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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 18

Is homosexuality the worst sin?
The Bible teaches that homosexual sexual activity is sinful. Though it doesn’t say so explicitly, the Bible also teaches that lusting after someone of your own sex is sinful. I say that because Jesus told us that if a man lusts after a woman, it’s sinful. Surely the reverse is true, too, and it would seem that homosexual lust must also be sinful. (For the Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology article on Sexual Immorality, see here.)

Here’s what Jesus said: Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’ 28 but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Having homosexual tendencies is not, of itself, sinful, any more than having heterosexual tendencies is. Sin comes in how we act on these tendencies, with other people, or in our own minds.

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
All the passages that mention homosexuality are below [some will be in the next post in this series, God willing]. All of them condemn homosexual sexual activity:

1) Genesis 19:1a The two angels came to Sodom at evening. Lot sat in the gate of Sodom. Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them.
3 He urged them greatly, and they came in with him, and entered into his house. He made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. 5 They called to Lot, and said to him, “Where are the men who came in to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may have sex with them.”
6 Lot went out to them to the door, and shut the door after him. 7 He said, “Please, my brothers, don’t act so wickedly. 8 See now, I have two virgin daughters. Please let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them what seems good to you. Only don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
9 They said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one fellow came in to live as a foreigner, and he appoints himself a judge. Now will we deal worse with you, than with them!” They pressed hard on the man Lot, and came near to break the door. 10 But the men reached out their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12 The men said to Lot, “Do you have anybody else here? Sons-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whoever you have in the city, bring them out of the place: 13 for we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before Yahweh that Yahweh has sent us to destroy it.”

There is scriptural evidence that, although it mentions planned homosexual acts, the primary sin of Sodom wasn’t homosexuality:

Ezekiel 16:48 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away when I saw it.

Ezekiel made no mention of homosexual activity in this passage, except, perhaps, for the “committed abomination.”

However, Jude says this: 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are shown as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.

In any case, Jesus said that, whatever the sin of Sodom was, it was not as serious as unbelief:

Matthew 10:14 Whoever doesn’t receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Most certainly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

The above is an excerpt from my recently published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, public domain.

The previous post in this series is here. God willing, the next excerpt will continue  discussion of a this topic.

Thanks for reading!


atlibertytosay said...

I've never really thought of it framed in the way you did and that is very enlightening …

"The lust and adultery side of it is sinful" in the same manner as lust and adultery in heterosexuals is.

Also enlightening is the commentary on the act is sinful not the tendency.

I wish more homosexuals and heterosexuals understood gays/lesbians in this manner.

I guess the other aspect of the sin though is also uncleanliness and against the order of God and nature, but still … none the less … all sin is against God.

Thank you for this post.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, atlibertytosay.

I'm glad you were enlightened. There is more coming in succeeding posts, but this one probably was the most important in the series.