Just before the Feast of Shavuot this year, Israel’s justice minister, Tzipi Livni, performed a wedding for two gay men. Such ceremonies are not legally recognized by the State of Israel thanks to Orthodox Jewish political power. So there is a barrier to embracing homosexual marriage. For this, I am grateful. Yet, homosexuality is a real problem in Israel. Tel Aviv is said to be a world homosexual capital. 130,000 people including 30,000 visitors attended the annual gay pride week in Tel Aviv in June. Pray for Israel!
Parallel to this, a professed Evangelical leader, Rob Bell, asserted that it is time for Evangelicals to embrace homosexual marriage. He has trotted out the tired old pro-homosexual argument that the Bible is not really speaking against homosexual physical relationships, but cult prostitution. This is simply made up, a total myth. Yes, cult prostitution was a problem in the ancient world, but the biblical texts are clearly addressing sexual relationships and not cult prostitution.
Bell said, “The ship has sailed”, implying that in order to be relevant we should conform to the dominant culture. In recent years, the majority in many Western countries has moved from being strongly opposed to homosexual marriage, to accepting it. The power of the media elite in culture formation has been stunning. The mainline Presbyterian Church just approved gay marriage and at the same time passed motions calling for disinvestment from companies whose products were said to foster the occupation of Palestinian territory.
The Natural Law Argument Against Homosexual Practice
There are two arguments against homosexual lifestyles. One is derived from natural law. This argument is expounded upon in an amazing book on natural theology by J. Budziszewski, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas. In the book, What We Cannot Know, he notes that the simple physiology of the human body shows men and women are obviously designed for each other. If a child had four diagrams of human physiology, two male and two female, on separate sheets of paper and was asked which physical sexual organs were meant for the other, he would easily choose male to female. One has to be educated out of what is obviously fitting, intuitive and empirical. The philosopher notes that male homosexual acts are especially gross. In addition, societies without the Bible have discovered marriage arrangements that approximate to biblical norms because of practical considerations on the number of men and women available to each other and the importance of stable families.
Some professing Evangelicals seek to accommodate the surrounding culture, stating that homosexuality is created by God and genetically based, although there is no genetic basis of homosexuality. Messianic Jewish scholar, Michael Brown, in his massive study of homosexuality, A Queer Thing Happened to America, gives abundant evidence to disprove homosexual arguments.
The Biblical Argument Against Homosexual Practice
The second argument is that revelation from the Bible gives us clarity on God’s design for human sexuality: monogamous marriage. The Bible gives us the high view of God’s design for men and women in Genesis 1 and 2 and in the teaching of Yeshua. A man and woman are to leave their parents to cleave to each other and become one. Our sexuality is a gift given to enhance the bond of a lasting marriage covenant between a man and a woman and to provide a stable foundation for raising children. Thus when the Bible speaks about homosexual relations, it is always with condemnation. We further note that our sexual desires are capable of being directed into many orientations and require social reinforcement. This is why there have been people married with children who later became homosexual, and in the reverse bi-sexual and homosexual individuals who have later become heterosexual – such as the wife of the current mayor of New York City. Rabbi Dennis Praeger has written brilliantly on this.
Rebellion to God’s Order and Design
What is really going on is that society’s affirmation of homosexual relationships is a foundational rebellion against God’s order and design. The rebellious affirm the right of every person to have pleasure and fulfillment according to whatever they desire as long as it does not directly hurt others. This rebellion is fostered by deceptions and influences from the culture elite that has embraced atheistic, naturalistic evolution and eschews God and His design. To such elites, design in nature is an illusion. Even biological fit has no claims on postmodern relativists. This is now also the case for transgender arguments and the new laws in California and Maryland USA, allowing boys and girls into each others’ rest rooms and locker rooms.
The Loss of the Fear of God
How do we account for those who both call themselves Evangelicals and yet embrace the homosexual agenda? The motive for cultural acceptance can be very strong, even if that culture is driven by atheism or relativism. However, I think the root is a loss of the fear of God. It is no accident that some of the same people who call themselves Evangelicals but embrace the homosexual agenda also tend to universalism, espouse a very weak doctrine of hell and question if all parts of the Bible are really God’s Word. Regarding hell, what we do know, is that the Bible teaches hell is something horrible. “Fear Him,” said Yeshua,
“Who can cast both body and soul into hell.“
Being cast into Hell is described in Revelation 20 as very scary. We can refer to other passages that are all consistent with this terrible warning. Now if the lost simply lose consciousness and come to an end at death, this would not fit the warnings of Yeshua, Paul and John.
Do these so-called Evangelicals consider that opposing 2000 years of Biblical understanding in both Judaism and Christianity may be wrong and may lead to God’s judgment? Do they fear embracing sexual involvements contrary to God’s obvious design? What if hell is real? What if God really hates immoral sexual expressions, though He loves the sinner? We know from experience that deliverance does free people from all kinds of sexual bondage. I am especially concerned for the young adults from believing families in Israel and the West who are following these trends.
The Bible and Reality
Sociologists tell us that our perception of reality is socially constructed. The cultural elite are constructing that reality for contemporary society through massive media conditioning. If social construction is not based on the biblical revelation, we can create a horrible world and call it an improvement. It will be a world of broken families and immoral people where love will grow cold. While society may embrace homosexuality and transgenderism, we as followers of Yeshua must see that the Body of Believers remains true. In this darkness, those who are true to the Bible will shine more brightly and will show greater power and love than ever before.
My concern for the Evangelical world also originates from my yearning to see Israel saved and the world redeemed. We need an Evangelical partner true to the Word of God to bring this about. Compromise will not advance the Kingdom anywhere!
I believe a great revival will come. May it restore Evangelicalism as a righteous partner with righteous Messianic Jews for the salvation of Israel and the Nations.