In the Book of Romans, Paul spends the first three chapters laying out a case that all humanity has sinned and is in need of God’s forgiveness. Speaking of those who sinned against God long before we were born, Paul said…
24 “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”
For 2000 years Christians have rightly understood this passage (and several others) to explicitly place same-gender sexual activity outside the loving boundaries God established for human sexuality. And for a long time, many people outside Christian and Jewish circles were generally in agreement with this position. But, as you know, over the past 20 years, there has been an enormous shift in Americans’ views on homosexuality.
I think all of us have friends, coworkers, neighbors, or family members who view same-gender sexual relationships favorably. And so, the traditional view, the Biblical view, the view held by Christians and Jews for 2000 plus years is attracting more and more criticism.
• “Homosexuals were born that way. How can it be wrong for them to fulfill desires they were born with?”
• “Jesus never said a word about homosexual activity. If it was sinful or even that important to God, He surely would have addressed it.”
• “What two consenting adults do is their business. They’re not hurting anybody. And Jesus said not to judge!”
• “You Christians ignore Old Testament laws forbidding the eating of shellfish and pork. Why do you inconsistently cling to its stance on homosexuality?”
• “When Paul wrote about homosexuality, he was referring to pagan idol worshippers and rapists, not two persons committed to one another in a loving monogamous relationship.”
These are just a few of the questions and objections that are being raised regarding the Bible’s teaching on homosexual activity. And many Christians, unfortunately, are not well prepared to answer them.
So, in this article, I’d like to lovingly and concisely respond to these kinds of questions and objections, with the hope that this will give you a better understanding of what the Bible teaches on this topic and that doing so will help equip you with some ways you can answer these objections yourself.
The first objection I’d like to address is this…
1. “What two consenting adults do is their business. They have the right to do whatever they’d like to do.”
Well, Christians disagree with this objection. We don’t have the right to do whatever we’d like to do. Why? Well, we are not our own. God made us. And we belong to Him. Psalm 24:1 says…
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him.”
And because God created the world and “all its people belong to Him,” He gets to set the rules and establish the boundaries for human behavior.
Now of course, we have the freedom to do what we’d like to do (God created humans with free will); but we don’t have the right to do whatever we’d like to do. God has declared certain activities to be sinful, not because He is a mean-spirited ogre who wants to deny us pleasure. No.
God is the one who created human bodies with the ability to experience pleasure! He’s the One who created the sacred covenant of marriage wherein that pleasure could flourish!
God has placed the boundaries where they are because He loves us and knows what’s best for us.
God’s prohibitions against adultery, fornication, bestiality, and homosexual activity were never intended to take away from mankind’s happiness. All of God’s instructions in the Bible are actually there to promote human flourishing and lead us into a joyful life.
2. “But Jesus said to love people, even your enemies in Matthew 5:44. Christians’ rejection of homosexuals is downright hateful!”
This is a popular criticism Christians are hearing more and more—that we are hateful for our commitment to God’s instructions on homosexual activity. Well, our view towards same-gender sexual behavior should not be viewed (or understood) to mean that Christians reject or hate the people engaging in that behavior.
I have five kids, and I view some of their behavior unfavorably. And I even tell them occasionally, “What you’re doing is sinful. That behavior is not pleasing to God.”
Does this mean I hate them? Of course not. I actually tell them that because I love them! Disagreeing with a person over an activity does not equal hatred. If disagreeing equaled hatred, our critics would be guilty of the very behavior they accuse Christians of (hatred) because they disagree with us. So, we distinguish between the person and the practice. It’s only same-gender sexual activity we are opposed to, not the persons engaging in that activity. The Bible instructs Christians to “Be kind to all” (2 Timothy 2:24). That’s how we are to treat people. We are to be kind to them, compassionate with them—as we ourselves would want to be treated. But that doesn’t mean we have to endorse or approve of all their activities. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.”
3. “Christians who are opposed to homosexuality and same-sex marriage are bigots!”
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a bigot as “A person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.” Very well. What is “tolerance”? “The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.”
Notice that. Tolerance does not mean agreeing with a person’s behavior. Read it again.
So follow me here, if a bigot is someone who is intolerant, that means a bigot doesn’t have the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior that he or she doesn’t agree with.
Is that what Christians are guilty of? Are Christians unwilling to tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior we don’t agree with? Are Christians imprisoning and killing people who have different opinions than us? Are Christians seeking to stamp out people with different opinions?
I don’t see that happening. Oh, there have been some people who’ve claimed they were Christians who’ve engaged in that kind of behavior, but they were acting contrary to the teachings of Jesus.
Perhaps you’ll recall Jesus’s interaction with His disciples, James and John, in Luke 9. A village of Samaritans had turned Jesus away as He was passing through on His way to Jerusalem. And when James and John (two of the 12 disciples) saw it, they said to Jesus…
“Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
Well, as you can tell, Jesus still had some work to do on them. What was Jesus’ response to this expression of intolerance? The very next verse (v. 55)…
“He turned and rebuked them.”
Christians, having learned from Jesus’s instructions here and elsewhere know that we are to live peaceably with all men, even those with whom we have passionate disagreements with.
Romans 12:18 says…
“So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
So, as Christians walk in the teachings of the New Testament, the charge of bigotry is misplaced. It doesn’t accurately describe a true follower of Jesus.
4. “Well, Christians are certainly homophobic!”
I’m sure you’ve heard this claim. Let’s consider the charge. You know what a phobia is. It’s, “An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”
Now, I’m sure there are some Christians who get a little nervous or fearful around someone they know is attracted to the same gender—just like some of our non-Christian or homosexual friends might get a little nervous or fearful coming to church. But the Christians I’ve talked to in churches all over North America don’t seem to have any PHOBIAS of people who would classify themselves as “gays” or “lesbians.” Why? Because there’s no need to fear them, and often times, because we know them. They’re part of our extended family; they’re our neighbors and coworkers, and we love them! And God doesn’t want us to fear people, even if they posed some sort of threat to us.
In Luke 12:4, Jesus said…
“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.”
So we’re not to fear interacting with people. Phobias and the fear of man have no place in the life of the follower of Jesus Christ.
5. “In John 7:24 Jesus said, “Do not judge!” And yet you Christians persist in casting judgment—saying homosexual activity is wrong.”
If there’s one phrase every person in the world seems to know Jesus said, it’s His words “do not judge.” It’s a bit ironic, that people who often don’t trust the Bible still like to quote it when it seems to support their point. Well, they are overlooking the second half of the verse in John 7:24.
Notice what Jesus said…
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Jesus tells us to make judgments right in the very verse people quote telling us not to judge!? Yes. (Shows you how mishandled God’s Word is today). So Jesus isn’t forbidding judging. He’s telling us how to judge: righteously. Well, how do we do that? How do we make righteous judgments about whether or not a particular behavior is right or wrong? We do so by examining God’s instructions in the Bible and then carefully aligning our views, our beliefs, our assessment of a behavior, with what God has revealed to us in the Scriptures…
And God says same-gender sexual activity is:
• “degrading” – Romans 1:26
• “contrary to nature” – Romans 1:26
• “detestable” – Leviticus 20:13
• “shameful” – Romans 1:27
• “abomination” – Leviticus 18:22
And so, we can rightly conclude and say the same things about that activity. That would be a right judgment.
Now, of course, when we talk about the sinfulness of same gender sexual activity, we need to do so with humility, knowing that we ourselves are guilty of detestable, shameful sins as well!
You probably haven’t engaged in homosexual activity, but you’ve struggled with your own sins (as we all have). So, being able to make a right judgment about a particular activity doesn’t give us a green light to be judgmental, hypercritical or to take pleasure in declaring these judgments.
When we talk to people about homosexuality, we need to speak compassionately. We want to rightly represent God to people. And God is…
“…compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.”
All right, let’s consider some more objections to the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. This one is all over the place on the Internet. People say…
6. “You Christians ignore Old Testament laws forbidding the eating of pork and shellfish (Lev. 11:7-12) and wearing clothing of mixed fibers (Lev. 19:19). It’s blatantly inconsistent for you to cling to its stance on homosexuality!”
Well, in response, it’s not inconsistent at all. Those who raise this objection overlook the fact that certain regulations and laws in the Old Testament regarding diet, the blending of fabrics, holy days and feasts, the priesthood, the tabernacle (and later temple), were given solely “to the children of Israel” not humanity at large (Lev. 11:1-2).
Certain regulations were never intended to govern nations other than Israel and were therefore never binding on Gentile nations. There is not a single instance in the Bible of God’s displeasure or judgment coming down on a foreign nation for disobeying Old Testament dietary regulations or laws governing temple sacrifices or the priesthood.
We never read of an Egyptian, an Assyrian, or a Moabite being condemned for missing Passover or for eating shellfish. And, with the coming of the Messiah, and the instituting of the New Covenant, God has repealed certain regulations and laws governing diet, Israel’s temple worship, and sacrificial system.
• Jesus declared “all foods clean” (Mark 7:19; Acts 10:15)
• Holy days have been rendered optional (Romans 14:5-6)
• The entire sacrificial system centered around the temple, with priests, and sacrifices has been superseded (Hebrews 7:1-10:18)
Why no more sacrifices? Why no more temple? Because, they’re not necessary. Jesus was humanity’s “once for all” (Heb. 10:10) final sacrifice for sins. With His death, God tore the curtain open in the temple signifying a new way of relating to Him that no longer involves daily sacrifices, the temple, the priesthood, and so on. Hebrews 8-10 and Galatians 3 make that clear.
So those are a couple reasons we have the liberty today to eat shellfish and pork—certain regulations in the Old Testament were never binding on Gentile nations, and with Jesus’ coming, we are living under a new covenant wherein Jesus declared all foods clean
7. “Well, if certain laws and regulations in the Old Testament are no longer binding, then it’s pretty safe to conclude the Old Testament’s prohibition against same-gender sexual activity (Lev. 18:22, 20:13) is no longer binding either.”
More and more Christians (who are caving to cultural pressure to conform on this issue) are saying this. But it’s a mistake to conclude this. Why?
Well, for starters, the Old Testament laws forbidding same-gender sexual activity, adultery, stealing, murder, incest, and other activities were never repealed by Jesus in the New Testament. And in fact, they are reaffirmed and restated in the New Testament.
• Adultery (Matt. 5:27-30)
• Incest (1 Cor. 5:1-13)
• Polygamy (1 Cor. 7:2; 1 Tim. 3:2)
• Murder (Matt. 19:18)
• Stealing (Mark 10:19)
• Homosexual activity
…are still sins in the New Testament.
And unlike the dietary laws and instructions governing the Jewish temple, these laws were never limited “to the children of Israel” (Lev. 11:1-2) to begin with. God held the surrounding non-Jewish nations accountable for engaging in these activities.
In fact, God says in Leviticus chapter 18 that one of the reasons judgment was coming upon the land of Canaan was because the Canaanites had defiled themselves with adultery, bestiality, and homosexual activity.
Notice what God says to the Israelites in Leviticus chapter 18, verse 20, and following…
20 “You shall not have intercourse with your neighbor’s wife, to be defiled with her [adultery]. 21 ‘You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech [child sacrifice], nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the LORD. 22 ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female [homosexual behavior]; it is an abomination. 23 ‘Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it [bestiality]; it is a perversion. 24 ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these [activities] the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.”
God says the nations in Canaan were coming under His judgment for engaging in these activities—which included homosexual activity, in v. 22.
8. “Well, Jesus never said a word about homosexual activity. If it was sinful or even important to God, He surely would have addressed it.”
Well, there are some problems with this conclusion.
First, the Gospels don’t record any specific instruction of Jesus on a lot of things that we know to be wrong—bestiality, rape, and incest for example. Jesus may have mentioned those behaviors. (The Gospels don’t record for us everything He said). But we don’t take the lack of recorded instruction on these activities to mean they must be okay, for they are condemned elsewhere in the Bible.
Secondly, Jesus affirmed the authority and trustworthiness of the Old Testament Scriptures (e.g., Matthew 4:1-11), where homosexual activity is clearly condemned.
Thirdly, in Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus explicitly reaffirmed the Genesis account of marriage that describes marriage as the one-flesh union of one man and one woman (also Mark 10:6-9).
Fourthly, Jesus condemned the sin of porneia, a Greek word that encompassed every kind of sexual sin (adultery, fornication, bestiality, prostitution, incest, and homosexuality) in Matthew 15:19 and Mark 7:21.
Notice what Jesus says here in Matthew 15…
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality [porneia], theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person…”
That word porneia can be found in ancient Greek literature with reference to a variety of illicit sexual practices, including adultery, fornication, prostitution, and homosexual activity. And Jesus said here in Matthew 15:20 that these “defile a person.”
So, this objection that “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality” completely falters as a way of justifying homosexual activity.
9. “What two consenting homosexuals do in the privacy of their bedroom isn’t hurting anyone.”
Well, it might appear that way. But this objection overlooks the fact that anything our loving Creator has deemed sinful hurts the person who commits the sin (not to mention family members and friends who love that person).
How so? Well (with sexual sin) the Bible says…
1 Corinthians 6:18
“…the immoral man sins against his own body.”
And this has certainly proven to be the case. Multiple studies have shown that people engaging in homosexual activity often have much higher instances of…
• Substance abuse
• Sexually transmitted diseases
But in addition to this, all sin injures the most important relationship in a person’s life, his relationship with his Maker.
How so? Well, sin separates a person from God. It obscures fellowship with Him. Isaiah 59:2 says…
“…your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
So, it’s wrong for a person to think he can continue in sin and that nobody is being hurt by his actions. He’s hurting himself! And our sin grieves the Lord (Ephesians 4:30)!
All right, let’s consider another objection…
10. “Homosexuals were born that way. It certainly can’t be wrong for them to fulfill their desires.”
This is probably the most common objection to the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. People insist that most of those who engage in homosexual activity were born with same-sex attraction. And if that is the case, God made them that way, and He surely wouldn’t expect them to abstain from fulfilling those desires. Well, there are a few problems with this conclusion.
First, the claim that homosexuality can be tied to a fixed hereditary or biological trait cannot be sup-ported by the scientific evidence. Multiple studies have affirmed this. I won’t bog you down with a bunch of quotes supporting this, but I will read one.
Notice this, a 2015 statement by the American Psychological Association:
“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.” Source: https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.pdf
Was this published by a religious organization seeking to disprove the “born that way” theory? No. This is a statement from the American Psychological Association who states on their website that they’re seeking to end prejudice and discrimination against homosexuals. And they say, “no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.”
One of the evidences that homosexual orientation is not genetically fixed at birth, comes from studies of identical twins. Identical twins have identical genes. And yet, studies have shown when one of the twins identifies as a homosexual, only 5-11% of the time does the other twin identify as a homosexual.
These findings greatly undermine the belief that people are born gay. But if homosexuality is not genetically fixed at birth, how are people ending up with same-gender attraction?
We can’t be certain, because there are a variety of different factors that could lead a person in that direction. A former homosexual and now author and counselor to people struggling with same-gender attraction, summarizes some of the factors he thinks have led people to assume a homosexual orientation…
• sexual violation or experimentation with people of the same sex
• incest or molestation
• exposure to pornography
• negative spiritual influences
• media influences
• personality and temperament
• negative body image
• peer labeling, harassment or alienation
• fear of or an inability to relate to the opposite sex
• dysfunctional family relationships
Source: Mike Haley, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality, 101-102.
He goes on to note that this last factor (dysfunctional family relationships, particularly broken relationships between fathers and their sons) is perhaps the most common factor found in the life of men who identify as homosexuals.
But friends, the whole debate about whether same-gender attraction is something people are born with or is a result of how they were raised, or other factors, really doesn’t matter as far as determining whether same-gender sexual activity is right or wrong.
Because even if a person is genetically disposed to some behavior, or finds himself with very strong persistent desires to do something that doesn’t mean the activity is morally right.
We’ve all had a variety of persistent desires (even from a young age) to do things that are wrong (whether it’s to lie, steal, boast, fornicate, commit adultery, and so on). This doesn’t mean it’s morally right (or permissible) to indulge those desires. God has declared those activities to be sinful. And He’s instructed us to not gratify our desires to engage in those activities.
Paul said, “make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (Romans 13:14) or “harmful desires” (1 Timothy 6:9) or what Peter calls “sinful desires” (2 Peter 1:4).
So, note that, the Bible acknowledges the existence of strong persistent desires in the human heart. But the Bible says some of those desires are “sinful” and “harmful.” So, we’re not to give into those desires and then just excuse our behavior and say…
• “I was born this way”
• “This is my orientation”
• “I’ve had these desires for a long time, they must be fine.”
No. God’s will for us is that we turn our backs on those desires and not indulge them. How do we do that?
“Walk by the Spirit [live by the power of the Holy Spirit], and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
When a person places their faith in Jesus Christ, he is:
• born again (spiritually, John 3:7)
• given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26)
• and receives the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
As that follower of Jesus yields to the power of the Spirit in his life, he can then live a victorious life not gratifying the sinful “desires of the flesh.”
That’s how you live a victorious Christian life that pleases God. Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit!
11. “When Paul spoke of homosexual activity in Romans 1, he wasn’t speaking of homosexuals or lesbians committed to one another in loving monogamous relationships; he was speaking of sensual homosexual acts that took place in idolatrous temples by sexually inflamed idol worshipers. He had in mind homosexual prostitution and pederasty (men with boys).”
Well, we disagree with this assessment. Why?
First, there’s nothing in the text that indicates Paul only had certain types of homosexual acts in mind. He just says…
26 “…their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Nowhere does Paul (or any other Biblical author) single out certain types of homosexual acts as sinful, and excuse others. The activity is just plainly and broadly condemned.
As to the charge that Paul only had pederasty in mind, this is easily refuted by another brief look at the text. In verse v. 27, Paul writes…
“and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with [boys? No] men…”
Had Paul only been referring to activity between men and boys, there were appropriate Greek words to communicate that.
Secondly, if Paul was only condemning pederasty or homosexual activity done by idol-worshipers, why wasn’t a single Bible scholar or Bible commentator able to conclude that in the first nineteen-and-a-half centuries of church history? None of them came to that conclusion, because there’s nothing in the Bible to suggest this is a correct way of interpreting the text.
Another common objection to the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality centers around what the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:9…
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (New English Translation)
This is another passage in the Bible where we see that homosexual activity is sinful. In fact, Paul identifies both halves of a homosexual encounter as sinful.
And the verse even says that those who practice homosexuality (or adultery, or drunkenness, and so on) will not inherit the kingdom of God. Well, critics of the traditional Christian view of homosexuality say…
12. “What Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9 might not even be related to homosexual acts of any kind, since there is wide debate about what the Greek words translated “homosexuals” really mean.”
This has become a popular way of brushing aside the clear meaning of this text. Why do critics say there’s a “debate” over the words Paul used here in this verse? Well, because the words translated “passive homosexual partners,” and “practicing homosexuals” in v. 9 can’t be found in ancient Greek literature outside the Bible.
So, some critics of the traditional view suggest that “Paul probably had something else in mind, other than homosexuality.”
Could that be? No. The Greek words Paul used here are based directly on the Greek words used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament’s prohibitions against homosexuality in Leviticus. Paul, a highly trained Jewish rabbi, was certainly mindful of what the Book of Leviticus said regarding homosexuality. And he used the wording from the Greek translation of the Old Testament, called The Septuagint, when he chose his wording in 1 Corinthians 6:9.
Paul’s intention is so clear that every standard Greek lexicon in print today says the Greek words Paul used refer to men engaging in homosexual acts. And this is why every respected translation of the Bible translates Paul’s words that way.
But, let’s suppose the critics are right and that Paul had some other sexually deviant practice in mind here. Homosexual activity would still fall under the condemnation of adultery in v. 9. Why? Because according to the Bible, human sexual activity is reserved for marriage—the marriage of one man and one woman.
13. “But even if the Bible teaches that homosexual activity is wrong, why are so many Christians opposed to allowing two homosexuals to marry?”
Well, it has nothing to do with hating these people or viewing them unequally. We believe everyone has the right and freedom to marry within the boundaries of God’s will for marriage. Our opposition to same-sex marriage flows from our love for and allegiance to God and His instructions regarding marriage.
God’s intention for marriage is laid out for us in Genesis 2. What does it say there? Well, Jesus who was in full agreement with what Genesis 2 said, quoted the passage in Matthew 19. Notice what Jesus said…
“Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh’?”
According to this passage (and others), marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman. That is God’s intention and design for marriage.
That being the case, marriage is not an institution that humans have the right to come along and re-invent.
And so when a handful of U.S. Supreme Court Justices basically thumbed their noses at God and said ‘We’re going to do it another way!’ and then our former President authorized lighting up the White House on the same day with the colors of the gay pride flag, Christians who read and know the Bible, didn’t celebrate! We mourned for our country for turning further away from God’s instructions.
14. “Well, I see why Christians wouldn’t celebrate the Supreme Court decision, but I’ve heard some Christians say they wouldn’t even attend a wedding ceremony for two people of the same sex. Why wouldn’t they do that?”
Well, I and others, would consider it unloving to attend. The Bible says that true “Love…does not rejoice in unrighteousness” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6). It doesn’t celebrate when something sinful is taking place.
And because God has clearly declared homosexual activity to be unrighteous, we believe it would be unloving to attend a homosexual wedding and give our support.
A homosexual wedding ceremony is joining two people in a sinful, unrighteous relationship that grieves their Creator. That’s certainly not something a Christian should cheer on or rejoice in!
In Romans 1, after Paul lays out a long list of sinful activities (which includes homosexual activity), there is a warning there in v. 32 to who?—to those who “give approval to those who practice them.”
Well, attendance at a wedding is almost universally viewed as giving approval of what is happening at the altar and the life those two persons intend to live. And so, most Christians who want to honor the Lord and His instructions regarding marriage, will decline an invitation to attend a homosexual wedding.
15. “But Jesus ate with “sinners and tax collectors” (Mark 2:16). Christians’ refusal to attend a homosexual wedding seems un-Jesus like.”
Well, in response to this, yes, Jesus did eat with “sinners and tax collectors” (Mark 2:16). And we too are happy to eat a meal with a fellow sinner. We, like Jesus, would consider it an opportunity to love on that person, minister to them, and point them to our Savior. But there’s a big difference between sharing a meal together and cheering on someone’s sin. Jesus would never cheer on someone’s sin.
And we believe a same-gender wedding ceremony is a sinful act of defiance against our Creator.
Whether they know it or not, the officiator of the ceremony and the people making their vows are by their actions declaring: “We don’t care what God has to say about homosexuality or marriage, we’re going to have a ceremony and celebrate the way we want to do it!”
So, though we love these people, most Christians believe we should not participate in a ceremony where our Creator is being dishonored in this way.
16. “If God exists, why would He declare a behavior sinful that a person can’t change? Lots of homosexuals have tried to change and they cannot.”
Well, the person who raises this sort of objection is usually unaware of the fact that there have been thousands of people who have left homosexual activity behind, and many who are now enjoying normal heterosexual relations and families.
We never hear about these people in the mainstream media, or anything Hollywood puts out. But over the past few years as I’ve been researching and teaching on this issue I’ve talked to lots of people who’ve left that life behind. I’ve read several of their testimonies and books. I’ve seen the survey data. I’ve looked at clinical research results, and it is clear that many people have left homosexual behavior behind and now consider themselves heterosexuals, or are practicing abstinence as they walk with the Lord.
Change is possible. But, brothers and sisters, our goal is not to get homosexuals to abandon homosexuality and become heterosexuals. Our goal is pointing people to Jesus, sharing the gospel with them, and walking with them as the Holy Spirit transforms their lives. And though it might seem impossible to our friends to abandon that way of life and to live in accord with God’s will for their lives, this is the very kind of thing God can help them do.
In Luke 18:27, Jesus said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” God can change people! Many of you reading this article know that firsthand, don’t you?
Right after Paul mentions practicing homosexuals in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, in the very next sentence, he writes, “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” (1 Corinthians 6:11). What a beautiful verse this is for people who don’t think they can leave behind a certain way of life.
Though the people in Corinth had previously been engaging in a variety of sins (including homosexual activity), when they entered into a relationship with our Savior, Jesus, they were “washed…sanctified…justified.” (1 Cor. 6:11)
And that’s exactly what happens when people put their faith in Jesus.
• The guilt from their sins is “washed” away
• They’re “sanctified” (set apart as born again, redeemed, children of God)
• And they are “justified” (that is, declared righteous in God’s sight)
What wonderful things God does in the life of the person who trusts in Jesus for salvation!
Friend, have you experienced this? Has the guilt from your sins been washed away? Maybe you’ve engaged in homosexual activity, or maybe it’s been a variety of other sins. We have all sinned in numerous ways! Well, here’s the wonderful news: your guilt can be washed away today!
That’s why Jesus, God in the flesh, died on the cross. Because of His great love for you, He died there in your place, to suffer the judgment you deserved for your sins, so that you could be forgiven, rescued from spending eternity in Hell, and be brought back into a relationship with Him.
He rose from the grave three days later and today He offers all mankind:
• “the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 26:18)
• “peace with God” (Romans 5:1)
• the “free gift” of “everlasting life” (Romans 6:23; John 3:16)
That’s great news friend! Everlasting life!? Forgiveness of all your sins!? Peace with God!? I don’t know what you normally receive for Christmas, but this is way better! How do you receive that gift? Jesus said, “Whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
That’s it! Jesus did all the work. All you need to do is believe (i.e., place your faith in Jesus and what He did to save You). And you can do that today. God is a prayer away. You can pray something like this:
“God, forgive me for my sins. I trust in Jesus Christ to save me! Come into my life and be my Lord and Savior.”
If you’ll do that, the Bible says, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
So, don’t put it off. For the rest of you who have already placed your faith in Jesus, I encourage you to look for opportunities to love and befriend people who need the Lord. They are everywhere! God wants to use you to reach people. So, make yourself available to Him. Amen?
Closing prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Word. And we’re thankful that You are a merciful forgiving God who can rescue, redeem, and transform lives, no matter what sins a person may have committed or may be struggling with! So God, we pray for our friends and family members (and maybe some reading this article right now) who are struggling with temptation in this area (or even engaging in) same-gender sexual activity. We pray for their deliverance; we pray for their salvation if they are still in need of that. And we pray for ourselves that You would help us to love them, show them compassion and understanding, and point them to You, our gracious life-transforming Savior. Use us in their lives and others for the furtherance of the gospel in this generation. And it’s in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
CHARLIE H. CAMPBELL
is the founder of the ABR Apologetics Ministry, a popular guest teacher at churches and conferences in the United States and internationally, and the author of several books and DVDs, some of which include:
• The Bible’s Scientific Accuracy and Foresight
• Scrolls & Stones: Compelling Evidence the Bible Can Be Trusted
• Evidence for God
• One Minute Answers to Skeptics
• Archaeological Evidence for the Bible
• Answering Atheists
• The Case for the Resurrection
• If God is Loving, Why is there Evil and Suffering?
• Homosexuality and the Bible: Answering Objections to the Biblical View
• Teaching and Preaching God’s Word
• Apologetics Quotes
WOULD YOU LIKE CHARLIE TO SPEAK AT YOUR CHURCH?
Charlie frequently speaks, free of charge, at churches, conferences, retreats, etc. If you are a pastor and would like to inquire about him speaking at your church or event, please contact ABR here and let us know the date(s) you'd be interested in, and someone will email you back shortly.