A Short Primer on the Bible and Homosexual Practice

(Photo by Tristan Billet on Unsplash)

Once again, the Christian world is abuzz with controversy over the Bible and homosexual practice, as if this were a difficult or ambiguous subject. To the contrary, the Scriptures are totally clear: Homosexual practice is sinful in God's sight, but it is not the unforgivable sin.

Here's a brief primer, along with some helpful resources.

1) Every single reference to homosexual practice in the Bible is categorically negative.

2) There is not one positive reference to homosexual practice in the Bible nor one positive example of a homosexual relationship.

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3) There is not one single archaeological or textual or linguistic discovery that has been made in the last 50 or 100 years that would alter our understanding of the Bible and homosexuality.

4) When Moses condemned homosexual practice, it was not for Israel alone (in contrast, say, with the food laws). Instead, it was unlawful for the Israelites because it was unlawful for all.

5) Although Jesus did not need to clarify his stance on homosexual practice, since it was clearly forbidden by first-century Judaism, he addressed it in at least three different ways, reaffirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman for life.

6) Paul stated plainly that male and female homosexual acts were contrary to God's design in creation.

7) Paul also stated that those who practice homosexuality would not enter the kingdom of God. He also stated that, just as there were former adulterers and fornicators and drunkards, all of whom had been forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, there were also former practitioners of homosexuality.

8) Though the Bible does not directly speak to the question of "sexual orientation" (a relatively new concept), it does tell us that the entire human race is fallen and flawed, in need of a Redeemer. And while the Scriptures do not state that anyone is "born gay," the Scriptures do tell us that all human beings must be "born again."

9) Ancient Jewish traditions that may have been known in Jesus' day claim that one reason God destroyed the world in Noah's day was because of homosexual marriage.

10) The ancient Greek world in which Paul lived was familiar with long-term homosexual relationships, homosexual "marriages" and even entertained questions about homosexual desires being innate.

11) Jesus died for homosexual and heterosexual alike, offering forgiveness, redemption and new life to all.

12) Jesus did not practice affirmational inclusion—meaning, He did not meet sinners where they were and affirm them in their sin. Rather, He practiced transformational inclusion—meaning, He met sinners where they were and transformed them.

For a six-minute, animated video laying out most of these points, see here.

For the best academic study of the subject, see here. For a more popular study, emphasizing compassionate outreach, see here.

For helpful reflections by a Christian pastor who struggles with same-sex attractions, see here.

For an in-depth dialogue between an evangelical Christian apologist and a "gay Christian" activist, see here.

For an article supplying relevant cultural information to my short debate with this same "gay Christian" activist, see here.

For my answers to 40 questions from this same activist, see here.

For helpful points for Christian parents speaking to their teens, see here.

For a comprehensive, practical volume directed to those struggling with homosexual (and other) desires, see here. For guidance for pastors and counselors, see here.

For testimonies from "ex-gays," see here.

For a useful website to connect strugglers with Christian ministries, see here.

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