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. (I Corinthians 6:9-11)
Not very long ago, people in our country were unfamiliar with terms like homosexuality, gay, lesbian, and same-sex marriage. The term homosexual was coined in 1869 by a Hungarian lawyer who was defending homosexual rights, and it was used as an amoral term. In fact, the term heterosexual was used in 1890 as a pejorative term to describe perverted sex between opposite-sex partners. The term gay came to the forefront of news coverage after the 1974 Stonewall Riots in New York City kicked off the current push for special rights for those who practice homosexual sex.
Today, the liberal media is pushing the American public into an acceptance of this so-called “alternative lifestyle.” Previously, a person who chose to practice homosexuality had to hide it, or he would be ostracized by society for doing something shameful. Now, homosexuals are becoming increasingly open about their lifestyle and are defying anyone who would suggest that it is in any way improper. People who classify the practice as immoral are often misbranded “homophobic,” as though they condemn the practice only because they fear it and don’t understand it. “Homophobia” is painted as the real evil. Gay activists now insist that homosexuality be given legal and moral approval.
When I was invited to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS (PACHA) in early 2003, I experienced firsthand the wrath of the gay-sympathetic media. The purpose of the council is to make recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding policy related to the prevention of HIV/AIDS and the care and treatment of patients. The secretary uses reports from the council to advise the president. My family and I have been struck by the virus so I can speak about the subject with firsthand knowledge, and I have. I have also spoken pointedly about the sin of homosexuality and its connection to HIV and AIDS. When the press learned about my comments, my experience and ability to address the challenges of setting HIV/AIDS policy no longer interested them. The only thing that they and gay activists focused on was my opinion about homosexuality. Their purpose was to use that as a weapon to go gunning for President George W. Bush, so I declined the invitation to serve on the council.
George Neumayr, writing in The American Prowler said:
- Jerry Thacker shouldn’t take his sacking from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS panel too badly. St. Paul wouldn’t have made the cut either …. Or anybody with a conscience still functioning in the midst of our MTV culture.
- Thacker also made the mistake of considering homosexual activity sinful. That made him automatically “anti-gay.” Hating the sin but loving the sinner isn’t an acceptable position. No, to love the sinner you must also love his sin. And if, say, that sin has led to the spread of a deadly disease, you show compassion by encouraging more of that sin. Thacker’s belief that “Christ can rescue the homosexual” is, of course, not compassionate. That’s hateful. When people are hurtling toward hell in this life and the next, don’t stop the person. Cheer them on. Call the person’s vice virtue
and you will win praise for having a big heart.
- It is reported that HIV has devastated Thacker and his family. His wife contracted it through a blood transfusion in 1984 while giving birth to her third child. Thacker was then infected by his wife. And their daughter contracted the virus too. But don’t expect Thacker and his family to receive much sympathy. They are not the right sort of victims.1
In his book Persecution, David Limbaugh, the brother of conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, had this to say about the incident:
- Thacker’s real problem was that he was out of step with the dictates of secular morality. He supports abstinence education as a means of fighting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; he believes homosexuality is a sin and suggested on his web site that homosexuals could overcome their problems through reliance on Jesus Christ. Thacker encouraged fellow Christians to reach out with compassion to AID!
S sufferers. “As bad as this is for Mr. Thacker,” said policy analyst Peter LaBarbera of the Culture and Family Institute, “it is not just about him. The real message is that Christians and others who defend traditional sexual morality are branded as unfit for public service. This is a warning shot: You will stay silent about homosexual activism or even support it if you aspire to any public position.”2
All Christians are going to have to face this issue sooner or later. What should we think about homosexuality, and how should we act toward it?
Homosexuality is not about men loving men, women loving women, or showing affection toward those of the same sex. David loved Jonathan, parents love children, and brothers love brothers. Homosexuality is an activity. It is an ongoing, deliberate preoccupation with sexual fantasies about someone of the same sex and/or sexual behaviors with someone of the same sex.
From the biblical viewpoint, homosexuality is socially destructive, contrary to nature, and contrary to the Word of God. Isaiah and Paul both warned of days to come when evil would be called good and good evil. Those days have come. Our society is so warped that moral vice is portrayed as virtue. God’s people cannot allow an immoral minority or majority to dictate what our standards will be. Holiness before God must be our goal.
There would not be 43,000,000 people in the world dying of AIDS today if men and women had obeyed the Word of God. The millions of cases of sexually transmitted infections, the 55 million abortions each year, and the social breakdown our generation has witnessed would not have come about if men and women had behaved virtuously.
Gay activists want to change society. They are striving to:
- Have homosexuality normalized by the medical community.
- Desensitize the public to homosexuality.
- Present homosexuality as normal.
- Establish homosexuality as a legal, legitimate minority.
- Gain public sympathy for homosexuals.
- Redefine the family to include homosexual relationships.
The Scriptures tell us what God has said about sex. He has told us to enjoy this wonderful gift within the bonds of marriage, the union of a man and a woman. “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). This is God’s only regulation, and it rules out other practices. By biblical definition, fornication or immorality is any sexual activity outside marriage. God alone can define shame and sin.
The first Bible reference to homosexuality is in Genesis 19. The setting was Sodom and Gomorrah. The wickedness of the men of those cities was so severe that it brought divine destruction. Peter and Jude described the sin as ungodly, unlawful fornication (II Peter 2:6, 8; Jude 7). In Leviticus 18:22 and 24 homosexuality is described as an “abomination” and “defiling.” In Leviticus 20:13 it is again described as an “abomination” and worthy of death! Deuteronomy 23:17 forbade the presence of a “sodomite” in Israel. And in I Kings 14, 15, and 22, the removal of male prostitutes in Israel is viewed as a sign of spiritual reformation.
In Romans 1:18–32, the Apostle Paul condemned the practice in the severest of terms: “unclean,” “dishonorable,” “vile,” “unseemly,” “wicked,” “unrighteous,” and “against nature.” Of particular importance in this passage is the Apostle’s reference to the fact that homosexual activity is contrary to nature. Nature itself teaches that the practice is wrong; we should know it intuitively.
Homosexuality is described as a particularly rebellious sin. In Romans 1, speaking about sinners in rebellion against God, Paul says God “gave them over to a reprobate mind.” For any society, the normalization of homosexuality is a huge step downward in decadence. If men stubbornly persist in such activity, God will simply leave them to themselves, and that is the worst thing that can happen! Absent God’s grace, society plunges into the depths of evil. Instead, we need God to interrupt the downward spiral of sin and turn us back to Himself and away from condemnation!
I’ve spoken to more than a half-million people since 1994. I’ve addressed secular college crowds, Christian college students, civic groups, and government leaders. Some have asked if I believe HIV/AIDS is the judgment of God on America. I answer that I believe society’s approval of homosexuality is in itself both worthy of divine judgment and a sign that judgment has already begun!
Homosexuals often present their lifestyle as an “orientation,” claiming that they are “born that way” and therefore cannot change. Under the orientation model, one might claim that pedophilia, necrophilia, incest, and bestiality are also inborn. Yet thousands of former homosexuals have left that lifestyle with the help of churches and other Christian organizations. Homosexuality is not a genetic or biological certainty.
Each of us has besetting sins and peculiar temptations that we must resist. Christians resist with the help of the Holy Spirit. Some struggle with the temptation to homosexual sin and fight a continual battle against it. As Christians, we are to take every opportunity to help others come to a personal faith in Christ as the way to eternal life and as the way of victory over temptation and sin.
The homosexual lifestyle is not biologically unavoidable, nor is it personally beneficial. Research shows active homosexuals exhibit a higher percentage of alcohol and drug abuse than the general population. Depression is also chronic. About 40% of both male and female homosexuals have contemplated or attempted suicide.
Those who have multiple sexual partners (some have more than 1,000 partners over time) dramatically increase their risk of disease. Sexually transmitted infections, including herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis-B, and AIDS, are common among active homosexuals. Largely due to health risks, the average life span for active homosexuals is about 42 years of age, half the average life expectancy for the general populace.
To effectively deal with homosexuality, we must first call it what the Bible calls it—sin. A pastor who has ministered for more than twenty-five years in San Francisco says, “If we shy away from calling homosexuality sin, we take away the homosexual’s hope: because Christ didn’t come to save from sexual orientation; He came to save from sin.”
According to I Corinthians, 6:9–11, transformation is indeed possible: “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.”
God condemns and judges all sin because He is holy. Yet the Bible also says that God is love (I John 4: 8b) and wants to show mercy to sinners. We are all sinners. We are all required to repent of our sin and look to Jesus for forgiveness. The forgiveness and reconciliation that we have needed is the same that homosexuals need and can have through personally knowing Christ.
Jerry Thacker is president of Scepter Institute, Inc., Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. He is publisher of Today’s Christian Preacher and speaks regularly to churches and other groups. Visit www.scepter.org for more information.
1George Neumayr, “Thacker Whacked,” The American Prowler (a Web publication from The American Spectator) 24 Jan. 2003, www.spectator.org/dsp_article
2David Limbaugh, Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2003) 195–196.