What the Bible says about homosexuality
A Christian who discovers homosexuality is sometimes confronted with
a real opposition between his faith and his attractions. When he opens
the scriptures to find help and meaning in his life, he encounters
condemnatory verses that make him even more guilty and may even
incite him to reject his faith. Here are some keys to read these delicate
texts. What attitude to have before these texts? Three common pitfalls
are to be avoided: - to erase what these texts can have hard to hear, to
read only what suits us or to conform them to the ambient culture - to
force the texts to see homosexual relations where it does not
correspond to the meaning of the Word of God - seek all that is of the
order of condemnation regardless of the cultural context in which these
texts were written. Before the Word of God, we must be humble.
The cultural context
To recognize that our culture, our society are different from those of the
elaboration of the sacred texts is not to contradict Scripture: we must
not confuse the breath of the Word of God with the human laws that are
inscribed in it and which can evolve. Hence the obligation to relocate
the texts in their original context. The world has changed: today, we no
longer accept slavery, we no longer stone adulterous women, women
are no longer considered inferior to men, we eat pork without
committing an infamy; If a man condemned his fellow-man to the
death penalty, as we read in Leviticus chapter 18 and following, we
would treat him with reason as a criminal instead of commending him
for his faithfulness to the Law. Moreover, the very idea of homosexual
homosexual orientation is absolutely absent from the Bible. It is only in
the twentieth century that the Church takes into account a definition of
homosexuality based primarily on sexual attraction and not on acts. The
writers of Scripture did not conceive of relations between persons of the
same sex other than as the mere satisfaction of a physical desire by
heterosexual persons, in a context of debauchery, rape or sacred
prostitution ... A homosexual orientation, a love homosexual, it was not
their horizon. This is an important difference for any moral judgment.
What the Old Testament says
There are generally three main passages, two of which come from Leviticus: "You will not sleep with a man as you sleep with a woman. It is an abomination3. "(Lv 18:22)" When a man sleeps with a man as one
sleeps with a woman, they both commit an abomination; they will be put to death, their blood will fall on them. »(Lv 20:13) After the exile (where the mixture of populations, beliefs, customs, laws threatened the Hebrews),
Israel observes a whole "Code of Sanctity" made of rules of purity, the purpose of which is to avoid confusion and to put the people chosen by God apart from other peoples. But homosexuality manifested for them
one of these confusions. The term "abomination" refers to this loss of purity. As for the death sentence, it concerns so many acts (beating her parents, for example) that she was not always enforced: it was a way of
threatening and diverting from serious misconduct. The third passage invoked is the story of the destruction of Sodom (Gn 19). We are so used to hearing about Sodom as a homosexuality condemnation story that
it's good to check with your Bible in hand. Here is the context: Lot receives two messengers of God at his home in Sodom. Then, "the men of the city, those of Sodom, surrounded the house, from the youngest to the oldest, the whole population without exception" to rape the two foreign guests
(Gen 19: 4). In this situation, Lot offers the men of Sodom to rape his daughters instead of men. The story is indeed that of an attempt to rape, and it is distorting that to see the condemnation of a relationship
between two consenting homosexuals. In fact, this text forms a diptych with chapter 18 of Genesis (Abraham's hospitality), and this is how it should be read: what is condemned here is the transgression of
traditions of hospitality, homosexual rape being the revelation of a much deeper perversion among the inhabitants of Sodom. The application of this text to the condemnation of homosexuality is later and does not conform to the oldest understandings of this passage. The prophets do
not mention homosexuality when they speak of Sodom; and it is also transgression of the laws of hospitality that is mentioned when Sodom is mentioned in Luke 10, 2, when Jesus refers to the cities which, for not
having welcomed the apostles on mission, would be judged more severely than Sodom.
It is a surprise to several individuals to get that there area unit solely a couple of passages within the Bible that directly mention sex activity. nevertheless despite its infrequent mention, wherever the topic will return up, the Bible has some vital things to mention regarding it. we want to grasp them if we have a tendency to’re to avoid the dual mistakes of prejudice and thinking God is indifferent regarding however we use our physiological property.
The first 2 passages that directly mention sex activity return from the testament, the opposite 3 area unit from the testament.
1. Genesis 19
Sodom has become thus related to homosexual conduct that its name was for several ears a expression for it. however is 'sodomy' very what Sodom is about?
The account describes the boys of the town trying to forcibly have intercourse with 2 angelic guests to the town, World Health Organization have appeared within the sort of men. Later elements of the testament accuse Sodom of a variety of sins: oppression, adultery, lying, abetting criminals, arrogance, self-complacency and indifference to the poor. None of those even mentions homosexual conduct. This has junction rectifier some individuals to marvel if we've scan sex activity into the Genesis narrative, once actually the $64000 issue was social oppression and injustice. however a detailed scrutinize the text makes it clear that sex activity was actually concerned.
Although the Hebrew word for “know” (yada) will simply mean to “get to know” somebody (rather than to “know” them sexually), it's clear from the crowd’s aggression (and Lot’s dreadful try at providing them his daughters as associate degree alternative) that they're trying to find rather more than social acquaintance. thence what happens next: the angels warn heap that judgment is at hand (v.13).
In the testament, Jude adds a very important insight:
...just as Sodom and metropolis and therefore the encompassing cities, that likewise indulged in immorality and pursued unnatural want, function associate degree example by undergoing a penalisation of eternal fireplace. (Jude 7)
What happened at Sodom is clearly meant to be one thing of a cautionary tale. Jude makes it clear that their impiety concerned immorality. They were rebuked for sexual sin at the side of the opposite sins of that they were guilty.
Jude conjointly highlights the character of their sexual desires: they pursued “unnatural desire” (literally, unnatural “flesh”). Some have urged that this relates to the very fact that the guests to the town were angelic; Jude references angelic sin earlier in his letter. however these angels appeared as men, and therefore the baying crowd outside Lot’s house showed no proof of knowing they were angelic. Their want was to possess sex with the boys staying with heap. In different words, it absolutely was the homosexual nature of their needs, and not simply the violent expression of them, that's highlighted within the testament.
2. Leviticus eighteen Leviticus contains 2 renowned statements regarding homosexual activity:
You shall not copulate a male like a woman; it's associate degree abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)
If a person lies with a male like a girl, each of them have committed associate degree abomination; they shall for certain be place to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)
“An abomination” is usually accustomed describe idolatry, and a few recommend these verses don't seem to be inculpatory homosexual behaviour generally, however solely the cultic harlotry connected to pagan temples. it's conjointly usually claimed that the very fact that these prohibitions seem during a book filled with different laws that no Christians suppose they're expected to follow these days suggests that they must not be taken as having imperishable ethical relevancy. however to require the primary objection, the language used isn't that specific; it refers to lying with a person “as with a girl,” - that's, in terribly general terms. Secondly, the encompassing verses in every instance describe different styles of sexual sin (such as unlawful carnal knowledge, fornication and bestiality), none of that is something to try and do with pagan temples or idolatry, and that we'd take as being applicable to Christians these days. it's ethical, instead of simply pagan spiritual behaviour that’s seeable. what is more, Leviticus 20:13 highlights each male parties equally, once more suggesting general, accordant homosexual activity (as against gay rape or a forced relationship).
3. Romans 1:18-32
Turning to the testament, Romans one has a lot of to mention regarding the character and character of homosexual behaviour.
Paul’s aim in these early chapters is to demonstrate that the complete world is wicked in God’s sight, and thus in would like of salvation. In Romans 1:18-32 he zeroes in on the Gentile world, describing the means it's turned aloof from God and embraced idolatry. the actual details within the passage could indicate that Paul is victimisation the Greco-Roman culture encompassing his readers as a case in purpose.
Gentile society faces God’s wrath as a result of it's suppressed the reality that God has discovered regarding himself in creation (verses 18-20). within the verses that follow, Paul illustrates however this is going on, giving 3 samples of however what has been far-famed regarding God has been changed for one thing else: they exchange the glory of God for pictures of creatures (verse 23); the reality of God for a lie, resulting in full-blown idolatry, attend created things (verse 25); and reject the information of God (verse 28), exchanging “natural” relations for “unnatural” ones:
For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. for his or her ladies changed natural relations for people who area unit contrary to nature; and therefore the men likewise gave up natural relations with ladies and were consumed with passion for each other, men committing unblushing acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for his or her error. (Romans 1:26-27)
Two vital and serious truths area unit apparent from these verses:
1. Homosexual want isn't what God originally meant. this can be to not say that homosexual want is that the solely factor that God didn't originally intend. All of our needs are distorted by sin. however Paul will describe each lesbian and male homosexual behaviour as “unnatural.” Some have argued this refers to what's natural to the individuals themselves, in order that what's seeable is heterosexual individuals partaking in homosexual activity and thereby going against their “natural” orientation. in line with this read, Paul isn't inculpatory all homosexual behaviour, however solely that which fits against the person’s own sexual inclinations. however this read can't be supported by the passage itself. The words for “natural” and “against nature” refer to not our subjective expertise of what feels natural to North American nation, however to the fastened means of things in creation. the character that Paul says homosexual behaviour contradicts is God’s purpose for North American nation, discovered in creation and reiterated throughout Scripture.
Paul’s regard to homosexualism similarly as male homosexual conduct conjointly supports the thought that he's inculpatory all homosexual activity, and not simply the man-boy relationships that occurred in Roman culture.
The strength of Paul’s language here mustn't create North American nation suppose that homosexual conduct is that the worst or solely sort of sinful behaviour. Paul could also be light it as a result of it's a very vivid example, and should are particularly pertinent for his readers in Rome given their cultural context. Either means it's illustrative of one thing that's the case for all of us: as we have a tendency to reject God we discover ourselves desire what we have a tendency to don't seem to be naturally designed to try and do. this can be as true of a individual as of a homosexual person. There aren't any grounds during this passage for singling out homosexual individuals for any reasonably special condemnation. constant passage indicts all people.
2. Our distorted needs area unit a signal that we've turned aloof from God. it's vital to acknowledge that Paul is talking here in social instead of individual terms. he's describing what happens to culture as a full, instead of explicit individuals. The presence of same-sex want in a number of North American nation isn't a sign that we’ve turned from God quite others, however a signal that humanity as a full has done thus. it's not the sole sign, and in everybody there's little doubt quite one sign or another - however it's a signal notwithstanding.
Paul writes that aboard the gospel, “The wrath of God is being discovered from heaven against all impiety and immorality of men” (Romans 1:19). although there'll sooner or later be a “day of wrath once God’s righteous judgment are going to be revealed” (Romans 2:5), there's already a contemporary expression of God’s anger against sin. we have a tendency to see God’s wrath in this: he offers North American nation what we would like.
In response to the exchanges Paul has delineated , we have a tendency to see 3 instances of God giving North American nation over to measure within the outcome of our sinful needs. this can be his contemporary judgment against sin. we have a tendency to invite a reality while not him and he offers North American nation a taste tester of it.
In every case the “giving over” ends up in associate degree intensification of the sin and therefore the more breakdown of human behaviour. God offers humanity over to impure lusts and dishonourable bodily conduct (verse 24), and to “dishonourable passions” (verse 26). The exchanging of natural relations for unnatural ends up in being given over to a “debased mind” and therefore the flourishing of “all manner of unrighteousness” that Paul unpacks during a long list of delinquent behaviours (verse 28-31). Sin ends up in judgment, however judgment conjointly ends up in more sin.
The presence of of these sinful acts may be a reminder that we have a tendency to sleep in a world that has deliberately turned aloof from God all told varieties of ways that, and is thus experiencing a outlook of God’s anger and appeal its final outpouring on the day of judgment. Again, homosexual activity is under no circumstances the sole sinful act. All people area unit guilty. however it listed among them together of the ways that during which attribute as a full has been modified from what God originally meant
The Bible is actually strongly against homosexuality and you can see it from its theme and the breath of scriptures, I will like to buttress my point with scriptural references.
First, in Genesis 19 from verse 1 through 13, we see that the people of Sodom practiced homosexuality. They were men who came to meet Lot and demanded that he released the men that came to visit him so they could have their way (carnal pleasures) with them. This was clearly against God’s standards and they were smote with blindness.
Also, Leviticus chapter 18 verse 22 forbids same sex kind of intercourse. It is against God’s law and HE forbids it. In the twentieth chapter of the same book, God had demanded that perpetrators of these kinds of acts be killed. That was, and is, how much God hates and abhors homosexuality.
In Romans 1 verses 26 and 27, we see Paul’s reaction and description of these diabolic acts. He calls them ‘vile’ affection. Vile means evil and God hates all forms of evil. He’s definitely not in support of it.
Then again, 1 Corinthians 6 verse 9 describes those that will not make it to heaven. One of them is “effeminate”. This is another word for homosexuals.
Therefore, you can conclude that God is not pleased with homosexuality and certainly didn’t create anyone like that. People saying that it’s natural are CERTAINLY devoid of the truth. God never, has never and will never institute homosexuality.
Thanks for the question BTW!
This came as strange to me because its very evident in the Bible book of Hebrews. Although Sodom was destroyed mostly because of acts such as abetting crime, oppresion, lying, adultery. Homosexuality was not really part of the genesis of their problem but a deeper look has shown that it was later involved as the people of Sodom wanted to forcibly have sex with the angelic beings who came in form of man and at once they let Lot know that judgement is imminent.
Jude in his letter stated the ungodliness of their sexual nature which was immoral. He also stated that the baying crowd infront of Lots house did not know the men staying with Lot were angelic and wanted to have sex with them. Hence, it was the homosexual nature of their desires and not just the oppression, adultery and all that was carefully highlighted in the New Testament.
There are several places where it is today thought that the topic is homosexuality. But some are open to discussion. In Sodom, when the angels where in Lot's house and the people of the city wanted to "get to know them". That might be a term for sex but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...
And it's mentioned in Leviticus. Leviticus is interesting since (besides a lot of history) there are rules in it. What to do and what not to do - including what fibers we may wear or rules for agriculture or about slavery - "how to sell your daughters into slavery". Several of them even contradict themselves - Leviticus was written over a long time which makes it interesting to historians.