by Richard Jarzynka, author of “Blessed with Bipolar”
“Jesus Loves You / Gay Marriage is Sin”
On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that made gay marriage legal in all 50 states.
About 10 days later, I began walking a six-lane highway with a sign that reads on one side, “JESUS LOVES YOU,” and on the other side, “GAY MARRIAGE IS SIN (Romans 1:26-27).”
In the three months since I started walking, many people have supported me. They shout encouragement or pull over, get out of their cars, and excitedly thank me. One woman stopped me in my tracks with a shot of the Holy Spirit when she shouted from behind me, “I salute you, sir.” And a burly, bearded man pulled over, jumped out of his van, beaming with joy, and boomed, “Man you gotta lotta balls! . . . Thank you!”
And many just give me a motivating “thumbs up.”
Of course, there have been others who have stuck a different finger in the air. One man spit at me. A couple have thrown their drinks at me. Some scream a curse, as they are pulling away, after having sat silently in front of me for three minutes, waiting for the light to change.
Some have paused briefly to ask a question or make an objection, as they’re pulling away. And a few have even taken the time to have a conversation.
I rarely have an adequate opportunity to fully answer the questions or objections in the middle of a busy six-lane highway, before a person pulls away. Therefore, I decided to write my answers here, so I can hand people a business card with a link to this article and my answers to their most asked questions.
- Doesn’t God love ALL people?
Yes! Jesus loves ALL people – including homosexuals. And I want to see ALL people – including homosexuals – go to heaven. But Jesus and His Word (the Bible) also call some behaviors sin. And among those behaviors that God clearly calls sin are the acts of homosexual sex. (Romans 1:26-27; Genesis Chapter 19; 1Corinthians 6:9-10; Jude 7; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13)
We – and that includes me – are all sinners.
God loves ALL of us – including homosexuals – so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay for us, and in our place – at the Cross – the penalty that God says we all deserve for our sins.
So, by putting our faith in Jesus, embracing Him as Lord and Savior, accepting what He did for us at the Cross, and turning away from sin, we receive forgiveness and eternal life in paradise; entirely through what Jesus did for us by dying on the Cross, and not because we have been “good enough” to go to heaven. We have not been good enough and cannot be good enough to go to heaven. We are sinners. So, we can only go to heaven because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and we have put our faith in Him.
We can ALL – including homosexuals – be forgiven and go to heaven.
But that does not mean that our sin is not sin. And God’s Word could not be more clear about gay sex being sin.
The New Testament Book of Romans, Chapter 1, verses 26b – 27: “Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.”
2. Isn’t it true that Jesus never said anything about gay marriage?
Jesus also never said, “Thou shalt not hack thy neighbors computer,” for the same reason that He never said the specific words, “Gay marriage is sin.” 2,000 years ago, there was not even a thought of gay marriage, just like there was not even a thought of computers. And the people to whom Jesus was speaking knew very well that gay sex is sin. They had the scriptures that told them in bold and definitive terms that gay sex is sin and what the consequences are for that behavior. The scriptures even said that committing the sin of gay sex – and others – would defile the people so cursedly that the land would vomit them out. (Leviticus 18: 22-30).
Therefore, there was no need for Jesus to say the specific words, “Gay marriage is sin.”
However, Jesus did unequivocally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman when He said, “Haven’t you read . . . that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one.” (Matthew 19:4-6a)
3. Don’t you think that your sign might push people away from Christ?
Sometimes, when a hard truth is spoken, people choose to turn away from it. Even run as far away as they can. That doesn’t make it any less true. And it doesn’t mean that it should not be spoken.
Jesus, himself, spoke hard truths from which people chose to turn away. In fact, He spoke such offensive truth that the people of His day chose to crucify Him.
In John 6:53-57, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.”
That is a hard truth. And because Jesus boldly spoke that hard truth “[M]any of His disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6: 66) But their running away from the hard truth, did not keep Jesus from continuing to speak the hard truth.
Neither will I stop speaking the truth because some people might choose to run away from it.
Jesus also spoke these hard truths: “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18) And, “[U]nless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13: 3,5)
Jesus loved all people more than anyone in the history of mankind ever has or ever will. But the notion that He was a nice, soft, cuddly teddy bear is a lie. He was the most courageous, boldest, and toughest man in the history of the world. And He told the TRUTH, no matter who might be offended – or how far they would choose to run from the truth.
God also called men of the Bible to speak out boldly against the sin of the people of their day – even if it meant that they would run away.
God told Ezekiel: “When I say to the wicked man, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.”
I will continue to speak out to dissuade homosexuals and the culture and government of my country from their sinful ways. I will not be held accountable for their blood.
4. Shouldn’t you be loving and tolerant like Jesus?
I must love ALL people , including my enemies and homosexuals. And I must – and do – even pray for those who persecute me.
But Jesus never said anything remotely like, “Be tolerant of sin.”
He never said, “If the culture says that something is good and should be celebrated, who are you to say that it is sin.” He wasn’t the one who came up with the saying, “If it feels good, do it.” And He never said, “Live and let live.”
What He did say was, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
The gospel isn’t just the happy truth that Jesus loves ALL people and came so that we would have the one and only way to get to heaven. The gospel is also the hard truth that we are sinners, who need a Savior, and must repent and give our lives to Christ; or be condemned.
Jesus also said, “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19: 17b)
Jesus was willing to die to forgive sinners, but He was not tolerant of sin. [Have you heard the story of him overturning the tables of the merchants in the temple? (John 2: 13-16)]
Jesus loved sinners so much that He was willing to die to win our forgiveness for us, but He was not tolerant of sin. He clearly spoke out against sin and said that if we don’t turn away from sin and put our faith in Him, there is an eternal punishment awaiting us.
There is grace and mercy and God is patient with us. But He is also a God who executes judgment. And He unequivocally, without hesitation, and powerfully calls sin “sin.”
That is not the kind of squishy tolerance that says, “Live and let live.”
So, I will continue to proclaim the happy truth of the gospel that “Jesus Loves You” and the hard truth of the Word of God that “Gay Marriage is Sin.”
5. Aren’t you supposed to love your neighbor as yourself?
Yes. And if I was living in sin which would send me to hell, I would want my neighbor to love me enough to have the courage to tell me that I was living in sin that would, if I didn’t turn away, send me to hell.
If I know that you are casting yourself into hell; and I know how you can keep yourself from going there; and I don’t tell you, am I loving you?
6. Didn’t Jesus say not to judge?
Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1). But He absolutely was not saying that we should never call any behavior a sin. That would mean that we could not tell our children that lying, stealing, and disobeying their parents are sins. It would mean that we would have to release all convicted child abusers, rapists, and murderers from prison. And it would mean that we could not teach the very commandments that Jesus said we must keep. (Matthew 19: 17b).
Also, regarding whether a Christian can call sin “sin” (as I am doing when I carry my “Jesus Loves You / Gay Marriage is Sin” sign), Jesus said, “If you brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” We can’t go and show our brother his fault, if we are not permitted to call sin “sin.”
So what did Jesus mean when He said, “Do not judge or you too will be judged?” (Matthew 7:1)
Well, let’s take a look at the verses immediately following that verse:
“Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
Jesus is telling us not to call somebody else’s behavior a sin while we are excusing the same behavior in ourselves. The same measure we use for judgment is the measure that will be used for our own judgment. And I am ready to have that standard applied to me.
I call behavior a sin when the Word of God calls it a sin. And that is the same measure by which I judge my own behavior. When I disobey the Word of God, I sin. And when I sin, I confess, turn away from it, and received forgiveness from Jesus whom I have embraced as my Lord and Savior. I don’t celebrate my sin and call it good, as gay marriage does.
Jesus goes on to say, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)
Again, Jesus makes it clear that he is not saying that we cannot call a behavior “sin,” but that He is warning against hypocrisy. When He talks about the “speck in our brother’s eye,’ He is referring to our brother’s sin. And He says that when we remove the plank of sin from our own eye, we will see clearly to remove the speck of sin from our brother’s eye.
We cannot remove the plank from our own eye or the speck from out brother’s eye unless we are judging sin to be sin.
When I put my faith in Christ, confess my sins, and repent, I take the plank of sin out of my own eye, so, when the Word of God calls a behavior sin, I can say the same thing about that behavior – without fear of judgment.
Further, I am not accusing anyone of committing the sins of gay sex or gay marriage. I am not assuming that any specific people are committing those sins. And I am not saying that somebody who does commit those sins cannot come to Christ and be forgiven. (I hope they will.) I am simply saying, as the Word of God does in both the Old Testament and New Testament, that gay sex and gay marriage are sins.
7. Didn’t Jesus say, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone?”
Yes. He did. When a woman was caught in the act of adultery, there were men who were ready to literally stone her to death. Jesus told them that the one who was without sin should throw the first stone. And they all dropped the stones.
I am not throwing stones at anyone. I am not trying to kill anybody or break their bones. And I am not calling for anyone to be thrown into prison.
I am simply stating what the Word of God says about the sins of gay sex and gay marriage.
After the men dropped the stones that they were going to throw at the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said to her, “Go and sin no more.” He did not condemn her, but He did call her behavior sin and tell her to stop.
8. Isn’t it also a sin to eat shellfish and wear clothes with mixed fibers?
Those prohibitions are part of the sacrificial and ceremonial laws of the Old Testament book of Leviticus.
Christians are not required to follow those laws of sacrifice and ritual because when Jesus came he fulfilled those laws by making the perfect sacrifice for our sins with his crucifixion. To bind ourselves to those Old Testament sacrificial laws would be to deny the sufficiency of the perfect sacrifice that Christ made for us on the Cross.
This is explained in detail in the New Testament book of Hebrews, Chapters 8 through 10.
Hebrews 8 says that Jesus ministry and covenant are superior to the ministry of the Old Testament priests and the covenant God made with the people of the Old Testament.
Hebrews 10:11b says that the Old Testament sacrifices could never take away sins.
And Hebrews 9 says that the Old Testament sacrificial and ceremonial rules were “only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings – external regulations applying until the time of the new order.” (Hebrew 9: 10)
That new, perfect order is the ministry, sacrifice, and covenant of Christ. “[B]y one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10: 14)
Therefore, there is now no need for the Old Testament sacrifices and ceremonies, like not eating shellfish and not wearing clothes with mixed fibers and being circumcised.
Jesus perfect sacrifice and new covenant have made the Old Testament sacrifices and covenant obsolete. (Hebrews 8:13)
So, if the Old Testament sacrifices are now obsolete, why do we need to keep the commandments not to have gay sex or premarital heterosexual sex; or not to lie, steal, murder, or dishonor our parents? Why are some rules obsolete and others still in effect? Aren’t we just picking and choosing which laws we want to follow and which ones we don’t?
No. The New Testament makes it clear that the sacrificial and ceremonial laws, including shellfish, mixed fibers, and circumcision are obsolete. But the “moral” laws like those prohibiting gay sex, premarital heterosexual sex, murder, etc . . . are still required to be kept in the New Testament.
In Acts 15 the Apostles addressed the question of whether new believers had to be circumcised and keep the sacrificial laws and the prohibitions against eating certain foods. They wrote to the new believers, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” (Acts 15: 28-29) They told the people that Christ had freed them from the Old Testament sacrificial and ceremonial laws, but that they still had to keep the moral law.
Other parts of the New Testament also make it clear that the moral laws must still be kept.
Jesus said, “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19: 17b) When he was asked which commandments had to be kept, He said, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19: 18-19) He was saying that we are still required to obey God’s moral laws.
Regarding the sin of gay sex, the New Testament reaffirms that gay sex is still sin and that the prohibition against it still stands.
“Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts wit other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1: 26b – 27)
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Corinthians 6: 9-10)
“Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)
According to the Word of God, we are permitted to eat shellfish and wear clothes of mixed fibers, but we must keep the moral law – including the laws prohibiting gay sex. We are not picking and choosing which laws we must obey and which ones we can ignore. We are consistently proclaiming the teachings of the Bible regarding sacrifices, ceremonies, and morality.
9. How about we just let everybody be happy?
How about we make God happy by doing what pleases Him, obeying His commandments, turning away from sin, and putting our faith in His love. And His love is so great that He sent His only Son to pay for us the death penalty that we deserve for our sins, so we can have eternal life with Him in heaven.
How about we make the God who loves us so much happy; rather than turning violently against Him by desecrating His holy institution of marriage, which He defined as the union of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2: 21-24; Matthew 19:4-5)
10. Don’t you have anything better to do?
Better than publicly proclaiming the Truth of the Word of the God who loved me so much that He sent His beloved, perfect Son to be tortured to death for my sins? The God who is that desperately determined to have me spend eternity with Him in paradise? No. I don’t have anything better than that to do.
11. How does gay marriage affect you directly?
The children in my family are growing up in a culture which now celebrates what God calls an abomination.
My country has made what God calls a detestable sin into a sacrament. My country has turned brazenly against the God upon whom it was founded and who, for over 200 years, blessed it more abundantly than any country in the history of the world. My country has put itself in grave danger of the wrathful judgment of God.
Gay marriage affects me – and every American citizen – directly.
12. Why aren’t you carrying a sign that says, “Divorce is Sin,” or “Lying is Sin?”
Divorce is a sin, except in cases of sexual infidelity or when one of the spouses deserts the other. Lying and a number of other behaviors are also sin. But only gay sex – which God calls a detestable, unnatural, and shameful sin – has been made, by our government, into a sacrament equivalent to God’s sacred institution of marriage. (Romans 1:26-27; 1Corinthians 6:9-10; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13)
Making the sinful acts of gay sex and homosexual relations into the equivalent of God’s sacred institution of marriage is the final, sealing mark of America’s not only turning away from God, but turning violently against Him.
I will continue to walk with my “Jesus Loves You / Gay Marriage is Sin” sign.
Because it is the Truth of the Word of God.
Because I want to see every homosexual person on the planet turn away from the sin of gay sex, embrace Jesus, and go to heaven.
Because I don’t want our children to grow up in a culture that – everywhere – tells them that sin is not sin.
And because our country desperately needs a Christianity beyond our “Nice-Guy” Church. Our country desperately needs a Church that is as courageous, bold, loving, and strong as the Lord whom we follow; a church that stands up forcefully, lovingly, and fearlessly for Jesus Christ, no matter who opposes us; and a church which, like Christ, loves enough to powerfully proclaim the Truth of God – no matter who it offends.
“JESUS LOVES YOU / GAY MARRIAGE IS SIN”