There is a recent Newsweek article by Lisa Miller which attempts to argue that the Bible isn’t against homosexuality. There is even one point in the article that tries to imply that the friendship shared between David and Jonathan might have been actually a homosexual relationship.
This is special pleading because there is no place in the Bible where you find God defending homosexuality. Indeed, there is not even one unambiguous reference to homosexuality in Scripture in which the practice is not condemned or presented in a negative way. Therefore, you cannot arbitrarily read into a very close relationship or friendship between two men some kind of spurious, physical, homosexual relationship. That’s simply reading into the text something the text doesn’t provide us.
What the text does provide us with is very clear warnings against homosexuality. Romans 1:26-27 says, “…even 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.” I think it would be difficult to miss the relationship between these words and the current healthcare holocaust we’re experiencing in the United States.
In the past, I’ve gone as far as to say there are attendant moral and medical problems with sexual promiscuity in general, but it would be a homophobic act in the extreme to attempt to obscure the scientific realities concerning homosexuality from those who engage in the practice. It is a hate crime of unparallel proportions to attempt to keep a whole segment of the population in the dark concerning such issues.
What the author of this Newsweek article, Lisa Miller, does I think is just preposterous and in many ways hateful because she is obscuring reality. When she says, “the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman , ” this is absolutely false and all it takes is a cursory reading of the Bible to see that this is so. Jesus points out clearly in Matthew 19 that “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” The passage does not say his “wives” but one man and one woman, so Jesus does very clearly define marriage. In fact, in defining marriage he appeals back to the book of Genesis.
Furthermore, when Miller says, “Scripture gives us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be (civilly and religiously) married” that is absolutely untrue. The Bible clearly gives all kinds of reasons why homosexuality is unnatural, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. What Miller is doing is assuming that the person that she is deluding is not going to check her out and actually read the Bible. Anyone who’s read through the Bible once knows that this is untrue. Whether you agree or disagree with it is another issue, but the Bible very clearly prescribes the borders of sexuality and says how we should conduct ourselves sexually. The Bible does this because God wants us to express and experience joy that is complete in sexual relationships. God does this not to be a cosmic kill joy but so that we have genuine, safe, enduring, and satisfying relationships.
Finally, Miller raises the issue that there were certain people in the Old Testament who were polygamous so that real marriage was never practiced, so we should not have an issue with gay marriage. Again, the Bible is very clear that marriage is between one woman and one man and when the patriarchs in the Old Testament defied God on marriage they received the penalty or the consequences for their sin. The Bible never commends polygamy; in fact, God explicitly in Deuteronomy 17:17 forbids the kings from multiplying wives — if God requires the kings to refrain from polygamy, even more so everyone else. While the Bible presents people with all their warts, moles, and wrinkles, it never says that their lifestyle of polygamy is okay. The Bible doesn’t airbrush these things when they happen, but it very clearly says when you do these things, they are sin. David, for example, had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba but then asks for forgiveness and is forgiven; but the consequences followed inextricably like night follows day.
For Miller to obscure the topic of homosexuality and the Bible and teach people that this is okay is kind of like having a cancer specialist who doesn’t treat his patients but tells them, “Its okay, you’ll be fine.” This is what is really homophobic.
For further information on the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage, we have in-depth books and free articles on our Website at www.equip.org.