The Biblical View of Homosexuality (Part III)
By: Frances Swaggart
Another issue regarding homosexuality that cannot, and should not, be avoided is the fact that any attempt to “Christianize” it can only pervert God’s Word. And this attempt is undoubtedly one of the greatest agendas the homosexual community is pushing in the church world today. In fact, the concept of “Christianizing” anything is really unscriptural in and of itself. A truly redeemed person can accurately be called a Christian, but no person, behavior, culture, or institution of this world can be “Christianized,” or in other words, conformed into Christ-likeness by man. Ultimately, the effort will fail because it is only the Cross of Christ which negated the effects of the Fall. All of creation was corrupted as a result of Adam’s sin, but the Cross was a Work done for the souls of men, not for the systems and lifestyles of men. And, when a man’s soul has been cleansed by the Blood, he will no longer desire to live according to his fallen nature. The homosexual, therefore, cannot claim his behavior conforms to Christianity just because the relationship with his partner is monogamous. In this article, we will look at some of the history of homosexuality so that the reader will be able to quickly see that it is totally incompatible with Christianity. A true Christian does not have the need to “Christianize” his life.
THE BIBLE DOES NOT AGREE
To begin with, it is actually quite ironic that many homosexuals accuse religious communities of being their greatest enemies because the true origins of homosexuality are very closely tied to religion. At one time, “religion” was their greatest friend. The earliest accounts of homosexual behavior are, in fact, found within the confines of the ancient pagan religions. And, if you look closely, you can see that this association has subtlety carried on to this very day. Most modern homosexuals consider themselves to be spiritually-gifted in one way or another. Perhaps this is why it angers them so much to discover that the Bible does not agree. It is here that we begin to see that there is a vast difference between Christianity and the other religions of the world. Pagan religiosity can bend, evolve, and recreate itself to fit any time or place, but Christianity has always had the supernatural strength of the Lord to remain separate, different, and undefiled.
Unredeemed humanity began the worship of many gods, which we call polytheism, very early in human history. The various gods were both male and female and, unlike the One True God of the Bible, these pagan gods acted in much the same way as humans, perhaps the most obvious being that they had sexual relations with one another and procreated. Logically, the ancient pagan worshippers also associated these gods with survival needs, such as fertility, agriculture, and war. In the attempt to ensure they would receive these necessary blessings, they tried to venerate the gods by appealing to their nature. This makes sense; it has been said that “imitation is the highest form of flattery.” If we want the approval of a particular group, we demonstrate our respect for them by acting the same way they do. We might also imitate them because we desire to have the same power we perceive belongs to them. So, since the ancient people groups believed in sexually active gods, they included sexual activity as part of their worship. There is even evidence that the pagan priests themselves (who were often believed to stand in the place of gods on Earth) facilitated and/or participated in the sexual arousal of their worship. “Given the sexual activity of the gods, it is not surprising that the religions themselves were replete with all forms of sexual activity. In the Near East, and elsewhere, virgins were deflowered by priests prior to engaging in relations with their husbands, and sacred or ritual prostitution was almost universal.”1 “Having sex with a god as a part of worship, or to seek help for fertile crops, animals, or selves, was a logical extension of the concept of polytheism. Since sex was required for fertility in humans, they believed having sex with a god was all the more crucial and beneficial.”2
SYMBOLS OF MALE WORSHIP
Homosexual activity, it appears, came to be viewed as means of obtaining extra fertility. Male gods were considered more productive than female gods because they were the ones with the ability to plant seeds. Therefore, it became very important to invoke the male gods to keep the Earth, which was considered female, fertile. Worship practices included allowing men to spill semen on the Earth. “If one believed that having sex with a god would bring fertility, it was easy to also believe that, if a man added his male-ness through his semen, to a male god, fertility would be multiplied all the more . . . With the additional strength of the semen of many men, the god could then insure a bountiful crop, a larger herd, and many children to care for the field.”3 In fact, it was this theory among paganism which began tendencies toward male superiority in many religions.
Christianity is falsely accused of such. Early pagan temples were designed to serve as male phallic symbols. As early as ancient Babylon, Ziggurat towers were used for the worship of the gods. Sadly, we can still find these symbols of male-worship today, such as the obelisk in the Vatican Square at Rome, the Washington monument, and “Cleopatra’s Needles,” which are a trio of obelisks inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics and located in London, Paris, and New York City.
The Greeks admired the physical body, especially the male body. The worship of Adonis, who was also the Phoenician deity Tammuz, included homosexual activity. Supposedly, the perfect dimensions and beauty of his body was an ideal worthy of godhood. Adonis is still referred to in the erotic literature of the homosexual community today. This Greek worship of body-image has carried on even into our modern culture, both among heterosexuals and homosexuals. Clearly, its pagan roots have never produced good fruit. The idolatry of our own beauty has brought us to the point of total corruption. It is amazing how often religious man ultimately worships himself. “. . . but became vain in their imaginations . . . Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man . . . and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator . . . For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature” (Rom. 1:21-26). We must always remember that idolatry is actually committed in the heart; we don’t have to literally bow before an image to worship it.
It is interesting that even though homosexual activity was considered a perfectly normal way to appreciate the created human form or engage in erotic pleasures, exclusive homosexuality was not acceptable. A Greek man should have also been attracted to women. In order to meet his obligation to contribute to the continuation of their society, a male would be expected to marry and establish a family by a certain point in his life. The education of children, however, was taken care of by the state. This did not include girls because they were really only valued for procreation purposes. The educational system was designed to “teach boys how to be men.”4 And yes, homosexual conduct was part of this education process, because it was the primary goal of the teacher to gain the admiration and respect of the student. This way the boy would grow up with a fierce attachment and submission to his leaders. Likewise, in the Greek military, homosexual activity was encouraged as a sort of male-bonding. It was believed that they would fight harder to protect the other men in their unit if it included men with whom they had been intimate. The only thing the Greek military would not tolerate was a man who was always passive in homosexual activity. He would actually be expelled from service because he had supposedly become polluted, too much like a woman, and could no longer be trusted to protect his brothers. To make a long story short, the Greeks used perverse sexual abuse to ensure loyalty within their ranks and control the members of their society.
THE IDEA OF CONTROL
Much like the Greeks, the Romans allowed all kinds of sexual practices (both heterosexual and homosexual) for pleasure, just as long as order in the society was maintained. They would only be criticized for their sexual liaisons if they caused disturbances in the home and thus, in the society. Fourteen of the first fifteen emperors were said to be homosexual. Actually, most of Roman society was heavily influenced by the Greeks; Roman gods were virtually the same gods as the Greek gods, just with Latin names. One difference was that the Romans believed it was the father’s responsibility to train the children, so at least the sexual abuse was not quite as rampant in the Roman education system. Moral restriction in regards to sexuality occurred based on the idea of control. Those who allowed themselves to be controlled by their partner, even if it only meant submission to the partner’s desires, were considered weak and valueless to society. “If the wife made demands in response for sex, it would have been disgraceful for a Roman male to give in to her desires. Similarly, if a man was having sex with another man, he could not give that man privileges in return” (Buchanan). Class distinctions often played a role as well. It was considered appropriate for someone of a higher social standing to require sex of a slave or woman, but a free Roman man should not have to submit to another man. How unlike the God of the Bible this is! The Lord placed sex within the confines of marriage, where a man and wife submit to each other in love. Sexuality was created as an expression of love, not control!
In ancient Egypt, the gods were often depicted as androgynous beings, meaning they were both male and female or that their sexual identity was ambiguous. In practice, they would be considered bisexual. The Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten, was depicted in artwork as multi-gendered. Supposedly, he only allowed the worship of Alton, who was an androgynous god. The religious philosophy of alchemy was practiced in ancient Egypt and probably connected with the prominence of such gender-blending. Alchemy’s goal is the blending of all elements or parts, including extreme opposites, into a divine “elixir of life” that will bring about a sort-of transformation into immortality or godhood. So, androgyny was highly respected. And apparently, it is also celebrated in modern times. Although it manifests more in regards to gender roles, we love to see the sexes switch traditional activities or boundaries. We applaud working women, stay-at-home dads, and especially transgender fashion trends. Even modern psychology teaches that everyone has a touch of the opposite gender in their unconscious mind, and that tapping into it may bring someone newfound enlightenment upon his view on the world.
Indeed, from Babylon to Rome, and even to modern secular culture, the pagan gods and goddesses have pursued any and every aspect of sexuality possible. But, this clearly reveals just what an amazing impact the One True God would have on the world. Judaism and then, a thousand years later, Christianity would be a Lighthouse of freedom from indescribable amounts of perversity and sin! “. . . the first thing Judaism did was to de-sexualize God. ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth’ by his will, not through any sexual behavior. This broke with all other religions, and it alone changed human history.”5 “Judaism places controls on sexual activity. It could no longer dominate religion and social life. It was to be sanctified — which in Hebrew means ‘separated’ — from the world and placed in the home, in the bed of husband and wife. Judaism’s restricting of sexual behavior was one of the essential elements that enabled society to progress . . . [producing] the most far-reaching changes in history.”6 We can clearly see that today in America, some very deliberate attempts to reverse such historical progress are being made. Two homosexual activists, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, for instance, laid out a detailed plan, using top of the line persuasion and marketing techniques: “We have in mind a strategy as calculated and powerful as that which gays are accused of employing by their enemies. It’s time to learn from Madison Avenue, to roll out the big guns. Gays must launch a large scale campaign to reach straights through the mainstream media. We’re talking about propaganda.”7 The strategy was sixfold: talk about gays and gayness as loudly and often as possible, portray gays as victims instead of aggressive challengers, give homosexual protectors a “just” cause, make gays look good, make the victimizers look bad, and solicit funds (get corporate America and major foundations to financially support the homosexual cause).8
TAKE A STAND!
The Metropolitan Community Church now has at least 300 churches and affiliated groups in 22 countries around the world. They help to sponsor a large billboard campaign.9 Every billboard asks the question, “Would Jesus Discriminate?”, attempting to justify the homosexual agenda with Scripture. But of course, every Scripture they use has been twisted with an evil lie designed to cause doubt in what the Bible has already proclaimed as sin. Propaganda campaigns, such as this one, have actually made quite a bit of progress. Remember, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (Bill H.R.3685) is making its rounds through Congress having already passed the House on November 7, 2007. It provides employment protections similar to those of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but specifically applies to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and under HR 2015, transgender employees. Thank the Lord some congregations are not giving in to the pressure of their peers. They are taking a stand and counting the cost. Christ Church in Watertown, CT will separate from the national Episcopal Church and go by a new name: New Hope Anglican Church. Rev. Allyn Benedict, among many other rectors, did not approve of naming of an openly gay man, V. Gene Robinson, bishop of New Hampshire. Benedict and other Christ Church leaders felt that “the national church is rejecting scriptural authority and traditions of the church. In cutting affiliation with the national leaders, the congregation has agreed to give up its church buildings and property, estimated to be worth $7 million, and its name, Christ Church Parish.”10
There is one more aspect regarding homosexuality’s connection to religion and/or spirituality we should seriously consider. A homosexual may make religion a priority out of a desperate need to alleviate the guilt under which he lives. Anyone living in dire sin will try to ease his conscience by some means whether he realizes what he is doing or not. A homosexual’s desire to be heavily involved in a church or religious organization may be quite strong because, in all reality, he fears death. He is not really sure he will make it to Heaven, and so if he thinks he has the approval of Christian brethren, he may feel a little bit safer. This is another reason true Christians must understand the responsibility they have to discern and speak the truth in love. God help us not to give anyone a false hope!
1 Dennis Prager. “Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality,” Whistleblower Magazine. July, 2002. p.37) (http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1682.cfm)
2 (Rev. Robert J. Buchanan. Homosexuality in History. 2000) (http://hometown.aol.com/GraceEACA/chapter2.html)
5 (Prager p.36)
6 (Ibid p.37)
7 (Alan Sears & Craig Osten. The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today.p.27)
8 (Ibid. p.18) (http://www.newswithviews.com/Jackson/nicholas17.htm)
10 (Katie Melone. “Leaving a Church Behind: Congregation Prepares for a New Beginning” The Hartford Courant. Dec. 31, 2007) (http://www.courant.com/news/local/lc/hc-episco1231.artdec31,0,4445062,story)