Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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A Conversation Regarding Homosexuality

(Note: Following is an email exchange I had last week. This man’s emails are reproduced exactly (with misspellings). Study with this man continues, as he has emailed again with a few quibbles and revealed himself more clearly as one who advocates homosexuality). His main contention is that “Love” is a good thing, and can not be abused. He ignored most of the arguments I made in the following email to him).

Saw your email on a Christian site that talked against homosexuality, so just wondered if you knew where there was anything against same sex romantic love as I can’t find anything on this in my bible.

Name Withheld

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________,

I am glad to correspond with you regarding your question. In order to do so, I need some clarification.

In your question, are you referring to a sexual relationship? Or something less than that? Perhaps if you were to give me a scenario or further explanation it will help me to understand exactly what you are asking, and answer your question from the scriptures.

Sincerely,

Stan Cox

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OK. Well the definitions most people seem to agree on are…
HOMOSEXUALITY; Is just an orientation meaning same sex attractions, its not a sex act word.
SAME SEX ACTS; Is the real term for gay sex.
SAME SEX ROMANTIC LOVE; Is the same as opposite sex romantic love where 2 people meet, fall in love, date, hold hands, kiss n hug, write love songs or poems to one another, have a blessing, share a home and maybe make love in a monogomus, life long committed relationship.
So does the bible condemn same sex romantic love somewhere???

Name Withheld

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________,

Thank you very much for the clarifications. I will assume that you are seriously wanting the Bible perspective regarding your question. As such, my response will be a bit lengthy. So, I ask that you consider it carefully, and note my desire to answer your question fully and competently.

First, with regard to your definitions. I am in agreement that the term “homosexuality” is often used to reference an orientation. However, at least as it is commonly used, a homosexual is known as an individual who has sex with those of the same gender (whether a monogamous relationship, or with multiple partners). Perhaps a more precise term would be a “practicing homosexual.”

Such activity is condemned in no uncertain terms both in the Old and New Testaments. In Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” In Romans 1: 27, “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful…” Concerning such, “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (vs. 32).

Please understand that the Bible condemns the “same sex act” to use your modern terms. The Bible does not speak of “orientation.” It acknowledges the legitimacy of sexual activity within marriage (defined in scripture as “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24).

In Bible terms, an individual who is oriented or attracted to an individual of the same sex is said to be tempted. As same sex acts are condemned as the sin of “fornication”, (as are all sex acts outside of the marriage bed), those who desire such activity are tempted to sin.

This is extremely important to understanding the Bible perspective on this question. There are many individuals (I know several myself) who are attracted to others of the same sex, and who refuse to act upon their desire. They “resist temptation.” In so doing, the prove themselves worthy in their relationship to God. They are not practicing homosexuals.

Here is where the modern definitions and the Biblical treatment of actions are different. For example, I may have in the past been a heavy drinker. My drinking may have been diagnosed as alcoholism. And now I am on the wagon. So, while I may be defined as an alcoholic (a term that is unknown in scripture) I at present am not a drunkard. In fact, my resisting the temptation to drink is a spiritual victory. The Bible does not condemn desires, even though the fulfillment of those desires may be illicit (that is lust). It is when the illicit desire is satiated that one falls out of God’s good graces. Note the following text:

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:13-16).

These points are preparatory to answering your query. Simply put, the Bible does not recognize the legitimacy of “Same sex romantic love.” In scripture, romantic love is exclusively within the parameters of a heterosexual relationship. Do not misunderstand. I recognize that two men can have romantic feelings for one another, and kiss and hug, and write love songs, etc. Their affections may be deep and genuine. However, they are not given legitimacy in scripture. Again, note the phrases in Romans 1, “vile passions” (vs. 26); and “burned in their lust” (vs. 27). Remember that lust is “illicit desire.” It is truly desire, but it is a desire that is without divine sanction.

The Bible teaches that the only legitimate expression of romantic love … love that is inclusive of “kissing and hugging, sharing a home, and making love in a monogamous, life long committed relationship” is in the marriage relationship. Notice Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

This is why I asked for clarification from you. I know that many make a distinction between promiscuous same sex activity and a monogamous same sex relationship. I wanted to know from you that you had under consideration a relationship that included “make (-ing) love in a a monogamous, life long committed relationship.” While it is true that many make that distinction, it is equally true that the Bible does not.

Three things to note clearly:

  1. The Bible defines marriage as a lifelong bond or union between a man and his wife. (Exclusively a man/woman relationship). There is never any indication, example or inference of marriage being anything other than a heterosexual relationship.
  2. Any sexual activity outside of the marriage relationship is fornication (“unlawful sexual intercourse”).
  3. Same sex acts are, without exception, condemned in scripture (without reference to frequency or included commitment).

To conclude: Any relationship that culminates in sexual intercourse, regardless of whether it is homosexual or heterosexual, is condemned in the Bible if it is not marriage. Hebrews 13:4 is very plain on this.

I fully recognize that more and more people in our day are unwilling to accept the legitimacy of the Bible’s teaching on this subject. I understand that many will reject the Bible, deny its legitimacy as the guide able to lead us to “perfection” and the “furnish us unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). That is their choice.

However, those who wish to legitimize their committed homosexual relationships based upon what the Bible teaches will be disappointed. Any attempts to do so deemed successful by them come about only by their willingness to “twist to their own destruction” the writings of Paul, and the “rest of the scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16).

I hope I have sufficiently answered your question. You asked for the Bible perspective, and I believe I have supplied you with it.

Feel free to write again if you need further clarification.

Stan Cox