Homosexuality is a Sin, BUT there’s Freedom through Christ
In discussing a topic like this we have to distinguish between the practice of the thing in question—which includes indulging in it on a mental level (Matthew 5:27-28)—and the proclivity for it. We all have sinful proclivities—areas of the flesh for which we have a weakness. Anyone who says they don’t is a liar because everyone has a lower nature. Having such a fleshly proclivity is not a sin, but indulging that inclination by engaging in it in our hearts or in action is sin. I point this out so there’s no misunderstanding about what I mean when I use the term “homosexuality” in this article. I’m not talking about a carnal inclination for sex with people of the same gender, but rather the practice of it, whether in thought or physical action.
With this understanding, the Bible indeed teaches that engaging in homosexuality is a sin. Observe for yourself in Paul’s letter to the Corinthian believers:
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men* 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. 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.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
* The words “men who have sex with men” are translated from two Greek words that refer to the active and passive participants in homosexual acts.
Paul was talking to believers here and he warns them not to be deceived regarding practicing sin with no care to repent; he plainly declares that such people will not inherit the kingdom of God. He doesn’t want this to happen to any of the Corinthians and that’s why he warns them.
To get his point across Paul lists numerous sins, including homosexuality, and then adds “And that is what some of you were. 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” (verse 11). There were many believers in Corinth who were once thieves, adulterers, drunkards, slanderers and homosexuals, but they had repented and were therefore cleansed of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9). Those who proved themselves spiritually mature were involved in important ministry positions. The point is that they used to walk in these sins in their former lives, but they didn’t any longer. They had repented. They were washed and freed.
This passage shows that homosexuality is a sin, but so are the other carnal practices listed—sexual immorality (i.e. fornication), idolatry, adultery, stealing, greediness, drunkard-ness,* slander and swindling. Elsewhere the Bible lists numerous other sins, like arrogance, envy, jealousy, malice, hatred, strife, sectarianism (and the resulting carnal divisions), gossip, fits of fleshly rage and many more (e.g. Galatians 5:19-21 & Proverbs 6:16-19). The wages of all sin is death and God wants us to escape it through the gospel by reconciling with God via spiritual regeneration and apprehending eternal life (Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 & Titus 3:5). The message of Christ is called the “good news” because it’s the means to setting people free from slavery to fleshly bondages, reconciling to God and apprehending immortality (2 Timothy 1:10). Christianity’s all about true freedom. As the New Testament says: “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free” (Galatians 5:1).
* I should point out that, when the Bible uses the term “drunkard,” it isn’t referring to someone who drinks a sip of alcohol (see Deuteronomy 14:26), but rather to the alcoholic lifestyle, including binge drinking. Ephesians 5:18 instructs believers to “not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery” but “Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” This means that we should be seeking to get ‘drunk’ on the LORD and the things of God, not alcohol. Psalm 34:8 says “taste and see that the LORD is good.” When you truly “taste” of the Almighty nothing else satisfies!
The Bible plainly teaches that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This includes homosexuals—people who indulge their fleshly same-gender attractions. Like all people, the LORD loves them and has provided a way for them to escape the wages of sin—death—and obtain eternal life.
The Modern Pro-“Gay” Culture
Up until 2003 homosexuality was still considered a crime in many states in the USA, which is when the so-called Supreme Court reversed their 1986 decision that upheld the constitutionality of sodomy Laws.
I distinctly remember working at a department store circa 1987 where a popular tabloid sold openly at the cashier had an overt cover story & corresponding pic of a gay pride parade with the title “SICK!” This wasn’t that long ago. Of course, you would never see such an article today, at least not in any conventional tabloid, magazine or newspaper offered to the general public. My point is that we as a society acknowledged the immorality of homosexuality just a short time ago. But that’s all changed with the propaganda of militant homosexuals over the last quarter century. Generally speaking, they’ve changed the public’s opinion of the practice to the point that it’s now severely looked down upon to criticize homosexual practices. In fact, homosexuality is now celebrated to the point that a professional athlete who comes out publicly about his/her homosexual lifestyle will be personally commended by the president.
Just a couple of generations ago the term ‘gay’ referred to a happy, good time, but somewhere along the line it became synonymous with homosexuals and their abnormal practices. This was no accident. It was/is a subconscious attempt to paint homosexuality as a good time.
Modern culture has embraced two lies: (1.) If you disapprove of someone’s lifestyle it automatically means that you fear or hate them; and (2.) to truly love someone you must agree with everything they believe and do. Needless to say, this is absurd. I don’t approve of drunkards and fornicators, but that doesn’t mean I fear or hate them. I actively walk in love toward arrogant people, liars, adulterers and slanderers, but that doesn’t mean I agree with their destructive behaviors. By the way, when I say that I “walk in love” I don’t just mean the gentle variety because sometimes “tough love” is in order. (See the article Gentle Love and Tough Love for details).
Understanding “Evil Desires”
I quoted a passage above that shows that homosexuality is a sin. ‘Sin’ literally means to “miss the mark,” but you don’t have to know a single passage of Scripture to know that homosexuality is intrinsically wrong. It’s an “evil desire.” According to the Bible an “evil desire” is any desire that stems from the flesh, which is the sinful nature. The “sinful nature” refers to the negative side of human nature. It’s our lower nature, which Freud described as the “id” (not that I’m a follower of Freud). The Bible details three basic categories of the sinful nature: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Any sin you can name stems from one of these three categories, including the traditional “seven deadly sins”—lust, wrath, pride, envy, gluttony, greed and sloth.
The problem with Western culture is that we’ve largely thrown out the notion of “evil desires” and therefore have lost our moral compass. Instead of shunning evil desires, like hatred, murder, perversion, greed & inebriation—we are encouraged to indulge them. The result is our hedonistic society.
Thankfully, the LORD has provided a Way to escape the evil desires of the sinful nature, which is one of the many reasons the message of Christ is called the Good News! So, if you are struggling with a certain sin, you can walk free!
Conscience, Nature and Common Sense Reveal the Perverseness of Homosexuality
All moral truth is obvious, particularly the more a person develops discernment or wisdom. Consider this moral conundrum: A married man meets a comely woman on the job who conveys interest. Should he commit adultery with her or not? You don’t have to be a Christian or know any passage in the Bible to know that it’s wrong. Why? Because it’s wrong to be unfaithful to one’s spouse. What about homosexuality, is it right or wrong? It’s a matter of being honest about the obvious facts of reality. It’s common sense and you don’t need the Bible to tell you one way or another. I don’t mean to be crude, but honestly consider the male and female sex organs. They’re simple to figure out: Tab ‘A’ fits into slot ‘B.’ Tab ‘A’ doesn’t fit with Tab ‘B’ nor does Slot ‘B’ fit with Slot ‘A.’ It’s common sense. Those who rebel against this axiom are rebelling against their Creator and nature itself. They’re embracing a lie.
This common sense is observed in nature. Have you ever seen or heard of two male gorillas trying to have intercourse or having “sex” in a 69 position? Of course not, it’s absurd.
Moral truth is obvious because we all instinctively know the difference between good and evil due to conscience (Romans 2:15). So why do people rebel against this inherent moral code? Paul explained it this way: “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Ephesians 4:18). You see? They harden themselves to the voice of their conscience to the point that they no longer even realize moral common sense.
This is why the moral law, as detailed in the Scriptures, is necessary. It reveals right from wrong for us so that there’s no doubt. Say if a brother or sister in the Lord offends you or is walking in sin and you need to correct them. You can show them through God’s Word that their behavior or attitude is wrong and hopefully they’ll repent, that is, change for the positive. This is why we need the moral law, but it doesn’t change the fact that moral truth is obvious.
If moral truth is obvious to unbelievers, as long as they don’t harden their hearts, how much more so to the re-born believer who’s in spiritual union with his/her Creator? We just have to open our eyes and look beyond the false indoctrination of secular and religious culture, which is what being transformed by the renewing of the mind is all about (Romans 12:2).
Homosexuality is a Sin, but Freedom is Available!!!
As noted earlier, we have to distinguish between our flesh’s proclivity to sin and the actual practice of it. For instance, someone might have a fleshly penchant for alcohol, but they’ve learned to overcome the temptation through Christ and the support of others and therefore don’t indulge it. A married man might experience the carnal desire to commit adultery with a flirtatious sexpot at work, but he refuses to indulge the desire, which includes guarding his thought life* (Proverbs 4:23 & Matthew 5:27-29).
* see the teaching Thoughts RUN your Life!
So, yes, homosexuality is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:9 & Leviticus 18:22), but having a flesh proclivity for it isn’t, as long as you don’t indulge it mentally or physically. All Christians have carnal proclivities because of the sinful nature; and these inclinations are usually based on the sins we’ve tasted of in the past, although in some cases it’s a generational thing. For instance, I’ve never been tempted by cocaine because I’ve never “tasted” of it, but there are sins I have tasted of and therefore have a penchant for them. When I’m tempted I merely resist the temptation and it passes. This is overcoming the flesh (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptation, by the way, is simply the enemy’s attempt to get the believer out of the realm of the spirit and into the realm of the flesh through the inclinations the sinful nature (James 1:13-15). The kingdom of darkness wants you flesh-ruled rather than spirit-controlled because when you’re flesh-ruled it’s impossible to truly be effective in God’s service. For key scriptural principles on walking free of any fleshly addiction or bondage see the article Spirituality — How to be Spirit-Controlled Rather than Flesh-Ruled.
Why were Homosexuals put to Death in Israel during the Old Testament?
Someone might understandably ask: Why were homosexuals put to death in the Israelite community under Old Testament law, as seen in Leviticus 20:13? The same reason adultery, incest, rape and bestiality were capital crimes for the Israelites, God’s consecrated nation: These particular sins threatened the very fabric of society—the family—and therefore immediate death was the penalty under Old Testament law in order to deter them.
You might say that this is rather stern and the Bible actually agrees with you:
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, (6) who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6
The “letter” refers to being under the Old Testament law, which—as you can see—KILLS. The good news, however, is that “the Spirit gives LIFE.” Praise God!
While some sins were considered severe enough for the offender to be put to death under Old Testament law we have to understand that death is actually the penalty of all sin. The grave sins listed above—adultery, incest, rape, homosexuality and bestiality—resulted in premature physical death for the Israelites during the Old Covenant, but all sins result in eternal death if not repented of through the gospel of Christ. As it is written:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life.
The bad news is that death is the wages of sin, but the good news is that eternal life is God’s free gift to those who turn to him through the gospel in repentance and faith (Acts 20:21). This awesome salvation begins with spiritual regeneration (John 3:3,6 & Titus 3:5). From there deliverance from any sin problem is a process as the believer undergoes sanctification, which means being transformed by the renewing of your mind, learning to live out of your “new self” with the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:22-24). The more a believer becomes spirit-controlled rather than flesh-ruled the more you will bear the fruit of the spirit, one of which is self-control or self-discipline (Galatians 5:22-23 & 2 Timothy 1:7). This naturally gives the believer the “edge to win” over any severe sin problem or addiction. In other words, the closer you get to the LORD the more self-control you’ll walk in and therefore the more freedom you’ll experience. This explains why David praised God like so:
I run in the path of your commandments, for you have set my heart free.
Psalm 119:32 (WEB)
(Keep in mind that David was a type of the New Covenant believer).
Homosexuality is a Sexual Addiction “but the Spirit gives LIFE”
How’s all this apply to homosexuality? The truth is that homosexuality is a severe sexual addiction, a life-dominating sin problem, which is why the kingdom of darkness does everything in its power to get a person to fall into its dark pit. For the Hebrews under Old Testament law there was no hope for those who fell into this pit. The “letter KILLS” and so the ‘best’ the Israelites could do was to put to death those infected by homosexuality, which stopped its spread in their communities.
But 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 doesn’t end with “The letter kills,” it goes on to say “but the Spirit gives LIFE.” In other words, while deliverance for the homosexual was unavailable under the inferior Old Covenant, total deliverance is available in the New Covenant. This is one of the many reasons why the New Covenant is a superior covenant (Hebrews 8:6,13).
The Bad News and the Good News
So the “bad news” is that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin and those who choose to practice it with no care of repentance will be damned to everlasting destruction (Revelation 20:11-15 & 2 Corinthians 1:9). The good news, however, is that Christianity offers deliverance, freedom and LIFE for anyone who wants it (John 10:10). Praise God!
For those struggling with same-sex attraction or any other sin, freedom is a simple matter of mastering the 3-point plan of deliverance detailed in this article and the corresponding video. Be encouraged! Total freedom is there for you, but it’s going to take commitment and some effort on your part. The LORD is our helper, not a puppet master who makes us do things or does everything for us (Psalm 121). Get on God’s train and let him sort out the baggage.
But God can’t help people or “sort out their baggage” if they’re stubbornly convinced that a destructive behavior that they’re practicing is not wrong or, worse, they’re proud of it. The latter go so far as to identify with their sin and define their very life by it, like “gay American” or “gay Christian,” the latter of which is an oxymoron, akin to someone referring to himself or herself as a “fornicator Christian,” a “pathological liar Christian,” a “thieving Christian” “or a drug addict Christian.” Remember what the New Testament warns: “Do not be deceived” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). God allows such deceived people go on in their stubborn self-deception to the sad inevitable end, which is death—eternal death (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25).
So anyone who desires to walk free of homosexuality—or any “evil desire”—must be willing to turn away from the evil desire in question, meaning repent of it. This is what Christ was trying to get across with this passage:
If your hand causes you to fall into sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two hands and go into hell, into the unquenchable fire. (45) If your foot causes you to fall into sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. (47) And if your eye causes you to fall into sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, (48) where ‘their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.’
No matter how you slice it, this is a sobering—even scary—passage. Jesus wasn’t talking about cutting off your literal hand or foot or plucking out your literal eye. This is an example of hyperbole, which is exaggeration for effect. The “hand,” “foot” and “eye” are figurative of any fleshly desire that causes us to sin. They figuratively refer to sins having to do with what you do (“hand”), the path you walk (“foot”) and what your “eye” sees, which includes your inner eye. Anyone who practices sin without care of repentance will reap the wages of sin, which is death. So in order to “enter life”—meaning acquire eternal life—we must be willing to cut off evil desires, which includes homosexuality.
This explains what the Messiah meant when he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 , Mark 8:34 & Luke 9:23). Jesus was talking about denying fleshly evil desires, not every desire. After all, some desires are righteous because they stem from your spirit—your godly nature or “good side”—and God even uses such desires via the Holy Spirit to motivate us to fulfill his will. See this article for details.
I stress the need to throw off evil desires, like homosexuality, because until you grasp that something is evil—intrinsically negative, destructive, anti-reality and anti-God—you won’t be motivated to turn from it. Any time you might relapse be sure to quickly ’fess up and the LORD will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9). Cultivate a relationship with your Heavenly Father and learn to identify with who you are in Christ, as detailed in the aforementioned teaching. As you regularly sow to the spirit and repent of the flesh as necessary you’ll walk FREE of any sin with which you struggle. While spiritual regeneration (justification) is an instantaneous experience, walking free of a deeply-rooted sin almost never is; it’s a process. But as you apply the scriptural principles disclosed in the article you WILL experience total freedom where you’ll one day look back at the sin in question and literally laugh at it. It’s true; believe it! Praise God!
Responding to “Gay” Advocates or Enablers
I’m going to close by responding to some arguments by a couple of “gay” advocates/enablers, one of whom hysterically objected to a simple 3-word post I made, which merely said “Arguments Against Homosexuality,” followed by a link to a short article. Here’s what the person wrote:
Every single person on this earth was created in His image. Every single person on this earth is loved by Him. Not one person in the whole world deserves to be treated as less than human, or killed because of their race, color, sexual inclinations, job, anything. My God loves everyone, forgives everyone, My God simply loves every soul he ever created, I try to also.
God indeed loves everyone and therefore wants them to reconcile with Him and receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16), which is why the Lord warns them of the ultimate consequences of sin (i.e. an unrepentant sinful lifestyle): “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
As for God forgiving everyone, actually the LORD only forgives those who repent of sin, which means to turn away from it. See 1 John 1:8-9, Psalm 32:5 and Acts 20:21. For details see this article.
This is why the apostle Paul said to the Corinth believers: “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you WERE. 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.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
You’ll notice that homosexuality is listed as a sin that believers must repent of, along with other sins, like adultery, greed, slander, thievery and swindling. Anyone who practices these sins without care of repentance WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD, meaning they will not inherit eternal life. As Paul said, “Do not be deceived.”
People like this person who wrote me are right to care about the homosexual, but they’re shortsighted in that their concern is focused on the short-term: They’re concerned about them having a satisfactory “sex” life on earth for a temporal period whereas we should be concerned about their long-term welfare—that they be reconciled with God and have eternal life.
Not one person in the whole world deserves to be treated as less than human, or killed because of their race, color, sexual inclinations, job, anything.
I never said otherwise. I simply posted a blurb with a link that details the destructiveness of homosexuality as an unrepentant lifestyle (anyone interested can read it here). For instance, the article says homosexuality is unhealthy and is not pro-life—it leads to various diseases, physical & psychological disorders and early death among those who practice homosexual behavior. Study after study reveals that homosexuality, whether male or female, can take anywhere from 10-30 years off of someone’s lifespan.
What happened in Orlando in June, 2016, was mass murder and thoroughly wrong. It’s not supported by Christianity whatsoever. (The Old Testament penalty of death for homosexuality applied specifically to God’s chosen nation of Israel during that specific era and is not relevant to the current age of grace). However, Christianity does teach—as noted above—that those who practice homosexuality or any other sin without care of repentance will be condemned to everlasting destruction (Matthew 10:28) because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This explains why Christ declared to all people: “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3,5).
Another “gay” enabler argued:
Nobody should go through life living a lie
Embracing the perversion of homosexuality is itself a lie. The fact that the sex organs don’t line up testifies against the practice.
Just because someone has a thought or desire doesn’t make it good; it doesn’t mean they were “born that way” and therefore are obligated to fulfill that thought or desire. For instance, if the thought/desire strikes me to wring someone’s neck in frustration or have my way with a comely 16 year-old girl should I act on those desires? If I did, could I justify my actions on the grounds that I was “born that way”? Of course not. For a healthy, successful life, every person alive must reject destructive thoughts and desires practically every day.
Nobody should go through life… being lonely.
Engaging in unhealthy sexual perversion is not the answer to loneliness. How about simply developing close platonic relationships or friendships, including getting involved in a group, like a house church, cell group, AA, club, lodge, etc.? To presume that wicked sexual deviance is the prime answer to loneliness is absurd. How about taking the emptiness of loneliness and using it as a spur to seek and serve God? Or serve people? Wouldn’t that be a more positive way of dealing with something negative?
I also feel it’s not my business to judge others.
Amen. Keep in mind, however, that certain behaviors have ALREADY BEEN JUDGED to be damning sins by God IF the person stubbornly refuses to turn from them, like adultery, stealing, murder, drunkard-ness, slandering, etc. (see the aforementioned 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, for instance). Pointing out the ultimate destructiveness of a behavior and sharing the way to freedom is not judging, but rather love. Enabling people to continue to engage in negative practices, by contrast, isn’t love.
As far as judging goes, the Bible doesn’t teach that believers should never judge anyone, for anything, ever. That’s a popular myth. Christ condemned hypocritical judging — that is, judging someone for something that you yourself are guilty of practicing (Matthew 7:1-5) — but he didn’t condemn righteous judging. In fact, Jesus went on to instruct his disciples (students, followers) to be sure to judge the “fruit” of those who say they speak for God in order to determine if they’re legitimate or not (Matthew 7:15-23). So, while we’re not to hypocritically judge others, we are called to wisely judge people’s “fruit,” particularly those who say they’re Christians.
Take, for instance, a young man who wants to date your daughter and says he’s a Christian. However, you wisely observe his “fruit” and discover that he’s involved in gangster activities, like selling meth and dealing in stolen goods. His “fruit” exposes him as false and so it’d be utter folly to allow such a man to have anything to do with your daughter.
A good biblical example is when the apostle Paul judged Peter’s bad “fruit” of legalism and rebuked him on the spot (Galatians 2:11-14).
For more on judging see this article.
For an excellent scriptural evaluation of Matthew Vines’ book God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationship use the following links:
The New Gay Bible by David Servant
The New Gay Bible, Part 2 by David Servant
Hope for Homosexuals by Dennis Pollock
Responding to Homosexuality by Dennis Pollock
A Biblical View On Homosexuality by Lance VanTine
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