PROVIDED WE DO NOT HURT ANYBODY, MAY WE DO WHAT WE WANT?
by Shawn Brasseaux
In this world of people attempting to redefine cultural norms and standards, various slogans have been invented and offered as justification. For example, here is a convenient method of excusing homosexuality today: “I can be gay and marry whomever I want. After all, I am not hurting anyone.” It is really possible to break from such social ideals and not be injurious to some degree? (NO!) How should we respond to this argument? “For what saith the Scriptures?”
Man is doubtless an intelligent, rational being. However, he does not use his impressive mental faculties to arrive at the truth. Actually, he will intentionally suppress the truth. See Romans chapter 1: “ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”
In fact, Jeremiah 17:9 is another most “inconvenient” verse: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Mark chapter 7 adds: “ And he [Jesus] said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
The human heart—our heart—is evil beyond comprehension. Unless the Bible told us of our sin problem, we would have never known it. The heart would not have indicated it to us. In fact, without the Scriptures to set the standard and define boundaries, we would have thought of ourselves as “pretty good.” Romans 3:23 makes that famous, all-encompassing statement: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Compared to one sinner, we do not look that bad. Then, compared to another sinner, we appear wicked. Now, let us take up God’s righteous standard and look at it: everyone is equally evil. That leveling removes all pride. Sin is not measuring up to a life that worships the Creator God. It is conduct that does not match His life. Sin is a departure from the path that God intended man (us) to follow when He put Adam in the Garden of Eden. See 1 John 3:4: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Isaiah 53:6 defines sin as follows: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” In addition to man “doing his own thing,” he also concocts defenses to rationalize his wicked behavior. This is the case with each and every sin, not just homosexuality. If we study Genesis chapter 3, we see the defense of blame-shifting: “ And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.  And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
When God asked Adam why he sinned, verse 12 says Adam blamed Eve (rather, Adam accused God of wrongdoing for giving him Eve!). Eve, when asked why she sinned, blamed Satan (verse 13). So, we see these three excuses even in our modern world. When the sinner is caught doing wrong, he cries out in his own defense, “It is not my fault! He made me do it! She made me do it!” Or, the sinner finds relief in two other people. Firstly, it is: “God made me do it, for He made me this way!” Secondly, it is: “Satan made me do it, for he tempted me!” Respectively, these are repetitions of Adam’s excuse and Eve’s excuse of long ago.
“As long as I am not hurting anyone, I can do whatever I want.” If we reduce the severity of our sinful actions to this clever expression, then we have truly failed to comprehend the magnitude of sin itself. When we recall Adam and Eve sinning in the Garden of Eden, their actions really do not seem that evil. All they did was eat forbidden fruit. Yet, it was a colossal problem, as found in Genesis chapter 2: “ And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Now, chapter 3 of Genesis: “ Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
There is nothing morally wrong in eating fruit, but if God said not to do it, then it is a sinful act. In God’s sight, Adam consuming the forbidden fruit was just as serious as murder. We may not agree with that, we may not see it that way, but that is the way it is. Any and every deviation from God’s path is repulsive to Him. Whether angels or people, if they live contrary to how the Creator designed life to function, they are guilty of sin. They all fall short of God’s glory, for they all fail to conduct themselves as He intended them to live.
When someone claims they can live however they want as long as they do not harm anyone, the idea that underlies that defense is deceitful. They may not be intentionally dishonest, but they really are untruthful. When someone defends homosexual marriage with, “I can be in a romantic relationship with whomever I want, provided I do not harm anyone,” they have no idea what they are actually saying. At the very minimum, they are harming themselves because they are living contrary to the way they have been designed to live. They are also harming their partner, encouraging that soul to also live contrary to the way he or she has been designed to live. Furthermore, they both are disrespecting the Creator who designed them to live in the way they refuse to live. In the case of homosexual relationships, the Bible’s attitude has never changed and will never change.
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:2). “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13). Someone will surely reply, “But that is the Old Testament, the Mosaic Law.” We reply, “Certainly. Now, let us see that the New Testament affirms God is still opposed to gay relationships.”
Romans 1:26-28: “ For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Verse 27 condemns homosexuality as sin.
First Corinthians 6:9-11: “ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Verse 9 condemns homosexuality as sin.
First Timothy 1:8-11: “ But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;  According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” Verse 10 condemns homosexuality as sin.
It is a fundamental fact of creation that has never changed and will never change. Reproduction is impossible with homosexual relations. Heterosexual relationships are the only way we can fulfill the commission of Genesis chapter 1: “ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Unless heterosexual unions are encouraged and embraced, the human race will go extinct! This is simple common sense.
While we insult the Creator and parade our sin before Him, accumulating His wrath against the day of judgment (Romans 2:5), we voice our slogan, “We are hurting no one!” Little do we know we are chipping away at our own personhood, what it means to be a human—and our species ultimately suffers. We are openly and unashamedly strutting around, daring God to respond. Here is the deceitfulness of sin, the desperately-wicked heart of man. Not only does sin harm others, including the Creator; it harms us! Let us never forget it.
Someone once said, “Each of us has a short ride on this earth and as long as we stay in our lane, and don’t affect someone else’s ride, we should be allowed to drive as we see fit.” Herein is the problem: “we see fit” is misleading because it is selfish living. It is not living as the LORD God sees fit, but living as we see fit. This is sin, us doing our own thing. Destruction and disaster are sure to follow. Looking beyond all the slogans and arguments man has devised to justify his wickedness, we can see sin laid bare. Allowing the Scriptures to speak, the fact is inescapable: we are all sinners, all fallen short of God’s glory. He has set the standard, not we ourselves. What He says is right, not we ourselves. Sin is we disregarding His purpose and plan for creation. It goes beyond homosexual behavior. If the activity is not in accordance with sound Bible doctrine, it is sin. Period.
The good news—literally, the Gospel—is that “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus Christ went to Calvary’s cross to shed His sinless blood, that He may pay for everything that is wrong with you. All your sins, whatever they are, however many they are, can be forgiven this very moment. God’s love and grace can overcome anything and everything you have done wrong. Will you trust Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, thereby receiving God’s righteousness and an eternal home in Heaven? If you have not, you are strongly urged to do so, friend!
Let us make one more closing remark. Even as Christians, we can be poor examples to others. The activities in which we engage may be a stumblingblock to those around us who do not engage in those activities (but may do so now that they see us doing them). Romans 14:13 says, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” First Corinthians 8:9: “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” If we have trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, then we need to be careful to think and walk as Christians (paying special attention to the Apostle Paul’s writings, Romans through Philemon). Our unruly behavior is an occasion for others to be encouraged to follow our poor pattern. Not only does sin harm us; it harms others! Be vigilant!
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