When I began engaging gay “Christian” apologists regarding how they reinterpret the Bible to make it teach that homosexuality is affirmed in Scripture, rather than condemned as sin, it quickly became clear that we disagree with each other concerning some fundamental presuppositions of interpreting the text.
I readily admit my bias, and the reason I do so is quite simply because the whole of Scripture, understood in its grammatical-historical context, condemns same-sex orientation and practice as against God’s created purpose for human relationships of any kind.
The only way to deny this patently obvious truth is to twist and mold the text of God’s Word so as to fit it into a pre-constructed box. The point under consideration, then, is to see whose presuppositions are justified by the textual evidence. If we are to read the Bible with any seriousness I believe “Christian” gay apologetics will be shown to be fraudulent.
I’ll begin with establishing a foundation for my presuppositional bias by considering what the Bible teaches on human sexuality. I would imagine that the average “churched” person in our culture today would be surprised to learn that God has a lot to say about humans and sex, sex and relationships, and sexual behavior. Good portions of both the OT and the NT provide revelation laying down regulations as to how God expects people to behave sexually.
For example, two of the Ten Commandments warn God’s people to not commit adultery (sex with another married individual) and not to covet another man’s wife (coveting being the heart root that can lead to adultery).
Proverbs 5 exhorts men to cultivate their sexual satisfaction from their wives, and not harlot women, and Proverbs 7 warns heavily against coming under the influence of an immoral woman who wishes to cheat on her traveling husband. Second Samuel 11 is the terrible story of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the wretched consequences of that sin are played out through the remainder of 2 Samuel.
Coming to the NT, Jesus told His audience in the Sermon on the Mount that just looking on a woman in sexual lust is as if you committed the act physically with her (Matthew 5:27-30). In John 4, Jesus confronted the sexually immoral life of a Samaritan woman who had lived openly in sin with 6 men. Paul rebuked the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 5 for not dealing with a man who was fornicating with his step-mother. In 1 Corinthians 7 he gives authoritative, apostolic revelation as to how singles and married folks were to conduct themselves in relationships. And then in Ephesians 5, Paul outlines how spirit-filled couples were to conduct themselves in their marriages.
What is unique and important to note in all of those references is how the regulations governing relationships applies to men and women functioning in those relationships. In other words, marriage, adultery, divorce, and fornication is always defined along the lines of happening between men and women. I believe the reason for this is because biblically, God has limited the boundaries of holy, God honoring sexuality to be between only one man and one woman in marriage. Thus divorce, adultery, and fornication are sinful because they destroy that holy boundary decreed by God at man’s initial creation.
Genesis chapter 2 is the clear record of God establishing His created decree of how marriage is to be defined. It is the cornerstone passage, because in the NT, Jesus references Genesis 2 when confronting the Pharisees on divorce (Matthew 19), as does Paul when he teaches on marriage (Ephesians 5). Without reproducing the text in its entirety, there are some points to consider:
– First, it was the LORD who declares that it is not good for man to be alone and says He will create a helper comparable for him (Gen. 2:18). The idea of the word comparable is “one who is his counterpart.”
– After God created the animals, He brought them to Adam to name. God uses them as an illustration to Adam that there isn’t a helper like him found among the animals (Gen. 2:20).
– After God created woman and brought her to the man, Adam breaks out in praise of her creation proclaiming her to be “flesh of his flesh” and “bone of his bone” (Gen. 2:23).
– It is at this point that Genesis declares, Therefore (on account of God’s creation of man and woman) a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:24).
Here in this passage we have the creation of human marriage and the participants of marriage, as God has originally decreed, that being one man and one woman. It is the pattern repeated throughout all of Scripture and affirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles. It is so patently clear that one man and one woman in marriage is the pattern God has established that it seems to be an exercise in the absured to even defend it. Yet gay “Christian” apologists insist marital relationships can be extended to include either man-and-man or woman-and-woman.
They put forth some rather strained argumentation in order to prove their conviction. For instance, Rick Bretlinger attempts to argue in one article that God’s silence in affirming consensual same-sex relationships in the creation narrative of Genesis 2 does not mean God is against same-sex marriages. “God doesn’t mention grandparents in Genesis 2,” writes Rick, “so God must be against grandparents,” and then he mentions several other illustrations of things God didn’t mention like wedding rings, wedding gifts, and adopting children, and says that to take the heterosexual interpretation of Genesis 2, we would have to conclude God is against those things, too.
Dear reader, this is facile, childish reasoning that doesn’t even approach interaction with the text of Genesis and how sexuality and human relationships are discussed in the rest of the Bible.
Moreover, many gay “Christian” apologists will confuse general love and affection shared between people as human beings in committed friendships, with the intimate, sexual love specifically designed by God. Thus, if two men or two women have this wonderful loving affection for one another, in the thinking of gay apologists, it is cruel to prevent them from expressing that love in marriage by artificially condemning it in Scripture.
However, marriage, as God designed it originally, has a deeper dimension to it than just loving commitment to another person. That being the component of sexual intercourse. See for example Hebrews 13:4 where the Scriptures say, Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. The notion of an “undefiled bed” is a tasteful way of saying marital, sexual relationships. The fact that the picture is contrasted with a condemnation against fornicators and adulterers only affirms this conclusion. Believe me, there are many individuals in my life with whom I share a strong, loving affection, but I don’t want to have sex with them. Marriage involves sexual union between the partners as an expression of the intended intimacy God wants in the human marriage relationship.
Now, just as a warning, some readers may find my following comments to be sensationally inappropriate, but it is imperative we grasp this truth. When the Lord created man and woman, He created them with specific sexual parts that serve the purpose of not only reproducing, but to function as a means in which to develop that intimacy. Two men or two women in a marital relationship cannot fulfill this functionality as God intended. Certainly they can achieve a sexual release together, but a person can do that by him or her self. That even begs a question: If same-sex marriage is a normal and healthy part of God’s created order, He could have very well created another man to be a helper for Adam. But how could Adam be complimented with a clone of himself? He couldn’t reproduce and he certainly could not enjoy sexual union with another man.
A lot of the arguments gay “Christian” apologists put forth for their view are based upon what they think is true and reasonable to them. Their authority, I hate to say, is not being defined by Scripture properly interpreted, but by what they want the Word of God to teach.
They charge that heterosexual Christians like those mean-spirited Focus on the Family and Family Life Today style evangelicals, read the Bible with heterosexual presuppositions. However, those same apologists fail to realize they read the Bible with homosexual revisionist presuppositions. They want the Bible to affirm their inordinate affections and sinful desires and the rebellion lived out by many of these well-intentioned, and certainly, super nice, gay folks.
But, our presuppositions must be justified by the whole of Scripture. A person cannot pick and choose selected portions wrestled out of context and spin them to yield an opposite conclusion than what God original said just so as to please his or her particular whims. The Bible’s silence on a matter does not affirm that such a matter is good and right in God’s eyes. Yet, what we do know for a fact is that the Bible so repeatedly affirms what God intended in the matters of human marital relationships, that silence on the subject of same-sex marriage most certainly condemns it.