Part I of this series defined Christianity and answered the question: what is a Christian? Part II of this series defined homosexuality and answered the question: what is a homosexual? Within this final part, we will be pulling the concepts of part I and II together and discussing the choices mankind can make with regard to the issue of homosexuality.
The options in making choices are different for Christians vs. non-Christians. And within part III we will be examining those choices and how it works for both groups.
The Scriptures teach that all have sinned and have a sin nature (Romans 3:23). This means we all have equal opportunity to be influenced by our sin nature and our circumstances, with the potential of making wrong decisions. The Christian can decide to get drunk, have sex outside of marriage, murder someone, and yes, commit acts of homosexuality. But unlike the rest of mankind the Christian has a second nature. This second nature is what makes them new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). But what many Christians fail to realize is, that this second nature provides a whole new set of attitudes, thus new motives to influence their intellect, emotions, and will power. Within all of this, they also have a personal spiritual teacher and helper named the Holy Spirit, which is God living inside them providing new motivations and power to carry out those motivations. The downside to this phenomenon is, for the Christian, there is a spiritual battle waging inside them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How do we know all this? Itís what the Scriptures teach collectively (Romans 15:13; Hebrews 6:4; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Romans 7:14-25; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; and James 4:1-8).
The Scriptures teach that within the Christianís decision making process, there is a choice between obeying and disobeying the Spirit of God as he gives direction. It should also be noted that the Spirit of God will never lead a Christian to do anything contrary to the principles taught in the written word of God. How do we know this? Because thatís what God teaches us through his revelation as found in the Holy Scriptures (John 16:7-15).
So, in light of all these concepts, how does homosexuality play out in the Christianís life? As we stated in part II, homosexuality is a mindset to follow self gratification and ultimately give in to the lusts of the body. For the Christian there is a new nature providing the means and power to resist this mindset and have a different mindset. This is what Romans 12:1-2 is referring to when it states: ďI urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.Ē (NASB)
There are many motivating factors within a Christian to do the right thing; but not only to do the right thing but also have the inter-power to do the right thing. Itís all a matter of choice. As a Christian I can choose to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) or I can choose to follow my old nature and disobey the heavenly Fatherís will. For the Christian to follow a lifestyle of willful disobedience to the Father in homosexuality or any other sin lifestyle, will result in disciplinary action from the Father and could result in an early going home reunion. Another doctrine or teaching we do not think about that plays an important role in the Christian life is, the principle that God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) and if this is so, then the Holy Spirit indwelling the Christian will not allow the Christian to deny God by living a lifestyle contrary to the Fatherís will. If you think youíre a Christian and are living a homosexual lifestyle and believe God is blessing you instead of disciplining you, you may want to rethink your salvation or position in Christ. Eternal life is most likely not in your future (1 Corinthians 6:9).
With these understandings letís look at the non-Christian to see what choice options they have.
Like the Christian, the non-Christian also has a sin nature (Romans 3:23). The only difference is, they do not have a second nature, and therefore do not have access to the additional attitudes or new mindset that comes with that. So if the non-Christian does not have God inside them giving moral direction, then what is giving them moral direction? The answer to that question is: Godís written Law as found in the Scriptures. For the non-believer, their choice is to try to follow Godís moral code, the Law, as described in the Scriptures the best they can, or follow the PRIDE and lust of their human sinful nature.
For the Christian there is the Law and the Holy Spirit to guide them into correct thinking concerning sin and homosexuality, but for the non-Christian there is only the Law, or Godís written moral code. If the non-Christian rationalizes that the Law was only for the Hebrews or Jews, then there is no authoritative voice declaring homosexuality is wrong or any other sin for that matter.
For the Christian to say that the Law does not apply in the age of the New Testament is doing a great disservice to the Kingdom of God and would also be incorrect in their doctrine. For Jesus did not teach the Law in this way, as we can see in the following statement found in Matthew 5:17-19:
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (NASB)
For the non-Christian to say that the Law was just for the Jews and has nothing to do with them, is an incorrect assumption that will lead to spiritual death. For the Scriptures state in Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25: ďThere is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.Ē (NASB)
Homosexuality is a mindset that exists around the world and has been for centuries. In todayís environment, some in the world have been fooled to think that homosexuality is just a mishap in nature and we just need to accept it. But the Scriptures tell us a different story. God the creator of the universe made mankind in his image (Genesis 1:26-27). This means mankind was made to think and reason like God and to take on and display the same attitudes God does. But after the fall of man, mankind lost the ability to have the same mindset or attitudes as God. Thus, in our blind state, with the inability to understand Godís ways, God gave us a moral compass call the Law of God. If we ignore it as a human race, our existence will decline to the lowest command denominator and we will eventually be doing only what is right in our own eyes. The world will become what it once was before Noah and the worldwide flood; a wicked and perverse people. The end result was God judged mankind with a worldwide flood, bringing death and destruction to all but eight individuals and the animals they were told, by God, to save. Fortunately God promises that he would not bring that kind of judgment to the world again, but as we read through the Scriptures, there will be a final judgment, only this time it will be by fire and permanent and everlasting spiritual death. The good new is, the Scriptures state that now is the time of salvation, now is the time for a choice for eternal life (2 Corinthians 6:2).
When we begin to think through the concepts of all three parts of this series, we discover that homosexuality is not an inherent part of our nature. Therefore, we are not born homosexual, and if we are not born homosexual then homosexuality becomes a matter of choice. It is my view that if one is practicing homosexuality, then one is a homosexual, and if one stops practicing homosexuality, then one in no longer a homosexual. I do not hold homosexuality to the same standard as alcoholism, that is, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. Why do I believe this? Because alcoholism is a chemical dependence of the body which can affect us for the rest of our lives. Homosexuality is not a chemical dependency; it is a mental dependency and can be changed by making a will power choice. The good news to this view is: if you have been trapped in the mindset of homosexuality, then freed from that mindset, then you are no longer a homosexual. If I were free from this practice, I would not be referring to myself as a non-practicing homosexual. I would be declaring myself as a free human being acting as a normal human being should be acting according to Godís design.
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Thank you so much for this very informative and helpful article that answered the arguments raised in support of homosexuality. Some Christian pastors (Andy Stanley) accept homosexuals in the church citing the New Testament teaching of love and "judge ye not" issue.