“In the case of homosexuality, pornography, and sex outside of marriage, we need to explain what God’s plan is for human sexuality. The reason there are negatives in the Bible is to protect the positives. God says no to certain sexual behavior because He has a beautiful plan for sexuality He wants us to protect.”
Our culture has moved so far from a biblical worldview that we can’t expect people we talk to about the Gospel to understand even where we’re coming from. It’s foreign. And strange. And odd. And sometimes when we talk about specific issues, like homosexuality, out of the context of the biblical worldview, it just doesn’t make sense to people. They have no background to understand the specifics because they don’t see how it fits.
As Christians representing God’s Word, we have to be able to explain the bigger picture. In the case of homosexuality, pornography, and sex outside of marriage, we need to explain what God’s plan is for human sexuality. The reason there are negatives in the Bible is to protect the positives. God says no to certain sexual behavior because He has a beautiful plan for sexuality He wants us to protect. The Bible isn’t prudish or down on sex, it’s actually very affirmative and positive for the design God created. Instead of always saying no to sexual issues our culture pushes, we need to be able to show the tremendous yes God says to sex.
Author Rosaria Butterfield has said that you can’t give a good answer to a bad question. When confronted with direct questions about what the Bible teaches about sex, you probably need to answer a somewhat different question to give a good answer. Instead of answering the question, “What does the Bible teach about being gay?” it might be more effective to help the asker actually understand the answer if you respond to the more relevant question, “What does the Bible teach is God’s design for sex?” In that context, the answer to the question he asked will make more sense.
Sam Allberry: I think that the principle I try to work under is whenever the Bible gives us a prohibition, the question I want to ask is, what is the positive thing that prohibition protects? Whenever the Bible gives us a negative, there is always a bigger positive that that negative is an expression of. What the Bible says about homosexuality only really makes sense in the light of what the Bible says about marriage, and more than that, what the Bible says marriage means. We see in the Bible that we have a marriage at the beginning with Adam and Eve and we have a marriage at the end with Christ and His Church.
Throughout the Bible, the first marriage is used as a picture of the second marriage. It’s that vision for human marriage being a picture, being a foretaste, of the relationship between Christ and the Church that actually makes sense of why Christians have the definition of marriage that they do and why the Bible has the sexual ethics that it does.
Within that framework, we can see why the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman, and why the Bible says sex is for such a marriage, and that being the only context in which God has designed sex to be a blessing. Homosexuality—and what the Bible says about homosexuality—is just one outworking of that vision for marriage that we see straight through the whole of the Bible.
Greg Koukl: I think of what Jesus said in Matthew 19, and the way I sum it up is one man with one woman becoming one flesh for one lifetime.
Sam Allberry: Absolutely, yes.