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Question: “What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality a sin?”

 

Answer: The Bible consistently tells us that homosexual activity is a sin (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Romans 1:26-27 teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. When people continue in sin and unbelief, God “gives them over” to even more wicked and depraved sin in order to show them the futility and hopelessness of life apart from God. 1 Corinthians 6:9 proclaims that homosexual “offenders” will not inherit the kingdom of God.

God does not create a person with homosexual desires. The Bible tells us that people become homosexuals because of sin (Romans 1:24-27) and ultimately because of their own choice. A person may be born with a greater susceptibility to homosexuality, just as some people are born with a tendency to violence and other sins. That does not excuse the person’s choosing to sin by giving in to sinful desires. If a person is born with a greater susceptibility to anger/rage, does that make it right for him to give into those desires? Of course not! The same is true with homosexuality.

However, the Bible does not describe homosexuality as a “greater” sin than any other. All sin is offensive to God. Homosexuality is just one of the many things listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that will keep a person from the kingdom of God. According to the Bible, God’s forgiveness is just as available to a homosexual as it is to an adulterer, idol worshipper, murderer, thief, etc. God also promises the strength for victory over sin, including homosexuality, to all those who will believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13).

Recommended Resource: What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung and 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley

 

Question: “What does the Bible say about gay marriage / same sex marriage?”
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Answer:
While the Bible does address homosexuality, it does not explicitly mention gay marriage/same-sex marriage. It is clear, however, that the Bible condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin. Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination, a detestable sin. Romans 1:26-27 declares homosexual desires and actions to be shameful, unnatural, lustful, and indecent. First Corinthians 6:9 states that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the kingdom of God. Since both homosexual desires and actions are condemned in the Bible, it is clear that homosexuals “marrying” is not God’s will, and would be, in fact, sinful.

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Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Genesis 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage, such as 1 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Ephesians 5:23-33, the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family.
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The Bible alone, however, does not have to be used to demonstrate this understanding of marriage. The biblical viewpoint of marriage has been the universal understanding of marriage in every human civilization in world history. History argues against gay marriage. Modern secular psychology recognizes that men and women are psychologically and emotionally designed to complement one another. In regard to the family, psychologists contend that a union between a man and woman in which both spouses serve as good gender role models is the best environment in which to raise well-adjusted children. Psychology argues against gay marriage. In nature/physicality, clearly, men and women were designed to “fit” together sexually. With the “natural” purpose of sexual intercourse being procreation, clearly only a sexual relationship between a man and a woman can fulfill this purpose. Nature argues against gay marriage.

So, if the Bible, history, psychology, and nature all argue for marriage being between a man and a woman—why is there such a controversy today? Why are those who are opposed to gay marriage/same-sex marriage labeled as hateful, intolerant bigots, no matter how respectfully the opposition is presented? Why is the gay rights movement so aggressively pushing for gay marriage/same-sex marriage when most people, religious and non-religious, are supportive of—or at least far less opposed to—gay couples having all the same legal rights as married couples with some form of civil union?

The answer, according to the Bible, is that everyone inherently knows that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural, and the only way to suppress this inherent knowledge is by normalizing homosexuality and attacking any and all opposition to it. The best way to normalize homosexuality is by placing gay marriage/same-sex marriage on an equal plane with traditional opposite-gender marriage. Romans 1:18-32 illustrates this. The truth is known because God has made it plain. The truth is rejected and replaced with a lie. The lie is then promoted and the truth suppressed and attacked. The vehemence and anger expressed by many in the gay rights movement to any who oppose them is, in fact, an indication that they know their position is indefensible. Trying to overcome a weak position by raising your voice is the oldest trick in the debating book. There is perhaps no more accurate description of the modern gay rights agenda than Romans 1:31, “they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”

To give sanction to gay marriage/same-sex marriage would be to give approval to the homosexual lifestyle, which the Bible clearly and consistently condemns as sinful. Christians should stand firmly against the idea of gay marriage/same-sex marriage. Further, there are strong and logical arguments against gay marriage/same-sex marriage from contexts completely separated from the Bible. One does not have to be an evangelical Christian to recognize that marriage is between a man and a woman.

According to the Bible, marriage is ordained by God to be between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:21-24; Matthew 19:4-6). Gay marriage/same-sex marriage is a perversion of the institution of marriage and an offense to the God who created marriage. As Christians, we are not to condone or ignore sin. Rather, we are to share the love of God and the forgiveness of sins that is available to all, including homosexuals, through Jesus Christ. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and contend for truth with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). As Christians, when we make a stand for truth and the result is personal attacks, insults, and persecution, we should remember the words of Jesus: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

Recommended Resource: The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Must Know About What’s Really at Stake by Erwin Lutzer

 

Question: “What does the Bible have to say about gay adoption?”

 

Answer: The Bible has many positive things to say about adoption in general, but it universally condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin against God. The modern practice of gay/lesbian/homosexual adoption is not mentioned in Scripture, but the homosexual factor cannot be ignored. Gay adoption treats a gay “family” as equal to a heterosexual family, and that violates the biblical model of the family unit as ordained by God.

Some people support the idea of gay adoption by pointing to the needs of children on adoption waiting lists—having gay parents is better than having no parents at all, they reason. But there’s no way around these two facts: homosexuality is a perversion of God’s design and a homosexual couple cannot form a “family,” according to God’s definition of a family (see Genesis 1:28; 2:24). Also, a child’s greatest need is not necessarily to have two parents; a child’s greatest need is to be cared for in a godly, nurturing way and to have godly role models in his or her life.

God’s design for the family is that children grow up in a stable, loving environment provided by a man and a woman in a committed, lifelong relationship. This design is clearly seen in God’s creation of Adam and Eve and God’s command for them to have children. The same design is also seen in God’s choice to entrust His Son to a family unit; God prevented Joseph from divorcing Mary (Matthew 1:19–20), thus preserving the nuclear family of a husband, wife, and child.

Are we saying that adoption should be restricted to stable nuclear families? Absolutely not. The Bible does not directly address the issue of who should be allowed to adopt. So, while we can describe the ideal adoptive situation based on the Bible, we cannot biblically support adoption being restricted to that ideal.

Should Christians be supporters of gay adoption? Based on what the Bible says about homosexuality, the answer has to be no. Homosexuality is a perversion of the very nature of what a family is supposed to be. Christians should not support something that directly contradicts God’s will.

At the same time, Christians should be known as people who adopt. The Christian life is to be a sacrificial journey of finding ways to reach others with the gospel. Clearing out orphanages and foster care systems through adoption and then raising those children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) would be the Christian thing to do.

Recommended Resource: The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Must Know About What’s Really at Stake by Erwin Lutzer

 
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Question: “Is it possible to be a gay Christian?”

 

Answer: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). There is a tendency to declare homosexuality as the worst of all sins. While it is undeniable, biblically speaking, that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural (Romans 1:26-27), in no sense does the Bible describe homosexuality as an unforgivable sin. Nor does the Bible teach that homosexuality is a sin Christians will never struggle against.
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Perhaps that is the key phrase in the question of whether it is possible to be a gay Christian: “struggle against.” It is possible for a Christian to struggle with homosexual temptations. Many homosexuals who become Christians have ongoing struggles with homosexual feelings and desires. Some strongly heterosexual men and women have experienced a “spark” of homosexual interest at some point in their lives. Whether or not these desires and temptations exist does not determine whether a person is a Christian. The Bible is clear that no Christian is sinless (1 John 1:8,10). While the specific sin / temptation varies from one Christian to another, all Christians have struggles with sin, and all Christians sometimes fail in those struggles (1 Corinthians 10:13).

What differentiates a Christian’s life from a non-Christian’s life is the struggle against sin. The Christian life is a progressive journey of overcoming the “acts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21) and allowing God’s Spirit to produce the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). Yes, Christians sin, sometimes horribly. Sadly, sometimes Christians are indistinguishable from non-Christians. However, a true Christian will always repent, will always eventually return to God, and will always resume the struggle against sin. But the Bible gives no support for the idea that a person who perpetually and unrepentantly engages in sin can indeed be a Christian. Notice 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

First Corinthians 6:9-10 lists sins that, if indulged in continuously, identify a person as not being redeemed—not being a Christian. Often, homosexuality is singled out from this list. If a person struggles with homosexual temptations, that person is presumed to be unsaved. If a person actually engages in homosexual acts, that person is definitely thought to be unsaved. However, the same assumptions are not made, at least not with the same emphasis, regarding other sins in the list: fornication (pre-marital sex), idolatry, adultery, thievery, covetousness, alcoholism, slander, and deceit. It is inconsistent, for example, to declare those guilty of pre-marital sex as “disobedient Christians,” while declaring homosexuals definitively non-Christians.

Is it possible to be a gay Christian? If the phrase “gay Christian” refers to a person who struggles against homosexual desires and temptations – yes, a “gay Christian” is possible. However, the description “gay Christian” is not accurate for such a person, since he/she does not desire to be gay, and is struggling against the temptations. Such a person is not a “gay Christian,” but rather is simply a struggling Christian, just as there are Christians who struggle with fornication, lying, and stealing. If the phrase “gay Christian” refers to a person who actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly lives a homosexual lifestyle – no, it is not possible for such a person to truly be a Christian.

Recommended Resource: What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung and 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley