Our last post brought up a sensitive subject for many people. But homosexuality came up during our Thursday night poker game (by others, not us), and it somewhat fits our mission here.
It's easy to crack a poker joke about this subject -- and point out the game sometimes pays you off for being "straight." But let's go back to a section of Scripture we quoted before, where the apostle Paul explains how homosexuality develops:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.... Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. - Romans 1:21, 24These are words which could make people on both sides of the debate a moment to pause. Paul says God "gave them over" to this kind of behavior -- and to a lot of other things as well.
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness.... - Romans 1:28-29
You can read through the end of the chapter to see what Paul put on his full list of "wickedness." Homosexuality is only one of many things on that list. But review those verses carefully, and you'll see Paul also mentions the way to avoid that list -- by glorifying God, giving Him thanks and retaining God's knowledge. It takes more than simply saying the proper words to Him....
For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. - I Corinthians 6:20, KJV
This is talking about our physical bodies; why else would Paul advise earlier in verse 18 to "flee fornication"?
We realize, of course, that poker tends to be a game which does not discriminate. Anyone can play in free tournaments, or can pay a buy-in fee to enter bigger games - no matter what ethnic background, sexual history or nationality. (If you know of an exception to this, we'd be interested in hearing about it.) So for us, homosexuality is a non-issue when we play. We don't bring up the topic, but we'll respond if others do.
But if you see a need to answer Paul's words of correction and get away from that list of wicked behavior -- whether it's homosexuality or anything else -- there are online resources to help you. Here's one of them for starters.