The title of this article may provoke cries of “homophobia” from some, even those not connected with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. A person may come to that conclusion after reading what I’ve written, but any thoughts prior to that reflect a bias founded upon ignorance. Before I get to an explanation of the title, however, I need to address the accusation of being called “homophobic,” a label that is used in wholesale fashion by many and applied by some to anyone who takes issue with homosexuality.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines homophobia as an “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.” Other meanings include “hatred of or prejudice against gays and lesbians,” “bigotry,” and even “racism.” No doubt there are individuals who manifest those characteristics, but to apply the words to those who are critical of the practice of homosexuality is a blatant abuse of a term that is questionable at best.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the chief reference book of psychotherapists, which includes all that they consider to be psychological phobias, has no listing for homophobia. This would indicate that the term is viewed to be without merit by the American Psychiatric Association, which produces each edition of the DSM. The APA could hardly be considered biased in favor of so-called homophobes since, after being pressured by the LGBT Task Force in 1973, it voted to remove from the DSM the term homosexuality, which it had previously defined as “sociopathic personality disturbance” and “sexual deviation.” Homophobia can thus be dispensed with as nothing more than a derisive epithet that falsely characterizes those who oppose any aspect of homosexuality.
Why did I title this article “Homosexuality and the Reign of Terror”? That may seem greatly overstated right now, and perhaps “the Reign of Intimidation” would be a description better suited to what we are experiencing today. One doesn’t need the gift of prophecy, however, to recognize the direction of the serious “judicial” incidents that have taken place thus far. For example, here and in Canada we’ve seen the rise of “human rights commissions” that major on issues related to homosexuality, primarily prosecuting as “hate crimes” the act of writing or speaking out against the practice.
One Canadian columnist gives his perspective: “For more than twenty years…I have been writing against the human rights commissions, which have quasi-legal powers that should be offensive to the citizens of any free country. They are kangaroo courts, in which the defendant’s right to due process is withdrawn. They reach judgments on the basis of no fixed law. Moreover [in addition to heavy fines], ‘the process is the punishment’ in these star chambers—for simply by agreeing to hear a case, they tie up the defendant in bureaucracy and paperwork, and bleed him for the cost of lawyers, while the person who brings the complaint, however frivolous, stands to lose nothing.”
Here in Oregon we have our own kangaroo court system in the works. Aaron and Melissa Klein are bakers who refused to make a wedding cake for a homosexual marriage. The lesbian couple who tried to order the cake complained to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (OBLI). The Labor Commissioner levied a fine of $135,000 and issued a gag order preventing the Kleins from speaking about the religious beliefs that had caused their refusal to honor this homosexual marriage with a cake. In his review of the proceedings, C. H. Fisher noted, “The Kleins were not charged and prosecuted in a traditional court of law. There was no due process, no jury of their peers, and their Constitutional rights were violated, including the First Amendment regarding freedom of religion. It amounts to Christian persecution not unlike what is occurring in some foreign nations.”
Now we have not only kangaroo courts in place, but we have a recent decision by this country’s highest court ruling in favor of homosexual marriage. As one consequence of this ruling, litigation scenarios will take place that involve churches that refuse to marry two males or two females. Pastors are ripe for lawsuits by those claiming that they have been psychologically damaged by such a refusal. One needs only to review the list of more than fifty grievances (Crying, Disappointment, Distrust of men, Resumption of smoking habit, Upset stomach, etc.) brought by the two lesbian women against the Kleins to see the potential for financial awards (e.g., $135,000 in damages) for whoever would appeal to the courts.
Biblically steadfast churches will face a great deal of trouble, both legally and socially. Sadly, they will constitute a small remnant out of the multitudes of churches that claim to be Christian. The Scriptures indicate this prophetically, and it is what we are seeing take place throughout this country. The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote that most Christians in the latter days will not follow the teachings and instructions of the Bible: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Timothy:4:3).
That condition may well bring about much contention within Christendom, especially in the West. As governments put more pressure on Christianity through their laws, with threats of removing tax exemptions, and because of their growing opposition to biblical teachings, multitudes of churches that have been less than serious about following Scripture will submit in order to protect themselves legally and financially. False shepherds and false teachers will defend their compromises with the world by assailing those who remain steadfast in the faith.
Doctrinal disputes down through church history have led to murderous consequences. Saul’s persecutions of the early church were brutal. The Catholic Church’s inquisitions were horrendous. Even the Reformers were guilty of deadly persecutions over doctrinal disagreements. Could all that is taking place in opposition to the teachings of Scripture lead to a scenario of a reign of terror? A reading of the Book of Revelation gives a clear answer to that question. The most intense persecution occurs against those who turn to Jesus and will consequently be martyred during the Great Tribulation, which takes place after the Rapture of the church. Nevertheless, prior to that time, the church will experience events akin to a reign of terror unlike anything previously known in the US, although many of our brothers and sisters around the world have increasingly experienced more than a taste of it.
Historically, the phrase “Reign of Terror” was applied to a notorious period of the French Revolution. A few characteristics of the Reign of Terror correlate with what is developing today in the US—where the issue centers around homosexuality. It’s rather stunning that the LGBT community, consisting of less than 4 percent of the US population, has had such power and influence over the media and in our legal institutions and is thereby seemingly able to force its will on the masses.
In 18th century France, the Jacobins, although small in number, took control of the government of France aided by the popular support of the Sans-Culottes (the far more numerous poor of France). The objective of the Jacobins was to coerce and conform the thinking and actions of the French people to their own ideology. Their leader, Robespierre, attempted to replace traditional Christian morals and values with his own concept of a “Republic of Virtue.” This has been the chief strategy of the LGBT movement in America. One has only to consider what has been implemented in our school systems, from kindergarten through high school, and to check out the pro-gay resource materials that have been mandated for use by school boards throughout the country.
According to French history, one-time supporters of the Jacobins who began to believe that their means were becoming too extreme, were guillotined. Although that’s not the case in the US, some who have fervently objected to the LGBT agenda have been fiercely targeted by the movement in order to counter their influence. Much of the LGBT propaganda has left many Christians in a confused state, particularly young adult Christians who see the church’s bewilderment over how to respond. They battle accusations of being unloving, intolerant, and bigoted. The only confident response for anyone who calls himself a biblical Christian (one who desires to know in truth the instructions of the Bible and to obey what it teaches) is to abide in the Word of God.
The Apostle Paul, in the first chapter of Romans, gives God’s view of homosexuality in no uncertain terms:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 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 to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 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: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was [due]. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not [fitting]. (Romans:1:20-28)
All sins separate mankind from God: “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah:59:2); “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans:6:23). Death here means separation. For those who reject Christ’s free gift of salvation, that separation is forever. For those who have believed the gospel and yet fall into sin, their temporal relationship with God is affected, but it can be restored immediately when they repent.
Both heterosexual sins (e.g., fornication, adultery) and homosexual sins (men with men, women with women) result in separation from God. God is no respecter of persons regarding “the wages of sin.” Yet there is a major difference. Homosexuality is an assault against the way God made things—His creation order. It goes far beyond disobedience to His instructions; it is an affront to the Creator of nature by glorifying His creatures, by exalting humans, and by corrupting natural sexuality. It is a sin (although that is vigorously denied by many “within” the church) of such consequence that should the LGBT community achieve its goal of worldwide acceptance of its practice of sex as an “alternate lifestyle,” it would sound the death knell for the human race. Men do not procreate with men, nor do woman have babies with women.
Homosexuality is about sexual immorality. Period. All of the propaganda circulated by the LGBT proponents is aimed at obfuscating that simple fact. It is a grievous distortion of what God created as something good. Scripture couldn’t be any clearer in its opposition to homosexual acts as seen both in its words and phrases. The New King James version of the Bible underscores the Bible’s disdain in contemporary language: “uncleanness,” “lusts,” “dishonor their bodies,” “vile passions,” “exchanged the natural use for what is against nature,” “committing what is shameful,” “receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due,” “a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting.”
The Bible describes the sinful fruit of rejecting God and what ensues from a homosexual lifestyle: “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful” (Romans:1:29-31).
Although each sin may not apply to every homosexual, the context of the verses makes a specific connection. It’s similar to 2 Timothy:3:2-5, where the sins listed are those that are produced by an individual whose life centers upon self-love.
Scripture clearly teaches that the God/Man Jesus, the Creator of humanity, through His sacrifice on the Cross, paid the immeasurable penalty for the sins of every man, woman, and child. He did that although we were as yet His enemies. Amazing love! His forgiveness is available for every sinner—heterosexual or homosexual—who repents by turning to God in faith, receiving His forgiveness, and, along with that, His gift of eternal life. That is the only way mankind can be reconciled to God.
How then shall we respond to what is taking place in our society and our churches—perhaps even in our own families—regarding homosexuality? We have to do things God’s way. We have to obey His instructions because that’s the only way any endeavor will benefit anyone and also be pleasing to God.
Again, homosexuality is a sexual sin. Those who commit such sins are bringing destruction and God’s wrath upon themselves if they don’t repent. Those who struggle with that sin within the body of Christ must be ministered to with much compassion, as we remember that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, already paid the penalty for that sin.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness [gentleness NKJ]; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians:6:1-2)
A believer caught up in homosexuality must have a heart that is willing to repent of the sexually immoral practice. They must be ministered to in the spirit of gentleness, but the practice of this sin must never be accepted within a fellowship by true believers.
The ordination of practicing homosexuals and support of gay marriage within Christendom is increasing, but it is in direct contradiction to God’s Word. If a fellowship intends to remain true to the Scriptures, its position regarding homosexuality must be made clear. It cannot be practiced among believers.
How should we react to laws in our society that support homosexuality in opposition to the Scriptures? The only response a Christian can have is in the God-inspired words of Peter and the other Apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts:5:29). TBC