Out in Scripture: Is Homosexuality a God-Ordained Identity?

This is part B of our response to “Out in Scripture” (from the pro-homosexuality Human Rights Campaign) by for Sept 17, 2006, by Americans For Truth writer Sonja Dalton:

“Out in Scripture” makes the following assertion about Psalm 116:1-9:

The psalmist in Psalm 116:1-9 expresses a similar strength and gratitude. In spite of distress, persecution, affliction, even death, God delivers and is merciful to those whose whole lives are grounded in God (116:5-6). What a valuable word for the LGBT community! When one claims the truth of one’s core identity in God — whether that core is known through being a teacher or in claiming the fullness of one’s God-given gender identity or sexual orientation — divine support is available.

And so we must ask: Is “homosexuality,” “bisexuality,” or “transexuality” a grounded, God-ordained identity?

Let us open our Bibles and examine what the Creator has revealed about the God-ordained identity of humankind…

Genesis 1:27 says that man was created in God’s own image. In the poetry of Psalm 139, David says to God:

…You laid your hand upon me…
You created my inmost being…
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb…
My frame was not hidden from You when I was being made in secret place, intricately woven in the depths of the earth…

What a sweet and intimate depiction of God’s work in us from our very first moments!

David goes on to say:

All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them ever came to pass.

In Acts 17:22-31, we read that God made from one man (Adam) every nation of men,

…and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live…

So God has a unique plan for each human life. God designed your body and He endowed you with personality and intellect and talent. He breathed His own life into you. God gave thought to the place in time you should have, to your circumstances, to the town, to the boundaries of your property, to the home in which you live. He sustains you each moment. But why?

…God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him… (Acts 17:22-31)

Or stated more passionately,

…we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling…we groan, being burdened…that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God… (II Cor 5:1-5)

The inspired Word says that God has designed our bodies and our circumstances with intention to cause us to yearn for relationship with Him.

So far, we have no mention in Scripture of “sexual orientation” but only of the soul’s proper orientation toward its Maker.

Those who are responsive to this spiritual calling to draw close to God find themselves with a terrible problem. Ephesians 2:1-10 says of those who had become Christians:

…You were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature, following its desires and thoughts…

We have all succombed to ungodly passions and desires –- some of us have lied, others have stolen, committed adultery, participated in homosexual sex, gossiped, told filthy jokes, neglected the good we ought to have done, etc. These sins are a grievous insult to a Holy and Righteous God, a crime for which the just penalty is death (Rom 1:32). Because we cannot repair our own situation, we are as good as dead. However, …

While we were still weak…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… (Rom 5:6-11)

…because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…It is by grace that you have been saved, though faith…the gift of God… (Eph 2:1-10)

You have been offered a priceless gift, extended to you when you most need, but least deserve it. This way of escape is outstanding news, a tremendous relief.

We who gratefully accept the gift have been saved by grace because

…we are God’s workmanship [in Greek: “poeima”], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph 2:10)

Here again, our God-ordained purpose is revealed…and again it has nothing to do with sex or “sexual orientation.” We are God’s “poeima” — His work of art! — and our purpose is to do good works to glorify Him.

How can we know what is good? In Romans 12:1-8, Paul implores, in view of God’s great mercy toward us, that we stop living like the world around us and instead renew our minds so that we can discern what is “good and acceptable and perfect.” We are to develop and exercise our God-given gifts -– serving, exhorting, giving generously, etc. -– for the common good of the church (I Cor 12:7), which is the pure and virgin bride of Christ (Eph 5:32; Rev 21:2,9).

The body of Christ was broken for you, friend, and for me. What is your response? How then ought you to live?

  • Do not let sin reign in your body, do not obey your passions. Instead, present your body to God as an instrument of righteousness. (Rom 5:12-14)
  • Live a life worthy of the calling you have received! (Eph 4:1)
  • Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance – Be holy in all you do. (I Pet 1:14-16)
  • What kind of people ought you to be? Holy and godly. (II Pet 2:11-12)
  • In view of God’s mercy, offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, for this is your spiritual act of worship. (Rom 12:1-2)

C.S. Lewis wrote:

…We are hoping all the time that…[our] poor natural self will have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes…
…The Christian way is different: harder and easier. Christ says, “Give Me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it…”

If you want to please the LORD, then you must leave your worldly desires behind, you must forget about what you want -– you must be transformed and embrace His will for your character and for your daily life. You must change.

So what are we to do with our sexual desires?

  • Eph 5:3 teaches that sexual immorality must not be named among those claiming to follow Christ. In the church, there must not be even a hint of pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, etc.
  • I Thes 4:1-8 admonishes us to abstain from sexual immorality and to control our bodies in holiness and honor -– or else God Himself will avenge sexual sin.
  • I Cor 6:8 warns us to flee from sexual immorality, to recognize that our bodies were bought with the blood of Christ.
  • I Cor 7:9 says that a man who cannot exercise self-control needs to marry a woman so that sex can be enjoyed within marriage.

That kind of change may seem impossible, not only to those involved in homosexuality, but for any human being who has been deceived by the allure of sexual sin, pride, money, selfishness, etc. But change is possible. We are able to bring our flesh under God’s control by the power of His Spirit. For some God may enable self-control and celibacy; others may experience total cessation of sexual temptation and complete emotional healing. In any case,

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us…He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world… (II Peter 1:3-11)

You were created to enjoy fellowship with the Divine! Would you foolishly throw away eternal delight for a few years of counterfeit, corrupt sexual pleasure?

Bible passages are from the NIV and ESV.

This article was posted on Monday, October 2nd, 2006 at 1:31 am and is filed under A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, D - GLBTQ Pressure Within Churches, HRC, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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