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Monday, August 31, 2015

Standing On God's Word in Changing Times

homosexual debate, Standing on God's Word, Trusting God's Word
Scripture tells us "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15).

2 Timothy 2:23 adds "don't get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights."

When debating Bible truths, we should:
    1. Know what God's Word says - 2 Timothy 2:15
    2. Refrain from anger - James 1:19-20 
    3. Avoid contentious debates - 2 Timothy 2:14
    Proverbs 26:4-5 illustrates our difficulty with this last point:
    "Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation." NLT

    So how do we discern what to do? There's no easy answer, but it's always wise to pray before, during, and after discussions, allowing the Spirit to lead us.

    Bible Study
    To follow up on last week's study, we're going to address some of the questions people bring into the homosexual debate. Often these are merely "side trails" - attempts to get off subject. But some people have sincere questions about these issues so it's important that we know how to answer them.

    homosexual debate, Standing on God's Word, Trusting God's Word
    Argument 1: God says homosexuality is wrong, but He also says eating shrimp is wrong (Leviticus 11:9-12). Do you really believe that stuff?

    It's easy to get side-tracked explaining the difference between temporary and permanent Old Testament commands. Eating shrimp is not the only example used in debates, but it's one that is frequently used by homosexual groups. For more on this subject check out "Does God Hate Shrimp?" 

    I typically don't use the Old Testament commands when discussing God's views of homosexuality, not because they aren't applicable today, but because there is so much misunderstanding about Old Testament commands.

    For more understanding, I encourage you to read these linked resources:  Old Testament Commands. And feel free to leave questions in the comment section.

    All sins are not the same in God's eyes
    Argument 2: Homosexuality is the same as any other sin. If you refuse to marry homosexuals in your church, you should refuse to marry gossips.

    All sins are similar in two senses:
    1. God forgives them when we repent.
    2. They separate us from God if we don't know Christ.

    But, aside from these two similarities, the Bible clearly defines some sins as more serious than others because they lead us into deeper depravity. And homosexuality is clearly defined as such a sin in Romans 1.*

    In addition, participating in the marriage of a homosexual is participating in their sin by approving it (1 Timothy 5:22). 

    Romans 1 tells us that sin has a downward spiral. When it goes unchecked, it becomes more serious. Sexual immorality did not begin with homosexuality. There was a time in American history when very few people approved of homosexual behavior. The first sin to be approved was premarital sex, then increased adultery and pornography use. And along with the approval of homosexuality, we now see increased approval of other sexual sins like transgendeism, sadomasochism as that popularized in 50 Shades of Grey, pornography, pedophilia, bestiality, etc.

    For more on the dangers of accepting the Transgender Movement, read this excellent article. It is not a Christian article, as such, but it confirms God's truth and is written by an MD and psychiatrist: Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme 

    * For a more thorough discussion on how God views sins differently, please check out the resource HERE

    Argument 3: Christians aren't supposed to judge, so you have no business judging another person's sexual orientation.

    homosexual debate, Standing on God's Word, Trusting God's Word

    This is a popular misunderstanding. It involves taking one phrase from Matthew 7 out of context and ignoring the rest of the Bible (as illustrated above). There are many situations that Scripture commands us to judge people, behavior and teaching. Read more HERE.

    Argument 4:  God is always changing His mind about sex. He used to let people have multiple wives.
    I admit this is the most difficult question for me. We can't deny the fact that God allowed polygamy in Old Testament times.

    This is a question we may not thoroughly understand here on earth, but there are still basic truths pertinent in the homosexual debate:

    1. From the beginning, God defines His perfect design as one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:23-24).
    2. Multiple marriage = multiple problems. God's design is confirmed in man's inability to live in peace and godliness under polygamy. The lives of Jacob, King David, and Solomon contain many vivid examples.
    3. Jesus confirms God's design (Matthew 19:3-9).

    homosexual debate, Standing on God's Word, Trusting God's WordRead more here: Why Did God Allow Polygamy?  
    Why Did God Allow More Than One Wife? 

    While there is some confusion about God's reasoning in allowing multiple marriage, there is no confusion about homosexuality. God never sanctioned sex or marriage between same sex couples.

    Argument 5: David and Jonathan were homosexual lovers, and God didn't condemn them.
    This is a totally fabricated defense of homosexuality which you can read more about by scrolling midway down the page HERE.

    I pray that as our culture becomes more accepting of the homosexual lifestyle, we will have the strength to honor God. May we rely on His strength and wisdom, not our own. Please remember: we are not loving the homosexual by letting them believe their lifestyle is healthy or godly. We have God's Word on that. For inspiration from the Prophet Jeremiah, read "High Five, Jeremiah."

    copyright 2015, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com 

     All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted  

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