Perhaps you have been surprised as one church leader after another has come out in favor of approving same-sex “marriage.” You may have asked yourself, “Isn’t the Bible clear on this subject?” “Haven’t Christians always considered sexual relations between people of the same sex sin?” Or perhaps you’ve never known a time when it wasn’t promoted in popular culture and you struggle to see why so many Christians aren’t okay with it. Conflict over this issue has been especially acute in many so-called “mainline” denominations, such as the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church in the USA, and the United Methodist Church. At the time I’m writing this, it appears that the same-sex issue might cause a major division among United Methodists. It is, however, an issue that is also impacting churches that consider themselves “evangelical.” Few, if any, denominations are exempt. The eleven podcasts in this series, entitled “An Issue for Our Time: The Bible and Same-Sex Practice,” are offered to address this crisis in the church and to recall us to the teaching of Scripture. I intend to upload one podcast to this blog each week on Wednesday. Here are the podcasts proposed titles:
- “A Critical Issue for Our Time.”
- A Wrong Path and a Tragic Destination. Uploaded
- The Creation Account: Created “Male and Female” (Genesis 1:1—2:25).
- God’s Covenant Law (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13).
- The Sin of Sodom (Genesis 19:1-11) and The Levite and His Concubine (Judges 19:22-30).
- What Else Does the Old Testament Have to Say about Same-Sex Practice? (Genesis 9:20-27; Deuteronomy 23:17-18; 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7; Job 36:14).
- Did Jesus Agree with What Paul Said about Same-Sex Intercourse in Romans 1:24-27.
- Apart from Romans 1:24-27, the New Testament Doesn’t Have Anything to Say about Same-Sex Practice, Does it?
- So, What Does the Bible Say about Same-Sex Practice?
- Does Same-Sex Practice have a Negative Medical and Social Impact on Society?
- Love For People Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction.
Due to their oral nature, podcasts don’t show the footnotes in the manuscript of this study. Thus, I would like to acknowledge my grateful indebtedness to three books in particular:
- Robert A. Gagnon, Homosexual Practice and the Bible (Nashville: Abingdon, 2001). The definitive, unanswered, scholarly defense of the traditional understanding of the Bible’s teaching on this issue.
- Robert R. Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014). Reilly clearly documents the political, rather than the scientific, nature of the movement for acceptance of same-sex behavior and the impact of this acceptance upon society.
- Rebecca McLaughlin, Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019). McLaughlin helps us to see how the church should reach out to and express love for people with same-sex desires. Her contribution is particularly persuasive, because, although happily married to a man out of obedience to Christ, she has experienced same-sex desires all of her life.
I would like to thank Michael Perkins of American Family Association for his careful reading of the manuscripts of these podcasts and for his detailed critique. My gratitude to Jerome Van Kuiken of Oklahoma Wesleyan University for reading and responding thoughtfully to this material. Thanks also to John Oswalt of Asbury Theological Seminary for reading an earlier version of this study. Of course, these readers bear no responsibility for the content of these podcasts.