What does the Bible say about Homosexuality?*
It’s not challenging to determine what the Bible has to say on this subject. Homosexuality makes several appearances within the pages of the Bible, and never in a positive light. But one of the most significant references is in Genesis chapters 13 and 19.
These chapters speaks of a city named Sodom about which we are told, “…the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.” Genesis 13:13 (NIV) We are not told specifically what the sin was, and in fact we have to wait until chapter 19 to discover the specifics of the sinful actions ascribed to the men of Sodom.
In that chapter, two men (who are actually angels appearing as men) come to Sodom and go to the home of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. The men of the city, knowing that Lot has house guests, attempt to enter by force. Why? Read it for yourself:
They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Genesis 19:5 (NIV)
Sodom became so associated with homosexual behavior that anyone who engaged in it was referred to as a “sodomite.” (Sodomy is a word still used today to define sexual activity between two men.) It should be noted that God destroyed the city of Sodom because of the sexual sin that was going on there.
But the New Testament makes the Bible’s teaching on this subject even more clear. The Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth said, “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, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9 (NIV)
The Greek word that the NIV translates homosexual offenders is actually the word “sodomite”—taken from the city of Sodom in Genesis 19.
Paul clearly says in the passage above that those who practice sodomy will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The next most necessary question to ask at this point is, “What should our Christian response be to the homosexual?”
Despite the fact that God destroyed the ancient city of Sodom, Christians are no where given permission to hate or despise anyone, regardless of their behavior. The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus died upon the cross for all sinners, and the motive for that act of mercy was simple: love. We’re told “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” (John 3:16) God’s love for mankind was perfectly expressed by giving His Son as a sacrifice of atonement on our behalf.
If, then, God loves the sinners of this world—which clearly includes our very selves—can we do any less? As Christians we are called to treat “sinners” the way Jesus did during His earthly ministry. A reading of the Gospels will reveal that Jesus spent time with them and ministered to them—even though abuse was heaped on Him for doing so by the Religious Leaders of His day.
This is the example that was left us. It is not one of condemnation and hatred, but rather one of love and grace, full of mercy and goodness. We must never forget that “…God’s kindness leads [us] toward repentance… Romans 2:4 (NIV)
Some people may consider it an act of cruelty to tell someone that they are involved in a lifestyle of sinful behavior. In light of the consequences, isn't a cruelty not to tell them?
*This question was originally posed as: What is Calvary Chapel’s view of homosexuality? Since Calvary Chapel has no view other than what is clearly taught in the Bible I decided to change the title accordingly.