By Glenn Dunehew
Published April 3, 2008
Dorm Bible Study Series
Anytime I discuss the Bible in relation to current issues on campus, I touch the number one fear in America: AIDS. Most people understand what it is but have sincere questions about why the disease has become such an epidemic in our society. People always ask me what the Bible says about homosexuality, and they usually have similar questions on the topic. Here are the most commonly asked questions, along with their answers from the Scripture:
“Are People Born Homosexuals?”
Homosexuality has never been a part of God’s design for people – and He has never created a person as a homosexual. When He created the very first family, He gave Adam a woman to meet the need for companionship and sexual fulfillment (see Genesis 2:18-25). This has always been God’s design – and it is obvious in the natural and complimentary function of the male and female sex organs and the male and female temperaments.1
Before sin entered the world through man’s disobedience, heterosexual marriage was the only sexual relationship that existed on earth. It was after man’s fall that such things as polygamy (Genesis 4:19), adultery (Genesis 12:17), prostitution (Genesis 38:15), and rape (Genesis 34:2) entered the world. Homosexuality was also an obvious development – as seen by the way it gripped the society of ancient Sodom (Genesis 19:4-5).
Why, then, do so many people insist that they were born homosexuals? Many times in our lives, events happen to us that are out of our control. It is how we deal with these events that will decide our future and how we react to other situations. Young boys sometimes encounter homosexual feelings because their fathers ignored them, thus driving them to side with their mothers and eventually emulate their mothers’ sexual desires. Some people deal with homosexual feelings because they were molested as children.
The point here is that many people “feel” they are homosexuals – because their desires lean in that direction. These feelings may be reinforced by a childhood experience, an unkind comment from a schoolmate, or by parental rejection. But it does not mean that the person was born a homosexual – any more than people are born murderers, thieves, adulterers, or chronic liars.
Although a person may “feel” that his or her homosexuality is natural and normal, we must realize that feelings can mislead us. In the book of Jeremiah, we are told:
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
What we may “feel” is right is not necessarily morally right. We cannot trust our feelings to tell us how to live. The bottom line here is that we must live according to the principles of God’s Word, and not according to our feelings. 2
“Can a Person Be a Christian and a Homosexual?”
There is no question that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior in both the Old and the New Testaments. Let’s look at two examples:
“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, not idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10).
A Christian is a person who lives in obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ, regardless of the personal sacrifice, recognizing Christ’s teachings to be ultimate truth. Such obedience is made possible when a person is “born again” as a result of faith in what Christ did on His cross to redeem sinful man. After being born again, a person is enabled to abandon all things which God declares to be sinful. As proof of his faith, a true Christian will no longer live in a state of continual sin. He will no longer be a slave to sin and he will turn from and give up all evil ways. Though a Christian may struggle with sin and temptation in different forms, he will no longer live a lifestyle which is contrary to God’s Word. This is clear in the following passage:
“No one who is born of God practices sin, because (Christ’s) seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother” (I John 3:9-10).
No one can be a Christian and remain a practicing homosexual – it is a direct contradiction of God’s Word. The very nature of Christianity is that it transforms people to live like Jesus Christ.
“Can Homosexuals Be Changed into Heterosexuals?”
Absolutely. The Bible says that there is hope and freedom for the homosexual. In the previously mentioned passage from I Corinthians 6, we are told that neither the sexually immoral, nor the idolator, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders will inherit the kingdom of God. But in the verse which immediately follows that passage, we read,
“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God” (I Corinthians 6:11).
Jesus Christ can change any person – regardless of the type of sin they have been involved in. No sin is to big for God to forgive. The homosexual, like anyone else, simply needs to believe in the transforming power of Christ.
“Is AIDS a Curse from God?”
Before we can answer that question, we need to first establish what is meant by a curse. A curse, in the biblical sense, is not something evil that is simply put upon a person without a reason, nor is it irreversible. God does not go around cursing people with disease. Rather, a curse comes as a direct consequence of man’s actions.
The Bible tells us that God “turns people over” to their own sin, allowing the natural consequences of their sin to take effect. In other words, if a man deliberately continues to break the law of God, God does not stop him – He allows him to go ahead and suffer the effects of that sin. The Bible says:
“Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their heart to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Romans 1:24, 26-27).
The question is not simply “Why did God allow this disease to come upon homosexuals?” It should also be asked, “Why did these people take the risk by getting involved in illicit sex?” Thousands of people today are being diagnosed as having the AIDS virus. Hundreds of thousands of AIDS cases remain unreported. Many of those with the virus are married – thus affecting more than just the homosexual community.
God is not going around vindictively cursing people with AIDS. This deadly virus is a direct consequence of immoral behavior which is now taking its toll on the general population. This is why God warns us to stay away from sin: because it kills. God’s moral law was not given to take away our happiness; it was given to protect us from our own destructive passions and sinful practices.
But one thing is for sure: the AIDS epidemic in America has caused many thousands of people to reconsider their own actions. Countless young men who may have fallen into homosexuality have abstained simply because they did not want to contract the virus. Many women have refrained from getting involved in premarital sex because of the risk involved. This is a clear demonstration of God’s love: He wants to keep as many people as possible away from certain destruction. Consider this verse:
“The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
Because He will not violate any man’s free will, God will allow a person to be involved in sinful practices even if that practice leads to death. But He has never desired that a man should perish, and He certainly has not brought on the AIDS epidemic to bring suffering or death.
1 Sy Rogers and Bob Davies, “Homosexuality and the Christian,” published by Eleutheros, Winter Park, FL.
If you have a question about what the Bible says about a certain issue, write: Questions On Campus, c/o Maranatha, 100 Montmullen Street, Lexington, KY 40508.
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