A Conservative Christian Answer to the "Flow Chart That Destroys Religion's Case Against Gay Marriage." Spoiler Alert: It Is Easily Defended Against. Read How I Do So Here.
A chart going around social media can be found on this link. You may wish to go to this link to familiarize yourself with common objections coming from the pro-gay activist side of the gay marriage debate. I will be answering it in detail below.
Be forewarned: this site is a pro-gay activist site that mocks Christians who believe in traditional marriage. Here is the image that appears on that site.
It purports to show the absurdity of believing that homosexuality is a sin from the Bible.
The first thing I would like to say about this chart is that its design is not to inform but to mock. It is inflammatory in nature. It is found on a site called queerty.com which is bold and brash in its presentation of homosexuality even as it mocks those of faith who oppose homosexual practice. Therefore, I must say that to respond to the chart is an act of grace since the chart presents conservative Christians as a whole as hypocrites to the maximum degree who don’t know their Bibles. Even the use of, or near use of, profanity by the “Christian” strawman presented in the graphic is meant to offend, not inform. However, since it uses a throw everything including the bathroom sink kind of approach, it is a useful tool to answer the arguments presented therein.
The first thing it says as an objection is that Jesus never mentioned gay marriage. Jesus also didn’t mention marijuana, beating one’s wife, going over the speed limit, child molestation, serial killing, I don’t think he mentioned extortion and a whole host of other sins. It is always a case of sloppy biblical interpretation to argue from silence.
To approach that objection from another angle, Jesus did speak of marriage. In Matthew 19, when being asked about divorce Christ went back to Genesis (in the Old Testament, which apparently Jesus felt worth quoting from and referencing literally but is a cardinal sin in the pro-gay rights camp to do so). See Jesus’ literal approach to Jonah as recorded in Matthew 12:40 (yes, Jesus apparently bought that whale of a story) for another example (and those are just two).
“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6 (NKJV)
So, Jesus defines both gender identity and marriage in one statement and He uses God’s words in Genesis as the authority in doing so. As for genders, he identified two: the male and female gender as God created them. Marriage is defined as a man leaving his parents and being joined to his wife and those two becoming one flesh.
It is true that Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality but this argument can cut both ways. One could say that this means he didn’t condemn or forbid it (but that would mean Jesus would contradict both Leviticus [a part of the Law that God instituted and Jesus is God, thus He’s contradicting Himself] and Paul in Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, a very unlikely scenario). It could also be said that Jesus not mentioning it is because it isn’t marriage as God designed it, so it had nothing to do with the marriage or the divorce question thus not warranting a mention. That one flesh union then is the exclusive domain of a one man and one woman union, incapable of existing in any other form, whether male and male or female and female.
Then there is the argument that Leviticus also prohibits the eating of pork (another argument replaces pork with shellfish). The logical bridge attempted here is that if Christians eat bacon or shellfish and yet prohibit homosexuality, then they are picking and choosing what to accept and not accept and are therefore hypocrites. From a homosexual “rights” point of view, the implication is that both views on the eating of pork or shellfish and the views on homosexuality are antiquated and not God’s view at all but man’s wrong perception of God’s demands that we more enlightened modern people have long ago rejected.
What this line of argument fails to do is to distinguish between Israel and the Church, the Law and Grace and between dietary laws and moral laws. First of all, the Law was given to Old Testament Israel, not to the Church. Secondly, the Law had the role of showing every person’s condition without Christ, lost and headed for God’s judgment. On the other hand, grace through Jesus demonstrated that despite our sinful condition and deserving of God’s judgment, Jesus took that punishment on Himself rather than exacting that penalty on the perpetrator.
The distinguishing between dietary laws and moral laws is something I want to dwell on more. Israel’s dietary laws were exclusively for God’s people the Jews under the Mosaic Law. There is no reiteration of them for the New Testament Church that Christ created upon His death and resurrection. However, the moral law is repeated in the New Testament. Both testaments prohibit murder, both prohibit adultery, both encourage the honoring of father and mother, both prohibit coveting and on and on. This is because God doesn’t change. The only thing that changed is that now that Christ came, He offered Himself as our substitute. Thus He could both tell the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more while also not consenting to her being stoned to death. The reason is that her faith in Him would mean that Jesus would bear that punishment on her behalf on the cross. The Law had no mercy but God’s grace through Jesus showed plenty of mercy.
Note that prohibitions of the marking of one’s body (Lev. 19:28) are not forbidden in the New Testament as they are in the Law in the Old Testament. Besides, I’m not sure you can conclusively call them tattoos though modern translations make that interpretation using a dynamic equivalence method. It’s possible that the markings in the body have everything to do with idol worship, as perhaps does the harlotry mentioned in Lev. 19:29 (temple prostitution was a prevalent problem in the ancient Near East, including Israel) and the cutting of one’s skin (also Lev. 19:28) as a method to shed blood and show seriousness of one’s worship to a false god (see the Baal worshipers and Elijah on Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings 18, especially verse 28).
1 Peter 3:3 is the passage in question as to the argument that the Bible also forbids gold rings. This is a blatant pulling out of context to mock the Christian rather than interpret the Bible. 1 Peter 3 is speaking to Christian wives of non-Christian husbands and how to seek to influence them for Jesus. They were encouraged to avoid the emphasis on the exterior but to instead focus on the interior. Thus the reference to adorning oneself with gold.
The only thing this chart gets right is the sanctity of marriage to the point of until death do you part. While Jesus addressed an exception clause of sexual immorality, obviously, like the culture that surrounds American believers, the writer is correct that too many Christian marriages have ended short of the ideal. Without being a biblical ending to the marriage, i.e. according to the exception Jesus gave, then the maker of the graph is right that the person sinned. However, I know of more than one divorced and/or remarried Christian that regrets the decision to divorce. The continual celebrating of it would be a grave sin indeed of unrepentance. The wonderful thing about grace is that Jesus provides forgiveness for all of our sins, whether they be the sin of ending a marriage that could have been reconciled or one’s past homosexual practices or sins closer to home for me or for other believers who believe the Scriptures and seek to follow God’s commands, albeit imperfectly.
The gospel is the bad news about our sin and our deserving of hell followed by the good news that Jesus offered Himself as our substitute. Those who accept the gift of God’s love through Jesus, have their sins forgiven. Those who spurn His love and seek their own way will stand before God in their own unrighteousness and will go to the place where all who rejected God’s love go.
I hope that this proves helpful to you in grappling with what the Bible teaches and doesn’t teach about homosexuality, shellfish, pork, gold apparel and more. And incidentally, 1 Cor. 6:9-11 ends with this (after mentioning such sins as homosexual sex, adultery and slander as ones that keep the offender out of the kingdom of God): “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Let me conclude with two thoughts from that passage. Yes, you are right to see homosexual practices condemned alongside other sins that even heterosexuals commit. Please note that saying that others are guilty and deserving of God’s punishment too doesn’t negate one’s own culpability even in proving a point. The other thing I wish for you to see is that God says you can change. “And such WERE some of you …” So, people can repent and be free from being slanderers, be free from stealing anymore, be free from committing adultery, and yes, even be free of homosexual practice.