Is Newsweek Right About the Bible and Homosexuality?
Dr. Kevin Shrum
Newsweek (Dec. 15, ’08 issue) has done it again. In an article entitled, 'Our Mutual Joy: The Religious Case for Gay Marriage', author Lisa Miller obliterates the plain reading of various biblical texts as she attempts to make a case for the gay lifestyle and for same-sex marriage.
Miller comes nearest to telling the truth in the article’s title – she can only make a religious case for her position, but not a biblical case because the Bible neither affirms nor condones homosexuality or same-sex marriage. Let me make the case.
Jesus. Yes, Jesus was single and did not specifically mention homosexuality. But every time he had the opportunity to redefine marriage He failed to do so, i.e. Mt. 19:1-9. In fact, Jesus defined marriage not by the Law or cultural custom, but by returning to the book of Genesis that sets the pattern for marriage as a commitment between a man and a women (Gen. 1:27; 2:18-25). In other words, Jesus returned to the book of origins and not the Law or cultural custom. In doing so Jesus affirmed the heterosexual nature of marital, conjucal, and parental relationships.
Paul. Paul, too, was single. Yet, no one in Scripture presents a more scathing critique of the abuse of marriage and the associated abouses of God's gift of sexuality. Romans 1:18-32 outlines one of the clearest repudiations of homosexuality in the Bible. We also know that the Corinthian church was filled with former sinners of all stripes, including homosexuals (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Such afirmations do not even begin to touch the nature and scope of what the Old Testament says about sexual sin. Miller's recognition of the sodomy, incest, adultry, fornication, and polygamy among the cast of characters in the Old Testament is rightly noted. Yet Miller fails to comprehend one basic principle of Bible interpretation - not everything the Bible describes it prescribes for its readers. That is, the Bible is God's book that describes the redemption of sinners in spite of their willful and unlawful sinfulness.
But while the Bible makes a clear case against homosexuality and same-sex marriage, it does not stand alone in opposing this aberrant lifestyle. Opposition is woven into the very fabric of creation. Let me illustrate.
Physically. Brace yourself. Homosexuality does not make sense with how our bodies are made. It is obvious that God made men in such ways that they only match up with women when it comes to sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is not the only reason for marriage, but our physical makeup does give us a clue as to who our appropriate partner should be.
This is the dirty little secret that the proponents of the gay lifestyle do not want us to discuss because they know that envisioning sexual acts between people of the same sex does not make sense to the average person.
Naturally. This first point leads to a similar point. By in large, nature functions best, especially when it comes to procreation, when marriage takes place between monogamous, committed men and women. Conversely, it is a violation of nature for men and men or women and women to function in ways that should be left for the relationships between men and women. There is no ‘gay gene’ in nature, only choices and propensities.
Familially. Only heterosexual marriage makes sense for the family unit as well. God’s plan is for a man and a woman to form the basis of a successful family. I can hear the cry from those who support same-sex marriage that you will find many loving families in same-sex partnerships. Further, they will tell us that heterosexual marriage is no panacea of success and peace.
Both of these claims are true. I’m sure that people in same-sex relationships share some degree of love for one another. And I know for a fact that many marriages are in trouble. But a troubled marriage does not necessarily call for a redefinition of marriage. That’s like saying that because a student missed the answer to the math equation 2 + 2 by answering 5 instead of 4 we need redefine or obliterate the processes of math. No, the student simply needs to correctly learn the answer.
Socially. While every society in recorded history has had a same-sex constituency, no society that has been dominated by sexual promiscuity has survived to tell about it. In fact, in his monumental and influential book, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbons notes that rather than building up the empire, sexual promiscuity of all kinds, i.e. adultery, fornication, pornography, homosexuality, was one of the leading causes among many that helped Rome implode from within.
The pro-gay lifestyle has become connected with a vigilant pro-gay agenda to create a rather vocal minority that is bent on normalizing the abnormal and by demonizing all those who disagree with this “progressive” view of same-sex marriage. However, both Scripture and reason argue against repudiating the truth that marriage and families work best when formed by a committed, covenant marriage between a man and a women. This is where Miller misses the mark.