Homosexuality and the Bible

By John David Clark, Sr. - March, 1993

Whether or not a person accepts what the Bible says concerning this subject, he will have to admit that from the first mention of homosexual behavior to the last which is found in the Bible, their is no equivocation on the issue. The condemnation of that deviant sexual behavior is constant and complete. From Genesis to Revelation, there is no excuse made for homosexuality.

One of the explanations for their behavior which homosexuals offer this gullible world is that they were born homosexual; in other words, it is a natural way of life. The Scriptures are clear, however, that all such perverted conduct is "against nature". And since homosexuality is condemned as sin in the Scriptures, we must assume that the homosexual is not being forced to do what he does; otherwise, it would not be sin, for what a person has no choice but to do cannot be considered sin. If the serpent had forced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, she would not have been cast out of the garden. Jesus said that sin proceeds from the heart of man. And inasmuch as homosexuality is clearly revealed to be sin by the Scriptures, we who truly seek to know and to do the will of God must confess that the desire for homosexual deeds springs from the perverse and degenerate hearts. So totally does the Bible reject homosexuality as an unacceptable, ungodly lifestyle that not many verses are needed to communicate God's position on the matter. The following are all the Scriptures I have found which deal with the ugly subject of homosexuality.

The Old Testament

Lev.18:22 And with a male ( this word refers to any male offspring, of men or animals: Ex.13:12, 15; whether a man: Jer.30:6. or a boy: Lev.12:2) you shall not lie (that is, lie with in an intimate manner: cp. Mic.7:5; 1Kgs.1:2; Gen.19:33-35) as one lies with a woman. It is detestable.

Lev.20:13 And a man who lies with a male, as one lies with a woman, they both have committed an abomination. They shall surely be executed. Their blood shall be upon them.

Deut.23:17 Ceremonial sexual intercourse in "honor" of the gods of fertility was fairly common in the ancient world. This verse forbids that practice. The Hebrew word for "sacred" or "holy" is "kodash". Playing on this word for holiness, these temple prostitutes called themselves "kadash" (male), or "kadashah" (female), meaning "dedicated one" or "sanctified one". Their devotion, however, was to their own lust, despite all their seeming devotion to their gods. Their efforts to make their obsession with lust of the flesh appear to be the result of their love for God was especially disgusting to the Lord. He was neither impressed nor honored. There shall be no (sacred) prostitute among the daughters of Israel, nor shall there be a (sacred) sodomite among the sons of Israel.

Other places where reference is made to these temple prostitutes are: 1Kgs.14:24; 15:12; 22:46. In Job 36:13-14, wise Elihu states that the hypocrites are among these unclean worshipers of God. In 2Kgs. 23:7, we learn that God's people wandered so far from righteousness that houses for temple prostitutes were constructed right beside the temple of God. Perversion of the faith is not peculiar to our generation.

Deut. 23:18 The term, "dog" is used once, here, in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament (Rev.22:15) in derogatory reference to male homosexuals, probably as reference to the manner of dogs (i.e., sniffing another dog's rectum). You shall not bring the hire of a harlot (Hebrew word for an ordinary whore) or the price of a dog into the house of Jehovah your God for any vow. For these both are an abomination unto Jehovah your God.

Gen.18 - 19 The sin of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar, was sodomy, not merely that they were inhospitable, as homosexual groups sometimes claim. God would never have rained fire and brimstone on entire cities simply because they were lacking in the social graces. Peter said that Lot was vexed every day with the Sodomites' "filthy conduct" (2Pet.2:6-8), not just on the day the two angels visited Lot. The Sodomites were, according to Peter, "ungodly" people who were performing "unlawful deeds". This sin, according to the angel of the Lord who spoke with Abraham was "very grievous" (Gen.18:20). Abraham referred to the inhabitants of those cities as "the wicked" (Gen.18:23, 25). The perverseness had permeated the social structure of the city of Sodom so completely that both young and old surrounded Lot's house, demanding that they be allowed to sodomize the two angels of the Lord (Gen.19:5).

Jud.19:16-22 Moses described the nature of his people as being like that of Sodom (Dt.32:32). The intent of the Israelites of Gibeah in this story was to sodomize the Levite traveler, even though they did settle for his wife instead. The righteous old man under whose roof the young visitor had found shelter for the night pleaded with the inhabitants of the city not to do this "wickedness", calling it "folly" and "a vile thing". The opinion of the Israelites was that the men who committed this lewdness were "sons of Belial" (20:13). Much later in Israel's history, Isaiah lamented that except for a remnant which God graciously left in the nation, Israel would be as Sodom and Gomorrah (Isa.1:9), and even addressed the leaders of his nation as "rulers of Sodom" (Isa.1:10). But that would not have irritated the rulers of Israel at all. They were proud of what they would have considered progressive and sophisticated attitudes toward unlawful sexual behavior (Isa.3:9). Over a century later, God declared through Jeremiah that all the holy city of Jerusalem was to Him "as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah" (Jer.23:14). Ezekiel, prophesying in Babylonian captivity about the same time, said that God's people had actually outdone Sodom and her filthiness (Ezek.16:44-56).

New Testament

Rom.1:18-28 Perhaps the most surprising element of Paul's treatment of the issue of homosexuality is that he teaches that it is not primarily a sin for which one will be punished, but is itself punishment for sins already committed! According to Paul, the homosexual lifestyle is the evidence of God's wrath - it is God's punishment - against unthankful men and women who were made aware of the will of God but refuse to obey Him. Thinking that they are becoming wiser, "they become fools", full of vain imaginations, refusing to worship God as He commanded men to worship Him. In a vain attempt to justify their perverseness, such people may actually suppress the truth concerning their perverted behavior. They serve (the desires of) what God created, rather than serve the Creator, and "change the truth of God into a lie", so that they may make their ungodliness appear to be acceptable in God's sight. Paul condemns both homosexuality and all who endorse such conduct (Rom. 1:32). This would include corrupt clergymen who attempt to make such sin appear to be acceptable with God (cp.Isa.5:20).

Homosexual behavior, as with abortion, is one of the ultimate forms of self-hatred, wherein the natural instincts and desires are satisfied, but to the destruction of the human race. But if homosexuality is God's punishment for self-willed men and women, as Paul states, it may be more appropriate to say that homosexuality is one of God's ultimate expressions of disgust with men.

In this section of Paul's letter to the church at Rome, homosexuals are said to be "dishonoring their own bodies" by their conduct and that they are "without excuse" for doing so. Their behavior is said to be the result of a darkened, foolish heart. Homosexual impulses are called "vile affections". Homosexual conduct is called "unnatural", "unseemly", and "improper" (KJV: "not convenient"), and it makes one "worthy of death". Homosexual behavior is indulged in, says Paul, by those who have been cursed with a "reprobate mind". It is God's fitting punishment for those who will not believe the truth.

1Cor.6:9-11 Paul here equates homosexuality with unrighteousness, saying that such people "abuse themselves with mankind". All such, he says, will be refused an inheritance in the kingdom of God. The word translated "effeminate" in the KJV is literally "soft ones", which is a reference to catamites, young boys used in pederasty. The single word which is translated "abusers of themselves with mankind" in the KJV is a Greek word which refers to a male homosexual, a pederast, a sodomite. This word is used again by Paul in the verse from 1 Timothy, cited below. Secondly, Paul reveals that there is mercy to be found for those who have participated in this wretched lifestyle. Some of the Corinthian believers themselves had once practiced homosexuality. This is not surprising, inasmuch as temple prostitution was one thing for which Corinth was noted. In the territory around Corinth, "Corinthian girl" was a euphemism for a prostitute.

1Tim.1:10-11 Here, Paul says homosexuals "defile themselves with mankind", and that to do so is "contrary to sound doctrine." We know then that any minister who attempts to persuade men to believe that homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle before the Lord is a liar, teaching what is contrary to sound doctrine in Christ.

Jude 7 Jude calls homosexual behavior "going after strange flesh", meaning, of course, that it is "strange", or ungodly and forbidden by God, for a man to have sexual desires toward another man, and for a woman to lust for another woman. The word "strange" is used frequently in the Scriptures in reference to things contrary to the will of God. The actual Greek word is "other", translated "foreign" in some places. It is certainly "other" than the will of God and "foreign" to it for men to lust after men and women for women. Jude also notes that such people have "given themselves over to" moral impurity, and they suffer the vengeance of God in the form of "eternal fire."

Finally, the distinction must be made between homosexuals (those who have been given over by God to that perverse spirit) and the many who have engaged in homosexual acts through peer pressure, foolish curiosity, excessive lusts, or weakness induced by drugs or strong drink. We could not justly condemn such people as homosexuals anymore than we could call our children witches if they and their friends foolishly experiment with a ouija board out of curiosity. All such experimentation with evil could lead to a lifestyle of such sin, but there is a vast difference between the two. We are grateful for the mercy of God which is available for all who confess and turn from sin. But one of the less pleasant tasks of a minister is pointing out what sin is, so that those who would come to God may know what they need to change. Homosexuality is sin. If one repents of it, he may find forgiveness in Christ. If he does not repent, he will be cast into the lake of fire with all the other wicked. There is nothing else that anyone who truly believes in the Bible can possibly believe about homosexuality, for the Bible offers its readers no other possible avenue of thought.

It is not in haughtiness or self-righteousness that this letter is written. If the church is to fulfill its purpose: to be the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth", then the church must speak out on such issues as this. It is only to that end that this biblical information is presented for your consideration.

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