Letter:Bible calls gays to repentance

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Sir: Paul Vallely ("Thank God for the gays", 11 November) tries to dismiss the biblical teaching against homosexual acts by reductio ad absurdum.

Vallely lumps together Old Testament condemnation of homosexual acts with the bans on unclean food and mixed-fabric garments. However, food- bans and so on have been swept away by the coming of Messiah and the inauguration of the kingdom of God. The moral realities of biblical sexuality however remain. They are not rooted in the symbolism of the old covenant but in the fact that God created man and woman in his image for companionship, sexual intimacy and procreation within the confines of marriage.

The fact that Jesus nowhere condemns homosexual acts must be put in the context of a Christ who everywhere assumed the authority of the Old Testament and who himself confined sexual expression to male-female marriage (Matthew 19 ii-ix).

As for the apostle Paul, his forthright condemnations of homosexual acts (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6 ix), cannot be dismissed as culture-bound. Paul was not, as Vallely suggests, anti-sex per se. In Ephesians 5, Paul sanctifies the one-flesh relationship of marriage by making it a picture for the relationship between Christ and the Church.

The Bible always teaches that sex is for male-female married couples; to suggest otherwise you have to resort to special pleading or simply to deconstruct the Bible to suit yourself.

The message for "lesbian and gay Christians" is that God does love all human beings despite their fallenness and wants to save and heal us. We must all repent of our sins and turn to God in Christ for help.