Homosexuality and the Bible

Our task in this exercise is to discover what the Bible says on the subject of homosexuality. To even raise the topic is to create controversy these days, while, when I was a child, if it was mentioned at all, it was discussed in hushed tones. I can pretend to be objective on the subject, but the fact that I go to the Bible will cause some to suppose that my view is biased.

There is a reason I go to the Bible. The Bible claims to be the word of God. It either is, or it isn’t. I find that the Bible is true to life, that it provides practical wisdom for living, and that it is a guide to the future. It also provides the eternal hope of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ that is available nowhere else. I could describe other characteristics as well, but suffice it to say that when I was in graduate school at a secular university I became convinced that it is absolutely the word of God. So I have spent my life since then learning its message and teaching it.

I do not have an agenda regarding homosexuality. No homosexual has offended me personally. I have known people who are active in the homosexual community. I have no problem interacting with them in the normal course of daily life.

So some would say, Why focus on this subject at all? One could ignore it and quietly allow to come what may. But, for example, it is currently an explosive topic in the military. If the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is removed, chaplains who believe and teach the Bible will be in a difficult position. They may be considered insubordinate if they do not include a same-gender version of biblical marital counseling, if they refuse to perform wedding ceremonies for a same-gender couple, or if they say anything negative about homosexuality in the systematic process of simply teaching God’s word.

Also, homosexuality doesn’t just affect homosexuality: it affects marriage, an institution of God, and it affects the concept of the family, the bedrock of civilization. It even affects one’s views of the doctrine of God and the Church. The Bible does address these entities. So there is reason to consider this subject for the purpose of clarity. And the Bible’s declarations are clear.

It is better to consider a subject like this when one is not personally involved so that the approach can be as neutral as possible. I have sought to bring together the various contributions of the Bible, and then from that platform to draw some conclusions. I could bring in an almost endless array of outside resources, but my goal is to focus on the biblical material.

The Bible’s references to homosexuality can be placed into three categories. First is history. Second is law. And third is theology. This article will be divided into those three categories. My aim is to let the Bible speak for itself, and we will now see where it leads us.

It should be recognized as we proceed, that the term lesbian is not in the Bible, but it would be included in everything said about homosexuality. What is true for males is also true for females; there is no double standard.

History of Homosexuality in the Bible

There are four passages reporting the history of homosexuality. We will look at them in order of appearance in the Bible and consider what emphases they present. The first is Genesis 19.

The Destruction of Sodom et al (its history)

Genesis 13 records by way of background that Abram and Lot needed to part ways because of the large need of pasture for their herds and flocks. Lot chose the better land, and it was the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 13:13 comments, “Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD” (NASB throughout). The population was described in terms of moral character and stance in reference to the LORD, and this from the beginning sets the stage. They knew against whom they were sinning, and the following incident accents this fact.

In chapter 14 four eastern kings attacked and defeated five kings from Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar. They took much booty, and they took captive the defeated kings as well as other people including Abram’s relatives, Lot and family. Amazingly, Abram took his servants and pursued those four victorious kings. He managed to defeat them and restore the captives and their possessions.

In the exchange with the king of Sodom, Abram gave this testimony in Genesis 14:22-24:
I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, “I have made Abram rich.” I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.
Here is testimony that the people of Sodom and surrounding area could have had at least some direct knowledge of God (in addition to the testimony of the creation according to Romans 1:20). Abram’s character, his honesty and compassion, is on display before even the leaders of those cities as a man who serves the supreme God.

In chapter 18, the LORD visited Abram and related to him His plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin. Genesis 18:20 describes it this way: “their sin is exceedingly grave.” The word grave here indicates that their sin is a great burden pressing down on those people. Not only are these people sinful, they are so sinful that God’s attention is focused on them. Their condition has reached extreme proportions; it cannot be left to natural consequences, rather judgment must fall.

Those who accompanied the LORD in His visit to Abram traveled on to Sodom to see the seriousness of its sin. While they were gone, Abram, out of compassion for the people of Sodom, asked the LORD a series of questions. It was a sort of bargaining for the lives of those people. How many righteous people would be the minimum required to prevent the judgment? Fifty? Forty? Thirty? Twenty? Ten?

The man who had risked his life to rescue these folks from the kings of the East persistently prayed for the lives of these sinners, some his relatives, in what he surely considered a reasonable request. He asked the LORD, who is also compassionate and willing to delay judgment, for mercy based upon the presence of a remnant. As it turned out, it was a truly sad state of affairs, because not even ten righteous could be found.

We come to the climax of the story in Genesis 19 as the two angels entered the city of Sodom. While visiting Lot, the men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house. The description given indicates the males of the city associated already with the name of the city and thoroughly representing all age groups.

Genesis 19:5 says, “And they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.’” Whatever they were requesting, Lot treats it as wicked. The request itself sounds ominous—this is not the normal method of becoming acquainted.

Literally, have relations with them is “know them.” The expression appears in 78 verses of the Old Testament. It usually has a non-sexual meaning as determined by the context, but in three verses it is sexual. The other two are Genesis 4:1 (“Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, ‘I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.’”)—a legitimate case of human conception, and Judges 19:25 (“But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and brought her out to them; and they raped her and abused her all night until morning, then let her go at the approach of dawn.”)—a case of gang rape. (Cf. Judg. 19:22-30 for a homosexual attack similar to the attempted incident in Sodom.)

Some have claimed that mere hospitality was denied these men, but they really had no reason to make the demands they did. A whole city of males does not descend on one house to demand hospitality in any normal sense; it was a case of premeditated homosexual gang rape. The city had already been characterized as extremely wicked, it lacked ten righteous people, and it demonstrated itself to the angels on site. The New Living Bible, the World English Bible, the New International Version, and the New English Translation all correctly paraphrase “know them” so that “we can have sex with them.”

Genesis 19:13 reports, “We are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” The representatives from heaven discovered what they expected to find (cf. Genesis 18:21); the situation called for a judicial verdict in the form of total destruction.

The word sodomy (the Oxford American Dictionary indicates this as a reference to homosexual intercourse) originates with this history. The fact that God deemed justice to call for total destruction of these cities because of their demonstrated homosexuality should affect our view of homosexuality. It is obviously a practice contrary to revealed righteousness.

One might ask whether the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had correct information regarding the proper use of sex. I can only answer that the history of mankind as recorded in Genesis 1:27-28 and 3:20 indicates that the model for physical intimacy is one man and one woman in the context of possible childbirth. They suppressed knowledge that they could have and should have known. A recognition of the origin of the human race with God as Creator carries with it the design for moral expression.

The Banishment of Certain Sexual Sinners

The second text is 1 Kings 22:46: “The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land.”

The king who acted at this time in history is Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and this is part of his legacy. It is impossible to tell dogmatically from the text whether he expelled these people by execution or by exile. If the term expelled can be understood as it appears repeatedly in Deuteronomy with the sense of “purge,” e.g., 22:22 and 22:24 of adulterers, then capital punishment is in view.

But who were the sodomites? The Hebrew word is from the family of words expressing the idea of “holy.” The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament indicates that the word identifies people who were associated with pagan Canaanite temples and served as prostitutes there. Females could also have served this role, but they are not specified here. That they might have been included is possible, but the term certainly specifies males. If they served other male worshipers, their activity was homosexual; if they served female worshipers, they were simply prostitutes. Either was an abomination.

How many were there? The word remnant suggests that at one time even more were in the land, although specific statements to that effect are lacking. The sense appears to be that a fraction of what was once there still remained. It is to Jehoshaphat’s credit that he eliminated this moral cancer from the land of Judah. He is one of the kings credited with doing right in the sight of the LORD (1 Kings 22:43).

Again, judicial action by the government of the land demonstrates that sodomy (if it can actually be so defined in this case) is a social evil as well as a behavior contrary to the will of God.

A Sin Standard

The third text is Lamentations 4:6: “For the iniquity of the daughter of my people Is greater than the sin of Sodom, Which was overthrown as in a moment, And no hands were turned toward her.”

Here Jeremiah, writing during the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah, is lamenting the spiritual and moral downfall of the people. In the process of exposing their sin, he uses Sodom as a comparison to which the people of his time in Judah compare unfavorably. This seems to put Sodom in a less evil light than we might expect, but when Sodom was judged, there was a total destruction of the wicked. Obviously, the people who are compared unfavorably also deserve total destruction.

But the comparison can be viewed another way, also, as it, in fact, is elsewhere. A sin is a sin, one might say, but Jeremiah’s people had the advantage of hearing the preaching of prophets who called them to repentance and to the righteousness at least of the Mosaic law. Yet they turned away, and so their sin can be viewed as even more serious. They had a higher degree of privilege, hence also responsibility.

Another idea is promoted by our text, and that is that whereas Sodom’s judgment was sudden, Judah’s was stretched out over time. The Hebrew word for iniquity can include the judgment as well as the sin, so the comparison could actually focus on the punishment.

Finally, Sodom’s overthrow was a divine act of God without human intervention. Our verse also seems to include this thought. Judah’s punishment, however, was less direct in that famine brought on by dire circumstances and swords manipulated by men effected the judgment.

But the fact remains that the sin of Sodom is held up as a standard to which other sins are compared. One should hardly rejoice if one’s judgment is by degree different than that of Sodom when Sodom portrays what all mankind should seek to avoid. And it is surely noteworthy that the sin held up for the standard is homosexual behavior.

The Destruction of Sodom et al (its example)

Our fourth text is Jude 7: “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”

Obviously the New Testament here references the first text we considered. This text written 1500 years later and the previous text written 800 years later than the Genesis 19 account both treat Genesis 19 as historical. To treat it as though it did not happen is to play havoc with the word of God and impugn God Himself.

Jude was writing to encourage Christians to fight the battle required to maintain the true faith once-for-all delivered to the saints. In this part of his epistle he is giving examples of how God actually judged people who pursued sin instead of God. God has judged in the past and will judge in the future. Therefore, there is great motivation for Christians to keep the faith pure.

The Greek expression translated strange flesh in this text could actually be rendered “flesh of a different kind.” This is activity of the flesh which is other than what was intended. It is coupled with gross immorality to show that generally both are sexual violations.

Some sexual sins are natural in the sense that they are agreeable with the structure of human bodies as they were created (e.g., fornication and adultery); they are still sinful in that they are performed without the qualifying relationship of marriage between a man and a woman. The sin here specified of Sodom and surrounding cities was not natural in the sense that it is incongruous with the structure of human bodies as they were created by God and with the use He intended for them.

One might ask why sexual sin is so popular throughout the world. One legitimate answer is that proper sexual activity is part of reflecting the beautiful relationship of Christ to His Bride (Ephesians 5:22-33), the Church, so that all forms of immorality, especially homosexuality, directly blaspheme God the Creator, His institution of marriage, and His relationship with men and women of faith. It is a rebellious reaction against the God of creation who has been revealed to us on earth through His unique Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Genesis 19, the first mention of homosexual sin, the cities in which this sin flourished were destroyed supernaturally and quickly; it was a temporal, physical, mortal judgment in space and time. Here in Jude, reflection on the same event draws out mention of greater judgment which is eternal. This indicates that homosexual activity is incompatible with eternal salvation. This does not, however, mean that the practicing homosexual will spend eternity in hell, but it does mean that such a person will if he or she does not repent and believe in the Savior from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ. And this repentance and faith assumes a corresponding change to a lifestyle pleasing to the Lord; it will be a lifestyle that among other changes abandons homosexual expression.

Law of Homosexuality in the Bible

There are two passages pertinent to the laws regarding homosexuality in the Bible. They both appear in Leviticus, a book focusing on holy/profane and clean/unclean categories in Israelite life. We will also consider these in order of appearance.

An Abominable Crime

The first text is Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

The description in this verse is a working definition of homosexual activity. Without being crude, it is crystal clear.

The chapter in which this verse appears forbids crimes almost all of which are sexual in nature. The land of Canaan was being judged for such sins as the Israelites entered it. They, too, were to abstain in order to avoid similar judgment. The outcome is referenced to God who gives laws.

Our verse characterizes homosexual expression as an abomination. An abomination is something that is repulsive to God (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament). We might refer to it in less lofty language as something that makes Him sick. Other sins are also categorized as abominations as Deuteronomy 25:13-16 and Proverbs 6:16-19 show, but our attention here is focused on homosexuality.

The implication is that if you are at all interested in pleasing God, you will distance yourself from such activity. If you are interested in following after God in any genuine sense and taking on His character, you will disassociate yourself from such behavior. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore a representative of God, you will want your life free from such deeds.

A Capital Crime

The second text is Leviticus 20:13: “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.”

As in the previous text, homosexual activity is clearly described. This verse is in full agreement with the previous one in terms of characterization, but it adds the penalty.

The chapter in which this verse appears lists capital crimes almost all of which are sexual in nature. Israelites are to know the difference between clean and unclean and are to be holy because God is holy. The outcomes in this chapter are referenced to God who is holy.

Note that the death penalty is assigned to homosexual behavior. Each person involved is considered culpable and deserving of death. This assigned penalty for criminal individuals agrees with God’s judgment on Sodom and surrounding cities in Genesis 19. Furthermore, it agrees with the general statement that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23 and Ezekiel 18:1-4).

The clear testimony of the Bible is that homosexual activity is sin and punishable by death. It is quite possible that governments today will not enforce such laws, and, if that is the case, Bible believers do not have the authority to become self-made judges and executioners of homosexual sinners. But these passages do show how God values this behavior, so that it at least becomes a guide for believers to know how to use their own bodies for the glory of God.

Theology of Homosexuality in the Bible

There are three passages regarding homosexuality which deserve our attention; they are all in the New Testament. As an aside, it is noteworthy that the Old and New Testaments are completely agreed regarding this issue. That is not surprising since the entire Bible is inspired of God.

The Descent of Man

The first passage is Romans 1:18-32 with special attention given to verses 26-27. In preparation for full explanation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul laid the groundwork of the depravity of man. Mankind has known something about God and has suppressed that truth in the context of doing unrighteousness, that which does not meet the divine standard. People preferred to worship something created instead of God Himself. This refers to the history of human beings in general over time, but might also be applied to the life progression of an individual. The consequence is that God gave them over to degrading passions (passions of dishonor), and here we meet the practice of homosexuality.

Verse 26 focuses on women: “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural.” Women are behaving here in a way for which they were not created. In the context of verse 27 this is best understood as a sexual reference, so they are using sex apart from reproduction and outside of marriage to a man.

Some scholars have suggested that included here are heterosexual as well as homosexual sins. That may be, but again in the context of verse 27 a focus on homosexual acts is more likely.

But what is the natural function? What is natural should not be understood as a personal preference or a societal norm. It is rather the function assigned to the creature by the Creator. So it becomes necessary to include God the Creator in the discussion of homosexuality. Not only is He responsible for design, but He also determines correct usage. And, as a result, it is His verdict that is important. So it is God who dictates what is natural and what is not.

We need to understand, then, in this verse focusing on women, that their expression of homosexuality is already a consequence of God giving them over to sin because of their rejection of His true self-revelation. And the activity itself is reprehensible, so that these women are rapidly progressing toward eternal condemnation unless something arrests their downward progress.

Verse 27, then, focuses on men: “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.”

Clearly, here homosexual expression is described in the same history as verse 26. Adultery is sinful in that it violates marriage, but one could at least say that the natural, created function of the man and woman is preserved, not in the least that the conception of a child is possible. But not here: these men prefer homosexual acts over adultery, and conception is impossible.

Here the men have abandoned women as in the Sodom account. And their desire for each other is actually described as an abandonment, or at least due to an abandonment, of women. The text does not recognize homosexuality as an inborn trait; it is not ‘in the genes.’ It is rather a spiritual rebellion against the Creator. A person who recognizes the Creator functions in a natural way; a person who suppresses the truth of the Creator is open to living in an unnatural way.

The last part of the verse is fascinating. The due penalty of their error simply indicates an earned reward similar to “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). But what could receiving in their own persons possibly mean? One writer’s insightful comment is: “The meaning of this doubtless is, that the effect of such base and unnatural passions was to enfeeble the body, to produce premature old age, disease, decay, and an early death. That this is the effect of the indulgence of licentious passions, is amply proved by the history of man” (Barnes’ Notes). The expression their own persons really just means “themselves,” and we cannot necessarily limit this to a physical result. It could be physical in a variety of diseases including HIV AIDS. But it could also be psychological (uncertainty as to self-identification), social (impact from a society that considers their behavior abnormal), or even mental or emotional.

What is important here is that there is a penalty and that it is something undesirable and disagreeable. It is also understood that this penalty may be experienced in this life. Studies at various times and in various places have shown that homosexuals die perhaps as much as twenty years younger than the average for the population. It is also noteworthy that the Red Cross will not accept blood donations from homosexuals because of impurities.

As in the case of the women mentioned first in verse 26, we must again recognize that these men are performing what is already a consequence of God giving them over to sin because of their rejection of Him. They are accountable, so that they are committed to eternal condemnation unless their direction is somehow changed.

The doctrine then in Romans 1 is that homosexual activity is unnatural from the perspective of divine creation. It is a sequence in the path away from God. It is itself a punishment, and it brings about further punishment.

The Non-Family Status of Categories of Sinners

The second passage is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. The book of 1 Corinthians was written in order to address various questions and problems existing in the Corinthian church in New Testament times. In the previous chapter the Apostle Paul addressed a specific case of immorality that was being allowed there. He rebuked that church because the behavior was sinful and would be judged. They needed to discipline the erring member so the church could be purified in reflection of their Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In this chapter he expands the teaching.

Our particular text gives a list of sins in verses 9 and 10: “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.”

This is a long list, and some characterizations may be more inward while others are more outward. But two general observations are in order here: 1) the list references people characterized by their acts rather than just the acts themselves, and 2) the listed people will not inherit the kingdom of God.

In the first case it is fascinating that the sinners are identified by their particular sin. The sin adheres to them. It is not character assassination to name them so, but it is the simple truth. This is what they do, and this is what they are called.

In the second case the destiny of such individuals is clear. They will not be in heaven someday. They are punished for their behavior as has already been illustrated in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah. This is the wages of sin. Someone may choose to commit these sins, but God determines the consequence. One cannot commit them with some other outcome.

Verse 9 mentions “effeminate” and “homosexuals.” We must not overlook the others listed, but our focus is on these for the purpose of this study. The Greek word for “effeminate” describes someone who is soft and submits his body to unnatural uses, a sort of passive participant in homosexual acts (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon). The fact that the term appears sandwiched between two clearly sexual terms would require it to have a sexual meaning here as well. Some writers designate this term for homosexual prostitutes (e.g., Expositor’s Bible Commentary). “Homosexual” is a combination word in Greek made up of “male” and “coitus.” It does mean “sodomite” or “one who lies with a male as with a female” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon). A common rebuttal tries to portray the condemned of this passage as people behaving this way who were not homosexual from birth; they are then portrayed as perverts. But there is no way to make such distinction in the Bible. It is simply a method of trying to justify for some what the Bible clearly condemns.

So here the Bible designates what we might call the aggressive and passive partners in homosexual acts both as committing sin which is rewarded with eternal punishment. This is congruous with the rest of biblical teaching on the subject.

But our text brings in some good news. Verse 11 says: “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.” Various Corinthians had been characterized by various sins in the list of verses 9 and 10 including homosexual acts, and they now did not stand under the condemnation stated in verse 10.

The lack of condemnation did not develop because now the acts have somehow become acceptable or have just been overlooked out of the goodness of God. No, these individuals had been cleansed and legally justified in the court of heaven by virtue of the work of Jesus Christ applied by the Holy Spirit. These people had trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, and they had been transformed. People who continue in homosexual acts are eternally condemned; people who are justified by the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10) are forgiven and changed.

The doctrine of 1 Corinthians 6 is that people who die as homosexuals will not be in heaven. People will be in heaven who were homosexuals formerly but were changed by reception of the salvation won by Jesus Christ and applied by the Holy Spirit. The Christian’s assignment is to relate to homosexuals as to any other unbelievers and to evangelize them as we would any other unbelievers.

Those Who Need the Law

The third passage is 1 Timothy 1:8-11 with special emphasis on verse 10.
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
Under the Apostle Paul’s direction, Timothy was in Ephesus as this epistle was written. Some of the teachers there were teaching strange doctrines. Timothy’s assignment was to instruct them not to do so, but to teach so as to achieve the goal of “love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5).

Though the Christian is not under Law, yet, as Paul writes, the Law is good. The Law is particularly for the various classifications of sinners. It shows them to be sinners, and calls them to the Lord Jesus Christ to have their sins forgiven. The Law cannot save them, but it can lead them to Christ who can and will, if they will but come. This is true for all the categories of sinners listed here.

What is fascinating here is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is also brought in, specifically the glorious gospel of the blessed God. Some believe that sins are overlooked or at least certainly not judged so that a Christian, who is forgiven, can live as a practicing homosexual, or, for that matter, as a practitioner of any of the sins listed here, without penalty. Nothing could, in fact, be farther from the truth. What the Law condemns is also contrary to sound teaching (which was lacking in some cases in Ephesus). But also what the Law condemns agrees with the standard of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The gospel is qualified as glorious, having the glory of God. It is the glory of God to forgive and transform so that sinners cease sinning as they have and are transformed to give God glory. Everyone begins life as a sinner and needs this salvation, this rescue and sanctification. As Adam Clarke wrote two hundred years ago, “Sin has dishonoured God, and robbed him of his glory; the Gospel provides for the total destruction of sin, even in this world, and thus brings back to God his glory.” The practice of sin is contrary to giving God glory.

So in the list of sinners here immoral men are mentioned first and immediately after are homosexuals. The Bible does not recognize the issue of orientation, as is so often discussed today, but only behavior. If someone behaves as a homosexual, commits homosexual acts, then that person deserves to be considered homosexual and is so reckoned by God.

Again, homosexual behavior is viewed as contrary to the Law God as revealed and also contrary to sound teaching, even the teaching based upon the glorious gospel of God, the gospel that focuses on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world. The doctrine of 1 Timothy 1 is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has not changed God’s view of homosexual behavior. Moral behavior approved by God is the same in all ages.


It should be clear that the teaching of the Bible is consistent throughout. Homosexual practice is condemned by God. It is contrary to the institution of marriage (a subject not developed fully here because the appropriate marriage texts do not address homosexuality specifically), it is destructive to the creation mandate given to human beings to be fruitful, multiply, and rule over the earth (homosexual activity by all would cause humanity to be extinguished in one generation), and it is contrary to the beautiful picture set forth of marriage reflecting the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church.

Homosexual behavior requests the judgment of God. But Christians should not therefore shun practicing homosexuals. They are human beings created in the image of God. As long as they are in this world, as far as we can tell, they have the possibility of repenting and coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, being transformed, and living a life that glorifies God. Christians should pray for them and seek to share the wonderful news of Jesus Christ with them.

For further discussion, you may contact the author at arlieandruth@cox.net.