What the Bible Says about Homosexuality and Gay Marriage
Our politically correct culture validates individuality. Individuality is a gift from God, who created us to be unique individuals whom He knit together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13). But what our politically correct culture does not validate is a biblical view of the hot-button issue of homosexuality and gay marriage. And Christians are largely to blame for fueling the flames of this incendiary issue. Let’s break down the arguments and the corresponding biblical truths.
The argument: Christianity teaches hatred of homosexuals.
People point to Old Testament passages such as 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.” They suggest Christians today would have gays stoned to death if they had their choice.
The truth: Though the moral law of the Old Testament still holds, we are no longer bound by the civil law under grace. Instead, Christianity teaches hatred of sin and love of sinners. And this is where Christians have blown it.
We are called to love and reach the lost while hating sin, “hating even the garment polluted by the flesh” (Jude 23). Sin is sin; and all of it sent Jesus to the cross, so we must stop elevating one sin above another (James 2:10). Let love rule. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” John 3:16, perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible, says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” We are called to be Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and, as such, to love as He loved.
The argument: Teachings against homosexuality are exclusive to the Old Testament.
This supports the notion that the moral laws of Leviticus no longer pertain, just as the ceremonial laws have since become moot.
The truth: The New Testament prominently mentions homosexuality, unabashedly identifying it as sin.
According to Romans 1:26-27, homosexuality is God’s judgment for man’s refusal to acknowledge Him. In that chapter, it is mentioned in the same breath as greed, envy, murder, lies, maliciousness, slander, gossip, and disobedience to parents, among other noted sins.
The argument: Jesus never spoke about homosexuality.
Because the verses condemning homosexuality come from the pens of Moses and the apostle Paul, people assert they do not reflect the views of Jesus Himself.
The Truth: Jesus is the author of all Scripture and Himself affirmed the definition of marriage.
John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Second Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” Second Peter 1:21 confirms this: “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Further, when confronted about divorce, Jesus addressed God’s design for marriage in Matthew 19:4: “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’” This is a definitive affirmation of marriage between one man and one woman.
The argument: Homosexuality is a natural inclination; denying that inclination is to deny one’s very nature.
The truth: That is the truth.
We’ve already established that we have a sin nature; we are “sold into bondage to sin” (Romans 7:14). And we’ve seen that homosexuality is counted among sins of the flesh. Therefore, it is a natural fleshly inclination, just as lying, greed, envy, gossip and disobedience are. However, when we place our trust in Christ, we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) and we die to ourselves (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:6-7). We overcome our natural inclinations via the supernatural, which is God’s power within us.
The argument: We cannot overcome homosexual desires.
Many gay people will tell you they experienced homosexual yearnings early and have no desire for the opposite sex. They unsuccessfully denied their inclination long before yielding to it.
The Truth: Though people are likely to struggle with temptation (see Romans 7), it is possible for Christ-followers to resist temptation by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Consider Romans 8:37: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Or 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Or Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Author Christopher Yuan shares his transformation in Christ in his book Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope.
It is high time Christians approach this delicate issue with compassion and grace instead of judgment. But we must not allow our compassion and grace to shift our plumb line, which is found in God’s unchanging truth.