A “homophobe” is described in some dictionaries as “a person who hates or fears homosexual people.” There are many in the homosexual world who say that those who do not accept homosexuality as a life-style or who say homosexual activities are wrong, are guilty of homophobic attitudes or hate towards them. Thus they see many Christians, Jews, Muslims and others who reject homosexual practice as being homophobic and guilty of hatred.
If we live in a world where there is no God, there can be no absolutes. Where there are no absolutes, everything is relative. People in such a world simply conform as much as possible (mainly to their own advantage) to the changing cultural patterns of the day. Those who criticise or condemn the behaviour of their fellow humans are seen as biased and bigoted. Who are they to pass judgment on another person’s behaviour if there are no absolutes to follow? So, it is argued, in a world where everyone is free to do their own thing, people shouldn’t be critical of the behaviour of others who live differently from themselves. It would mean in such a world, that no one is in a position to criticise anyone else. In such a world different kinds of sexual activity among consenting people would have no value judgments placed on them.
BUT WHAT IF (and it would naturally be a very big ‘if’) there happened to be a God in charge of this world? One who created it? One who made certain demands of His creatures? What if this God has revealed Himself in His creation? What if He has given messages describing what He wanted to people like Moses and the prophets? What if this God gave them commandments like the Ten Commandments and many other commandments over a period of centuries? What if He has declared many things to be wrong in His sight? What if He caused to be written, the words to males in Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And also in Lev 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.
What if He inspired St Paul to record His will in the book of Romans where Paul states that homosexual behaviour is part of the result of the general judgment of God upon people who reject Him. Judgment in the sense that He has deliberately allowed people to do what they wanted to do, to exercise their free-will as they rebelled against Him and against His will for humans. The three verses in Romans chapter 1 stating that “God gave them up” or “handed them over” don’t mean that God has “given up” on such people. Rather He “delivered them over” or allowed them to fulfil their own will while rejecting His will, Rom 1:26 “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” What if this God is saying that homosexual activity is not in accord with the purpose for which He created the different sexes in His world?
What if this God saw homosexual practice as part of a general rebellion by humans against His will, as seen in all the behaviours that He considers debased, Rom 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless? What if this God includes homosexual activity as part of the general rebellion of humans against their creator? What if He also condemned them for giving approval to others who also practiced the same things, as St Paul wrote in Rom 1:32, “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them?”
In such a world, with such a God, it could appear that the homophobic people (those who hate homosexuals, by their definition) are those who engage in homosexual activity. Why? Because they involve other people in activity that this God has declared to be contrary to His will.
So the “surprising possibility” might be this. If there is a God who created this world, then many of those who try to warn and discourage those engaged in homosexual activity are those who truly care about them. They care enough about them to be concerned for their present welfare and for their eternal future. On the other hand it would mean that the real homophobes (those acting with hatred towards homosexuals) in this world in which God exists, would be those who involve and encourage others in their homosexual activities! If this is God’s world then to deliberately encourage another person to participate in sexual activities condemned by Him would never be an act of love in the sight of such a God.
Mind you, if there is no God, then none of this matters one little bit. In such a world you are free to make your own choices in life about everything. But what if God does exist and has revealed His will for how the humans He created are to behave? For many people this would be the classic inconvenient truth! Better in the eyes of many such people to deny the existence of God. Better to mock Bible teaching. Better to prevent young people from hearing Bible truths which speak of these “inconvenient” truths. Better in the eyes of such people to besmirch the character and motives of those who would seek to help them understand this truth, that in a world in which God exists, actions and attitudes have consequences.
If God did exist then it means we would have the awesome responsibility of living in the way He meant us to live, and not contrary to it. It would mean that people would need to seek His help to refrain from all sexual activity outside His will, AND from all the other things St Paul mentioned in Romans 1:28-31 as coming from a debased mind. Things such as all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossip, slander, hatred towards God, insolence, haughtiness, boasting, new forms of evil, disobedience to parents, foolishness, faithlessness, heartlessness, ruthlessness. Only a God who existed could enable people to refrain from all these things. From all the indications in the Bible, the God of the Bible would be delighted to help those who asked for His help. Many of my friends who once cried out to Him for help, have found He is always ready to help those who humbly turn to Him. Not only that but they have found that He is able to keep on strengthening them to live in the way He always wanted them to live.
Blog No.050. Posted by Jim Holbeck. Friday 16th November 2011