Troublesome Topic: Was God Harder on Some Sexual Deviations than Others?

Lesson 3 of 9

No, God treated all sexual deviations with harshness.

Some people have the idea that God singled out homosexuality for harsher treatment than the rest. This has probably come from the way churches have communicated about homosexuality, but actually God was harsh on most of the people who did not keep sex within the confines of marriage.

Most of the regulations of the Law about sexual misconduct prescribed the death penalty. That is why I say that they were treated with equal severity. In the New Testament we do not need to keep using the teaching methods that God used in the Old Testament, but the basic principles are still the same. Regarding sexuality the principle is that sexual intercourse should be kept for the marriage relationship only.

Here is the best example I am aware of to show that God was equally harsh will the various violations of His principles about sexuality. Jesus indicated that even lust was on the same level as the other prohibited sexual acts which in the Old Testament received the death penalty.  Ouch!

Now, having made the point that God was harsh on almost all forms of sexual deviation from His standards, I want to speak directly to the issue of homosexuality.

Here are several somewhat disjointed thoughts I would like to share with people who, for whatever reason, wonder why God was so hard on homosexuals in the Old Testament.

1. Everyone has great God-given potential. I want to make it personal to each reader, so I will say it this way: You have great God-given potential. God put that potential within you and He alone knows what you are capable of. He wants you to reach that potential and He will help you if you allow Him to, which includes getting rid of the barriers between you and Him. I am convinced that when God looks at you, and when He looks at me, He sees our potential, not our weaknesses or our sins. He knows about our weaknesses and sins, but He chooses to look at our potential.

2. I don’t expect people who don’t believe in God to follow the rules found in God’s word. Those are the rules God was giving to His people, His followers. Christians should not try to force everyone to follow a few selected examples of God’s rules because not everyone is committed to seeking a relationship with God. We should love people the way they are while expressing our willingness to help them get from there to a better place, and we think that means a close relationship with God, the Creator of the universe. But they have to want to make that journey.

3. Christians have been wrong to point at the flaws of others while we have so many flaws. Sexual sin is rampant, and all sexual sin causes some degree of damage to families and to society. The only difference I can see between one type of sexual sin and another is the degree to which it hurts others. All sexual sin hurts the person involved even if they don’t realize it or don’t feel it. All sexual sins I can think of, including lust, negatively affect others, although some do so in small ways that accumulate over time, while others do so in more obvious ways.

4. Tolerance should be a two-way street, but it isn’t. At least in America, everything is tolerated, everything is accepted without question, except Christianity. In one way I take it as a badge of honor that Christianity is singled out in that way. It tells me there is something different about Christianity. However, another part of me wants to point out that it is a contradiction to single out Christianity for attacks while accepting anything and everything else without question. What we are seeing today is not tolerance, but selective acceptance. I call everyone on all sides of this issue to demonstrate intellectual honesty.

5. Everyone struggles with more than one area of weakness. Some are struggling to overcome tendencies and attractions while others of us are struggling with a different set of weaknesses. We are all weak; we are all broken; we all need a savior. Even after we find the Savior we are still weak and need lots of healing, rebuilding and remodeling.

In his book, The Good Life, Chuck Colson points out that we were made to find our utmost fulfillment in serving others, not self. Homosexuality, like all other forms of sexual sin, is an endless and futile search for the satisfaction of self. A person will never find joy and fulfillment going down that road because such a search is contrary to our design. One thing homosexual people need is to see living examples of husbands and wives who care for and serve one another joyfully. This will stand in stark contrast to their own focus on self which never brings joy, only more intense craving.

If you are reading the medium-length version of this series, the next lesson is: Why Did God Allow Polygamy?

If you are reading the full-length version of this study series, the next lesson is: Why Was the Death Penalty for Sexual Acts Inconsistent? Part 1.

The next lesson in Why Is That in the Bible? is: Crossdressing Is Deception