Now, Religion in the News—a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from World Magazine, April 19, 2003, with the headline: “Defining Ethics Down—A new ethics code greeted the nearly 500 students at United Methodist-related Duke Divinity school when they returned from spring break. It didn’t go over well with everybody. The conduct covenant covers the usual bases: no stealing, cheating, or plagiarizing. It calls on students to live in Christian community, to be accountable to one another, open to judgment, to show respect, and honor friendships. It also calls on them to be welcoming, hospitable, and chaste. Gays and lesbians on campus had a problem with that word. Did it mean gays and lesbians would violate the code if they had sex? Not to worry! Ethics professor, Amy Laura Hall, said the faculty unanimously agreed that sexual relations among homosexuals could be included in chastity.”
Tom: Dave, this is an institute of higher learning. You would think that an ethics professor on the faculty might see a problem, or might recognize that sexual relations somehow relates to chastity, but they seem to be oblivious to this—what’s going on here?
Dave: Do we have a dictionary definition of that word “chastity”? It doesn’t mean refraining from all sex. It would mean that married people would refrain from extramarital sex, would it?
Tom: Is this the same dictionary that talks about fornication and adultery as being somewhat less than ethical and moral?
Dave: I would think so. So, what they are saying then is that a homosexual/lesbian relationship is perfectly normal—that this would be acceptable within the biblical standard, and that simply isn’t true.
Tom: Dave, can I read Romans for those who may not be familiar with these passages? This is Romans, chapter 1—I’ll read 21-31, I think it will spell it out in context. Verse 21: “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.” Dave, that seems to be—it might be applied to an academic setting, that’s possible.
Dave: I would think so.
Tom: “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor 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 forever. 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…” Boy, there should be a better word than that. I mean, that’s the old King James “…and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet, [or better, resulted from their sin]. 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 convenient; [again, or which should not be done, ought not to be done], 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, covenant-breakers, [and wasn’t this applied to a covenant?] without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful…”
Dave: Tom, you just can’t escape it. But it’s not just an area of homosexuality, but the gospel itself is being compromised: “So, God said that in the Bible—but can’t we re-interpret that a bit? I mean, let’s not be narrow minded, let’s not be old fashioned, let’s be tolerant with one another, let’s be politically correct.” Political correctness has come into the church. Now we’re not going to offend anyone, we’re not going to offend sinners. A person who wants to do what he wants to do, even though it violates what God has told us we must do, well, we don’t want to offend them.
So Tom, this is symptomatic of society—the secular world and the church today. Of course, the church is going along with secular society—we take our signals from them, we follow them. We don’t set an example for them to follow, and it’s a tragedy! The very first command that God gave—males, homosexuality, lesbianism: “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” Homosexuals and lesbians do not do that. They refuse to do that. And I don’t know how you can have—I’m not trying to offend anyone out there, but you had better think very carefully of this. Furthermore, I don’t know how anyone could participate in a gay pride parade and feel proud about a practice, a way of life, which if everyone adopted it, it would be the end of the human race.
Furthermore, this is not something that is in the genes—it is a moral behavior. If it were in the genes—these people believe in evolution most of them—evolution would have eliminated this. If this was some aberrant gene that causes a person to act unnaturally—this is what it is; it is recognized as unnatural—then it would have been eliminated because these people don’t have offspring. This is a defiance of God, His purpose in creating us and putting us on this earth. And whoever is involved in it better think very seriously. You can repent and you can be delivered from this, as from any other sin.