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Sexuality, love, equality

 

 

Sexuality, love and equality - is all sexual behavior right?

 

 

Sexuality is a topic that speaks to people. It has always been of interest to people, and gender-neutral marriage, especially, has been on the surface lately. By gender-neutral marriage we mean marriage between people of the same sex, which has been reasoned with love and equality, e.g. People claim that being critical of this notion makes a person close-minded and old-fashioned. The media often likes to steer the conversation towards this viewpoint, and reporters seem to obsessively advocate it.

How should we approach this from a spiritual and biblical point of view? Most people reject the Christian standpoint as an old-fashioned view, but that is where they might be mistaken. Perhaps, the teachings of Jesus and the disciples are still valid and timely in today’s time also. That is why one ought to study them more carefully. And perhaps, modern people of today advocating for tolerance are the ones who are wrong. This possibility should not be overlooked. We are going to investigate this topic in light of several aspects that rarely find their way into discussion.

                                                            

Can all acts be morally right? We can classify all human acts into two categories. These two alternatives, all relating to moral, are:

 

• Anything done by humans is morally right

• Some acts are clearly morally wrong

 

Which one of the above alternatives is true? Those who do not believe in the Bible teachings, like the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus, might initially be inclined to believe the former option. However, when asked if they accept torture, children’s sexual abuse, or stealing, the answer is often negative. This shows that they essentially believe in the existence of objective universal values. They might not have given it a second thought, but still consider some acts to be morally wrong without question. William Lane Craig has made his own observations based on his discussions with people. He, too, brings up the fact that people seem to believe in objective moral values:

 

This leads us to another premise, according to which there are objective values and responsibilities. Initially, I thought that this would be the most controversial argument of the premise. In my debates with atheistic philosophers, however, I have noticed that nobody really denies it. Studies conducted in universities indicate, perhaps against all odds, that professors are more likely to believe in objective moral values than students, and that professors of philosophy are more likely to believe in objective moral values than professors on average!

…I have notice that, although people claim to be supporters of relativism, 95 per cent of them can be really quickly convinced that objective moral values do exist. For that, one must merely show a few examples and let them choose their stance on their own. Ask, what do they think of the Hindu sati practice, where a widow is burned alive in her husband’s funeral pyre, or the ancient Chinese custom, where women were crippled for the rest of their lives by tying their feet tightly in their childhood, so that their feet would look like the Lotus flower. The matter is especially clearly understood, when the examples are moral cruelties that were made in the name of religion. Ask them, what they think of the Crusades and Inquisitions. Ask them if they think it is right that catholic priests use young boys sexually and that the church tries to cover their tracks. If you are with a sincere wanderer, I can assure you that he almost always agrees with you in the existence of objective moral values and responsibilities. (1)

 

How does the former relate to our topic at hand? In short, it is a matter of placing homosexuality and gender-neutral marriage into one of the categories, but which one. Do they belong in the realm of right acts or in the realm of wrong acts? This is the root of differing opinions these days. It is not about people lacking moral values, but rather how they classify different acts. Some do not see anything wrong with homosexual behavior, whereas others do, creating a conflict. James W. Sire provides his explanation and tells how according to Christian theism the loving and holy nature of God, in particular, is the criterion behind moral:

 

However, even in our relativity we cannot escape the feeling that some things are just ”right” or ”natural” and some are not. For centuries the majority of society considered homosexuality as obscene. Nowadays many people deny this. But they do not deny it on the basis that there are no moral categories, so much so that this area of homosexuality should have belonged to the other side of that boundary, which separates descent from obscene. Homosexuals do not usually accept incest! Accordingly, people having different moral values do not change the fact that we constantly make moral judgments and live by them or against them. Everyone lives in a moral universe and in the end everyone thinking about this in the slightest knows this and would not want to change it.

Theism teaches, however, that we do not only live in a moral world, but that there is an absolute yardstick, according to which all moral values are being measured. God Himself and His good (sacred and loving) nature is that yardstick. Additionally, Christians and Jews claim that God has given His yardstick in the laws and principles written in the Bible. Inter alia, Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount and Paul the Apostle’s ethical teaching are God’s ways of revealing us His nature. Therefore, there is a yardstick for right and wrong and if someone wants to, they can get to know it. (2)

 

Can all forms of sexuality be morally okay? Above, we expressed how people generally accept the fact that some acts can be classified as being wrong. Such acts might include, e.g., theft and murder, which are also deemed wrong and criminal according to the court of law. Generally, these people might not believe that moral comes from God, but still practically agree with the main principles of the Ten Commandments (You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor …). It means that there is a lot of common ground when it comes to moral and it is easy to coexist in terms of ethical questions. There are only a few exceptions.

The question, whether all sexual behavior is morally acceptable, is particularly exceptional. This question often divides opinions. Some believe that there are no wrong sexual behaviors, and others think the opposite, which gives rise to conflict. Many disputes these days stem from this difference in opinion.

Looking at teachings of Jesus and the disciples, we can see that they also include guidance on sexuality. Many people disregard these teachings these days, but that could be a great mistake. If the teachings reflect the will of God, and we are eternal beings, our reaction to those teachings will affect our eternal fate. The following passages show that not only is homosexual behavior wrong, but that adultery, sleeping with harlots, and premarital sex are also classified as wrong. It would be foolish to look past these teachings:

 

Adultery

 

- (Mark 7:21-23) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

 

- (Matt 12:39) But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

 

- (Rom 7:1-3) Know you not, brothers, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

2 For the woman which has an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

3 So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

 

- (Hebr 13:4) Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

 

- (Mal 2:14-16) Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And why one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, said that he hates putting away: for one covers violence with his garment, said the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that you deal not treacherously.

 

Premarital sex

 

- (1 Cor 7:1-5) Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3 Let the husband render to the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife to the husband.

4 The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife.

5 Defraud you not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

 

cohabitation

 

- (Hebr 13:4) Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

 

Sleeping with harlots

 

- (1 Cor 6:15,16, 18-20) Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

16 What? know you not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body?  for two, said he, shall be one flesh.

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.

19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?

20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

 

Pornography

 

- (Matt 5:27,28) You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery:

28 But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

 

- (Mark 4:18,19) And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

 

- (Rom 6:12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.

 

Homosexuality

 

- (1 Cor 6:9,10) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

 

- (Lev 18:22) You shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

 

- (Rom 1:26,27) For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

 

- (1 Tim 1:9,10) Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers,

10 For fornicators, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for enslavers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

 

- (Jude 7) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

 

Love and truth. People often talk about love in relation to gender-neutral marriage and sexual affairs. They say that there must not be anything wrong with it if the two people are in love. For them love justifies anything.

However, as noted, in reality the dispute is not about love, but about sexuality and which parts of it are morally okay. Love can be expressed always and anywhere. It can exist between men, between women, between teens, and between anyone. These people can share friendships and love without sex and sexual acts. This platonic friendship does not necessarily exclude kisses, even on the lips, as it is a part of the tradition in some cultures, especially in Eastern countries, where kisses on the lips have been a cultural tradition for centuries. Kisses are even mentioned in the New Testament. (Greet you one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen, 1 Peter 5:14:) Therefore, when Image -magazine (June 2013), e.g., in Finland advertised gender-neutral marriage by showing kisses between people of the same sex, the advert comes centuries behind reality.

What about expressing love for homosexuals and others? Those supporting gender-neutral marriage often cling on to this argument thinking it makes them loving and progressive.

The truth is immensely important here, however. If the former Bible verses are true and humans are enteral beings, real love is warning other people about wrong choices and their consequences. It is like warning your neighbor about thin ice: “Please don’t go on thin ice; it might end badly for you.” It is not about judging anybody, or being superior to others, but whether people believe the former passages from the New Testament. Are they true or not? If they are true, failure to comply might be a fatal mistake. It would also be unloving to go without mentioning the consequences wrong choices have.

 

- (Gal 5:7,8) You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth?

8 This persuasion comes not of him that calls you.

 

- (1 Tim 2:3,4) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

We should also pay attention to the love of Jesus and the disciples – i.e. it is through them and their teachings that most writings of the New Testament were born. Were they more unloving than most people today when they spoke about the sinfulness of certain things and the fate of unrepentant people?

Surely, they were not. When many people today consider themselves to be loving and tolerant, it is quite obvious that none of them exceed the disciples, let alone Jesus. We are not going to go into detail about the life of Jesus here, although it was vastly different than anyone else’s life, and contained more love than anyone’s life ever has and ever will. Instead, we are going to look at a few passages describing the life of Paul. His deep love towards other people will become clear in the passages, despite his past of being hostile and cruel before conversion. How many modern people who consider themselves to be loving could genuinely claim to share the same deep loving attitude?

 

- (2 Cor 12:14-15) Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

 

- (2 Cor 2:3-4) And I wrote this same to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have more abundantly to you.

 

- (Rom 9:1-3) I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh

 

- (2 Tim 3:10-11) But you have fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience,

11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

 

- (Phil 3:17) Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.

 

Equality. The driving force for gender-neutral marriage these days is equality. People say that legalizing it would make homosexuals equal in the eyes of law.

What if we looked at this from a spiritual point of view? Equality is different to God than it is to people. It deviates from the way many people think. It entails two things:

 

1. God has loved everyone. God’s equality is materialized in that He has loved every single human on the planet, without any expectations. That includes adulterers, homosexuals, other sinners, and anyone who is estranged from Him and has been His enemy. He wants to save everyone. His love is particularly expressed through Jesus bearing our sins, so that we could inherit the kingdom of God.

 

- (John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

- (Rom 5:8,10) But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

 

2. All must repent. Secondly, God’s equality is realized in that everyone must repent. That means adopting an attitude in which one is ready to abandon all things classified as wrong. For example, adulterers and homosexuals are no different, since they must also abandon their wrongful acts. Likewise, all other people must let go of wrong things in their life. No one can appeal to what anyone else has done. This applies to all. It is equality of God to all people – equality that not all people want to accept. We will not inherit the kingdom of God if we purposefully do things that are wrong:

 

- (1 Cor 6:9,10) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

 

- (Luke 13:2,3) And Jesus answering said to them, Suppose you that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

3 I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.

 

- (Acts 17:30) And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent:

 

Respect. These days society talks about hate-speech. It can be found, e.g., on Internet forums where people insult each other and swear. This is also the case in terms of discussions around sexuality. There is reluctancy to respect and value people who think differently. People rarely express friendliness when talking to others. People also fail to consider that according to the New Testament we all must account for every vain word and everything else we have said. That is why it is not irrelevant what we say on Internet forums and in our daily lives. Our words carry a significance. It is wrong to not respect and value other people in our attitude and speech:

 

- (1 Peter 2:17) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

 

- (Rom 3:13,14) Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

 

- (Matt 5:21,22) You have heard that it was said of them of old time, You shall not kill; and whoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

 

- (James 3:14-17) But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15 This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

 

- (Eph 4:31,32) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.

 

- (Matt 12:36) But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

1. William Lane Craig: Valveilla (On Guard), p. 148,149

2. James W. Sire: Missä maailmassa? Maailmankatsomusten perusteet puntarissa (The Universe Next Door. A Basic World View Catalog), p. 36,37

 

 

More on this topic:

Sexuality under analysis. The origin of sexuality; From God or the result of evolution? Improper sexual behavior leads to suffering

Porn and sex. Porn, Nudity, dogging, sex, prostitution, nudity - why do people drift into them?

Sex addiction. Sex addiction, pornography and masturbation bind the lives of many

Satisfaction. Planning for the future without regard for God and eternity is madness

Homosexuality and being freed from it. What causes homosexuality, its underlying factors and can one get rid of it?

Homosexuality, church and society. Today, homosexuality is not considered a sin and a lust. It is justified in the name of love and equality. Development in society affects also churches

Gender-neutral marriage and children, ie how children's human rights are trampled on when they are denied the right to their biological parents - using as a reason human rights and equality of adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life

 

 

  

 

Grap to eternal life!

 

More on this topic:

Sexuality under analysis. The origin of sexuality; From God or the result of evolution? Improper sexual behavior leads to suffering

Porn and sex. Porn, Nudity, dogging, sex, prostitution, nudity - why do people drift into them?

Sex addiction. Sex addiction, pornography and masturbation bind the lives of many

Satisfaction. Planning for the future without regard for God and eternity is madness

Homosexuality and being freed from it. What causes homosexuality, its underlying factors and can one get rid of it?

Homosexuality, church and society. Today, homosexuality is not considered a sin and a lust. It is justified in the name of love and equality. Development in society affects also churches

Gender-neutral marriage and children, ie how children's human rights are trampled on when they are denied the right to their biological parents - using as a reason human rights and equality of adults