There are countless writings and teachings regarding the Biblical reasons as to why God condemns homosexuality and transgenderism (as well as all heterosexual forms of adultery), and there are just as many works out there trying to refute the sinfulness of homosexuality and transgenderism. In 16 years of youth ministry experience and the last 5 years of presenting PLUM seminars, I have found that PLUM has been the most effective at having constructive conversations with people on both sides of the issues that do not result in me sounding defensive or judgmental. As only God can change hearts, I am not proposing PLUM as a way of changing people’s minds, but rather as a consistent theological foundation that does not necessarily single out specific forms of sexual sin from one another.
The thesis of PLUM is: All sexual sin in the Bible elevates or neglects one or more purposes of sex from the others, therefore, all four purposes of sex should be treated equally and used together at all times to properly reflect God’s image in our sexuality.
Understanding this thesis is essential to applying PLUM to the Christian life. I believe that proper theology gives consistent guidance to Christians, regardless of how complicated the situation. This is true of PLUM. The consistency of PLUM will always take the Christian back to the holiness of God’s standard that is reflected in the purposes of sex. Just as all sexual sin is defined by a misuse of the four purposes of sex, so it is with homosexuality and transgenderism.
One of the statements I make in all of my seminars is, “sexual sin is not defined by what we think is weird or gross, but by anything that does not properly reflect God’s holy image.” The reason for making this statement is to confront the belief that culture dictates what is good and bad. For the Christian, God’s definition of good and evil never changes, as He never changes.
Here are some examples of how PLUM treats LGBT issues the same as all other sexual sins:
Question #1: “Why is homosexuality sinful even if the couple is in a faithful-monogamous relationship?”
Answer: Even if a homosexual couple loves one another in a faithful and monogamous way, their homosexuality would still be a misuse of the Unit still be a misuse of the Unit and Multiplying purposes of sex. It is impossible for them to share the sexual union that only a man and a woman can have, and their relationship does not properly reflect of the image of Christ and His Church that is to be represented in the union of a man and a woman. Their relationship also misuses the Multiplying purpose of sex in the simple fact that it is impossible for the sexual union in a homosexual relationship to result in conceiving a child. Even though they could possibly adopt or use a surrogate, the foundation of their relationship is a denial of one of the basic functions of what it means to multiply in a sexual relationship.
This answer even applies to heterosexual couples who are cohabiting or sexually active, but not married to each other. In very similar ways, they are neglecting the proper use of the Unity purpose of sex in that by not being in a committed marriage relationship, they are misrepresenting the image of Christ and His Church.
Question #2: If a man and a woman are sexually active before marriage, why is it okay for them to still get married, and it’s not okay for a homosexual couple to live in a committed relationship?
Answer: By God’s grace all sinners, who have repented of their sin and placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their only hope for eternal life, are redeemed from their sinful pasts. A pre-marital sexual relationship between a man and a woman can still be redeemed if the couple repents of their sin and commit themselves to pursue God’s standard in their relationship. This would be impossible for a homosexual relationship to do, unless they repent from their homosexuality and forsake their sexual relationship.
These are just a couple examples from two of the most common types of questions I will hear from individuals in the PLUM seminars who want to have deeper discussions about PLUM and LGBT issues.
I believe PLUM is the most effective biblical approach to dealing with LGBT issues, because it is the only theological foundation of sex I have found that consistently incorporates all FOUR of the biblical purposes of sex and how our God-given sexuality was created first to be used as an act of worship, and secondly as a gift for men and women to enjoy.