Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Jesus Didn't Say Anything about Homosexuality"

"Jesus Didn't Say Anything about Homosexuality"
by Alan Shlemon

Jesus didn't talk about homosexuality. Does that mean it's okay?

If you’ve ever said that homosexuality is a sin, there’s a good chance that someone tried to correct you with, “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.” It doesn’t matter what Bible verse you believe bolsters your claim, they believe that Jesus’ silence on the matter trumps all other considerations. But there are a number of reasons why this objection doesn’t work.

First, it’s not certain that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. The Gospel writers didn’t record everything that Jesus said – only what they thought was important to their audience. Indeed, most of what Jesus said (and did) was never written down. John 21:25 says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.” It’s possible Jesus did talk about homosexuality, but the Gospel writers didn’t feel it was necessary to include it in their accounts.

Second, it’s clear what Jesus would say about homosexuality if asked. Jesus was an observant Jew who, like all Jews living under the Old Covenant, was bound by the Mosaic Law. That’s why He often referenced it (e.g. Jesus references the two greatest commandments in Matthew 22:37, 39). Therefore, if He was asked what He thought about homosexuality, He would have cited the Levitical prohibitions (Leviticus 18:20 and 20:13) that unequivocally state that homosexual behavior is a sin.

Third, Jesus did not speak about every immoral behavior. Should we infer that drunkenness, child sacrifice, and neglecting the elderly are appropriate since Jesus never said anything about them either? That’s absurd. Jesus addressed moral issues as they arose in conversation with His disciples and opponents. And even then, not every discussion was documented by the Gospel writers.          

Fourth, the argument that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality presumes that the words of Jesus are more authoritative than the words of Scripture elsewhere. But it is the Holy Spirit – God Himself – who inspired all of the Bible, including epistles like Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy where homosexuality is addressed. Moreover, Jesus and the Holy Spirit co-exist in the Godhead and have been in perfect and eternal communion from eternity past. Therefore, we can be confident that Jesus agrees with what the Holy Spirit revealed about moral issues in the Bible.

Jesus’ scriptural silence on homosexuality is not relevant to the moral question. It seems like people are unwilling to accept what the Bible teaches when it conflicts with their own sensibilities.


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