we begin by seeing them as people—people whom God loves and people for whom Christ died. Thus, we should seek to live out the gospel in word and deed to all of those in our sphere of influence. Building on that commitment, as part of the church, we want to encourage and challenge each other to follow Jesus faithfully. Thus, for believers who are transgender or deal with same-sex attraction, we want to encourage them to follow Christ holistically, and this includes their sexuality.
As you mentioned, some argue that the biblical prohibitions against homosexual behavior don’t apply to those that are in long-term, committed relationships. However, the biblical discussions of this issue discuss homosexual behavior in an unqualified way. For instance, Paul notes that homosexual behavior is “against nature” (Romans 1:26). This was a standard way in the ancient world to describe the fact that, in terms of biology, humans are designed for heterosexual, not homosexual, activity. Ultimately, it’s an argument grounded in God’s creative design; it has nothing to do with whether or not two people are committed to each other.