Thursday, November 3, 2016

Girl, Boy, Atbp?!?

It's great to be back after a long hiatus! One of the things that loaded up my schedule was preparing to speak to my church's youth about homosexuality. That's what I'm sharing in this post.

It was an hour-and-a-half message, which I subdivided into five segments, as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. LGBT: Then & Now
  3. Can A Christian Also Be LGBT?
  4. How Can I Minister to Those Who Struggle with Homosexual Desires?
  5. Should Christians Support Pro-LGBT Laws?
I hope you'll be as encouraged listening to these, as I was preparing them.


We can’t ignore the LGBT issue. The question isn’t whether we will respond, but whether our response will be biblical or unbiblical.

Christian groups have adopted very different stands on this. But what is the right response? As we think about the answer to that, there are two things that we need to be concerned about.

Our first concern is the truth. Homosexuality is part of much larger issues, like sin, purity, and God’s glory. We want to avoid isolating homosexuality from these bigger concerns

Our second concern is the heart – our hearts. God wants us to glorify Him in how we think, how we talk, and how we act. We need to love LGBTs and faithfully share the gospel with them.

This is our goal: to have a biblical attitude toward homosexuality and LGBTs. 

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2. LGBT: Then & Now

The LGBT movement has ballooned in our generation. We should be concerned, but not too much. The church has been in similar situations before.


Homosexuality and similar blurring of the sexes isn’t new or recent. It was practiced during Abraham’s time, about 2,000 B.C., in the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century B.C.), by the ancient Greeks and Romans, in New Testament Times, and even in Pre-Hispanic Philippines! So, we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s an issue today.

But why is the LGBT movement of today is so aggressive and hostile toward biblical Christianity?


During the Enlightenment Period in Europe (17th-18th centuries), many great scientists like Galileo, Kepler, and Newton pursued science from a Christian worldview. But others wanted to use science as a weapon against God, the Bible and the institutional Church. They claimed that reason and science could explain everything, so people didn’t need God or the Bible.

Of course, if human reason is the standard for morality, then morality is just human beings finding reasons to do what they want. This is the essence of moral relativism.

Fast forward to the present day, and we see that moral relativism has taken over Europe and America, and it’s becoming more and more prevalent here in the Philippines. More and more, people are embracing the lie that you can create your own truth.

One of the reasons that the LGBT movement has become very strong in recent decades is that society has lost the ability to look at homosexuality and say, “that’s wrong.”

In fact, people have devoted a lot of money and expertise to explain homosexuality in purely naturalistic terms.


“Homosexuality is GENETIC.” In 1995, Time Magazine published an article entitled, “Search for a Gay Gene”, about scientists’ search for genetic causes for homosexuality. These studies, however, far from proved that homosexuality was predetermined by one's DNA.

“Homosexuality is caused by the environment.” Others have focused on how a person’s environment can influence homosexual behavior. But these studies often don’t distinguish between causation and indirect relation. To put it simply, they misinterpret the data, or make the data say more than it actually says.

Despite the limitations of these studies, they've have been sensationalized by the mass media, so that nowadays, people just assume that science has “proven” that homosexuality is completely natural, and therefore ok. This has allowed the movement to grow rapidly, even in the Philippines.

In light of all these developments, we as Bible-believing Christians might be tempted to worry. But homosexuality and cultural support for homosexuality aren’t new. The Church has faced this before. The reason we don’t know that is because for a long time, Christianity was the biggest moral influence on modern civilization. We’ve gotten used to that, but things are changing back to the way things were before Christianity became dominant. We have to be ready: ready to obey God on this matter; ready to accept whatever consequence society may impose on us; and ready to do it all, not out of hate, but out of love: love for God, love for the truth, and love for people who need Christ just as much as we do.

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3. Can a Christian Also Be LGBT?

Does the Bible really say that homosexuality is a sin?

Some professing Christians would answer that question with a resounding No! They claim that the common proof-texts against homosexuality are either misinterpreted or mistranslated because of prejudice. This is the revisionist view. Are they right?

  • Revisionist View: Sin of gang rape. This is not a universal condemnation of gay sex, but a bad form of gay sex. Sin of inhospitality.
  • Biblical Response: Sodom was condemned for a whole bunch of sins, not just homosexuality. But homosexuality was definitely included in that list. (Compare Ez. 16:50 and Lev. 18:22)
  • Revisionist View: David and Jonathan were lovers. (2 Sam. 1:26; 1 Sam. 18:1,4; 20:41)
  • Biblical Response: We read these texts with hyper-sexualized lenses. Cf. Jacob's soul was “knit to” Benjamin his son = favoritism, not sexual (Gen 44:30). David and Jonathan not said to lie together. And if you know David's life, his issue was women.
  • Revisionist View: Jesus never said anything about homosexuality!
  • Biblical Response: Jesus came to correct false teaching, so if the traditional view of homosexuality was wrong, He would have addressed it when we spoke about sexuality. Rather, He affirmed the traditional view. (Mark 10:6-9)
“ARSENOKOITAI” - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Tim 1:9-10
  • Revisionist View: Arsenokoitai appears for the first time in NT, so we have to figure out what it means. Therefore, it refers to sexual and economic exploitation (pedophilia).
  • Traditional View: Paul didn't pull this word out of nowhere. He pulled a word from the LXX of Lev 20:13 where we find arsen and koite, right beside each other. There's no other place where these two words occur together, beside each other. Any Hellenistic Jewish convert who came across this word would have recognized the reference. Moreover, if Paul had wanted to refer to pedophilia, there was a specific word for it: paiderastes.
In conclusion, the Bible does say that homosexuality is a sin in God’s eyes.

Isn’t homosexuality natural to homosexuals? How can it be wrong to be yourself?

The answer to that is simple: we’re all sinful and God calls all of us to be completely changed. Everyone – heterosexual or homosexual – is a sinner, and more specifically, sexually impure. We are sinful by nature, and that's why we need a new nature. Without that new nature, we’re spiritually dead – we’re cut off from God who is the source of all spiritual life. (John 3:3; Eph. 2:1-6; 2 Cor. 5:17)

Many believe that whatever is natural is good. But the Bible says that we live in a world that has been distorted by sin. So nature is a bad standard for deciding what’s good or bad. The only truly reliable standard we have is God’s Word. And it tells us to reject our sinful nature, to seek God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and to be transformed into new creatures.

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4.  How Can I Minister to Those Who Struggle with Homosexual Desires?

RESOLVE TO DO IT! ... or you probably never will.

PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. We have a natural tendency to excuse the sins that we struggle with, even while we condemn sins that we don’t see in ourselves. But let’s be humbled over our own brokenness. Let’s be consistent in addressing all kinds of sins.

FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST. We have to clearly and consistently communicate that God’s first concern for people struggling with homosexual desire isn’t that they become heterosexual. His first concern for them is that they have a living relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, so that they surrender all of their lives to Him, including their sexuality.

SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. On the one hand, let him know that he’s not struggling alone. We all struggle. It’s just that most people struggle with heterosexual impurity, while a few struggle with homosexual impurity. But we’re all in this together (1 Cor. 10:13). On the other hand, don’t give false promises, like “Read the Bible, pray more and your homosexuality will go away.”

ENCOURAGE SAME-SEX FRIENDSHIPS WITH MATURE BELIEVERS. This will help the person see and experience for themselves God’s beautiful plan for same-sex relationships.

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5.  Should Christians Support Pro-LGBT Laws?

Should Christians support LGBT “rights”? Before answering that question, there’s a more basic question that needs to be addressed. As Christians, what is our place in society?
  • We're called to be salt & light. (Mat. 5:13-16)
  • We're called to serve society. (Eph. 4:28)
  • We're called to love our neighbors... even our enemies. (Mat. 22:39; Mat. 5:43)
  • We should be particularly concerned for the poor and helpless. (Luke 14:12-14)
  • We're called to submit to the government. (Rom. 13:1)
In light of these points, I think we can rephrase our question this way: Is it loving to support pro-LGBT laws?

The simple answer is NO, because we must “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11). To support any law that supports homosexuality is to support homosexuality itself.

Another reason we shouldn’t support pro-LGBT laws is that they would do more harm than good. Let's look at the pending Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB), for example.


At first glance, the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB) sounds good. According to him, it’s about equality for all. He talks about LGBTs as if they’re victims of society. But the evidence doesn’t support that. Just look around you. Are LGBTs under attack in our country? Just the opposite, actually. If, by and large, LGBTs aren’t being victimized in our society, why would we need the ADB?

In fact, the ADB in its current form would do more harm than good, because it would suppress freedom of speech and religion. We see this in the way the bill defines "discrimination". The danger has already been realized in other countries that have passed their own versions of the ADB (ex. Canada, England, US).


We can't support this bill for many reasons.
  • It will require government to redefine, not only marriage, but sexuality and family as well. That’s more than an administrative adjustment. That’s a social revolution, right there.
  • For government to approve such changes in the law would mean that it supports the LGBT lifestyle, which has proven to be extremely harmful to people. The damage it has caused to people’s health and social relationships is staggering.
The typical pro-LGBT argument is, “We’re not hurting anyone, so just let us do what we want.” But they are hurting people, just not in an obvious way. To redefine sexuality, marriage, and family is to attack the institutions that have made civilization possible. It is also to deprive children of the stability provided by a household with a real father and a real mother.

And which sector of society will be affected the most? It will be the poor -- the ones who can least afford to play around, who don't have social and economic safety nets. If we destroy the institutions of marriage and the family, we can only guess how much harm it will cause to the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society.

We as Christians should be very clear on where we stand with regard to the LGBT rights movement. We stand against it, not because we hate LGBTs, but because we love them and we love our neighbors.

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