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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Catholic Church's Opposition to Gay Marriage


Edmond asks: I want to know about the Catholic Church and it's opposition to gays and gay rights. It seems homophobic to me. The word homosexual is not in the Bible and the Levitical law that calls 'man laying with man an abomination' only applied to Jewish men. That has nothing to do with Christians so why is your church opposed to gay marriage and gay rights like adoption? Why all the Catholic protesters in California over gay marriage being legal now?

My response: Good questions! I will do my best to answer this to the best of my knowledge but let me also recommend asking a local priest to explain the Catholic Church's teachings on this. I am a lay person, not a theologian, but I will do my best. If you don't mind, I am going to re-post a response to this issue I wrote last year that I think covers all your questions except for the protesters in California. To my knowledge the protesters who oppose legal gay marriage are made up of different Christians and religions. That is to say that all those who oppose gay marriage are not just Catholics. I know there are Jews and Muslims against gay marriage too, but I couldn't say if they are part of some protest in California or not. Now to the rest of your questions on this issue.
So many Christian's and their denominations are struggling with the issue of same sex marriage and relationships. Why? The bible is clear on this. It has nothing to do with "homophobia" or being "biased" or wanting to make some people into "second class citizens". God, not man, decides what is sin and what is not. The Pope does not have some secret anti-gay agenda. Man has the choice to accept the Word of God or reject it, the Catholic Church is merely teaching the Word of God. The scriptures list what God calls sin. For Christians, Catholics and Protestants alike we proclaim Christ as our Savior and follow our Lord and his teachings to the best of our abilities. There are many laws in the bible, but on the issue of same sex marriage we need to look at Moral Law and the institution of marriage in the bible between men and women. God did not institute same sex marriages. We look to God's Word because we are Christians and the bible is a wonderful tool- gift really- to be used in teaching God's will for us and our lives. Should we thump non-Christians over the head with our bibles? No. They have the choice and free will to accept or reject God's teachings. For those of us who call ourselves Christians, we have made our choice and must adhere to the Word of God in all things in our lives. For Catholics this also means accepting and trusting the authority of the Catholic Church to teach the truth.
The Catholic Church has clear and distinct teachings on homosexuality and same sex marriage, other Christian churches are not always so clear and to some seem chaotic and dividing. The Catholic Church position is marriage is between one man and one woman. The Catholic catechism states that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (#2357), because they are contrary to natural law. That is to say, God created a woman for a man to be joined in matrimony. The Church further teaches that homosexuals are called to chastity (catechism #2347) and they are to be treated with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” (catechism #2358).
Why do some Christians think that the Moral Laws of the Old Testament where tossed out by Jesus Christ in the New Testament? Did Jesus ever say that adultery, fornication and/or sexual immorality etc., are A-Okay under the New Covenant? No, He did not. So that tells us that all the Moral Laws still apply today for believers. It is still wrong to rape, murder, commit incest, adultery, fornication and all forms of sexual immorality as defined by God (man didn't decide what was immoral, God did). The liberal (religious, not political) argument that is often given is that ‘Leviticus Moral laws only apply to Jews’ (exactly what you referenced in your comment about the "man laying with man") is a house built on sand with the tide coming in, in my opinion.
The Moral Laws include not murdering, raping, stealing, fornicating, incest, sex with animals and more. All those things are still wrong. The liberal religious thinking that gay relationships are okay after Jesus came is absurd. You can't pick one Old Testament sexual abomination and say "This one is OK now, but all the others are still abominations." Either they all are sinful or they all are not. Is it acceptable for a father to have sex with his daughter now? Is it acceptable for siblings to have sex now? All of these are listed in Lev.18 as wrong because they are sinful and you can't pick one out of this list and stamp it as "good" while rejecting the rest as still wrong. All the sexual immorality abominations in Lev.18 are still abominations in the New Testament. Jesus never said "Oh and by the way, all those sexual abominations in Lev.18 still hold true except for the ‘man with man’ one, you can do that all you want now." That is not biblical no matter how people try to twist the Word of God or justify their actions. God will not be mocked and the Truth will always be the Truth. The Catholic Church knows this and will not be swayed in its teachings by secular society and what is politically correct at the moment. The Word of God is built on the Rock of Truth, not the sand of the liberal religious wishing to rewrite the Word. The Old and New Testaments up hold Moral Law and the Catholic Church preaches this today as it has over the centuries.
To quote the bible, Romans 1:26 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."
And 1 Cor.5 also addresses the issue of the sexually immoral (in all its forms homosexual and heterosexual) within the church and what the church is told to do about these people (verse 13). The straw man that some attempt to build is "well you eat shellfish!" (referencing dietary laws placed on the Jews under the Old Covenant). Unfortunately, it seems some people can not see the difference between dietary laws and Moral Law. Jesus was clear on the dietary law in the New Testament.
Mark 7:18 "Are you so dull?" he [Jesus] asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? 19 For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.") 20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' 21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"
The next argument to be debunked is "Monogamous gay love is OK with Jesus". Where did that come from? Certainly not God or the bible in any verses we can find. Monogamy has nothing to do with it. The sin is the same if you have one partner or a hundred! It's the relationship that is wrong. That's a bit like saying a father who has four daughters isn't wrong if he has sex with only one of them, but if he has sex with all of them then its wrong. It doesn't work that way, it's all wrong and sinful. The relationship is immoral and unnatural. That is the sin according to scriptures. The amount of times the act happens is just how many times you need to repent of the same sin. That is the Word of God and teaching of the Catholic Church. Christianity isn't forced on anyone but if you call yourself Catholic you believe these teachings and accept the teaching authority of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church. It's our faith.
God never gave us multiple choice on sins. He declares what is sin and Catholics must believe Him. Who are we to tell God He is wrong? The bible is clear on Moral Law, it stands today the same as yesterday and generations ago. God never changed Moral Law, what was wrong before is still wrong now. The Catholic Church is teaching the Word of God and standing firm today as it has in history. I hope I answered your questions.

7 comments:

blondie writes said...

Gay and lesbian marriage are still a choice and everyone deserves to have a choice. They are not breaking any laws or covenents. People should worry about the more important things k=like murder, child abuse and so forth.

Anonymous said...

I am the author of a 3-volume religious/fiction novel entitled, "Song of the Storm Winds". I am also writing religious discourses on current topics, and which are posted on my personal web site, www.ivan-erickson.com, where visitors may read and comment. My latest discourse of which will be of interest to people of all sexual preferences and to all sinners of all ethnicities and faiths, is entitled: Part Two: May 31, 2008:"Discourse on Gay and Lesbian Marriage: On the Truth and the Light Regarding: The Establishment of the Sinfulness of Homosexuality, Gay Unions, and Other Deadly Sins; A Plausible Answer for the Inherent Nature of Homosexuality; And on the Hope for Overcoming the Plight of the Sinfulness of Mankind and for Salvation Through Faith in Jesus Christ". God bless you all - may you be guided to the Truth and the Light in Jesus Christ.

Michael Ejercito said...

Jews (like Jesus and his original twelve apostles) are obviously bound by Old Testament Laws. That means, no murder, no theft, no homosexual intercourse, and no intercourse with their stepmoms for them.

What moral laws would apply to those of us who are not Jews?

Anonymous said...

There is no reason why homosexuals should be deprived of a right because of your personal religious beliefs. It is not their fault if you dislike them, if you believe they are immoral or whaterver. Therefore, they should not have to suffer from your personal beliefs.

Also, depriving them of their right to marry is tantamount to imposing your religious doctrines to them, which goes against the Constitution.

If you try to deprive someone of their right, do not be surprised if later on they turn aroung and try to deprive _you_ of your right.

Two can play at this game.

American. said...

Ok... i do not see any logic in this whatsoever. i mean, at all. HOW is it constitutional for your (Unproven) beliefs to decide what rights people are allowed to have??!

Anonymous said...

It is not a right! It is a choice.

Anonymous said...

As Christians, we are to spread the good news to the world. We are to stand for what the Bible states.

If one is another religion, then, they stand for what their "bible" states.

The dilemma is that many Christian leaders are trying to play the mediator.

The Bible tells us to be bold. If people are in a false religion, we should not say that they should be allowed to do whatever they want!

This is certainly contrary to the Bible and the Words of Jesus.

Our role is to teach and reach out to the world so that they may know of repentance and everlasting life. If we do not, then we are "pew Christians".

Many will be lost because of the apathy of Christians. We are to bear fruit for Christ!

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