Scriptural Perspectives on Homosexuality

Speaking The Truth In Love.


An important passage to share with those caught in homosexual sin is I

Corinthians. 6:9-11.

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be

not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor

effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind ..shall inherit the

kingdom of God.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but

ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our


This passage is "the Gospel for the gay" in a nut-shell. What important

ideas are contained in these verses?

First of all, the Apostle Paul gives the "bad news":

Those who persist in unrepentant, habitual homosexual activities are in

great spiritual danger.

They will not inherit the Kingdom of God, despite how good they feel about

their sexual lives or how many modern church leaders excuse their

behaviour. Notice that the Bible's emphasis is on behaviour.

God never condemns homosexuals as people; He only says that their sexual

behaviour is wrong.

Jesus had much time and compassion for those caught in sexual sin. He

loved and befriended them to show them first-hand how concerned God was for

their well-being. He is our example; we must do the same as his disciples.

The Greek word translated "effeminate" means in modern English, catamites.

This refers to "men or boys who allow themselves to be misused

homosexually", the passive partners in homosexual activities. It does NOT

mean men who do not conform to society's current standards of masculine

behaviour, which is only a cultural standard of conformity.

The second word that is translated "abusers of themselves with mankind"

means sodomites. This refers to the active partner in male homosexual

activity. The person you are sharing with may say, "That word only refers

to lustful and unloving relationships -- not to a permanent, loving

commitment between two men." But the literal meaning of the word is "a

male who lies (sexually) with a male". Paul is not simply referring to one

category of gay sex (e.g. male prostitution). There are no qualifications.

All homosexual intercourse is forbidden, no matter what degree of love or

faithfulness may be present.

Verse 11 of this passage gives the "good news":

There is a clear Biblical basis for declaring to those caught in

homosexuality that there is a way out if they want it.

This verse shows some interesting facts:

% "such were some of you"

Paul had Christian friends in the church at Corinth who were previously

involved in the sins listed, including homosexuality.

So Paul knew former homosexuals in the Corinthian church!

God had delivered them from that life-style, so we can know for sure that

such a change is possible.

% "ye are washed"

homosexuality is not a clean, wholesome lifestyle

% "ye are sanctified [set apart for God]"

A person is not walking close to the Lord when involved in homosexual


% "ye are justified [declared righteous]"

It is not a lifestyle that God approves of

This verse shows that God is bigger than any problem. He certainly has the

answer for the homosexual. He can heal and forgive any sin! Let's be

faithful in sharing this hope and challenge to those who need to hear.

Romans 1 is the most detailed mention of homosexuality in the Bible:

"For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women

exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

And in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the

woman and burned in their desire towards one another, men with men

committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty

of their error .--Romans 1:26,27 (NASV)"

The most common argument one hears from pro-gays in discussing this passage

is that Paul's ideas are out-of-date. He was talking to first-century

Jews; his moral statements don't apply to educated people in the 20th


An analysis of this opinion shows how erroneous it is:

% If Bible morality is no longer valid, then God's standards have changed,

implying that God has changed (but the Bible says, "For I am the Lord, I

change not" {Malachi 3:8}).

% or ... If Paul was so prejudiced by his own culture's attitudes towards

morality that he was not sharing absolute truth when he wrote, then he was

not inspired and so parts of God's Word are not inspired (contrary to II

Peter 1:21 which says that "men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.")

Another argument you may hear is that "Paul is only condemning perversion,

not inversion." What is the difference? According to these theologians,

the distinction is:

perversion: a heterosexual who abandons his normal sexual desires for gay


inversion: the condition of being "born gay" -- never having had anything

but gay desires.

There is little evidence that anyone is born homosexual (due to genetic or

hormonal reasons). The fact that people have been overcoming gayness since

the days of the early church ( I Corinthians 6:9-11) is proof that it is

simply a sin problem, not an inborn error. At the same time, there are

people who function heterosexually for part of their life, and then "go gay

" into homosexual activities. This is not because they were "really gay

all the time", but because they are rebelling against God - given moral

standards for their life. Temptations to commit homosexual fornication or

adultery are just that -- temptations. They must be resisted, just as

heterosexual sin outside marriage must be avoided.

A close look at the verses will show that Paul was not speaking of specific

individuals, but more generally of a group of people. He referred to their

sexual activities as "degrading" and "indecent", whether or not they had

previously engaged in heterosexual activities.

Why does God look at homosexual behaviour as such a serious sin? The

repeated mention of the word "exchange" provides a clue:

1:23 -- exchange of the worship of God for a worship of man (area of

destruction: spiritual)

1:25 -- exchange of the truth for a lie (area of destruction: mental)

1:26 -- exchange of the natural for the unnatural (areas of destruction:

physical & emotional)

There is distortion in a person's soul, mind and body as a result of

homosexual indulgence.

These widespread consequences are the reason God views homosexuality so

seriously as a sin.

Paul was not naive concerning homosexuality, He lived in a society where

gay activities were popular and common-place. He was also an articulate

writer who was careful to give the exceptions (if any) to other moral

commands. He would have mentioned exceptions to his statements condemning

homosexual behaviour if there were any.

To conclude our discussion of Romans 1, we must take a closer look at what

Paul meant by his phrase "against nature".

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: For even their

women did change the natural use into that which is AGAINST NATURE ..."

Romans 1:26 (KJV)

Some say that "against nature" means contrary to what a person feels is

natural to him or her. But we live in a fallen world. Sin has distorted

our perception of truth. What someone feels is "natural" to them can be

misleading (what we feel is right does not mean that it is morally right in

God's eyes).

Some say that "against nature" means contrary to the Jewish customs of

Paul's day. They compare this verse with that in 1 Corinthians 11:14 which

says, "Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair,

it is a dishonour to him ..?" But Paul says that long hair is "a dishonour

(shame)", whereas he calls homosexual acts indecent, 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 cultural taboo.

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 original

intentions. And mankind is not just a higher kind of animal on the

evolutionary scale, he is a unique being created in the image of his God.

The definition that best fits Paul's phrase "against nature" is:

contrary to God's original intention for human sexual behaviour, plainly

visible in the natural and complementary function of the male and female

sexual organs and temperaments.

God said after creating Adam, "It is not good that man should be alone."

(Genesis 2:18) He did not only mean that Adam was without another HUMAN

BEING, but that he was without a FEMALE. I believe that if two or more

males had been created, God would still have said, "It is not good for them

to be alone", meaning without the completion that only a female could


There is a progression in Romans 1 which parallels the progression of

homosexuality in the average gay's life. First there are the homosexual


"became vain in their imaginations" (vs. 21.)

These eventually are yielded to in homosexual actions:

"to dishonour their own bodies among themselves" ( vs. 24.)

These habitual actions may result in entering the "gay lifestyle", with

it's approval in and even pride of homosexuality:

"they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who

practice them."

vs. 32, NASV.)

At the end of Romans 1, Paul describes some of the roots of homosexual

behaviour. 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 more sinful than ourselves, for when we do that, we

are revealing our owns 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)

The first explicit mention of homosexual practices in the Bible is in the

"Holiness Code". This was a detailed list of commandments given to Moses

by God during the time the nation of Israel was in the wilderness.

Lesbianism is not mentioned in the Old Testament; the commands only concern

sex between males:

"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an

abomination ... If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie

with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall

surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them."

- - Leviticus 18:22;20:13 (NASV)

Those in the gay church argue that Christians don't obey other Levitical

laws, such as those against eating shrimp. rabbit, etc.

Which laws are still binding on the church today and which can be ignored?

Moral laws must be distinguished from dietary or ceremonial laws. Specific

New Testament scriptures show the dietary rules to be no longer binding

(Mark 7:18,19; Acts 10:14,15)., identifying them as cultural. Similarly,

the commands which were ceremonial were applicable only in the Temple

rituals and religious rites for the nation of Israel. On the other hand,

the moral laws are nowhere revoked in the New Testament. In fact, they are

repeated and reinforced and so they still stand. They are universal and

permanent in application.

A look at the penalties involved in breaking different laws clearly reveals

that God regarded dietary and ceremonial commandments as different than

moral ones. In most cases, the result of breaking the former was

uncleanness; the penalty for breaking the latter was death.

"Gay Christians" protest that these laws were to encourage rapid growth of

Israel's population. 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 dropped. This argument ignores some important facts. If God was

solely concerned with Israel's population growing as fast as possible, He

would NOT have forbidden adultery and incest, both of which may lead to

pregnancy. Similarly, God would NOT have led the nation into repeated

wars, where many virile young men were killed off. This not only reduced

the number of adults, but also diminished the number of children being

conceived. Besides, by killing homosexuals themselves, God was further

reducing the population - just the thing He supposedly was trying to avoid!

Another objection is that Christians are no longer under the law (Romans

3:20), so we can ignore these commands against homosexuality. But the

Scriptures teach that God uses the law to reveal our sinfulness (Romans

7:7). Jesus said that "Whoever keeps and teaches them (the Old Testament

moral laws) shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew

5:19). He also said in the same sermon that He was the fulfilment of the

law, but that He did not come to abolish it (5:17). The pro-gay church has

another problem: many of the other moral laws are still being followed,

such as those against rape, incest, adultery, and bestiality.

Who has the authority to decide which moral laws to follow and which to


Some evangelicals are convinced that not only should we reinstate this

prohibition against homosexual acts, but we should also reinstate the

penalty (death). This is illogical reasoning. To be consistent, we must

also then kill all those who commit adultery (Leviticus 20:10), incest

(20:11,12) or bestiality (20: 15,16). Jesus Christ took the punishment for

sin onto Himself when He died on the cross. He extends love and

forgiveness to the one who repents from any moral sin. This does not imply

that such acts are no longer wrong, but it does mean that God's grace is

extended to ALL people -- gay or straight. May we be faithful in

proclaiming this Good News to all who will receive it.

For many Christians, the first Bible passage that comes to mind when

discussing the issue of homosexuality is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

It is important to look carefully at what really happened in Genesis 19.

We must be careful NOT to read into the story our preconceived ideas. For

example, nowhere in this passage does the author specifically say that the

men of Sodom were homosexuals, or that God judged Sodom for homosexuality.

The most common opinion among gay theologians is that the sin of Sodom was

inhospitality -- not homosexual sin. The law of hospitality was broken, an

unspoken custom of that culture whereby, in accepting a guest, the host

agreed to defend his visitor from all possible enemies during his visit.

This as a weak argument, Because it is heard so often, some specific

weaknesses should be mentioned:

% if homosexuality was not the intent, then all the men in town simply

came to "greet" the visitors (19:4). How is this in any way unfriendly or


% Lot took in the strangers. They did not have to sleep in the street and

so actually received a warm welcome to the town.

% if the men were only trying to be friendly, why were they struck blind

(19:11), and why did they still "weary themselves trying to find the


% why did the idea of strangers sleeping out in the town square so alarm

Lot (19:3a)?

% why did Lot call the intended actions of the town's men "wicked" (19:7)?

% why did their words motivate Lot to offer his daughters for sexual abuse


% why did their actions, if so harmless, warrant such dramatic divine

punishment (19:24)?

Many of the arguments centre around verse 5:

"And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came

in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may KNOW them."


The original Hebrew word which is translated "know" is Yadha. It has a

variety of meanings, such as:

% "acquainted with" ( Exodus 1:8, KJV)

% "understand" (Genesis 3:7, KJV) and

% "have sexual relations with" (Genesis. 4:1, KJV)

What it's meaning is within a sentence is determined by the context it

occurs in. The context of Genesis 19 strongly supports a sexual


The Bible mentions a wide variety of sins that Sodom was guilty of:

% arrogance and haughtiness,

% abundant food and careless ease,

% neglect of the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49,50)

% adultery,

% lying

% encouraging evil-doers and unwillingness to repent (Jeremiah 23:14).

Other verses mention sins that could imply homosexual activities:

% Abominations (Ezekiel 16:50)-- homosexual acts are called an abomination

in Leviticus 20:13)

% went after strange flesh and gross immorality (Jude 7)

% sensual conduct (II Peter 2:7).

These verses show that Sodom and Gomorrah were judged for a wide variety of

sin, including homosexuality. The angels' experience was only "the last

straw" that finally brought an end to the rampant evil already flourishing.

Lot had been:

% "tormented" by the actions of the people around him (II Peter 3:8)


% years before, the city of Sodom was already very wicked (Genesis 13:13).

The gay church protests that the sin, if it really was homosexuality, was

not "normal" gay behaviour, but a distortion of it involving violent gang

rape and sex with angelic beings. THIS is the reason for God's wrath, they

say. But God had already declared the city to be wicked (Genesis 18:20)

BEFORE this incident, and sent the angels to confirm this fact. Besides

this, no rape occurred! God does not judge an act which never happens!

In summary: NEVER use this chapter as proof of God's wrath against

homosexuals as people - -

God was judging sin.

There were other sins in Sodom of which we are all guilty, and God calls us

all to repentance. Even the grievous sins of Sodom would not have brought

the city's destruction -

if ten righteous persons could have been found

(Genesis 18:32).

Jesus said that more mercy would be shown the men of Sodom on judgment day

than those who ignored His message (Matthew 11:24). God is not willing

that any person should perish (II Peter 3:9) and that includes the person

involved in homosexual sin.

In sharing with those in the gay church about the specific Scriptures which

mention homosexuality, you may wonder, "How did such a wide variety of

opinions about these verses on gayness come about in the church"?

The present-day turmoil and disagreement over homosexuality was almost

inevitable. There have been several recent trends in the church as a whole

that have set the stage:

1. A changing attitude towards Scripture.

During the 20th century, an increasing number of churches have begun to

drift away from the traditional view of the Bible as without error (in the

original manuscripts). The Bible's ideas are seen as "dated" and not

necessarily applicable to our day. Many are saying that the morality

presented in the Bible is "culturally bound".

This phrase means that the Bible standards or concepts are applicable only

within the culture they were given; they are NOT universal or permanent.

If the Bible thus loses it's authority, something else must take it's

place. This explains the second trend.

2. The elevation of science and personal experience to a place of higher

authority than Scripture.

What modern psychology or sociology says about homosexuality suddenly

becomes the most important opinion. What I feel about the issue, or what

my personal experiences tell me become a more reliable source of

information on gayness than the Word of God. There is a transferral of

trust from divine revelation to human findings. But science and psychology

are constantly changing their opinions -- they are not a reliable guide.

3. A changing view of "Christian Love".

Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).

Christian love is built on the foundation of obedience to God's moral law.

The Biblical guide-lines are an expression of God's love pressed. Emotions

are deceptive; how we feel is not always a true indication of godly love.

Unfortunately, many of the church's reactions to the homosexual issue are

built on personal feelings and worldly prejudices. Some churches say, "A

homosexual person doesn't need to change. God made them that way, and we

should love everybody just as they are." They have welcomed practicing

gays into their assemblies, not just as church members but also as church

leaders. It is true that homosexuals should be welcomed into the church to

hear the Gospel. as any sinner should. But those who persist in immoral

behaviour without repentance and cleansing are not yet part of the Body of

Christ (I Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:5). It does not matter whether they

are faithful church members or not; they are in serious deception. It is

offering them a false Gospel to pretend that their behaviour is fully

acceptable to the Lord.

Another church attitude based on personal feelings is that "God hates all

gays. They are a bunch of reprobates, and their behaviour is the worst

sin. They are beyond hope." Radio preachers harangue their audience with

threats like, "If you don't get saved, you'll to to hell with those gay

people you can't stand." This homophobic attitude is a grievous error.

Many Christian leaders seem totally unaware that many of their brothers and

sisters in Christ are struggling with homosexuality. A lack of love and

compassion only alienates those who need help. Christians who struggle

with gayness then withdraw into their own "gay caucus" groups within the

mainline denominations, or even leave their churches to join the gay

church, the Metropolitan Community Church (67,000 members in 110 churches


Obviously, the problem of homosexuality is NOT going to disappear if

ignored. It is our duty as believers to get informed with the facts, to

replace our ignorance and fear with sound knowledge, to "love the sinner,

but hate his sin". Jesus is our finest example of this attitude. May we

allow Him to give us this same compassion and sensitivity.


For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual

brokenness, please contact:


G.P.O. Box 1115


Phone (08) 371-0446

This article is reprinted by permission from:

Love In Action

P.O. Box 2655

San Rafael California 94912



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