Because You Asked
Introduction: The Bible tells us in I Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Also note Colossians 4:6, Titus 1:9 and II Timothy 3:16-17. There is a lot of talk today about the “rights” of homosexuals. As a citizen that pays taxes, serves in the military, etc. they are entitled to their “civil rights”. How should we as Bible-believing Christians answer this issue?
I. There are no homosexual rights
A. “Homosexuals have rights as citizens but not as homosexuals” (Geisler, Christian Ethics, 266).
1. Homosexuality is morally wrong. There is “no right” to do a moral wrong.
2. There is no “civil right” to do a moral wrong. Civil law should be based on the moral law. For example, rape is a moral wrong. Child abuse is a moral wrong. A rapist or a child abuser has no moral or civil right to be a rapist or a child abuser.
B. “Morality does not change. Basic moral principles do not change; what changes is our understanding of them and our performance of them.” (Ibid).
1. The Bible provides “unchanging moral values”. Adultery is wrong. Fornication is wrong. Homosexuality is wrong.
2. Moral practices may change. We may confuse “morals” with “mores” but that does not change the basic moral principle or value.
3. “To the degree that moral principles reflect the nature of God, they cannot change, for God cannot change his basic moral character (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 6:18)” [Geisler, 267].
II. What the Bible teaches about homosexuality
A. God ordained heterosexuality not homosexuality.
1. “…male and female He created them” (Gen.1:27).
2. Since it was not good for man to be alone God created the woman (Gen.2:18).
3. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh” (Gen.2:24).
4. Homosexual relationships cannot fulfill the Divine command to be “fruitful and multiply” (Gen.1:28).
B. Homosexuality was condemned by God in:
1. Sodom & Gomorrah (Gen.19:5; Jude 7)
2. Mosaic Law (Lev.18:21-23)
3. Judges 19:22-30
4. I Kings 14:24
5. Ezekiel 16:50
6. Romans 1:18-29
a. Exchanged and abandoned (26-27). This indicates choice. This refutes the idea of being born a homosexual without choice. “There is no undisputed scientific evidence to support the contention that homosexual tendencies are genetic. It shows every evidence of being a learned behavior” (Geisler, 266).
b. Unnatural (26)
7. I Timothy 1:9-10
C. Homosexuals will not be in heaven
1. I Cor.6:9, 11
2. I John 3:9
D. Exegesis or Eisegesis?
1. Exegesis is when a person reads the Bible and “takes out” what God’s Word states. Eisegesis is when a person “reads into” what the Word of God says. Exegete the following two words:
a. The Hebrew yada. It appears around 943 times in the Old Testament. The word means “to know.” The word appears 12 times in Genesis and 10 of those refer to sexual intercourse. How would you exegete yada in Genesis 19:5, 8?
b. How would you exegete yada in Judges 19:22, 25?
c. The Greek arsenokoitai (I Cor.6:9; I Tim.1:10)
i. arsen = male, man
ii. koite = bed
iii. It means “men going to bed with men”.
2. “The God of Scripture is the Lord of culture, not its passive victim; if God wishes to make His Word and will plain, sinful human culture cannot ultimately frustrate the divine intent.” (Evangelical Ethics, Davis, pg.111)
E. A sign of judgment?
1. The Bible repeats “God gave them over…” (Rom.1:24, 26, 28)
2. God gives them over because they are sinning against the light of creation and conscience (Rom.1:18-20, 2:14-15)
3. Even though:
a. “…they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death…” (Rom.1:32)
b. “…they not only continue to do these very things…” (32)
c. “…but also approve of those who practice them” (32)
4. “The spread of homosexuality in a society is in itself a sign of that society’s apostasy and of the impending judgment of God” (Davis, pg.107).
III. How Scripture is twisted to support the sin of homosexuality (Eisegesis)
A. The sin of Sodom was not homosexuality.
1. Lot said to the men “…don’t do anything to these men for they have come under the protection of my roof” (Gen.19:8)
2. The men of Sodom simply wanted to get to know these strangers. The Hebrew word is yada [Strong # 3045]. It is the same word found in Psalm 139:1.
3. The sin of Sodom was selfishness. Read Ezekiel 16:49 – is there any mention of homosexuality?
B. The Levitical law is no longer applicable.
1. Certainly Leviticus 18:22 condemns homosexuality.
2. However, do those laws apply? If so shall we invoke capital punishment for crimes like blasphemy (Lev. 24:15-16), apostasy (Lev. 20:2), adultery (Lev. 20:10) or drunkenness by a priest (Lev.10:8-9).
3. Besides, aren’t these laws nullified in Acts 10:15? If they aren’t we can’t eat pork or shrimp!
C. Homosexuality combined with idolatry was condemned (I Kings 14:24)
1. If idolatry isn’t an issue, homosexuality is permissible.
2. The passage is against idolatry, not homosexuality.
D. Paul’s opinions were his private opinions (I Cor.9:25)
1. Paul condemns homosexual activity (I Cor.6:9)
2. This is his personal opinion. He also condemned long hair on men (I Cor.11:14). This is cultural, not Biblical!
3. Besides, I Cor.6:9 only speaks against “homosexual offenders.” If the homosexual is not being offensive the action is OK!
E. Isaiah predicted homosexuality in the kingdom! (56:3)
F. David and Jonathan were homosexuals (I Samuel 18-20)
1. Jonathan loved David (18:3)
2. Jonathan stripped in David’s presence (18:4)
3. They kissed (20:41)
Conclusion: The Biblical teaching on homosexuality is 100% crystal clear that it is sin. Someone may say “I have the right to do what I want in privacy.” That is not true. We have no “private right” to rape, abuse children or kill. Some may say “Two consenting adults” have the right to do what they want. That is not true. Two consenting adults do not have the right to rob a bank or kidnap someone. The truth is that God has given us an established list of moral principles. We may change our moral practices but that does not mean that morals change. People commit adultery but that does not make it right. Two consenting adults committing adultery does not make it right. Homosexuality is a sin. It is a sin that can be forgiven (I John 1:9). It is a lifestyle choice that can be changed. As I have heard many times “If God does not judge America He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
I. The Truth [John 18:37]
A. Pilate said to Jesus “Are you a king then?” Jesus responded by stating, “You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth…” (John 18:37)
B. Jesus declares that there is “truth”. He even boldly asserts that He is “the truth” (John 14:6).
A. God’s desire is that all will be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (I Tim.2:4). Unfortunately we know that will not be the case (II Tim.3:7).
II. The Deception
A. The Bible states in Gen.3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made…”
1. The serpent is the devil (II Cor.11:3; Rev.12:3, 4, 20:1-3).
2. “Did God really say, ‘…you must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ (3:1)
3. “You shall not surely die” (3:4). This is a direct contradiction to Gen.2:17 “…for when you eat of it you will surely die”.
B. The word subtil in Gen.3:1 is arum [strong # 6175]. It is an adjective meaning “prudent, crafty, subtil”.
C. “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph.4:14).
1. Teaching is the KJV “doctrine”. It is the noun didaskalia. It comes from didaskalos meaning “doctor, master, teacher”.
2. Craftiness is panourgia, a noun meaning “craftiness, subtlety, cunning craftiness”.
3. Deceive is plane, a noun meaning “error, deceive, deceit, delusion”.
4. Scheming is the KJV “they lie in wait”. This is the Greek noun methodeia. It is found twice in the NT. Once translated “wiles” (Eph.6:11), the other “lie in wait” (Eph.4:14). The idea is this: meta = after + hodos = a way.
5. Cunning is kybeia; the KJV has “sleight”. This noun comes from kubos, that is a “die” for playing.
I. Why you have a pastor (Eph.4:11-13)
A. As we fulfill Eph.4:11-13 we will not fall to the schemes or methods of the devil.
B. But we must know what we believe! The children are learning “Bible Basics” in Children’s Church. We will learn basic Christian truths that are relevant to you and me in the 21st century. You and I face a culture with:
1. Individuals like Pilate who ask, “What is truth?” (John 18:38)
2. False prophets (Jeremiah 23:16-22 & Matt.7:15-23) who teach a truth other than the truth of the Bible (II Tim.3:5).
- The Presbyterian Church (USA) ordained their first openly gay man into the ministry on Saturday, Oct.8, 2011. The Presbyterian Church (USA) is the nation’s largest Presbyterian church.
- The nation’s largest Lutheran denomination, The Evangelical Lutheran Church, in August, 2009, voted to allow for gay ministers who are in a committed same-sex relationship. The church already allowed for gay ministers who were celibate.
- UCLA plans to have “transgender” dorms for those in the process of becoming…
Introduction: In the early 1970’s President Joseph Fielding Smith (president of the LDS Church) stated: “Mormonism must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground.” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol.1, pg.188-189)
I. The History
A. Joseph Smith Sr. spent much of his life as a treasure hunter. He was particularly interested in the treasure of Capt. Kidd. He also attempted to mint his own money.
B. Joseph Smith Jr. grew up in the home of a “treasure hunter” and counterfeiter. His father avoided the penitentiary by turning states evidence.
1. In 1820, in Palmyra, NY, God the Father and God the Son appeared to young Smith as he prayed in the woods.
2. These two were unhappy about the state of Christianity and they had chosen Smith Jr. to launch a new dispensation.
3. Smith Jr. continued with his father and brother to seek treasure, especially that of Capt. Kidd.
C. In 1823 the angel “Moroni” appeared to Smith Jr. “Moroni” was the glorified son of a man named “Mormon”. Moroni repeated Smith’s commission three times.
D. In 1827 Smith received the golden plates upon which the Book of Mormon had allegedly been written. Smith began to translate the plates near Palmyra. The plates were written in “reformed Egyptian”. Moroni provided Smith with miraculous glasses by which he alone could translate the golden plates. The plates told the story of the people who lived on the American continent from about 600 B.C. to A.D. 421. The plates were translated which is “The Book of Mormon” and then given back to the angel Moroni.
E. While Smith was translating the plates (1827-1829), Oliver Cowdery was converted. Smith & Cowdery became friends and while in Pennsylvania John the Baptist was dispatched to them by Peter, James and John. Both men were baptized in the Aaronic Priesthood and that of Melchizedek.
F. Smith moved to Nauvoo, Illinois where Mormonism grew and prospered. The Nauvoo Expositor, published anti-Mormon views and exposed their polygamy. Smith destroyed the paper and was arrested. On June 27, 1844 a mob of 200 stormed the jail in Carthage, Illinois where and his brother Hyrum were murdered.
G. Brigham Young, 43, because the new “prophet”. He led the Mormons from Nauvoo to Salt Lake.
H. Remember “Mormonism must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith”.
II. The twelve steps of salvation. For the Mormon, the “celestial kingdom” is “eternal life”. How do they acquire the “celestial kingdom”?
A. Faith – a response to the commands of Christ, not a trust in His ability to save. There is no personal relationship with Jesus.
B. Repentance – confessing and abandoning sin as well as making restitution for wrongs done. The repentant person must “spend the balance of their life trying to live the commandments of the Lord so He can eventually pardon the person and cleanse him” (NAMB, Plan of Salvation, Mormon, pg.2).
C. Baptism – must be by immersion in the Mormon Church and is “the gateway through which we enter the celestial kingdom” (NAMB).
D. Laying on hands to receive the Holy Ghost – happens not as an act of faith but instead when a baptized Mormon is prayed for by a member of the priestly class in the church.
E. Ordination as a Melchizedek Priest – “This higher priesthood is designed to enable men to gain exaltation in the highest heaven in eternity…” (NAMB). This is for men only.
F. Receiving the Temple Endowments – this is for men and women. Through various rites and anointing the recipients receive power from on high. They are then taught the things which will gain them exaltation in the world to come.
G. Celestial Marriage – people are married for time and eternity, to their Mormon spouse. Once the Mormon is resurrected and has possibly become a god they and their spouse can produce children for their world.
H. Observing the Word of Wisdom – Mormons are not to drink alcoholic beverages or hot drinks with caffeine.
I. Sustain the Prophet – the Prophet / President of the Church is to be supported.
J. Tithing – 1/10 of their income.
K. Sacrament Meetings – the weekly Sunday gathering where they share the bread and water, sing and testify.
L. Obedience – to the church and its teachings. “Remember that perdition or hell is reserved for apostates- those who leave the Mormon Church and resign their membership in it.” (NAMB)
A. The plan of salvation is obviously a “gospel of works” that is tied to obedience and obligation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is clearly a violation of Ephesians 2:8 & 9 and Romans 10:10.
B. God – “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s…” (The Kingdom of Cults, 178). “As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become” (Ibid). “When our father Adam came in the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days, about whom holy men have written and spoken- He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do” (Ibid, quoting Brigham Young). Obviously this violates passages such as John 4:24, Isaiah 43:10, 11, 44:6, 45:5, 21, 22 & Numbers 23:19. The Mormon theology involves “many gods”.
C. Jesus – Adam was the physical father of Jesus. Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Spirit. President Ezra Taft Benson stated in his book “Come unto Christ” page 4 “…the body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that Holy Being we worship as God, our eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, not was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the son of the Eternal Father”. Obviously this violates Matt.1:23, John 1:3, & Col.1:16 [NAMB].
D. Heaven – All people will eventually end up in one of three heavens. The telestial heaven which is designed for heathen people who rejected the Gospel and for those suffering in hell pending the last resurrection. The second heaven, the terrestrial heaven, will be for Christians who did not accept the Mormon message, as well as others of goodwill of other religions. The third heaven, the celestial heaven, which itself is divided into three kingdoms. The highest of these kingdoms is “godhood”. Achieving “godhood” is a slow process. But if the person has been sealed by Celestial Marriage in a Mormon temple, this person who becomes a god will, with his family, “…rule a separate planet and all these planets inhabited by elevated gods will have the divine communication system of the Holy Spirit…” (Doctrines and Covenants, section 130, verse 22; quoted by Kingdom of the Cults, 196).
Conclusion: Today many religions are classified as “Christian”. This simply means that the person is not a Hindu, a Buddhist, etc. So people will say that a Mormon is a “Christian”. While that may be mankind’s definition of a Christian it is not the Bible’s definition of a Christian. A Christian rests on the finished work of Christ at Calvary – nothing else. “Brigham Young categorically stated that the sacrifice made upon the cross by Jesus Christ in the form of His own blood was ineffective for the cleansing of some sins” (Kingdom of the Cults, 192). Mormons are not Christians according to the Bible’s definition of a Christian. In the US there are about 6 million Mormons, and about 13 million worldwide. Pray for their salvation.