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đź’Ś Homosexuality - what does the Bible say?

July 7, 2020

12 minute read

đź’Ś Homosexuality - what does the Bible say?

Photo by Cecilie Johnsen on Unsplash

Before I continue with this article, I'd like to take some time to pray for you, the reader, that the words on this page speak true to your heart and the hearts of others.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your sacrifice and the provision of your grace upon my life. As I continue to write this article, may you be both with me and the reader to help us both to interpret the message you have for me to write, and the reader for whom receives it.

I faithfully pray that you are in complete control and that the words displayed on this page are words which you intended to be there. I pray that you bring me back to this article over the years to correct and update it, improving its validity and relevance.

In your Holy and righteous name, I pray these things. Amen.

Let me be abundantly clear before we proceed any further. All sin is covered by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ when He sacrificed himself for our sins. He bore our sins, future, past and present. To be free from the consequences of sin, one must hear the good news of Jesus' sacrifice and believe.

Well, what does the Bible say then?

God has not made Himself unclear. The first mention of homosexuality in the Bible is found in Genesis 13:13.

The men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.

A few chapters later we find out the “exceedingly wicked” behaviour they were participating in.

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.

— Genesis 19:4-5

The book of Jude reveals to us the consequence of their actions, making it very clear to us that God does not approve of this behaviour.

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

— Jude 7

In the Law of the Bible, death was the order for homosexuals.

If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

— Leviticus 20:13

Homosexuality is listed with a whole host of other sins including the uncovering of nakedness of near of kin, those near in relations, or during menstruation, adultery, bestiality etc.

Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

— Leviticus 18:22

Everything in Leviticus 18 is considered an "abomination" to God and are clearly practices that He has always hated. He also leaves a very clear warning:

Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practised before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.

— Leviticus 18:24-30

But those are all examples from the Old Testament!

For those that argue that the Old Testament need not apply as it has "passed away", we must remember that Jesus' purpose was not to set aside the Law of Moses.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

— Matthew 5:17 - 20

Jesus commanded obedience to Moses' Law and its original intent. Whereas murder was “liable for judgment” (Matthew 5:21) in the Law, now “anger is liable for judgment.” (Matthew 5:22) and “hell-fire.” Whereas adultery was prohibited in the Law, now “lustful intent” is condemned, since it is indeed the source of adulterous behaviour. In sum, the Messiah did not come to lay aside the Law, but to fulfil its original purpose.

Not to mention, the New Testament makes it abundantly clear:

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

— Romans 1:​24-27

Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom.

— 1 Corinthians 6:​9, 10

If you wish to delve deeper into the significance of this concept, its interpretation, distinctions between moral, ceremonial, and civil law, and the enduring relevance of the moral law today, I highly recommend listening to the following sermons:

So? Jesus never spoke to homosexuality directly, and only His words matter!

Actually, Jesus directly addresses sexually deviant behaviours, which include homosexuality (a precedent set in Old Testament). Jesus directly confronts "porneia" in Matthew 15:19 which is often translated as fornication or sexual immorality. This includes all sexually deviant behaviour outside of the bond of marriage between one man and one woman.

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

— Matthew 15:18 - 19

For those that only follow what Jesus actually said because the rest of the Bible was written by man and is therefore fallible, how then are we supposed to trust the recorded words that Jesus spoke as precisely what He said? Either it's completely untrustworthy or:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

— 2 Timothy 3:16

Leviticus 20:13 refers to boys, not men - paedophilia, therefore it does not condemn homosexuality.

While it may be tempting to latch onto these interpretations, we must use history to determine whether this was an acceptable practice in the church. In church history, there have been no examples of homosexual marriage or condoned homosexual relationships. Translations from these periods tend to be sketchy, as many writers of the KJV were known for putting in their own convenient interpretations.

To know the truth, we must refer to Jewish history and the dead sea scrolls (which our modern translations are based off of) - which clearly show that homosexual marriage was not a condoned practice.

To further prove this point, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because they were partaking in:

Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

— Jude 1:7

They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.

— Genesis 19:5

But I thought homosexuality was natural?

Many people are quick to point out that homosexuals are simply "born that way". Although it is alleged to have some genetic basis, scientific research has not been explicitly conclusive. [1, 2]

The inconclusiveness of these studies left leading Columbia University psychiatrists Byne and Parsons to conclude that:

There is no evidence at present to substantiate a biological theory, just as there is no compelling evidence to support any singular psychosocial explanation. The appeal of current biological explanations may derive more from dissatisfaction with the present status of psychosocial explanations than from a substantiating body of experimental data. Critical review shows the evidence favouring a biological theory to be lacking. [3]

From a scientific standpoint, there is no good reason to believe that there exists a biological link to homosexual behaviour. If a link were ever established, it would still not morally justify homosexuality for a few reasons.

A lot more research would need to be completed to work out why this behaviour exists and how it translates into the lives of everyday people. One will also need to differentiate if homosexual behaviour causes the biological condition or if the biological condition is the cause of the homosexual behaviour.

If the biological condition causes homosexuality or predisposes it in an individual, it will still not make the behaviour "good" or morally permissible.

If I am 'naturally' predisposed towards homosexuality, then it must be good!

This train of thought does not overlap so well in other areas of life. For example, what if I am naturally selfish, violent or predisposed toward addiction, adultery or paedophilia? Researchers believe that there is a definite genetic basis for alcoholism, yet we do not think that alcoholism is good. Any reasonable person would believe that alcoholism should be treated and "cured".

If this is true, should we not attempt to "cure" homosexuals from a behaviour that appears divergent from the norm much the same way as alcoholism?

Does our natural inclination or desire for things make them good? The Bible teaches us that the human heart is corrupt and must be made regenerate via Jesus' sacrifice.

If any man be in Christ he is a new creation. The old is passed, behold the new is come.

— 2 Corinthians 5.17

Might there be other examples that prove homosexuality is a natural behaviour? Animals engage in homosexual behaviour, what makes them so different than us? Even chimpanzees and other apes are known to engage in the behaviour. So, if it occurs in nature, it must be natural for humans too!

Similarly to the first argument, this doesn't overlap very well when you apply this concept to the actions of other animals.

Animals are not civilised. For example, many animals eat their young as soon as they are born. That certainly isn't permissible for human beings... If we are to hold to this premise literally, it would imply that there is no moral difference between animals and humans. Let the flood gates open.

Just because some animals engage in homosexual behaviour, does not mean that human homosexuality is natural, or morally good. Studies also show clear abnormalities with regard to homosexuality amongst animals. Thomas Schmidt explains that:

Animals do not engage in long-term homosexual bonding as humans do. Some monkeys and apes mount or fondle each other to the point of sexual arousal, but even this behaviour involves numerous qualifications: most important, the behaviour does not continue when the individual matures and has a heterosexual option. [4]

Even if this was a good argument for homosexuality, one would argue that animals and the natural order of things have been corrupted when sin was introduced to the world through Adam.

There is, however, a point in favour of genetic homosexuality in the Bible. It talks about inter-generational sin and how the sins of the father are passed down for up to four generations.

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."

— Exodus 34 6 - 7

If my great-great-grandfather engages in unrepentant homosexual sin, his "genetic sin" is actually passed down to me by blood according to the Bible, which is also why all new-borns are technically born in sin in the eyes of the Lord.

Another argument to bring to the forefront is the very well documented health risks of homosexual promiscuity.

Natural Inclination

Homosexuality may feel natural to some, but our guide to what is "natural" or "good" is the Bible, not our flesh. God's desires for His creation are not that it is tarnished by sin, but that it is set free from its corruptive and destructive nature.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

— John 10:10

Homosexuality will never result in procreation - therefore it is impossible for it to bring life. If we are charged to bring life to the world, then how does homosexuality fit into this outlook? One might argue that they weren't called to bear children, which is a fair argument, but this argument really only works if they've dedicated, they're life in service of Christ.

Can I practice homosexuality and remain a Christian?

This question ultimately comes down to whether or not our identity lies within Christ or our own sexuality. Christians are in union with Christ and that should be our only identity. See Ephesians 2:6.

We are all required to lay down our selfish desires at the cross and follow Jesus. See Mark 8:34. Our sexual attractions should never be the foundation of our identity. Christ is our rock and our strength. Our identity is what God says about us in His Word.

All Christians have desires or attractions which do not conform with our new nature in Christ. These can take form in anything from greed, to lust, to lying etc.

As a Christian who struggles with the sin of homosexuality, I am not a "gay Christian". I am a Christian that struggles with the sin of homosexuality. Homosexuality does not define who I am, or what God says I am or am capable of.

If you are a Christian that struggles with same sex attraction, you need to start by agreeing that this is not something God desires for your life. We need to stay close to God to avoid temptation or self-deceive ourselves into believing that homosexuality is acceptable before God.

Temptation is part of the life of the Christian and can only be resisted by remaining faithful to God. We must choose not to nurture temptation or act on urges set on by its luring grasp.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

— Galatians 5:16

Armed with a good spiritual routine of Bible study, prayer and worship, we will have the strength to resist temptation.

If our identity is in that of the world and not of Christ, we are nothing but an imposter and are self-deceiving ourselves. Scripture does not allow for any possible scenario where homosexual behaviour is glorifying to God.


The Bible is very clear on its stance of homosexual behaviour. I simply cannot find an honest interpretation (and not for lack of trying) that affirms homosexual behaviour in any form. Personally, I have really struggled with homosexuality in my personal life, and it is not a light topic for me to talk about, but I felt it prudent to record my thoughts and research in this article. I pray that others might find this useful in their own walks.


[1] Simon LeVay, "A Difference in Hypothalmic Structure Between Heterosexual and Homosexual Men" Science 258 (Aug. 30, 1991)

[2] J.M Bailey and Richard Pillard, "A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation" Archives of General Psychiatry 48 (1991)

[3] W. Byne and B. Parsons, “Human Sexual Orientation: The Biologic Theories Reappraised,” Archives of General Psychiatry 50 (March 1993): 228. Indeed, we should also point out that from the stance of evolutionary naturalism (a view which many homosexual activists hold) the argument for a genetic cause for homosexuality breaks down. For, if homosexuality were genetically based, “homosexuality would have become extinct long ago because of reduced reproduction” (Editorial, British Medical Journal (August 7, 1993), p. 1.

[4] Thomas E. Schmidt, Straight and Narrow, 134.

Last modified on March 21, 2024

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