Homosexual Behavior is Sin
The Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is immoral and as such is sin (Rom. 1:24-27, Lev. 18:22). Appeals to God's creation work and genetics do not justify homosexual relations, for even if in some cases the individual may not be responsible for the onset of the homosexual tendency, God's Word nonetheless obligates him or her to abstain from its practice in the same manner that it obligates an individual with normal sexual inclination to abstain from extramarital sexual relations. God does not approve the sexual relations of partners of the same sex and He does not bless such relationships. It is with good reason that the Bible warns against this sin. The increase of homosexuality and its acceptance has always been an expression of moral decline.-(LLC Position Statement, Section 4, Item 4)
Homosexuality-from the Closet to the Public Stage
Homosexuality is not a new development. Homosexual behavior has been found in human societies for thousands of years. Historically, the vast majority of societies, both Christian and pagan, have condemned homosexuality. Thus, homosexuals have largely kept their homosexu- ality “in the closet” and earlier generations rarely encountered the issue. Neither was it discussed much in the public arena.
In recent years homosexual activists and advocates striving for public acceptance and support for homosexuality have pushed the issue into the arena of public debate. After the U.S. Supreme Court in essence struck down sodomy laws in its 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, the issue of homosexuality, and homosexual marriage in particular, has erupted on the national stage and become one of the most prominent and controversial social issues of our time.
The LLC Position Statement makes three basic points with regard to homosexual behavior: (1) The Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is immoral and a sin, (2) arguments based on God's creation and genetics, even if they can be identified, do not justify homosexual relations, and (3) the increase of homosexuality is a sign of broad moral decline in a society.
Homosexual Behavior Is Sin
The Bible clearly teaches by both word and example that homosexual acts are sin. Homosexuality is alluded to in the Bible for the first time in the Book of Genesis where it is associated with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The men of those cities were described as “wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly” (Gen. 13:13). God sent His servants to see if what was said of Sodom and Gomorrah was true (Gen. 18:20-22). Those servants were not long in Sodom before the nature of the wickedness of the men of the cities was revealed: “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them” (Gen. 19:5). While the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were doubtless guilty of many kinds of sin, the fact that Sodom has given us a term, sodomy, that is used to generally describe both bestiality and a particular act frequently associated with homosexual behavior clearly indicates that this was the sin for which those cities were well known. Because of their wickedness, God finally destroyed those cities and their inhabitants in a rain of brimstone and fire (Gen. 19:24).
In addition to the example of Sodom and Gomorrah mentioned above, the Law of Moses forbade homosexual behavior and described it as an abomination: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Lev. 18:22). The writings of the Apostle Paul also clearly condemn homosexual deeds. The best known and most frequently mentioned example is found in Paul's Epistle to the Romans: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Rom. 1:22-27).
Possible Genetic Factors Do Not Justify Homosexual Relations
Homosexuals argue that homosexual orientation is caused by genetic factors, the result of God's creation. While no genetic cause has been clearly demonstrated, the view has nonetheless gained wide acceptance in our society. Homosexuals, and it appears many others as well, believe that a genetic cause also justifies homosexual relations. They reason that if the homosexual impulse is genetic, the homosexual cannot help him or herself and thus cannot be reckoned guilty of wrongdoing in fulfilling those impulses. This position assumes two things: (1) there is a genetic cause for homosexuality, and (2) a genetic cause justifies homosexual life, that is, it makes homosexual life right and acceptable before God.
The LLC Position Statement does not attempt to address the first question. God's Word does not provide a definitive answer, a yes or a no, with regard to the existence of a genetic factor for homosexuality. It is not the purpose of the Bible to answer questions about genetics, medicine, or natural sciences. God has given us His Word for another, nobler purpose. By His Word God shows us how He saves mankind from sin.
The claim that a genetic factor in homosexuality justifies homosexual life is contrary to God's Word, not on the basis of genetics, but because of its concept of man. The position assumes that man is no different than other animals, which are largely guided and subject to their biological impulses and not able to act otherwise. The Bible however teaches that man is fundamentally different than other creatures, for God created man in His own image and gave him a living soul (Gen. 1:26,27; 2:7). Man is thus a unique creature. Our own experiences also confirm this truth.
Because man is the image of God, man can hear God's voice in his conscience and God speaks to man in creation, the history of nations, the fate of his own life, and above all in His Word (Rom. 1:18-21; Ps. 19:1; Heb. 1:1-3).
When God had created the world, He looked on “every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). This included man. God's good work was however corrupted in the Fall. It corrupted God's image in man. As a consequence man's will and nature are now inclined to evil. He takes pleasure in evil and without God's grace and help lacks both the will and power to do good. Thus that which God has created for good purposes, man now uses for evil purposes. This includes even the most excellent gifts that God has given man: His Word, marriage, music, speech, knowledge, and so on. Man is not tempted to do evil because of his genetic composition, but because of his sin-corrupted will and nature. As James writes: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:13-15).
Whether or not there is a genetic factor at work in homosexuality is not relevant in determining whether homosexual behavior is right or wrong. Thus the Position Statement says: “Appeals to God's creation work and genetics do not justify homosexual relations, for even if in some cases the individual may not be responsible for the onset of the homosexual tendency, God's Word nonetheless obligates him or her to abstain from its practice in the same manner that it obligates an individual with normal sexual inclination to abstain from extramarital sexual relations. God does not approve the sexual relations of partners of the same sex and He does not bless such relationships.”
If there is anyone who understands man's sin-fallen nature and the power of sin, it is a child of God. We experience, as the Apostle Paul did, that we are “the least of all saints” and chief among sinners (Eph. 3:8, 1 Tim. 1:15). It does not mean that we accept or excuse sin, but we understand man's sin-corruption and have empathy for those who struggle also with the temptation of homosexuality. It, too, is a sin that God forgives and which can be overcome with the power of the gospel. A child of God, who by the grace of God has received much forgiveness, also wishes to freely give that which he has freely received (Matt. 10:8).
The Acceptance of Homosexuality Is a Sign of General Moral Decline
The rise of open homosexuality and broader acceptance of it in our time has been preceded by a decline of moral and godly life in our society. The sexual revolution of the 1960s, made possible by the development of effective birth control methods and their acceptance and widespread use, led to the loosening of norms governing heterosexual behavior in our society. It is not surprising, and in fact it was predictable, that homosexuals would seek a similar loosening of social norms.
At this point several states have already made homosexual marriage legal. It appears that it is only a matter of time before homosexual marriage is a fact of life in our society. In this environment, God's children truly feel discouraged and vexed like Lot, who dwelt in the wicked city of Sodom on the eve of its destruction (2 Pet. 2:7). God did not forget Lot but delivered him from temptation and from the destruction that fell upon the ungodly. He will also protect and deliver His children in these evil times. It pays to believe.