Homosexuality and the Church
by Thomas Harold, July 3, 2014
Thomas Harold is a free lance writer who has written numerous books and articles in regards to the SDA faith over the years. Before joining Adventism, Thomas was editor of a natural Healing magazine and a feature article sports and entertainment journalist.
Supporters chanted "Marriage is for one man and one woman" at the March for Marriage on Capitol Hill. However, the realization had sunk in that it is no longer politically correct to think such thoughts in America. One housewife said, "I don't care if it’s not politically correct; I know what is Biblically correct." Keynote speakers included former governor Mike Huckabee and the controversial San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who ignored 80 petitions against his speaking at the event. The irony of the day came when news arrived that on that same day, from Detroit, that the Presbyterian Church had overwhelmingly voted to allow homosexual marriages to take place in their churches. Conservative Christians are slowly facing up to the reality that Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender have won the political day and have now set their sights on breaking down the barrier walls of their last bastion of opposition – those churches who remain steadfast in their opposition to the LGBT way of life. Recently a Q has been added to the LGBT and it stands for “Questioning.”
“What Kinship Is: Seventh-day Adventist Kinship is a diverse, worldwide community of individuals who have participated in the Adventist community and have felt ostracized by church leaders, administrators, or members because of their sexual orientation or gender variation. . . .
“What Kinship Is Not: Seventh-day Adventist Kinship is not a church or new theological system. Many Kinship members still worship in local Adventist churches on every continent, despite the fact that some of them must be silent about who they really are. In addition, members who are Adventist Christians represent all facets of the church’s theological spectrum and have learned to have vigorous, mutually respectful discussions about their beliefs. Others are no longer associated with Adventism at all, but members respect each other’s conscience, and conformity is not required. Kinship is also not a reparative ministry designed to pressure members into suppressing or reshaping their sexual orientation or gender identity. . . .”1
Kinship Mission Statement: “Providing our homosexual sisters and brothers not only a place in our pews, but also a space on our platforms, allowing all of the gifts God has given them to be used to honor and serve God. Fully integrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex members of the Adventist Church into the life of the church community.”2
SDA Defenders of LGBTQ: If you are going to argue against homosexuality from a Biblical standpoint, you are going to have to go up against the likes of Dr. Ivan T. Blazen, Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Loma Linda University, whose in-depth article in Spectrum has become the rallying cry for homosexual theologians.3 In his article, Dr. Blazen rationalizes verses where homosexuality is called a sinful abomination, such as the events at Sodom and Paul’s writings on the subject. Ellen White’s writings on the subject of homosexuality are deemed to be non-existent or inconclusive. In summary, according to Dr. Blazen and LGBTQ’s, it is not the practice of a non-heterosexual loving relationship that is the problem as much as those evil doers among LGBTQ’s who exhibit dominance and power over innocents. Included in the LGBTQ corner is former Adventist pastor Ryan Bell, he of the “I am becoming an Atheist” fame, who spouts his defence of the movement in sympathetic, “woe is me” tones.
The Queen James Bible: “Homosexuality was first mentioned in the Bible in 1946 in the Revised Standard Version. There is no mention of or reference to homosexuality in any Bible prior to this – only interpretations have been made. Anti-LGBT Bible interpretations commonly cite only eight verses in the Bible that they interpret to mean homosexuality is a sin. . . . The Queen James Bible seeks to resolve interpretive ambiguity in the Bible as it pertains to homosexuality: We edited those eight verses in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible. . . . Commonly known to biographers but often surprising to most Christians, King James I was a well-known bisexual. Though he did marry a woman, his many gay relationships were so well-known that amongst some of his friends and court, he was known as ‘Queen James.’ It is in his great debt and honor that we name The Queen James Bible so.”4
Paul’s Dealings with Homosexuality: Paul is the apostle known to have almost single-handedly destroyed idol worship in its various forms among the Greeks and Romans, also known as the Gentiles. Most of his battles centered around foods offered to idols but now we see that battling homosexuality was also a major part of his work in converting the Gentiles to Christ. Contrary to the current theological arguments put forth by homosexual defenders that being homosexual was not the “crime” as opposed to the cruel behavior exhibited by some homosexuals, Paul was faced with some mighty social norms.
Among the Greeks homosexuality was rampant. Their hero, the philosopher Socrates had been executed in 399 B.C. for “corrupting the youth.” There was no legislation on the Greek books for penalizing bad philosophy; it is a well- known fact that Socrates had a severe problem when it came to teaching young boys. In fact, his understudy Plato is on historical record as calling Socrates “boy crazy.” Socrates could not have been executed for the crime known as pederasty or fornicating with young boys as it was completely socially acceptable in ancient Greece for men to have sex with boys twelve years old and up.5 The ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual orientation as a social identifier, as modern Western societies do. In Greece you were known sexually as being either an “active” or “passive” lover. It didn’t matter if this love was with men or women. This is why Paul’s introduction of God’s love being “agape” was such a revolutionary thought process high above the Greek carnal mindset.
The other Gentiles Paul dealt with were the Romans. Again, it didn’t matter whether your lust was exhibited towards women or men as long as the male was the dominant one (masculine) as opposed to being the submissive one (feminized). With Roman men it was all about the conquest mentality, or the cult of virility. Roman married men were free to have sex with males without a perceived loss of social status as long as they were the dominant partner. They preferred companions to be in the 12-20 year old range. On the other hand, if a Roman wife was found to be having a lesbian affair she was regarded to be on the low level of a drunkard, a glutton or a body building slave, and many a wife was murdered by her enraged husband for such activities.
Paul wrote that the Greeks and Romans were guilty of “worshipping the creature more than the Creator.” Paul accused those justifying homosexual behavior of “bartering the truth,” and he declared to his astounded hearers that “God had given them up to passions of dishonor.” Then Paul describes unholy behavior in language all can understand – “men with men” (Romans 1:27, emphasis added).
A highlight in Roman history of homosexual behavior came when Constantine the Emperor was converted to Christianity in 312 BC, and he publicly denounced homosexual behavior as being anti-Christian. The lowlight came when the emperor Nero beheaded the apostle Paul in anger against his teachings and then married his young male lover. In AD 390, three Roman emperors ordained the “LexDei,” otherwise known as the Law of God, and declared that any man taking the role of a woman in sexual relations would be publicly burned to death. A prominent Italian historian, Roberto de Mattei, the current deputy head of the country's National Research Council, has caused quite an uproar by stating that the fall of the Roman Empire can be directly attributed to their homosexual behavior, which weakened the entire Roman society.6 A simple verse written by Paul takes on a powerful new meaning in the backdrop of the homosexual Gentiles he was trying to convert to Christ: “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children. . .” (Titus 1:6).
To argue against a Biblically well-informed LGBTQ is, to coin a phrase, “fruitless.” There is no end to how long and low these debates can go. Some claim David and Jonathan were bisexual, as were certain disciples, and yes, some carnal radicals even claim Jesus Himself. It doesn’t stop there. A same sex situation awaits us all in heaven, as there will be no marrying or giving in marriage there. It is here we choose to take our last stand against LGBTQ but it heads into unfamiliar territory for Christians who hold a set viewpoint of non-marriage in heaven.
“And God created every living creature after their kind … And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply in the earth” (Genesis 1: 21f). This was not the first planet that God created, as there are verses which declare He created “the worlds,” in the plural. The principle is in play for planet earth, as it probably was for other populated planets – created creatures were to be fruitful and multiply. This is a joyful command from our Creator. How elementary is it to assume that if in the original creation there were two same sex monkeys that today there wouldn’t be any monkeys. Founded in 1991, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT) is an environmental movement that calls for all people to abstain from reproduction to cause the gradual voluntary extinction of humankind. As radical as this group is, they are not the first such group. Shakers were celibate. Procreation was forbidden after they joined the society (except for women who were already pregnant at admission). Children were added to their communities through indenture, adoption, or conversion. There remains only one Shaker community in the world, and ironically, they are found at Sabbath Day Lake, in Maine. The reason they still exist is because of rare new converts to their faith.
God delights in creation, and the key element of creation is found in procreation of the original species of creation. This goes for animals, fish, plants and especially humans. “So God created . . . male and female . . . and God said, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:27, 28). “Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:5) This principle goes back as far as the first creation, wherever and whenever that may have been. The big question – Does the replenishing aspect of creation cease in the earth made new? If so, will sin be the cause of its demise?
“The Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, asked Him, In the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her. Jesus answered, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:23,28f). Jesus rarely answered a question by telling His hearers that they erred but in this case He hated the doctrine of the Sadducees. The scriptures He referred to were the abundance of texts relating to the resurrection of the dead, for there is no scriptural reference to be found regarding a woman and her husbands in heaven. This was a trick question, and Jesus rebuked the entire Sadducee religion, for, as Paul stated so eloquently, if there is no resurrection then our entire belief system is in vain.7 “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage” (Matthew 22:30). Throughout His ministry Jesus dealt with what mankind had done to marriage by the hardness of their hearts. “. . . from the beginning, it was not so.”8 Again, Jesus spoke disparagingly about what marriage has become in these last days: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be, for as in the days that were before the flood they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark” (Matthew 24:37f). There is something about the antediluvian race that disgusted Jesus in regards to their marriage habits. We know that their every thought was evil continually. Most interpret this verse as day-to-day life catching people unawares. However, Jesus did not like what marriage had become in His day, nor what it would become in the last days. On plain display is hardness of evil hearts that dare to call evil good and good evil. The first marriage was pure and holy between Adam and Eve. Before sin, do you think Adam and Eve bore thoughts of lesbianism, gayness, bisexuality, transgenderism or even questioned their sexuality? After sin, the carnal heart unchecked ruled the day and in this state of mind anything goes, including sexual standards. Jesus was stating the obvious – your idea of marriage is far different from God’s.
“For in the resurrection they . . . are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). Taking those words at face value, we can conclude that the angels do not procreate, and we won’t either in the earth made new. So, in our transfigured bodies, are we are going to have non-functioning body parts? When Jesus was resurrected with a glorified nature He came back to His disciples as a man, just as He had left them. They touched the hole in His side, and He ate and drank with them as a glorified man. The resurrected Jesus was not an angel. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2). To understand the full context of being like angels, we need to examine the angel comment from Luke’s report: “For they are equal unto the angels” (Luke 21:36, emphasis added). Jesus, upon His resurrection, never reverted to being Michael the Archangel, for we know the glorious thought that He will forever be one with us as our elder brother. This is a point upon which the Sadducees had no clue – that Jesus forever retains His humanity, having become one of us. And because of that, every knee should bow now.
Can you envision scenes such as these during the thousand years in heaven? While looking over the books at your past life and that of your beloved family, you glance over and spot someone who looks familiar. You venture up and say, “Excuse me, did you used to be my wife?” Or you spot someone who looks like family and you say, “Was I not your father at one time?” Or how about this scenario when we travel to the purified earth made new? Jesus gathers about the redeemed population of the previous earth and declares: “There has been a refinement on the original creation plan. It didn’t work out so well, with sin entering and all. Mankind will no longer replenish the earth as previously. You are now celibate, in spite of your glorified body. When children have fully grown up, that will be it, as far as former family members go, or as far as seeing babies. From henceforth you walk alone but never lonely, with angels as companions. Your former family relations are passed away, never to be remembered. The mansions I built for you are to be inhabited by you yourselves and/or angel roommates, and maybe even your former family members.
God never changes or deviates from His plans, because He never errs. If the original plan in Eden involved repopulating the earth, then perhaps it will again in the earth made new. If God gave you a lifemate on earth, and children and grandchildren to cherish, then maybe this will be a part of heaven. The families of Christ might remain intact. So look at your family members now and appreciate them very much, for there is a chance that you will be spending eternity with them. As for the wife with seven husbands, God knows who her husband will be. Those with no lifemates on earth might be united with a mate in the new earth, for “It is not good that the man should be alone.”9 What should have been in the beginning may now be so in the New Earth. Forget man’s idea of marrying and marriage; go back to God’s perfect plan for one man and one woman knit together in love under God’s blessing. There is no abuse or separation there, no courtrooms, threats, punishments, child visitation rights or divorcements. At least, not in heaven.
Where would that leave LGBTQ in the New Earth? Reproduction is God’s plan now, and always has been among creatures, plants and humans. It is the beauty of life. A life with no possibility of reproducing is a Shaker-type existence. To embrace the LGBTQ lifestyle is to abandon God’s original plan for the human race. The carnal heart is good at deceiving itself into believing any lie. Satan has foisted one upon this planet, which given free rein and enough time to operate could in a single generation eliminate the human race from existence. Of course, the LGBTQ argument is that only a certain percentage of the population is born with these tendencies, but as with any “evangelistic” effort, your goal is to win over every last convert to your way of thinking.
“The doctrine that children will be born in the new earth is not part of the sure word of prophecy.” (Medical Ministry, p. 99, Ellen G. White) Praise the Lord for the balancing writings of Ellen G. White! The above comments in regards to heaven’s possibilities for the redeemed are “heavenly speculation” in the same sense as talking about our mansions in heaven or time travel to other planets and what we expect to discover. The sure word of prophecy ended from a timeline sense in 1844, and in a prophetic sense will end when Satan and his evil host are consumed forever in the lake of fire and the New Earth is purified. Everything beyond that, from little children playing with the lion and the lamb to how we will plant and grow with not another inhabiting, enters into a form of speculation. My points above are internal speculation about the earth made new, and not to be construed as a suggested doctrine. A public evangelist would never rail against Christmas or Easter as being pagan holidays, and likewise, this subject should never be mentioned to fellow born-again Christians who will until Jesus comes believe we will be “as angels” in heaven. There is nothing the matter with that at all. However, it is a “selling feature” for the growing LGBTQ movement within the church today that there will be no male / female relationships in heaven.
For the record, a quick glance through the writings of Ellen G. White at the Ellen G. White Estate does not reveal that she ever used the word “homosexual” in her writings. How could she have? The word “homosexual” first appeared in a dictionary in the 1890’s, and it took several decades beyond 1915 before it became a common word in our vocabulary. And homosexuality, not to mention LGBTQ, certainly wasn’t an issue the church was dealing with in those days as it is now. Also for the record: the Adventist doctrinal book, Fundamental Beliefs, #23 states: Homosexuality is a “deviation from God’s ideal. God created male and female to differ from and yet to complement each other. Sin has affected even this basic orientation, bringing about a phenomenon that has been termed inversion. In such cases, the natural orientation toward the opposite sex appears inverted, producing a basic sexual orientation toward people of the same gender. Because ‘all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23), Christians will deal redemptively with those who are afflicted by this disorder. They will reflect the attitude Christ took toward the woman taken in adultery: “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). Not only those with homosexual tendencies, but all persons who are trapped in behaviors or relationships that cause anxiety, shame, and guilt need the sympathetic ear of a trained and experienced Christian counselor. No behavior is beyond the reach of God’s healing grace” (Seventh-day Adventists Believe. . . , p. 303). The official SDA website simply states: Seventh-day Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.10
The LGBTQ’s of the world are well aware of the policies of the SDA church in regards to their multiple sexual orientations. Rather than ask why they want the pulpits, we need to recognize the fact that they have already toppled most governments in the world and swayed public opinion in their favor. Their last remaining obstacle is the church. Many churches have already caved in to their socio/political demands. A compliant SDA church that is sympathetic towards the practices of LGBTQ would be their most prized conquest.
1 www.sdakinship.org (main page)
2 The article is found under “Resources” –Biblical Texts and Homosexual Practices on www.sdakinship.org
3 From www.queenjamesbible.com (main page)
4 https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/anewcommand/ , #3, #4
7 1 Corinthians 15:13f
8 Matthew 19:8
9 Genesis 2:18
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