“God’s Revelation; Man’s Rejection” Part 5
November 1, 2015
For many years I have been maintaining a filing system with articles and information on hundreds of different topics (it currently fills 27 file drawers in my office and a substantial portion of my hard drive on my computer). In one of those drawers are several file folders totaling about three inches in space on homosexuality. A couple of weeks ago I asked Cathy to organize the information for me chronologically, so I could see the progression of thought through the years.
- I was somewhat surprised to find an article from 1985 by John Stott entitled, “Homosexual Marriage: Why same-sex partnerships are not a Christian option.” So the debate is not new to us!
- In 1989 one writer addressed the topic of “Homosexuality According to Science,” asking, “Does new evidence about homosexuality mandate a change in the church’s historic stance?”
- I alluded last time to the letter I received in 1990 from my friend from high school in which he asserted his homosexuality and God’s approval of his homosexuality.
- In 1992 we were debating whether the military’s ban against homosexuals should be lifted and were told, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
- The debate about homosexual marriage was already being waged in Hawaii in 1993.
- In 1994, Mel White, who ghost wrote numerous books for men like Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, and W. A. Criswell, published an autobiography in which he “came out” as a homosexual Christian.
- In 1996 Hawaii became the first state to recognize homosexual marriages.
- In 1999 the Vermont Supreme Court heard arguments in Baker v. Vermont petitioning the legalization of homosexual marriage in that state; while it did not grant that right, it did exhort Vermont’s state legislature to extend marital rights and benefits to homosexual couples.
- In 2005 Canada passed the Civil Marriage Act legalizing marriage for homosexuals in that country.
- In 2010 USA Today published an article in which they talked about “Hollywood, which once routinely depicted gay people as miserable, dysfunctional or tragic, now produces movies and TV shows — such as this summer’s film The Kids Are All Right, ABC’s Modern Family and Fox’s Glee — in which gay relationships and gay families are portrayed as just like other families — normal, unremarkable, no big deal.”
- Our Supreme Court in 2013 ruled that “the Defense of Marriage Act, passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, is unconstitutional.” [Mohler]
- And of course this summer the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges barred states from restricting marriage to the union of a man and a woman.
But what was most surprising to me was to be reminded that in 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the anti-sodomy law in Georgia saying there is no constitutional right to engage in homosexual activity. That was subsequently overturned in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. But it was a reminder that the thinking about homosexuality in our country went a long distance in the 30 years between 1986 to 2015.
Of course what we are primarily interested in at GBC is what the Scriptures have to say about homosexual activity and desires. Two weeks ago we saw from the rest of Scripture that God nowhere affirms homosexual activity or desires and everywhere condemns every manifestation of homosexual sin. The one passage we didn’t address is the one that is before us this morning, Romans 1. This is the passage that is most often referred to in the discussion about the Bible and homosexuality. And it is important that we look at it carefully within its context to make sure we understand exactly what God is and is not saying about homosexual sin.
Let’s start with the basic proposition God makes through Paul’s words about homosexuality and then move to the reasons that this statement is true. Paul’s proposition is that —
God is against homosexual sin.
In these two verses, Paul offers five reasons God is against homosexual sin.
- Homosexual Sin is Part of God’s Judgment (v. 26a)
- Homosexual Sin Perverts God’s Purpose in Creation (vv. 26c, 27a)
- Homosexual Sin is Because of Uncontrolled Desires (vv. 26b, 27b)
- Homosexual Sin is Dishonoring and Shameful (v. 27c)
- Homosexual Sin is God’s Judgment Against Idolatry (v. 27d)
Download the rest of this sermon from Romans 1:26-27.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.