Question: How do those who practice homosexuality and who also consider themselves to be Christian defend their position biblically, especially in light of such straightforward passages as Leviticus 18:22 and 1Corinthians 6:9-10?
Here are the verses in question. Note the underlined words.
Lev. 18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Those who claim they belong to Christ while defending their homosexual lifestyle typically justify their position as follows:
• The Bible is not to be understood literally.
• God values diversity.
• God values unity in Christ, therefore nothing should divide believers.
• Those who judge people because of homosexuality are guilty of other equally condemned behaviors.
• Condemning homosexuality is legalism; and the law has nothing to do with faith.
• Love, not behavior, marks a true disciple of Christ.
Are these arguments valid? No. Here’s why—
The Bible is God’s inspired Word and our final authority in doctrine and behavior:
2Pet. 1:20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2Tim. 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Therefore, when Scripture states that certain lifestyle behaviors are “detestable,” “wicked,” “immoral” and descriptive of people who will not “inherit the Kingdom of God,” it is to be understood literally. As Jesus clearly affirmed:
Matt. 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Therefore, Christians are not being judgmental or legalistic in denouncing homosexuality; they are simply pointing out what God has already judged as “wicked” in His Word.
When a car passes you on the highway at 100 mph and you say, “he’s going 30 mph over the speed limit,” you are not being judgmental. You’re just stating the facts—the driver is breaking the law and you hope, for everyone’s benefit, he gets caught before he causes serious injury.
In the same way, God does not encourage “wicked,” “detestable” and “immoral” behavior in the Body of Christ in the name of love, unity and diversity. If that were the case, why not condone incest or prostitution? Yet the Scriptures clearly identify all such behavior as sexually immoral and to be zealously avoided by God’s people, just as we are to avoid all other sinful behavior:
Eph. 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
Note: For further discussion related to this topic please see Bible Gems #102, 103, 104 (Sept - Oct, 2012).