Monday, December 15, 2014

“To Murder All Homosexuals” - A Biblical Teaching?

            On 3rd December 2014 a pastor was reported predicting ‘AIDS free Christmas’ if all homosexuals are killed, “A Baptist pastor in Tempe, Arizona called for the mass extermination of LGBT people on Sunday in a sermon entitled “AIDS: The Judgement of God.” In the sermon, which was uploaded to YouTube on Monday from Faithful Word Baptist Church, Pastor Steven Anderson said that God has ordered in the scriptures that gays should be killed, and that if humanity wants to have an “AIDS-free world by Christmas,” he said, that’s what should be done.

            “Turn to Leviticus 20:13,” he says in the video, “because I actually discovered the cure for AIDS.” “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them,” Anderson read aloud. “And that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS,” he said. …Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant”…There will never be any gays in his church, he said, not ever, ever, ever. “No homos will ever be allowed in this church as long as I am pastor here,” he insisted...”1

            (Leviticus 20: 13 in New International Version translation is, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”)  

            Some key questions, in this context, should be addressed, and they are:

1. Are the Old Testament Laws Applicable Today?

            Not all Old Testament laws are applicable to Christians today.

            God did not intend Old Testament laws to be timeless ethical codes. God gave Israel laws that were appropriate to their historical circumstances.2 

            Consider divorce as a case in point. Divorce was permissible under the Old Testament law (Deuteronomy 24: 1-4), but Christ revised the law on divorce. First, HE said that divorce was not God’s ideal for marriage established at creation (Matthew 19: 8). Second, Christ taught that sexual immorality could be the only reason for divorce (Matthew 5: 32, 19:9).

            The Old Testament law on divorce was only appropriate to the morally calloused hearts of the Israelites, for Christ radically narrowed the scope for divorce.

            Furthermore, some Old Testament laws do not apply to the life of a Christian (e.g. circumcision: Acts 15 & 1 Corinthians 7: 19). 

            Advocates for homosexuality strive to legitimize homosexuality by claiming that none of the Old Testament laws are applicable to Christians today. They refer to Paul’s argument that he was no longer under the law (1 Corinthians 9: 20) to legitimize homosexuality as permissible by God.

            While striving to legitimize homosexuality in Christianity, these heretics ignore the verses from the New Testament (verses written by Paul) that deem homosexuality as sin (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9). Since both the Old and the New Testament deem homosexuality as sin, mankind, especially Christians, should not indulge in homosexuality.

2. Does God Desire the Death of Homosexuals?

            God did say what HE said in Leviticus 20:13.  Leviticus 20:13 teaches that homosexuality is sin, and death is the punishment or consequence for homosexuality.

            The New Testament affirms death for sin (Romans 6: 23). The only difference between the theocratic-then (divine governance: God ruled Israel directly then) and the non-theocratic-now (human governance within God’s absolute control) is the timing of God’s judgment.

            Judgment [for homosexuality] was immediate in the theocratic-then. But now it could happen in the present (e.g. death due to AIDS) or in the future – when Christ will judge mankind once and for all.

            Unless man repents and believes in Christ, whose perfect sacrifice will save everyone who believes in HIM from sin, the sinful man will eternally die for the sake of his sin, be it homosexuality or any other sin.

3. Should Homosexuals be Murdered Today?

            No, the Bible does not teach that homosexuals should be killed now.

            If Levitical laws are to be considered today, then each of them needs to be followed. For instance, all adulterers should be murdered as well (Leviticus 20: 10).

            God was not solely biased against the homosexuals that HE pronounced death sentence against them. In fact, God was against any form of sex outside the precincts of marriage, which is precisely why adultery was also judged with a death sentence.

            We would do well to recollect that Israel was a theocratic society when God handed down the Levitical laws to Israel. The period of theocracy has ceased ever since Israel rejected God’s rule over them. God then gave the Israelites over to human kings (1 Samuel 8: 4-9). (Theocracy will once again be established when the Lord Jesus will rule again from Jerusalem in the future for 1000 years.)

            Since we are no longer a theocratic society, God has commanded us to submit to the governing authorities. So we submit to the laws established by the governing authorities (Romans 13: 1-7).

            Christians are not called to take the law into our own hands. Christians are called to submit to the righteous rulers who govern for the good of the people.

            Since there are no laws promulgating death upon homosexuals today, homosexuals should not be murdered. Everything that’s immoral or that which is a sin against a Holy God cannot be judged with death or termed illegal in a non-theocratic society we live in now. Thus, calling for the murder of homosexuals is unbiblical, insane and depicts a distortion of the Bible.

            Homosexuality is a violation of God’s creational intent. God created man and woman for sexual intercourse, therefore homosexual relationship, as an aberration of the creational intent, is an assault on God.

            God has assured in HIS Word that homosexual offenders will not inherit God’s Kingdom. Murdering homosexuals will deprive them of an opportunity to repent and renounce homosexuality. Moreover, it is God who has the sole right to take life off the earth.

            Hence, it is our bounden responsibility to love homosexuals so to lead them to Christ by whose presence and power they could renounce the sinful practice of homosexuality.

4. Are All Homosexuals Pedophiles?

            The pastor from Arizona termed homosexuals as pedophiles (an adult who is sexually attracted to young children). The term pedophile does not apply to homosexuals, since homosexuals, by definition, indulge in same sex relationships, and normatively are not pedophiles.  

5. Should The Church Marry Homosexuals?

            Obviously not. The church should not marry homosexuals.

            The Bible deems homosexuality as sin (Cf. Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22, 20: 13; Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9); hence the church should not encourage sins. Consequently, the church should not marry homosexuals.

            Sadly, quite a few churches marry homosexuals and even ordain and appoint pastors who practice homosexuality. Similarly Evangelicals concerned is a movement that seeks to legitimize homosexuality in Christianity.

            Those striving to legitimize homosexuality in Christianity misinterpret the verses from the Bible that deem homosexuality as sin so to render homosexuality as a God-approved practice. This hermeneutical distortion is a sin since it falsifies God’s Word to misrepresent God.

            They also deceptively emphasize that to love your neighbor is to love their sins and encourage them in their sins. If we apply their faulty interpretation to human existence, then one should legitimize all the sins e.g. greed, slander, drunkenness, adultery, theft and what not.

6. Could Practicing Homosexuals Worship In Church?

            Church is a congregation of sinners. There is none righteous in the church (Cf. Ecclesiastes 7: 20, Romans 3: 10).

            Consider this verse, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, NIV).

            Minimally, the church includes greedy, drunkards, slanderers and thieves (those who use their workplace resources for personal and other gains could be considered as thieves). If these sinners can worship the Lord and be in positions of leadership in the local church, then why can’t practicing homosexuals worship the Lord in the church?

            If practicing homosexuals are denied access to the church, then how can one expect them to renounce homosexuality? What then is the ministry of the local church?

            A key role of the church is to edify its worshippers. In other words, a greedy person who worships in the church should renounce the sin of greed by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the ministry of the church.

            Similarly, a practicing homosexual or a prostitute should renounce their sins through the ministry of the church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Renouncing sins is more likely possible when the church ministers to the sinner in Christ’s love and the power of the Holy Spirit.

            Therefore, the church should graciously and lovingly include practicing sinners in its community and that includes practicing homosexuals as well.      



2 For a detailed study, please refer to Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster?

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