Tag Archives: homosexulaity

40 harmful effects of Christianity – #2

“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.…” Leviticus 18:22

This post is the second in a series that addresses a list of “40 harmful effects of Christianity” that originated on the American Atheists Facebook page and has since made its way around the internet.  In this post, I examine the following “harmful effect” from the list:

Harmful Effect #2: Vilification of homosexuality, resulting in discrimination, parents disowning their children, murder, and suicide.

It is certainly true that the Bible condemns homosexual acts.  However, the claim that the Bible “vilifies” homosexuality is misleading.  Rather, it is sin itself that is ultimately condemned.  The Bible condemns every man as a sinful creature, not just those who engage in the sin of committing homosexual acts.  If there is any specific person who is “vilified” in scripture, it is the devil himself.

Furthermore, the condemnation of homosexual acts is hardly limited to Christians and Christian cultures.  The disowning of children, murder, and suicide take place in various societies for a myriad of reasons, homosexual acts are condemned by other world religions, and such acts have been looked down upon even by irreligious and secular societies.  Thus, it is reasonable to posit that homosexuals would experience negative reactions to their lifestyles even in the complete absence of any Christian influence.  If there is a higher prevalence of incidents of disownment, murder, and suicide, across cultures, where homosexuality is concerned, it makes sense to question whether or not the nature of homosexuality is itself inherently harmful.  The list from the American Atheists does not address such inquiry.

In any case, an atheistic worldview offers no hope for those who have, for any reason, been negatively affected by murder, suicide, and disownment.  The Christian worldview does.  According to the Bible, all men are created in the image of God.  This includes homosexuals.  Every man and woman is, therefore, inherently valuable.  Every man and woman is someone whom God loves and for whom Jesus Christ died on the cross. Anyone who repents of his sin and submits to Jesus Christ as Lord is adopted as a son of God Himself.  This is a relationship from which no man can be disowned.  This is a relationship that transcends death itself.  Every Christian who experiences death will be raised to new life in a physical body at the time of the resurrection of the dead.  Through Jesus, the Christian overcomes disownment, murder, and suicide.  If these things are to be condemned as “harmful”, then Christianity is to be lauded.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

In my next post in this series, I’ll address the following:

Harmful Effect #3: Women treated like second-class citizens based on religious teachings.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion.  It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled.  Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

“Same Sex Marriage”: What Would You Say?

This post is the fifth in a series that encourages all Christians to think about how they would answer questions pertinent to the Christian faith if asked.  In this series, I will post questions from an actual pastoral candidate questionnaire that I received from a Southern Baptist Church and give my answers.  I hope that you’ll join in the discussion by posting answers of your own in the comment section.  Here’s the fifth question and answer of the series:

Would you perform either a “same sex” marriage or a “civil union”? (Note: The particular church that authored this questionnaire is in Arizona)

Appropriately, the phrase “same sex” in quotation marks above.  A “same sex” marriage is a logical impossibility on the same level of a “square circle” or a “married bachelor.” There is simply no such thing as a “same sex” marriage.  Therefore, it is impossible for a pastor to perform a “same sex” wedding.  God ordained marriage to be the union of one man and one woman[1]. It is my understanding that Article 30 of the Arizona Constitution recognizes the institution of marriage as God ordained it.  Of course, state recognition has no bearing on the authority of scripture. So my answer to the question, “Would you perform a “same sex” marriage,” is an unequivocal, “No.”

As I understand it, State Law does not currently allow for civil unions, though some cities (as close to the church as Sedona) have legalized them.  Although I do not know the specificities of the local laws, I think it is reasonable to conclude that a civil magistrate, not a Christian pastor, would be expected to perform a civil union. Being unfamiliar with the local Arizona ordinances regarding civil unions, I cannot speak to their economic benefits. I could imagine, for example, a situation, where two widowed sisters who owned a family farm could be recognized as an economic unit by the government for the purposes of taxation.  However, incentivizing any non-marriage, personal union between two individuals engaged in a sexual relationship should never be condoned, regardless of whether or not that relationship is between homosexuals or heterosexuals.   I would not, were I ever to find myself in the capacity of a civil magistrate, perform such a union.

Although a question about performing (traditional) marriages was not asked, I do think it would be prudent to address my convictions on the matter.  Marriage is a foundational part of society and a model for the Christian’s relationship with Christ.[2]   Personally, I am troubled more deeply by the prevalence of unrepentant divorce and cohabitation in our society than I am by the prevalence of unrepentant homosexuality. Marriage is a lifelong commitment between, not only a man and a woman, but between a man, a woman, and God who put them together[4].  A man and wife have solemn, God-given responsibilities to one another that often conflict with the contemporary, secular worldview.  For example, a man, as spiritual leader of his household[5], is responsible to see that his family receives instruction from God’s word[6] and Christian fellowship with other believers.[7]  That certainly doesn’t mean that the man has to be a member of the church, but I would question the fitness for marriage of any Christian man who is not prepared to be the spiritual leader of his household and any Christian woman who would submit herself in marriage to a man who would not submit himself to her Lord. Given that the church is literally the only church in town, I imagine conflicts might arise over any refusal, no matter how politely and lovingly communicated, to perform a requested marriage ceremony.  There is certainly room for polite disagreement and discussion with regard to how the church might best serve the community by alleviating material and spiritual poverty in any given situation.  However, scriptural principles must never be compromised.  The world not only knows to whom the church belongs by how its members love one another[8] but by how those members obey the Lord Jesus.[9]

What would you say?

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion.  It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled.  Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.



[1] Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:31

[2] Revelation 19:6-9

[4] Mark 10:9

[5] 1 Corinthians 11:3

[6] Ephesians 6:4

[7] Hebrews 10:25

[8] John 13:35

[9] John 14:5