The Pastor's Study

What does the Bible teach about homosexuality?

There are ten passages in the Bible that directly or indirectly refer to homosexuality. Homosexual behavior is viewed negatively every time it is mentioned, yet some in the Church today are saying that “loving committed” homosexual relationships are approved by God. A question I have repeatedly heard is “How do liberal pastors, seminary professors and bishops get around the clear teaching of Scripture on homosexuality?” I will answer that as we look at the Biblical passages on homosexuality.

Genesis 2:18, 22. In this passage, God creates a woman to complement the man. God makes a woman, not another man, to fulfill Adam’s need for companionship.

Genesis 19:1-9. The Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sexual sin, which involved homosexual rape. Liberals in the Church teach that this passage does not condemn homosexuality per se but homosexual rape. They would teach the real sin of Sodom was “inhospitality.” Actually, both are true. Homosexual rape is inhospitable. That this passage also condemns homosexual behavior in itself and not just rape is shown by the fact that Lot offers his daughters rather than see his guests raped. The Bible never says that God approved of Lot’s offer, but it shows how taboo homosexual behavior was to this follower of Jehovah.

Leviticus 18:22 condemns sex between two men. Liberals point out that Leviticus also condemns the eating of pork and the wearing of a garment woven with two kinds of material. We no longer follow these rules, they contend, therefore we can ignore this passage about homosexuality. Not so. Jesus by His death fulfilled the sacrificial and ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. We are free to eat pork and not follow those Old Testament laws which were given specifically to the Jews to distinguish them from the nations (Mark 7:18). The moral law of the Old Testament, however, still stands. Leviticus chapter 18 also condemns incest (verse 9), adultery (verse 20), child sacrifice (verse 21) and bestiality (verse 23), yet no one is—or should—maintain that these laws are no longer applicable because they appear in the Book of Leviticus.

Leviticus 20:13 teaches that homosexual acts are “detestable” and should be punished by death. Liberals say “If you are going to be consistent, do you really want to kill homosexuals today?” Our response: Israel was a theocracy, not a democracy. We are never instructed in the Bible to impose Old Testament theocratic punishments on other forms of government. But the Apostle Paul does state in Romans 13 that all governments, even pagan governments, make laws to curb human sin. Whatever the form of government, the Bible’s point still stands: homosexual behavior is grievous to God.

Deuteronomy 23:17-18 warns against prostitution, including homosexual prostitution. They are “abominations to the Lord”.

Deuteronomy 22:5 teaches against transvestitism (men wearing women’s clothing and vice verse) is an abomination to the Lord. Sadly, some in the Church today teach that if a male feels himself to be a female, it is permissible for that person to wear women’s clothing and even undergo sex change surgery.

Romans 1:26-27. This is the clearest teaching in the Bible against homosexual behavior of any kind. Homosexual behavior is the consequence of mankind’s idolatry. Homosexual desires are called “degrading passions” and are said to be “against nature.” Liberals argue that this passage does not condemn “loving, committed” homosexual behavior, but only condemns child abuse, homosexual prostitution and promiscuity. But this is impossible to maintain since the passage is a blanket condemnation with no qualifiers. There is no hint here that that which is against nature becomes natural if the two people are in a committed relationship.

I Corinthians 6:9-11. This passage teaches that people who continue in impenitent sin—including but not limited to homosexuality—will not inherit God’s Kingdom. Two words for homosexuality are used here, one meaning “soft, effeminate, the passive partner in homosexual relations” and the other being “male bed”, meaning, a male who has sex with a male. The passage teaches that some at Corinth had been involved in this behavior but had been washed through the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When liberals in the Church teach that one can inherit the Kingdom of God while continuing in this behavior they are being very cruel. Whether they realize it or not, according to this passage, they are encouraging people to go to hell.

I Timothy 1:8-10 contains a list of gross sins, including murder, fornication, kidnapping, lying, and more. Included in that list is homosexual behavior. All these behaviors are referred to as “contrary to sound teaching.”

Jude 6-7 (see also 2 Peter 2:6-10) teaches that the sin of Sodom was “gross immorality and they went after strange flesh.” Sodom is an example of God’s punishment of “eternal fire.” Liberals try to maintain that Sodom’s sin here is, again, inhospitality. But the words “gross immorality” and “going after strange flesh” are clearly a reference to the sexual sins of Sodom.

Thus the Bible teaches that sexual intercourse is for a man and woman within the commitment of marriage. Any other form of sexual intercourse, be it heterosexual fornication or homosexual behavior, is forbidden by the Bible. The Good News is that through Christ’s saving death, there is forgiveness of sins for all who repent and put their faith in Christ (I Corinthians 6:9-11). The Christian Gospel holds out forgiveness and new life to those who have been involved in any kind of sinful, sexual behavior. For those with same sex attraction, God may indeed grant them healing and reorienting toward heterosexual marriage. Some Christians, however, may struggle with same sex attraction throughout their lives. Regardless of one’s situation, all single Christians are called to live chaste lives for the glory of God and for their own well being.

Let us pray that the Lord of the Church will enable His Church to maintain the truth of the Bible in our confused age.

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