Pure Intimacy: God's Design for Sex


Answering Pro-Gay Revisionist Theology: Talking Points

How should Christians respond to a false doctrine that threatens to fundamentally alter the church?

by Focus on the Family Issue Analysts

The Issue

No matter where one turns in the culture today, the issue of homosexuality and "gender identity" is being hotly debated. The "homosexual rights" ideology continues to seek legitimization—not just tolerance—of homosexual behavior, resulting in changing societal mores and values that deeply impact Americans in their day-to-day relationships with family members, neighbors and co-workers.

Pro-gay revisionist theology takes the movement for the legitimization of homosexuality a step further by attempting to redefine homosexual behavior as God-ordained and morally permissible. Leaders of the "gay-Christian" movement defend this position arguing that 1) Christians' prejudice against homosexuals leads them to misread biblical texts about homosexuality, 2) Christian leaders speak out against homosexuality merely to raise funds and increase their visibility, 3) Scriptures that supposedly condemn homosexual behavior have actually been mistranslated, and 4) Scriptures that supposedly condemn homosexual behavior have been taken out of context and do not apply to our present society.

Cause for Concern

The pro-gay revisionist theology threatens to substantially alter the Christian church and biblical doctrine. When God is said to sanction what He plainly forbids, then a serious heresy is unfolding before us in bold fashion. Confronting this false doctrine lovingly – but firmly – is necessary because this revisionist theology demands that we confirm professing Christians in their sin, when we are biblically commanded to do just the opposite.

Focus on the Family's Values

  • Focus on the Family is dedicated to defending the honor, dignity and value of the two sexes as created in God's image – intentionally male and female – each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships.
  • Sexuality is a glorious gift from God – meant to be offered back to Him either in marriage for procreation, union and mutual delight or in celibacy for undivided devotion to Christ.
  • Pro-gay revisionist theology violates God's intentional design for gender and sexuality.

Focus on the Family's Position

  • We affirm God's design for sexual expression as between one man and one woman in the context of a lifelong, marital covenant.
  • We strenuously disagree with pro-gay revisionist theology as plainly contradictory to Scripture, historic and traditional Christian doctrine and the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic.
  • We oppose the ordination of non-celibate, self-identified homosexuals and the celebration of homoerotic sexuality as one of God's gifts.

Talking Points

Attempts to subjugate objective biblical truths to subjective human experiences lead men and women to accept lies. Often those having a personal interest in the promulgation of pro-gay revisionist theology twist the plain teaching of Scripture to support and justify their behavior.

  • In light of objective biblical truth, general pro-gay religious arguments cannot withstand scrutiny:
    • Scripture begins and ends with the picture of marriage as an institution ordained by God – designed for the union of a man and a woman in a life-long, faithful, covenantal relationship. This view is affirmed by Moses, Christ, and Paul, and has been upheld through thousands of years of Judeo Christian history and tradition. Pro-gay revisionists usually do not even attempt to address God’s created intent for human sexuality, but instead twist Scripture and argue against those texts which condemn same-sex behavior.
    • It remains highly unlikely that Bible translators mistranslated five references to sexual ethics in two different testaments of Scripture. Even more unlikely is the possibility that they only mistranslated Scriptures regarding homosexual behavior.
    • Scriptures against homosexual behavior—including Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10—are so clear and specific that they defy reinterpretation. It is intellectually dishonest to say that conservative individuals and leaders "interpret" such clear verses as "Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman" out of prejudice against homosexuals and use them for selfish gain.
    • Homosexuality in Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy is mentioned in the wider context of sexual, immoral, and prohibited behaviors, casting doubt on the argument that Scriptures condemning homosexuality have been taken out of context.
    • References condemning homosexual behavior were addressed to highly different Ancient Near East cultures (from Hebrew to Greco-Roman) – nullifying the argument that scriptural passages against homosexuality are culturally bound and inapplicable to today’s society.

 

  • The argument that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality in the gospels is misleading and illogical for at least five reasons:

 

    • The gospels are not more authoritative than those books of the Bible that condemn homosexual behavior. All authors of Scripture were inspired by God’s Holy Spirit.
    • The gospels are not comprehensive.  Some of the Bible’s most important teachings—the explanation of spiritual gifts, the Priesthood of Christ, the doctrine of man’s old and new nature—appear in other books of the Bible.
    • The gospels do not claim to be a complete account of Jesus’ life or teachings.  Sections of Jesus’ life are not discussed in the gospels and we cannot be certain that Jesus never spoke about homosexual behavior.
    • Scripture teaches that Jesus kept all the Law and affirmed all that the Law and the Prophets taught (Matt. 5:17-19). Undoubtedly, this would have included the affirmation of committed, monogamous male-female marriage and an unwavering condemnation of homosexual behavior. Given that all first century orthodox Jews would have held to this standard, the question of affirming homosexuality would not have been open to discussion in Jesus’ day.
    • Jesus clearly referred to heterosexuality as a standard. He specifically described God's created intent for human sexuality: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (Matt. 19: 1-8; Mk. 10:6-9).
  • The argument that “I’m a born-again believer and I’m gay, therefore homosexuality must be okay” is illogical because it assumes if one is a Christian and if one is loved by God, then what one does must be right in God’s sight.
    • Salvation does not legitimize sin. Being a Christian is not an indication, in and of itself, that one's life is pleasing to God.
    • Conversely, Christians do not automatically become non-Christians just because they are sinning.
  • The argument that if God's presence and gifts of love are manifest in a gay-affirming church and in homosexual relationships, it is evidence that God accepts and blesses homosexual behavior is misleading in that it assumes love sanctifies a relationship. Love is not the final standard for right and wrong.
    • Love can, according to Jesus, interfere with God's plan for an individual. He warns His followers that love for anyone, no matter how legitimate the relationship, becomes sin when it surpasses our love for Him.
    • Love is not enough to justify a relationship. A married man can fall deeply in love with a woman other than his wife; that will never sanctify adultery. Likewise love between two men or women cannot justify a homosexual relationship.

References for Further Study

  • Joe Dallas, The Gay Gospel? How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread the Bible, Harvest House, 2007 (Harvest House).
  • James B. DeYoung, Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and other Ancient Literature and Law, 2000 (Kregel Publications).
  • Robert A.J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, 2001 (Abingdon Press).