Brethren Revival Fellowship Position on Homosexual Practice

By Harold S. Martin

I speak tonight for the Brethren Revival Fellowship. We oppose the practice of homosexuality for the same reason that we oppose short hair on women, long hair on men, baptizing infants, and telling lies. These are practices which violate the teachings of Scripture. The Bible is our rule of faith and practice.

The creation account in Genesis 2:24 establishes heterosexual monogamy as the norm. Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The only “one-flesh” experience that God approves is monogamous, permanent, heterosexual marriage. Jesus quoted the Genesis 2:24 passage when He said, “The one who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’”–and then Jesus added His own endorsement: “What God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4-6). The question is: What has God joined together? The answer is: Male and female! Jesus endorsed the male/female union in marriage.

The biblical passages in Leviticus, Romans and 1 Corinthians are clear prohibitions against homosexual activity:

In Leviticus 20:13, homosexual practice is called an “abomination.”

In Romans 1:26-27, homosexual intercourse is referred to as a “depraved passion.”

It is true that the New Testament Gospel accounts have no record that Jesus ever directly addressed homosexuality in His teachings–but to argue that homosexuality is acceptable to God because we have no direct words from Christ, is to say by the same logic that we must approve the activities of child pornographers, cocaine traffickers, and wife beaters–because Jesus never addressed those matters either.

There is no question in our minds, but that the Bible clearly and specifically condemns homosexual behavior. Wherever it is mentioned in Scripture, homosexual practice is uniformly condemned.

While it is true that the Word of God condemns homosexual behavior, the Bible also condemns lying, murder, disobedience to parents, unethical business practices, etc. So why the particular furor over homosexual behavior? Charles Colson (of Prison Fellowship) believes that it is “because homosexual sin bears particularly egregious consequences-not only in the character of those who commit it, but in the corporate civil order as well. Homosexual sin cuts to the heart of the creation covenant. In the Genesis account, God speaks the world into creation. He shapes man in His own image, anticipates his loneliness, creates a wife exactly suited to him. And God is no Victorian killjoy when it comes to sex. He created it.” Colson continues by saying that although sin tainted that first marriage, “the pattern is clear: One man cleaving to one woman, bearing children, raising them up in the fear of the Lord. It is a morality so biblically and so biologically based, as to be the selfevident foundation of civilization. Today that foundation is crumbling. The fear of the Lord is gone. Adultery rends the cleaving. Abortion destroys the children. And homosexuality mocks God’s loving design itself. It is perhaps the most radical rebellion against God, the rudest rejection of God’s authority, the ugliest expression of the creation saying to the Creator,’Why did You make me like this?’” (quoted from Jubilee, March, 1993).

In contrast to our society’s increasing infatuation with tolerance—which demands that we accept homosexual behavior as normative–Brethren Revival Fellowship draws the line and cannot condone the sinful conduct.

We must be careful however to condemn only the practice, not the people. People who commit homosexual acts are not to be feared, ridiculed, or hated. They can be forgiven and their lives can be transformed. And the church ought to be a haven of forgiveness and healing for homosexuals–without compromising its stance against homosexual behavior.

Brethren Revival Fellowship believes that the Church of the Brethren should take a united stand against the evil of homosexual conduct, and that we should not take any steps that give credibility to the homosexual lifestyle. It is equally important that we guard our attitudes in doing so.

In Romans 1, Paul charts the moral regression of the human family into deeper and deeper sin (Romans 1:21-27). And in Romans 1:30-31, he speaks of those who are “arrogant” and “boastful” and “heartless” and “ruthless” (NIV). If we want to represent Christ, we must guard our attitudes–lest in the heat of our hatred for sin We lose our compassion and our sense of sober-minded balance in our view of fellow human beings.

The above message was delivered as part of a Forum on the issue of homosexuality at the Greenmount Church of the Brethren, near Harrisonburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1993.


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Captivity… Dreams… Rulers… Fire… Lions… Prayers… Kingdoms. From a dedicated youth to a faithful sage, Daniel’s life stands as an example to follow.  Yet beyond his personal life, God gifted Daniel with a message of future events.  Though difficult to grasp, these events would shape the world for the coming Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ as King.


Luke presents a warmly personal and historically accurate account of Jesus as “the Son of Man.” This course will survey the Third Gospel, with emphasis on the unique events, miracles, and parables of Jesus found in it.


This class will provide a broad overview of general church history. We will then focus on the Anabaptist and Pietist movements, especially as they relate to the formation and development of the Brethren groups. This is a two-part class. Plan to take both parts.


This course is intended to lay down a measure in a world where truth is slippery and often subject to interpretation. Where “Christian Values” become a political slogan, and “good people” are our allies despite their faulty core beliefs. Where Facebook “friends” post memes about the power of God, despite a lifestyle that is anything but Godly. In the process we often fight among ourselves, doing Satan’s work for him. The purpose of this course is to lay the measure of Jesus Christ against the cults, religions, and worship in our contemporary world.


While Protestant translations of the Bible contain 66 books, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches recognize additional canonical books as well.  Where did these books, collectively known as the Apocrypha, come from and why aren’t they part of our Bible?  How reliable are they, and what value is there in studying them?


The goal of this class is to acquire a firm grasp of the teachings and themes of these two general epistles. Peter covers topics from salvation and suffering to spiritual deception and the return of Christ. These letters are packed with warnings and encouragements for Christian living.


A detailed study of Jesus Christ and His relationship to the “I Am” metaphors in John’s gospel. Why did Jesus describe himself in these terms? How do they relate to each other? We will look at spiritual and practical applications to further our Christian growth.


Have you ever been visited by someone who said they wanted to study the Bible with you so that you might discover the truth together?  Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to have much in common with evangelical Christians, and they seem to be well versed in the scriptures.  But what do they really believe and how can we effectively witness to those who have been ensnared by this false religion?


While we may consider Hosea as one of the minor prophets, his message vividly illustrates the major doctrine in all Scriptures.  The theme of God’s unconditional love is magnified and extended beyond those deserving it.  God expresses tender words towards His erring people inviting them to turn from sin to reconciliation with Him.


This course will look at basic principles and polity of leading the local church. We will examine the balance between upholding a spiritually focused organism of ministry and cultivating proper order for effective organization. Practical applications will be emphasized. This is a two-part class. Plan to take both parts.


The Brethren Bible Institute believes in the discipline of the whole person (spirit, soul, and body). We will aim to train students not only about how to study the Bible in a systematic way (2 Timothy 2:15), but also how to live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12). God calls Christians to the highest of character when He commands us to be holy (1 Peter 1:15), and holiness requires discipline.

Indulgence in the use of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, drugs, profanity, and gambling are forbidden at BBI. Objectionable literature will be prohibited. Students are asked not to use the college pool during the Institute. Each student must be thoughtful, and respect the rights of others at all times, especially during study and rest periods.

A friendly social group intermingling of students between class periods, and at general school activities is encouraged. Each student should enjoy the friendship of the entire group. At all times, highest standards of social conduct between men and women must be maintained. This means that all forms of unbecoming behavior and unseemly familiarities will be forbidden.

Personal appearance and grooming tell much about one's character. Students are expected to be dressed in good taste. In an attempt to maintain Scriptural expressions of simplicity, modesty, and nonconformity, the following regulations shall be observed while attending BBI.

MEN should be neatly attired and groomed at all times. Fashion extremes and the wearing of jewelry should be avoided on campus. The hair should not fall over the shirt-collar when standing, nor should it cover the ears.

WOMEN should wear skirts cut full enough and of sufficient length to at least come to the knees when standing and sitting. Form-fitting, transparent, low-neckline, or sleeveless clothing will not be acceptable. Slacks and culottes are permitted only for recreation and then only when worn under a skirt of sufficient length. Wearing jewelry should be avoided on campus. Long hair for women is encouraged and all Church of the Brethren girls (and others with like convictions) shall be veiled on campus.

The Institute reserves the right to dismiss any student whose attitude and behavior is not in harmony with the ideals of the School, or whose presence undermines the general welfare of the School, even if there is no specific breach of conduct.

The Brethren Bible Institute is intended to provide sound Bible teaching and wholesome Christian fellowship for all who desire it. The Bible School Committee worked hard and long at the task of arriving at standards, which will be pleasing to the Lord. It is not always easy to know just where the line should be drawn and we do not claim perfection. No doubt certain standards seem too strict for some and too loose for others. If you are one who does not share all these convictions, we hope you will agree to adjust to them for the School period, for the sake of those who do. We are confident that the blessings received will far outweigh any sacrifice you may have to make. If you have a special problem or question, please write to us about it. To be accepted as a student at BBI, you will need to sign a statement indicating that you will cooperate with the standards of the School.