Homosexuality is becoming one of the most explosive issues in the church
today. How did such a wide variety of opinions about this subject come
about? There have been recent trends within the Church which have set the
1. A Changing Attitude Towards Scripture.
During the 20th century, an increasing number of churches have begun to
drift sway from the "traditional" view of the Bible as without error in the
original manuscripts. The Bible's ideas are "dated" and no longer
applicable to our day.
2. The Elevation of Science and Personal Experience to a Place of Equal
(or Higher) Authority than Scripture.
What modern psychology says, what I feel about a moral issue, or what my
own experiences tell me have become more important than what the Bible has
3. A Changing View of Christian "Love".
Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep my commandment" (John 14:15) Christian
love is founded on obedience to God. not on feelings, which are constantly
SETTING THE STAGE: Genesis 1-3
The proper place to begin any discussion of homosexuality is in the
Creation and Fall of Man passages in Genesis. The Creation story
establishes that "God created man in His own image ...male and female He
created them." The Lord said, "It is not good that man should be alone."
He did NOT mean that Adam was without another HUMAN BEING, but that he was
without a FEMALE. I believe that if two or more men had been created, God
would still have said, "It is not good for them to be alone", meaning
without the completion that that only a female could bring.
The way these early chapters of Genesis are presented throughout the Bible
shows that God intended marriage to involve three things:
1. a man and a woman (Genesis 1:27)
2. a sexual relationship (Genesis 1:28a)
3. a lifetime commitment (Matthew 19:3-8)
If only one or two of these elements are present, there is a distortion of
Genesis 16 What About Sodom & Gomorrah
One of the first Bible passages to come to mind when talking about
homosexuality is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. But we must be careful
not to read into the story our preconceived ideas. For example:
the Bible never says that the men of Sodom were homosexuals
the Bible never says that God judged Sodom for homosexuality.
1. The gay church says that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality, not
They insist that when the men said to Lot about his angelic guests, "Bring
them out unto us, that we may know them" (Genesis 19:5), they were not
referring to sexual relations.
The original Hebrew work (translated "know") is yadha. It has a great
variety of meanings, such as:
ACQUAINTED WITH -- "Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew
not Joseph." Exodus 1:8 (KJV)
UNDERSTAND -- "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that
they were naked..." Genesis 3:7 (KJV)
HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH -- "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she
conceived, and bare Cain..." Genesis 4:1 (KJV)
The Meaning Of The Word (YADHA) Is Determined By The Context!
Although yadha occurs over 900 times in the Old Testament and only refers
to sex in 10 of these cases, the context in this story supports a sexual
a. why was Lot alarmed that the angels wanted to sleep outdoors (19:3)?
b. why did Lot tell the men, "Please ... do not act wickedly." (19:7)?
c. why did Lot offer his virgin daughters for the men to rape (19:8)?
d. why were the men struck blind by the angels (19:11)?
e. Why did the men still weary themselves trying to get at the visitors
f. why did their actions warrant such dramatic divine punishment (19:24)?
Other Bible verses (Ezekiel 16:49, Jeremiah 23:14) mention many sins of
Sodom which were non-sexual. However, II Peter 2:7, Jude 7 and Ezekiel
16:50 mention such sins as: sensual conduct, gross immorality and
abominations (homosexual behavior is called an abomination in Leviticus
These verses show us that Sodom and Gomorrah were judged for a wide variety
of sin, including homosexuality.
2. The gay church says that the sin of Sodom was not "normal" homosexual
sex, but a distortion of it: homosexuality involving violent gang rape and
men with angels.
BUT ... God had already declared the city to be wicked (Genesis 18:20), and
simply sent His messengers to confirm the city's decadence. Besides, rape
did NOT occur, and there is NO indication that the Sodomites knew the
visitors were angels. The city was already exceedingly wicked long before
this event (Genesis 13:8) and this was only "the last straw" that finally
brought an end to the rampant evil already flourishing.
However, never use this chapter as proof of God's wrath against homosexuals
as people -- God was judging sin. God does not wish for any man to perish
(II Peter 3:9), and this includes the person caught in homosexuality.
The first explicit mention of homosexual practices is in the moral and
ceremonial commands given to Moses during Israel's time in the wilderness.
To distinguish between these two types of commandments is very important.
TYPE OF LAW: Dietary/Ceremonial Moral
DURATION: Temporary (Acts 10:15) Permanent (Psalm 119:160)
APPLICATION: Cultural Universal
RESULT / PENALTY: Uncleanness Death
(Leviticus 11:24f) (Leviticus 20:2f)
This chart shows why many of the Levitical laws are no longer followed by
Christians today. However, because the laws concerning homosexual
behaviour are moral, they are still to be obeyed.
1. The gay church says that Christians are no longer under the Law, so we
can ignore these commands, including the ones on homosexuality.
However, Matthew 5:17 teaches that, although Jesus Christ was the
fulfillment of the Old Testament Law, He did not come to abolish it.
Also, Jesus said of the Old Testament moral commands in Matthew 5:19,
"whoever keeps and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of
Besides, the gay church believes that some moral laws are still to be
followed, such as those concerning adultery, incest and bestiality. Who
decides which moral laws to follow, and which to ignore?
2. Another argument you will hear is that these laws against homosexuality
were solely to encourage rapid population growth to ensure Israel's
survival. The men had multiple wives and concubines for the same reason.
Just as polygamy is no longer followed, so the anti-gay laws can be
BUT, this reasoning does not explain the following:
God forbade adultery and incest
God lead the nation of Israel into war
God said to kill those those who disobeyed the moral law
... ALL of which helped to reduce the population, just the thing that God was supposedly trying to avoid! This is a weak argument, to say the least.
ROMANS 1:26,27 -- HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOUR: NATURAL OR UNNATURAL?
This passage in Romans is usually considered to be the most thorough and
clear condemnation of homosexuality (both male and female) in the Bible.
But those in the gay church use these verses to further support their life-
style. (This is the only reference to lesbianism in the Bible.)
1. The gay church says that Paul's moral statements are "culturally-
This means that, because they are addressed to first-century Jews, they
don't apply to us.
To say that the Bible morality is no longer valid implies one of three
God's standards have changed ... implying God has changed (but: "For I am
the Lord I change not." Malachi 3:6) - or
Bible writers were prejudiced by their own cultural standards ... implying
they were not sharing absolute truth ... implying they were not inspired
... implying God's Word is not inspired (but: "men moved by the Holy
Spirit spoke from God." II Peter 1:21) - or
Bible copiers altered the text (or made major errors) which altered the
meaning ... implying the Bible text is no longer true ... implying God's
Word is not permanent (but: "the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah
40:8 and "... every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting."
2. The gay church protests that Christians today don't follow all the other
New Testament commands, so why follow this one on homosexuality?
We must be careful to distinguish between the two types of laws given:
TYPE: CHURCH RULE MORAL COMMAND
APPLICATION: cultural universal
DURATION: temporary permanent
SCRIPTURAL woman have heads covered no fornication
EXAMPLE to pray (I Cor 11;13) (I Cor. 6:18)
3. "Gay Christians": But Paul is only condemning perversion
(heterosexuals abandoning their normal sexual desires for homosexual
activities), not inversion (the condition of being "born gay" -- never
experiencing anything but homosexual desires).
Paul lived in a society where homosexual practises were commonplace. It
was a popular activity among the Greeks and Romans. Paul was an articulate
writer -- in other moral issues (e.g. divorce), he was careful to give the
exceptions (if any) to his moral commands. In the case of homosexual sin,
he would have mentioned exceptions to his blanket condemnation statements
if he felt there were any.
An important question: "What did Paul mean by his phrase `against
i. Against nature means contrary to what a person feels is "natural" to
him/her. But ... in context of Romans 1-3, Paul shows that this phrase
does does not mean against the "natural orientation" or inner drives of an
individual. We live in a fallen world. Sin has distorted our perception
of truth and what someone feels is "natural" to them can be misleading
(what we feel is right does NOT make it morally right).
ii. against nature means contrary to the Jewish customs of the day. For
example, "does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long
hair, it is a dishonor to him..?" (ICor. 11:14) But ... Paul says long
hair is "a dishonor (shame)", whereas he calls homosexual acts i
ndecent, degrading, and depraved. His much stronger language in discussing
homosexuality, as well as his mention of it at the beginning of a long list
of major moral sins (Romans 1:29f) suggest that it is more than just a
Others think that "against nature" means contrary to the world of nature,
to the animal world. They protest, "But Paul was wrong. Modern science
has found homosexual activity among sea-gulls, monkeys and other animals."
But ... since the fall, the natural order of animals has been just as
distorted as human nature. What animals do proves nothing about God's
iv. against nature means contrary to God's original intention for human
sexual behavior, plainly visible in the natural and complementary function
of the male and female sexual organs and temperaments.
Why does God look at homosexual behavior as such a serious sin? The reason
is that it has such widespread consequences in an individual's life:
Romans 1:23-26 mentions three kinds of "exchange":
1:23 - exchange of: worship of God for worship of man (area of destruction:
1:25 - exchange of: the truth for a lie (area of destruction: mental)
1:26 - exchange of: the natural for the unnatural (area of destruction:
In other words, homosexuality has devastating consequences on the SOUL, the
MIND and the BODY.
A reminder: at the end of Romans 1, Paul describes some of the roots of
homosexual behavior. Such things as envy, deceitfulness, hatred of God,
pride and rebellion are sins we all struggle with. They simply reveal
themselves in different ways in different people. The Bible reminds us to
avoid pointing a finger at others as being more sinful than ourselves, for
when we do that, we are revealing our own hearts also ...
"Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment for
in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice
the same things." Romans 2:1 (NASV)
I CORINTHIANS 6:9 and I TIMOTHY 1:10: WRONGLY TRANSLATED?
Although these are two clear and powerful verses in the English
translations, the exact meaning of these verses sparks constant debate.
What did Paul really have in mind when he wrote them?
There are two key words of interest to us here:
TRANSLATION: "effeminate" abuses of themselves with
(KJV) (I Cor. 6:9) mankind (I Cor. 6:9)
or "them that defile themselves
with mankind" (I Tim 1:10)
Original Word malakoi arsenokoitai
Literal "soft" or "a male who lies with
Meaning "effeminate" a male"
Definition Of "men and boys who "the active partner in male
English allow themselves to be homosexual intercourse"
Equivalent: misused homosexuality"
Because there is a wide variety of of opinions among Bible scholars, most
of the pro-gay arguments for these verses centre around an intense debate
of what these two words really mean in the original Greek. For example,
some say that arsenokoitai refers to male prostitution or to lustful,
unloving and uncommitted relationships, NOT to permanent loving commitments
between two men.
But ... the literal meaning of the word ("a male who lies with a male")
shows that Paul is not simply referring to one category of homosexuality.
There are no qualifications -- gay sex is forbidden, no matter what degree
of love or absence of lust is involved.
If you meet someone with homosexual problems, share I Cor. 6:9-11 with
I CORINTHIANS 6:11 IS AN IMPORTANT VERSE TO SHARE WITH A HOMOSEXUAL
This verse shows some interesting facts:
"such were some of you" -- Paul knew former homosexuals in the church at
Corinth. God had delivered them from that life-style, so such a change is
"washed" -- homosexuality is not a clean, wholesome life-style
"sanctified" (set apart for God) -- a person is not walking close to the
Lord when involved in the gay life-style
"justified" (declared righteous) -- it is not a life-style that God
approves of I Cor. 6:11 shows that God is BIGGER than any problem - He can
heal and forgive any sin!
Another argument you may hear: Jesus didn't speak against homosexuality
You can point out:
i. There are many things that Jesus said that the Bible doesn't record
(John 21:25). So He could have mentioned it, although He probably had no
occasion to -- the Jews of His day were strictly against such practices.
ii. There are many things Jesus didn't mention (e.g. incest, rape,
bestiality). That doesn't mean they are therefore O.K. to do.
iii. Jesus always upheld the Old Testament law (Matthew 5:17-19), which
strictly condemned homosexual acts. Jesus only spoke of sexuality in a
heterosexual sense. The only alternative to marriage He spoke of was
celibacy (Matt. 19:12).
iv. As Christians, we believe all of the Bible is inspired by God, not
just the recorded words of Jesus.
There is absolutely no support to any accusations of homosexuality among
Jesus' disciples. Their enemies would have gladly exposed it
(homosexuality was a capital offense among the Jews of the first century).
P.S. WHAT ABOUT JONATHAN AND DAVID?
Reference to check: I Samuel 18:1, 19:1, 20:17; II Samuel 1:26
I do not believe this was a gay relationship. The Bible never even hints
that it was. Bible love does not imply a sexual relationship. The
relationship between these two men was God-centered (I Sam. 23:16). The
love they had for each other is the EXACT SAME WORD that God commands us to
have for one another:
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Leviticus 19:18
For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual
brokenness, please contact:
LOVE IN ACTION
G.P.O. Box 1115
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone (08) 371-0446
MINISTRY TO HOMOSEXUALS
Database Listing - Ministry To
Christian Resources on Homosexuality on the web
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