The other day, my wife facilitated a woman’s book study at our local church. When she got home, she was telling me about one of the lines of discussion, which was on the topic of homosexuality. During this discussion with me, she mentioned that we (the church) should not be tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. This comment was spot-on correct for a number of reasons.
First, this lifestyle goes against the created order, as the apostle Paul clearly points out in Romans 1:25-32. Next, it is bad for society, which is evidenced by early death and suicide rates, higher percentages of diseases, gender confusion with young children associated with homosexuals, an apparent increased risk sexual assaults, unequal rights in the workplace if someone attempts to claim a non-discrimination right, greater mental health issues and many other reasons. However, the main reason for a position of non-tolerance should be and is because the Law of God, in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, marks homosexual conduct as a criminal act. Noting this, the Christian has the right to discriminate against such acts. Examples of this would be the non-leasing of a home to a homosexual couple, the withholding of employment opportunities and church membership/worship for unrepentant homosexuals and so on. In short, non-discrimination presupposes non-criminality. I pray that our government will again realize this, by the grace of God.
This does not however, give a green light for the Christian to treat the homosexual with contempt. We are called upon to love others and to pray for them. We may need to go the extra mile on issues like this, to show the glory of the Savior Jesus Christ. However, real love is honest love and one way of showing the glory and love of the Savior is to be honest about their (the homosexuals) condition and position in regards to God. Paul makes it clear in 1 Cor. 6:9-11 that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God;
Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals,10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11, NASB)
The Greek words used in the above citation are Malakos and Arsenokoites. The first describes the person in the passive position in the homosexual act. The second, which is taken from both Lev. 18:22 and Lev. 20:13 (in the Greek Septuagint), describes the active member in the illegitimate act. It literally means, “a man who beds a man.” Paul gives a warning in this passage, not to be deceived on issues such as these. Why, because these are the very issues where men attempt to fool themselves into thinking that they are in proper standing with God.
Despite all of this, the Bible holds out hope for the homosexual. Notice verse 11, “And such were some of you…” Paul makes it clear that there were people in that fellowship that formally practiced such a lifestyle. However, through the grace of God, they were washed and cleansed…they were justified via the Lord Jesus Christ.
Greek Lexigraphical Word Meanings from 1 Cor. 6:9
μαλακός, ή, όν (s. two prec. entries; ‘soft’: Hom. et al.; ins, pap, LXX,Philo; Jos., Ant. 8, 72 βύσσος μ.; Mel., P. 80, 594 στρωμνῆς μ.) pert. to being yielding to touch, soft, of things: clothes (Hom. et al.; Artem. 1, 78 p. 73, 10 ἱματίων πολυτελῶν κ. μαλακῶν; PSI 364, 5 ἱμάτιον μαλ.) μ. ἱμάτια soft garments, such as fastidious people wear Lk 7:25. (τὰ) μ. soft clothes (Sb6779, 57; s. λευκός 2, end) Mt 11:8ab. pert. to being passive in a same-sex relationship, effeminate esp. of catamites, of men and boys who are sodomized by other males in such a relationship.
ἀρσενοκοίτης, ου, ὁ (ἄρσην ‘male’ + κοίτη ‘bed’; cp. the association ofἄρσην and κοίτη Lev 20:13, s. Soph. Lex.: ἀ.= ὁ μετὰ ἄρσενος κοιμώμενοςκοίτην γυναικείαν=‘one who has intercourse w. a man as w. a woman’; cp.the formation of μητροκοίτης [μήτηρ + κοίτη] ‘one who has intercourse w. his mother’ Hipponax 15, 2 Diehl3 [=Degani 20, 2]) a male who engages in sexual activity w. a pers. of his own sex, pederast 1 Cor 6:9… of one who assumes the dominant role in same-sex activity, opp. Μαλακός;…Paul’s strictures against same-sex activity cannot be satisfactorily explained on the basis of alleged temple prostitution, or limited to contract w. boys for homoerotic service.
(Arndt, William ; Danker, Frederick W. ; Bauer, Walter: A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2000)
No doubt I will get harassment because of this blog article; despite my call to love the homosexual (many wish to see only what suits them). Such is life. It will just go to show the folks that equality in thought is not truly desired. Rather, the majority (it seems, but, I do not wish to create a hasty generalization) in the other camp want to silence the other side (the Christian faith). It goes something like this; “Jeff, you are a bigoted homophobe and wish to push your morality on other people. Don’t you know that everyone has the right to believe what they want – and you have no right to stop them!” Yes, you have heard that one before, haven’t you? However, did you catch it? All the while the person is saying this, they are pushing their morality on me, not allowing me to believe what I want…very telling.