Apologetics

Does the Bible Permit Homosexual Activities?

Hanegraaff, Hank-Homosexuality Parameters

Q: Can you be a practicing homosexual in good standing with God? Was Leviticus 18 really condemning the ritualistic sex done by Baal worshippers? Was not this prohibition really against pagan idolatry as opposed to modern homosexuality?

A: I think the whole passage, Leviticus 18, has to do with unlawful sexual relations and not only talks about homosexual relationships, but also it says “Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it” (Lev. 18:23).* Leviticus 18 is then talking about all kinds of sexual improprieties.

Leviticus 18 is not an isolated passage. If it were, maybe you could try to make the case that you can’t have homosexual relationships in the sense of worshiping at the altar of Baal or something like this; however, the Bible in general warns against these kinds of practices.

If you look at Romans, Romans aptly describes not only the perversion of these kinds of relationships but the penalties that are associated with them. When Paul says, “their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion” (Rom. 1:26-27).

So I think the point is God has set parameters around our lives so that our lives would indeed be full. I don’t think that it takes someone with an advanced degree in physiology to appreciate the fact the human body is not designed for homosexual relationships.

Homosexuality is not an identity it’s a behavior. It’s a behavior that has associated with it all kinds of attendant problems. But, you know, you have to ask yourself the question: How could God have made this point any clearer? There’s not a single unambiguous passage in Scripture that affirms homosexuality, but what you find is the Bible universally condemns it. So the Bible is as clear as it can be on this particular subject.

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please access the following equip.org resources:

Does Homosexuality Demonstrate that the Bible is Antiquated and Irrelevant? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Speaking of Homosexuality: A Christian Response to the Arguments of the Gay Rights Movement (Joe Dallas)

Answering the Gay Christian Position (Joe Dallas)

Is Arsenokoitai Really that Mysterious? Homosexual Sin in 1 Corinthians 6:9 (C. Wayne Mayhall)

Is There a Gay Gene? (Donald F. Calbreath)

The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Robert A. J. Gagnon)

The Gay Gospel? How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread The Bible (Joe Dallas)

* All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), unless noted.

Blog adapted from “Can you be a Christian and actively practice homosexuality?

Journal Topics

Gay Teens, Bullying, and Suicide

One of the most emotionally draining aspects of modern Christian living has to do with truth. Because the more our culture drifts away from being guided by Biblical truths, the harder it becomes to speak those truths without being viewed as judgmental, mean spirited, or just plain dumb. Talk about Jesus being the only way to God, and you’ll hear howls of “intolerant and “narrow minded.” Talk about the reality of hell, and you’ll be made out to be a sadistic fanatic. And if you dare talk about God’s created intention for sex and family life, then buckle up, because you’re in for one very bumpy ride.

Nowhere does this ride become more bumpy than when the talk turns to homosexuality. To a point, that’s probably a good thing, because it at least means people are far more caring of homosexual people then they were forty years ago, when it seemed perfectly kosher to call them names and insult their very humanity. But the growing respect for homosexual people has been accompanied by less and less tolerance for anyone who simply holds to the traditional view that marriage is for one man and one woman; sex for complimentary, not similar, genders.

Recently, that intolerance was given a boost when a number of young homosexuals committed suicide after they’d been repeatedly bullied for schoolmates and peers. The grief we all felt somehow morphed into finger pointed, with many cultural elites indicting traditional Christians as the villains. Their reasoning? If you preach homosexuality is a sin, you encourage violence against gays and lesbians.

So those of us still believing the traditional view have a choice: Cower in submission, or love enough (and boldly enough) to give the full counsel of God. Of course, it’s a counsel that’s often unwanted, and the price can be high. But in the eternal sense, can it be higher than the price of unfaithfulness to truth, and poor stewardship of the Word? Think not; I hope you agree. God grant us the love to stand firm when our stance is un popular, and the gentleness to always consider the needs and sensitivities of our hearers.

  1. If gay teenagers are being bullied, what can Christian students and friends do to help?
  2. If we say we love homosexuals, is that love evident in the way we speak about them when they’re not present?
  3. Where can we find common ground with those who genuinely want to protect homosexuals from mistreatment, yet feel that our position as Christians is harmful to homosexuals?

Joe Dallas is the program director of Genesis Counseling in Tustin, California, a Christian counseling service to men dealing with sexual addiction, homosexuality, and other sexual/relational problems. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and is the author of three books on human sexuality, including Desires in Conflict (Harvest House, 1991) and A Strong Delusion (Harvest House, 1996). Joe Dallas will appear on the Bible Answer Man Broadcast on May 24, 2011 (to listen to the show live at 6PM ET please go to www.equip.org) to discuss his cover article on the topic above in the new issue of the Christian Research Journal. To read the full article by Dallas, please subscribe to the Journal (6 issues for $39.50).

Apologetics, In the News, Journal Topics

Gay Groups and Evangelical Colleges

A recent online article from Christian Century reports that at some Evangelical Colleges, acceptance of gay groups is growing perhaps due to the efforts of the gay activist group Soulforce. In 2009, the Christian Research Journal published an in-depth article on Soulforce by Joe Dallas. As Dallas writes, “But an error Christians often make when dealing with homosexual activists is to overindulge their desire for us to hear their concerns, while offering none of our own.”

Do you think acceptance of gay groups on Evangelical college campuses is inevitable? How can Christians dialog with groups and maintain fidelity to biblical truth? Should we be in dialog with these groups?

—Melanie M. Cogdill, Managing Editor

Recommended Resources on Homosexuality:

Desires in Conflict
The Gay Gospel?: How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread The Bible
The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible’s Message About Homosexuality