What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

God created male and female in His image (Genesis 1:27), with sex intended for procreation (Genesis 1:28) and to be enjoyed within marriage between that of one man and one woman (Matthew 19:3-6). Any sex, heterosexual or homosexual, outside of the marriage covenant results in brokenness and pain (Hebrews 13:4).

Since the fall of man, many have acted outside of God’s plan for human sexuality. Homosexuality is one way sin manifests itself. The ultimate issue of homosexuality is therefore not physiological or psychological, but an unwillingness to deal with the spiritual problem of sin.1

Homosexuality is neither the greatest nor the least of sins– it’s just another sin that can keep anyone from experiencing God’s best. The good news remains that repentance and salvation exist for all.

Christians should familiarize themselves with the main bible passages regarding homosexuality:

Genesis 19. The word “sodomy” derives from this historical account of God’s judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. While there’s no denying God’s judgment of homosexuality (Jude 1:7), their destruction was the result of their complete depravity and not solely due to their homosexual acts (Ezekiel 16:49-50).

Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13. These two almost identical verses make direct reference to the sinfulness of homosexual activity.

Romans 1:24-32. This passage explicitly addresses same-sex sexual relations among men as well as women, and describes how practising homosexuals would “approve of those who practice them”. Unfortunately, it is sometimes insensitively used to pronounce judgment on homosexuals, attributing their suffering to “the due penalty for their error” (NIV).

1 Corinthians 6:9-11. The warning against homosexual acts is balanced with encouragement that change is possible.

1 Timothy 1:8-10. Homosexuality is against God’s original intent for mankind.

Different types of laws exist in the Bible2:

  • Ceremonial laws which Jesus addressed in the New Testament (Mark 7:1-23) by saying that it is not things which enter a man (e.g., clean and unclean foods) that make him unclean, but things which come out of a man (e.g., sexual immorality). Although homosexual practice was mentioned in Leviticus, it is not part of the ceremonial law.
  • Moral laws against murder, adultery, stealing, etc, which have continued applicability even in New Testament times. The biblical prohibition on homosexual practice is a moral law.
  • Civil laws which govern a nation and are applicable by nation, e.g., how judges should settle disputes. Homosexual acts between men in Singapore are illegal under Singapore’s criminal law.

While the Bible is clear that homosexuality in the form of same-sex relations and homosexual sex is wrong, it does not specifically condemn same-sex attraction. Thus, some Christians with same-sex attractions practise celibacy and pursue healthy, non-sexual, loving same-sex relationships in the same way heterosexuals do.

 

Endnotes
1. Mike Haley, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality(Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2004)
2. Family.Foundation.Future, The LGBT Agenda (January 2013)