6. The Bible, Sexuality and Homosexuality
by Martin Hallett
Please study this disclaimer before reading further
If possible, please read this with a Bible (quotations are from the NIV)
The Creation Plan
Genesis 1 - An overall view of the Creation.
Genesis 2 - A more detailed account of the Creation. Man formed from the dust of the ground and given a need to work (v.7). Then God says, "It is not good for the man to be alone" (mankind's need for companionship and love). "I will make a helper suitable for him" (v.18). God created a helper for man, but not from the dust or growing out of the ground. The helper (woman) was taken from man. The name itself means "from-man" (v.22). The man now celebrates this event - "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh..." (v.23). Then Scripture tells us that this is the reason for the "leaving and cleaving" of marriage - a public celebration (v.24).
At this stage, they had not yet fallen or disobeyed God and therefore had a pure sexuality (v.25). They were unaware of their nakedness. There was a sexual purity that we know little of today. They felt no embarrassment, fear or guilt. After the Fall, they were not completely sexually pure (see Gen.3:7). They were aware of their nakedness and covered their sexual organs. Perhaps they felt embarrassed, fearful and guilty? They were, and therefore we are, potentially sexually deviant. According to God's original Creation Plan, we are all abnormal sexually (or unnatural) to some extent (see Gen.1:24-28). Jesus recalls this Creation Story in Mark 10:6-9, and commands no-one to separate (or deviate) from this "One-flesh" relationship.
We are told in Genesis 1:27, that God created mankind, male and female, in His image. The marriage (one flesh) relationship is therefore, in a way, a re-union, rather than a union. The woman taken from the man is reunited with him, as one, in the image of the maleness and femaleness of the Creator. The sexual organs were obviously designed to give physical expression to this union, to celebrate it and for procreation. Sexual intercourse outside this God-ordained relationship, profanes God's image (male and female) in this union ('re-union'). This applies to all forms of 'orgasmic' behaviour between people. It profanes the mystery, underlying meaning and symbolism that a true "one-flesh" relationship represents, from God's act of creation.
In a Fallen Creation
We now have to see this original ideal in the context of a "fallen" or "disordered" Creation.
Not Everyone Will Be Married
It is not possible for every man and woman to be married. Jesus clearly appreciates this, as we read in Matthew 19:11 - Jesus says, "Not everyone can accept this teaching (marriage) but only those to whom it has been given..." He then goes on to give three typical situations in which a person will not be married and therefore not having sex with anyone ('eunuch'). he doesn't necessarily mean those who have been physically castrated, but rather people who are unable to be married and as a result not in a sexual relationship with anyone. The third example, only, is a voluntary celibacy. The other two situations refer to a number of different reasons why people have not been able to marry. All sorts of different emotional, sexual and circumstantial reasons seem to be in Jesus' mind. I think this may have included situations in which the person concerned was not sexually attracted to the opposite sex.
The word 'homosexual' would not have been used at this time to describe a person. The words 'heterosexual' and 'homosexual' have only been in use since the 19th century. I believe that people would not have been identified by a sexual orientation in the way we are today. Sexual feelings and temptations would have been seen as a possibility for all of us in various forms, just as many other feelings and desires. Hence, Scripture only refers t specific sexual acts, and people involved in them, rather than sexual feelings and orientation. No-one is condemned for having a particular sexual orientation.
Jesus teaches us a lot through this dialogue, including the following:
1. We should not use sexual feeling as our means of identity.
2. Marriage will not be for everyone.
3. There should be no sex between people outside marriage.
The whole of Scripture echoes this prohibition by God of any sex outside marriage, hence adultery, fornication, bestiality and homosexuality, etc., are forbidden for those seeking to obey their Creator.
The Apostle Paul and Homosexuality
The words in 1 Corinthians 6:9 sometimes translated "homosexuals" or "those guilty of homosexual sexual perversion" actually describe people involved in homosexual sexual activity, rather than people with homosexual feelings and temptations. Many other examples are given of behaviour which is wrong for those seeking to follow Christ (including idolatry, greed, swindling, slandering). How many of us can say we have never been guilty of these sins in their various, often subtle forms? Paul also reminds us of God's Grace (v.11 '...you were washed, sanctified...justified...'). In Romans 1:18-2:1 Paul is describing what happened when man disobeyed God and giving homosexual behaviour as one example among many of mankind's disobedience. His context is that of creation, as I shared earlier. We are all therefore sinners (see 2:1).
Sex is not the Only "Sin problem"
It is important to realise that sexual sins are not thought of as any worse than other sins in Scripture. In fact forms of idolatry (e.g. pride) and greed seem to be taken as seriously, if not more so, than sexual sins.
Temptation and Lust
In Matthew 5:28, Jesus isn't condemning all sexual attraction, or even necessarily desire or temptation. The person concerned is desiring to possess sexually (lust), someone else's wife (adultery). Jesus is saying it is foolish to play around with temptation, and also reacting against hypocrisy (Matt.5:29).
Surely a Loving motive is the Real Issue?
Two people can have such a deep bind of love between them (same sex or opposite sex) that they feel as one. The souls of David and Jonathan we are told were "knit together". No matter how deep and meaningful emotionally, these can never be "one flesh" in the Biblical meaning of the expression. Emotional and sexual feelings can often seem so good and fulfilling as an expression of love for another person. We must be aware that our feelings and logic are not always in accordance with God's. Having said that, the Lord Jesus does want you to experience a depth of love and security that only He can give you. This will be through your relationship with Him and also relationships within the Body of Christ.
SOME DEFINITIONS: Homosexual (sexual attraction - same sex); Transsexual (person who feels in the wrong gender); Paedophile (sexual attraction to children); Fornication (sex outside marriage); Bestiality (sex with an animal).
CHRIST'S WAY OUT OF HOMOSEXUALITY
1. Believe in God as revealed in Christ
An understanding if the basics of our faith. - Who is God? - Relationship with Him as Father, friend and lover.
2. Understand that God says "NO" to homosexual sex, and Why? (Gen.2:21-24; Lev.18:22; Rom.1:24-28; 1 Cor.6:9-11)
An understanding of what the Bible does and doesn't say about homosexuality. The errors of a "gay theology". Why does the Lord say it's wrong, even when love is involved?
3. Repent (turn away) from a homosexual lifestyle and behaviour (Ac.17:30-31; 2 Cor.5:17)
Bad habit patterns, ideology, identity need to be renounced.
4. The need of accountability and confession (mutual, if possible); fellowship and support - giving and receiving ministry (Jas.5:16)
Sexual habit patterns may need to be brought into the light (responsibility) - just as if the person is "there" with us in the situation.
5. Understand God's love and forgiveness (Heb.8:12)
The reality of the Cross - the activity of the Accuser, who thrives in secrecy and fear. He wants to deny you God's Grace. Repent of perfectionism -i.e. demanding to be perfect, like God is blasphemy (Gen.2:17; 3:1-19). We need to be more whole and perfect, but acknowledge that we will often fail. Learn to share everything with God and listen to His response, based on the truths of His love expressed personally to you by name.
6. Find a new identity in Christ, rather than homosexuality or heterosexuality (Rom.3:21-26; Mark 12:25)
Learn to see yourself as God sees you, through Christ - owning that identity and relating to others from it. Not Gay, Ex-Gay, Homophile or Heterosexual but CHRISTIAN. We often try to use a sexual identity to give us a sense of security and self-worth. Understandable, but not true. Your sexual orientation doesn't say much about you or even your sexual feelings. It will encourage frustration if you believe you have to deny yourself the practice of something which you are saying is your identity. It is vital to "own" and "be in touch with" your sexual feelings and emotions.
7. What are the needs that homosexuality is seeking to meet?
Identifying the legitimate needs that have been unmet and/or wrongly met. Finding the "child within". What is the driving force behind homosexual urges and feelings? e.g. The need to love and be loved - 'belong' - feel 'solid and secure', 'not to be alone'.
8. How does God want me to meet those needs and heal? (Rom.12:13; John 15:12; 1 John 4:7-12)
Bringing these needs before the Lord and finding how He wants to meet them, from the child and within the adult, today (relationships with God and brothers and sisters). From the security of my sense of "being and belonging" with the Lord (#5 & 6). As you learn to feel safe and secure with the Lord Jesus, you can reach out to love others, from more security, rather than insecurity and fear. The fear of another's reactions to you will not be as important. You will feel safer to work at the human relationships you also need. These must involve a great depth of personal sharing and commitment. Impossible to undertake in more than a few relationships. Jesus has special friends.
9. What are the hurts, fears and insecurities which help to obstruct this healing? (Psalm 139:13-16)
As we work with God and our brothers and sisters in relationships many of the underlying hurts will surface and need addressing with the Lord and Christian ministry on a one to one and in relationships.
The nine points will have different applications for everyone because of our unique experience in life. Many will be as relevant for the person with heterosexual feelings.
CHANGE. As you work with God in these areas of your life, past and present, you may find a change in your sexuality towards heterosexuality. However, whatever happens or does not happen, you will experience change as you learn more about God, yourself and others.
SELF-WORTH. One of the biggest problems we face is a lack of self-worth, manifested in one way or another. It is the major root of homosexual development (the cause - not just the result - see the article, "How Does It All Begin?"). You will learn your worth through the Lord Jesus - learning to receive His love and as you see Him using you to give love to others, whatever your feelings or situation. God will use you, not "despite yourself", but "because of yourself".
"LOVE NEEDS". Beneath sexual problems and frustrations are deep rooted needs for love and affirmation. Sex can often seem to be a "comfort" that tries to meet these needs. Because the driving force and feelings are so strong, it can be difficult to break free from habitual or compulsive sexual behaviour. hence the need to deal with these "presenting problems" (see #4). However, the underlying "love needs" or "driving force" must be met. The Lord Jesus wants you to experience love from Him and your brothers and sisters in Christ. He does not want you to be alone, whether you are married or not. he does not want you to depend on sexual activity for fulfilment, but rather God's love of others.
This article is of course only a very brief look at a very complex subject. We will always have a lot to learn about the Bible sexuality and ourselves. TFT seeks to share with as many Christians as possible what we believe the Lord has been and is teaching us. This is through those working in the ministry and people contacting us for help.
Reproduced with thanks from a pamphlet published by
True Freedom Trust
London SE4 1EF, U.K.
This page was created on 30 January 2001
Last updated on 30 January 2001
Reproduced with Thanks