Rev Dr Prabhudas Koshy
The redefinition of marriage, through the increasing influence of the homosexuals, is throwing a vicious challenge to Christians and their families, and the church. Our society is under great pressure from the homosexuals to accept theirs as an alternative lifestyle. Our youths and children are most vulnerable as they are increasingly pressured not only to act acceptably towards the homosexuals’ behaviour but also to support them.
When I was in Australia, I was told by some high school and college students how they were pressured by their schoolmates to show support for the LGBT movement by wearing rainbow colours. A few of them have to endure angry and rude responses from their friends when they rejected their demand. In recent years, the rainbow colours have become universally recognized as a symbol of LGBT pride and identity. The rainbow flag is regularly used to show LGBT identity and solidarity.
I am concerned how our youths and children face such pressure from a fast-changing society that expects them to be supporters and even participants of this carnal pursuit of a generation which has completely rejected the traditional moral norms, and disregarded biblical virtues and prohibitions. Christian parents also need to know what biblical advice they should give to their children.
As a people of God, all Christians must follow divine counsels for our conduct in a world of sin. When changes occur in the culture of our society, especially when they lead to rampant moral decline, Christians are admonished not to be swept away with the world. We are expected to stand steadfastly with the biblical truths and instructions, to engage zealously in preaching God’s Word, and also to patiently and lovingly work for the salvation of souls. 2 Timothy 4:3–5 exhorts us, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
We must not approve or support homosexuality, for God has condemned it as a sin.
God has opposed homosexuality in every age – in the days of the patriarchs (Gen 19:1–28); in the Law of Moses (Lev 18:22; 20:13); in the days of Israel’s Babylonian exile (Ezek 16:46–50); in the Apostolic era (Rom 1:18– 27; 1 Cor 6:9–10; Jude 7–8); in the last days (Luke 17:26–30; 2 Tim 3:1–5).
LGBT advocates have been “selling” their carnal agenda to Christian youths and children by promoting their warped interpretations of passages in Scripture that address homosexuality. Their pro-gay arguments from the Bible are not only warped, but also completely irrational! They quash God’s design for a proper human matrimonial relationship, which is the complementary relationship between a man and a woman (Gen 2:18–25; Matt 19:4–6; Eph 5:22–33). We should not be intimidated by homosexual advocates and their vain reasoning which is utterly contrary to the Scriptures.
We should not go along with those who refuse to acknowledge the sinfulness of homosexuality. The Bible repeatedly warns us against being supportive of conduct that is condemned by God as sin. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa 5:20). To call evil good is to misguide people, and not warning people of their wickedness is a woeful attitude that God will judge. Ezekiel 3:18 says, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”
As Christians, we must not compromise what the Bible says about homosexuality. Even though we want to show charity and compassion to those who are lost in sin, we must not do so without love to God and His truth. To express our love for man at the expense of righteousness and devotion to God would make us promoters of sin. Homosexuals and all sinners, who stand defiantly against the will of God who is Creator and Redeemer, are worthy of eternal damnation (1 Cor 6:9–10; Gal 5:19–21; Rev 21:8). So if we truly want to show compassion and charity to the homosexuals, let us always warn them of God’s wrath and to turn from their wicked ways.
We must actively, lovingly preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them.
Though a great number would refuse to repent from the sin of homosexuality, we are reminded in the Scriptures that we should preach the Gospel of God’s saving love to them, no matter how wretched their sin may be.
I have come across several homosexuals. Their lives have been wrecked by this sin. They were not at all looking “gay”. (The word “gay” has always meant “happy”, until it has been ‘hijacked’ to describe the homosexuals!) They were consumed by “vile affections” (Rom 1:26). Their lust had caused them to abuse their physical bodies (use of drugs and alcohol are also common among gays), and ruin their relationships with parents, spouses, etc. Some of them are still in great suffering of soul and body, craving for liberty from this accursed bondage of sin and God’s wrath (Rom 1:24, 26, 28).
God welcomes even homosexuals to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to enter His joyous and blessed kingdom. There were former homosexuals in the Corinthian church. Concerning them Paul said, “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 6:11). Even in our church there are former homosexuals who have repented and turned to the Lord Jesus for salvation. They now live their renewed life with great joy and peace.
So, let us be ever willing to preach the Gospel to those who are lost in the sin of homosexuality. Proper Gospel presentation requires us to tell of God’s wrath against their sins – even homosexuality – and point them to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and deliverance from sin. Preach the truth of the Gospel faithfully and zealously. “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Tim 2:25).
FROM LESBIAN TO CHRISTIAN
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
“When I was 28 years old, I boldly declared myself lesbian. I was at the finish of a PhD in English Literature and Cultural Studies…. At the age of 36, I was one of the few tenured women at a large research university, a rising administrator, and a community activist. I had become one of the ‘tenured radicals.’ By all standards, I had made it. That same year, Christ claimed me for himself and the life that I had known and loved came to a humiliating end.
“I am often asked to share my spiritual journey. People are interested to know what it is like to travel a long journey to Christ. I am not hesitant to oblige. How our lives bear the fruit of Christ’s spilled blood is important. The stories of our lives can serve to encourage and warn others….
“When Christ gave me strength to follow him, I didn’t stop feeling like a lesbian. I’ve discovered that the Lord doesn’t change my feelings until I obey him…. Obedience comes before understanding….
“I started to obey God in my heart one step at a time. I broke up with my girlfriend…. I started to go to the RP church fully, in my heart, for the whole purpose of worshiping God…. I learned that I must obey in faith before we feel better or different.…
“My journey out of lesbianism was messy and difficult. I spent a lot of time in prayer—and still do…. Slowly but steadily, my feelings did start to change—feelings about myself as a woman and feelings about what sexuality really is and what it really isn’t. I—like most everyone who identified as gay or lesbian—felt very comfortable, very at home in my body, in my lesbianism. One doesn’t repent for a sin of identity in one session. Sins of identity have multiple dimensions, and throughout this journey, I have come to my pastor and his wife, friends in the Lord, and always to the Lord himself with different facets of my sin. I don’t mean different incidents or examples of the same sin, but different facets of sin—how pride, for example, informed my decision-making, or how my unwillingness to forgive others had landlocked my heart in bitterness. I have walked this journey with help. There is no other way to do it….
“God sent me to a Reformed and Presbyterian conservative church to repent, heal, learn and thrive…. I had to lean and lean hard on the full weight of scripture, on the fullness of the word of God, and I’m grateful that when I heard the Lord’s call on my life, I wanted to hedge my bets, keep my girlfriend and add a little God to my life, I had a pastor and friends in the Lord who asked nothing less of me than that I die to myself. Biblical orthodoxy can offer real compassion, because in our struggle against sin, we cannot undermine God’s power to change lives.
“Healing comes through God’s work, and God deals differently with us when we deal differently with him. When we repent, he hears. Do I believe that I’m healed? Yes. My life shows the signs. My life went from black-and-white to color. At first I didn’t recognize myself in the world. Today, I don’t recognize myself in the pictures from my life as a lesbian.”
[The above is from Rosaria Butterfield’s book The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert (Pittsburgh: Crown & Covenant Publications, 2012), x, 22–24. Rosaria and her husband Kent live with their children in North Carolina, USA. Her husband is a pastor in a Reformed and Presbyterian Church.]
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