Question. What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
Scripture. Genesis 19:4-9; Deuteronomy 22:5; Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10
Overview. Homosexuality is forbidden in both the Old and New Testaments. It is an abomination to God. But it is both forgivable and able to be rejected as a lifestyle by the Spirit-filled believer.
Explanation. Homosexuality is an important ethical issue in Scripture. Pro-homosexual commentators of the Bible have approached the clear prohibitions against homosexuality with their own point of view. It is clear from the Old Testament that homosexuality was forbidden by the Mosaic Law.
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination (Lev. 18:22).
It fact, those who engaged in such a “detestable act” were to be put to death.
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 (Lev. 20:13).
For someone to say that these passages refer only to forbidden practices in ancient history is to also say that adultery, bestiality and incest (condemned along with homosexuality in these passages) are also no longer sinful.
Sodomy. There are those who attempt to define “sodomy” as a lack of hospitality on the part of Lot (Gen 19:4-9). The sacrifice of Lot’s virgin daughters to a crazed mob simply because of a lack of hospitality is not a logical explanation of the passage. God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with brimstone and fire from heaven (v. 24) as a judgment for a failure to be hospitable seems extreme.
In this same context, in Gen 19:5, 8 the verb “to know,” yadah, is used to describe a sexual encounter. Some would argue that the 943 Hebrew usages of the word know in the Old Testament are most commonly a reference “to know” in a social situation rather than a sexual one. Thus they claim there is no sexual encounter implied in this text. But the problem with this view is that the meaning of words in the Bible is determined by their context and not by the number of times they occur in the Bible. There are twelve references to the word know in the Hebrew text that occur in the same book of Genesis. Ten of these references use the word know to depict a sexual activity, not simply a social acquaintance. A similar use of the word is found in the story told in Judges 19:25. Both stories describe sordid sexual behavior that cannot be discounted as simple social behavior in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 22:5 also forbids transvestitism in that neither a male nor female was permitted to wear clothes of the opposite sex.
New Testamnent. There are three passages in the New Testament that specifically forbid the practice of homosexuality: Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. There are two Greek words used in these passages that the some say only mean that a person is “soft” or “weak.” But these words are translated as “homosexual” in the New American Standard Bible. The problem with the pro-homosexual view is that this is not the normal use of these words in that time period. Also, Classical Greek usage of these words clearly meant homosexual behavior.
The Apostle Paul condemns homosexuality as unnatural and indecent.
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 toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error (Rom. 1:26, 27).
Paul describes practicing homosexuals as unbelievers.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9, 10).
But in the next verse, he describes the change in their lives as a result of putting their trust in Christ.
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:11).
Jude 7 talks about homosexual behavior as men going after heteras, or different flesh. The Greek word heteras means something that is unusual or different. This refers to sex apart from the normal male and female relationship.
In summary, the Apostle Paul and Jude, in accordance with the Old Testament, strongly condemn homosexuality. The Bible never approves of this behavior any more than it approves of murder, theft or drunkenness. God’s plan for a monogamous marriage was demonstrated clearly when he created one male and one female. The first marital union on earth formed a divine prototype for marriage throughout the rest of the Bible. Any variation of this prototype is a distortion of and a rejection of the divine plan for marriage.
The redefining of marriage by modern societies in order to allow for gay marriage does not change God’s definition of marriage. Rather, it is evidence of the movement of a nation away from God.