The Argument of Celibacy

for Accepting Same-Sex Marriages


Statement

The Old Testament did not advocate celibacy. The New Testament advocates celibacy only in limited situations. In Matthew 19:12 Christ speaks of those who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. In this He acknowledges that God calls some, but not all to the single life. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul similarly addresses the matter of celibacy. Paul encourages those who are able to remain celibate but acknowledges that this is certainly not for all. With the above as background, the persistence of sexual orientation argues for gay marriage as some who are attracted to members of the same sex are not called to celibacy. "Are all gay and lesbian Christians whose sexual orientation is not subject to change necessarily called to a celibate life? If so, then this stands in some tension with the affirmation - of both Jesus and Paul - that lifelong celibacy is a gift for some if not for all." (Brownson, page 146.)


Response

The Statement from Brownson makes a very strong claim when it asserts that “sexual orientation is not subject to change.” This is a matter that is debated vigorously. Some groups claim a fair amount of success in achieving changes in the behavior of homosexuals. There is the expression, “once an alcoholic always an alcoholic.” If this is true, does it mean that alcoholics cannot be cured? Or does it just mean that it is not an easy matter to accomplish change? Or does it mean that the sin of alcoholism is something that alcoholics will always need to be on their guard against? Should the church make drunkenness normative, as Brownson advocates for homosexuality, as a result of this? That does not follow. It is proposed that the effort currently be spent on this topic be spent on determining if the Bible does in fact teach that all acts of homosexuality are sin. If it does, then it is not necessary for us to gain a full understanding of all the related aspects of the topic. If homosexuality is always sin, then it cannot be condoned even under specialized circumstances. At this point, it is sufficient to mark this section of the Statement as Irrelevant as it is of first priority to determine if the Bible does teach that all forms of same-sex erotic acts are sin.


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