The Bible & Homosexuality from an Evangelical Perspective

This practice of same-gender sex has been going on ever since Adam and Eve sinned. It has already become part of every major culture in this world for centuries like Mesopotamia, Assyria, Rome, and others. In 1970, two male students at the University of Minnesota made some news when they were denied a marriage license. This initiated a small spark until the world was surprised when the Netherlands the birthplace of the Reformation became the first country to legalized “same-sex” marriage in 2001 then Belgium followed suit in 2003. Afterward, the first state in the United States to legalized “same-sex” marriage was Massachusetts in 2004 and the rest was history.

I am glad to know that majority of our Filipino government leaders are still God-fearing that “same-sex” marriage bill still cannot pass through our justice system.

Let me say this on the onset that I have no intention of humiliating nor shaming people who practice homosexuality. They are a people group whom Christ died for, as well. I love them with the love and compassion of the Lord. However, the purpose of this article is to comment on the Bible’s teaching regarding this particular practice.

I believe a disclaimer is also necessary. The purpose of this article is to share my personal thoughts on what the Bible says regarding this particular issue. I do not represent any body of religious organization nor church denomination as I write this. Everything you read in this article are based solely on my personal study and interpretation of the Scripture.

Since I am an evangelical Christian, I will base most of my arguments from the inerrant and infallible word of God, the Holy Bible, which serves as my authority in morals and practices.

The apostle Paul commands that if one truly confesses Jesus as Lord then one must “depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19). In other words, if a person is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ there must be a desire to be transformed by hating every form of sin, and that includes the desire and practice of homosexuality. Truly, it is possible to be a Christian yet struggle and battle with his sinful human nature (see Rom. 7:15-23). 

Is the practice of homosexuality a sin? Why do men and women get into homosexual relationships? How did this practice begin? What is the difference between gay and lesbian? Is it okay to be a non-practicing homosexual while justifying affection towards “same-sex?” Is it true that homosexuals are born with a “gay gene” thus excuses to their behavior and practices? Does the Scripture approve of faithful and committed homosexual relationships? There are probably more questions about this subject than solid answers. When the Lord designed this intimate human relationship, it was only between Adam (a male) and Eve (a female), the first married couple. This is called a heterosexual monogamous relationship. Unfortunately, this traditional relationship was distorted by the introduction of polygamy, incest, adultery, bestiality, fornication, and homosexuality. Many “same-sex” theologians will argue that the Scripture is only against “unfaithful” homosexual relationship but not faithful ones. Then polygamous male and incestuous relationship should also use the same excuse as well. A man can also say that he is faithful to his five wives, while a father can confess that he and his daughter are committed to love each other which is a taboo in many Christian society. Even a woman can likewise say she is madly in love with her dog wanting to tie the knot in marriage with her pet. When will this delusional thinking end?  

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own; I do not speak for any organization; nor do I imply that the opinions expressed here reflect those of any organization unless I say so specifically. Please read my entire article first before making any comments.

The people in Sodom and Gomorrah behaved the way they did because of their corrupted minds. The men acted wildly by desiring to have sexual intimacy with Lot’s two male visitors (see Gen. 13:13; 19:5). This is not about “gang rape” or “inhospitality” but homosexuality. In fact, the judgment of the two cities were set even before their very acts. Indeed, the Scripture did not mention anything about “faithful” homosexual relationship because this has never been considered to be a natural relationship in the first place but unnatural or beyond normal. As Paul wrote,

“Because they do this, God has given them over to shameful passions. Even the women pervert the natural use of their sex by unnatural acts. In the same way the men give up natural sexual relations with women and burn with passion for each other. Men do shameful things with each other, and as a result they bring upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wrongdoing.” – Romans 1:26-27, GNB

Paul is very clear in his writing to the Roman believers that this was the result of the unbelievers’ practice of idolatry. The words “dishonorable passions” (Gk. παθη ατιμιαςpathos atimia) could also be translated “wicked, depraved, immoral, shameful, and offensive” affection or desires. In other words, this kind of relationship does not bring glory and honor to God for this is shameful. There is no other way out of the Greek word.

Unfortunately, every form of evil deed imagined by human was introduced right after our first parents rebelled against God Himself. The book of Genesis explains that God joined together a male and a female, named Adam and Eve who became one flesh. It also gave us a default model of a relationship between a husband and a wife. 

The command of the Lord for the first married couple is to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). If the Lord’s standard for an intimate human relationship was “same-sex” then how can they replenish the earth? It is true that there are some heterosexual couples today who have no children but this is due to some physical problems and challenges in their reproductive system.

Is there a “Christian homosexual?” The term “homosexual” must never be personified because this is a sinful practice not a person. In addition, this phrase is an oxymoron because a Christian is an individual who lives a life of purity and holiness while the practice of homosexuality is an act of sin. When the Lord created the first human being, He created them as one heterosexual couple alone being male and female not “three couples” with two straight, two gays and two lesbians. The practice of homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and polygamy are unnatural forms of human relationships. These are no different with the perverted forms of monotheism which are henotheism, polytheism, creature worship, and idolatry. Many former gays and lesbians who became born again Christians may continue to struggle with affection and attraction towards “same sex.” Truly this is part of their daily battle but never can they justify this as a normal human emotion (see Jer. 17:9). Any individual who legitimize this practice in their lives can be questioned of the way they understand the Scripture. 

Many “same-sex” proponents would like to believe the term “sodomite” which means “male temple prostitute” only refers to one who engages in such a wicked practice. They wanted to communicate the Hebrew term “קָדֵ֖שׁ” (Heb. qadesh) does not include homosexual practices done lovingly and faithfully. The fact that this perverted sexual practice was done in a temple shows the purpose of corrupting the orthodox sexual intimacy between husbands and wives. 

Another way of how “same-sex” apologists render the practice of homosexuality as powerless is to dismantle the Greek words μαλακοι (effeminate) and αρσενοκοιται (homosexual) use in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 under the principle of divide and conquer. These terms are very strong and offending words to many gay and lesbians that they need to soften to avoid spiritual condemnation on their end. However, despite their best effort to redefine these terms they cannot avoid the fact that these two Greek words continue to reveal the error of homosexual practices. Many affirming writers would like to interpret that this passage does not really condemn gay nor homosexual people. The Gk. word μαλακοι refers to “soft raiment” describing men who deliberately portray themselves like women. Ancient Near Eastern men are considered strong in their culture. An example can be read about Simon of Cyrene when he was asked to carry the heavy cross of Christ (see Matt. 27:32) This is very much different in our present generation and culture where there a number of young men who became effeminate and gay because they grew up with either strong willed mothers or weak passive fathers.

In our present culture there are ways of recognizing males from females through external behavior and clothing. In the Philippines, it is not customary for male individuals to wear a skirt. If a male Filipino wears such clothing, he will immediately be branded as gay. While straight males in Scotland can wear kilt as part of their traditional culture, they are not necessarily judged as gays. There are practices in the ancient Near Eastern culture portraying males as effeminate or homosexuals that need to be avoided.

The word αρσενοκοιται is a compound word that needs to be taken literally based on its word meaning, that is, “one who lies with a male as with a female” like μετανοησατε literally “change of mind,” (see Acts 2:38). Remember, the apostle Paul was a Jewish scholar who knew the Old Testament law by heart. He was very much familiar with the Septuagint Version of Leviticus 18:22 where the words ἄρσενος (male) and κοίτην (koite, technically the implanting of male sperm) were used separately saying, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” For the “same-sex” apologists to interpret this word as “adult men lying with young boys” (pedophilia) is a far cry from the original meaning of the word. If the apostle Paul really meant this practice then he should have used arsenkoitepaedo or men who lie sexually with young boys. Again “same-sex” apologists are truly bankrupt in using the Scripture to defend their position. They even rejoice upon discovering that the 1534 German translation of Martin Luther used the term “knabenchander” (“boy molester”) as the choice word to translate αρσενοκοιται. This can be easily refuted by explaining that Luther’s first translation is not free from error. As the Musée virtuel du protestantisme in Germany explains, “Obviously the translation would not be without errors. Some were quickly corrected, especially those relating to the book of Job. Others became apparent with the advances in linguistics and Biblical exegesis.”  Apparently, the modern biblical scholars with their advanced linguistic tools had to check the consistency of the meaning of the original Greek words from where Luther got his translation. I hope the “same-sex” proponents will not place Martin Luther’s version of the Bible on top of a pedestal thinking as if it’s divinely “inspired” like the Bible. Every version of the Bible no matter the translator was are still subject to careful scrutiny and study using the original biblical texts as the reference. As usual, biblical scholars found the arguments of the “same-sex” apologists on these two Greek words as tried and wanting. Their argument to defend gay and lesbian emotion and practices are truly foreign from the pages of the Holy Bible.

They also long for “gay genes” to be discovered to justify their assumption, but this remains to be unfounded along with epigenesis and epi-marks, sex hormones, neuroscience (INAH-3), and biometric modelling. Says, Dr. Francis S. Collins, MD, Ph.D., head of the Human Genome Project, “sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.” According to a statement by a former-gay-turned-pastor namely Philip Manuelson Arandia, a Clinical Consultant and Psychotherapist, “So far, it seems that 30% of one’s sexual orientation can be explained by one’s biology. The remaining 70% is seemingly explained by one’s socio-cultural content (i.e., individual-specific environment sources).” Numerous research has been made to discover the concept of homosexuality during the early stage of childhood. There are many factors involved why a young boy or girl will most likely end up in a homosexual struggle and lifestyle:

  1. The parents did not affirm his or her gender at an early age.
  2. The parents are not always present to serve as a model for him or her.
  3. The people around (a relative, a friend, a neighbor, a sibling, a stranger, a classmate) sexually abused him or her at a very young age.
  4. The environment is not friendly leading him or her to be exposed at an early age to pornography through reading materials, movies, and internet.

It is not true that they were born gay or lesbian. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Abused adolescents, particularly those victimized by males, were up to 7 times more likely to self-identify as gay or bisexual than peers who had not been abused.” As Sean McDowell states, “I’m not suggesting people are born with homosexuality, but that it’s developmental. The causes and influences happen before the child is making conscious decisions on such matters.” Surely, something happened to them in their growing up years that they may not be aware of or would not readily reveal due to fear of guilt and shame. 

There are also cases of children born as hermaphrodite which means they have an additional external sexual organ. The child only has one gender while the other temporary reproductive organ serves as an abnormality. I hope that both parents and medical personnel help determine the gender of the baby by examining the reproductive system and assist the psychological aspect of the person. This could lead to gender dysphoria if not addressed early in their growing up years. 

During his interview with Anderson Cooper in April 14, 2007, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a clinical psychologist and president of National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) said, “We, as citizens, need to articulate God’s intent for human sexuality.” He also boldly stated in February 10, 2007, Love Won Out sponsored by Focus on the Family conference in Phoenix that, “When we live our God-given integrity and our human dignity, there is no space for sex with a guy.” Dr. Nicolosi also said, “We advise fathers, if you don’t hug your sons, some other man will.”

The Lord Jesus Christ loves the people who are struggling with homosexuality that He wants them freed from their unnatural emotion and practices, and be victorious over every form of sexual temptation. Let us not be homophobic but learn to love and be compassionate with homosexuals by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to them and praying for them believing for their salvation and freedom. There is hope for all individuals who are going through lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer practices. 

There are many former homosexuals who have been spiritually saved and transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ. And the role of the church is to reach out and be gracious with them.

It is possible to make a righteous judgement based from the commands of the Lord that those who justify these unrighteous acts like sexual immorality, adultery, thievery, drunkenness, homosexuality, among others will not inherit the kingdom of God (see John 7:24; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). This is why we trust that only God can saved and transform them through Christ before they give up their final breath. Therefore, to judge their eternal destiny is reserved only to God who alone knows every heart. Is there hope for homosexual people to become straight Christians? Yes, the apostle Paul wrote,

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. 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. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36

References:

  1. Some of the notes here were adapted from a forum I attended dubbed as “A Rainbow of Perspectives: Theological, Psychological, Rights, and Pastoral Views” hosted by the  Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches last August 15, 2019 held at Capitol City Baptist Church in Quezon City. Hereafter, Forum slide, “A Rainbow of Perspectives,” August 15, 2019.
  2. Francis Collins, “The Language of God,” (New York: Free Press, 2006).
  3. Sean McDowell, “Apologetics for a New Generation,” (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2009). 
  4. “Gender dysphoria refers to the condition: a sense of awkwardness or discomfort in the anatomically congruent gender role and the desire to possess the body of the opposite sex, together with the negative affect associated with these ideas, namely anxiety, and reactive depression.” Betty W. Steiner, Ed., “Gender Dysphoria: Development, Research, Management,” (New Yok, NY: Plenum Press, 1985), 4-5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

97 − 89 =