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A Christian Perspective
To know the truth about homosexuality, one must first determine the real source of truth itself. Many might question whether there is in reality a source of truth which governs such things as we are considering.
Determining The Truth About Homosexuality
Most people believe that if there is, it comes from the research of scientists. But the problem with scientific research is that the testing, evaluating, and interpreting of the evidence is often flawed by the personal agendas of those on both sides of the issue. Maintaining total objectivity is rarely done, especially among scientific circles who often must be "politically correct" in order to receive the grants necessary to conduct their research.
The Christian by definition recognizes and appeals to a different "source" of truth, though it is firmly believed that with time and true objectivity this "source" will be confirmed by "scientific" sources.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we believe the truth is to be found in Him. As He Himself said...
"I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (Jn 14:6)The realm of truth found in Jesus covers many areas, but especially those of sexual mores and behavior. Consider what Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,"having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;"who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."But you have not so learned Christ,"if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:"that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,"and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,"and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness."
So the truth which is in Jesus has much to say about what constitutes righteousness and true holiness.
But one might ask, "Why should we accept Jesus over the scientific experts of today?" The Christian is convinced that God has furnished proof that Jesus is the true judge in regards to righteousness. How? By virtue of His resurrection from the dead! As Paul said when speaking to the Greek philosophers in Athens:
"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Ac 17:30-31)Can anyone else provide such evidence that they know what they are talking about? Jesus by virtue of His resurrection provides the ultimate demonstration that when He speaks, we should listen! Until those modern day scientists, sociologists and philosophers who speak with such assurance that homosexual conduct is a morally acceptable lifestyle can present similar proof that they know what they are talking about, I would caution against accepting their judgments on these issues.
(For those who do not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, I invite you to examine the material presented in another "Executable Outlines" study, "Christian Apologetics".)
If we accept Jesus, then, as the ultimate source of truth, to what sources did He attribute truth? There are several:
THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS (i.e., the Old Testament)"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Though we learn later (in the books of Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, etc.) that Jesus did indeed fulfill the Law and bring in a New Covenant, it is evident that He considered the Law and the Prophets as a source of truth.
HIMSELF (i.e., the words He spoke while on earth)"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'" (Jn 8:31-32)
THE HOLY SPIRIT (who would carry on the work started by Jesus)"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." (Jn 16:12-13)Note carefully, that Jesus did not reveal ALL the truth Himself while here on earth. The Holy Spirit would complete the work, revealing the entire will of Christ through His apostles. This leads us to a fourth source of truth recognized by Jesus...
THE APOSTLES OF JESUS CHRIST (who gave us the New Testament)"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send (the word apostle means "one sent") receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." (Jn 13:20)In accepting Jesus as the ultimate source of truth, then, we must also accept His apostles. In fact, they themselves made it clear that their message was not their own:
"If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the command- ments of the Lord." (1 Co 14:37)"For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe." (1 Th 2:13)"We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." (1 Jn 4:6)It is important to understand that the truth revealed by Holy Spirit to the apostles was complete. In other words, we have in the pages of the New Testament God's full and final revelation. We should not expect the Spirit of God to give us "modern-day revelations" that are contrary to what has been given through the apostles. Several passages in the New Testament confirm this point:
"For I have not shunned to declare to you the WHOLE counsel of God." (Ac 20:27) (Emphasis mine, MAC)"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be COMPLETE, thoroughly equipped for EVERY good work." (2 Ti 3:16-17)"As His divine power has given to us ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO LIFE AND GODLINESS, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue," (2 Pe 1:3)"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for THE FAITH WHICH WAS ONCE FOR ALL (literally, one time for all times) DELIVERED to the saints." (Ju 3)The claim, therefore, by some denominations that the Spirit of God has led them to accept homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle is without scriptural basis. It is not the Spirit of God revealing new and modern truth, but rather human spirits who are seeking to accommodate themselves to societal pressures!
ConclusionThose who accept Jesus as the ultimate source of truth must also accept His definition as to where truth is found. We have seen that He has identified several sources: the Old Testament, Himself, and His apostles.
Putting it simply, the Word of God (i.e., the Bible) is the source of truth. As Jesus prayed in behalf of His disciples:
"Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth." (Jn 17:17)
Since the Word of God is the truth, then whatever it teaches regarding homosexuality must be the final word. The next section will examine what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.
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Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2001