The Bible’s teaching on homosexuality is one of the most dividing, important, and needed teachings of our generation1. If you are reading this you probably have an interest in understanding it better. And your interest may go beyond mere theory. Maybe you want to better understand the Bible’s teaching so you can then speak to others. Or, maybe a friend has challenged your formerly secure, yet ungrounded, views. Perhaps you are looking for answers to your own searching, yet neglected, questions. Whatever the case is, I pray that you would find help through these words.
This work has three main purposes. First, to show what the Bible itself says about homosexuality. Second, to answer a number of questions and objections about the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. Third, to show that the Bible offers forgiveness and cleansing from every sin that we can commit if we turn to God through His Son, Jesus.
What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?
1.) What is marriage?
Genesis 2:20-24 looks at what marriage is,
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper right for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, He made a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
The animals which Adam named had an acceptable mate, there being both male and female of every animal (Genesis 1:20-22), but for Adam an acceptable mate had not been made (2:20). When God does make a right or acceptable helper for him, He makes for him a woman. As we see from this second chapter of Genesis, from the beginning only men and women were acceptable for each other in marriage. Only men and women can fulfill the command of God to be fruitful and multiply, seeing that they only can bring forth children, and only within this relationship is the sexual act permitted (Genesis 1:28; 9:1). By the terms “father” and “mother,” “man” and “wife,” we are helped to see that not only are men and women alone acceptable for each other in the marriage relationship, but with the terms “man” and “wife,” that only one man and one woman are to be in this marriage relationship.
At the end of verse 24 the Bible says that the man and the woman become “one flesh.” It is very important to notice that the “therefore” in verse 24 points us back to the previous verse. Verse 23 says, “And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’” How does verse 24 relate back to verse 23? The marriage relationship creates a “one flesh” union that is only possible between a man and a woman because in the beginning God took the woman (the rib) out from the man. When a man and woman are joined together in marriage, it’s a reuniting where two people become one. It’s impossible that a man and a man or a woman and a woman can become one flesh, because in the beginning God took the woman from the man. Of course, “women” come from women in birth, but that’s not the point. The point is that in the original creation God took the woman out from the man and only by bringing back together the man and woman can the two become one. Without this one flesh union there can be no marriage.
2.) Prohibitions against homosexuality in Leviticus
The verses below are surrounded by other commands prohibiting different sexual sins. Leviticus 18:22 says,
You shall not lie with man, as with woman: it is an abomination.
And Leviticus 20:13,
If a man also lie with man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
3.) Jesus Christ affirms marriage as described in Genesis
The Pharisees also came to Him, tempting Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and the two shall be one flesh?’ Therefore they are no more two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Jesus affirms God’s institution of marriage, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that the man and woman will become one flesh.
4.) Homosexuality is unnatural
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.
Homosexuality is spoken of in at least six different ways in these verses. First, it is described as a judgment from God. One of the reasons that men and women turn to homosexuality and lesbianism is because they have rejected God’s truth (see verses 18-23), and because of this God judges them by giving them up to sin. Second, it’s described as uncleanness. It is something that is impure. Third, homosexuality dishonors the body of the one who practices homosexual acts. Fourth, it’s described as a vile or dishonorable passion. Fifth, it’s described as a sin against nature or an unnatural sin. Men leave the natural use of women and go after men. Women leave the natural use of men and go after women. Sixth, those who are homosexual receive a recompense that is due to them for their error. This could be looking at physical sufferings caused by homosexuality, or the judgment of God that they will face, or both.
5.) Using the law lawfully
1 Timothy 1:8-11,
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers, for fornicators, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
One of the purposes of the law is to show us our sin, and one of the many sins that it shows us is the sin of homosexuality.
6.) Be not deceived
1 Corinthians 6:9-11,
Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Anytime the Bible warns us not to be deceived it’s telling us about something that people are easily deceived about. One of those things that people are deceived about (there are a number of sins mentioned here) is whether homosexuals will inherit the kingdom of God. The Bible clearly says that they will not as long as they continue in this lifestyle. These verses most likely use two different words to speak about homosexuality, “effeminate” and “homosexuals.”
The word effeminate means “soft.” It appears three other times in the New Testament (twice in Matthew 11:8 and once in Luke 7:25, all speaking of soft clothing)2. Because of the context in 1 Corinthians 6:9 this could be looking at the passive male in a homosexual relationship.
The next word, “homosexuals,” is translated in the King James Version as “abusers of themselves with mankind.” This word is found in 1 Timothy 1:103. This one word in Greek (arsenokoitei4) that is translated “homosexuals” is made up of two different Greek words. The two root Greek words that make up arsenokoitei are “arsēn” (male) and “koitē” (bed). The word means “males in bed” or “men in bed.”
It’s true that just because you put two words together to form one word doesn’t mean the meaning of both carry over. One example that is used is “butterfly.” “Butter” and “fly” have separate meanings and when you combine them to make “butterfly” both of the meanings aren’t carried over. So what can help us know that Paul meant the word “arsenokoitei” to mean “homosexuals”?
First, it’s good to remember that, even though the meaning of this word is quite clear, the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality doesn’t stand or fall on this one verse. The Bible, in a number of places, is clear about what its teaching is on homosexuality.
Second, as far as is known, Paul’s use of “arsenokoitei” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is the first time this word had ever been used. How did Paul come to use this word?
The vast majority of English speaking people read their Bibles in English. However, the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic (Old Testament), and Greek (New Testament). But around the year 100 B.C. the Old Testament was translated into Greek for Greek speakers to be able to read. This Greek translation of the Old Testament was called the Septuagint. Why is this important? Because of how Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are translated in that Greek version of the Old Testament.
Remember, the two words “arsēn” (male) and “koitē” (bed) make up the one word “arsenokoitei” (homosexuals) that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 6:9. Below is the English and Greek versions of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. Each Greek verse has both of the Greek words in them that make up the word “homosexuals” in 1 Corinthians 6:9. In the Greek version, I will bold both of the words in each verse and put their English meaning in brackets.
You shall not lie with man, as with woman: it is an abomination.
Kai meta arsenos [male] ou koimēthēsē koitēn [bed] gunaikos; bdelugma gar estin.
If a man also lie with man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Kai hos an koimēthē meta arsenos [male] koitēn [bed] guvaikos, bdelugna epoiēsan amphoteroi; thanatousthōsan, enochoi eisin.
What appears very likely is that the apostle Paul combined these two words and coined the word found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 which means “homosexuals.”
After looking at several places where the Bible speaks about homosexuality, the Bible’s teaching can lead us only to one conclusion: the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality as a sin and teaches that those who practice this lifestyle do not know God.
Questions and Objections
However, many objections and questions have been raised concerning the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. Below are a number of questions and objections which I will attempt to answer.
1.) “Old Testament law no longer applies to the Christian today.”
This is one of the most used objections. Look on social media and you’ll see this used in many ways. This argument can go something like this, “Are we not to play football today? It’s made of pigskin. That goes against Deuteronomy 14:8. It says not to touch the dead carcass of a pig. Is your shirt made of two different types of materials (Leviticus 19:19)? Do you eat pork (again, Deuteronomy 14:8)? You don’t follow the Old Testament in many places, so why are you using verses from Leviticus to show me that homosexuality is wrong? The Old Testament law is no longer for us today.”
There are two questions to be answered: why is it that Christians keep some of the Old Testament law while not keeping some of the other parts, and, is the Old Testament law for us today?
Whenever we seek to interpret the Old Testament law there are some truths that we need to keep in mind. First, it is very important to see that the Old Testament law was given to a certain people, the people of Israel. They were a physical and spiritual nation directly under God. Second, it was given to a nation that mostly was made up of people who did not know God. It appears safe to say that the majority of physical Israel didn’t know God, and so the law that was given was meant to govern a majority of people who had never had a relationship with God. We are helped to see this in the divorce law (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) which Jesus said Moses gave because of the people’s hard heart (Matthew 19:3-9). Third, in some sense, the law was only given for a time. Galatians 3:19 says, “Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” The law was “added” “till” the seed (Jesus Christ) came. So the law, in one sense, is no longer for Christians because the law is gone. Fourth, the law has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. This is why we are no longer to offer animal sacrifices, because the Great Sacrifice has died once and for all (Hebrews 10:1-18).
These truths may seem to support the argument that since the law is gone the prohibitions against homosexuality are too. But it doesn’t. There are three important distinctions to be made when thinking of the Old Testament law. The three fold distinction is that there are civil laws, ceremonial laws, and moral laws. Though not explicitly stated in the Bible, these are old distinctions that have been applied to the law and help us to interpret the law better.
Here are examples of how these categories help. Are Christians today suppose to wear only one type of material at once, or not shave the edges of their beards (Leviticus 21:5)? No. These would fall under civil laws, laws that were given to the nation of Israel that have been taken away (Galatians 3:19). Are we suppose to offer animal sacrifices today? No. As I said above, Jesus has fulfilled the sacrificial law, which is part of the ceremonial law. Should those who commit homosexual acts be put to death (Leviticus 20:13)? No. This is a civil law that was for the nation of Israel. We aren’t the nation of Israel (and Israel today is not Old Testament Israel, either) and this is not for us.
However, though Christians have good reasons not to follow every command in its original literal meaning given in the Old Testament law, the moral law is different. Are we suppose to say that since the law is gone that that means adultery, murder, stealing, and lying are okay now? Of course not. In fact 1 Timothy 1:8-11 says just the opposite. Verse 8 through 10 says,
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers, for fornicators, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
The law is good if we use it lawfully. And one function of the law is that it shows the unrighteous their sin. Paul says in Romans 7:7, “…I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’” The law shows us our sin and if the law shows us our sin that means the law is still for today, as far as the moral law goes. Homosexuality, as seen in other places besides the Old Testament law, is shown as a moral sin. Therefore one can still use Leviticus to show that homosexuality is a sin and at the same time not follow every thing the law says.
2.) “Homosexuality is called an abomination in the Old Testament, but that doesn’t mean it is considered a sin. Some things in the Old Testament were considered an abomination that we no longer consider sinful today.”
There are at least eight different Hebrew words that can be translated “abomination,” or a similar word, depending on the English translation. Generally speaking, an abomination is something that is detestable or disgusting. It’s true that some things that are considered an “abomination” in the Old Testament are not considered sinful by Christians today. For example, Deuteronomy 14:3 says, “You shall not eat any abominable thing.” This verse is speaking of different types of animals including rabbits and pigs (14:7-8). Christians today don’t consider it sin to eat these animals (Mark 7:18-19; 1 Timothy 4:1-5). However, there are many things in the Old Testament that are “abominations” that are still sinful today. Deuteronomy 17:2-5 says,
If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, man or woman, that has wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing His covenant, and has gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; and it be told you, and you have heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shall you bring that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, to your gates, even that man or that woman, and shall stone them with stones, until they die.
Idolatry was an abomination, but it was also a sin against the Lord. And in this passage the word “abomination,” is the same Hebrew word5 that is used of homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight.
Again you see that lying, which is a sin, is called an abomination.
Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you know not; and come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’?
What are these abominations? The sins that are named. Stealing, murder, adultery, lying, and different forms of idolatry are both sinful and abominations.
The word “abomination” can speak about something that is no longer a sin today, but it can also speak about things that are certainly sinful. How do we know which homosexuality is? There are many ways to know that homosexuality is a sin, but one way is to simply see the testimony of the New Testament in a passage like 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
3.) “Jesus never spoke against homosexuality, therefore He didn’t teach it was wrong.”
There are a number of things to say to this statement. First, Jesus didn’t speak specifically against rape and yet it would be outrageous to say that Jesus did not consider that to be sinful. Second, all the Bible is God’s Word and therefore Jesus’ Word. The Spirit of God and of Christ (Romans 8:9) inspired the writers of Scripture (2 Peter 1:20-21). Third, Jesus was a Jew who believed every word of the Old Testament which include the parts that teach that homosexuality is a sin (Matthew 5:17-18). Fourth, as we have already seen, Jesus affirmed God’s institution of marriage as seen in Genesis chapter 2, which says that marriage is between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6).
4.) “When the Bible condemns homosexuality, it is not condemning loving, faithful homosexual relationships.”
This objection says that the Bible does condemn homosexual activity when committed with children, or when one is raped, or when there is not a loving, faithful relationship. However, when there is a loving, faithful relationship, so goes the argument, the Bible is approving of homosexuality.
In response to the above argument there are at least two truths to think about. First, the Bible never says anything positive about homosexuality. There is not one instance where the Bible says something approving about it. Second, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, and the New Testament speak in a general, broad way against homosexuality, not leaving room for any positive example.
Romans 1 is condemning homosexuality in-and-of-itself. Verse 26 says, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:” What sin does the Bible call a “vile passion” that these women committed? Reading verse 26 in light of the first part of verse 27 makes this clear, “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another…” The vile passions that women were committing in verse 26 was that they left the natural use of men and went after other women. It wasn’t that they were raping other women, or that they did not have loving relationships. Their sin was the fact that they no longer used the natural use of men, but desired other women instead. It was lesbianism itself.
5.) “Yes, Romans 1 does say that homosexuality is unnatural, but that is only speaking about those who were by nature heterosexual who committed homosexual acts. They went against their nature. However, if one is by nature homosexual, then it is natural and right for them to be homosexual.”
When Paul speaks about homosexuality being against nature, he is saying that God created men to be with women, and women to be with men. He is looking at how we ought to be. Anything else is unnatural and sinful.
6.) “But Paul says nature ought to teach us that when men have long hair it is shameful for them. Are we really to believe that it is wrong for men to have long hair? And if not, how can you at the same time hold that homosexuality is unnatural if you will not hold to what else the Bible says about nature?”
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:14, “Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man has long hair, it is a shame to him?” Paul is right. It is a shame for men to have long hair. This does not mean we need to begin to measure haircuts. It seems to me that the main thing is distinction. Can you tell by the length of his hair that he is a man and not a women? It is unnatural for men to have long hair and homosexuality is unnatural too. Though both are unnatural, that doesn’t mean both are equally sin. I think there can be different degrees of sin even when both are called unnatural, as there are different degrees of sin even when the sin is a natural sin.6
7.) “If marriage was originally between one man and one woman, then why does the Bible allow men to be married to more than one woman? Doesn’t this show that the Bible allowed a change to the definition of marriage, and shouldn’t this help us see that same-sex marriage is now allowed as well?”
Marriage is between one man and one woman. The first record of someone having more than one wife is Lamech (Genesis 4:19) and it appears that the Bible shows him to be an evil person (Genesis 4:23-24). I think this is similar to the divorce law in the Old Testament that has already been talked about. God, because of the hardness of men’s hearts, allowed his people, even some that knew and loved Him, to have more than one wife. Both polygamy and homosexuality are sinful. However, one difference between the two is that polygamy didn’t carry the death penalty under the Old Testament law, but homosexuality did carry the death penalty.
8.) “If one reason for not allowing homosexuals to marry is because they cannot naturally have children, then why should a man and a woman be allowed to marry who know that they will be unable to have children?”
Having children is an important part of God’s plan. However, this is not the only purpose for marriage. For those who cannot have children, they can still have a biblical marriage by being a picture of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). They can still have a one flesh union where the two people in the marriage become one.7 This one flesh union can happen only between a man and a woman (see the section on, “What is marriage,” from Genesis 2:20-24).
9.) “Sodom wasn’t destroyed because of homosexuality. It was destroyed because it did not care for the poor.”
Sodom was one of the cities destroyed in Genesis 19. This was the city where two angels came and stayed at Lot’s house, and on that night men from the city surrounded his house because they wanted to have sexual relationships with the two angels who appeared to be men. Ezekiel 16:49 says, “Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” However, verse 50 goes on to say, “And they were proud, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw fit.” The abomination could be looking at many things, but most likely it is making reference to homosexuality. Jude 6-7 helps us to see this,
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jude says that they gave “themselves over to fornication,” and went “after strange flesh.” “Going after strange flesh” is most likely speaking about homosexuality.
It’s true that Sodom had many sins against them, and even different homosexual sins (what appears to be an attempted gang rape). Yet one of their sins was homosexuality itself.
10.) “Don’t you believe that everyone should have the opportunity to marry? And yet unless same-sex marriage is allowed you are denying people that right.”
Homosexuals do have the opportunity to marry, but they must marry someone of the opposite gender. God can change our desires. God can also give us the grace to live a single life.8
11.) “Not allowing homosexuals to marry is leading some into depression and great emotional hurt.”
We are all made in the image of God, have great worth because of that, and have been created to desire and experience joy. However, we should expect to feel sadness and emotional hurt when we won’t obey God. The answer isn’t to seek joy in actions that God condemns, but to give all of our heart to God, and let Him fill us with His joy.
12.) “Shouldn’t everyone be allowed to marry whomever he loves?”
No. If Bill is married to Julie, and yet Bill and Samantha “fall in love,” Bill and Samantha don’t have the right to marry. Bill and Julie made a covenant before God and it must not be broken. We don’t have the right to marry anyone we want. God made marriage between one man and one woman on the condition that both can rightly be married.
13.) “What right do you have to tell me who I can and cannot marry?”
This does all come down to the question of authority. Whose authority are we under? God is every person’s authority whether we acknowledge Him or not. Our right to tell others who they can and cannot marry is only established if we speak God’s truth.
14.) “God would not give me desires and not want me to act on them.”
No one believes that we should act on every desire we have. Everyone knows that some desires should be rejected. Nor does God give us every desire we feel. This is why understanding the fall of man is so important. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, each of us are born as fallen creatures and have sinful desires that God didn’t want us to have. When we become Christians, though we are given a new spiritual heart with new desires, we still have a sinful flesh that we will have until the day we die. Though the Christian loves righteousness, there are still evil desires within him. The Bible says, “Dearly beloved, I urge you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Even as Christians we have desires that we must not give into.
15.) “I am a Christian and I reject the homosexual lifestyle. But I still have desires at times for the same gender that I am. Am I sinning in having these desires?”
Not necessarily. If you give into those desires, either by fantasizing or acting on those desires, then you have sinned. But if when the desire comes to you, you reject it, then no, that’s not sin. All Christians want free from evil desire, and the fact that we still have evil desire shows that we have a sinful flesh. But as 1 Peter 2:11 above shows, Christians have fleshly desires, and these desires must be rejected.
16.) “God is a God of love. He will accept me no matter how I live.”
He is love, but His love never leads us into sin. Jesus Christ is the most loving Person to have ever walked on earth, and yet He spoke about hell more than anyone else in the Bible. He plainly told some that unless they repented they would likewise perish as others had (Luke 13:2-5). The great news is that He will never turn down anyone who comes to Him, but we must come on His terms, repenting of our sin and believing His promises.
17.) “Why can’t we all love one another?”
For a doctor to not tell his patient that he has cancer because he wants his patient to be happy, isn’t love. It’s hate. The loving thing to do is to tell him the truth because his life is at stake, even though he may have to go through great pain. Love leads us to do what is best for others. In the same way, the most loving thing we can do is to lovingly tell the truth to homosexuals, the truth that those who live in that sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God, but if they will repent they can be forgiven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
18.) “I am a Christian, but I don’t think that homosexuality is a sin.”
For one to be a Christian, one must submit himself to God and His Word. God’s Word clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin. We must decide if we will believe God’s Word or not. If we will not submit to the Bible’s teaching, then how can we confess to be followers of Christ?
19.) “Is there a difference between homosexuality and homosexual acts?”
I have not made a difference in this work, though there is a difference that could be made if one had to. Why have I not made a difference? One reason is because whether someone is committing homosexual acts or only identifies as a homosexual, they are one and the same. For us to come to God and be saved, not only must our actions change, but our heart must too. One must both leave the sexual sin and the identification.
20.) “I am a Christian and believe homosexuality is a sin. However, one of my friends who is homosexual is getting “married.” Should I attend the ceremony to show that I care about him, even though I disagree with his lifestyle?”
No. To be at a marriage ceremony is to show that you approve of what is happening, whether that is your intention or not.
21.) “My family member is homosexual and confesses to be a Christian. What should I do?”
Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). You will not be faithful if you “love” them without speaking the truth to them. That’s not real love. Nor will you be faithful if you speak truth in a nonloving way. This doesn’t mean the next time you see them you must say something, or every time you see them you must, though you don’t want to wait too long.
Another truth you must consider, however, is the Bible’s teaching about separation. 1 Corinthians 5:11 says,
But now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat.
Paul is teaching that we must not fellowship with wicked people who claim to be Christians. Christians, though not perfect, live lives seeking to follow God. When someone who claims to be a Christian lives a wicked life, we must separate from them.
However, the Bible also teaches that we have responsibility to our family members. It appears it would be appropriate to attend family functions at times with homosexual family members who confess to be Christians if being at the family function did not give the impression that we believed that they were Christians. I do believe that there would be times to not attend family functions because of situations like this, but I don’t think this is always the case.
22.) “Should churches fellowship with other churches that support homosexuality? Should a Christian remain in a local church that is in favor of homosexuality?”
No to both, unless the local church or the Christian is actively fighting for the truth where they are (I say “actively,” because it isn’t good enough to “plan” on fighting it in the future). And even then, after fighting for the truth, if victory looks improbable, it’s probably time to go else where. The Bible commands us to separate from those who claim to be Christian but live wicked lives (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). This does not mean you separate from every wicked person, but from those who claim to be Christian and live in wickedness.
23.) “Should homosexuals be allowed to attend church services?”
Of course. We should be welcoming and glad that a homosexual would come to a local church to hear God’s Word. We should love them and make them truly feel that we want them to be there with us. However, there is a difference between attending a local church and becoming a member of a local church. Again, they should always be welcome to attend church services, but becoming a member is something only a Christian can do. To allow a homosexual to become a member of a church would not be showing love, but hate. To take someone into membership means that the church believes them to be a Christian, and this means that to allow a homosexual to become a member would be to deceive them into thinking that they were a Christian when they’re not.
Every sin can be forgiven
Every sin that we can ever commit can be forgiven if we turn to God through Jesus Christ, His Son. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is sinful, but it also teaches that Jesus Christ died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). While we were enjoying our sins and ignoring God, and rebelling against Him, Jesus Christ died for us. Has the world ever known love like this?
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 has been quoted already in the body of this work, but read verse 11 again, “And such were some of you: but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” It appears some Christians in the church at Corinth had been homosexuals in their past, but now they had been washed, sanctified, and justified. This is great news for every person, including the homosexual. If we return to God, we can be washed from every wicked thing we have ever done, we can be changed into holy people, and we can be declared righteous in the sight of God.
How can this be? God has made a way for evil people to be saved through the cross of Jesus Christ. The world mocks at the message of the cross, but for us who are being saved it is the power of God. Christ, the sinless Son of God, became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He took our place. The sin that we committed and the wrath of God that we deserved, Jesus Christ took for us. He made a way for us to return to God. That is what salvation is. It is us coming to know God and us coming into a right relationship with Him. We are forgiven so that we can come back to God.
How must we return? We must return with hearts that bow down to God and His Word, wanting to do everything He says. And we must return in faith, believing the promises of Scripture, that if we will believe, we will be saved (Romans 4:1-8).
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
1 All Scripture is from the King James Version. Any changes and/or updates have been done by myself. Also, thanks to Jeff Heflin for a number of valuable suggestions and helps.
2 The same root word.
3 The same root word.
4 All Greek words, including verses in Greek, are transliterated into English. All information in this section about the word “arsenokoitei” is not original with me. It can be found in different sources.
5 The same root word.
6 Though when one is under a Nazarite vow, it is acceptable to have long hair (Judges 16:17; Acts 18:18). This helps remind us not to be too ridged in interpreting the Bible.
7 I believe this one flesh union can still happen even when sexual intimacy is impossible.
8 And at the same time to not identify as a homosexual.