Against Nature

God intends for us to learn from His design (1Co 11:14); it’s good in every conceivable way. (Ge 1:31) So when we violate any aspect of natural order, we’re asking for trouble.

This is the fundamental problem with homosexuality: it violates natural design. God calls this out when He describes it as changing the natural use into that which is against nature (Ro 1:26), and leaving the natural use. (Ro 1:27)

This isn’t complicated: we’re perfectly designed as male and female to procreate though stable, heterosexual relationships. Homosexuality is a fundamental, flagrant violation of this design: such relationships can’t produce offspring because they’re unnatural; it’s using sexuality in unintended ways for unintended purposes, twisting it, perverting it. (1Ti 1:10)

God forbids such perversion in His Law (Le 18:22, 20:13), along with many other kinds of sexual activity. Because God is good, His Law is also good (Ro 7:12) for us all, and it isn’t optional: those who refuse to obey God as a manner of life identify themselves as children of disobedience, alienated from God and subject to His wrath. (Ep 2:2-3)

Our desires and natural instincts are not the point; we’re all born with a sin nature, with an inclination to violate God’s law: in our natural state we won’t submit to God. (Ro 8:7) God didn’t make us this way; we’re fallen beings, corrupted through our own lusts (2Pe 1:4), with a will that’s free to depart from God, and does so with remarkable consistency.

It’s not easy for anyone to control and discipline themselves, consistently curbing their natural appetites for a greater good; this is the mark of maturity and wholesomeness; very few master themselves here. It’s a journey, and it takes time. To truly overcome our evil tendencies, we must start by getting a new nature from God (Ez 36:26); our old one won’t get us very far at all.  (Ga 6:15)

When we give ourselves over to unnatural desires they become part of us, taking root and establishing themselves, corrupting our souls and enslaving us (2Ti 2:25-26); this ultimately drives us to sin and separates us from God. (Ja 1:15) Normalizing perversion simply encourages more of us to do this, weakening our culture and destroying the fabric of society.

It’s wisdom to recognize God’s perfect design in us, and to concede that any inclinations contrary to it are rooted in lies designed to destroy us. When we align our minds with truth, our passions inevitably follow. It’s a spiritual war with a real, evil, spiritual enemy (Ep 6:12), seducing and tempting us. We ought not to give such an enemy place in us, receiving his appeals to seek satisfaction apart from God. (Ep 4:27) Rather, we should ask God to help us learn to be content (Php 4:11) in Him, trusting God to quicken us so that we can live for Him.

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5 thoughts on “Against Nature”

  1. Here is a thoughtful article making a counter-claim: The Bible Does not Condemn “Homosexuality.” Seriously, it doesn’t.

    The author asserts that Scripture only condemns fornication: sex outside a stable, committed, consensual relationship. He leverages this definition, along with several logical fallacies and a weak hermeneutic, to construct a superficially compelling case for those who are untrained in either reason or scripture. This is likely the strongest case that can be made for a pro-LGBTQ position, which makes it valuable to fully understand.

    Given the author’s claim, four of the six biblical passages commonly used to condemn homosexuality (referring to Sodomites and other forms of fornication) are easily dismissed with some simple, linguistic slight of hand; these texts don’t clearly, explicitly and necessarily condemn homosexual behavior as the author has defined it (loving, committed, same-gender relations). This leaves us with only two texts (Ro 1:26-27, Le 20:13) which cannot be legitimately dismissed (and when we rightly divide the Word, we only need one such text). However, most Evangelicals can only use one of these texts with integrity (Ro 1), and they must be very precise in doing so, as in the above post. They’ve already dismissed the other (Le 20) through a faulty hermeneutic, an error which this author also commits.

    Evangelicals ultimately fail in their appeal to Levitical law to condemn homosexuality since they have already dismissed the bulk of Torah through Dispensationalism, claiming that the ceremonial and civil parts of Torah are no longer binding. This leads to a subjective decision as to which laws are “moral,” which cannot objectively be defended from scripture. Evangelicals cherry-pick the laws they like to keep, and so do the homosexuals, so the Evangelical position becomes unconvincing to the honest skeptic, given the Evangelical Dispensational premise. The author leverages this weakness in dismissing Torah’s explicit identification of homosexual behavior as sinful, which is the only biblical way to identify sin. (1Jn 3:4)

    The text in Romans 1 is all the Evangelical has left, but the key to the text lies in the assertion of unnatural behavior, which can be demonstrated biologically. This is really the only argument left for the Evangelical, which they evidently seldom make convincingly. This muddies and weakens their position to the point that they lose credibility, giving the homosexual advocates all the room they need, the appearance of genuine doubt in the validity of the anti-homosexual position, which emboldens them, as evident in this author’s work.

  2. Tim,

    Well written, and I sense compassion also. Would enjoy seeing you study more on this subject pertaining to the paragraph you wrote:

    When we give ourselves over to unnatural desires they become part of us, taking root and establishing themselves, corrupting our souls and enslaving us (2Ti 2:25-26); this ultimately drives us to sin and separates us from God.

    The [taking root] would be difficult to blog in a small treatsie, however, bite size food for the soul — and you can blog more than one bite! Taking root, establishing, corrupting, enslaving and finally [drives] us to sin and separation. Then perhaps, solutions.


  3. Thanks Stephen,

    Do the war and enslaving links above address this deeper topic of how sin takes root, conceives within us and enslaves our souls? These are bite-sized posts with links to a full treatise on spiritual warfare.

  4. Here is an example of what I consider to be the best Evangelical answer to Homosexuality, dealing with the objection that Evangelicals pick and choose which OT laws are relevant for today. He seems to think this particular objection is the most difficult.

    The weakness of his argument is apparent; he simply says he has inside knowledge, a good reason for picking and choosing which OT laws to apply to today (calling them moral laws, distinguished from civil and ceremonial laws) but never demonstrates this distinction from scripture, or how he knows that laws related to homosexuality are moral and not civil. If anyone could do this, I expect this man could, and if he could, he would have done it here.

    No one has done so, evidently, because it cannot be done. The implication seems to be that once we do away with Torah as an objective moral standard in its entirety we lose this debate, or at least significantly weaken our position.

    Even so, I think the author, Voddie Baucham, makes a number of good points on other related arguments, which are helpful to consider, and has some very helpful teaching on social justice.

  5. When Paul describes the kinds of sinners for whom the Torah is given, he describes them that defile themselves with mankind. (1Ti 1:10)

    The Greek is a compound word found twice the NT: arsenokoites, comprising arsen (man) and koite (couch) from which we get our word coitus (intercourse). There should be no debate about what this word means; modern translations consistently render it homosexuals or the equivalent.

    This word also appears in 1Co 6:9, in a list of sins which believers cannot commit as a manner of life.

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