195. SUMMARY Of Articles On Sexuality And Same sex marriage

A number of folk have asked me to do a summary of some of my articles which have relevance to sexuality and to proposed same-sex marriage. That would be a pretty hefty tome. So instead, I am putting some of the details of what I have written so far, in this summary. The idea is that if anyone wishes to read any of the articles, all they need to do is to click on the link number at the beginning on the article and they will be taken to that article as it appears on the blogsite, www.holbeck.wordpress.com

I will do the summary under various headings. The blogs with relevance to that topic will be noted under those headings in chronological order as much as possible from earlier to more recent articles.  

HOMOPHOBIA

050. (“Homophobia. Who Is Guilty? A Surprising Possibility!”) The surprising possibility arrived at in this article is that those who are most guilty of homophobia or dislike of homosexual people are not necessarily those who disagree with same-sex behaviour. Rather those with more guilt are those who involve others in behaviour that is contrary to God’s declared purposes for His creatures.

 BIBLE TEACHING AND “GAY MARRIAGE

077. (Question. “What Does The Bible Say About ‘Gay Marriage’? Is There A Simple Answer?”) This article has these words in the conclusion, “God has declared in no uncertain terms that all sin including homosexual activity is contrary to His will. Thus the term ‘gay marriage’ is an oxymoron because the words are incompatible in the sight of God who instituted marriage on a different premise. His intention has always been that a marriage is the relationship between a man and a woman who commit solely to each other in love.”

078. (Question:- “Would Jesus Be In Favour Of Gay Marriage? What Does The Bible Say?”) The article contains these words, “Jesus took these verses from the Old Testament very seriously as He quoted them. He saw them as coming from God Himself. Marriage and subsequent family life was His Heavenly Father’s idea. He too held the Father’s view of marriage as seen in those Genesis passages.”

080. (Modern-Day Idolatry. Wrongly Adapting To Modern Culture. Leviticus 18). In this article are these observations, “Modern-day idolatry consists of replacing the God of Israel (YHWH) with a god who has different values altogether. Such a god exists only in the imagination of those who attempt to make ‘him” (or “it” or “her”) a god who is more acceptable to much of modern culture. Such a god can help nobody. Only the true God YHWH, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is able to do so, because He exists. He longs to help those who turn to Him for true direction and fulfilment in life.”

085. (Sodom. Any Relevance For Sexuality Today?) This article talks about a modern predicament. “There are so many folk around the world saying that that homosexual activity is to be accepted and approved of. Perhaps even suggesting that there could be same-sex marriages which have the same status as heterosexual marriages. Perhaps even inferring that those in such same-sex relationships are to be seen to be in a “family” relationship. Perhaps suggesting that those who don’t agree with homosexual activity or homosexual marriage are homophobic and guilty of hate towards them.” Some suggested answers are given in answer to this predicament.

 086(Jesus and Sexuality and Marriage). The article recognises these facts, “Jesus was a ‘Bible man’. He accepted the authority of the Old Testament Law and Prophets as determinative for His life and teaching. He expected His followers to have the same commitment to His Father’s revealed will in the Scriptures. … Putting all this together we have to say the following:-The Old Testament forbids homosexual activity. Jesus by His teaching showed His reliance on the Old Testament scriptures as the word of God and saw marriage as the one flesh relationship between one male and one female according to the Creation ordinance.”  

196. Hebrews 13:8,  “Jesus Christ Is The Same Yesterday And Today And Forever.” (What that should mean for us today)  In Section 2 of this article attention is drawn to the institution of marriage itself in Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”  Marriage is seen as an institution established by God Himself and has to be respected, honoured and preserved.  It must never be diluted or altered in any way. Individual marriages must be respected as well, 13:4 continued, “ … and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”  When asked about the nature of marriage, Jesus quoted what God said about it at creation. (And remembering that Jesus was the Agent God used to create the world). He also identified just 2 genders, because He created just 2 genders.  Today some folk have been deceived by atheistic Marxist philosophy which is trying to get rid of genders such as “male” and “female” and “boys” and “girls”. They say those terms have evolved over time, so let’s go back and get rid of genders. BUT Jesus takes us back to the beginning of creation. God made them “male” and” female”.

THE LAW AND GAY (OR SAME-SEX) MARRIAGE

117. (Divine Comedy 2. God in the Dock regarding Marriage. Genesis 2:24). “We may put God in the dock and question His view on marriage and judge Him (and those who follow Him) as guilty of discrimination. But He has told us as our Creator that He will not “extend” His revealed concept of marriage to any other relationship. As His creatures, dependent on Him for even our next breath, neither should we! The time will come for all of us when He will place us in the dock, not to ascertain our views, but to judge us according to His!”

118. (US SUPREME COURT AND REDEFINING MARRIAGE. Decision? Division? Treason?). This article posted in 2013 warned of the damaging consequences that could follow if the Supreme Court voted in favour of redefining marriage. It was unfortunate that some of the judges appeared to have already made up their minds before the investigation began and in the eyes of many would not be able to give an unbiased hearing to evidence contrary to their beliefs. Even the prospect that 9 individuals could vote on changing the meaning of the concept of marriage seemed preposterous at the time. That such an important decision passed on such a narrow majority and came into law showed that human wisdom is not necessarily true wisdom in the eyes of many. What I mentioned as possibilities have come true. Division was caused with some advocates of same-sex marriage going to extremes to silence the views of those who were not in agreement with them. I also warned, “So if a US Supreme Court as the highest legal authority in the land were to come out in favour of something that these people see as anathema, it would give the leaders in such lands and cultures incentives to really poison the minds of those who don’t know better. It could help to incite even greater hatred towards Americans at home and abroad. It could make it extremely dangerous for American nationals living in such places. It could make it even more dangerous for Christian and Jewish minorities in many lands.”  That too has come true.

 119. (Same-Sex Marriage and God’s plan in Genesis 2:24). This article seeks to give some reasons as to why there appears to be a shift towards the acceptance of the concept of same-sex marriage. We note the following in the article. “The first reason is that people want to be fair. … there is a stress on justice and equal rights.” A second reason is that with more “outings” taking place people among prominent celebrities, some family members or personal friends have also been encouraged to “come out” as being gay. A third reason is that some gay advocates have been extremely successful in selling the concept that “being gay is normal”  (a concept that many heterosexual and homosexual researchers reject). As we discuss this whole topic, we must never forget that the Creator who created all things and all people knows everything about human nature and what makes us what we are. He has revealed His will about sex and family life. In the article we look at what He has revealed to us.

HUMAN REBELLION AGAINST GOD AS SEEN IN ROMANS CHAPTER 1

123. (What’s Wrong With The World? Rebellion Against God! Romans 1:17-18).  God’s wrath is said to be revealed towards unrighteous people. We read in the article, “God wanted to reveal Himself and His ways through human instruments but they suppressed the truth. They held it down, did not allow it to be revealed as they lived in ways opposed to God’s will and desire for humans. In the very descriptive words of AT Robertson, “Truth … is out in the open, but wicked men, so to speak, put it in a box and sit on the lid and “hold it down in unrighteousness.” Their evil deeds conceal the open truth of God from men.” (Word Pictures in the New Testament). … If God’s wrath is being revealed against those who suppress the truth then who might those people be? That is what we will look at in later articles. It is important that we do so. … A life characterised by rebellion against God and the ongoing rejection of His will (what He wants) will not have a happy ending. … But praise God there are those who do repent of their rebellion against God and receive the truth in Jesus. These are seen as those who become righteous in the sight of God, 2Cor 5:21  ‘For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’  Good news for those who repent and believe in Jesus. Bad news for those who continue in their rebellion against God.”

124(“What’s Wrong With The World?” Revolting Humans! That’s What! (An Overview of Romans 1:17-32).   Humans in rejecting God make wrong choices. As the article points out, “Paul described it as exchanging or replacing God’s values and substituting their own. There were three main exchanges in their rebellion against God.  i). The First Exchange. IDOLATRY. (Replacing God by idols.) Rom 1:23 -24,  … God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves. He handed them over, allowing them to do what they wanted to do. What happened was physical degradation. ii). The Second Exchange. FALSE RELIGION. (Worshipping the God-given creation instead of the Creator Himself.) Rom 1:25-26,   … they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.  God’s response? Rom 1:26  For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. They wanted to live in this way. God allowed them to do so. Paul goes on to tell us in the following verses what form those passions took. iii). The Third Exchange. HOMOSEXUALITY. (Humans rejecting the God-created order for human relationships and substituting their own.)  … Rom 1:27-28,   .”..  And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”  Humans failed to acknowledge God’s right to dictate human behaviour as their Creator. They rejected what He wanted of His creatures in the sexual sphere and substituted their own desires springing from debased minds. The word “debased” is a very strong word in the different translations. It is translated as “worthless”, “reprobate”, “depraved”. The rebellion is, after all, the incredible situation of creatures rebelling against their Creator!

Paul continues listing the consequences of rebellion against God as he closes the chapter. He shows the wide expanse of human sin in addition to the idolatry, false religion and homosexuality he has just mentioned. Humans are “filled with” all manner of unrighteousness, and are “full of” characteristics forbidden in many of the 10 Commandments. … As though to sum up the case against humans in revolt against God, Paul says humans are the opposite of what God wanted them to be. He does this by using four Greek words denoting fine character, and placing an “a” at the beginning of a word to give the opposite meaning. Instead of being wise, faithful, loving and merciful they are foolish, faithless, heartless and ruthless. …  No wonder Paul could write in a later chapter, Rom 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Every human is in the same boat. They have all sinned in one way or another. But praise God that they can be cleansed, forgiven and transformed to become new creatures in Him.”

 125(“What’s Wrong With The World?” Humans Replaced God With Idols! Romans 1:18-32).   As I wrote in the article, It is an upside down world! People of all cultures around the globe are saying it. That happens when you replace God with idols. When you do that you begin to live in deception. Everything is reversed. What God called “good” is now seen to be “bad”. What He called “evil” is now seen to be “good” or “desirable”. And as verse 32 reminded us, people not only do the wrong things in life, but approve (“applaud” in HCSB version) others when they do the same things. … Perhaps what the world needs to do (and to do soon before our western civilization slides over the edge into oblivion and a God-hating and God-forsaken world takes its place) is to follow the lead of the people in Corinth in New Testament times. As we saw in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, many of Paul’s readers were part of the moral degradation of the day. But they learned that life could be different! They changed from being sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who practiced homosexuality, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers and swindlers. They heard the gospel message about new life in Christ. They responded to the message.  They were changed as Paul reminded them, “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.”  Or in the words of The Message, 1Co 6:11  … for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit. He can do so in today’s world in the life of any person who wants to be different.” I give some answers as to how that can happen.

126. (Praying For Healing For A World In Rebellion Against God. Through Its Idolatry).  After some discussion on the topic I added the suggested prayer, Dear Lord, we pray that You would open the eyes of those who are deceived, who cannot recognise You as the Creator of all things. May they come to recognise You as the One who is responsible for all life on this earth. Convict them of the sin of regarding humans as merely things that can be disposed of as desired. Enable them to recognise the truth of Your word that all humans are created in Your image and that all human life is sacred.  May they turn to You to ask for forgiveness for promoting what is evil in Your sight. Bring Your healing to those who are now living with guilt and shame and regret. We ask these things in the name of Jesus, our Creator, Saviour and Lord. AMEN.”   

127. (Praying For Healing For A World In Rebellion Against God. Through Its False Religion). The discussion is followed by the suggested prayer,   “Heavenly Father, we pray for all those who remain in the darkness and ignorance of sin. Especially the sin of not making You the Lord and Master of their lives. Open their eyes to see that they have exchanged the truth in Jesus for a lie and are caught up in false worship. Touch them in the power of your Holy Spirit so that they might be brought from darkness into light, from bondage to Satan into the freedom which is in Christ, and from death into life. May they open their hearts to receive Jesus as their Saviour, to worship Him as their Lord, and to serve Him in the fellowship of His church. We ask these things in Jesus’ name and for His sake, AMEN.” 

128. (Praying For Healing For A World In Rebellion Against God. Through Its False Sexual Practices.)  Many people in today’s world end up in sexual bondage of one kind or another, and don’t know how to escape. The following is a suggested prayer they can pray for themselves or for others.  Heavenly Father, we pray that we will come to know Your will through Your word, the Bible, so that we can live in a way pleasing to You. Show us what You dislike about our thinking and our behaviour so that we can turn to You for forgiveness and for help to be different.  Help us to understand Your plan and purpose for the world regarding relationships, so that every relationship we have, may be according to Your will. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

129. (Summary of Romans 1:17-32. Human Rebellion against God).  In the article I wrote that these verses represent God’s realistic appraisal of the whole human situation, “God’s appraisal! We have seen in a previous article that these verses apply to every human ever born who has been rebellious against God. That’s all of us except for Jesus. We may look at these verses and pat ourselves on the back that we are pretty good in comparison with some notorious sinners in this world. But when we come to words such as greed, envy, disputes, deceit, gossips arrogant, proud, boastful, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful, we realise that we ourselves have failed to get a perfect score in those areas of life.  It means that we are sinners just like the ones we have judged as being guilty of sin. 

I suggested a prayer for anyone who feels they are not right with God,  “Dear Lord. You have shown us so clearly in Your word that none of us can stand before You, trusting in who we are or in what we have done. We have all rebelled against You in many and various ways. I confess that I am guilty before You and I need Your forgiveness and love. I have learned that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross so that I might have forgiveness. I have learned too that He rose from the dead and is alive today.I invite You Lord Jesus to be my Saviour from sin and to be the Lord and Master of my life. Come into my life to make me a new creature and to guide and strengthen me to live as I should, from this day forward.I thank You by faith for the victories I shall experience in life with Your help. Please accept my thanks in Your precious name of Jesus. AMEN

138. (Rejecting God’s Commandments Means Missing Out On His Blessings).  In this article I made these observations,  “When you reject God and His word, you distance yourself from His ongoing protection and blessing. When we cry, “I don’t want anything to do with you God!” He respects our freewill and allows us to go our own way. We saw that principle in Romans chapter 1 where three times it is said that when people rebelled against Him,  He “handed them over” to do what they wanted to do. In previous blogs we saw what that meant for the modern-day issues regarding abortion, false religions and inappropriate sexuality. When people turn their backs on their Creator they think they will find greater freedom. However the opposite is true. They come under greater bondage than they ever imagined….   As I mentioned in my previous article, those who deny the power of God are often those who have not experienced His power in their own lives. They have little concept of the incredible transforming power of God as His Holy Spirit works in the lives of those who are open to Him. They cannot visualise or imagine the people they know being changed to any great degree. But as many of us have discovered in ministry, when people respond to the gospel of Christ they become different. As Paul wrote in 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. New! Brand new! By the power of God!”

159. (BEWARE OF INSULTING THE PROPHET JESUS!)   In this article we look at the evidence that Jesus was indeed a prophet and the challenge that truth presents, “in a world that largely ignores Him and is insulting Him as a living Person in a world that so much needs Him, His wisdom, His grace and His strength.  As the title warns us, BEWARE OF INSULTING THE PROPHET JESUS! When we come to realise that He is not only a prophet, but also the Creator of this universe, the Sustainer who keeps it going, the Redeemer who came to give His life for the life of the world and ultimately will be the judge of all the peoples of the world, then He has to be taken seriously as a living Person today. Not to take Him seriously is to insult Him.”

 ELECTIONS AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

183. (How To Pray When You Don’t Know How To Pray. The 2016 USA and Australian Elections).  In the recent series I did on the Lord’s Prayer we saw it as a prayer that can change the world. It seems to me that we need to take that prayer seriously particularly in praying the section,“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It is asking Him to establish His kingdom on earth so that His will may be done on this earth. In praying this prayer we are submitting ourselves to be involved in His kingdom purposes. As we continue to pray the prayer it may be that God will show us what things we can do to make a difference in our local situations. … For example I believe that God is prompting me to write this article so that at least one other person in the USA or Australia who reads this may want to become part of God’s solution and not remain part of the problem through “opting out”. We also need to pray for the candidates. We need to pray that God’s kingdom will come and that His will be done in their lives. …  He knows what He wants to do and through whom. Our praying this part of the Lord’s Prayer is our invitation to Him to do what He wants to do in our own hearts,  in our cities, in our own nations as well as in the wider world. We can make a difference as we pray regularly, “Lord may Your kingdom come and Your will be done in my life and in the lives of all these people whom I now bring before you.”  (But don’t add, “Though I can’t see how You could ever possibly use Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten.” )

189. (“What Sort Of People Should We Elect To Government?” This article was based on a sermon preached just prior to the Australian Federal elections in 2016. It was on the qualities seen in the Beatitudes in Matthew. When few candidates seem to have those qualities we can still pray. As I wrote, We need to pray before the election and after the election, “Lord, May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Mat 6:10.  Then we are praying that God would work in Kingdom power in over-ruling the election results, knowing that He will honour those who honour Him. And after the election we need to continue praying so that He over-rules any Parliamentary decisions that don’t honour Him or that are against the best interests of the people. Most importantly we need to pray for those elected  and for ourselves, “Lord, may Your kingdom come in all of us and may Your will be done in and through all of us to Your glory and to the benefit of Your people throughout the world.”

194. (Marriage For Same-Sex Couples? The Problem With an “Eticsibelp”. [A back to front Plebiscite.])  This article was published just after the proposed question for the plebiscite (due in February next year) was released in September. I have difficulty with the proposed question and with the whole concept of voting for or against same-sex marriage. I wrote in sections 9 to 11 of the article regarding the future if a plebiscite is held.

  1. “I cannot imagine those who vote “No” taking to the streets in violent protests if the plebiscite had a majority of people voting “Yes” to same-sex marriage. Rather I would imagine that they would seek to share where appropriate what their view of marriage was, in the hope of convincing some to see the reasons behind their views. Many of them would perhaps be bolder and would seek to warn others by sharing their view that God is opposed to homosexual behaviour and thus to same-sex marriage. However as  those motivated by the  love of God for their neighbour they would share their concerns in an appropriate way.
  2. Those who vote “Yes” and see their view prevail in the plebiscite could rejoice that same-sex marriage could now become a legal reality. But there may be others who voted “Yes” who could seek to have alternate views to theirs silenced altogether. It is happening already, in various ways, in Australia and overseas.
  1. There is a danger that those operating from an atheist Marxist philosophy in which there are no absolutes might be tempted to silence those who believe there are absolutes in life. Such people see those absolutes stemming from a Creator who has given His creatures instructions on how to live in a way that is beneficial to humankind and glorifying to Him.  The concern is what form that silencing might take. The present indications are that many will not be motivated by tolerance and love.”

So here is the summary of the articles to this date. I hope they are helpful in this condensed form though it would be wise, where possible, to read the actual articles themselves to get a fuller overview of these important topics. 

Blog No.195. Jim  Holbeck. Posted Friday 30th September 2016

 

About Jim Holbeck

Once an Industrial Chemist working for the Queensland Government but later an Anglican minister in Brisbane, Armidale and Sydney. Last position for eighteen years before retirement in 2006 was as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney.
This entry was posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Creation, Forgiveness, Salvation, Sexuality, Temptations, TOPICS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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