by Dan Delzell
A new study by the CDC with over 33,000 participants reveals that less than 3% of the U.S. population self-indentifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual. And yet for some reason, this issue continues to dominate the culture today.
Jesus loves people who experience same-sex attraction. And because of that love, He would never have remained silent on homosexuality if God had changed His mind about His condemnation of this practice in the Old Testament. Rather than indicating His approval for it, Christ's silence on the topic means that homosexual behavior remains just as sinful today as adultery, lying and murder.
Christ would never have "left out" something as important as a reversal from the way the Jews viewed homosexual behavior. It was always strictly forbidden in Judaism because God's Law forbids it.
Jesus maintained the traditional teaching when He stated, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." (Mark 2:7,8) Christ reaffirmed the Jewish understanding of marriage as properly existing only between a man and a woman. It would have been the perfect time to set the record straight. That is, if homosexuality is indeed a holy union in God's eyes.
No Jewish person in Jesus' day would have dared to view homosexual behavior or adultery as acceptable to God. So why didn't Jesus spell it out and present a new understanding of homosexuality? That would have been the loving thing to do, if indeed the Jews of His day needed to reverse their thinking on the issue of sexuality.
Time and time again, Jesus had the opportunity to address this specific issue. But He remained silent. Not a word from His mouth with any retraction or correction regarding the "old way" of looking at it.
When Jesus told the woman caught in adultery that He did not condemn her, He also told her, "Go and sin no more." (John 8:11) In doing so, He reaffirmed the Old Testament position on adultery.
But why didn't Christ introduce an acceptance of homosexuality?
Jesus certainly didn't shy away from addressing plenty of other hot-button issues. For example, He often spoke about hell. He didn't skirt around that issue one bit. So why did Christ skirt every opportunity to sanctify homosexuality? He could have chosen to say that two men or two women can have God's blessing in holy marriage. But He never affirmed homosexuality or gay relationships. Why?
Many people today believe this one behavior is now acceptable to God. And they point to the Lord's silence as evidence. "Surely Christ would have condemned this behavior if it is truly sinful." Or so goes the reasoning.
There are actually many sins, including a variety of sexual sins, which Jesus did not specifically address. The apostle Paul addressed homosexual sin in his New Testament epistles, but Christ did not specifically refer to homosexuality.
Elton John was asked about gay marriage in a recent interview, and Elton said he couldn't see Jesus "saying this cannot happen." That's a typical perspective in society today. Modern man thinks Christ is OK with it.
It would not have been loving for Jesus to remain silent about homosexuality if this behavior was no longer sinful. And while it does remain a sin today, Christ chose not to single out folks who experience this particular desire. But that is a very different thing than Christ affirming the behavior. Very different indeed.
Jesus offers forgiveness and a new life to anyone who will "repent and believe the good news," (Mark 1:15) regardless of their sin. He consistently presented that message. And after His resurrection, He sent His disciples to go preach the same message to the world.
So if you are attempting to "make a case" for some sort of biblical approval for homosexuality, you might want to think twice about using the silence of Jesus as "proof" for your position. The Lord's silence actually underscores the very teaching you are attempting to rewrite for modern ears.
No wonder Jesus didn't specifically address same-sex attraction. He had no interest in making that one temptation the centerpiece of His message. And those who experience this desire probably appreciate the fact that Jesus didn't specifically address it. After all, He didn't want you to think you are a bigger sinner than anyone else.
Jesus has tremendous compassion for the 2-3% of people who experience same-sex attraction, and for the 97-98% of us who experience plenty of other temptations. We are all sinners before God, and each one of us needs redemption and forgiveness through faith in Christ.
But make no mistake about it. Since Jesus skirted every opportunity to sanctify homosexuality, you and I don't have the right to sanctify it either.