As I continue from part 1 (please read part 1 first), I’m going to focus on the primary biblical passages that have led me to maintain that homosexuality is sinful and not as God intended for humanity. I’m a practicing Christian, therefore what the Bible says is important to me. This post is not a research paper nor met to be exegetical, but rather more personal in nature as I consider Scripture.

  • Genesis 1-2. God made a man and a woman. The man needed someone similar to him, yet different. Being alone was not good. Making a second man would not have worked out. The man and woman were made to complement each other. Two men or two women do not complement each other in the same way. Furthermore, both a man and woman were needed to properly reflect our Creator God. The creation of the woman stemmed from necessities rooted in the very nature of our God. Femaleness is an aspect of the Imago Dei too. In addition, Genesis 2:23-24 states:

 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.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

In Genesis, the pattern is set that it is a man and a woman that come together in marriage. It speaks of a mother and father, and a man and a woman becoming one. This is the pattern we see throughout the Bible. We don’t see examples of homosexual or lesbian couples in the Scripture. (Yes, there is adultery, divorce, polygamy, incest and rape in the Bible but it is not being endorsed as God’s plan for humanity. See this post for further thoughts.)

Even symbolically in the Bible, it is consistently a man and woman coming together.  For example, in the New Testament the church is referred to as the female bride, and Jesus as the male groom. Or in the Old Testament, Israel is referred to as the wife, and God (YHWH) as the husband.

  • Sometimes it is brought up that “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality in the Gospels” -With the point that if homosexuality was really sinful or a big deal, surely Jesus would have addressed it. Yet…there are various sins Jesus did not specifically mention in the Gospels. If that is the litmus test, a number of immoral things can be knocked off the sin list!

Furthermore, Jesus did indirectly address homosexuality. Jesus discusses marriage, and it is always in the context of a man and a woman. There is no hint of it involving two people of the same sex. Jesus also refers to both Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, emphasizing creation, and a male and female coming together as one. We should not overlook the significance of Jesus referring to these foundational verses in Genesis.

  • Romans 1. I wrote a paper where I carefully looked at the entire issue of sin in Romans chapter 1, but here we will focus on the issue at hand. We are entering a section of Scripture where sin is being expounded upon in detail. Humanity is sinful, and the essence of sin is to put self in the place of God. Sin gives birth to more sin. Verses 26-27 expand upon sexual immorality, specifically bringing in lesbianism (verse 26) and homosexuality (verse 27). Same-sex sexual activity is being discussed in a section of Scripture specifically about sin. Yes, many other types of sin are mentioned too, and we don’t want to focus only on the sex sins to the neglect of the other types, yet I see no way around this: Same-sex sexual activity is sinful.

In an effort to see homosexuality as acceptable, some “pro-gay theologians” (as they are called) may state these verses only refer to heterosexuals who involve themselves in same-sex sexual activity, as this is unnatural for them. (If you are naturally attracted to the same sex, then it is not sinful behavior for you.) This is a very strained interpretation of the text, as the text makes no differentiation between “true” and “false” homosexual behavior. The passage also uses strong language in regards to same-sex sexual activity such as vile, shameful, and against nature.

In addition, when “men” and “women” are referred to in these verses, the Greek words used are arsenes and theleias. These are specific biological or sexual words. Both words are rarely used in the New Testament, and when they do appear it is in verses emphasizing the gender of the subject. The point is that that homosexuality is biologically unnatural, not just unnatural to heterosexuals, but unnatural for anyone.

But again, many sins are mentioned in this chapter. Look at the “vice list” in verses 29 to 31. It covers a wide variety of sin, and is not selective but inclusive or encompassing. Everyone should find they are guilty of something on the list. As Dr. Pyne summarizes, “the apostle’s purpose…was not to highlight particular evils and single out certain persons for condemnation, but to reject summarily all kinds of evils and to include all persons in the the need for salvation.” [1]  That is the point – we are all sinners who need Jesus. Yet, sadly Christians can be guilty of narrowing in on the homosexuality in this passage.

  • The opening chapters of Genesis, the references of Jesus to these foundational issues,  and Romans chapter 1 are the key and critical passages for me. Perhaps some other verses in the Bible can be explained away, but I see no way around these chapters.
  • There are other random verses in the New Testament that specifically refer to homosexuality as sinful. For example, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10. Some “pro-gay theologians” state that such verses are only referring to pederasty or promiscuous pagan temple sex that took place in the ancient Greco-Roman world. There may be some validity here. Certainly those things were included. Yet, it does not seem that only those things were in mind. Wider scriptural principles on the complementary nature of man and woman must be taken into consideration.

My point in part 2 has simply been to present the conclusion I have come to and how. If you did not read part 1, please make sure you do so. This is a tough issue. I once was at a progressive/liberal Christian festival, and approached the “gay Christian” booth for some genuine discussion. How could they reconcile their Christian faith and homosexuality? We talked. I listened. They listened. I cried. If I could reconcile these 2 things, I would. But I can’t. Their answers did not work for me, and were stretched and contrived. Besides studying the Scripture, I’ve read a whole stack of books on this issue. I will try to be as compassionate and grace filled as I can towards those who struggle with same-sex attraction. I am not out to argue with anyone or condemn anyone. I struggle with sin too. Thanks for listening.

*A few more thoughts here: More on the something topic


[1] Robert A. Pyne, Humanity & Sin (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1999), 211.

Advertisements