This article first appeared in the Ask Hank column of the Christian Research Journal, volume 27, number 6 (2004). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org
A popular sentiment today is that the Bible is increasingly irrelevant in a modern age of scientific enlightenment. Thus, when the Scripture’s condemnation of homosexuality is referenced it is not uncommon to see expressions of polite exasperation etched on the faces of the masses. After all, the Bible not only condemns homosexuality but also clearly teaches that Sabbath breakers must be put to death (Exod. 35:2).
First, it should be noted that while Sabbath breaking had serious ramifications within ancient Israel, it is not a precedent for executing people today. Not only are we no longer under the civil and ceremonial laws of a Jewish theocratic form of government, but as the apostle Paul explains, the symbolism of the law has been fulfilled in Christ (Gal.3:13–14). In his letter to the Colossian Christians, Paul underscores the Christian’s freedom from adherence to Sabbath laws by pointing out that “these are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” (Col.2:17 NIV). Thus, there is an obvious difference between enduring moral principles regarding homosexuality and temporary civil and ceremonial laws relegated to a particular historical context.
Furthermore, we would do well to recognize that the God of the Bible does not condemn homosexuality in an arbitrary and capricious fashion; rather, He carefully defines the borders of human sexuality so that our joy may be complete. It does not require an advanced degree in physiology to appreciate the fact that the human body is not designed for homosexual relationships. Spurious slogans and sound bites do not change the scientific reality that homosexual relationships are devastating not only from a psychological but also from a physiological perspective.
Finally, far from being irrelevant and antiquated, the Bible’s warnings regarding homosexuality are eerily relevant and up to date. In the book of Romans, Paul aptly describes both the perversion and the penalty: “Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion” (Rom.1:26–27 NIV, emphasis added). It would be difficult to miss the relationship between Paul’s words and the current health care holocaust. More people already have died worldwide from AIDS than the United States of America has lost in all its wars combined. This is but the tip of an insidious iceberg. The homosexual lifestyle causes a host of complications including hemorrhoids, prostate damage, and infectious fissures. Even that merely scratches the surface. Nonviral infections transmitted through homosexual activity include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Viral infections involve condylomata, herpes, and hepatitis A and B.
While there are attendant moral and medical problems with sexual promiscuity in general, it would be homophobic in the extreme to obscure the scientific realities concerning homosexuality. It is a hate crime of unparalleled proportions to attempt to keep a whole segment of the population in the dark concerning such issues. Thus, far from demonstrating that the Bible is out of step with the times, its warnings regarding homosexuality demonstrate that it is as relevant today as it was in the beginning.
— Hank Hanegraaff
1. Adapted from Hank Hanegraaff, The Bible Answer Book (Nashville: J. Countryman, 2004). For further study, see Joe Dallas, A Strong Delusion: Confronting the “Gay Christian” Movement (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996). See also Hank Hanegraaff, “President Bartlett’s Fallacious Diatribe,” Christian Research Journal 23, 3 (2001), 32, President Bartlet’s Fallacious Diatribe