Question & Answer Forum

What are we to make of God’s condemnation of homosexuality and recent reports suggesting that some are born homosexual?

The reports alluded to are far from conclusive and far from being universally agreed upon by all in the medical field. In many quarters the desire to prove a biological basis for homosexuality is the driving impetus for the research. But let us assume for the moment that in a future day the biological basis for homosexuality is proven. Does that give license to practice the deed? All will agree that normal heterosexual desires are hormonal and inborn. Does not God condemn the expression of those desires outside the marriage bond? Doesn’t every unmarried believer have to discipline those desires and sacrifice them in devotion to Christ and in faithfulness to the Word of God? All union outside the male female union in marriage which God instituted in the Garden is outside the will of God. Having the desire, whether inborn or not, is not the sin. The sin is the expression of that desire in actions, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

A. Higgins


Does God’s Word support capital punishment?

Yes. God’s decree to Noah in Genesis 9:6 has never been rescinded, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” In Romans 13:4 we read about civil leaders, ‘…for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” The reference to “the sword” would indicate that civil rulers have the God-given right – and responsibility – to execute capital punishment when it is necessary to do so justly. However, the Word of God does protect the innocent by teaching that there should be clear proof of guilt before anyone is put to death. We read in Deuteronomy 17:6, “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.”

W. Gustafson


Should our children be taught sex education in public schools?

In Old Testament days, God entrusted moral training to the family: “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7). God intended parents to discharge this responsibility diligently, deliberately (even when sitting to relax), decidedly (as inseparable from normal living as walking – or driving?), and daily (last thing at night, first thing in the morning). Since Paul (Ephesians 6:2) bases New Testament teaching about family relations on Old Testament principles, Christian parents still have the primary responsibility to teach their children morality. Scripture elevates such matters, although private and sensitive, to a place of honor (Hebrews 13:4) and consummate beauty (Ephesians 5:31, 32). This moral training is a privilege and a responsibility.

Christian parents are dutybound to be aware of what is happening in their child’s education. Since God’s moral standards are “for our good always” (Deuteronomy 6:24), aren’t parents responsible to protect their child if they discover that his classroom experience is (or will be) contrary to his home training?

D. Oliver


What activities and how much intimacy are appropriate for couples who are dating?

Christians should seek God’s will for a life’s partner during courtship. Dating is the time for learning to know each other and planning for the future. It is not (as in society) simply for a good time, or experimentation, or conquest.

Two words help answer our question: purity and modesty Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:2 to encourage “the younger (women) as sisters, with all purity.” In Genesis 24:65, Rebecca, when about to meet her husband-to-be, “took a vail, and covered herself.”

A young man should regard his intended as his “sister” during courtship. He should have genuine respect for her that will preserve from violating her purity. An embrace and kiss when greeting or parting is appropriate with his sister and is equally so with his intended. Their greetings may be more than a quick peck on the cheek but they should avoid any activity leading to greater physical intimacy. Both should dress and behave so as not to stir up strong desire in the other. Strong desire may lead to disaster and loss of purity. Couples should avoid circumstances or activities where they would be ashamed to be found. A good testimony is vital.

Couples need time together. Eating out, drives through the country and visiting points of interest afford suitable opportunities. Visiting older Christians will encourage them. The young may also gain insights of great value for their future together.

They need to learn each other’s values, expectations and goals. They should recognize and make needed adjustments. These are easier to make during courtship than after marriage. Reading and praying together will promote spiritual bonding and growth and begin a good habit for a lifetime together.

J. Slabaugh