LBGT - is it Biblical? - by Keith Petersen
There is and has been for some years as this paper is written in 2018 considerable controversy as to the nature and circumstances of what is commonly referred to as the LBGT (Lesbian-Bisexual-Gay-Transgender) movement. There are several levels of consideration in relation to this issue.
In every and all questions as to right and wrong it is vital to seek the word of God. The Bible says, “But what says the divine answer?” (Romans 11:4).
As a backdrop to the LBGT issue, a primary and encouraging reality for each and every person is that we have to do with a “Saviour God, who desires that all men should be saved and come to [the] knowledge of [the] truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Lateral to this is the truth, of course, that “there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22 -23). And so, we have it established that all are sinners – i.e., morally deficient before a righteous and Holy God – and that God desires that all men should be saved. It is vital to understand that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and that it is not through any merit on the part of man but through the grace of God that man is saved (Ephesians 2:8).
Thus it is seen that all men stand guilty before God of a myriad of sins resultant upon the activity of their sinful nature. Accordingly (while, of course, some sins are more grave than others - murder, for example), the thief takes his/her place as a sinner as does the adulterer, the liar, the avaricious and so on. The definition of sin in the Bible is seen in 1 John 3:4 - "sin is lawlessness". It is important to understand that the nature of man is sinful and thus sin is produced as a reflex to this nature. So, someone who is gay needs salvation as a sinner and the heterosexual needs salvation just as much - being also a sinner by nature.
Having said the above and in relation to the question at hand, the most immediate answer to the LBGT issue is seen in the very beginning verses of the Bible: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth. And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply”.
This language could not be any more plain and direct - “in the image of God” and “male and female created he them.” It leaves no room for the improvisations of the natural mind of a fallen creature – indeed, God speaks as to such improvisations: “God made man upright, but they have sought out many devices” (Ecclesiastes 7:29). For some, man’s imagination - under the prodding and influence of Satan - has devised that there are three immediately possible sexual preferences - (1) heterosexual (2) homosexual and (3) lesbian - and proceeds accordingly. But, this is not at all according to the Divine order and it is God’s authority in the universe that is the rule of the day (see Daniel 4, especially verse 17 - “that the living may know that the Most High ruleth over the kingdom of men”).
It is also to be noted that “God blessed them” (i.e., the blessing was upon them as He created them distinctly as “male and female”) and said furthermore “to them” (as male and female) - “Be fruitful and multiply.” Man as a race cannot naturally and biologically have fruit/children out of same sex liaisons and as certainly cannot have fruit out of arranged surgical gender person assignations.
It is clear from the above that there can be no possible attempts on man’s part that could justify that any part or interpretation of the above scriptures be used in support of the LBGT movement. The “scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and it is as useless to attempt to establish that lying or murder is scriptural as to attempt to establish that God intends gay or lesbian relationships to be scriptural. As well, a further exploration of Scripture shows that the God who condemns as a general condemnation man’s sinful works in the flesh (“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strifes, jealousies, angers, contentions, disputes, schools of opinion” - Galatians 5) is specific in many and various scriptures as to an immediate condemnation of either casual heterosexual or any degree or type of same sex or aberrant (Leviticus 18:23) activity.
Thus, in respect of sexual variation it is said, “For there is revealed wrath of God from heaven upon all impiety, and unrighteousness of men holding the truth in unrighteousness. Because what is known of God is manifest among them, for God has manifested [it] to them … Wherefore God gave them up [also] in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, to dishonour their bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into falsehood, and honoured and served the creature more than him who had created [it], who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile lusts; for both their females changed the natural use into that contrary to nature; and in like manner the males also, leaving the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their lust towards one another; males with males working shame, and receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was fit” (Romans 1), and there are a considerable number of other scriptures pertaining to these simple truths.
The question is raised as to individuals stating that they have various leanings in respect to their sexuality - i.e, someone says that they, as a man, feel sexual attractions towards other men , a female feels a sexual attraction towards her own sex, some speak of sexual dysphoria in which they think their sex and gender, so called, are mismatched, etc. A common notion is that fulfilling such a leaning is a privilege and right. However, another - a heterosexual - might argue that they have a right to be sexually promiscuous since they have strong sexual preferences towards women, and yet another might argue that they steal since it satisfies their psychological makeup - and argue, besides, that the banks are avaricious and deserve a lesson now and then, etc.
In this way men can and do accredit and seek to establish some level of acceptance for their actions based on self-interest and the very type of independence that caused the fall of man originally in the garden of Eden - irrespective of what God rightly establishes as to proper moral behavior. As a result of such a path, typically, any movement of conscience - if it even stirs - can be soothed, smothered or be, even worse (such as might be in the case of a hardened criminal), seared (the Bible uses the word "cauterized") so as to have no further effect.
None of this, of course, can in any degree possibly validate what is patently wrong. The reality is that God’s blessings are upon what is righteous and honorable, and His judgments are against all that is wrong. Who can legitimately set the standards of right and wrong? Only God can properly set such standards since with Him alone is perfect holiness as shown in 1 John 1:5 - “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
It is vital to recognize that obedience to Divine principles leads to blessing and disallowing these principles leads to ruin - this is simply the way (and should be the way) God works in His universe: “Blessings are upon the head of a righteous [man]”, “The blessing of Jehovah, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow to it” and “The righteous [man] shall never be moved; but the wicked shall not inhabit the land” (all in Proverbs 10). This obedience from men does not involve some arbitrary servitude to a distant despot; but, rather, identification with a God who is seeking to provide to us a relationship in which there is the evidence and understanding that a right path in life carries blessing. On the most elemental level this is only common sense in the same way that the knowledge that persistence in hard drug use leads to ruin and death should keep oneself from taking up drugs.
Lateral to the above scripture verses in Proverbs and inherent in any discussion of man’s true happiness and blessing should be the presentation of these same Glad Tidings which God highlights in Hebrews 2 - “Since therefore the children partake of blood and flesh, he [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ - Editor] also, in like manner, took part in the same, that through death he might annul him who has the might of death, that is, the devil; and might set free all those who through fear of death through the whole of their life were subject to bondage.” This is the grand backdrop to every and all issues in life - including this one of LGBT. There can be no proper relationship with God unless there is liberty to fully approach Him in that relationship, and, on the Cross of Christ God has nailed the offenses and sins of mankind (Romans 5:18) and is stretching out His hands to each and every one - “As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die” (Ezekiel 33:11).
God is moving in relation to man on the ground of eternal life - and His power to bring man into eternal life removes the fear of death. This is seen in 1 Corinthians 15, “But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the word written: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, [is] thy sting? where, O death, thy victory?” What a joy is this reality! As is shown in Hebrews 10:27 there is no more fear of God as a result of a “certain fearful expectation of judgment; but, rather, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear” - 1 John 4:18.
All this is brought into this discussion because it is imperative to understand that God’s attitude towards all men is one of love and saving grace (John 3:16). Gay bashing, as it is called, does not fit with the Gospel message. The Lord came here to this earth in the way of salvation - “I am not come that I might judge the world, but that I might save the world” (John 12:47). Of course, there will be a day of judgment - “taking vengeance on those who know not God, and those who do not obey the glad tidings of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall pay the penalty [of] everlasting destruction from [the] presence of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 1).
This understanding of God’s gracious love should serve to impress not only anybody laboring under any or all of their sins; but, in particular respect of the primary subject of this paper it is shown to anyone with an attraction towards a member of the same sex, etc. that God’s attitude towards them is that He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God desires not just life; but, eternal life - for all men!
Thus, God’s condemnation of sin is, to use a common phrase, across the board. His desire that men be saved is also universal; but, He cannot ignore or sanction sin - it is against His nature and it is that which He condemned in the Cross of Christ. We as men have to make the same judgments - the Lord says “Come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) and the prophet Amos says, “Shall two walk together, unless they be agreed?”
If the independency of man’s natural mind be broken in favor of God’s will great peace and joy ensues, and great power is in place through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He is the “unspeakable free gift” of 2 Corinthians 9:1 and through new birth and His enabling power a soul can walk here in this world so as to overcome hindrances and tendencies within and without. “Ye are of God, children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that [is] in you than he that [is] in the world” (1 John 4:4).
The issues of LBGT ultimately merge into the type of issues that face all men - which is to say that everyone faces judgment for sin (which is a righteous reality - should a righteous and holy God allow unrighteousness to go unjudged?) but that God is laboring, reverently speaking, to deliver them from their sinful estate and bring them into a peaceful, joyous, eternal relationship with Himself. The judgment for sin results in death (Ezekiel 18:20). Death itself is a righteous judgment against a sinful estate since by death a halt is put to the sinful activity (Genesis 3:22). Again, would it be righteous for God to allow sin to continue untrammeled for ever? So, God pleads with us, “let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness” (Daniel 4:27).
Of course, to any who reject the existence of or authority of God all the foregoing can - in their minds - simply be dismissed - which is the very reason that a man’s reprobate mind refutes God. That is to say, that if God is dispensed with along with His accompanying rights according to the reprobate mind of an individual, morality itself is removed since each is then free to do as his or her will drives them.
Hate slogans and violence towards gays, lesbians and transgenders is evil, as indicated, since God “desires that all men be saved.” Having said that, it is clear that any attempt to substantiate in any way any premise that gay, lesbian or transgender is a valid lifestyle is patently wrong, in the same way that the attempts by societal influences today to pretend that promiscuous lifestyles among heterosexuals are a valid lifestyle are also wrong. Both are destructive of the order in blessing in the universe that has been provided by God. The power of God is present to restore the moral conditions (i.e., no sin and no death) that existed before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. It has been the purpose of this paper to illustrate this Gospel message as the necessary backdrop to taking up not only issues of LBGT; but, the general moral malaise that is fastened upon all men. Amen.