One of Satan’s primary devices for attacking the faith of God’s firstfruits is that of presenting two wrong “solutions” to a problem in such a way that they appear to be the only two options. This is a snare to cause us to look at two different pieces of fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and then debate over which one is better. As a carefully laid trap, it can lure us into arguments and decisions before we ever question whether we are even looking at the right tree! Before looking at a modern example of this device of Satan (2 Corinthians 2:11), let’s look at how Jesus Christ dealt with it during His earthly ministry.
Matthew 22:15–22 records that the Pharisees attempted to trip up Jesus Christ with a choice between two bad options: paying taxes to the hated Romans or not paying taxes at all (which could lead to Roman reprisal). The Sadducees, in their trick question, tried to maneuver Jesus to either deny the resurrection or judge which of several husbands a woman would be bound to after all of them were resurrected (Matthew 22:23–33). In both cases, Jesus showed that an argument with two bad “solutions” usually lacks understanding of God’s mind.
His answer to the Sadducees’ resurrection question contains some clues to guide us in dealing with this satanic tactic. In verse 29, Jesus begins His answer by saying, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” As we turn our attention to a modern example of seemingly being trapped between two bad options, we will use Christ’s answer to help us determine the truth that Satan is trying to hide. As Christ points out, when Satan and his world present options, they frequently do not respect the Scriptures or the power of God.
The modern example we’ll examine concerns the incredible explosion of the LGBTQ+ movement in recent years. Leaders pushing this agenda have very effectively shaped and controlled much public conversation about the issues at large, and one technique has been to present only two possible positions: You either agree with us or you are a bigot.
None of the Above
Where do these two options leave members of God’s Church? In both Testaments, the Bible clearly condemns homosexual thoughts and behaviors as sin (Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10). Paul points out that the design of biology itself should help clear up any confusion (Romans 1:18–27). Therefore, the Living Church of God does not support the LGBTQ+ movement. Does this mean we are bigots? Is that truly our only other option? Thankfully, we have the Bible to guide us, and Jesus’ response to the Sadducees gives us some clues for how we can deal with being accused of bigotry.
But before we examine how Christ’s response applies here, we have a question to answer: What actually is a bigot? The word is currently wielded like a sledgehammer because no one wants to be a bigot—even if they don’t know exactly what it is. As a label, it’s very effective, since society teaches that you can safely refuse to take seriously anyone labeled a bigot. Thus, bigot has become an easy way to win an argument with no valid support—just label your opponent a bigot and your position must be correct. But, again—what’s a bigot?
Adding to the confusion, different dictionaries will give you different answers. Bigot is defined on Wikipedia as “someone intolerant of others’ differing ideas, races, genders, religions, politics, etc.” This definition is useless, since all human beings hold some opinions that are intolerant of certain behaviors. For example, most humans are intolerant of mass murderers—does that make them bigoted toward the few who would justify mass murder? Is there some rationale a mass murderer could advance to make you believe they acted morally? Obviously not. This definition effectively makes everyone a bigot and is therefore of no practical use. Let’s examine a better one.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, a bigot is “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices,” especially “one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.” While it is not the focus of this article, racism is indeed a source of bigotry, and the Bible flatly condemns it (cf. Colossians 3:8–11). The Bible does not approve of any prejudice against characteristics that are inherent and unchangeable (see Mr. Gerald Weston’s November-December 2017 Tomorrow’s World article “Sins of Racism, Anarchy and Secularism!”). Sin, on the other hand, is a choice, and the Bible clearly calls out some decisions as being unlawful—and therefore sinful according to 1 John 3:4.
However, Merriam-Webster’s definition also focuses on one of the root problems associated with bigotry: opinions that lead to hatred of others. This is perhaps the reason that the word bigot is used as a sledgehammer—those using it may imply that all contrary opinion is simply based in hatred. To be sure, when certain professing Christians protest at military funerals with signs reading “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” or “You’re Going to Hell,” they are expressing hatred. Such methods do not at all reflect a loving God. While those who use these tactics might think they are being loving, their efforts to shock people into repentance (if that is their motivation) usually backfire and lead to fewer people taking God, the Bible, or Christians seriously.
Of course, much of the problem is that these professing Christians lack understanding about heaven, hell, and God’s plan. As Christ put it, they fail to understand the Scriptures and the power of God. Regardless of their motivation, they have added fuel to the fire of those who want to label as a bigot anyone who believes that homosexuality is a sin. This leads to a problem for us in God’s Church, who disagree with both the LGBTQ+ agenda and the false doctrines of many professing Christians.
A further challenge we face in God’s Church is the hypocrisy of those who call us bigots. It is not easy to be accused of being filled with hate and not want to dispute that label, and perhaps the hardest part of opposing the LGBTQ+ lifestyle today is how quickly you can be labeled a hateful bigot, which then makes it permissible for people to treat you hatefully!
Fight Hate with Love—God’s Love
Needless to say, Christians are exhorted to not respond in kind to this type of treatment. When Peter instructed us to look to Jesus as our example, he specifically pointed out how Jesus responded to being mistreated:
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously (1 Peter 2:21–23).
Furthermore, Paul gives us the instruction to “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14). This is not the normal human reaction to being cursed, insulted, or abused, but it must be our goal if we are to become more like our Lord and Savior!
One way we can achieve the goal of blessing those who persecute us is to follow the example Jesus set with His words to the Sadducees. This world—both its LGBTQ+ community and its false churches—absolutely fails to understand the Scriptures and the power of God. We, however, should understand God’s word and His power, and that should guide the way we deal with accusations of bigotry. As mentioned previously, the Scriptures clearly condemn homosexual activity (Romans 1:18–27). Paul dealt with the issue in his first epistle to Corinth:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9–10).
As Christians, we simply cannot condone any of these behaviors! We do not support those of the LGBTQ+ community because their actions, if unrepented of, will cause them to miss out on the Kingdom of God! Our goal is not to express hatred for any of these people that Paul calls out. Instead, we should be motivated by love towards all people to encourage them to abandon sinful behaviors. They will be blessed both now and eternally if they do! Moreover, these behaviors all involve choices and are not inherited traits that a person has no control over. In the very next verse, Paul points out that Christians during his time were already repenting of these sins: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Not Born That Way!
The scientific community has attempted to prove the existence of a “gay gene,” but has instead proven its nonexistence. Studies have been done on twins who share the exact same DNA. If humans were preordained by their DNA to be either homosexual or heterosexual, identical twins would either both be homosexual or both be heterosexual. Even if, due to environmental factors, this were not the case 100 percent of the time, these other factors would not lower this percentage very much. Needless to say, this is not what researchers have discovered. Studies that identify one identical twin as homosexual have found that there is only a 10 percent chance that the other identical twin will also be homosexual (Neil and Briar Whitehead, My Genes Made Me Do It!, 2013). Although identical twins seem to have a greater chance of both being one or the other than fraternal twins or other siblings, those who preach that people are “born homosexual” or even “created homosexual” have to face the fact that identical twins are nowhere close to being 100 percent aligned in their sexuality. This is not to say that DNA has no influence, but at the end of the day, people do choose the sexuality they express.
As an aside, we notice that the Bible prohibits fornication and adultery as sins here for all people. Many heterosexuals might not have to repent of homosexual thoughts or activity, but might very well have to repent of lustful thoughts concerning any member of the opposite sex they are not married to (Matthew 5:27–28). The list of sinners also includes those who have stolen and those who have coveted—as Paul pointed out elsewhere, all of us have sinned.
Let us return to the other part of Jesus’ statement to the Sadducees: We have to understand the power of God! Given the aggressive nature of the LGBTQ+ agenda and the role homosexuality played in the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah, some have treated homosexuality as if it were the unpardonable sin. But while homosexuality seems to be a “tipping point” sin for a society, treating it as if it were the unpardonable sin is overstating the case! As Paul pointed out, some members of the Corinthian church were former homosexuals who had changed. It is possible for homosexuals to change their ways—even during this age!
But God’s power and plan go far beyond this current age. During the Great White Throne Judgment period after the Millennium, God will resurrect all mankind back to physical life (Ezekiel 37:1–14). During that time, Satan will not be able to deceive individuals or nations, and all people will have their minds opened to the truth of the Scriptures (Revelation 20:10–13). Jesus revealed that people of all nations will have their chance to learn the truths of God during that time of judgment (Matthew 12:38–42). And just to make sure that no one misunderstood, Jesus specified that even the aggressive homosexual rapists of Sodom will be resurrected: “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:23–24).
The power of God will be shown as all human beings finally have a chance to learn about God’s ways. This truth is lost on most professing Christians, who do not understand the resurrections. Understanding neither the Scriptures nor the power of God, they mistakenly believe that any unrepentant homosexual who dies during this age is condemned to eternal hellfire. (They also mistakenly believe that their own actions are not in any danger of judgment.) They do not understand God’s plan and purpose, or that God has power over the grave and will dramatically use that power to help all of mankind.
To Preach the Gospel of Love
Having reviewed all of this, let us return to the initial question: Are we bigots? While this entire article could have simply been “No!” (which would have been accurate and shorter!), I hope we can see that the entire reason we are even presented with this question is because of Satan’s frequent attempts to limit the conversation to his own bad solutions. Instead of falling for that mental trap and getting focused on the wrong tree, we must follow Christ’s example and make sure we are on the side of the Scriptures and the power of God!
The Bible makes it clear that homosexual thoughts and behaviors are sins and must be repented of. Furthermore, the power of God, especially as displayed through His plan of salvation, reveals that God will give all mankind a true chance for repentance. Finally, our motivation for condemning homosexuality—as well as all other sins—must be from a position of love. All human beings were made in God’s image and have the potential to be sons and daughters of God! Jesus Christ died for every single one of us! We hope that many homosexuals will repent during this age so they can avoid all the pitfalls of the LGBTQ+ way of life, including increased depression, higher suicide rates, increased STD rates, and shorter lifespans. And even though we might be labeled as bigots and treated hatefully, we must never forget the example of our Lord and Savior, who did not revile when He was mistreated.
We must not be hate-filled bigots who despise others. Instead, we must lovingly correct and pray that all will come to repentance and a true understanding of the Scriptures and the power of God (1 Timothy 2:1–4)—something we are blessed to understand during this age!