Acceptance of homosexuality in Christianity – Ravi Zacharias

My thoughts:

We have all been sexual deviants—if only in our thoughts. We all need God’s grace and forgiveness. We are all continuously tempted toward deviant sexual behavior.

Although some people could be biologically inclined toward homosexual behavior and others had it forced on them against their wills, ultimately it becomes a behavior people choose or resist like all sexual conduct.

A man could love another man and care for him without it being a homosexual relationship. The relationship only becomes homosexual when one engages in sexual acts. It is best to think of homosexuality as behavior. “Homosexual” refers not to one’s nature or disposition but to one’s behavior. Yes, the Bible treats homosexuality as one more expression of “the desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:16-21;Romans 1:24-26). But we should not define personhood based on desires.

I do not think it is best to speak of any type of sexual behavior outside of the context of human choosing. On this view, for someone tempted by homosexual desire, the answer is not: “You must become heterosexual.” The answer is the same for all sexual temptation: resist temptation and obey God.

We cannot approve any sexual behavior simply because a person desires it or feels it to be natural to himself. Although I believe that heterosexual behavior is the God-intended design for human beings, I do not believe that all heterosexual behavior is acceptable (adultery is one example of wrongful heterosexual conduct).

If someone asks me if I chose my heterosexuality, I am not sure what answering such a question will accomplish. I think the question is designed to trace the origins of sexual orientation. But even if I was born genetically preconditioned to be sexually attracted to women, it doesn’t mean that this attraction is always right. It might be but it might also be wrong.

Answering source questions will not necessarily lead to moral assessments. Morality has to do with right and wrong. Source questions are more complex than many admit. Sources can include genetic, cultural, experiential and social contributors. But sources cannot force me to behave in a certain way. They can exercise strong influence but I must exercise my will in relation to the influences. My commitment to human dignity demands this understanding. This means, among other things, that I must look elsewhere for deciding matters of right and wrong.

Steve Cornell

See: Gay Marriage: Why I speak out

11 thoughts on “Acceptance of homosexuality in Christianity – Ravi Zacharias

  1. Mike K says:

    This is very shallow of your fictitious God, fictional texts and your faith based on whimperings of ancient fiction writers.

    Sacred sex? Really? You make me laugh and sad.

    Why would a being that created a universe that we as a species will never experience even .0001% of it care what two loving consensual adults do in the privacy of their bedroom? It wouldn’t. Homophobia was written into your fallible text you hold holy. That text shows just how unjust and fallible your fictitious deity is, but even that fails in comparison in how fallible your faith is in the year 2010.

    Faith is an immoral act against all humanity. Maybe it is time you grew up and started investigating the legitimacy of your faith claims and why you believe what you do.

    Why aren’t you a Muslim? It is not because Christianity is more true than Islam. They are both founded on other ancient cultures.

    You are a Christian because of parents, birth place and religion of surrounding community. You were born an atheist. You were indoctrinated by others.

    Where is the evidence for creation? There is none. In fact it is the opposite. All evidence points to evolution.

    Where is the evidence for the flood? There is none. There is evidence for a couple localized floods that happened, but none that covered the world. The fact is the flood is another plagiarized myth added to your fallible text.

    Where is the evidence for the Exodus? There is none. One million Jews wandering the desert for 40 years and left no clue. How were they sustained in a desert for 40 yrs. One million mouths to feed and supply with water. It didn’t happen.

    The parting waters. Where is the evidence of Pharaohs army on the bottom of the sea? There is none.

    Nazareth? When did it exist? 70CE-100CE is the best evidence. Since the town was just beginning at the time when the Gospels were written, it only makes sense if you are going to have a fictional character to have him from an area you know exists…it is just that it didn’t when they back wrote Jesus into a history that wasn’t there.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazareth

    http://www.atheists.org/wiki/images/c/cf/Myth_of_Nazareth_article_ed.pdf

    http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/nazareth.html

    Keep in mind that no record of a census that involved people going back to birth cities didn’t happen. King Herod? Really you should check the dates…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius

    http://freethought.mbdojo.com/herod.html

    Virgin birth is laughable. How many other deities also had virgin births? The whole Zeitgeist movement is more plausible argument for your myth you take as fact, than the actual fallible text which is the core to your “Faith”

    http://vimeo.com/13726978

    http://nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcno.htm

    I can list more problems that make your faith incoherent if you like.

    • I am not sure where to begin because so much of what you wrote is misguided (especially your analysis of support for historical reference in the Bible). I take it you put a lot of confidence in wikipedia as your text of authority. Does it contain bias? Look more closely on certain subjects. Not one of your arguments against the reliability of the Bible is valid. Each has been thoroughly answered many times over. I recommend (if you’re interested in careful research) that you buy two books: “How We Got the Bible,” by Neil R. Lightfoot and “Big Book of Bible Difficulties, The: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation” by Thomas and Norman L. Geisler. These will adequately answer each of the items you raise. I also noticed that (and this seems to be a pattern I encounter) you did not substantively respond to one of my points.

      • Mike K says:

        >>I also noticed that (and this seems to be a pattern I encounter) you did not substantively respond to one of my points.

        Ah it was at the top of my response.

        Why would a being that created a universe that we as a species will never experience even .0001% of it care what two loving consensual adults do in the privacy of their bedroom?..Is there a legitimate reason?

        So I will help you. You are asserting there is a God that thinks sex is just a man and a woman. Front to front. Head to head. So please answer the above question as it directly relates to your post.

        On the historical accuracy of the bible. I am correct. The authors you cite are not honest or are deluded. If your bible was written/inspired by an infallible deity then it should not contain historical errors…It does and therefore the Christian God is false. FYI- I did not just cite wiki. Which provides foot notes. I provided other sources which also spoke on expeditions to find Nazareth birth place of fictionalized Jesus. Israel spent many years and resources trying to prove any part of the bible. It couldn’t. It is fiction.

        >>Morality has to do with right and wrong.

        What else does it have to do with? How do you know this? If you believe that then having faith in Christianity is immoral.

        >>I also noticed that (and this seems to be a pattern I encounter) you did not substantively respond to one of my points.

        Maybe you should try and comprehend what I said instead of how to dismiss me with more shallow Christian apologetic authors.

        Did you answer the questions I asked…at least to yourself?

    • “Why would a being…care what two loving consensual adults do in the privacy of their bedroom?”

      What strikes me about the Christian homophobes is that in order to enforce the opinion that a gay/lesbian (using the terms loosely since I’m bi) couple is living in sin is that they would HAVE to intrude upon the privacy of the couple in order to come to this conclusion. You should look into the documents of the demonological treatises on witchcraft. Sound familiar? Who cares! CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPY!

    • Hi Mike K,

      Wow you sure have a lot say. I became a Christian 13 years when I had no interest in it. I actually despised the squeaky clean lives Christians lived.
      Apart from you writing a post with complaints and no facts do you actually have a case to put forward against Christianity. If you did it would be good to see it.
      I will just comment on one comment of yours for now as there is so much irrational and bias thinking among your complaints.

      You wrote : “You are a Christian because of parents, birth place and religion of surrounding community. You were born an atheist. You were indoctrinated by others.”

      Many atheists have declared publicly that the chances of you believing in Christ is because that you where born in a place that is more likely of you becoming one.
      In other words if your raised in Countries such as the U.K, U.S.A, Italy that have a heritage of Christian faith than your more than likely to become that especially if your parents are Christian.
      Here is more ignorance shown on behalf of the atheist. In China, 1966 Mao decided to burn all the religious libraries and seminaries. He said the last vestiges of any belief in God are over and finished and will no longer haunt China again. Mao has come and gone – and under the most severe persecution including death and life imprisonment for converting or preaching true Christianity – China has the fastest and most explosive Christian converts and church on the planet. Mao has come and gone and the church of Christ grows triumphantly in China. Hence your theory is just that. In fact its not even a theory its a lie.

      To give truth to someone who loves it not is only to give him more multiplied reason for mis interpretation. you are not interested in truth here or else your complaint post would not be so mean spirited in nature.

      You tube – Dr Rosaria Butterfield former atheist Gay lesbian activist English lit professor at Syracuse university now Christian
      You tube – Dr Holly Ordway Phd turns from atheism
      There are hundreds more – 
      It would help if you educate yourself a bit – This will help you a lot – you tube – dr ravi Zacharias – the incoherence of atheism and if you have more time – you tube Dr Voddie Baucham – why I choose to believe the bible.

      While your there – can you tell me – On the topic of DNA – we have never seen matter give rise to a code or information – can you explain How this is possible from your atheist world view ?.

      Go Mike from Carmelo in Margaret River – western australia

  2. In reality, for many years now archeology and history repeatedly verify the historical claims of the Bible. If you are turning to recent biased reports they stand against years of evidence. And, if you look closely and honestly, you’ll notice the agenda driven nature of these reports. I pointed you to only two accessible resources out of more than I can list here. see the bibliographies in each of them. I fully understand that you NEED the Bible to be wrong if you want to be right about homosexual behavior. Of course, you need most of history (laws of nations and religions) to be wrong also because history has consistently opposed homosexual behavior.

    My motivation for my view is not about winning debates. My greater concern is based on the fact that I believe that marriage of the heterosexual, monogamous type is best for human flourishing —even if such marriages have fallen on hard times. I work tirelessly to promote good marriages through extensive premarital and marital counseling. I have also counseled those struggling with homosexual orientation.

    I believe that humans were created for heterosexual not homosexual unions. Gratefully, I am free to hold this belief and to talk and write about it despite the hateful anger directed against me for having such beliefs. I also know that the statistical data clearly reveals the destructive nature of homosexual relationships. In a study from 2004, “the dissolution rate of homosexual couples was more than three times that of heterosexual married couples, and the dissolution rate of lesbian couples was more than four-fold that of heterosexual married couples” (JMF). According to the National Institute of Justice: “Same-sex cohabitants reported significantly more intimate partner violence than did opposite-sex cohabitants–39% of lesbian cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a cohabitating partner at some time in their lifetimes, compared to 21% of heterosexual women. Among men, the comparable figures are 23.1% and 7.4%” (July, 2000).

    These facts are largely hidden from public view when gay marriage is debated. But those who live in the gay community know full well the painful truth of these statistics. And this goes to the heart of my pastoral concern about the gay marriage debate. Opposing gay marriage is not about hating people who desperately want to love. This is a manipulative diversion. It’s about helping people be free from lifestyles that are harmful. Sadly, it must be acknowledged that many in the homosexual lifestyle came from horrible heterosexual homes where hate not love was dominate. I grieve to see all of this but must choose to look beyond the masks that cover the pain. This is my duty as a human and even more so as a pastor.

  3. fubar says:

    Hi Steve,

    With all due respect, when societies, religious communities and families are constantly sending homophobic messages that are hostile to the formation of successful homosexual relationships, isn’t the result inevitably going to be difficulties for the individuals in such relationships?

    Unless all homosexual relationships are 100% failures, then some homosexual relationships *are* successful. And any scientific research project (or therapy project) that is attempting to be unbiased would carefully examine what the characteristics of those successful homosexual relationships are – in contrast with the unsuccesful ones, and compare them to similar issues in both and succesful and failed heterosexual relationships.

    In light of those considerations, do you really think that the statistics you cite are the result of some inherent (biological or spiritual) problem with homosexuality? And not largely those related to homophobia, hate and stigmas that arise from outmoded societal “norms” about homosexuality?

    Isn’t it at least as plausible to think that the statistics are are result of some combination of the following:

    1) research bias,
    2) cultural hostility to homosexuality and lack of support for the “normality” of homosexual relationships actually has a specific effect of harming the health of homosexual relationships,
    3) the effect that widespread homophobia (intolerance) has on the psychological health of homosexuals, and thus, their ability to maintain stable relationships?

    Consider the way that Christians feel set upon and marginalized by those that are opposed to Christian values, ideas and beliefs. Reverse the scenario, and consider how homosexuals feel that they are being subjected to overwhelmingly dehumanizing forces in life. Wouldn’t that present some highly significant obstacles to the formation of support and health needed to maintain a healthy relationship?

    Thanks for considering these questions.

    • Tim says:

      Denmark is extremely tolerant of homosexual behavior, yet the statistics that Steve cited remain the same. The “gay” life-style is absolutely dangerous to it’s participants regardless of how society feels about it.

      • Craig says:

        The trouble is… I can quote you statistics that say the exact opposite. Depending on your point of view, you tend to advertise the statistics that soothe your conscience. Better stick to love over statisics.

  4. Craig says:

    It seems to me inconceivable that a loving God would concern Himself with vaginas and penises over and above the love two individuals have towards each other. There can be no doubt that a long-term partnership of a same-sex coupl is in every way as loving as their heterosexual counterpart. It is just as sacred. It is love (spousal love), and not merely the sex act, that defines a marriage relaionship. To say to someone: “you should be alone and resist temptation because your sexuality is an abomination”, is wholly unkind, unloving, and in complete contradiction to Paul’s treatise on love. Adam and Eve is not a history. It is an allegory. A beautiful allegory. A true allegory. And to assume it was talking of genitals is to miss the point entirely. Moreover, Christ’s address regarding marriage (A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife) was aimed at a traditional Jewish audience. Notice, he doesn’t talk about the woman leaving her parents. The man takes possession of his chattels. As was the correct procedure in His day (and in much of our own day). The spirit of Adam and Eve is alive and well in gay partnerships. And if any doubter were to visit a devout gay home, they would be hard pressed to find the slightest difference between a heterosexual and a homosexual loving couple. Unless, of course, they take cameras into the bedroom, which – one hopes – is not a traditional habit of Christians (although one begins to have ones doubts after listening to Mr Zacharias).

    • A loving God would concern himself with vaginas and penises craig because he created them. you didn’t create them mate – God did. How do you know that Adam and Eve is just allegory ? Christ’s aim of a man leaving his parents was aimed at a jewish audience only ? Wow and I thought only the Jehovah wittnesses could torture and manipulate the scriptures to get it to say what they wanted. The spirit of adam and eve – where did you get that one from ? What spirit is this one ? – scripture and verse please ? search for truth Craig and when you find it don’t just rearrange your prejudice thoughts. Actually get rid of the ones that are untrue, whether you like it or not. Romans chapter 2 seals the issue, You can torture the text as much as you like. It talks about doing what is unnatural. Go and look at the animals – there are no gay animals friend. yes God cares about our private parts because he made them precisely to regenerate. they fit and they create wonderful life from sperm and one egg.
      1 egg + 1 sperm = life.
      2 eggs or 2 sperm = nothing.

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