What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

Friday, May 11, 2012 (All day)

Sexual immorality is not a new problem. The Word of God gives the ultimate perspective

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[Steve Myers] What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? It's big in the news right now. It seems like our modern society has been developing, growing, and suddenly we're faced with all these new issues. Well, where do you go for the truth?

The problem is, is homosexuality really a new issue? You know, according to the Bible, it's not. The first century Church faced the issue of homosexuality. It faced the problems that came with that.

There's an interesting passage over in Romans chapter 1, right at the very beginning of Romans, verse 28. It says, "Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind to do the things which are not fitting." You might say, boy that's pretty tough. That's pretty hard. We have a harsh, mean God. Well, is that true? Let's think about that and see what the Bible actually says. In verse 29 it says, "They were filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetous, full of envy..." And it goes on to list all of these different types of things that they gave over—they were given over to this debased way of thinking. In verse 26 it says, "Even their women did change the natural use of that which is against nature." Verse 27 says, "Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another" (Romans:1:24-32).

You see God points out that's unacceptable. That is unacceptable behavior before God. If we claim to be Christians, it's unacceptable.

It's also interesting as the Apostle Paul addressed the church at Corinth, God's people, here's what he told them over in 1 Corinthians chapter 6. I'll write that one down. 1 Corinthians chapter 6 and it's throughout the chapter, but beginning in verse 9. He says something interesting.  He says, "Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians:6:9).

Then he says do not be deceived. It's interesting how many times throughout the Bible when you read this phrase "do not be deceived" really you should step back and remember this is something that I could be fooled about, this is something that I might misunderstand unless God reveals it in His word. And so Paul specifically says watch out, be careful, beware, do not be deceived.

Well, what is it that we could be deceived about? Well, he says, "Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor Sodomites…" And then he expands that list to "Thieves, those that are covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians:6:9-10). So none in those categories will have eternal life. They will not be a part of the Kingdom of God. They will not be in God's family. That is the straight scoop on all of those behaviors. They are unacceptable before God and we cannot be in the family of God if we practice those things.

But you know, he doesn't leave it there. Because this was an old issue, because this is not something new, Paul showed very clearly that there is a solution. You know what he said to those in Corinth? In verse 11—this is very important—in verse 11 after making that list and sounding very harsh, very hard, he says something interesting. He says, "And such were some of you." You see, some of God's very own people had been practicing those things. They were thieves, they were revilers, they were extortioners. Yes, they were fornicators. Yes, they were homosexuals. They were Sodomites. Some of them were those things. They practiced those things. And yet, Paul calls them Christians. Some of them in the Church of God, they were guilty of those things that he listed. But, he says this, "But you were washed. You were sanctified. You were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of God" (1 Corinthians:6:11).

So in other words, God says that they came out of those lifestyles. They were no longer fornicators. They were no longer thieves. They were no longer homosexuals. They were no longer Sodomites—that they came out of that. They repented, they changed, and they put that behavior behind them.  They were converted in other words. And so they lived a life with the mind of Jesus Christ.

So could we say that God loves those people? Absolutely, God loves those that were thieves. God loves the revilers. He loves the extortioners. Right, Jesus Christ died so that these people could be a part of the family of God—for you and I to be a part of the family of God. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That is fact.

Now the thing is, He loves the sinner, but He hates the sin. And so we are called to come out of that kind of behavior. We are called to be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. That's what's most important.

So do not be deceived. God does not accept those behaviors. That has to be something that we come out of so that ultimately we can say what those in Corinth were told. Such were some of us, but now we are clean through Jesus Christ.

That's BT Daily . We'll see you next time.


dust_i_am's picture

If God "loves the sinner, but He hates the sin," how do we explain Proverbs 6:16-19? It shows the Lord hates "a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."

Terry Gilkes

Terry Gilkes's picture

"God "loves the sinner, but He hates the sin,” Is not in the Bible and is indeed a misconception in order to deceive and to justify sin.
I have noticed over time the UCG has become rather Laodicean.
A text out of context is a prefix.
You should be ashamed Mr Armstrong would turn in his grave at such doctoring.

Dan Peabody

Dan Peabody's picture

You're right God does hate things. Proverbs is a great place to start for the wisdom when trying to understand why? The passage you mentioned at one time I had trouble personally understanding before as well. I noticed that when God describes what he hates. He puts it in an action oriented way. God is describing actions he "hates" not the person. Going back over Proverbs 6:16-19 think about why God "hates". Please forgive me if that sounds like I am talking down to you because that is not my intent. My intent is more of trying to explain the more you look at the passage the more you will see. Another thought may be to pray for understanding of this passage. I know sometimes when I do not quite understand or could see multiple angles I ask for understanding. Normally it is not the first thought I had that was right but more of reviewing over time. Look at it from all the angles and then pray to God to help Him explain it when coming up with your final conclussion. I have found when you pray and take time to review God will show you the other passages that explain this one. It is quite amazing how the bible explains the bible or God explains God.

Of course there is also a logical or physical piece as well. God created us. God loves creation and has made us after Him to love it as well. Would you hate a car you built because it slightly veared more to the right then to the left or would you hate that it veared off track?

I hope this helps.


KARS's picture

Because of this verse; "For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Without this love for our Father there would be no;
.Resurrection from death.
.Reconcilation with God our Father.
.No chance of repentance for past and present sins.
.No faith.
.No hope for a new tomorrow in the Kingdom of God.
.No comforter/ God our Father's Holy Spirit.
.No baptism into the Church of God and the God family.
.We would not be sons and daughters of the Most High.

Without all these most perious gifts; we would cess to exist.

Don Hooser

Don Hooser's picture

Mr. Myers, I was really inspired to hear such a biblically-accurate, balanced and loving explanation of this subject. And in only six minutes! Thanks much!


Blackbird's picture

Although I agree with all of what has been said, it has been brought to my attention in which I cannot answer as far as original translations of God's word. Specifically when you take the original words in scripture, starting with 1 Corinthians 6:9, the English words, "homosexual" and "sodomite"
It's recently been brought to my attention that the translations of these words into the English language that we read in modern day bibles are not accurate to the meaning in which we read them today. Let me be more specific of what I mean. The Greek word malakoi, which is the plural of malakos, and the Greek word arsenokoites are both used in 1 Cor 6:9.
Here is how the KJV translates I Cor 6:9.

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malakoi), nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (arsenokoites)" -1 Corinthians 6:9, KJV.

The remarkable semantic shift in the meaning of malakoi, which by 1958, came to equate malakoi with homosexuality instead of softness, moral weakness or effeminacy, was not prompted by new linguistic evidence. Instead, cultural factors influenced modern translators to inject anti-homosexual bias into their translation.(or so I'm told
In ancient times, the malakos word group never referred exclusively to homosexuals & lesbians. The malakos stem rarely, if ever, referred to homosexual behavior.
Further, it has never seen any indication that the ancients used the malakos word group to refer to lesbians.

Yet, translating malakoi today as homosexuals causes the word to include lesbians, something the original text never said and translations never said for 1900 years.

It should be clearly understood that most antigay Christians today interpret 1 Corinthians 6:9 as a universal prohibition of homosexuality including lesbian relationships, this in spite of the fact that most of our spiritual ancestors did not understand the text to say that. Translating malakoi as homosexuals imposes a twentieth or twenty first century cultural meaning on the text which malakoi did not mean in the first century. If malakoi was not a universally understood reference to homosexuals in the first century when Paul used it, then malakoi does not mean homosexual today. Because I believe homosexuality is wrong per God's word, how do I answer this situation

Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

we can never take individual scriptures alone to make a determination on what the Bible is saying, you have to look at it as a whole, other verses do condemn male and female homosexuality (Romans:1:26-27). As one New Testament scholar explains, the "word malakoi is not a technical term meaning 'homosexuals' (no such term existed either in Greek, or in Hebrew), but it appears often in Hellenistic Greek as pejorative slang to describe the 'passive' partners -- often young boys -- in homosexual activity" (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics (New York: Harper Collins, 1996), 382).

arsenokoite is a combination of the words used in Leviticus:18:22 and Leviticus:20:13 (in the Greek Septuagint), and these verses very clearly refer to homosexual intercourse.

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