The Church of Scotland now permits the ordaining of homosexuals. In our Bible Study on the topic, we began by comparing the purposes of marital intimacy to homosexual behaviour. We then moved on to a broader view of Biblical teaching on the subject.
In this post, we’ll see many Scriptures on homosexuality, direct and indirect. Whatever the world does, a church must follow Scripture or it doesn’t deserve the name “church.” I’ve covered this in enough detail that those who missed last Wednesday can follow what we studied. I’ve tried to cut through some of the confusion and overstatement that some use with these verses.
Homosexuality and the Purposes of Marital Intimacy (with related links)
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
We looked at this verse previously. From the first mention of humanity in creation, the union of men and women for procreation is in view. The idea of homosexuality is foreign to the account of creation.
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
“Help meet” means a fitting or appropriate helper. When God decided to make a helper for the man, one that is appropriate, He didn’t make another man, He made a woman.
God did not make man and man, or woman and woman, He made man and woman. Homosexuality did not exist before sin came into the world.
The Old Testament Law
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
This verse is probably quoted more than any other in regard to homosexual behaviour. So I’ll take time for several points:
- It is indisputably referring to homosexual behaviour.
- Some claim it refers only to homosexual prostitution. The text doesn’t say that. It is a blanket ban on homosexual behaviour.
- This is not merely an Old Testament prohibition, so the argument that it is no different from dietary laws cannot stand. It gives God’s assessment of the moral quality of such behaviour, calling it “abomination,” a horrible thing that God hates.
- The verse says “it is” abomination, it does not say “he is” abomination, or “they are.” It does not say God hates the individual, it says He hates this action, this sin.
Further to that, some say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” That is not a Scripture quote, and somewhat over-simplifies, but it is based on verses such as Romans 5:8 — God, hating my sin, loved me and thus saved me from it. Saving love reaches sinners, including homosexuals — that is the Gospel. To twist this verse to say He hates homosexuals mars His message of grace. God’s love saves all who come to Him. His love draws unrepentant sinners (homosexual or not) to repentance, or no one would ever be saved.
It is certainly appropriate to distinguish between loving an individual and hating one of their actions. On Wednesday, we discussed an incident the day before — a child went in water over her head. Thankfully, someone pulled her out in time. We talked of how a loving father would hate her action of going into the pond. He would warn, teach, and if necessary use restraint to keep her from going in it again.
Thus our Father also hates any actions His children take which would destroy them. When He tells His children that He hates a sin, He expresses His love for us, telling us to keep away from deep water that destroys.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
God sees this behaviour as so damaging that He said it should bring capital punishment in Israel so that it would not spread.
This does not excuse violence against homosexuals today. This was the penal law of ancient Israel, carried out according to legal guidelines and with specific safeguards and procedures. The Bible never endorses lawless violence. To misuse this verse to excuse violence today violates God’s Word and civil law. Even if a nation outlawed homosexual behaviour today, Christians should not engage in vigilante actions. This verse teaches us just how seriously God takes homosexual sin, but its prescribed response was a matter of law, not of individual action.
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
This chapter describes the men of Sodom threatening homosexual rape, and God judging the city. This passage, on its own, clearly condemns homosexual rape, but does not mention other homosexual behaviour. But see below on Jude 7.
Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.
This is very similar to Genesis 19. This time the men of Gibeah attempt homosexual rape. Again judgment comes, both on them and those who defend them.
I Kings 14:22-24
22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.
23 For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.
24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
Here, homosexual behaviour is linked to idolatry. This apparently describes homosexual prostitution as an idolatrous religious ritual. The text does not say if this only refers to prostitution, or whether it is referring to other homosexual behaviour as well.
I Kings 15:11-12
11 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.
12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
Whichever behaviour was described in chapter 14, Asa is commended for stopping it.
II Kings 23:4-7
4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.
5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
6 And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.
7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.
Again, homosexual behaviour is described in a context of idolatry and false worship, and it is seen as a good thing to put a stop to it.
Though historical accounts in Scripture condemn homosexual violence and prostitution, it would be hard to prove they condemn all homosexual behaviour. But neither are these verses silent. Every case in Biblical history is negative, linked with violence or idolatry. God recorded these accounts alone, portraying homosexuality as evil whenever it appears. The historical accounts do not directly condemn all homosexual behaviour, but no one could read them and say God wants His people to commit homosexual acts.
6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
Jesus taught that marriage and the “one flesh” relationship is man and woman, husband and wife. The man leaves a man and a woman (“father and mother”) and marries a woman. The Greek word for “wife” is also translated “woman” in other passages. There is no such thing as a male “wife.” Jesus could hardly have been more clear that God’s intent for the one flesh relationship is male and female in marriage.
Other New Testament Passages
I Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Several thoughts on this passage:
- “Abusers of themselves with mankind” is similar language, in Greek, to what we saw in Leviticus. It refers to those who lie with other men as with a woman.
- It (along with many other sins) is incompatible with following God and His kingdom.
- “Such were some of you” — some believers had engaged in homosexual sin in the past, but now they had been washed, sanctified, and justified!
- This refutes those who say God hates all homosexual sinners. He saves and washes people, and gives victory to overcome the sin (“sanctified”). That is love, not hate.
I Timothy 1:9-10
9 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 unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
The law shows that sinful behaviour is contrary to God. Homosexual behaviour is among the things the law of God condemned. It, along with these other sins, is contrary to sound doctrine (teaching).
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, 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.
Genesis 19 only clearly condemns homosexual rape, but this verse give the rest of the picture. They gave themselves over to immorality. They were “going after strange flesh.” They had made themselves slaves, given themselves over, to pursuing an immorality which was “strange,” a perversion. Given what Genesis 19 tells us, this is obviously referring to and condemning their lust for homosexual actions.
In creation, in the Old Testament Law, in historical narratives, in the teaching of Christ, and in other New Testament passages, we see that homosexual behaviour is outside of God’s plan, and contrary to it. This is not merely an Old Testament prohibition, as some want to say, nor something that Paul alone condemned. It is the consistent message of Scripture from beginning to end.
I did not include Romans 1 in this post. Romans 1 is an important passage on this topic, and unfortunately, sometimes Christians read things into it. Lord willing, I’ll get to Romans 1 in the next few days.
Romans 1 and Christian Errors on Homosexuality (part one)
Romans 1 and Christian Errors on Homosexuality (part two)
Romans 1 and Christian Errors on Homosexuality (part three)
Romans 1 and Christian Errors on Homosexuality (part four)
Romans 1:32 and Homosexuality