The Bible’s Stance On Homosexuality
Homosexuality by far is one of the most controversial issue that plagues today’s churches. Some denominations have openly declared their support for same sex marriage & relationships while some have maintained their stance that it is a sin in the eyes of God
There is no point debating this issue from a human rights point of view as it is a religious point of contention (for Christians at least). Therefore, it would only be correct to look to what Scriptures have to say about it
Point 1: God’s plan
It is a fait accompli that in the beginning, God created Adam and Eve. Eve was created as a companion/helper for Adam (Genesis 2:18)
The Bible then goes on to say in Genesis 2 that a man will be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. This is reaffirmed in Mark 10
22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.”
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh
6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’
7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one.
9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
If Jesus approved of homosexuality, why would He mention the exact opposite? Jesus (in Mark 10) reiterated God’s stance that homosexuality is NOT a part of His plan. God intended for the unity of flesh to be between a man and a woman
It is important to note that thousands of years existed between Genesis and Mark yet Jesus articulated heterosexuality, thus reaffirming what was said in the Old Testament
Point 2: The example of Sodom and Gomorrah
1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them,
he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.
2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom–both young and old- surrounded the house.
5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him
7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing.
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is one often used to illustrate that God is against homosexuality. As a result of all the grievous sins committed, God “rained down burning sulfur” (Genesis 19:24) on Sodom and Gomorrah.
The fact it is stated that “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom–both young and old” surrounded Lot’s house and wanted to have sex with Lot’s guests shows us that homosexuality was prevalent then
There is an interesting argument I came across recently. Matthew Vines brought up Ezekiel 16:49 in his video to support his claim that God did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality
49 ” ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I
did away with them as you have seen
From Ezekiel 16:49, it looks as if God rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah for reasons other than homosexuality. Verse 50 goes on to say that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah did things that were detestable before God
Just looking at Genesis 19 and Ezekiel 16, it is very subjective as to whether homosexuality amounts to a thing detestable before God. However, Matthew Vines failed to look at Judges 19:22-23 (another biblical example about homosexuality) and Jude 1:7 (which is also about Sodom and Gomorrah)
22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”
23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this disgraceful thing”
“Disgraceful thing” is also translated as “outrageous thing,” “godless thing,” “folly,” and “horrible thing” in other versions while “evil” and “wickedly” is used to replace “vile”
It seems now that homosexuality is something God detests. If God was fine with it, why would it be regarded as evil, wicked, or vile?
7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire
The King James Version uses “going after strange flesh” to replace “perversion” while the International Standard Version and God’s Word Translation replaces “perversion” with “homosexual activities”
Romans 1:26-27 tells us that unnatural relations, indecent acts with those of the same gender = perversion
Matthew Vines’ point about “love,” “commitment,” and “faithfulness” is irrelevant as the Bible regards unnatural relations & indecent acts with those of the same gender as perversion. The motive does not render the detestable act acceptable!
After analysing Judges 19:22-23, Jude 1:7, Romans 1:26-27 and its various translations, we can conclude that homosexuality was one of the reasons why Sodom and Gomorrah was wiped out.
Point 3: Jesus did not abolish the Law
Matthew Vines used Hebrews 8:13 and Romans 10:4 to show that the Law (including that in Leviticus 18:22 about homosexuality being detestable) has been fulfilled by Jesus, thus making it completely acceptable now
13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear
Jesus in Matthew 5:17 explicitly tells us that He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them. Does it mean now that the Law has been fulfilled, it is no longer applicable and relevant?
If Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law renders it inapplicable, does it mean we can now misuse the name of the Lord, commit murder, commit adultery, steal, worship idols, curse our parents, and have sexual relations with our close relatives?
Of course not! What Matthew Vines failed to do is read Hebrews 8:13 in its context. Just a few verses before, we see that even in the New Covenant, the law has a role to play
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people
3 Since they (the Israelites) did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes
Reading verse 3 as well gives “the end of the law” a completely different meaning. In the Old Testament, the Israelites strictly obeyed the law in order to get right with God and be righteous (Deuteronomy 6:20)
Christ came and brought that specific law to an end in order that God’s righteousness may be available to all who believe (Jews and Gentiles alike)
However, the Ten Commandments, the law on homosexuality being an abomination (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), etc are still required to be followed although we are now saved by grace!
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Obedience of the law does not guarantee our salvation or gain us God’s righteousness. What is does is help us identify what is sinful and what needs to be avoided!
Point 4: Homosexuality = sexual immorality
Oxford Dictionary defines ‘sexual’ as
(1) relating to the instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals;
(2) relating to the two sexes or to gender;
(3) (of reproduction) involving the fusion of gametes
“Immorality” is defined as
(1) the state or quality of being immoral;
From the definition of the two words, it is very apparent that homosexuality falls within the ambit of sexual immorality. What is intriguing is that the Bible has plenty to say about sexual immorality.
(i) Hebrews 13:4
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral
(ii) 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God
* The phrase ‘men who have sex with men’ translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts
* Arsenokoitēs is a portmanteau of arsen, the Greek word for man, and koite, the Greek word for bed (active homosexual act)
* Malakoi literally means “squishy.” Linguists generally understand this word to be a form of showy effeminism (passive homosexual act)
(iii) 1 Timothy 1:9-10
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine
The Bible’s stance on homosexuality is very clear cut. God regards it as a sin/an abomination/something detestable and He definitely did NOT create humans to be homosexuals
However, what is also important is that Christians are called not to judge others(Matthew 7:1). The duty of Christians is to lead the lost (all those who are living a life of sin) back to the right path and Christians have to do so with love!
1 John 1:9 tells us that “if we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 Corinthians 6:11 adds on that although we were once ‘sexually immoral, isolators, adulterous, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers’, we are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God
It’s not too late to turn back to God regardless of what sin(s) we have committed!