Affirm Homosexuality as Sin
God’s Word is clear that homosexuality is wrong (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) and so we too should without compromise be clear that homosexuality is a blatant violation of God’s standards. Homosexuality (like every other sin) is inexcusable, and therefore, we ought not to excuse it.
With the Biblical understanding that the unrepentant practice of homosexuality excludes one from inheriting the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), to endorse homosexual practice, or even be silent on its sinfulness, is entirely unloving and contrary to an evangelistic effort.
And more so, we cannot, I repeat, cannot be ashamed of declaring that homosexuality is sin. All sin (i.e., homosexuality) is contrary to the character of God, and so when we compromise the sinfulness of sin, we compromise our ascription and declaration of God’s character.
Excursus: Some Apologetic Responses
Response to, “Jesus never condemned homosexuality.”
It’s true that the New Testament never records Jesus condemning homosexuality. But, the apostle Paul definitely did (Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9-10). Are we to pose Paul, who is an apostle and servant of Jesus Christ, against His Lord? Besides, all scripture, which would include the part that Paul wrote condemning homosexuality, is God’s word (2 Tim 3:16).
And more so, are we to suppose that every word and teaching Christ spoke is recorded in the Bible? Certainly not. Therefore, it’s a weak argument from silence to suppose that Christ never condemned homosexuality.
But let’s say for the sake of argument that Christ never said a word about homosexuality. Okay, that actually wouldn’t be too shocking at all seeing that Christ’s ministry took place among Jews who knew full well that homosexuality was condemned in the law (Lev 18:22; 20:13).
And lastly, it is possible that Christ never addressed homosexuality directly, but nonetheless, He did address all sexual sins at their core–the heart–by condemning lust itself (Matthew 5:28). So, even if Christ never condemned homosexuality directly, He certainly raised the ethical bar and condemned all sexual sin, including homosexuality, when He condemned sexual lust.
Respond to, “The Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality was simply culturally bound.”
This argument would have us believe that the Bible only condemned homosexual practice among God’s people because homosexuality was a cultural taboo and was culturally unacceptable. And as such, some will argue, when we see homosexuality condemned in scripture, we should understand that this condemnation is not relevant to us as Americans who live in a culture where homosexual practice is accepted.
However, this argumentation is severely flawed for one primary reason—when Paul condemned homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, he did so in two cultures where homosexuality was very much accepted. His condemnation of homosexuality was as counter cultural then as ours is now, if not more so.
Respond to, “Homosexuality isn’t a choice. People are born homosexuals. How can you call something that is genetic sinful?”
First, whether there is actually a “gay gene” or not is up to debate. But either way, I’m not really concerned with that issue. Even if, for the sake of argument, homosexuality is genetic, this wouldn’t change the fact that homosexuality is still wrong.
In fact, this may surprise you, but the Bible actually says that every single person is born a sinner. Therefore, you might say that sinning is in our “theological genetics.” Now, the natural thing for sinners to do is sin. Doing wrong comes quite natural to us all; it’s our inclination. But just because something comes naturally does not mean its right or even okay. To say that homosexuality cannot be called sin because it’s “natural” (genetic) misses the point that for sinners (that’s all of us) every sin is natural. By nature of the fall (when humanity fell into sin as a result of Adam’s sin – Genesis 3: Romans 5), our bodies, minds, emotions—every aspect of who we are—are “disordered” with and bent towards sinful desires. And yet, the Bible still holds us unbelievably accountable for our sin, and interestingly enough so do we. For example, when a married man lusts after another woman other than his wife, we would rightly hold him responsible if he decides to “cheat” on his wife. We would say he did wrong despite the fact that it was his bent, desire, and inclination to do so. The same goes for homosexual desires.
But either way, the Bible calls homosexuality unnatural (Romans 1:26-27)—that is, contrary to way God created things to be (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:23)—and that affirmation is good enough for me.
Respond to, “But how can you call homosexual relationship and homosexual marriage wrong when the two people both love each other and make each other happy? Isn’t that what really matters?”
Although happiness and satisfaction are valuable things, they are not to be the measure of morality–what is right and what is wrong. For example, Islamic suicide bombers kill many people out of love for Allah. This is an “act of love,” but it is certainly wrong. Or again, a rapist might find satisfaction in his crime, but again, that certainly does not make it right. So likewise in the case of homosexuality, the motivation does not justify the act nor does the end justify the means.
(Please understand, my purpose in using these extreme examples is not so much to equate a “loving, satisfying homosexual relationship” with these two evils, but to show you the false nature of an argument based in happiness and satisfaction.)
Respond to, “Aren’t you judging homosexuals by calling them ‘sinners’?”
I suppose I am. But I am also ready to admit that I too am guilty of sexual sin, as we all are (it only takes a lustful glance or impure thought to be an offender – Matthew 5:28).
Now on the other hand, aren’t you actually judging me now? If you say that I can’t believe in what God has said about homosexuality, aren’t you now judging me, my beliefs, and my standards? You’re basically saying that I can’t have a belief on the issue of homosexuality unless it is pro-homosexuality. Now, if anything, that’s intolerant.
Respond to, “But, who gives you the right to judge me?”
This is not my judgment but God’s. God is the creator and sustainer and He created you. In other words, He owns you and you are therefore accountable to Him whether you want to be or not. He is the judge of all. So, as a fellow human being who is also responsible to God, you are not ultimately responsible to me. But whether you’re responsible to me should be of minimal concern to you seeing that you are responsible to Him.
So no, I do not feel that I have the right to judge you (as if I’m your superior or something of that nature). But I do feel the obligation to love you by warning you of God’s right to judge you.