There is a lot of talk these days about sexuality and something called “gender identity”. Christians who believe the Bible are not only automatically disqualified by the world from discussions on these topics due to their presumed prudishness and/or ignorance, but also we who believe what God said in His Word are often immediately cast as haters of those caught up in these issues, judgmental and self-righteous in our condemnation of someone just wanting to be and love who one wants. But is that fair? All of us have sinned, maybe most of us have fallen in this specific area, so having lived through doing things “our way” and now in hindsight seeing the damage we did to ourselves and our loved ones, we should have the wisdom to help others in love…so why aren’t we? Here with us today to teach us about God’s original plan and His will for us in these areas is teacher and author of the book, Broken Yet Blessed, Kathi McCarty.Can we trust that we’ll still be loved by God, our spouse, and others if they see who I really am? Click To Tweet
Table Talk Notes
Suitability: God takes from one to fashion another
Pattern of one is found in another.
Gen 2:21-23 | So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Man is made from earth: We eat, breath, go back to, and derive sensorial pleasure from the earth.
We are suitable to the earth because the “pattern” of earth is in us.
(Man is made of the same elements as earth possesses – oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, magnesium…)
God breathed life into man: Gen 2:7 – we have a sameness with God that even the angels don’t have:
Gen 2:7 | …then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
We are suitable to God because the “pattern” of God is in us.
Woman is formed from man: She is suitable to man because his pattern (a rib) in in her.
Although males and females are the same by pattern, we’re different by design. Those differences evoke attraction and passion. It is the pattern of suitability that brings satisfaction.
God’s blueprint was that we would be drawn back to, and long for, that from which we have come; that from which we receive the pattern.
So, how do we explain homosexuality?
A biblical understanding of sexuality
1. All humans are sinful.
All people are stricken with a terminal illness: sin. Everyone. No exceptions and to the same degree. Our sin demands our repentance and needs forgiveness, and God’s love and grace are where we find both. This is basic Christianity and the great equalizer of all people.
2. Jesus wasn’t silent on homosexuality.
Jesus was unequivocal in saying that to understand marriage and the sexual union, we must go back to the beginning and see how God created humanity and to what end. (See Matthew 19 and Mark 10.) Jesus holds up the creation story in Genesis as authoritative — reminding us that God created each of us male and female, each for the other. And the sexual union that God created and ordains is for husband and wife to come together in physical union, one flesh.
3. There is only one option.
Both Jesus and all of scripture approve of no other sexual union than that between a husband and wife. This is the uncontested historical teaching of Judaism and Christianity, and it is not something that true Christianity is free to adjust with the times. Yes, concubines and multiple wives are found in the Bible, but doesn’t make them “biblical.” In fact, they violate the Genesis narrative Christ points us to.
4. Male and female complete God’s image on earth.
The first chapter of the Jewish and Christian scriptures tells us that humanity is uniquely created to show forth the image of God in the world through two very similar but distinct types of humans: male and female. They are human universals, not cultural constructs.
When God said that it “is not good that the man be alone” (Genesis 2:18 He was saying that the male could not really know himself as male without a human “other” who equally shared his humanity. In both Jewish and Christian belief, both male and female become fully human in their correspondence and contrast with one another. This does not happen solely in marriage, but it does happen most profoundly and mysteriously in marriage.
5. Sex is indeed about babies.
Not every male/female sexual engagement is toward the end of procreation — intimacy and pleasure matter as well — still, it has been the overwhelming norm and desire in nearly all marital relationships throughout time. That some couples are infertile either by age or incapability does not diminish or challenge this reality. It is the fact of same-sex unions, a human cul-de-sac. Heterosexual union reaches into and creates the next generation. To establish a sexual relationship without any interest in or openness to babies is contrary to God’s intention for such relationships.
6. Children have a right to a mother and father.
Every person ever born can track his origin to a mother and a father. There are no exceptions, including those artificially produced. This was the first command God gave to the first two humans: to come together and bring forth the coming generations of new divine image-bearers. Nearly all cultures in all places in the world at all historical times hold as fundamental that every child should be loved and raised by a mother and father. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes a mother and father as a basic right of every child.
7. Same-sex attraction is not a sin.
To be human is to have a disordered sexuality. We all have some manner of sexual appetite that compels us to disobey God’s design for sexuality. But, while temptation is universal, it’s different from sin. Scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, but did not sin (see Hebrews 4:15). Sexual sin is giving in to that desire in either mind or body. Faithful Christian discipleship cannot avoid temptation, but it strives to resist and master it with God’s help.
Many are indeed same-sex attracted, but live obediently within a Christian sexual ethic. It can be difficult, as it is for heterosexuals who are required to live in celibacy. Christianity requires that we each subjugate our sexual (and many other) desires to our faith commitment — and countless same-sex attracted believers do so willingly and joyfully.
8. Sexual intimacy is not a right.
Every Christian has limitations placed on his sexuality. For married Christians, it is exclusive to one’s spouse. For single, engaged, and divorced Christians, it is abstinence, no exceptions. Is it unfair for so many to be forced into a life that cannot know the wonder and beauty of physical intimacy just because marriage is not an option for them? Is it fair for a Christian to be stuck in a loveless marriage? Christians have long understood that fairness is not really the question. Sex is not a right, but a gift — and the giver knows what is best for us.
9. Rewriting God’s rules is never an option.
One of the marks of a Christian is his or her desire to be obedient to Christ’s teaching. Certainly most of us would like to rewrite the scriptures to make life easier. I would change where Christ says that lust is the same as doing the deed. Christianity is a demanding faith. The scriptures define and change us, not the other way around. A biblical sexual ethic does not, indeed cannot, change with the times.
10. People are more than their sexuality.
To identify people by their sexuality is to reduce people to their sexuality. Every individual is so much more. A person’s inherent and undeniable value is rooted in his membership in humanity, not his particularity, sexual or otherwise. To advocate for extending rights to someone based in particular and occasionally mutable desires, relationships, and behaviors — as important as they might be to the individual — is actually a violation of the principle of universal human rights.
© 2014 Abbreviated by Kathi McCarty from a paper written by Greg Stanton, Focus on the Family
Three forms of suitability:
- Man to earth
- Man to woman
- Mankind to God
We are patterned after God. He is passionate about us. The original glory was for us to be passionate about Him.
Suitability was designed, by God, to be satisfying. We long to go back to what we were made from. This paradigm is what we call intimacy. Women complain that husbands aren’t more emotionally intimate. Men complain that wives aren’t more physically intimate.
What happened? Why do we resist intimacy?
The fall brought into mankind a love of independence. The spirit behind independence is a two-pronged spirit of fear:
- A fear of being revealed
- A fear of losing control
True intimacy with God and one another requires trust. There is no place for ungodly independence.
Gen 3: 1-5 | Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Eve was deceived into believing she would lose her perceived control (and subsequently added to the Word of the Lord). Adam hid himself for fear of being found naked (being exposed for who he now knew he was)
Can we trust that we’ll still be loved by God, our spouse, and others if they see who I really am?
Being in control is an illusion. If we are not submitted to the will of God, we are serving the kingdom of darkness, either overtly or be default. Our sense of “losing control” sets us up for anxiety and depression:
Anxiety/depression defined: The fruit of our awareness that we have no control over our life. The recognition that the “god” on the throne of our life is incapable of taking care of us, because that “god” is us.
True intimacy requires trust. For many of us, trust is broken early in life, or violated in some manner in life’s journey. How did our ability to be sexually intimate get violated?True intimacy requires trust. Click To Tweet
The enemy ALWAYS perverts/counterfeits God’s intentions. God created our sexuality to be imprinted by the covenant experience.
Gen 2:24: A man must leave, cleave, and become one with his wife: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
To cleave (cling or stick to) anyone before a covenant relationship is established is to imprint your sexuality.
Imprinting is an indication of legitimacy/authenticity. (much like wax and signet ring on a document or letter) Our sexuality was designed by God to be imprinted only ONCE, by a covenant partner. Our “desire,” then, becomes only for one another. (eg. Solomon – I’m my beloved’s and his desire is for me)
Sexual experiences prior to a covenant partner:
- Imprints us w/wrong things (porn, masturbation, etc)
- We desire to go back to our 1st imprinting even if it is perverted.
- Repetition imprints us deeper & deeper into the wrong stuff
Prov 5:16-23 | Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.
- 1Kings 3:1 – Solomon married Pharoah’s daughter – a good Jewish boy’s 1st imprinting
- 1 Kings 11:1 – Solomon “loved many foreign women” because of his 1st imprinting, and they turned his heart away from God.
SO WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
Jer 30:17 – He restores health and heals wounds: 17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’
1 Jn 1:8-10 – Confess and be cleansed: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word isn’t in us.
Shame must be released by confession, and breaking agreement with the enemy. Jesus’ blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness.