Taylorsville Church of Christ
Officials in Berkeley, California, unanimously approved an ordinance to remove all gender-specific language from the city code. For instance, “manholes” will now be referred to as “maintenance holes,” “manpower” will be referred to as “human effort,” and “manufactured” will be referred to as “machine-made.” They will no longer use the terms “male” and “female” or “he” and “she,” either. “Sororities” and “fraternities” will be called “collegiate Greek system residences” and “sibling” will be used in place of “brother” or “sister.”
It is yet another step toward lunacy in a state that was already at the front of that line. In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that replaced the terms “husband” and “wife” with the gender-neutral term “spouse;” and in 2017, California became the first state to provide a third gender option on state driver’s licenses, identification cards, and birth certificates.
I heard that the book “It’s Perfectly Normal” was being read in some California Elementary Schools, so I bought a copy of it for myself. The book depicts homosexuality as a normal practice and says that those who disapprove of it “know little or nothing about homosexuals, and their views are often based on fears or misinformation.”
Christians need to understand that this is all part of a deliberate effort to undermine core biblical principles. It is part of an agenda to erode basic and fundamental truths of Scripture, like what we read in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
We also need to recognize that this “systematic desensitizing” is occurring on a daily basis in a variety of ways. We are being bombarded from all sides. For instance, here is a list of just some of the companies who have made it a point to feature same-sex couples in their advertising. — Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Nordstrom, Tylenol, Kohl’s, Head & Shoulders, Honey Maid, Chevrolet, IKEA, Calvin Klein, GAP, Campbell’s Soup, Bud Light, DirecTV, Kodak, Colgate, Coca-Cola, Cheerios, Dove, Target, Apple, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, David’s Bridal, JC Penny, Wells Fargo, Project Juice, Doritos, Oreos, and Tide. — This is not an exhaustive list!
Catchy songs like “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry, “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, and most recently “You Need to Calm Down” by Taylor Swift are big hits that many of us probably sing along with, yet they are deliberate attempts to legitimize (or better yet, normalize) homosexuality. The same is true with popular television shows like “Will & Grace,” “Modern Family,” and “Glee;” and movies like “Brokeback Mountain.” They also seek to normalize gay behavior.
Even Disney World, which is supposed to be a safe place for kids, has joined the movement. They have had “Disney Gay Days” since 1991, and it has now become one of the largest “gay pride” events in the world, attracting over 150,000 LGBTQ attendees each year.
In 2012, a pro-homosexual group published a Bible translation dubbed the “Queen James Bible.” It is based on the King James Bible and has the expressed purpose of “reinterpreting” passages that condemn homosexuality. Moreover, so-called preachers have tried to make arguments from Scripture to justify the practice and churches have proudly ordained gays and lesbians to their clergy.
In June of 2015, President Barack Obama had the White House lit up in rainbow colors to show support for a Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage. Our kids see that and think, “Oh, if the President thinks it’s okay to be gay, how bad could it be?” Again, we’re being desensitized!
Where God Stands
God is not neutral or indifferent when it comes to homosexuality. It is an issue that He addresses very directly in His Word. For instance, we read this in the Old Testament:
Leviticus 18:22 — “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
Leviticus 20:13 — “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
Homosexuality is called an “abomination” in the above passages. That term, which means “detestable” or “loathsome,” expresses the strongest degree of disdain. Hence, this is something God obviously opposes. And that sentiment does not change in the New Testament. For instance, as Paul described the depravity that existed among the Gentiles, who had rejected God and served their own carnal desires, he wrote,
Romans 1:26-27 — “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Paul called the practice of homosexuality “dishonorable” and “unnatural,” and referred to it as a “shameless act.” How then could anybody read something like that and possibly argue it is okay to be gay? They can’t. However, this has not stopped some from trying. John Shelby Spong, a retired bishop of the Episcopal Church, tries to explain away Paul’s harsh condemnation by suggesting that these were the words of someone repressing their own homosexual desires. He wrote, “Yes, I am convinced that Paul of Tarsus was a gay man, deeply repressed, self-loathing, rigid in denial.” How sad!
The New Testament also says this:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 — “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Notice that those who “practice homosexuality” are listed among the groups that will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. They are in the same boat as idolaters, adulterers, and thieves. Interestingly, though, condemnation turned to commendation in the next verse. Some of the Corinthians who had been homosexual changed their ways when they came to Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:11 — “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
June is recognized as “gay pride month.” It is a time when the LGBTQ community celebrates their sexuality with parades and rallies. However, there is another group that rallies each year in June as well, even though the media tries to ignore them. They are ex-homosexual and ex-transgender people who descend upon Washington D.C. for a “Freedom March,” where they celebrate the freedom they’ve found in Christ. This verse not only says that such is possible, but some of the Corinthians could have been part of their rallies!
Finally, consider this text:
Jude 7 — “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire (“pursued homosexual perversion,” EHV), serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”
In Genesis 19, two angels appearing as men came to Sodom. A righteous man named Lot greeted the men and even offered them a place to stay for the night. After dinner, a mob of male citizens from Sodom (both young and old) surrounded Lot’s house and demanded that he send the men out. They wanted to have sexual relations with them. Lot tried to reason with the mob, but they just hurried past him and tried to break down the door. As a result of their “perverse intentions,” they were struck with blindness and the city was destroyed with fire. This is what Jude was referencing in this text. They were condemned for their homosexual activity!
Creator or Creature
All of this begs an important question: Who then are we going to listen to on this issue? Who will be our standard and source of truth? Will it be some politician or professor or pundit? Will it be popular opinion or personal preference? Are we going to let our peers determine our position? Perhaps the best way to put it is like this, “Are we going to listen to the Creator or the creature on this issue?”
The Creator set forth His plan for sex and marriage in the very beginning, and it has not changed. After creating Adam, He made a woman to be his wife. Then we are told that a man is to leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Max Lucado made this observation about that original plan. He said,
“This is no casual date, no clandestine affair… God could have given Adam a man, but he didn't. God could have given Adam two women, but he didn't. God could have given Eve to Adam for one night, but he didn't. He gave her to him for life. And, in doing so, he gave us his definition of marriage. One man-one woman for life. Heterosexual monogamy.”
If we’re going to listen to the Creator on this issue and not the creation, this is where we will take our stand. We will uphold the original plan — one man with one woman for life! Regardless of the consequences, we will oppose that which God opposes.
And let me make a few more quick points:
(1) Homosexuality is not a civil rights issue. It is not parallel to being black or female.
(2) Preaching against homosexuality is not hate speech. It is actually an expression of love. If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t say anything.
(3) There is no such thing as the “gay gene.” That myth has long been debunked by science and is counter to the Word of God.
(4) The rainbow is a symbol of God’s promise, not gay pride. It was the sign of a pledge God made to never again destroy the world with a flood. As Christians, it ought to offend us that the rainbow has been hijacked and defamed like that.
Though Christians cannot condone their lifestyle, we should treat homosexuals with love and compassion. We should be just as kind and pleasant toward them as we would be with anyone else. As the saying goes, “We hate the sin but love the sinner.” Acting in a hateful or malicious or self-righteous way is unbecoming of Jesus Christ.
Berkeley, California no longer approves of “manholes.” No more saying “manpower” or “manmade” or “manufactured,” either. Not even the terms “brother” and “sister” are welcome there. This is just another symptom of the same disease; another part of the same agenda. And as Christians, we need to make sure we're not “desensitized” by all of the madness. We need to recognize what’s going on and do what we can to counter it with the truth of Scripture.