Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) gave a speech on the floor of the House on Wednesday, June 8, about Republican-led bills that he said targeted LGBTQ+ rights.
Before ending his speech, Lieu said, "I just thought I would now recite for you what Jesus Christ said about homosexuality." Then, while the media continued to record, Lieu remained dramatically silent for about 20 seconds before ending his speech by saying, "I yield back."
Lieu is an educated man and very familiar with the teachings of Jesus, as well as those of the leadership of his own church. By suggesting that because Jesus never actually used the word for "homosexual" in the Bible He therefore approved of the sinful practice, he is being deceitful and duplicitous.
He is willfully misleading his congressional colleagues and his liberal constituents back home in the beach communities of western Los Angeles County.
"In the Beginning"
Lieu knows better. He knows that Jesus challenged critics, "'Haven't you read,' he replied, 'that at the beginning the Creator "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh"?'" (Matt. 19:4-5, NIV).
Jesus' words took the critics back past the giving of the Jewish Law to Moses to the original creative order with Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:27; 2:24). Jesus spoke of them as a binary pair, male and female, designed to fit together physically, spiritually and emotionally in a committed relationship before God, as husband and wife. In this one passage, Jesus laid out the righteous response to our modern, misguided debates about gender identity and same-sex "marriages."
Lieu's "cut and paste" theology also conveniently overlooks the clear teaching of Christ's apostles on this subject. The apostle Paul told the Romans that as people continue to reject God, He gives them up to increasingly immoral and destructive decisions and actions (Rom. 1:24-28). He also confirmed that those who practice such things will be judged by a righteous God, along with those who "approve of those who practice them" (1:32; 2:2-3).
No Option B
The apostle taught no "option B" for variations of homosexual practice.
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error" (Rom. 1:26-27).
"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 Cor. 6:9-10).
The expression "men who have sex with men" translates two Greek words that refer to the passive participants (catamites) and active homosexuals (sodomites), those who are the aggressive participants in homosexual acts. These are among those listed as the "wrongdoers" or "unrighteous" who will not inherit the kingdom of God.
These sexual practices are not just relative, lifestyle choices. They are disqualifying, habitual and lifestyle sins, with the same ultimate danger as to the wicked who have never known God nor His Son, Jesus Christ.
Pastor Jack Hayford comments in his Spirit-Filled Life Bible at this verse that "As [Paul's] point is to arrest their attention and stop their deception, he does not address the question as to when such practiced behavior causes saints to cross the line to being 'disinherited' in God's sight, nor does he draw conclusions regarding the issue of Christians yet caught in the struggle of these sinful habits but who sincerely desire freedom." (See Romans 7:7-25 and Pastor Hayford's related footnotes in the SFL Bible.)
These issues were more directly reviewed when Paul led the Corinthians to acknowledge that "such were some of you" (1 Cor. 6:11, KJV). Habitual sensual sins can gain a strong power over us even though we have been spiritually cleansed from sin ("washed"), set apart for God's exclusive use ("sanctified") and made right in God's sight ("justified").
Paul taught the Romans that sensual thoughts and actions continue to tempt us to obey sin's power and practices (Rom. 7:14-24) . But we who are saved "in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" are empowered by the active agency of the abiding Holy Spirit to call us to holiness and help us live according to who we are in Christ (1 Cor. 6:11, NIV; 2 Cor. 7:1).
In 1 Corinthians 6:13, Paul explained that our redeemed bodies are not for sexual immorality but for the Lord. Instead of succumbing to sexual temptations, we should preclusively "flee sexual immorality" (v. 18a, NASB). Interestingly, Paul says individuals who commit sexual immorality sin against their own bodies (v. 18b).
The Greek word for the phrase "commit sexual immorality" is porneuo. Do you see the root word there? It is porn—the shared root of the English word pornography. Make sense?
Pornography, in all its forms and practices in our sexually saturated society, is a massively corrupting factor. It can pollute our minds and prompt sexual immorality, whether in our thoughts or practices. No wonder we are told to "flee sexual immorality."
Paul even goes on to advise that "because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband" (1 Cor. 7:2, LEB). Intimate, physical expression of love and affection is to be reserved for heterosexual marriage and its covenant commitment between God, the husband and the wife (1 Cor. 5:1; Heb. 13:4).
I pray that Rep. Ted Lieu—and others like him—will learn "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" about this important subject, including where Jesus said, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:32, NIV; 1 John 3:7-9).
Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys, California, Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms.
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