Overwhelming reaction to Christian convictions, namely the rejection of the homosexual lifestyle, is to accuse Christians of being homophobic, intolerant, and hateful. In this way there is understandably a great amount of intimidation concerning this issue. There have been noted controversies regarding certain churches that have appeared to allegedly support the homosexual lifestyle. It is likewise hardly surprising that there exists The Queen James Bible, which is essentially the Bible edited to promote the homosexual lifestyle, and beyond this there is also a homosexual organization called Evangelicals Concerned. They are a group of people who are to all appearances born-again, Bible-believing Christians, but also practicing homosexuals. They believe that the Bible doesn’t forbid homosexual activity or that its commands aren’t valid for today; instead, such commands were a reflection of the culture in which it was written.
Christians believe that God really exists and that he created the world. If this God exists and really commanded things in the Bible we are then morally obligated to follow those commands. This means God’s law is binding on us and to break them renders us guilty before him, and being guilty before God is not reliant on how one feels. If true, we cannot what God has to say on the subject of homosexuality, and thus it is ultimately God determines what is right and wrong. If this follows then we cannot rely on our emotions and opinions when it comes to homosexuality; instead, we need to see what God thinks on the issue. But then how does one find out what God thinks? For the Christian this can be represented in a syllogism (1):
- We are all obligated to do God’s will.
- God’s will is expressed in the Bible.
- The Bible forbids homosexual behaviour.
- Therefore, homosexual behaviour is against God’s will, or it is wrong.
To deny that homosexual behaviour is wrong one must either deny premise 2 that “God’s will is expressed in the Bible” or premise 3 that says the “Bible forbids homosexual behaviour.”
Well, does the Bible forbid homosexual behaviour? The Christian may also note that the way in which one puts the question is important since there is a difference between homosexual behaviour and homosexuality as addressed by the Bible. What the Bible denounces is homosexual action/behaviour and not having a homosexual orientation. This would suggest that the debate about whether homosexuality is something one is born with does not matter, instead it is about what one does with their orientation. There are six places in the Bible, three in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament where homosexuality is directly addressed. The Apostle Paul directly condemns homosexuality as disobedience to God, for the homosexual “God gave them up to dishonourable passions” (Rom. 1:26-27). He also writes that “men who practice homosexuality… will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9), while the Old Testament author of Leviticus calls it an “abomination” (18:22). In fact, according to Leviticus homosexual practice was so debauched, sinful, and evil that it was punishable by death, preferably by stoning (20:13). It is true that the Old Testament laws do not apply to Christians today since they are under “The law of Christ.” That would explain why no-one is stoning practicing homosexuals. However, both the Old and New Testaments condemn homosexual practice. Thus the New Testament reaffirms Old Testament prohibitions of homosexual behaviour. Yet, these few passages don’t even address the subject of marriage and sexuality which would undoubtedly have implications (for example, the Christian God’s ideal for marriage is between one man and one women (Gen. 2:23-24), a teaching which is repeated by Jesus (Mat. 19:6) and Paul (Eph. 5:28-29) – Paul also teaches the Christian view of the marriage ideal elsewhere). However, it is quite clear that these passages unequivocally condemn homosexuality.
If this conclusion follows then Bible is clear on the issue, namely that it is contrary to God’s design and is therefore sinful. And given the commandment “You shall not commit adultery” it would appear that the Christian God’s plan for human sexual activity is reserved for marriage. Any sexual activity outside of a marriage bond, whether premarital sex or extramarital sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is forbidden. Sex is designed by God for marriage. It is designed for procreation (Gen. 1:28). If God’s will is really expressed in the Bible, it would follow that homosexual behaviour is against his will. Thus, it wouldn’t work to explain away these condemnations as just the reflection of the time and culture in which they were penned. This is because biblical theology informs us that they are grounded in God’s divine plan for man-woman marriage.
1. Craig, W. 1994. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. p. 196.