Today is Thursday, April 11th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2544

Information we used for discussion at Sunday's Sunday School class:

It’s in the news:  Same sex relationships.


Leviticus 18:22:  "Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin."

Commentary:There are several other abominations, or wicked things. listed near this verse - marrying close relatives; having sex with someone else's wife; burning children; having sex with animals. These practices were quite common to pagan religions and it is easy to see why God dealt harshly with those who began to follow them. Such practices are not only a source of disease; more important, they are extremely disruptive to family and social life. They reveal a low regard for the value of oneself and of others. Society today takes some of these practices lightly, even trying to make them acceptable. But they are sin in God's eyes. If you consider them acceptable, you are not judging by God's standards.”


Romans 1:24-29:  "So God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin, and do whatever they wanted to--yes, vile and sinful things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they prayed to the things God made, but wouldn't obey the blessed God who made these things.

“That is why God let go of them and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God's natural plan for them and indulged in sex sin with each other. And the men, instead of having a normal sex relationship with women, burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men, as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserved.

“So it was that when they gave God up and would not even acknowledge him, God gave them up to doing everything their evil minds could think of. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness and sin, of greed and hate, envy, murder, fighting, lying, bitterness, and gossip."

Commentary:Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Scripture. It is considered an acceptable practice by many in our world today--even in some churches. Many homosexuals believe that their desires are normal and that they have a right to express them. But God does not obligate nor encourage us to fulfill all of our desires (even normal ones). Those desires that violate his laws are wrong and are to be avoided.

“If you have this desire, you can and must resist acting upon it. Consciously avoid places or activities you know will kindle temptations of this kind. Don't underestimate the power of Satan to tempt you nor the potential for serious harm if you yield to these temptations. Remember God can and will forgive sexual sins just as he forgives other sins. Surrender yourself to the grace and mercy of God, asking him to show you the way out of sin and into the light of his freedom and his love. Prayer, Bible study, and strong Christian fellowship in a Bible-believing church can help you to gain strength to resist these powerful temptations. If you are already deeply involved in this sin, you may need to seek help from a trustworthy professional pastoral counselor.”


I Corinthians 6:9-11:   "Don't you know that those doing such things have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, or homosexuals--will have not share in his Kingdom. Neither will thieves or greedy peopled, drunkards, slanderers, or robbers. There was a time when some of you were just like that but now your sins are washed away, and you are set apart for God, and he has accepted you because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God has done for you."

Commentary:  "Paul is describing characteristics of unbelievers. He doesn't mean that adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, or greedy people are automatically and irrevocably excluded from heaven. Christians come from all backgrounds, including these. They may still struggle with evil desires, but they should not continue in these practices. Paul clearly states that even those who sin in these ways can have their lives changed by Christ. However, those who say they are Christians but persist in these practices with no remorse should re-evaluate their lives to see if they truly believe in Christ.

“In a permissive society, it is easy for Christians to overlook and accept immoral behavior (sexual sins, greed, drunkenness, gossip, etc.) because it is so widespread. Although it surrounds us, we cannot take part in it of condone it in any way. Staying away from generally accepted sin is difficult, but it is no harder for us than it was for the Corinthian people. God expects his followers in any age to have high standards.”


I Timothy 1:8 -11:  "Those laws are good when used as God intended. But they were not made for us, whom God has saved; they are for sinners who hate God, have rebellious hearts, curse and swear, attack their father and mothers, and murder. Yes, these laws are made to identify as sinners all who are immoral and impure:  homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, and all others who do things that contradict the glorious Good News of our blessed God, whose messenger I am (written to Timothy by Paul).”

Commentary:   “There are those who attempt to legitimize homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Even some Christians say people have a right to choose how they want to live. But the Bible specifically calls homosexual behavior sin. We must be careful, however, to condemn only the practice; not the people. People who commit homosexual acts are not to be feared, ridiculed, or hated. They can be forgiven and their lives can be transformed. The church should be a haven of forgiveness and healing for homosexuals without compromising its stance against homosexual behavior.”