Should Homosexuals Be Put to Death?
In the Friday Church News Notes for August 10, 2012, we published the following:
HOMOSEXUALS AGAINST JESUS. It is popular among homosexual activists to claim that Jesus didn’t say anything against homosexuality, but this is pure nonsense. Jesus upheld the law of Moses, saying: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19). The law of Moses forbad homosexual activity in the strongest terms. In fact, it was a capital offense. “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” (Leviticus 20:13). Those are the words of the very law that Jesus came to fulfill, which He did by living a perfectly righteous life in our stead and dying to pay the price demanded by the law for man’s sins. Further, Jesus upheld the original marriage covenant of Genesis 2. When asked about His position on divorce, Jesus replied: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6). Thus, Jesus plainly upheld “traditional” one man/one woman marriage. Homosexual activists aren’t just opposed to a few “hard-nosed” Christians, they are opposed to Jesus Himself, at whose name “every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and ... every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10).
In response to this I received the following accusation:
“Mr. Cloud, I just read your article titled ‘HOMOSEXUALS AGAINST JESUS’ and I am aghast that you are promoting Capital Punishment for homosexuals. You will probably try to spin it differently by claiming that it is Leviticus that is promoting this view and not you but this is just a smokescreen. You are clearly in favour of the dictate in Leviticus that homosexuals be put to death and if you and your ilk were in control you would affect that into law. You are a very dangerous and evil man. Society can ill afford to have your religious fundamentalist poison gain a position of power as it did in medieval Europe and as it does now in the depraved theocracies of the Islamic countries. I am looking towards the day that your dangerous world view is a distant relic of a humanity that has matured both spiritually and intellectually. I may not live to see that day but that day is surely coming. There is nothing in that article where you explicitly or implicitly state that you are opposed to death to homosexuals. Any reasonable person will conclude from that article that you are in full agreement with Leviticus.”
BROTHER CLOUD’S REPLY
Had this man written to ask whether or not I believe that homosexuals should be put to death, this matter could have been cleared up without all of the venom and slander that was unleashed in his e-mail.
Any "reasonable person" will read an article in the context of its objective as well as in the context of what the author has stated elsewhere.
I do not believe that homosexuals should be put to death.
I have written 200 books and many hundreds of articles over a period of nearly 40 years, and you will not find a statement anywhere that I believe that the government should put homosexuals to death. Or adulterers, for that matter.
The one simple objective of that brief Friday News article was to refute four interrelated myths that are perpetrated by homosexual activists today: the myth that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality and that He would not oppose homosexual marriage, the myth that God doesn’t look upon homosexuality as a sin, the myth that the Bible is not opposed to homosexual “marriage,” and the myth that the God of the Old Testament is not the Jesus of the New Testament.
I have always interpreted the Bible in a consistent dispensational manner. We do not live under the law of Moses. That law was given to the Jews to prepare for the coming of Christ, to show men that God is a holy judge and that we are condemned sinners, and to lead men to salvation in Christ. See Romans 3:19-24; Galatians 3:10-14, 24.
We do not live under the law of Moses nor do we live in a Theocracy. The Roman Catholic Church that ruled "in medieval Europe" was a false church that brought great reproach to the name of Christ by its unscriptural actions. I have stated this in many articles and in major books such as "Rome and the Bible." The Protestants who established city states and placed the citizens under the law of Moses, such as the city state that Calvin set up in Geneva, were unscriptural churches. The Protestant churches in the early history of America that put witches to death were unscriptural churches. They were guilty of the heresy of "replacement theology" whereby they wrongly considered the church to be the replacement of Israel.
I have spoken against the reconstructionism movement that is trying to “transform the culture for Christ” as well as against the “kingdom now” movement that is trying to build the kingdom of God in this present world. I have argued that these programs are based on dispensational confusion. We must know the times. (See “Transforming Culture: Beware of Truth in Action” and “The Kingdom of God” at the Way of Life web site -- www.wayoflife.org.)
In His mercy, God is in the saving business today. This is the age of worldwide gospel preaching. Jesus was born under the law of Moses that He might fulfill the requirements of the law in the place of sinners. He came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). The Good News that the Son of God died for man’s sins and that eternal salvation is available by repentance and faith is to be preached to every person in every nation in this age.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).
This has been God’s program for 2,000 years, since Christ ascended back to heaven. Any sinner can be saved.
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:3-6).
When James and John wanted to call down fire upon those who rejected Jesus, He rebuked them:
“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village” (Luke 9:54-56).
Jesus plainly taught that we are not living in the time of the prophet Elijah under the Old Testament law.
I have devoted 39 of my 62 years to preaching the gospel to every type of sinner, more than 20 of those years in South Asia. I have spent hundreds of hours preaching the gospel from house to house, in jails, in city parks, on military bases, on university campuses, in the market places, at Hindu and Buddhist temples. My passion is to see men saved, not to see them destroyed, and that goes for all types of men and women of every religious and moral persuasion. Before God, all men are in the same boat. They are sinners in need of the Saviour.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one ... For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23).
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
The New Testament instructs us to be zealous in preaching the gospel because the opportunity for salvation can end at any time. There must be a sense of urgency on the part of those who proclaim the gospel and on the part of those who hear it.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:9-10).
Any sinner is welcome to attend our church services, because our goal is to invite all people to God’s salvation. On any given week we have adulterers, homosexuals, polygamists, idolaters, thieves, liars, and demon possessed people in our church services.
Anyone is welcome to attend the services to hear the preaching of God’s Word, but church membership requires salvation and evidence of the new birth. This is what we see in the early churches, such as the first church at Jerusalem. See Acts 2:42. The membership of the church of Corinth is described as follows:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
The membership of the early churches was composed of sinners of all types who had been forgiven and converted by the power of God, so that they were new creatures in Christ. They weren’t sinless, but they were on a new path and had a new life and walked according to a new rule.
We follow in the footsteps of the early churches in requiring spiritual conversion for membership.
To repeat what was stated earlier, the simple objective of that brief Friday News article was to refute four interrelated myths that are perpetrated by homosexual activists today: the myth that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality and that He would not oppose homosexual marriage, the myth that God doesn’t look upon homosexuality as a sin, the myth that the Bible is not opposed to homosexual “marriage,” and the myth that the God of the Old Testament is not the Jesus of the New Testament.
Jesus is Almighty God. He is Jehovah God. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He said, “I and my Father are one.” God gave the law from Mt. Sinai as an act of compassion to show men His great holiness and His hatred of sin that we might see our fallen, condemned condition. He then came into the world as Immanuel or God with us, given the name of Jesus, meaning Saviour, to die on the cross and shed His blood to pay the price that His own holy law demands. It’s as if a criminal stands before the judge and is condemned by the law, but the judge comes down from the bench and takes the condemned’s place in judgment. That is who Jesus is and that is what Jesus did.
Salvation is available for all who acknowledge that they are sinners and who come by faith in Christ’s cross-work, but there is no salvation for those who pretend that their sin is not sin, regardless of what their sin might be.