Can a Homosexual Be a Christian?

Question: Can a man claim to be a Christian and still be a homosexual? I just happened to hear some guys talking about that and I thought it was very interesting, even though I believe I know the answer to the question (NO WAY!). p.s I judge them not, our Heavenly Father wants me and others to pray for them, that they find the same GOD who forgave us for our sins, can also forgive them for there’s.

Answer: The question is a complex one. By homosexual do you mean someone who is actively engaged in sexual relationships? Or do you mean someone who is not engaged in sexual relationships but has same-sex attraction?

If the person is engaged in sexual relationships do they believe that the Scriptures forbid such relationships or have they been convinced that Scripture approves one-partner committed relationships?

Have you ever been involved in a sinful behavior that you did not realize was sinful? Did you claim to be a Christian at the time? Were you a Christian?  A person might be in homosexual relationships but not know that they are wrong.  This doesn’t mean they are not experiencing the consequences of wrong behavior (all of God’s laws are designed to help us function most like we were created to function).  But their conscience may not be moving them to deal with it as sin.

I believe the Scriptures are clear that same-sex intercourse is sinful. Same-sex attraction is not. I also believe that a true believer can be engaging in sinful behaviors but that if they are challenged by the truth and are seeking to break free from sinful behaviors this is an evidence that they are true believers. They should also be experiencing some success at breaking from sinful behaviors.

How long can a person continue in sinful behavior before we question whether they are truly redeemed or not? I cannot say. But as you note, this is something we must leave to the Lord. I am not required to prove that anyone is not a Christian. If they claim to be I am required to continue seeking to help them move toward holiness.

Randall Johnson

Does the Bible really prohibit sex before marriage?

Question:  Is sex before marriage a sinful act? Is there such a verse in the Bible? My friend once told me that sexual immorality is having slept with two or more people and that if you date and engage sexually for the very first time with one person until marriage, then that’s not sexual immorality or a sin. Is this true?

Answer:  There is no specific passage that says sex before marriage is sinful.  However, there is indication that this is assumed and there are reasons why it is harmful to a relationship and God would not condone something that is harmful to us.

Exodus 22:16,17 says,

16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

The implication is that an injustice has been done to this woman and her family.  She has been treated as a wife, introduced to an act that inevitably suggests that the man is in love with her, has been induced to give of the most private and safeguarded portion of her life, only to consider the possibility of him not marrying her.  This is considered so shameful that he must marry her or, if her father prohibits it (because he knows it is destructive or has some other serious reservation) the bride price must still be paid.

Even when people say they are just wanting to have casual or recreational sex, it is still true that this bonding experience affects them in ways they are not paying attention to.  This is the way God created us.  We are body/soul people and what affects our bodies affects our souls and vice versa.  We cannot escape the claim such intimate contact makes on our souls.  But that is why there is a need for a lifelong commitment to be in place, that is, marriage, for there to be safety in giving this most precious part of ourselves.  It is the only safe foundation for sex.  God knows this and set the boundaries for us because He cares for us.

Are we really loving someone if we want and get sex from them without giving them the appropriate commitment?  If not, then it is a way of sinning against them and when we sin against them we sin against the God who loves them.

Is zoophilia okay?

Question:  While searching on google the auto complete feature has lead me to a topic that I find odd.  The word was zoophilia, which is mutual relationships between animals and humans.  This made me wonder if this is a sin because this is different than bestiality, due to the fact that both of them are willing?
Answer:  The dictionary definition of zoophilia is “an erotic fixation on animals that may result in sexual excitement through real or fancied contact.”  You seem to be assuming that bestiality, sex with animals, is something that is forced on animals, while zoophilia is a mutual sexual excitement between animals and humans.  I don’t think that is actually a part of the definition or difference between these two terms.  However, it is clear from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 that God’s establishment of proper sexual relationships is found modeled in the Garden of Eden.

Given that model, any form of sexuality other than between a married man and woman is off limits.  God designed men and women for mutual sexuality, no one else.  Men are not to have a sexual relationship with men, nor women with women.  Each is to reproduce after its kind and, presumably, have sexual relationships only with each one’s kind.

This fits with subsequent regulations in the law of Moses against bestiality/zoophilia and homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22,23), laws that are endorsed in the New Testament, as well (Romans 1:24-27).  When we go against the obvious permitted/designed relationships for sex we are choosing to reject God’s revelation and are doing harm to ourselves.  God made us the way we are to function best and no other sexual relationship besides that between married men and women will be healthy for our souls or our bodies.

Randall Johnson

Why Isn’t Polygamy Allowed Today?

Question: Why can’t men have multiple wives today when God seemed to permit it in the days of Abraham and David and Solomon?

Answer: Jesus, in Matthew 19, uses the Genesis 2 account as a template or pattern for marriage. That is, one marriage, no divorce. But there are other patterns evident in the garden, such as, one wife, one husband, and male/female as opposed to same sex.

Whenever we see multiple spouses (wives) depicted in the Scriptures it always is shown in a negative light. Lamech, Genesis 4:19-24, is an arrogant man, Abraham’s situation results in feuding wives and fear and jealousy about the children (Genesis 16, 21), Elkanah (1 Samuel 1) loves one wife, Hannah, but puts up with another, Peninnah, because she can give him children, and on and on it goes. Solomon’s wives led him into idolatry (1 Kings 11).

In the New Testament, though there is no prohibition given against polygamy per se, elders are not allowed to be elders if they have more than one wife (1 Timothy 3:2) and this suggests and models the principle of monogamy for all. Since then, cultures that have been influenced by Christianity have prohibited polygamy. When the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) sought to make Utah a state, there was a refusal if they permitted polygamy, so they also now prohibit it.

When missionaries have gone to other cultures where polygamy is permitted they have struggled with finding leaders who don’t participate in polygamous marriages. They have had to wrestle with the fact that many of their converts might be polygamous. Some have realized that they cannot make the husbands divorce their wives without creating a great deal of suffering, so have opted for an educational process that changes the next generation. As it becomes more accepted in the United States, churches may have to deal with similar questions. Of course, as long as it is on our books as illegal, we will have to counsel polygamist families in ways of becoming conformed to the laws of our land.

Why didn’t God tell David or Solomon or Abraham or others that it was wrong to have multiple wives? Why did He permit them to hold positions of leadership in their communities when they were not observing the ideal He established in the Garden? It seems that this might have been too big a cultural shift for them to make given the acceptance of polygamy in their cultures. Had they asked God whether they should marry more than one wife we may suppose He would have told them, “No.” We may suppose that there are cultural allowances for things in our own nation today that were we to ask God if we should engage in them He might say, “No,” but we don’t ask.

Polygamy is often cited as a deterrent to other less desirable ways men might be tempted to seek multiple partners (affairs, prostitution).  The better answer is to help marriages be successful according to God’s instructions.  But whether a marriage is satisfying or not, we must still obey God’s laws and for current United States couples the state restrictions against polygamy become our obligation as well (Romans 13:1-7).

Randall Johnson