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Enjoying God Blog


As I’m sure you are aware, there is a massive exodus underway in the United Methodist Church. Literally hundreds of churches (perhaps more than a thousand by now) have voted to withdraw from the denomination because of the ever-increasing debate about whether homosexual behavior is sinful and whether ordained clergy can officiate at so-called “same-sex” weddings.

Yesterday, December 11, 2022, in our local newspaper (The Oklahoman), there appeared an article that described three Methodist congregations that have chosen to remain in the denomination. When one pastor was asked why he and his congregation were staying put, he said something to the effect of, “Jesus never talked about homosexuality.” This apparent silence of our Lord evidently justified the decision of this one church not to withdraw. Was he accurate in this statement? Did Jesus fail to address the issue of homosexuality?

Although Jesus never explicitly mentions homosexuality, he never explicitly mentions bestiality or pedophilia or rape or child abuse or incest or necrophilia. But no one would argue that he therefore approved of such behavior.

It makes no sense to think that Jesus would have adopted the opposite view of the OT on the subject of homosexuality. The universal condemnation of homosexual conduct within ancient Israel and the Judaism of our Lord’s day and time largely explains why Jesus never mentioned it. He didn’t need to. Everyone assumed it was sinful. Also, Jesus clearly and explicitly affirmed the exclusive nature of marriage as being between one man and one woman, appealing to Genesis 1:27 and 2:24.

Also, it isn’t precisely accurate to say Jesus never mentioned homosexual behavior. In Mark 7:21-23 he specifically listed things that defile a person and included was porneia, a reference to all forms of sexual misconduct that in the minds of everyone living at that time would have included homosexuality along with pre-marital and extra-marital sex.

Denny Burk has pointed out that Jesus’ alleged silence versus Paul’s explicit statements regarding homosexuality is completely understandable given their different contexts. Jesus lived and ministered in and around Judea primarily among Jews where there was basic agreement on the Torah’s prohibition of homosexual behavior. That is not to say that there were no homosexuals in Judea. It is to say that there was no great debate at the time about what the Bible taught about it.

The apostle Paul, however, lived and ministered among Gentiles scattered throughout the Roman Empire. In the Greco-Roman world of Paul’s mission, the Torah was not the norm, and people by and large accepted homosexual behavior. It is no wonder, therefore, that Paul would have mentioned it explicitly (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:10). Jesus’ alleged “silence” on the issue is evidence of his Jewish context, not of his endorsement.

To suggest that Jesus would have endorsed homosexual behavior is utterly ludicrous. His alleged “silence” is hardly grounds for remaining in a denomination that endorses a form of sexual immorality that puts a person’s soul in danger of eternal damnation (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

1 Comment

i read this article it was great.

an idea: the two categories that man has placed this topic in, egalitarism and complementarism, to me is the issue. we have added to God's teaching to make sense rather than just follow what he says.
we have created these issues, not God. it's the categories that is causing the problems. it's the dogma and doctrine. god's yoke is not burdensome.
essentially we all follow god. i don't follow any man and i won't. i only follow when another person is following properly god. we can know what to follow when we each read the bible and we each follow the holy spirit which we each have. amen. love your website.

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