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A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality

Published on 04/03/14

by Siera Weber, written for MtTFC 2014

Homosexuality has revolutionized our culture's view of masculinity, femininity, and marriage. Once a questionable and shady practice, it is now considered natural, permissible, and a civil right that is not only to be respected, but also accepted by all communities, including the Christian community. Hemant Mehta, the “Friendly Atheist” blogger, warned that failure to accept gay marriage would result in historical infamy for the Christian sect.[1] Despite the risk of historical infamy, many Christians refuse to embrace homosexuality because they believe that it is wrong. But is homosexuality truly a sin, or is homosexual activity only wrong when out of the confines of marriage? The laymen, scientists, and scholars of our culture have many varied opinions on this often debated topic, but the opinions of man can be misleading and dangerous.[2] Christians must examine what the Word of God, the only real standard of truth,[3] has to say on this controversial subject.

The Bible addresses the subject of homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments. In Leviticus 18:22, God commanded, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.” In Leviticus 20:13, God instituted a seemingly harsh penalty for those who were discovered committing homosexual acts. Genesis 19 describes the destruction of Sodom, a city that God destroyed for its wickedness, including homosexuality. Lest anyone argue that the law of the Old Testament does not apply to Christians today, Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 also clearly describe homosexuality as unnatural and a sin. Romans 1:26 declares, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use for that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. ” The word natural in these verses is a translation of the Greek word phusikan, which means “produced by nature, inborn.”[4] The word use in these verses is the translation of the Greek word xrasin, which is used specifically with a sexual connotation.[5] Romans 1:26-27 declares that homosexuality is biologically abnormal because it goes against the natural sexual functions of men and women—which is reasonable considering human anatomy and reproduction. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul declares that those who are “effeminate” (Greek: malakos, “a person who allows himself to be sexually abused contrary to nature”)[6] or “abusers of themselves with mankind” (Greek: arsenokoites, “sodomite”)[7] will, along with other evildoers, be barred from heaven.

Despite the biblical evidence that homosexuality was not designed by God, some gay-rights activists and homosexuals have argued that homosexuality is a physical trait that cannot be changed. However, this is not the case. Not only is there little credible scientific evidence that homosexuality is an inborn trait,[8] but also it is possible for homosexuals to change, although the process can be excruciating and will often last for years.[9] Even if homosexuality were a natural inclination, it would not automatically be a right inclination. As sinful humans, we have many natural inclinations that go against God's Word.[10]

Even though the Bible has declared homosexuality a sin, our culture still embraces it, even to the point of legalizing same-sex marriage. Is the marriage union between those of the same gender legitimate in God's eyes? According to Genesis 2:21-24, which gives us the creation and institution of marriage, God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman. Nowhere in the Scriptures is a same-gender marriage even considered, let alone accepted. One of the practical purposes of marriage is to produce children and raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.[11] This cannot be done naturally by a homosexual couple because those of the same sex are unable to procreate. Furthermore, children that are adopted into a homosexual family cannot be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord because homosexuals live a lifestyle contrary to God's Word. Not only does marriage have a practical purpose, but it also has a symbolic purpose. Throughout the Bible, marriage is used as a picture of God's relationship with His people. In the Old Testament, Israel is considered the bride of God the Father; and in the New Testament, the Church is considered the bride of Christ.[12] Same-sex marriage distorts that image and flouts God's original intentions for marriage.

How can our culture so readily scorn God's plan for sex and marriage? In mere decades, our society has moved from opposing homosexuality to openly lauding it. How is such a change possible? It is possible because our culture has willfully ignored God's literal signs in the heavens and earth. All of creation testifies to the existence of its Creator,[13] but our society has chosen to accept that chance produced the complex systems of the universe. Cloaking their arrogance in the guise of science,[14] scientists and laymen alike have reduced man to a merely mechanical being allowed to do whatever he wants, regardless of any moral laws the Creator has imposed on His creation. When a society rejects God's Word, God gives that society over to the depraved fancies of its members.[15] One of the results of man being turned over to his own sinful desires is homosexuality.[16] Because man will have nothing to do with God and the way He instituted marriage and sex, he has decided to replace God's plan with his own. The result is an idolatrous relationship that elevates the creature above the Creator.[17]

Because homosexuality is blatantly against God and His Word, how are Christians supposed to respond to those who profess to be gay or lesbian? First, we must remember that all sin is equal in God's eyes.[18] The sin of homosexuality is no better nor worse than adultery, fornication, gossip, lying, theft, disputing, or murder. Often, we make the mistake of emphasizing one particular sin, such as homosexuality, and then minimizing other sins that we consider minor. We should remember that every sin is serious in God's eyes. Second, as ambassadors on this earth for Christ, we need to live in a manner befitting God's kingdom in both word and deed.[19] If a homosexual sees sin in our lives, he will be less likely to accept Christ's message because our own deeds will declare our faith to be dead.[20] Third, we need to remember that a homosexual is the same as every other sinner. Satan has blinded him, and his heart has deceived him.[21] Instead of realizing that God is love, the homosexual turns to sinful sources to receive the acceptance and affection he craves. He does not realize that God is the only true source of satisfaction. Finally, we should proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, for only the power of the gospel can truly change a sinner.[22]

Once hidden, now flaunted, homosexuality is a deviance from God's original plan for sexual relations that has been embraced by our culture. Homosexuality is not exonerated when practiced within the confines of marriage, for it ignores the foundation and purpose of marriage. As Christians, we are to stand firmly against homosexuality; and we are responsible to share why we must oppose it. We need to communicate in both word and deed the love of God, which is better and truer than any replica the homosexual community can conjure in its search for fulfillment. We need to tell of our God Who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”[23]

[1] Hemant Mehta, “The Debate Over Gay Marriage is Precisely What Christians Will Be Known For.” April 1, 2014.

[2] Proverbs 16:25.

[3] John 17:17.

[4] Matt Slick, “Romans 1:26-27 and Homosexuality.” Accessed on April 9, 2014.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Matt Slick, “Matthew Vines on 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.” Accessed on April 8, 2014.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Sue Bohlin, “Homosexual Myths—Exposed from a Biblical Perspective.” Accessed April 7, 2014.

[9] Sue Bohlin, “Can Homosexuals Change? —A Christian View of Homosexuality.” Accessed April 10, 2014.

[10] Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 11:32; Psalm 32:8.

[11] Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 6:20.

[12] Jeremiah 3:14; Ephesians 5:22-25.

[13] Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1.

[14] Romans 1:22.

[15] Romans 1:24,26,28.

[16] Romans 1:26-28.

[17] Romans 1:23, 25.

[18] 1 John 5:17; James 2:10.

[19] 2 Corinthians 5:20; Colossians 3:17.

[20] James 2:26.

[21] Jeremiah 17:9; 2 Corinthians 5:20.

[22] Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 1:16; John 1:12.

[23] Psalm 86:15.