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Homosexuality: Is it Still a Sin?

Homosexuality has become a divisive issue with which to attack Christianity and traditional values. What does the bible say about the nature of homosexuality? Is homosexuality still as much a sin today, as it was in the past?



Homosexuality has ascended to a privileged position in our popular culture, because it has become a choice launching pad with which to attack the followers of Christ. Exploiting issues of personal freedom and expression, homosexuality is now a tool with which to propagandize Christianity as being an ignorant and repressive religion.

In many ways homosexuals make the perfect victims. They illicit sympathy, and are often portrayed as martyrs of what must be a cruel and judgmental religious subculture. How could an entire group that appears so peaceful and happy be labeled as sinners, for indulging in their seemingly harmless lifestyle? What sort of conformist worldview would seek to impose uniformity on the many beautiful forms of love that people share with one another?

So homosexuals have become the persecuted ones; the salt of the earth who are struggling to break free and express what they feel in their hearts. It doesn't matter that many other faiths take very critical views of the homosexual lifestyle. Nor does it matter that many non-believers dislike homosexuals, often for no other reason except that they find homosexuality repulsive.

Rather, all that matters is that conservative Christianity denounces homosexuality, not on aesthestic grounds, but as being the result of internal misguidance and moral failing. All that matters to our critics, is that a religion that champions humility and forgiveness in the face of oppression, condemns the homosexual condition.

Homosexuality is further touted as being a glaring example of Christian hypocrisy. Many well publicized church scandals have been used to bolster the universality of the homosexual condition. If some of the same ones who denounce it, also do it in secret, then its ubiquity must validate it as part of the human experience?

The moral relativism that dominates popular culture has even persuaded many Christians to accept the legitimacy of homosexuality. Being willfully ignorant of scripture, and being deceived by a facade of tolerance and love, these Christians have deferred to man's vain reasonings in place of the truth. They have fully embraced homosexuality, and consequently rejected the timeless foundation of God's Word. But there are some Christians who are able to discern the specious nature of sin and death, even when it has sought to manifest itself as love. These Christians understand the depravity and fragility of the human condition, and will oppose the lies of those who seek to replace light with darkness.

In the bible, homosexuality is not dealt with as an isolated issue, but as one of a number of forms of sexual transgression. Even though there are few passages dedicated to this subject, the scriptures make perfectly clear that homosexuality within any context is a sin. The earliest example in which homosexuality is addressed is the historical account of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God destroys the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because they are havens of perversion and sin, homosexuality in particular, "And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them" (Genesis 19.5 KJV bible), "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground" (Genesis 19.24-25 KJV bible).

Many have tried to spin this story so that it is more politically correct, by suggesting that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was something other than communal homosexuality. However the bible itself rejects these "creative" interpretations, identifying for us the reasons that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7 KJV bible). Their sin wasn't only fornication and lust, but also going after "strange" or "other" flesh, which in this context is a clear reference to homosexuality. So the significance of homosexuality is undeniable in the account of Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction.

It's true that Sodom and Gomorrah were places of promiscuity and various kinds of debauchery besides homosexuality, and that these also played a role in its condemnation. However, it would be intellectually dishonest to not recognize that promiscuity and debauchery are more prevelant in the homosexual community and lifestyle. There are certainly glaring exceptions to this on an individual level, but the story reflects the degenerative nature of sin on a societal level. Sodom and Gomorrah is a portrayal of the pervasiveness of sin in a society that has lost all shame, and come to esteem hedonism as righteousness.

Homosexual activity is further twiced condemned in the Old Testament Law, "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" (Leviticus 20.13 KJV bible), "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" (Leviticus 18.22 KJV bible).

Context is critical when dealing with the subject of the Old Testament Law, and how it relates to us as Christians. Many of the rituals and commandments of the law are esoteric and deeply symbolic in meaning, something that was often lost on the nation of Israel. However, with these particular commandments, we can't just shrug them off as being symbolic or transcended through Christ.

This is because the NT reiterates that homosexuality is a transgression against God, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (male prostitutes), nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1st Corinthians 6.9-11 KJV).

The word in verse 10 that is translated as "abusers of themselves with mankind", is the Greek word arsenokoites. This word is made up of two words, the first meaning "male", and the second meaning "bed or resting place", in the sense of a marriage bed. So the passage makes clear reference to homosexuality as something that Christians should not be engaging in, when Christ is at the helm of their lives.

For homosexuality to be a sin, it must in some way be a choice

It's impossible to address the morality of homosexuality without considering the issue of choice. The question of it's morality often boils down to whether or not homosexuality is a choice, because if it's not a choice then how could it be immoral?

One possibility is that homosexuality is completely a matter of free will, and that one chooses to become a homosexual the same way that one chooses his or her clothes and music. This may be true in some instances of experimentation, but most people have a hard time imagining that someone would wake up one morning and decide to be gay. There is still a tremendous stigma upon homosexuality in many families and cultures. It doesn't make sense that someone would choose a path in which they have to struggle with these issues, as so many homosexuals do.

The other extreme, is that there is no choice involved in the homosexual condition. Their sexual orientation is predecided from birth, and they have about as much choice in the matter as their skin or eye color. This is the preferred explanation in politically correct circles, for the reason that it helps them label those who denounce homosexuality as bigots. Many have resorted to junk science and poorly done studies to try to prove that sexual orientation is determined from birth, but there remains no persuasive evidence in support of this idea. Most people can see that neither of these extremes explains the phenomenon well, as it is a combination of both desire and choice.

In Romans 1 we are given a number of insights into homosexuality, and the extent to which it is a choice, "Wherefore God also gave them [unbelievers] up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet" (Romans 1.24-27 KJV bible).

Notice how it says that God gave them up unto "uncleanness" and unto "vile affections". God "gave them up", meaning that as a result of God's absence within their impious and unthankful hearts, such things as homosexual desires were free to manifest themselves. As with many forms of sin, the desire or impulse to do it often arises out of our control, sometimes in ways that can be very incovenient and self-destructive for us.

This doesn't mean that those with homosexual tendencies are greater sinners than the rest, only that that is how sin has manifested itself in their lives. Neither does this mean that there aren't other factors that determine why someone may or may not have these tendencies, but ultimately it is man's impious and fragile nature that gives opportunity for homosexuality to manifest.

So rather than being purely a matter of choice, or being completely predetermined, it may be more accurate to compare homosexuality with such things as alcoholism, anger, jealousy, fornication, or even incest. The choice is not as to whether one decides to have these tendencies or impulses, but the extent to which they embrace or war against them.

Remember, that the one who sins is the servant thereof, "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John 8.34 KJV bible). Those who embrace sin, and indulge it, cause it to grow stronger and have dominion over their lives, until they have less and less control over things. This is true of the human condition in general, and not something that is particular to homosexuality.

Finally, we can better understand why homosexuality has become such an issue of conflict within American culture. Whereas many forms of sin are still seen as blatantly destructive or harmful, the popular culture has sought to embrace and even idealize the homosexual condition. We don't have pedophilia or slothfulness pride parades, but we do have celebrations of homosexuality, as part of an overall agenda to force others to view it the same way. The secular humanists see man's fundamental nature as good, and in the absence of clear victimization or damage to society, there is no moral foundation from which to denounce homosexuality.

However, from the Christian perspective, homosexuality is just one more manifestation of sin in a long list of them. It is a stronghold of sin, that some Christians will have to war against in their own lives, and which they will ultimately have success in dealing with through the power of Christ.

For this reason, Christians should not seek to "convert" homosexuals on account of their homosexuality. Rather we should seek to convert and share the truth with people, with all of their various flaws and burdens, and allow them to make their own decisions, and fight their own battles.

On the other hand, we shouldn't allow politicians and school officials to indoctrinate our society about the virtues of homosexuality. Advocating on behalf of homosexuality in such a forced setting, especially with children, is an attack on the freedom of religion and thought that America was founded upon.

Comments: (8)
Topic: Homosexuality and Sin
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Dewayne Short
Hi Doug, Stopped in to see what's new. I hope you and your's are doing well.
My wife has a relative who says he is homosexual and recently he shared with all his family that he is HIV positive and has been now for 10 years, this is very unfortunate for his family and himself. I have read the scriptures and clearly understand where God stands on this issue.

I used to believe that people were just born that way and I felt sorry for them. Then I felt that they were driven into it from some terrible childhood or something, and I guess I felt sorry then also. But I've also been the type to feel: hey, live how you want to live as long as you don't push it on me, you know?

But after reading your answer I agree, homosexuality is just another sin from a list of many and how it can manifest itself in someone just as other sins do.
Thanks for a different point of view!
1st July 2009 10:50pm
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Doug Buckley
Hi Dewayne, I'm sorry about your relative. Fortunately they have drugs now that can treat HIV better. Yes, I think homosexuality is just another way that sin can manifest itself in our lives.

Everyone gets desires and compulsions to sin, but the key is to be vigilant against them in Christ. When someone feeds sin it just gets stronger, leaving us less of a choice, and giving the devil a stranglehold over our lives and even our minds.

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Romans 6.16 KJV bible)
God Bless, and great to hear from you again.
2nd July 2009 2:58pm
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Rick
This is a topic that I have been asked alot about recently by people I am witnessing to and working with and as I have tried to diligently share with them the truth of what God's word says, I have been innundated with the type of questions you address. I am amazed at how similar what I have told them is to what you write...I guess the truth is there for anyone to find who looks for it.

Those of us who want to resist the world's "sanitizing" of sin and instead uphold the clarity, simplicity, and power of God to deliver anyone from sin, face an increasing challenge as "tolerance" comes to mean "acceptance of sin and condemnation of those who continue to speak out against it". Yet I am reminded of the verse..."If God be for us, who can be against us"...no one! Thanks and keep up the work.
25th August 2010 12:38am
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Rebecca Sanchez
Hmmm, My siblings are gay and many all of my friends are gay and from as early as a couple years old they knew that they were different. They endured so many hardships from their peers and would have wanted an easy life being heterosexual if they could. They were not the same. My brother for instance is a commited christian and he is openly homosexual and not trying to be "re-oriented" either.

I have known some that have claimed to be "ex-gays" and now are married and have children. I know God is powerful and can do anything and obviously has done that for some. But generally when it comes to homosexuals, god does not reorient them. If God made them and they were born gay then did God not make them gay? These are the ideas that i have when it comes to homosexuality. When my friends ask me if they think they are sinning and condemned to hell,what should i tell them? I don't believe that you go to hell if you are a homosexual. It may be a sin,but we are all sinners. The question of homosexuality is a issue that really affects me.
4th October 2011 12:36pm
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Doug Buckley
Part of the problem is that Christianity is sometimes sold as a cure for homosexuality. "You're homosexual, and the bible says that's wrong, so have some Jesus". It doesn't work like that. God calls sinners, whether they are homosexual or straight, and part of that journey is gradually submitting to God, which is not always easy. Homosexuality is one of many manifestations of sin that some Christians have to deal with in their lives.

I do believe that homosexuality is a sin like other sins. Jesus doesn't make sinners perfect like he is perfect. Rather, he forgives us in our morally imperfect state. However, part of the deal is working with him to maturity instead of against him.

When the Israelites journeyed to the promised land, they did see giants and flee. We all have giants and of sin in our lives and things that we must overcome in Christ, and too many Christians do flee.
The sin isn't in having homosexual feelings, but they wouldn't be there if it wasn't for sin. Having deep faith and belief in the Word is the only way to overcome sin.
4th October 2011 2:22pm
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Dakota
This is to Rebecca Sanchez- I say this out of love but im going be straight forward, God never made anyone gay. Being gay is against God's very nature so theres no way he would make anyone gay. When we are born we are born into sin.

Jesus dies on that cross for our sins, and when we get truly saved thats supposed to break the bondage of sin, ya we still going face temptations but we not going let sin take dominion over us. In the bible we suppose to sacrifice our flesh. As a christian I get tempted to do things like i use to do bf i got saved, especially now that im overseas, but I pray and I ask God to help me overcome and that's what we have to do.
We got to go to God, and everything we need to know is in the bible, if the bible says its a sin to be gay then its a sin and God didn't make anyone born gay, but people will twist scripture to fit there life styles. Please if u love your brother and your friends that are gay don't condone what they do and say its ok. If u really love them, pray for them, pray to God that he will brake that bondage of sin that has them bound up.
18th October 2011 4:44pm
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D.S.
I read this whole discussion all the way down. I have always been attracted to the same gender. Believe me when I tell you what it's like growing up feeling like I am a sick man because my attraction was for another man. I was told all my life that it was wrong and it was a sickness. It made me angry inside because I did not want to be gay.
Since the girl thing didnt work out, I decided to go to church. Well all I felt there was conviction even more strongly. They refused to accept me for who I was. I went to school everyday and listened to the gay jokes. It was like I was being bullied inside. I was so depressed all the time. Being gay was something I tried to change and couldnt.
One will not understand unless they were born this way. Your comments said not to act upon my desires. Have you acted upon your desires with a woman? Basically from what I read, I should just block all my desires out and have no s** at all unless it is with a female, whom I have no desire for. Thats so unfair of you to ask that of any human or animal.

Bottom line is being gay is NOT a choice. I dont like watching the gay pride parades because it just goes to the extremes of being gay and society thinks all gay people act that way. Thats not true. The reason they act that way is because they have had to keep their feelings supressed for so long, that they are letting them out loudly.
As far as gay rights, you have got to agree that we pay the same taxes that you do, and in return get no benefits of our partners social security or being on their insurance, or hospital visits. Its like they want our tax money , but dont want to let us reap the benefits. Its not a life we choose. Thank You and God Bless. !!!
3rd June 2013 5:09pm
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Doug Buckley
Hi DS, thanks for contributing. I don't believe that God forces homosexuality on people.
In general people don't choose to feel a certain way. Cain didn't choose to hate Abel, but that's how he felt. People don't really choose to believe in Jesus either, they either perceive him to be true or not. When we are born into a broken world we do pick up things and sin finds a place in all of us and manifests in various ways.

So obviously I disagree that God "makes" people homosexual. I do believe that things like homosexuality can be healed in Christ, as part of the process of moving past life in the flesh and into living in the Spirit. Many saints had no s** of any kind at all, and I know that this is possible.
However, few Christians ever fully live in the Spirit. We are the spiritual seed of Christ, not the natural seed. The New Testament is anti-lust in general but natural marriage is tolerated. Still, many people get sick of their partner and lust elsewhere (see Matthew 19.8-11).

Over time people can change "feelings". It all comes back to faith and what a person believes. It might sound like I'm saying that homosexuals should just try harder, but I guess that applies to most of us. I certainly wouldn't close any doors to God because he really can lead us in ways we might not expect or see till later on. God bless
7th June 2013 6:41pm
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