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Is Homosexuality Acceptable to God?

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The acceptance of homosexuality as an equally valid lifestyle is rapidly growing in Western culture. Yet God tells us that sex was designed for only one relationship—within marriage, exclusively between a man and a woman. Because homosexual activity, premarital sex and adultery are all outside of marriage, all are violations of God’s instructions. These things are all sins, and those who commit these sins must repent of them.

The Bible condemns homosexual practices in several places such as Genesis 19:1-25 Genesis 19:1-25 1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and you shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, No; but we will abide in the street all night. 3 And he pressed on them greatly; and they turned in to him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called to Lot, and said to him, Where are the men which came in to you this night? bring them out to us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out at the door to them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brothers, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out to you, and do you to them as is good in your eyes: only to these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. 9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with you, than with them. And they pressed sore on the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. 10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. 12 And the men said to Lot, Have you here any besides? son in law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whatever you have in the city, bring them out of this place: 13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD has sent us to destroy it. 14 And Lot went out, and spoke to his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked to his sons in law. 15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take your wife, and your two daughters, which are here; lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold on his hand, and on the hand of his wife, and on the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful to him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for your life; look not behind you, neither stay you in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed. 18 And Lot said to them, Oh, not so, my LORD: 19 Behold now, your servant has found grace in your sight, and you have magnified your mercy, which you have showed to me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 21 And he said to him, See, I have accepted you concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which you have spoken. 22 Haste you, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till you be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. 23 The sun was risen on the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground.
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, Leviticus 18:22 Leviticus 18:22You shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
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and Leviticus 20:13 Leviticus 20:13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be on them.
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, and Judges 19:1-25 Judges 19:1-25 1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. 2 And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him to her father’s house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months. 3 And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly to her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father’s house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. 4 And his father in law, the damsel’s father, retained him; and he stayed with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there. 5 And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel’s father said to his son in law, Comfort your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way. 6 And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel’s father had said to the man, Be content, I pray you, and tarry all night, and let your heart be merry. 7 And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again. 8 And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the damsel’s father said, Comfort your heart, I pray you. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them. 9 And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel’s father, said to him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day grows to an end, lodge here, that your heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that you may go home. 10 But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him. 11 And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, Come, I pray you, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it. 12 And his master said to him, We will not turn aside here into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah. 13 And he said to his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah. 14 And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down on them when they were by Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin. 15 And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging. 16 And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Where go you? and from where come you? 18 And he said to him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from there am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receives me to house. 19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your handmaid, and for the young man which is with your servants: there is no want of any thing. 20 And the old man said, Peace be with you; howsoever let all your wants lie on me; only lodge not in the street. 21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender to the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink. 22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into your house, that we may know him. 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, No, my brothers, no, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into my house, do not this folly. 24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble you them, and do with them what seems good to you: but to this man do not so vile a thing. 25 But the men would not listen to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth to them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.
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. These scriptures refer to homosexual acts as something that should not be done and as evil in the eyes of God.

In the New Testament, Romans 1:24-27 Romans 1:24-27 24 Why God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: 25 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. 26 For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 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 recompense of their error which was meet.
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, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
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and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 1 Timothy 1:9-10 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers, 10 For fornicators, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for enslavers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
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refer to homosexuality in the same way. The passage in Romans includes a specific prohibition of both male and female homosexual involvement. The Bible nowhere makes positive or approving statements about homosexuality. The only two options affirmed for adult Christians are heterosexual marriage or abstinence.

The vast majority of academic and biblical scholars agree that the Bible prohibits homosexual activities. Nearly all of today’s translations of the Bible are also in agreement that God prohibits homosexual practice.

Contesting God’s instructions, some homosexuals argue that God made them the way they are and that He therefore must approve of homosexuality. Such reasoning is inherently flawed for several reasons.

First, God made all of us with free moral agency; we choose what we will think, believe and do. We are not robots incapable of making our own choices or governing our own behavior. Second, one’s environment has been proven to have a great impact on a person’s developing sexuality. Moreover, studies of identical twins where one twin is homosexual and the other isn’t prove that homosexuality isn’t governed by genetic makeup. These factors show that homosexuals are made, not born.

Third, regardless of any conditions that may predispose a person to homosexuality, we are all expected to make moral decisions regardless of our circumstances. When we determine to follow God’s instructions, we must live up to all His standards. God doesn’t permit us to rewrite His rules simply because we are naturally inclined to premarital sex, adultery, homosexuality or any other sin.

And speaking of the way we human beings are made, the Bible reveals that we all (regardless of our sexual orientation) have a predisposition to sin. We have minds that from childhood are set against God and His ways (Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
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). As a result, we all sin (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
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). The challenge for each of us in responding to God is to repent of our sins—to change our lives, with His help, in conforming to His standards (Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
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). When we commit our lives to God, we can change our lives.

It’s encouraging to understand that there is clear biblical evidence that God can change the life of a person involved in homosexual behavior. In 1 Corinthians 6, the apostle Paul is addressing men and women in the church at Corinth. He lists many forms of behavior—including homosexual acts—that will keep a person from being in God’s Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
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). Then Paul makes this statement: “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 6:11, New International Version).

Paul apparently knew former homosexuals in the church at Corinth. So the message that homosexuality can be changed is not new. Homosexuals have been experiencing change since the Bible was written. God’s Word takes the approach of hating the sin but loving the sinner (compare John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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).

What is the responsibility of one who wants to be a Christian but struggles with a deeply ingrained attraction to members of his or her own sex? The Scriptures say that person is obligated to control his sexual desires in the same way that heterosexual single adults must exercise self-control. In other words, he or she must refrain from giving in to his or her lusts.

The Bible instructs us to repent and come out of sin. Homosexual practices, like any other sin, need to be repented of and overcome. A practicing homosexual would do so by acknowledging that homosexuality is wrong and by ceasing to live a homosexual lifestyle or place himself in a situation where he or she might be tempted to engage in such behavior.

Recognizing that sin begins in the mind (James 1:13-15 James 1:13-15 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
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), a person struggling with this or other sexual sins must strive to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
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, NIV). Such an individual can be a true Christian even though he or she may be engaged in a lifelong struggle to resist returning to homosexual practices.

It is also important to understand the difference between homosexual orientation and homosexual lust and behavior. The orientation is not a sin but the lust and behavior is. While there are many people in our society today who reject God’s instruction on this subject, there are many others with homosexual orientations who are coming out of this lifestyle to live in accordance with God’s instruction.

As resources for those wishing to overcome homosexuality and obey God, we recommend reading Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi and Breaking Free Journal (breakingfree.ucg.org), a publication dedicated to helping Christians struggling with homosexuality, addictions and other dysfunctional behaviors.

A book entitled Love Won Out by John and Anne Paulk can also be encouraging. It is the true story of how, with God’s help, two people were able to leave homosexuality and find each other. For those seeking help in leaving the homosexual lifestyle, several organizations can be contacted:

Exodus International
P.O. Box 540119
Orlando, FL 32854
(407) 599-6872
www.exodus-international.org

Desert Stream
P.O. Box 17635
Anaheim Hills, CA 92817
(714) 779-6899
www.desertstream.org

His Heart Ministries
12162 E. Mississippi
P.O. Box 12321
Aurora, CO 80011
(303) 369-2961

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