Mar 08

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The news media, from time to time, gives us subjects that need the attention of Christians. This is the case when a law was passed by the Congress in the state of Arizona. The Governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed the bill, but it got a lot of attention before she did so. It is not the purpose of this article to deal with the specfic bill, but with the subject it affords us the opportunity to address: “The Christian and the Homosexual.”
Please notice the order of the words, “the Christian and the homosexual,” and not the homosexual and the Christian. This article will deal with the manner the Christian is to relate to the homosexual. Let it be said at the beginning of the article, there is a manner of conduct that is incumbent upon a Christian and it does not change! The apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy the following: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15). First, the word, “oughtest” (dei) means: it is necessary, as in “binding.” Therefore, it is a necessary and binding behavior “in the house of God, which is the church of the living God.” Second, the word “behave” (anastrepho) is here used metaphorically, in the middle voice, which means, this is something one does for himself. The word is translated in the English “conversation,” in Ephesus: “among whom also we all had our conversation (anastrepho) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Eph. 2:3). Here the apostle is writing about their former “conversation” (anastrepho); their former behavior. Therefore, when the apostle in the text of 1 Timothy 3:15 uses the word “behave” (anastrepho), he is addressing the manner of life, and there is a necessary manner of behavior incumbent upon all who are in the “house of the living God.”
Now, the question before us; what is the behavior as it relates to the Christian and the homosexual? There are certain commandments given by Jesus that are necessary parts of this required behavior. First, let it be understood in general, a Christian never mistreats anyone! Second, we are to love our neighbor, and our neighbor is defined by Jesus when he said: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:31). This is, of course, the second of the two greatest commandments. Thayer says of the word “neighbor,” that it means: “according to Christ, any other man irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet.” Well now, this gets right to the heart of our subject: “The Christian and the homosexual.” We live among people of whom some are homosexuals and we come in contact with them. The necessary behavior does not change in such cases; no, not for the Christian!
The Christian must be kind toward all humankind. Just for a test case, look at Jesus and Judas Iscariot. Was Jesus ever unkind to Judas? Did Jesus ever mistreat Judas? He identified him as the one who would betray him, and he did say unto him: “woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born” (Mark 14:21). These words express truth, but they are not unkind! They even express condemnation, but they are not unkind! Here is a good place to recall what Jesus said: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). Therefore, it is not unkind to point out truth, as it relates to another’s spiritual state. At the same time, the sinner may think it unkind; however, “kindness” is not defined by mankind, but God.
This naturally brings us to another point. It is not unkind to speak the truth! However, it is true that one can speak the truth unkindly! Paul wrote: “But speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:25). First, speak the truth in love of God; and second, speak the truth for the sake of one’s own soul; and third, speak the truth in love of others. If love is not the motivation for speaking, then it is best not to speak!
The person who is a practicing homosexual is no different than a practicing drunkard, in that both are sinners! Both are lost and in need of the gospel of Christ! Paul wrote of the Corinthians: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
The keys words in the Corinthians passage are: “and such were some of you.” They were no longer practicing such things and one of these practices was homosexuality.

— Frank R. Williams

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