Homosexuality and Biblical Interpretation

Homosexual and gender identity issues are all around us. It is not even just out in the culture, but in my own circle of friends and relatives. 

As was true today, I have often been asked what I believe about homosexual issues and rights, and what I believe about what the Bible says, and what I believe about how one should communicate biblical truth. 

Let me start with the latter; I speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), and I measure the depth of engagement upon the depth of the relationship I have with that person. The amount I am able to engage with a person I do not know well, as compared to the in-depth conversation I can have with those closer to me is based on relationship.

And as for the other two questions, for me they go hand in hand: What I believe the Bible says is what I believe about homosexual issues and rights. 

In recent years, there has been a greater emphasis by the homosexual groups to contrive connections between what the Bible says and what they desire to be true. There has been a greater push toward a “Christian gay” movement. As one writer observed, “Homosexual activists and their allies know that the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic found in the Bible is the last bastion of defense holding back the widespread embrace of homosexuality throughout the culture. They understand that if Bible-believing Christians and Jews can be convinced that homosexual behavior is no longer sinful in God’s eyes, then the battle to fully implement their political and social goals will be won” [Focus on the Family].

In addition, gay strategists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, in their landmark homosexual public relations manual published in 1989, boldly encouraged gays “to muddy the moral waters, that is, to undercut the rationalizations that ‘justify’ religious bigotry.” They go on to specify that this entails “raising serious theological objections to conservative biblical teachings.” They further call homosexuals to “undermine the moral authority of churches… by portraying such institutions as antiquated backwaters, badly out of step with the times and with the latest findings of psychology.”

This campaign of misinformation is often known as “revisionist gay theology,” and it’s presently playing out in numerous denominations.  In actuality, it sounds much like Satan’s question to Eve in Genesis 3, “Did God really say that?

I recently read an article by an author for Human Rights Campaign, who worked very hard to try to make the Bible agree with their homosexual position. The author first proposed that, “what was being condemned in the Bible is very different than the committed same-sex partnerships we know and see today.” So, in other words, they want to first propose that the commands of the Bible do not apply to them.

Secondly, this author suggested that, “Jews and Christians in the 1st century had little to no awareness of a category like sexual orientation,” and then proceeded to suggest that, in “Genesis 1 and 2, it is worth noting that these stories say God began by creating human beings of male and female sex (defined as the complex result of combinations between chromosomes, gonads, genes, and genitals) but there is nothing that indicates in Scripture that God only created this binary.” In other words, there are supposedly other categories God created than just male and female, and that transgender and homosexual were around before the Fall of Mankind.

Beyond an absolute destruction of Genesis 1 and 2, this author also proceeded to misinterpret other texts of Scripture as well: “Psalm 139:13-14’s reference to ‘being wonderfully made’ in the ‘womb,’ implies that we are all created with love and intention and that every part of us was divinely formed with dignity –both our bodies and our inner knowledge of self.”

Now the author has opened up another can of worms, that of “orientation” (and gender identity, which I don’t have the time to presently address).  “Orientation” is the diplomatic way of describing one’s feelings. “If I feel this way, it therefore must be okay.”

I had a 17-year-old boy and his mother visit with me one day, to discuss why it was alright that this young man was homosexual. Their family were regular attenders at church, but they did not agree with our stand on biblical truth. They informed me, that since Bob (not real name) had the feelings and desires he did toward other boys, that therefore his actions and decisions were acceptable.  I responded by asking them, “If a person felt the desire to steal, would that therefore make it acceptable?”  They quickly realized they were standing on shaky ground.  “If a person felt the desire to be a wife-beater, or a pedophile, would that make it okay?”

The Bible is clear that all of us have an inclination to sin, and all of us have different areas in our life where the temptations to sin are greater than someone else’s impulses in that area. Furthermore, all of us are masters at trying to justify and rationalize our sins and weaknesses.

So, where does all of this bring me back to?  It comes back to the fact that speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) requires a balance of love and a commitment to truth.  To love is to be concerned about a person’s eternal future, and is not a broad tolerance that overlooks and enables sin. Part of loving someone is making them aware of what God’s truths are regarding our sins, and that He wants to save us from them. 1 Tim. 2:3-4, “God our Savior, wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”


Bible Passages about Homosexuality (I will just list 3 from OT and 3 from NT):

  • Genesis 19:1-11… The account of the homosexual perversion of Sodom, which led to its destruction.
  • Leviticus 18:22; “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.”
  • Leviticus 20:13… similar statement, and accompanied punishment.
  • Romans 1:18-32… This passage describes how sinful mankind claimed to be the wiser, and they proceeded to follow their sexual desires and perversions and homosexuality, proving they did not care what God wanted.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (a great passage); “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  God wants to restore us.
  • 1 Timothy 1:8-10; “We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 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.”
Pastor Mike

“between Sundays”