Philippians 4:8

September 15, 2019 -- Volume 3.38

LGBTQ History
By John Edwards

Illinois requires public schools teach LGBTQ history — August 13, 2019 news headline. Illinois public schools will be required to teach about the contributions of LGBTQ people across the state and the country. The law, signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, mandates that the history curriculum in schools across the state include lessons spotlighting noteworthy lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. As part of the new curriculum — set to launch in 2020 — the LGBTQ-focused lessons must be taught before students reach the eighth grade. All textbooks “must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act and must be non-discriminatory as to any of the characteristics under the Act,” the bill states. “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.” Illinois is the fifth state in the country to adopt a law of this nature.

In the interest of an accurate and inclusive history education, this writing spotlights what the oldest history book in the world records about such.

(1) Old Testament History: Sodom and Gomorrah. Just 13 chapters into the Bible we read: “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly” (Gen. 13:13). The Lord said of Sodom and Gomorrah, “their sin is very grievous” (Gen. 18:20). Read Genesis 19:1-11 to get a glimpse of this exceeding wickedness and very grievous sin. Verses 24 & 25 record, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” When Abraham looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, “lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace” (v. 28). Deuteronomy 29:23 mentions the overthrow of those cities, “which the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath” — “the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein.” Describing God’s judgment upon Babylon, “it shall be no more inhabited for ever…As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbor cities thereof, saith the Lord; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein” (Jer. 50:40). Lamentations 4:6 says, “Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.” Zephaniah revealed Moab and Ammon would be made like Sodom and Gomorrah, “even the breeding of nettles, and salt pits, and a perpetual desolation” (Zeph. 2:9). Jesus mentioned, “the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all” (Lk. 17:29). Peter pointed out, “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Pet. 2:6). Jude declared,“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

God’s law to Israel: The law of God to the nation of Israel stipulated: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Lev. 18:22). “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” (Lev. 20:13). “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a Sodomite of the sons of Israel.”

(2) New Testament History: A reading of Romans 1:21-32 describes those who engaged in this kind of behavior in the first century as: “Vain in their imaginations, Heart was darkened, Became fools, Given up to uncleanness, Dishonored their own bodies, Given up to vile affections, Changed the natural use into that which is against nature, Left the natural use, Worked that which is unseemly, Received that recompense of their error which was meet, Given over to a reprobate mind, Did those things which are not convenient, Filled with all unrighteousness, Worthy of death.”

In Paul’s list of unrighteous acts in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, he mentioned “effeminate” and “abusers of themselves with mankind.” The word “effeminate” is used “not simply of a male who practices forms of lewdness, but persons in general, who are guilty of addiction to sins of the flesh” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).Abusers of themselves with mankind” describes “one who lies with a male as with a female, a sodomite” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon).

1 Timothy 1:10 also mentions, “Them that defile themselves with mankind.”

Old Testament history is clear. Such behavior was exceeding wickedness and very grievous sin in the sight of God. It brought the Lord’s anger, His wrath. Those who did such things were ungodly. It was a shalt not, an abomination, and carried the death penalty.

New Testament history is equally clear. One who practices such is vain in his imaginations, has a darkened heart, is become a fool, has a reprobate mind and is worthy of death. It is uncleanness, dishonor, vile affection, against nature, unseemly, not convenient, and unrighteousness. Such shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Yet, one who has involvement in such activities may be “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified” (1 Cor. 6:9-11)! How? The same way as those in Corinth who “hearing believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8).

Those earnestly seeking an accurate (correct in all details; exact) and inclusive (not excluding any) history of these matters will certainly not want to omit this material from their learning. The gospel message is a message of inclusion in that:

All have sinned.For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Jesus, being the only exception (Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:22).

God’s love is extended to all.For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).

The gospel is for all. Jesus sent forth the apostles with the words: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:15-16).

All are commanded to repent. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).

This inclusive message does not exclude LGBTQ, or any other letter of the alphabet. By God’s amazing grace (Titus 2:11), all have equal opportunity and privilege to be “of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph. 3:6). What a blessing! 

Good People in All Churches?”
By Earl Fly

The statement that “there are good people in all churches” is usually made as a defense of the existence of the many different conflicting denominations. Certainly, there are good people in all the churches. There are good people OUT of churches. There are good people who are infidels. But the question is not are they good, but are they saved people? It is good to be good, but it is not good enough. One cannot save himself by just being good. He must obey the gospel of Christ (2 Thess. 1:7-9) to be saved. Cornelius was a good man, but he was a lost man (Acts 10:1-6; 11:14)! The good people in human churches are lost people, not because they are not good moral people, but because they have not obeyed the gospel of God. This is why we appeal to good people to leave their human churches and obey the gospel. There is no other hope for these good people. – Collegevue church of Christ Bulletin, September 8, 2019