What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality
Kevin DeYoung admits it up front: his book on homosexuality is a Christian book, with an emphasis only on what the Bible teaches, and defending a traditional view of marriage.
The book is divided into 2 parts. The first consists of 5 chapters that examine the most relevant and debated biblical texts on homosexuality. In the second part, the author examines the most common objections to the traditional view of sexual morality by "revisionists" (those who question the traditional definition of marriage).
From the outset, Genesis 1 and 2 shows that God's intention is to create a humanity from two complementary beings and made for each other, capable of becoming "one flesh", act of union which ensures the mandate of procreation. Man and woman are made for each other.
Later in the Bible, the account of Sodom and Gomorrah prompts a question: What exactly was the sin that drew judgment from God? No, the homosexual act was certainly not the only sin of the inhabitants of these cities, but it was certainly among the acts falling under the judgment of God.
The very direct passages in Leviticus 18 and 20 about homosexual acts are often dismissed as other imperatives of Leviticus that no longer apply today. But DeYoung shows that the condemnation of homosexual acts can be found in other books and that Paul makes direct reference to Leviticus in his condemnation of homosexuality.
This same Paul, in the 1 st chapter of the “most important letter in the history of the world”, describes the condition of the world after the Fall and he identifies the passion between people as well sex as a consequence of this Fall.
Despite debates over the words he uses ( malakoi and arsenokoitai ), Paul also condemns homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1.
The author responds to those who point out that very few verses in the huge Bible speak of homosexuality, and that Jesus does not even address it. For DeYoung and for honest "revisionists", "no argument for homosexuality can be found in the Bible," and even Jesus implicitly condemns it by using the word pornea .
To counter this fact, the revisionists evoke the cultural distance between our time and that of the Bible. In their eyes, we speak today of a common, consensual and permanent life, when Bible writers like Paul in fact condemned practices like pederasty and rape.
But even non-conformist scholars reject this theory.
Another criticism of the revisionists is that the Christian world that condemns homosexuality ignores many other sins, such as gluttony and divorce. It is true, the Church does not always take responsibility, especially in the case of divorce. But that cannot be used as an argument to downplay the sin of homosexuality.
We also hear the argument that the Church is supposed to be a place for broken people: no one is perfect, after all! Yes, DeYoung replies, the Church is a place for sinners, but repentant sinners . True repentance produces changes in our lives that are a necessary consequence of true faith.
Opponents of Christianity claim Christians are "on the wrong side of history," as segregationists have been. But the progressive view of history is discredited by historians.No, mankind is not always moving in the right direction DeYoung demonstrates that several "historical errors" the Church is accused of are myths.
The book also addresses the issue of injustice experienced by those who feel a real sense of attraction to people of the same sex. To date, there is still no scientific evidence to support a genetic or biological cause for homosexuality, and even if it did, it would in no way remove the guilt of the equation. The human heart is subject to all kinds of desires that we have to fight. Moreover, it is possible for a homosexual to change his orientation. DeYoung relates several undeniable cases.
What can Christians do who are attracted to same-sex people, and who desire to be loved and married? Not all have the gift of celibacy that Paul talks about. But even married people have to contend with certain sexual desires. And heterosexual singles, the crippled, experience the same struggle.
Also, the desires that we will perceive as "natural" are not necessarily legitimate. Even the feeling of well-being after bad decisions is not a valid criterion. Bible ethics must have the final say. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ involves dying to yourself.
DeYoung denounces the disproportionate importance of sex in our society, but also of marriage in Christian circles, which diminishes the value of those who are called to live celibacy. The value of human life is not defined by sex or marriage. After all, the intimacy of marriage is a shadow of the glorious reality of the union between Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church.
The revisionists argue that the very essence of God is love. Yes, God is love, but he has other attributes. This same God commands us to reject evil. Many of the revisionists' arguments appeal to love and grace, but grace detached from intellectual responsibility and the Scriptures. Yes, God is love, but this love brought the Son to the cross to be a propitiatory victim for our sins, including our sexual sins.
In conclusion, DeYoung mentions that Christianity has viewed homosexuality as evil for 19 and a half centuries. For him, the new conception of marriage jeopardizes monogamy, the integrity of Christian sexual ethics and the very authority of the Bible. And we come to this because of liberalism, a system of thought born at the end of the 18th century which wishes to adapt theology and Christianity to modern knowledge and values.
The book ends with three appendices dealing with the issue of gay marriage, same-sex attraction, and recommendations for the Church on the issue of homosexuality.