Christian Theology & Homosexuality.


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):

  1. We are all obligated to do God’s will.
  2. God’s will is expressed in the Bible.
  3. The Bible forbids homosexual behaviour.
  4. 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.


9 responses to “Christian Theology & Homosexuality.

  1. So in other articles, you’ve taken a strong position against the concept of inerrancy. Does that not apply in this case? If not, then this is yet another major flaw in Christian theology, which claims that:
    a) God is loving and merciful
    b) God is perfect (doesn’t make mistakes)
    c) God created each of us (including people with homosexual orientations)
    d) But God condemns those whose behavior is consistent with their nature.

    All four of the above statements cannot simultaneously be true. At LEAST one of them must be false. Or… it could be that the entire foundation of the Christian theological house of cards (the unsupported assumption that the Bible is the word of God) is fundamentally flawed, and the Bible is (like every other religious tome in the world) just the word of men who presumed to be speaking for their god.

    • Premise: “c) God created each of us (including people with homosexual orientations)”

      -Unlike other Christians I’m not of the opinion that God “fashions” us in the womb. God, I believe, created a mechanism, a process, by which human beings are created. That process, according to biblical theology, is corrupted by sin and would explain why defects (a homosexual orientation, or down syndrome etc) impugn the process.

      • As a straight man and an agnostic, I perhaps have no dog in this fight, but I’d have to suggest that we should perhaps recognize that the sources you point to above (both in the new and old testaments) are interpretations of the word of God—interpretations arrived at by the human mind and then transcribed during time periods were many societal/cultural forces shaped the objectivity/subjectivity of those doing the interpretations.

        I’d suggest that the concept of a “Word of God” itself is suspiciously reductive and hubristic. What forces compel or (… gulp!…incentivize) one who is acting as the flesh and blood interpreter of the Word of God?

        It is clear that homosexual tendencies are real and that they are not the domain of any race, creed, culture, time-period, or any other human demographic. Why then do we single out this seemingly pre-programmed trait (genetics, as far as we know so far are a much more likely explanation than “sinfulness”) and make value judgements based upon “subjective” interpretations of a concept that, as I noted above, is itself likely a flawed and subjective interpretation of the desires of an ultimately unfathomable and infinite consciousness?

        Of course, what do I know. I’ve never felt that God has spoken to me directly, but I’d also guess that if he had, I would have no choice other than to interpret his words through my subjective biases.

      • Why should god not have forged a mechanism which created people who were better at transcribing his word?

        Furthermore, your stance inerrancy is, somewhat ironically, very inconsistent. Below are two alternate logical arguments, one of which must be true, assuming the existence of God.

        —Fallibility Case—
        a) PREMISE: God is always right.
        b) PREMISE: The Bible is not an accurate portrayal of God’s word, due to human error.
        c) Even though God is always right, there is no way to know which parts of the Bible were errors and which are correct.
        d) The biblical profession of an idea does not make it a rigid principle from which there can be no departure.
        e) You can’t use the bible to logically justify your homophobia.

        —Infallibility Case—
        a) PREMISE: God is always right.
        b) PREMISE: The Bible is a perfectly accurate representation of God’s will.
        c) The Bible must not be considered invalid, for this would be to invalidate God (heretical).
        d) Every premise in the Bible must be directly interpreted and adhered to, including every one of these:

        You have argued both of these– the latter here, and the former in your article specifically relating to infallibility. Unless you can point out somewhere that my logic is errant, I implore you to choose one of the above cases to support. And, in the case that you choose the first (a smart move, if you want to avoid justifying slavery and sex crimes, which I don’t suppose you believe a just God would promote), you are forced to admit that your homophobia cannot be logically supported by the Bible.

        And, in fact, neither can anything else– you cannot look to a corrupted file for guidance if you value the Truth.

  2. Hello James, maybe you’re not replying to older articles but since I just found your blog, I want to ask. How do you reconcile your denial of inerrancy with biblical moral prohibitions (such as homosexual behavior)?

    • Hi, David. I am working hard on answering that question, not only homosexuality but ever wider topics that are even more important theologically. Hence why I am engaging some important and valuable views as I can at this time (rereading 5 View of Biblical Inerrancy and The Human Faces of God with special emphasis on this very question).

  3. Why do Christians always find the time and space to judge homosexuality but don’t seem that interested in Jesus’ hard-line unforgiving statements about divorce. $$$$ Christian ministers mustn’t risk losing the cash flow from the divorced and remarried who are, according to “God’s will as expressed in the Bible,” living a sinful “lifestyle.”

    • Agreed– there are many things which are expressed in the bible which almost everyone– including Mr. Bishop, I am willing to bet– are not opposed to, despite their taboo nature, and many things that are considered deeply wrong (which were justified in the Bible). This includes slavery! So if you interpret the bible for use against homosexuals, you are also forced to acknowledge the validity of claims justifying slavery. Is that so, Mr. Bishop?

      For more examples, take a look here (regardless of any perceived bias in the source, these are real passages from the Bible):

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