The Rainbow Connection
The LGBT [“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender”] community has chosen the rainbow colors for their banner. In my elementary school days, we remembered those colors through the acronym “VIBGYOR” – violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red.
Why, of all things, has the community chosen the rainbow colors to represent their cause?
LGBT websites generally take the rainbow as a symbol for pride, and peace. See. for example, this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag_(LGBT_movement).
In at least two Bible passages, we see reference to the rainbow in connection with God’s perpetual covenant with mankind and all of creation, and God’s heavenly dwelling place.
Genesis 9:8-17 shows how God created the rainbow as a sign of His irreversible, unconditional promise never to send again a worldwide flood as He did in Noah’s day. God had used the flood to destroy mankind for its rank evil or wickedness, corruption and violence. By using the rainbow connection, the LGBT community would seem to believe that, in His mercy and what they perceive to be His “unconditional love,” God will not punish them for their sexual orientation or preference and conduct. That God has, supposedly, declared peace with them despite everything.
Revelation 4:3 shows God’s heavenly throne to have a rainbow around it. The LGBT community thus connects their cause with the rainbow to clothe it with glory, beauty, acceptance, and empowerment.
The LGBT community’s perception of God’s attitude toward their sexual choices and actions, however, turns a blind eye and a deaf ear on God’s clear commands regarding these acts.
• “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination [a hateful thing]” (Leviticus 18:22).
• “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:13)
• “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 22:8).
Because God considers homosexual acts and cross-dressing [and the ultimate abomination of “sex change” or “transgender” alterations] as all abominable and worthy of capital punishment [death], people who engage in them will be excluded from God’s kingdom.
Were David and Jonathan Practicing Homosexuals?
Some LGBTs justify their sexual lifestyle by citing the Biblical example of the close relationship between Israel’s King David and Jonathan, the son of Israel’s previous king, Saul. The story is found in 1 Samuel 17-21.
After David killed the Philistine giant Goliath through God’s intervention, and was praised for it by King Saul, 1 Samuel 18:1 says that “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” Verses 3-4 continue: “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.”
1 Samuel 20:1-17 describes how David and Jonathan made a covenant before God, that David would show kindness to Jonathan’s family or descendants when David would have ascended to the throne.
Then, after king Saul learned how Jonathan covered up for David’s absence at the king’s table, Saul angrily told his son: “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Did I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse [David] to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you [as Saul’s heir to the throne] shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die (Verses 30-31).
As they agreed on the sign to let David know that it was unsafe for him to come near Saul, David knew how much Jonathan cared for him. Verse 41 says,” And they kissed one another, and they wept together, but David more so.”
After Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle with the Philistines, David made a lamentation, where he mentioned about Jonathan: “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan. You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women.”
There, say LGBTs, is proof that God approves of homosexual relations! But, from a Biblical perspective, how do we understand this seeming discrepancy with God’s law against same-sex relationships?
As David himself described it, he looked at Jonathan as a dear and beloved brother. In this day and age where a close relationship between two men is called “bromance,” many people do not appreciate the close emotional bond that can appropriately exist between two men. There is nothing sexual about it!
This was the kind of love which Joseph had for his brothers. In their highly emotional reunion in Egypt, Joseph revealed who he really was to them [their long-lost brother, as they thought, after which he] “…kissed all his brothers and wept over them [for joy, gratitude, and relief]” (Genesis 45:14-15).
David’s friendship with Jonathan arose from Jonathan’s humility and respect for David and God’s decision to choose him as Israel’s king in place of his father, Saul. Saul himself admitted this. He told David: “And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. Therefore swear now to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s house” (1 Samuel 24:29-21). And David did swear to that.
Jonathan knew that God was with David in helping him to slay Goliath, reason why Jonathan loved David as his own soul. They were truly “soul-brothers.” Jonathan knew that David would be king of Israel in place of his father. He knew that he would therefore not accede to the throne himself. This deep and selfless admiration and respect Jonathan had for him was, to David, a love that surpassed the love of women (2 Samuel 1:27) – a rare and higher level of love that is not sexual but friendly, and noble. As Proverbs 18:24 says, “…there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Jonathan stuck with David, and trusted that David would not destroy his family, thus he entered into a covenant with him.
True to his promise, David later sought Jonathan’s descendants to whom he could show kindness (2 Samuel 9:1-13).
God said that He found David a “man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22; 1 Samuel 13:14). As such, David could not have engaged in homosexual acts with Jonathan, as LGBTs make the two to appear as doing. That would have been contrary to God’s will. True, in a moment of weakness David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba – and also had her husband killed in battle (2 Samuel 11). But David deeply repented of his double sin after God confronted him with it (2 Samuel 12:1-15). Psalm 51 expresses David’s heartfelt repentance over this sin.
LGBTs should, rather, follow David’s example of true repentance for their sin towards God our Creator, and against fellowman. As Jesus warned twice, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).
The apostle Paul warns: ‘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 [extortionists] will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:7-10).
Paul also wrote that rejecting God’s divine authority leads to idolatry. Result? “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. [This shows that Lesbian or woman-to-woman sex relationship is also condemned by God!] Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful [homosexual acts], and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due [perhaps the penalty of imprisonment, or worse – death -- by capital punishment, or as a result of fatal “sexually transmitted diseases” (STDs) such as HIV/AIDS, and, ultimately, destruction in the “lake of fire” (Revelation 21:8).
Hope for LGBTs
Many in the LGBT community find it hard to get out of the trap of their sexual condition. The sense of condemnation [by self or by society], and often experience of discrimination, bullying, physical and psychological violence, are challenges many in that community face. Some who sincerely desire to change their sexual orientation and addictive lifestyle often find the uphill climb formidable and frustrating. An increasing number – unable to overcome the challenge with success — have resorted to suicide.
Indeed, without Christ to help, failure is sure. He said: “…without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:7) – nothing good, that is; for without Christ anyone can do quite well enough all manner of evil! Jesus said: “For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries; fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:21-23).
Christ can help not just LGBTs but all sinners of every shape or form. Firstly, He grants a person repentance (Acts 11 :18) – a thorough understanding and acceptance that LGBT acts, and whatever other sinful acts, are totally against the will and law of God – and, feeling convicted, the person has a deep-down desire to turn from sin and to obey God. This He does by making the sinner realize the goodness of God – His mercy and love – thereby leading him to repentance (Romans 2:4). Then, Christ cleanses the sinner of his sins, and gives him His Spirit to empower him to obey. [See: The Higher Law of the Spirit , God’s Spirit and Obedience , Transgressions Under the First Covenant, Breaking Down our "Walls of Jericho" and “My Brain Made Me Do It!” ]
Paul testifies that some Christians in Corinth with LGBT backgrounds will, in fact, make it to God’s kingdom: “And such were some of you. But you were cleansed, but you were sanctified [made holy], but you were justified [forgiven and made righteous] in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Jesus encourages people with LGBT backgrounds, like those in Sodom and Gomorrah, that — in the final Day of Judgment – it would be easier for them to repent of their sin than many religious people (Matthew 11:23-24; Genesis 19:1-25). People who are sick and acknowledge it and their need for healing by a physician, are more likely to receive healing and wellness (Luke 5:31) than those who think they are well and don’t need to change or be forgiven and healed or made whole. Concerning that Judgment Day, see: This Is not the Only Day of Salvation.
Support of society
LGBTs who sincerely desire to change their lifestyle need the support of the general community – especially the Church of God. Those who are otherwise “normal” in their sexual orientation need to be aware of the sensitivities and vulnerabilities of those striving to come out of their dilemma. [That is to say that the homosexual orientation and act are “abnormal”—not as a statistical fact, for many LGBTs would like more people to line up with their cause so it can become the “new normal.” “Normal” is to be taken in the same sense as “natural” – lining up with God’s purpose in creating mankind male and female, as Romans 1:26-27 declares.]
Does this mean, then, that for an LGBT – particularly a homosexual male [“gay”] or female [“lesbian”] – to do what is “natural,” as God defines it, he or she has to become a “heterosexual” person – capable of having a relationship with one of the opposite sex? For many homosexuals, this may be a possible ultimate goal that some, with God’s help, have achieved. But for others, the homosexual or same-sex attraction may be so ingrained – like some kind of addiction – that, as Paul put it, it has become a kind of “law” in one’s mental and emotional makeup. In this case, God may simply require the person to keep himself or herself from actualizing their sexual desires — or to suppress such desires (see the principle in Matthew 56:27-30). That, in itself, would be a giant step to change, and all that may be expected of the person. [See: Switching Positive and Negative.]
These LGBTs who want to turn away from their “unnatural” way may be compared to little toddlers taking “baby steps” on the road to righteous living. Jesus particularly singled out such ones for others to be careful not to cause them to stumble. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes” (Matthew 18:6-7)!
We could offend or cause to stumble or to sin an LGBT person who’s struggling to live a righteous, holy life. We could do this by seducing the person to go back to his former problem, and by making discouraging comments and gestures to suggest that the person cannot come out of his dilemma. Instead, we should show the same grace and kindness that God has for the person in loving and forgiving him, and giving him the strength and power to change through His Spirit.
A positive, encouraging atmosphere would go a long way to help LGBTs “in recovery.” Setting a good example of Godly manhood or womanhood, and a healthy, happy marriage and family life is something that can support LGBTs in their quest for righteousness and perfection. [See: https://www.herbert-armstrong.org, click ENTER HERE, select "Books & Booklets" and scroll down to the booklet titled "True Womanhood."]
At the same time the LGBT person should strive to keep himself or herself away from company of people, material and places that could influence him or her to revert to his or her former sinful acts. Paul instructs: “Flee sexual immorality [KJV, “fornication,” from the Greek porneia, the same root of the word “pornography”]. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Paul also tells us: “Flee also youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). Israel’s King David, a “man after God’s own heart,” resolved: “I will set nothing wicked [KJV, “vile”] before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me: I will not know wickedness” (Psalm 101:3; Acts 13:22). Paul also counsels us “…not to company with fornicators” (1 Corinthians 5:9). “Be not deceived: evil communications [KJV, “company”) corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Instead, an LGBT person should seek the company of people who are seeking to live righteously, to obey God’s commandments and laws, such as the Church of God [see: Where is God’s Church Today?]
No looking back
Once an LGBT person has decided to change to a lifestyle that is in accord with God’s will and purpose for creating mankind male and female (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24), he or she should resolve not to look back longingly to his or her past life in sin. Jesus warns: “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
The LORD had warned Lot and his family—as they were fleeing from Sodom and Gomorrah, on which God would shortly pour out fire and brimstone because of their wickedness and sexual perversions – not to look back to those cities (Genesis 19:1-25). However, Lot’s wife looked back behind them, “…and she became a pillar of salt” (verse 26) – a grim warning for us not to do the same with our sinful past. Jesus used the example of Lot’s wife when we are to flee from dangerous situations (Luke 7:32).
The apostle Peter gave graphic examples of what looking back to our sinful past is like. He wrote: “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit, and a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:21-22). Willful sinning could lead to the unpardonable sin (Hebrews 6:4-8). [See: Why Is the “Unpardonable Sin” Unpardonable?]
Born this way?
Some LGBTs claim that they cannot possibly change themselves because they were “born this way.” While we cannot fully understand how or why some children turn out to be an LGBT, we need to understand one thing well: God did not make a mistake in creating mankind “male and female” (Genesis 1:27). God did not create an “in-between” sex.
Because mankind has sinned over the last millennia of our existence on this planet, many aberrations in the human body and psyche have occurred. It could be mixture of wrong diet [hormones in food could change a person’s hormonal balance resulting in sexual aberrations], environmental degradation, unhealthy socialization process in the family [such as failure of a father to exert the proper masculine influence on the son, and vice-versa with the mother lacking the feminine influence on the daughter, or a too close bond between mother and son or father and daughter], early experience with homosexual acts, etc.
Whatever the situation may be, we can be sure that it is not God’s express will that anyone should become an LGBT. God’s will clearly is that none should have an LGBT attitude or engage in LGBT acts. God certainly did not intend that anyone should be born an LGBT!
God’s judgment on sin unchanging
God’s everlasting mercy does not mean that God will condone sinful acts. His mercy goes to a sinner who truly wants to repent and obey God’s law. In such a case, God will not punish the sinner with the ultimate punishment of death. Mercy is to not give us the penalty we deserve when we truly repent. Grace, on the other hand, is God granting us something we don’t deserve – forgiveness of sin and everlasting life in His kingdom. Revelation 21:8 shows that God will punish with destruction in a “lake of fire” those unrepentant sinners, including the “sexually immoral” and “idolaters” and “Whoever loves and Practices a Lie” – certainly including LGBTs, who don’t believe in God’s law, which is truth and righteousness (Psalm 119:142, 172).
God pronounces “Woe” to LGBTs who shamelessly flaunt their condition [euphemistically called “outing” – an ordinary term that used to mean merely going out on a picnic or tour]: “The [defiant] look on their countenance witnesses against them. And they declare their sin as Sodom. They do not hide it [they have “come out of the closet”]. LGBTs have declared the month of July “Gay Pride” month. All over the world LGBTs hold parades then, bannering the rainbow colors to express pride in, instead of shame for, their sexual choice. God declares to them: “Woe to their soul! They have brought evil upon themselves” (Isaiah 3:9). The harmless word “gay” [to merely mean happy and bright] is now so colored that one can’t anymore sing the old Spanish song “The Gay Ranchero” without drawing snickers from the hearers. [See: Switching Positive and Negative ] and What Does God Mean– “I Do Not Change?”]
Same-sex marriage — Okay in God’s eyes?
It seems like countries all over the world are in a race to pass legislation that would legalize same-sex marriages. This is an agenda LGBTs are pushing hard on legislators to approve. Reject God’s verdict on the matter as they might, LGBTs need to understand God’s plain and clear design for the sexes.
From the beginning God says that He created mankind after His own image or likeness, as “male and female” –not “male and male,” nor “female and female” (Genesis 1:27). And He charged Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply [reproduce through their God-given sexual capacity to beget and bear children – something not possible in same-sex unions, short of adoption or surrogate pregnancy or artificial insemination], fill the earth…” (Verse 28).
After He had created and given the woman to Adam, she became his wife (Genesis 2:18-24). When Adam and Eve engaged in marital sex, she conceived and bore their first son, Cain (Genesis 4:1) and eventually many sons and daughters (Genesis 5:1-8).
Some have used the argument that heterosexual marriages that are not blessed with children are like same-sex marriages that cannot naturally produce children. The sexual bond between a man and woman is what holds the marriage together. In the same manner, the argument goes, the sexual bond between two same-sex couples is supposed to bind their relationship. But that ignores the premise that same-sex marriages are not acceptable in God’s eyes and law, to begin with.
Clearly, God intended marriage to be between an Adam and Eve – not between an “Adam and Steve,” as someone has humorously put it, nor between a “Madam and Eve.” People who promote same-sex marriage do so in rank defiance of our Creator’s purpose and design. This is rebellion and blatant idolatry – making an “idol” of one’s idea of marriage as against God’s idea. [See: The Sin of Rebellion.]
LGBTs justify their lifestyle as valid or acceptable as long as there is “love” and caring between consenting same-sex couples and whatever family they may have. But here is God’s standard or “touchstone” to test genuine love for family: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3).
Those who do not obey God’s commandments don’t really love their family and others, in God’s eyes. To one who hates God’s command regarding prohibited sexual acts, God’s commandments are burdensome or restrictive. Not so to one who delights in and loves God’s law (Psalm 119:47-48, 97-104, 140-144).
LGBTs and their supporters also claim that they are Okay as long as they are not doing others harm. Yes, many of the LGBT community may actually be contributing to society and culture through their creativity and charity. But their advocacy for the LGBT lifestyle is actually harmful to society, because people will earn God’s wrath if they are influenced to follow or even condone their ways (Romans 1:31).
Solution to overpopulation?
Some have suggested that same-sex marriages could help solve the present world’s “population explosion.” God, in fact, has a sure-fire “plan” to address that population crisis. Isaiah 66:14-16 reveals about the Lord Jesus’ return to judge His enemies – those who oppose His holy and righteous way: “The hand of the LORD shall be made known to His servants, and His indignation to His enemies. For behold, the LORD will come with fire and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the LORD will judge all flesh. [And] the slain of the LORD shall be many.”
Revelation 9:13-18 shows that, after the “sixth trumpet” is sounded, a third of mankind will be killed. When the seventh and last trumpet is sounded, the “seven last plagues” that will be unleashed will kill millions more of God’s enemies (Revelation 11:15-18, 16:1-19:21). Those who, in this age, have not been given their fair chance to be saved will have their chance at a future time. [See: This Is Not the Only Day of Salvation and Predestination.]
This being the case, it behooves those who want to escape the dire plagues of God to repent, fear God and worship only Him. This is the “everlasting gospel” that an angel of God will proclaim to all of mankind at the end of this present age (Revelation 14:6-7). [See: True Worship.]
LGBTs – as well as all other sinners – are called to repent or else perish (Luke 13:3, 5). Only as we do can we have a connection to God’s heavenly throne, around which is a rainbow (Revelation 4:3). It is to that rainbow, and what it represents [God’s rule] – not the LGBT rainbow– that we all should be connected, and that only by obeying God’s commandments. [See: “I Never Knew You!”]
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.