This topic has crossed my path numerous times recently, so I thought that maybe I could/should address here…
It is mostly based as response to a question about the best way to teach a teenager about what the Christian faith or God has to say about homosexual or same sex relationships.
This response is not an attempt to solve the problem, it is more an attempt to provide a starting point for conversations to be held. which I think we don’t do well or often enough.
I think sometimes we overload our kids with way to much information. Here are some of my observations and thoughts:
I do believe that the Bible is the best resource for handling the problem that you are addressing, both for what it says and doesn’t say.
You can look up the passages of scripture that mention homosexuality or unnatural relations to get an idea of the context in which they were used these words phrases or ideas were used. Most of the time you find it in the context of being something that places a barrier between people and God.
My belief is that homosexual/same sex behavior is a sin like many other sins and all sin separates us from God, so anyone who practices sinful behavior; that person has chosen disobedience, separating himself or herself from God, God does not do the separating, we do. That person makes a choice to live without God. That may seem a little harsh but please read on.
I define sin as: Any behavior (and I mean any) that breaks our relationship with God, it is not simply missing the mark as some would, have and do say/said, it goes much deeper than that.
God’s ultimate plan for mankind is the restoration of that broken relationship; today we in the church are called to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:13), joining God in this work that he is already doing.
My belief is also that God loves all of us all just the way we are and not the way others think we should be, that would mean that he loves the homosexual or gay person just as much as he loves you or me.
I just did a search for any form of the word homosexual in the ESV Bible translation on biblegateway.com and only two verses were returned on that search (1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10) both of which point to the practice of homosexual behavior. I also did a search of the word unnatural and found only one verse; Jude 1:7. I also did a search on the word natural (as used in a sexual context) and found two more verse in Romans 1:26 & 27. Then I did a broader internet search (Google) on: “bible verses about homosexuality” and found passages in: Genesis 19:1-11; Judges 19:16-24 ; 1 Kings 14:24 & 15:12; 2 Kings 23:7; Romans 1:18-32, the rest from that search were passages that I already mentioned above. I hope these verses help you, you may have already found them.
I believe that homosexual behavior is sinful in the eyes of God, but I further believe that there are both physiological and psychology reasons that people practice this behavior; in some cases I believe genetics are very much involved (cases where children are born with both male and female reproductive organs for one), I do lean toward the possibility that some people are indeed born that way (not that I like that terminology). But to me that does not change the fact that God calls the behavior sinful in scripture as mentioned in the scriptures above.
Some will say “love the sinner, hate the sin” but I personally dislike the phrase, because it seems as though we are placing some sort of condition on God’s love; which is the love that we are called to imitate, I believe that God loves us all unconditionally, and we are called to love others that very same way. In that regard, I applaud those in the younger generation who have chosen to love others without condition the way that God does. I believe that we need to both learn from and also encourage that type of love in our children and we need to trust God to sort those other things out for them in due time, it is most important that they know that they are called to serve a loving caring compassionate God who calls all of us to obedience, for it is only in that atmosphere that they can and will learn the consequences for disobedience , it is only in that atmosphere that they will come to know, trust and love God.
A separate question about evil:
I do believe like you, that there is evil in the world, with that being said though, I believe that a lot of times instead of being influenced by Satan that we simply give in to our own evil desire (James 1:13-15) . It is not always the devil who makes us do it, sometimes it is just us being disobedient and it is easy to cast the blame on Satan instead of taking it for ourselves.
As in all things I generally fall back on the words of Jesus who gives these commands as the most important ones:
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40
We shouldn’t pretend to have all the answers for our children, but we should be willing to sit down with our children and others to have open conversations about this topic and many others.
In closing a few a words of advice: Be patient, be persistent, but most of all be loving….
I know that both sides of this debate will probably have problems with what I have written here and I am perfectly okay with that , as long as it gives us a point to at least start talking about it.
To the Church:
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:15-16
Seeking, working and praying for peace in this place.