A Biblical Response to Gay Marriage by E.K. Hassell
A Biblical Response To Homosexuality and Gay Marriage
Pastor Keith Hassell
September 19, 2004
Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV) “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”
I. God is looking for a man
A. Today is “Protect Marriage Sunday”
B. I do not address this issue with my own agenda, but with God’s agenda.
C. I address this issue out of sympathy because I know that many families have lost family members to the homosexual lifestyle. Some have said that it would have been easier to lose them in death than to lose them to homosexuality.
D. I speak out because God loves the homosexual and desires for them to be saved and delivered. Many involved in this lifestyle do not believe that there is a way out. Therefore, they feel that they have no other option but to embrace and defend it. They need hope that Jesus Christ can set them free.
E. I speak out because for the most part, Christians have shunned homosexuals and failed to respond to them in the love of Christ. In reality, the homosexual and lesbian want affirmation and will do whatever it takes to receive it. The love and acceptance they often find in the homosexual community is what lured them there and will keep them there until God intervenes.
II. First, what I am NOT saying
A. I am not saying that homosexuality is unforgivable. God can forgive.
B. I am not saying that God does not love the homosexual or lesbian.
C. I am not saying that the homosexual be shunned by Christians.
D. I am not saying that the homosexual is not welcome to attend our services
E. I am not saying that homosexuality is the only sexual sin against God.
III. What I AM saying: It is time for America and the Church to repent of our wicked ways
A. 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
B. This includes every kind of sin, but today I address the sin of homosexuality and gay marriage
IV. The term “gay”
A. The root of the word can be traced back all the way to the 12th century in Germany. Its root meant "hurried or imperious."
B. In the 13th or 14th century, the German root of the word then evolved and eventually came to mean “full of joy or mirth” in the Old French language.
C. In the 13th and 14th centuries, it began to be used around the French city of Provence in reference to courtly love. Provence was an area that was apparently known for its homosexual activity.
D. Ken Cage writes in a master’s dissertation at Rand Afrikaans University, “gay people throughout the Western world have, for a long time, used a secret form of language to communicate among themselves.”
E. So the term, “gay,” came into use by the homosexual community in reference to themselves long before the word came into common usage.
F. In 1938, a very public use of the word occurred in a movie starring Cary Grant. In this movie he was dressed in a woman's lace nightgown and he was asked if he always dressed this way. His reply is, “No, I've just gone gay all of a sudden.”
G. In 1941, the term "gay" was used as a slang term for a homosexual in a book entitled, Sexual Variations.
H. In 1969, New York City police raided a bar at Greenwich Village that was frequented by homosexuals. Through that ordeal and the ensuing protests, the word, “gay,” took on its modern usage in our world.
I. It appears now that everywhere you look, everything you read and everything you hear is about the gay lifestyle.
V. The gay agenda is beginning to win some major battles.
A. Legal Arena
1. In the court case, Lawrence v. Texas, John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner were engaging in homosexual acts in Houston, and were, therefore, fined due to a Texas sodomy law. This occurred six years ago. After legal battles, it ended up in the United States Supreme Court. On June 26, 2003, a legal and moral earthquake occurred when the United States Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Texas' law against private consensual sex between adults of the same sex is unconstitutional. Some believe this case is as profound as Roe v. Wade that permitted abortion in this nation. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in sharp dissent of the decision. He accused the court (of which he is a part) of having “largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda,” forecasting that “same-sex marriage” would be the logical next step. How accurate he was!
2. Four years ago the state of Vermont became the first state to enact a law allowing same-sex civil unions.
3. In May of this year the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to limit marriage to a man and a woman and opened the door for the first time to the legalization of gay marriage.
4. Other states are expected to rule on cases of like manner very soon.
5. The Netherlands and Belgium already extend marriage rights to gay couples. Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark also have "civil union" laws. Canada is in the middle of it right now. The Canadian government appears to be heading for a showdown on this issue as they are leading the way to same-sex marriage. However, the opposition is ferocious. One of the members of the Parliament stated, “I've never seen an issue like this.” Pray for Canada.
6. Already Canada has passed hate-crime legislation making any speech against homosexuals to be regarded as hate speech. One incident has already occurred where a Canadian pastor in his own church was preaching about what the Bible had to say about homosexuality. A group of homosexuals disrupted the meeting and the police were called in to stop the disturbance. The pastor was arrested!
B. Political Arena
1. Politicians are all over the map on this issue, not certain where they will land. Homosexuality and gay marriage are political hot potatoes that no politician wants on record come Election Day. My question is where do you want the record to stand on Judgment Day?
2. USA Today reported on July 28th, 2003 that something interesting occurred after the Supreme court’s ruling on the Lawrence vs. Texas case making sodomy legal. In early May prior to the case, the polls showed that support for legal relations between gay couples was as high as 60 percent favoring that action. At the same time, only 35 percent of Americans said no. However, since the Supreme Court made their decision, this has changed dramatically. Now the polls are showing many less people in favor of it and the opposition to it has risen to almost 60 percent. What has happened now is people are seeing the reality of this gay agenda about to take over our culture and they are just now becoming aware of the issue. It takes time for the American public to wake up on these issues.
3. President George W. Bush has been caught in a major challenge in this issue. Yet, he stated courageously on July 30, 2003 to the American people, “I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we need to codify that one way or the other.” The President has said that if Congress approved the Marriage Amendment, he would sign it.
4. The first step toward a Marriage Amendment to our constitution forever protecting the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman was presented before the Senate this summer. Unfortunately, liberal senators did not allow this amendment to even be brought up for a vote! Unlike George W. Bush, Senator John Kerry made a point to say that if the Marriage Amendment did come up for a vote, he would come in from the campaign trail specifically for the purpose to vote against it!
5. Many U.S. Senators claim that there is no need for a Marriage Amendment. They say that previous legislation passed by Congress called “DOMA” (Defense of Marriage Act) is already in place and therefore there is no need for an amendment. However, it is only a matter of time before our courts strike down this legislation. Activists who oppose DOMA such as the mayor in California who illegally issued marriage licenses to homosexual couples are pushing the envelope. They want this issue of gay marriage be decided in the liberal activist courts rather than by the people of America. But who trusts the activist judges to make a decision that is consistent with the wishes and values of American citizens? Lawsuits have already been filed against DOMA in some states challenging its constitutionality. Some have already deemed it is unconstitutional. So much for DOMA!
6. Personally, I do not see any way to keep marriage sanctified between a man and woman only in this nation unless major spiritual revival occurs or a constitutional amendment is adopted limiting marriage as being between a man and a woman.
C. Educational Arena
1. The University of Michigan is offering a course called, “How To Be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.” Professor David M. Halperin says the course does not teach students to be homosexuals but does teach them there are right and wrong ways to be gay.
2. New York City has created the nation's first public high school for gays, bisexuals and transgender students. It had 170 students in September of 2003, tripling its enrollment from the year before. I am sure the enrollment is even greater this September.
3. Do you remember the words, "this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine"? In The Cambridge Friends School in Cambridge, Mass., the gay light is shining brightly. Children in this entire school, even as young as 5 or 6, celebrate Gay and Lesbian Day. In a school-wide assembly, a man named Jeff, one of its teachers, stood and said, “I can tell the truth that I'm a gay man. That gives me much more energy to be a better teacher, to be a better coworker and to be a friend.” The students applauded as if he had cancelled school for one month. Other teachers came out that day besides Jeff admitting they were gay.
4. One of the hot things happening in our high schools and colleges today is bisexuality, mainly occurring with girls. This means that girls enjoy being with boys sexually and also enjoy being with girls sexually. They are bi-sexual, meaning they cross over the sexes. This is a very distorted view of sexuality, one that will lead to major fallout in their lives.
5. An illustration of the perversion of bisexuality occurred in New York at the 20th Annual MTV Video Music Awards. The event that proudly defines our youth culture presented the surprise of the night when Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were performing to Madonna's "Like a Virgin." Madonna joins them and then enjoys an "open mouth kiss" with both Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. This is an outright abomination to God. The way that Madonna, Spears and Aguilera closed the song was they got all in a line, held up their fists and shouted together, “We're bored with the concept of right and wrong.” The crowd stood in ovation and, afterwards, the kiss and this statement has been the talk of the event. To all of you moms who thought it was cool to dress your daughter like Britney, well, what do you think now? To all of you girls who tried to look and dress like Britney, well, what do you think now? To all of you boys and young men who have lusted after her, what do you think now? There Britney told you who she really is ... told you what she really stands for ... told you what is important to her. It is a disgrace to our Creator. Someone so beautiful, so gifted, but so perverted and so lost.
6. The gay agenda is shining brightly in the realm of education. Schools, books and all other media, target the hearts of children and young people. Beware -- administrators, teachers, students and parents of the books, the speakers, the seminars, etc. The gay agenda sings proudly “this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine.” To each of you parents, you are responsible before God for the education of your children. If something does not change, this gay force will take over our schools. Under God, you will have to make a decision: "Will God be pleased with me if I permit a gay teacher to instruct my children or gay material be taught my children?" At that point, you had better consider other options or you will answer to God for it.
7. Listen: The gay agenda is focused and committed to evangelize the educational systems of this nation. Do not put your heads into the sand, thinking it is not happening or will not happen here in this region. Remember, they sing proudly, “this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine.” Parents, watch out, your children may already be in the process of being lured into the gay lifestyle.
D. Entertainment Arena
1. Do you know what is happening on television? One program called “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” featured five gay men who call themselves “The Fab Five” doing a makeover on a straight guy.
2. Another show, “Boy Meets Boy,” is where a gay bachelor chooses one man among 15 other men to be his partner. Then there is the television show, “Will and Grace”, and another one called “Queer as Folk.”
3. I have never seen any of these and do not intend to do so, but understand, the goal is desensitize you to their lifestyle where it becomes normal for you to hear and see it, making you accept eventually that it is a non-threatening norm in our society.
E. Cultural Arena
1. The attack everywhere in our culture is to get you to see the gay lifestyle or gay couples as being the same as you.
2. The agenda is also trying to desensitize you to them, their verbiage and lifestyle. In other words, "if you get use to us you will eventually ignore us or accept us." The bombardment and intentionality is already so great that the desensitization is already occurring.
3. Inclusiveness is their theme song. Their goal is to get themselves included into all of society and its benefits, including benefits economically.
4. As they play the song of "inclusiveness," gay couples are now adopting children.
F. Church Arena
1. The gay agenda is now making major advancements into the church. They are winning many battles in the church. According to USA Today, in the major denominations in America five of them ordain openly gay clergy and bless same-sex unions. These are the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Episcopal Church, American Baptist Church and United Church of Christ. Remember, just because a part of these names may be on a church sign does not mean they are a part of this denomination because there are many and varied groups within some of these labels.
2. The recent episodes at the annual meeting of the Episcopal Church have really ignited this issue ecclesiologically. When they elected the Rev. V. Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, rejoicing and division happened in that denomination like never before. Compromise is the only way they will not see it severed deeply. My prayer is that those who oppose it will oppose it with tenacity and with no compromise at all based on the authority of Scripture.
3. In response to the election of Robinson to be a bishop, even though he is an active homosexual, the Rev. Sandye Wilson of the Minnesota Diocese exclaimed to The New York Times, “It's a great day for the church.”
4. This newly elected bishop, Rev. Robinson, with his daughter, Ella, and his sexual partner for 13 years, Mark Andrew, stated, “God has once again brought an Easter out of Good Friday.”
5. In an article in the Northwest Arkansas Times, Aug. 17, 2003 entitled, “All's God's People," subtitled, "Local Episcopal Church officials react positively to appointment of church's first gay bishop,” one of the pastors of St. Paul's Episcopal Church was quoted as saying, “What God has made clean you must not call profane.” He quoted from Acts 10. He said that blessing same-sex relationships of two people who plan on a lifelong dedication should not be considered less.
6. Saying that Acts 10 is the justification of same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay bishops is one of the highest distortions of Holy Scripture I have ever heard of in my life.
7. An article in the paper from Aug. 30, 2003, entitled, "Episcopal Leader Defends Approval," says: “The head of the Episcopal Church ... Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold says, ‘I must say in the strongest possible terms that if I believed in any part of my being that the consent to this election was unfaithful to an authentic way of reading Scripture and contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I could no longer serve as the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church,’ Griswold wrote in the letter released Monday.”
8. Well, Mr. Griswold, your position is not found in the Word of God and is contrary to the Holy Spirit of God, therefore, you should resign.
9. The good news is that all Episcopal churches in our region do not adhere to what has happened. The press reports that meetings have already been held nationally by many Episcopal leaders wanting to change what has happened or sever from the denomination. We need to pray for these churches to be strong in their very turbulent environment.
VI. The GOOD NEWS is…
A. The gay agenda will never succeed
1. The Court of Heaven and the Judge of all of the Universe has declared judgment on homosexuality and gay marriage. Lower courts cannot overturn this ruling!
2. Every society that has embraced homosexuality eventually falls
3. Homosexuality will always be a sin against Creation. God made a woman for man, not another man.
4. Homosexuality will always be a sin against nature. God made a man and a woman to be one flesh. Animals are smarter than human beings!
5. God will never recognize gay marriages. Genesis 2:
6. Homosexuality will always be an abomination to God. In Leviticus 18:22 and in Leviticus 20:13 homosexuality is called an abomination to God. An abomination is an outrage, a disgrace, and is detestable to God.
7. Homosexuality will always experience the consequence of its sin, no matter what the civil law allows. In Romans 1:26-28, the Bible says that "God gives them over," meaning that because of their rejection of God’s truth, He lets sin run its course with the homosexuals. First they are given over to their lusts, then to vile passions, finally to a debased mind. They are so deceived in their sin that they actually believe it is to be good and seek to win approval of its practice!
8. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV) “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
9. God calls homosexuality “unrighteousness,” not an alternative lifestyle.
10. Upon the authority of God's Word, the Bible
a) God condemns the sin of homosexuality.
b) God never calls it an alternate lifestyle.
c) God is against civil unions of homosexuals.
d) God is against so-called “same-sex marriage.”
e) God is against the ordination of homosexuals into the ministry.
f) God never views favorably the gay lifestyle.
g) Same-sex “marriage” is an abomination to God and any matrimony ever performed to do it is unholy, ungodly and will receive the judgment of God.
h) Same-sex “marriage” is an attempt to redefine one of the holiest ordinances of God. It is an attack against marriage and family.
11. So, upon the authority of God's Word you need to become actively involved against any effort in the courts, the political processes, the educational systems, the invasion of television, the practical attacks and the liberal slants of various churches and denominations toward the gay agenda.
12. Stand strongly, wisely and tenaciously, but with love against this gay agenda. Remember, you are not against people, but you must stand up for what is right in the eyes of God.
VII. There is a way out of homosexuality through Jesus Christ
A. The sin of homosexuality can be forgiven
1. Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.”
B. 1 Corinthians 6:11 (NKJV) “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
C. “And such were some of you.” The Word of God is saying that homosexuality is a sin that indicates strongly that there is a need for the salvation of Jesus Christ.
D. Freedom from a lifestyle of sin comes through
1. Confession of all sin, including the sin of homosexuality
2. Repentance (cease your agreement with and participation in)
3. Believe the Gospel (Believe that your only hope of salvation and deliverance is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross)
4. Call upon the Name of the LORD
VIII. Conclusion and Invitation
A. All sin is wrong. Only one sin determines whether you go to heaven or hell when you die -- the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as your Savior and not letting Him live actively and daily as the Lord of your life. Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins and to set us free from the penalty of those sins. He became sin for us. He became sin for you.
B. The Good News today for each one of us, regardless of our past, our sins, or our present, is that we can be washed by the blood and given new life in Jesus Christ. We can wear the robes of Jesus' righteousness. And we can be freed, acquitted from our sins.
C. Jesus Christ can set you free and give you a new life
1. Luke 1:37 says, “For with God, nothing will be impossible.”
D. If you want to make a difference on this issue, you can call your State Representative this week for the House vote on the Marriage Amendment
1. Jim Turner (212) 225-2401
E. If you have heard this message and want to associate with a church that is committed to what the Bible says, I invite you to come join our church family.
F. If you have a friend or family member in the gay lifestyle, you might want to come to this altar and pray for them.
G. Perhaps God has given you a burden for some area of our nation concerning this gay issue, so you come and pray for that area in our nation.
H. Let's pray together right now.