Jesus’s View on Biblical Sexual Ethics Has Not Shifted

(Robert A. J. Gagnon) A FB friend has notified me that he is no longer in “the same theological space or belief” on the issue of homosexual practice. This is what I have written to him:

You identify yourself as “gay” (presumably self-affirming) in the Tik Tok video linked to on your FB page. There you mourn the breakup of your family that presumably resulted from this self-identification. Your self-identifier on your FB page uses the hashtag “faithfully lgbtq.” You are doubtlessly faithful to that cause, but you cannot be simultaneously faithful to Jesus.

An assured result of historical study of Jesus is that Jesus based a limitation of two persons to a marriage (and thus of any sexual union) on the God-ordained male-female binary, which he viewed as foundational for all sexual ethics. For Jesus (and for the writers of Scripture generally) God intentionally designed two, and only two, sexes to be sexual counterparts or complements.

Your shift of position is to a view that Jesus would have treated as heretical. It also treats your masculinity as only half-intact in relation to other males, which in Paul’s view was an act of self-dishonor and self-degradation (Rom 1:24-27).

I notice also your presenting FB page photo of a billboard that states “You are not going to hell” with “John 3:17” written underneath that claim. You have entirely misinterpreted John 3:17.

True, Jesus did not come into the world in order to condemn people. He could have stayed “home” if that was the purpose of his mission on earth. His atoning death on the cross and life-giving resurrection were all designed to save people, but only for those who believe in him so that Jesus can live his life in them (John 3:16, 18). Those who choose not to believe in him remain condemned and in darkness (3:18-21).

It is essential that you not “proof text” so as to hear only what you want to hear, but rather that you read in context. I recommend to you that you not treat Jesus as little more than a cipher into which you impute your own ideology irrespective of what the text of Scripture actually says.

Your change of position will not change God’s position. It will just lead to self-deception and deception of others. Face the fact that Jesus is the very last person in the world who would have given up a male-female prerequisite as foundational for sexual ethics. There was no more rigorous applier of the standard of a sexual binary for sexual ethics in the ancient world than Jesus. Don’t mistake Jesus’ loving outreach to the lost as an embrace of their immorality.

There will be people saying that their love for you is demonstrated by their approval of your decision to live a “gay” life. They will be lying, possibly to themselves, certainly to you. Love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices together with the truth” (1 Cor 13:6).

Anything that promotes behavior contrary to God’s will is by definition unloving. For they do not love you more than the Father and the Son, and the Father and the Son are warning you not to head down a path that leads to destruction.

If you would like to discuss these matters further, with an aim to a better understanding of the Jesus of Scriptures, I would be happy to talk to you.


The Bible and Homosexuality – What Does the Bible Say? Video by Stand to Reason

Posted by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Professor of Theology at Houston Christian University, on his Facebook page.

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