What the Bible says about homosexuality
by Wayne D. Turner
Since there is an attempt by an ever-increasing number of people to make it seem that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, this document is presented to provide the relevant scriptures, along with their context, on the issue. First of all, it should be noted that scripture, both Old and New Testament, condemns promiscuous sexual relationships - homosexual or heterosexual.
In the first book of our Bible, we have the story of Lot's hometown, Sodom, in Genesis 19. Two angels come to town and are persuaded by Lot to stay the night in his house. After the feast Lot had prepared for them, they prepare to retire for the evening. At that point, the men of the city surround Lot's house and say in verse 5, "Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them." The Hebrew idiom there translated "know" in the King James Version is used to indicate sexual relations as is the case in Genesis 4:1, "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain..." We find it again in verse 17, "And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch..." There it is again in verse 25, "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth..." There's no question about the clear meaning of the text in Genesis 19 with the request of the men of the city to "know them." It was a homosexual intent; that's validated by Lot's reply in verse 7, "I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly."
Lot doesn't win any father-of-the-year awards with his proposed remedy to these wicked men in verse 8 when he says, "Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof." Notice the wording "have not known man;" that means they were virgins. These men obviously had women at home; they craved, instead, the excitement of a homosexual encounter with these strangers in town.
Subsequently, Sodom was destroyed by God for their wickedness. Some have feebly suggested that their wickedness was their lack of hospitality to these strangers, that the sin was not that of homosexuality at all. That notion is so ludicrous, it doesn't even merit comment. The text is clear; the sin of Sodom was homosexuality, and God destroyed the whole city because of it.
Leviticus 18:22 is as clear as clear can be when it says, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Homosexuality here is listed along with other sexual taboos, most of which are heterosexual in nature, along with bestiality in verse 23. While some would suggest that these prohibitions are invalidated by the fact that they are part of the Jewish law, it should be noted in verses 27-28, "(For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you." We are told in this passage that the previous inhabitants of the land were driven out by God for such abhorrent sexual behavior, and they weren't even Jewish. If Leviticus 18:22 wasn't clear enough regarding the remedy for homosexuality in the Hebrew community, pay close attention to Leviticus 20:13, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
In the New Testament, Paul is explicit in his condemnation of homosexuality in Romans 1:26-28, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." There is simply no way to spin those words into a notion that somehow homosexual conduct is compatible with a life committed to Christ.
I Timothy 1:9-10 is clear also when it lists a hosts of sins not compatible with life in Christ, "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine." The phrase "them that defile themselves with mankind" comes from a single Greek noun ("arsenokoites") which literally means "a male partner in homosexual intercourse." This word is also used in I Corinthians 6:9 along with a second, distinct word for homosexuals, " Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind," Here, "arsenokoites" is used (translated "abusers of themselves with mankind" along with the Greek noun "malakos" (translate "effeminate" in the KJV) literally meaning "the passive male partner in homosexual intercourse."
In conclusion, there is simply no credible way to make homosexuality compatible with life in Christ according to the Word of God.