Thursday, June 23, 2011
Homosexuality: Editing the APA Manual, the Bible and the Book of Life
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declared that homosexuality was not a disease simply by altering its own 81-word definition of sexual deviance. Presto, just like that, a new declaration made in a moment of time redefined sexual behavior. The APA still considers Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism to be mental disorders. If this seems inconsistent it shouldn’t be a problem for the APA to pick up the black marker and strike a couple more disorders from its manual.
I’m not a Psychiatrist and I confess that I have very little interest in the field. I wouldn’t know a mental disorder if it were staring me in the face which is probably evidence that I have a few. But, I’m taken back by what seemed to be a lack of debate on the issue. If this was a mental disorder on Monday how could it have simply ceased being a disorder on Tuesday because it was blotted from the book? If a group of oncologists gather and declare cancer to no longer be a disease does it make it so?
I’m not in total disagreement with the APA regarding their assessment. I don’t think homosexuality is a disease. I think it is but one sinful behavior in a long list of sexual sins condemned by the Word of God. Also on that list is adultery, fornication, pre-marital sex, etc. Sexual sin is a sub-category of a larger list of sinful behaviors including theft, lying, idolatry, e.g. the Ten Commandments. It is true that one of these sins is no more or less offensive to God than another. Sin is basically choosing to have it our own way rather than submit to the authority of God. It boils down to pride, or as Old Blue Eyes used to sing, “I did it my way.”
So, why address the sin of homosexuality? Why not address adultery, or theft or deception? Christians often feel the need to isolate homosexuality because it is being redefined by the culture. The success of having homosexuality stricken from the APA’s list of mental diseases was intoxicating to homosexual activists. Naturally, the next step would be to erase homosexuality from the Bible. It’s referral to homosexuality as a deviant, sinful behavior is very detrimental to the goal of societal acceptance. It should be easy, just declare it to no longer be a sin and presto, it shall be so.
Society has caught the fever as evidenced by the recent and historical decision of the U.N. Human Rights Council to declare its ‘grave concern’ regarding the violation of human rights of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people throughout the world. The attempt to match the violation of the rights of homosexuals with that of former American slaves seems absurd. It is a reasonable thing to restore rights to people who were assigned to a certain race or a certain gender by birth. It was never the intention of the authors of our constitution to grant rights to minorities who participate in a common behavior. Race indicates a birth identity. Gay indicates a behavior. Will this set a precedent for a fight for pedophile rights or incestuous rights or polygamous rights?
Christian church denominations are jumping on the band wagon. More recently, the Presbyterian Church (USA) ceased opposing ordination of gay ministers. They join the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Episcopal Church. The divisive wedge driven into the heart of our traditional Christian denominations will be pounded deeper and deeper causing many schisms among evangelical Christians. Why do certain denominations make exceptions for one particular sin? Would they ordain a habitual theft? Would they ordain a compulsive liar? If honesty is a requirement for ordination, why would sexual purity not also be a requirement?
The answer to the previous question is that lying and stealing are still considered sins but homosexual behavior is not longer considered a sin. It has been stricken from the book. Homosexual activists, Hollywood, public schools and famous athletes, actors and musicians have successfully redefined sin in our culture. To successfully do this there must be a widespread denial of the truth in God’s word. Hitler’s Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels promoted the idea that if a lie is repeated continuously echoing in the ears of the common people they will eventually believe the lie. The mantra in Christian churches coming from the homosexual movement is, “Homosexuality is not a sin. Homosexuality is not a sin. How many times do we have to tell you?”
The lie is not new. It is as old as mankind. Satan told the same lie to Adam and Eve. “It is not sin, you will not surely die.” Those who declare that “homosexuality is not sin, you shall not surely die,” are propagating a horrendous lie that will cause untold destruction to countless individuals and to our society as a whole. Paul’s warning to the Romans is very relevant for our modern day, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and they worshipped created things rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:25)
The Word of God is as everlasting as God himself. You can’t add words to it nor can you strike words from it. This is what God’s word says regarding the sin of homosexuality:
“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” – Lev. 18:22
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination” (Lev. 20:13)
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:26-27)
To clarify, homosexuality is a sin. Not because a preacher says it, not because a church denomination teaches it but because the word of God declares it unequivocally. Homosexuality is just like any other sin. It is a choice. There is absolutely no evidence that it is inherited. There is no gene identified that causes homosexuality. It is simply unbounded lust for sexual pleasure in violation of God’s desire for men to be pure.
Paul writes to the Corinthians: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-10) Any who participate in these sinful behaviors and fail to confess, in broken repentance, these sins before Almighty God will be excluded from heaven. These names will be deleted from the Book of Life.
The great hope is found in Paul’s next statement to the Corinthians: “And that is what some of you were.” Some of them were prostitutes, some were thieves, some were drunkards, and slanderers. And some were homosexuals who were converted to Christ and delivered from their sin. “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)
Homosexuality is a sin just like any other sin and just like any sin, there is a remedy. The blood of Jesus Christ delivers people who are in bondage to homosexuality. It’s not complicated, it’s very simple: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.