The enemy is subtle, howbeit we’re deceived?
When the truth’s in our hearts but we still don’t believe. (Bob Dylan)
Structure and Function
Did you know that we are without excuse? Why? Because there are defining qualities that have been imprinted upon and embedded in the very fabric of this world we live in. One of the foremost among them is the reality of gender; yes, male and female. This is clearly evident in our anatomy and physiology. Each of the human reproductive systems proclaims a beautiful and wonderful, even miraculous purpose. Highly sophisticated structure and function complemented and coordinated by irresistible ‘chemistry’ combine to bring man and woman together and, sometimes, to produce the wonder of a newborn child. This natural design has been the foundation of the family from the beginning. It has stood the test of time and it isn’t changing any time soon. Indeed, the truth remains the same – yesterday, today, and tomorrow! No man-made law is ever going to change this biological reality.
In contrast, the human excretory systems, although impressive in their own ways, are starkly different. Despite hanging out in the same neighbourhood, they have a totally different structure and their own specific, targeted chemistry. This is hardly surprising because they clearly have an altogether different function and purpose; to rid the body of unwanted and potentially toxic wastes.
I want to do it my way
Humans are creative creatures and we like to explore and experiment. We’ve made some great discoveries down that road. However, there is a need for wisdom and caution along the way. You can try all kinds of variations in looking after your new car for example. However, if you fail to respect the manufacturer’s directions, your car will inevitably end up back where it came from, towed in on a tilt tray. Nothing you say is going to change the facts that your car’s engine is ruined, the cost of repair is way more than you thought it could be, and no, you are not covered by warranty because you have ignored the manufacturer’s advice. Yes, you are without excuse.
How does this apply to human sexuality and homosexuality in particular? Well, there are some who try and plumb these two distinctly different systems together. Yes, parts of the reproductive system with the excretory! However, this is actually a violation of their inherent ‘design’. It was never intended and it is not covered by the building code. Not only will it void your warranty but the designer doesn’t like it! Why? What’s his problem? Is he just trying to spoil our ‘fun’? No! He knows it’s not just a harmless misuse of His design. He knows it will cause serious problems down the track. That’s why he has given us strong and clear warnings against this behaviour, if you care to read the manufacturer’s handbook, or the medical statistics if you prefer.
Have a look! A Downward Spiral – Handbook
A powerful delusion
Some strong words are used in this New Testament passage. (Romans 1:18 ff). It speaks of the wrath of God, against godlessness and wickedness, people who suppress the truth about God, their futile thinking and darkened hearts. God giving them over to sexual impurity, them degrading their bodies with one another using homosexuality as the example, shameful lusts, unnatural (sexual) relations, men committing shameful acts with other men, inflamed with lust, receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error, and having a depraved mind. The passage continues with many more strong words.
I realize there are some lengthy arguments out there that try hard to make these words mean the exact opposite of what they actually say. Reading them reminded me of two things.
Firstly, the age-old question of the deceiver, ‘did God really say that?’
Secondly, the powerful delusion upon those who have rejected the knowledge of God, described in Romans 1.21.
It is a powerful delusion indeed!
The problem is that when people are deceived they do not realize they are deceived. People don’t knowingly accept a counterfeit $50 bill. No, they believe it to be real and genuine. It might look fine, and lots of other people may have accepted them as well, but it remains worthless. It’s no more than a deceptive distortion of the genuine article. Don’t let that happen to you on this much more important matter.
It’s always helpful to compare our interpretation of any given passage with other passages on the topic. Let’s compare Romans 1 with another warning Paul has given. ‘Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.’ This caution challenges me at several points. Does it challenge you?
Do not be deceived – Handbook
I believe the scriptures show consistency on this topic from start to finish. That is the timeless truth about humanity and marriage that I’d like my children and grandchildren to be taught.