Homosexuality: What Does the Bible Say?
by Michael Okyere Asante
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In recent times, homosexuality has been an issue of daily discussion. Predominant amongst these discussions are the questions, 'Should gay marriages be allowed?' 'Should homosexuality be criminalised?' 'Is homosexuality a right practice?' and 'Are people born homosexual?' As Christians, I think the question we need to ask is 'What does the Bible say about homosexuality?'
Both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible condemn homosexuality. The earliest condemnation of homosexuality relates to the visit of the two angels to Sodom, where the men of Sodom demanded that Lot brings the two angels out "that we may know them." (Genesis 19:4-8).
Since the Hebrew verb yadha (to know), a sexual term, is often used in the Scriptures to denote sexual intercourse (Genesis 4:1, 17, 25; Matthew 1:24, 25), the NIV translates 'know' as 'have sex': "They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." (v. 5)
Instead, Lot openly condemned what the men of Sodom desired to do as a wicked act (v. 7), and offered to give them his two virgin daughters (v. 8). However, his offer was rejected and instead, the men decided to use the will of force (v. 9).
It is important to note that the two angels whom the men of Sodom desired to have sex with were referred to as 'men', not women (v. 8)—"... only unto these men do nothing ..." (v. 8)—and so this is a clear example of homosexuality in the Bible.
There is no doubt about God's condemnation of what the men of Sodom planned to do, for the angels struck them with blindness when they attempted enforcing their will (v. 10).
Two other Scriptures in the Old Testament clearly and directly condemn homosexuality. The first, Leviticus 18:22 reads: "Thou shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination." The second, Leviticus 20:13 reads: "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."
These scriptures show the seriousness with which God takes the issue of homosexuality; He condemns it as an abomination in His sight. Moreover, anyone who was found guilty of its practice faced a death penalty.
The New Testament also clearly condemns homosexual practice. In 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, those who engage in homosexuality are classified under the group of people who cannot inherit the kingdom of God: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, NKJV)
It goes further to say: "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11, NKJV) This implies that some of the Corinthians who had turned to Christ were before, homosexuals; but having been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ and forgiven of sin, Paul admonishes them not to return to the old style of living, but to look towards their inheritance in Christ Jesus.
He warns them: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals ... will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, NKJV)
Another Scripture that clearly condemns homosexuality is 1 Timothy 1:9-11: "We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me." (NIV, 2010)
If you call yourself a Christian, I don't think you will agree with those who say that God’s moral laws in the Old Testament do not apply to Christians; yes, the ceremonial laws do not, but the moral laws stand. What arguments have people, supposedly Christians, been advancing for the acceptance of homosexuality in the church? It doesn't make sense: homosexuality has been condemned by God and it would be total rebellion against God to accept homosexuality in the church and not call it a sin.
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