AFA radio host: Legal sanctions for homosexual behavior are biblical

In a column on the  American Family Association website, Bryan Fischer, host of the AFA broadcast Focal Point said the New Testament teaches that the state should criminalize homosexual behavior.

He bases this on a spurious reading of I Timothy chapter 1, saying:

I received a complaint from a listener to my “Focal Point” radio program, complaining that I had suggested that it is appropriate to impose legal sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior. Here is my response. The individual’s name was not attached to the email, so I wasn’t able to address him by name.

Hi!Thanks for writing me about my comments on my program regarding homosexuality.It might be worth noting that what I actually suggested is that we impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse, since both pose the same kind of risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. I’d be curious to know what you think should be done with IV drug abusers, because whatever it is, I think the same response should be made to those who engage in homosexual behavior.If you believe that what drug abusers need is to go into an effective detox program, then we should likewise put active homosexuals through an effective reparative therapy program.Secondly, I’m afraid you’re simply wrong about the Bible’s perspective on the law and homosexuality.

Paul lists quite explicitly in 1 Timothy 1:8-11 the actions and behaviors that are the proper concern of the law:

“Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine…”

The bottom line here is that, biblically, those “who practice homosexuality” should come under the purview of the law just as much as those who take people captive in order to sell them into slavery.

You express a belief in the Scriptures, and I trust your confidence in Scripture is not selective. If you believe all Scripture is inspired, then you are compelled to accept that legal sanctions may appropriately be applied to those who engage in homosexual behavior.

Thank you for contacting us, and I hope this response will help you think in a thorough and biblical way about this important social issue.

Bryan Fischer, Host, “Focal Point” radio program on AFR Talk, a division of the American Family Association

© Bryan Fischer

I wonder what punishments Mr. Fischer would impose on the “unholy and profane?” How about liars? And the quite broad category of folks: Sinners?

One contributor to the mischief is Mr. Fischer’s misreading of the word law in I Timothy. Paul is writing Timothy to warn him about false teachers who want the Mosaic law applied to the followers of Jesus. Elsewhere Paul taught that the law was a “schoolmaster” which demonstrated the need for the good news of the gospel of redemption by belief in Christ. Mr. Fischer needs to spend some quality time reading Galatians chapters 1-4.

Paul is giving Timothy religious instructions and not saying that the civil law is given to prosecute various actions at odds with Christian teaching. Paul demonstrates that spiritual salvation is view, not civil punishment, when he writes later in I Timothy 1:

 12 though I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: howbeit I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief;

 13 and the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

 14 Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief:

 15 howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me as chief might Jesus Christ show forth all his longsuffering, for an ensample of them that should thereafter believe on him unto eternal life.

16 I thank him that enabled me, even Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he counted me faithful, appointing me to his service;

Fischer apparently believes this passage somehow justifies civil penalties for homosexuality. Not at all. In fact, if anything, it argues that the proper role of the church is to proclaim redemption, rather than lobby for new laws against private conduct.

13 thoughts on “AFA radio host: Legal sanctions for homosexual behavior are biblical”

  1. is it not that god only judge’s, and punishes

    is it not that Mr. Fischer is god

    is it not that their will be false gods

  2. Actually, Elisha is quite correct. The Biblical punishment is indeed death.

    According to REAL Christians, however, Jesus already took that punishment.

  3. Martin Luther, initiator of the Protestant Reformation, teached to distinguish the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the world. One of the deepest mistakes of the church at his time was, in his opinion, to mix the two powers (or “swords”, as he says) confusingly. Spiritual actualities, he says, never can be pushed through by violence or law and order. The Bible must be understood according to its center, Jesus Christ, who said: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18, 36) and who forgave the adulteress instead of stoning her (John 8). According to the protestant (end evangelical) origins the words of Bryan Fisher (and of Elisha as well) simply demonstrates an alarming absence of theological education and insight. Christians could be victims of persecution, but never persecuers! Metanoeite! –

  4. I disagree with all of the above. Maybe that means I’m a “faux Chrisian” after all. That’s OK. I think I prefer “faux Christianity” to the type many “real Christians” advocate. Faux Christianity seems more, well, Christ-like.

  5. What a shame that Throckmorton and the commenters here have chosen to reject the Biblical standard of morality and law.

    Throckmorton asks:

    “I wonder what punishments Mr. Fischer would impose on the “unholy and profane?” How about liars? And the quite broad category of folks: Sinners?”

    You wouldn’t have to wonder if you would read your Bible. If there is a Biblically prescribed punishment such as death or banishment, then that is the punishment that should be meted out. It is not your place to challenge God’s assessment of the proper penalty. If there is a sin for which there is no prescribed punishment, then we should do our prayerful best to impose a penalty based on an analogous sin for which there is a prescribed penalty.

    The New Testament’s statements about love and forgiveness are not an escape hatch for sinners. Forgiveness follows – and is not a substitute for – repentance and punishment. We can certainly forgive homosexuals who repent of their abominable sin, but only after they are executed.

    Look for many if not most sins, the Biblical punishment is death. To put it bluntly, the Bible is a book that advocates the execution of many, many people. That is the reality that Throckmorton and the other faux Christians on this site cannot accept. You deny it or dance around it or try to rewrite it withtry to argue that the New Testament lets you off the hook. But you can’t deny the words on the page.

  6. O, it was only satire in the blog. So it seems now. Sorry. It read to real, it would fully apply the statements of NARTH and Christl Ruth Vonholdt.

  7. At the same time say Ilse Aigner, head of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (Germany), suggest people with same sex attraction, which she surly meet with high respect, should try a reorientation of the sexual orientation, because it is proven, that a homosexual lifestyle has enhanced dangers for the health. (Only in the Print-Version and one Blog , not in the press report of the paper, there is only “i wouls like no candys at the at the checkout in the supermarket, i would like fruit there”)

  8. A child in Sunday school would not likely make that mistake. Is the barrel really that empty over there?

    So true.

  9. Just remembered who Fischer was/is. The one man AFA of the Idaho Values Alliance.

    Bryan Fischer has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Stanford University, and a graduate degree in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He served on the staff of Cole Community Church in Boise, where he founded the Cole Center for Biblical Studies and served as its director for 13 years. He then founded Community Church of the Valley, where he served as senior pastor for 12 years.

    It would seem he has the Christian cred’s. I thought he left the IVA to have that program with the AFA.

  10. Well, it has been barely a half a century that Mr Fischer’s ideas had begun to fall out of favor. However, this idea….

    I actually suggested is that we impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse, since both pose the same kind of risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

    Simply does not wash in any amount of logic. And I guess it is from there that he starts. Sexuality and IV drug use simply do not correlate with HIV prevalence. To suggest they do would be further suggest that heterosexual activity should be outlawed in Africa.

  11. He has an ally in some of the wonderful Christians of Uganda. Bahati, Ssempa, Archbishop Orombi…! Quite a list, I must say.

    Not forgetting Akinola of Nigeria who is silent, for some unknown reasons.

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