Homosexuality: Arguments Opposed, Part 2

gay christianWe are thinking through additional counter-arguments to those in favor of gay marriage proposed by Richard Beck in his blog.

Now, as I discussed in detail in my series “Jesus, Paul & the Hermeneutics of Sexuality,” Jesus and Paul find their marital and sexual ethics in Gen 2, largely in the relationship of Adam and Eve before sin entered the world. To their thinking, the Gen 2 relationship of Adam and Eve is God’s template for how married people should live together.

I just realized the other day that the scriptures point us to two — and only two — models for how we’re to be returned to the image of God. Recall that one of the major points of the entire Bible is God’s work among humankind to restore us to his image. It’s one of the major themes of scripture coursing from Gen 1 to Rev 22.  It’s a big, big deal.

In Gen 1:26-28, God says,

(Gen 1:26-28 ESV) Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God created “man” in our image — plural. God himself is referred to in the plural (“our image”) and mankind is created “male and female.” Thus, we see that a married couple, male and female, represents the plural image of God.

In Gen 2, this  image is explained in more detail —

(Gen 2:18-25 ESV) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”  19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.  20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.  21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.  23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”  24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. 

The woman was made of the same substance as man — Adam’s own rib — and they lived together as husband and wife, charged to be fruitful and to fill the earth.

This is the image of God. God himself exists in three person joined as one. We struggle to understand, and so we coined a word: triune — three in one — to express God’s nature. Among humans, the analog that God chose was husband and wife joined as one flesh, fruitful, and exercising dominion over God’s creation together.

That’s one expression of the image of God in scripture. What’s the other?

(Rom 8:29 ESV) 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

(1Co 15:49 ESV)  49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 

(2Co 3:18 ESV) 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 

(2Co 3:18 ESV) 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 

(Col 1:15 ESV)  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

I’d love to work through the context of each passage, but I’ve been too long-winded as it is. Here’s the point: Jesus of Nazareth, a 33-year old celibate, single man, is also held up as the very image of God.

And we are charged to be conformed more and more to the image of God —

(Col 3:9-10 ESV) 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

(2Co 3:18 ESV)  18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 

And so we are offered two and only two templates for how to be the image of God: Adam and Eve, as they lived as husband and wife before the Curse of Gen 3, and Jesus of Nazareth, who was single and celibate.

This gives a theological reason for God’s commands regarding homosexuality. In fact, the surprising thing is not that homosexuality is banned but that heterosexuality is allowed.

[to be continued]

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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4 Responses to Homosexuality: Arguments Opposed, Part 2

  1. Christopher says:

    Jay wrote:

    In fact, the surprising thing is not that homosexuality is banned but that heterosexuality is allowed.

    Then how would people procreate?

    May I suggest you tie in the “one flesh” aspect of marriage to what you’ve already said? Woman is fashioned from the rib of men and the separated flesh becomes one in sexual union. Is that mere symbolism or something deeper?

  2. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Christopher,

    As noted at the end, the presentation on the image of God in man will be continued.

  3. Christopher says:

    Good deal, Jay. I haven’t given that much thought. It will be interesting to see what you think about that matter.

  4. Ray Downen says:

    What is best is for each human to be attracted to a human of the opposite sex. Surely this is God’s plan for everyone. How clearly is it taught that homosexual acts are sinful. Yet young men are taught they must avoid being attracted to girls until they are ready to marry. That doesn’t seem right practice exactly.

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