First of all, what does the bible say about sin? What is sin? Sin is what separates us from God.
There are three verses in Romans that explain that we are sinners and need salvation.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (NKJV)
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (NKJV)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)
We are all sinners. Jesus atoned for our sins on the cross. He took the punishment. He offers us salvation from our sins. We all need to come to the cross. We all need to repent and keep fruit consistent with repentance. We are living in a day and time that no one wants to be reminded they are a sinner. Instead of being grateful that forgiveness is available people choose to be offended at the very mention of sin. People get offended at clear statements of right and wrong because there will always be somebody doing that wrong thing who wants to be called righteous. People get outraged over things being labeled sin. People get angry at bible verses that don’t fit into their lifestyle or political views so they either ignore them, deny them, or twist them to fit their desires. That brings me to my topic of homosexuality. There is a mainstream denial of the existence, accuracy, or straightforwardness of these scriptures. Truth that was once accepted is now rejected even in the church. It is a sad day when churches who are supposed to stand for the Word choose to side with the world for popularity points.
What does the bible say on homosexuality?
Genesis 2:22-24 Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family.
Genesis 18:16-19:28 is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Leviticus 18:22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act.
Leviticus 20:13 If a man has sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves.
However, that is in the Old Testament. We are living in the new covenant and I believe everything in the New Testament is for us to follow and obey. In my opinion, the Old Testament lays the foundation for our understanding of who God is, tells us the history of the creation of the world and the history of God’s people, and gives us the law they followed. From what I see when reading about the law there was moral law, ceremonial law, and penal law (the penalties for breaking the law). Under the new covenant we no longer have penal law or ceremonial law, but I personally think that the moral law still applies. I don’t think God changed his mind on right and wrong before and after Calvary. People have no problem accepting the 10 commandments or wise words from Proverbs and Psalms, but you mention something they don’t like and suddenly the Old Testament is all irrelevant. There are even more New Testament Scriptures regarding homosexuality.
Mark 10:6-9 But from the beginning of creation he made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Romans 1:21-32 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless. Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.
1 Corinthians 5:9-11 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Some of you once lived this way. 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.
Galatians 5:16-21 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!
Ephesians 5:3-5 But among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but rather thanksgiving. For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
1 Timothy 1:7-10 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently. But we know that the law is good if someone uses it legitimately, realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers—in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching.
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage must be honored among all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers.
Jude verse 7 So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
The bible is straightforward. There is no way anyone can say the bible does not say homosexuality is a sin without denying God’s word. It’s not judgmental to quote Scripture. It’s our job to point people to Jesus. We can’t effectively do that if we deny him or his Word.
So now that we have established that we all are sinners and homosexuality is in fact a sin what should be done about it? Homosexuals are sinners. So is everyone else. We all sin. We are called to love one another. Today’s world is rampant with sexual immorality. We have a large majority who fornicate and co-habitate without ever even getting married. For those that do get married half of all marriages end in divorce even though the bible says divorce is a sin (Matthew 5:31-32, Matthew 19:3-12, Mark 10:1-12, Luke 16:18,Romans 7:2-3, 1 Corinthians ch 7). They also remarry after divorce which is adultery. Adultery has become very common and is often glorified in movies, tv, and books. We now have people that refer to their relationships as open marriages. Polygamy is becoming accepted. Polygyny is when a man is married to multiple women. That has existed since biblical times and is becoming glorified in America with shows like Big Love and Sister Wives. Whether or not that is sinful is a blog for another day. Polyandry is when a woman is married to multiple men. Homosexuality has not only become mainstream but such sin is glorified and praised. Incest which has always been considered wrong is becoming more popular and some places are even talking about legalizing marriage between siblings. As you can see sexual immorality has become very common.
What should we do with people that commit sexual sin?
Love them anyway. Respect them just as you would anyone else.
Not approving of a person’s lifestyle or certain actions does not mean you hate the person. Believing something is sin does not mean you hate the sinner. Being gay does not make you a bad person. There are plenty of gay people who are good people that are loving, kind, smart, and fun to be around. The biggest problem with sexual immorality in America is the law has gotten involved. While the law should not make provision for such behavior it also shouldn’t persecute such behavior. No one should be thrown in jail for being gay, being a polygamist, or committing adultery. No one should be beaten or harassed ever for any reason. As Americans, we all have the freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Not everyone is Christian. Not everyone believes sin exists. People should not be punished for breaking biblical commands. Homosexuals have the right to practice homosexuality and have parades and practice their freedom of speech. They should not be stopped from doing so or mistreated for doing so.
However, they do not have the right to force Christians to bow down and serve them. Christians have been persecuted by the American government for not serving gays. Bakeries have been forced to bake wedding cakes. Photographers have been forced to photograph weddings against their will. Now pastors are being silenced from preaching on the subject. That is homosexuals infringing upon other people’s freedoms and that is not okay. Owning a business does not mean you give up your freedom. Any company should have the right to refuse service to anyone. If someone comes into your store and is excessively rude, you have the right to make them leave. If they come in without a shirt and shoes, you can still say no service. It is un-American to force Christians to go against their beliefs for the homosexual’s convenience. Everyone has the right to believe whatever they want and no one should ever be forced to do anything against their beliefs. That is simply the freedom that America was founded on. Do I believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes. Do I treat them any differently? No. I have several family members that are gay. I’ve had coworkers that are gay. I don’t treat them any differently than I treat everyone else. You could point out almost anybody and I’m sure I could find things that we do differently or believe differently. That doesn’t mean I hate the whole person. I don’t hate gays, but I’m sure there are people who will insist I hate homosexuality if I don’t give my stamp of approval to that one aspect of their lives.
As a Christian, I cannot preach the message of the cross without preaching sin. I also can’t preach God’s love if I am nasty to people who do things I disapprove of. Jesus loves everybody. Homosexuals, all the sexually immoral, and all sinners have the opportunity to repent of their sins. Jesus can save you from your sins. Without Jesus you will die in your sins. Unless you repent you will perish. You will die and go to hell without repentance (Luke 13:5). God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. He wants everyone to repent (2 Peter 3:9). I’ve heard it said “People on earth hate to hear the word repent. People in hell wish they could hear it just one more time.” You are commanded to repent (Acts 17:30-31). Repentance is not a bad thing. It’s a cleansing thing. It’s a beautiful opportunity to come closer to God. It’s an opportunity to be saved. We are living in a day and age that the word repentance offends people. There are churches who don’t preach repentance, but the bible teaches repentance.
Mark 6:12 So they went out and preached that all should repent. (NET)
Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NET)
Acts 26:20 but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with repentance. (NET)
Romans 2:12-13 For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those that hear the law that are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. (NET)
Romans 3:20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. (NET)
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (NET)
1 John 1:8-10 If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. (NET)
Hebrews 10:26-27 For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies. (NET)
What should we do with homosexuals? Love them. Respect them. Treat them just as you do anyone else. Show them the love of Christ. Invite them to church. Let them come to know the love of God. If they choose to believe in and follow Jesus, then teach them about sin and lead them in repentance. No one ever comes to church because they are made to feel bad about who they are or how they are living. As Christians we must speak truth, but we must do so in love.
For more on salvation, you can check out my book The Subject of Salvation by Leanna Mae Sexton at http://www.leannamae.org/the-subject-of-salvation.html