Question from B___: “Where does the Bible say that gay love is a sin? And what did Jesus say on it?”
Reply: The Bible is very clear on this issue, so that we can choose to live within the parameters for our own well being without any confusion.
First of all, we must establish what sin is. The definition of sin is found in 1 John 3:4, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Sin is simply defined as “disobedience”, “disobedience to the law of God”, the breaking of any one of His 10 commandments.
1 John 1:9 tells us that “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The big question is this, “Is homosexuality sin? Is it wrong? Does the Bible say so?” If it is sin, and you confess it to be your sin, then, according to the above text, you can be forgiven; and not only forgiven, but cleansed from it.
When we reclassify “homosexuality”, however, from the category of “sin” to that of “an acceptable alternative lifestyle,” then God Himself can do nothing for us. For He sent His only begotten Son to save His people from their “sins”, not from something acceptable, not from some minority status, not from their sexual preferences, not from some genetic or psychological disorder. But from their “sins.”
Next, we must acknowledge that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (right doing, right behavior), according to 2 Timothy 3:16.
Furthermore, “If you love ME,” Jesus says, “keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) One of those commandments is, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)
Adultery: The voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with someone not the spouse; unfaithfulness; also, any lewd or unchaste act or thought. (Matthew 5:27,28) Scripturally, adultery also includes incest, prostitution, and fornication, which is voluntary sexual intercourse of an unmarried person with another unmarried person or married person of the opposite sex. (Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary)
God further commands His people on this subject, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” (Lev. 18:22; 20:13)
These are the words of Jesus in the Old Testament. Adultery clearly is any sexual behavior or practice outside of marriage as God created it to be. “Gay love” falls in this category, and to disobey the clear will and command of God is “sin.”
A very plain text on this subject is found in Romans 1:24-28, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie… For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use (the natural sexual intercourse) into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use (or intercourse) of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly…. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…” (Romans 1:24-28) These are the principles of Jesus as spoken through His prophet and apostle Paul.
You see, B___, God cannot and will not interfere with the power of choice He has given each one of us. But if we choose to follow Him, even against our feelings, tendencies, and emotions, then He supplies His divine power (grace) to overcome our temptations and our sins, even the sin of homosexuality.
Jesus also says through His apostle Paul, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, …nor adulterers, nor effeminate (sodomites), nor abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals)…shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
But, B___, don’t miss the promise that immediately follows: “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.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
B___, there are so many great promises in the Bible assuring you that you can be straight, that you can be everything God created you to be, that you can have a life of joy, peace, happiness, and fulfillment in harmony with His will. (See, Featured Articles, “A Rainbow of Promises”)
Follow up questions by B___: “I’ve looked at these verses and none mention gay love as a sin at all…and nothing you sent me says what Jesus said on the subject.
“I looked at Leviticus for one and it is a dead law anyway, we cannot apply Levitical law to the 21st century. After all, that would mean we can murder children who curse parents, or women who sleep with a man not their husband. However I also looked up what abomination was in Hebrew and got to’ebah, which actually meant idolatry, not abomination at all…. So, the sin was gay sex acts used in idol worship in Eygypt and Canaan. Then I looked up 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and effeminate, malokos, actually means soft, as in weak in faith, so nothing to do with gay people at all, and arsenokoti [abusers of themselves with mankind] is a 2 part word, men or man and couch, or to lie with, as in a male temple prostitute who had gay sex. So, nothing again to do with gay love here either. So then I checked out Romans, the biggest text on the subject and it says nothing on gay love either, in fact it uses the phrase that they burned with lust. And all lust, be it hetero, homo, or whatever is wrong. AND, it is all about heterosexuals in idolatry as in Levitical laws, who had gay sex. If you read the text it seems clear. So what am I missing? And why are there no laws for gay women in any part of the Old Testament? And again, what did Jesus say on this?? I can’t find any comment.
“I do believe the whole Bible is God’s word, and I believe it is all God-breathed… However, I also believe we can abuse the word of God to make it mean what we want it to mean, so I’ve heard people use God’s Bible to justify homophobia, sexism, abuse of animals and even racism. So, what if the Bible is fine where gay people are concerned as I’m starting to see? After all, none of the texts you gave me mention gay love as a sin. Perhaps you have more texts to show me? I’d love to learn more, but so far I’ve not seen anything that says 2 men or 2 women in love is a sin… So what have I missed?” B___
Reply to follow up Questions: For 16 years I lived the gay life, up to the hilt. I used a lot of the same rationale then that you are using now in your questions and arguments for gay love and gay life, primarily because I really didn’t want to change my behavior. I wanted to be free to be whom and what I was in my carnal nature. But you know, B___, I never had assurance of salvation. I never had assurance of eternal life with Jesus. Ihoped I would be saved, I wanted to be saved, I hoped God would be merciful to me a sinner while I persisted in my life of sin. But I had no assurance of the favor and blessing of God. I was ashamed of my lifestyle, and, therefore, lived a double life. If I was so assured of the rightness of my lifestyle, then I should not have been so covert in its practice…
God and I invite you, B___, today to “Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isaiah 2:18) He’s not going to spell out every single “word” that you want to hear. You won’t find the word “gay” referring to homosexuals in the Bible at all. The word “gay” is only used in James 2:3, referring to magnificent, gorgeous clothing. You won’t find the word “homosexual” in the Bible, in the King James Bible anyway. Nor will you find the word “lesbian.” So, if you will not accept the word of God on a subject unless it uses the contemporary words of today that you select, you may not be able to find clarity in the word of God on many subjects. In order to find truth, you must use your God-given powers of intellect, logic and reason coupled with the guidance He promises through the Holy Spirit.
Another principle that must be addressed before going any further is simply this. Are you sincerely and truly looking for truth, for the will of God? Or, are you looking instead for justification, for loopholes, for excuses…? I’m just asking you to, first of all, honestly question your own motives in asking these questions. The Lord said in Jeremiah 29:13, “…Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” God wants you to treasure Him and His truth enough to search diligently with an open heart and mind, willing to be reproved, corrected, and instructed in right doing. (See 2 Timothy 3:16,17)
On the other hand, He tells us through Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:10,11 that there are those who will “perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
So you and I must daily face ourselves in our study of God’s word and ask ourselves in all honesty, “Am I searching for truth, or for justification…?” “Am I willing to be changed, to be saved FROM my sins, or do I wish to be saved IN my sins?” There’s a big difference, because Jesus came to save His people FROM their sins, not in them, according to Matthew 1:21)
B___, you stated that one can “abuse the word of God to make it mean what we want it to mean.” I agree, and so does the Bible.
A very serious text to consider is 2 Peter 3:16 in which Peter acknowledges that in Scripture “are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (or wrench, or pervert, or twist), as they do also the other scriptures, (speaking of the old testament which still is scripture and applicable to our day), unto their own destruction.”
At one point the disciples came to Jesus and asked, (Matthew 13) “Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” Jesus answered, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteriesof the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Why? “…Because they seeing see not (or choose not to see); and hearing they hear not (choose not to hear), neither do they understand (they choose not to understand).” “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at anytime they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted (changed), and I should heal them.” “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
And I hope this is the case with you, B___, that you choose to see and hear; that you truly have a love for truth and are willing to be changed and healed.
Jesus Himself, watched with breaking heart as multitudes turned away from His message of salvation. Why? Because they were looking for salvation, not from sin, but from the Romans, from foreign occupation, from over taxation, from poverty, from disease, from the consequences of their own rebellion, apostasy, defiance, and sin. They did not have a love for truth. Instead, like every pagan that has ever lived, they served their “god” out of fear of punishment and hope of reward. They did not worship and obey the true God out of a responding love and gratitude for His providence, and care, and patience, and mercy, and forgiveness, and cleansing, and creative power.
Again, before going on, let me refer you to 2 Timothy 3:16,17 – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
When we come to the Word of God with our questions, we should come looking for reproof, correction, and for instruction, in other words, for life changing counsel and guidance and principles. If we have a genuine love for truth, God will make sure we understand His will for our lives.
You, B___, have correctly acknowledged that “the whole Bible is God’s word.” The will of God is clearly manifest throughout this word, and He says in Malachi 3:6, “…I am the Lord, I change not…”
You then asked, “What if the Bible is fine where gay people are concerned as I’m starting to see?” Can you give me a “for instance?” I have not seen anywhere in the Bible that indicates it is fine with God where gay people are concerned. For one thing, it never mentions “gay people”…, “gay love”…, “lesbian relationships”…, or “gay marriage”…
You also stated, “none of the texts you gave me mention gay love as a sin”, that you have “not seen anything that says 2 men or 2 women in love is a sin, so what have I missed?” You go on to say that none of the verses I shared with you “mention gay love as a sin at all…”
Well, B___, what is a “sin”? Sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4) What law?
The moral Law of God is given simply in 2 principles found confirmed by Jesus Christ in Luke 10:25-28, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all they mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” This was a quote by a church lawyer referring to the still authoritative law of God found in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. And Jesus said to him, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” He did not take the opportunity to pronounce the law dead.
The Law of God is confirmed again by Jesus more specifically to the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-27. “…Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.” Jesus was quoting the 10 commandments, not in their order, and before finishing them He was interrupted by the self-assured young man who said, “All these have I kept from my youth up.” “I know this already”, he says. “What else…?”
You see, though thinking he was right in everything, he still did not have assurance of salvation. This is why he found himself inquiring of Jesus in the first place.
Jesus responded by referring him back to the two great principles saying, “Yet lackest thou one thing…” He then revealed to the young man that while focusing on the letter of the law, (the exact words… and spelling…, etc.) he had missed the great principles upon which the 10 commandments were based: Supreme love to God, and loving others equally with one’s self.
The first commandment Jesus quoted to the young man, perhaps because it is the one most difficult for young men…, was “Do not commit adultery.” Well, how would this young man know what adultery was? He knew what was written in the law spelled out in the Old Testament, which you might like to refer to as “a dead Levitical law!” What is dead is the rights and ceremonies of the Levitical law that prophesied the birth, life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection and priesthood of Jesus Christ, for He is the fulfillment of all those prophetic services, rituals, and ceremonies. (See Colossians 2)
But there is nothing dead about His moral law of 10 commandments (nor His health laws, nor the principles of His civil laws…). The time, place, and method of punishment for violation of the law of God seems to have been changed once the theocracy came to an end. But sin is still sin. God feels the same way about it today as He did in the beginning. It was so offensive to Jesus that it nearly crushed the life out of Him in Gethsemane when He Himself was made to be sin for us, …that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) And it did literally break His heart while He was upon the cross, which explains the water and blood from His side when pierced.
B___, you stated that “abomination was, in Hebrew, to’ebah, which actually meant idolatry, not abomination at all. So the sin was gay sex acts used in idol worship.” You seem to have taken a quantum leap here, and you almost lost me. This is not true to context and wording at all. You also are saying gay sex acts used in idol worship constitute sin. But if you are looking for the label “sin” to be attached to “gay” love, then you must notice that the labels “sin” and “gay” and “sex” are not attached anywhere in this chapter. So, in all consistency, we cannot say that gay sex acts used in idol worship constitute sin, either; at least not in this context. I’m not trying to be “smart” here, B___. I’m just suggesting that we must be honestly consistent in our use of the scriptures.
Now, notice in Leviticus, which you refer to as a dead law, how God goes to great lengths to spell out specifically what “adultery” is, what violates the 7th commandment, for the likes of you and me who tend to want to excuse our own besetting sins…. Granted, He does not use the word “adultery.” But it is clear that He is saying “Thou shalt not.” Notice God’s elaboration of the principle of what constitutes adultery in chapter 18: Incest – with father, or mother, or step mother, or sister, or granddaughter, or step sister, or your aunt, or your uncle, or your daughter-in-law, or your sister-in-law, or with a step daughter, or step grand daughter; taking another’s wife; and “thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination”; and sex with beasts. This passage is not referring to idol worship, except in the parenthetical verse 21, which refers to offering one’s children as burnt offerings to the god Molech.
The word “abomination” here does come from the Hebrew “tow ebah”, which is defined as “something disgusting, an abhorrence: especially idolatry.” In other words, especially in the case of idolatry which is especially disgusting and abhorent.
Even if God was saying that lying with mankind as with womankind equated to idolatry (abomination), then “gay love” is doubly wrong, breaking not only the 7th commandment, but the 1st one as well. For idolatry is the first sin of the 10 commandments.
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Does that mean that we can love Him and get away with doing something that He finds disgusting and abhorrent? B___, that would be a real stretch, a real contradiction of logic, a real presumption on our part, don’t you think?
You stated, “nothing you sent me says what Jesus said on the subject.” But I think you have overlooked something. John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Reading on down into that chapter, we see clearly that Jesus is the Word that was with God and that is God and that is the Creator of all things. You will see that in the New Testament, He clearly sanctioned marriage between one man and one woman, but you won’t see any sanction anywhere by Jesus of erotic love between two men or between two women. Jesus is also the great I AM, by His own admission. It was Jesus who spoke the law from Sinai and who wrote it with His own finger. It was Jesus who spoke face to face with Moses. This is why He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” He is the one who both spoke them and wrote them on the two tables of stone, twice!
Back to your statement that “Leviticus for one… is a dead law anyway. We cannot apply Levitical law to the 21st century. After all that means we can murder children who curse parents, or women who sleep with a man not their husband.”
Are you suggesting, B___, that it is no longer a violation of God’s moral law for children to curse their parents, or for women to sleep with men not their husband? Are you suggesting that it is now OK to kill, to steal, to lie, to worship idols, to profane God’s name, to disregard His Sabbath of the fourth commandment? What you are suggesting is total anarchy, isn’t it? I touched on this point earlier. But I just want to clarify a little further; it is the punishment that seems to have changed since passing from a theocracy. It is not the principles of the moral law. And God “will by no means clear the guilty.” (Exodus 34:7) We all face the Day of Judgment when some will be invited to enter into the joy of the Lord, while others will be cast aside to face the punishment of everlasting death. (Revelation 20) As a perfectly just God, He will meet out and execute a perfectly just sentence for every unrepentant sinner. And, as a perfectly merciful God, He will grant to His repentant and changed believers life everlasting, of which they are unworthy, but for which they are eternally grateful.
B___, you referred back to the text of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 with a partial look at the meaning of the Greek words when you stated, “‘malokos’ actually means soft as in weak in faith, so nothing to do with gay people at all, and ‘arsenokoti’ is a 2 part word, men or man and couch, or to lie with as in a male temple prostitute who had gay sex, so nothing again to do with gay love here either.”
Even though I studied Greek for 2 years in college and Aced those courses, even today I refer to the Greek Dictionary for a careful examination of words in question. So, let’s look again at that text: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? BE NOT DECEIVED:
neither fornicators, (Greek – pornos) – a male prostitute, a libertine: one completely lacking in moral restraint; especially, a habitually unchaste or profligate man
…nor adulterers, (Greek – moichos) -a male paramour: a lover, especially one who unlawfully takes the place of a husband or wife. (So, that refers to homosexual as well as heterosexual lovers)
nor effeminate, (Greek – malakos) soft, a catamite: a boy used in sodomy, (i.e., the one on the receiving end of sexual intercourse). [We use the word “gay” today for homosexuals and sodomites. Perhaps they used the word “soft” back then for the same thing…?]
nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (Greek – arsenokoites) – a sodomite
Sodomite: One guilty of having unnatural sexual relations, especially between male persons or between a human being and an animal. – Strong’s Concordance and Greek Dictionary; – Funk and Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary.
…shall enter the kingdom of God.”
B___, that’s as plain as it gets to one who loves truth and is seeking for reproof, correction, and instruction. In today’s language, there is nothing about the word “gay” that literally means “homosexual.” Yet we use the two interchangeably. By observing the context today, we clearly know what is meant by “gay” and “queen” and “flaming queen” and “butch” and “dyke” and “bull dyke” and “girl” and “faggot”, etc., though the literal meanings of all these words are far different from their usage. Regarding your comment that there are “no laws for gay women in any part of the Old Testament”, B___, you seem to be asking for a literal word-for-word denouncement from the lips of Jesus on “Gay love” in order for you to believe that it is wrong. You are looking for the letter of the law, not seeing the trees for the forest. Yet you explain away Bible texts that are really quite clear on the denunciation of homosexuality.
Perhaps you should search for passages that clearly state God’s blessing upon homosexual and lesbian behavior rather than seeking proof against it in the words you choose to use. I’m suggesting that you be as consistent in your search for proving as you seem to be in your search for disproving.
You also refer to Romans 1 as “the biggest text on the subject” going on to say, “It says nothing on gay love either, in fact it uses the phrase that they burned with lust. And all lust, be it hetero, homo or whatever is wrong. AND it is all about heterosexuals in idolatry as in Levitical laws, who had gay sex. If you read the text it seems clear. So what am I missing?”
First of all, you cannot call someone heterosexual who willingly participates in homosexual behavior. Sexual behavior between two people of the same gender is condemned Biblically regardless of the label we choose to put on it. We can’t justify it because in some cases it is recreational, or ritual, while in other cases it is “true love.”
In the Garden of Eden, it appeared that there was nothing wrong with eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In fact, there was nothing wrong with the tree and its fruit in and of itself. But God had placed it off limits. Adam and Eve attempted in vain to justify their behavior. But, bottom line, they disobeyed their Creator, insinuating that He did not know what He was talking about. And, they lost their immortality and were cast out of the Garden of Eden. And now, here we are today, still questioning whether or not our Creator and Father knows what is best for His own creation!
What you are missing is the body of the passage that you are skipping over, or ignoring. Yes, the chapter talks about idolatry. But verse 24 says “Wherefore God ALSO gave them up to uncleanness (akatharsia – impurity) through the lusts (orexis – exitement of mind, and longings) of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.” The Greek dictionary states the dishonoring (atimazo) to mean “To maltreat, shame, entreat shamefully.” So, they were shamefully treating their own bodies between themselves. How? Through vile affections (verse 26, atimia, pathos – disgraceful and shameful passions, affections, and lust). “For even their women did change the natural use (chresis – natural sexual intercourse) into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman (natural sexual intercourse), burned in their lust one toward another (ekkaio orexis- inflamed deeply, burned in their excitement of the mind and longing after one another); men with men working that which is unseemly (katergazomai, aschemosune – working fully, accomplishing, finishing, performing, working out that which is an indecency and shameful), and receiving in themselves that recompence (or, equivalent) of their error which was meet (necessary, required, expected).
Let me restate this as the Greek so clearly reveals its meaning to be:
“Wherefore God also gave them up to impurity through the excitement of mind and longings of their own hearts, to the shameful treating of their own bodies between themselves. …For this reason God gave them up unto disgraceful and shameful passions, affections and lusts. For even their women (lesbians…) did change the natural sexual intercouse into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men (homosexuals, gays), leaving the natural sexual intercourse with women, were inflamed deeply, burning in their excitement of mind and longing after one another; men with men, working out fully (going all the way…) and accomplishing, or finishing, or performing that which is an indecency and shameful, and receiving in themselves the equivalent which was required or expected. (They traded roles… Turn-about was fair play.) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (or worthless) mind, to do those things which are not becoming. …Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:24-32, amplified by the Greek)
I have yet to find, or to be shown, any text of scripture that remotely insinuates or implies God’s acceptance of “gay love.” On the other hand, in the face of these scriptures I have shared with you today, B___, I would approach this subject of “gay love” with fear and trembling before our loving Creator God. Some people can be fooled all the time. All people can be fooled some of the time. But God knows the deepest longings and secrets of the heart, and can never be fooled. It is He to whom we have to answer.
My appeal to you, B___, is that you go to Him with an honest, open heart. He loves you unconditionally. And He will not fail you if you truly seek Him in genuine love for truth.
In Mark chapter 4, Jesus gives us the parable of the Sower whose seed fell by the way side, on the stony ground, among thorns, and in the good ground. He goes on to explain how His word falls on the ears of many kinds of listeners: those who hear it and let Satan take it away; those who hear and accept for a time but throw it away in times of test and trial and temptation; those who hear it and allow it to be choked out by the cares of this world, material gain, and lust…; and finally those who hear the word, receive it, and bring forth much fruit as they allow it to change every aspect of their lives.
B___, I hope and pray that the word I have tried to share with you today has fallen not by the wayside, not on stony ground, not among thorns, but upon good fertile ground where the Holy Spirit can water it and bring forth much fruit.
May God continue to bless you in accordance with your love for Him and for His truth,