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What Did Jesus Say About Homosexuality?

Friday, October 12, 2018

The debate surrounding marriage is as old as Moses (Deut. 24). Homosexuality as well has had historic implications since Old Testament times (Gen. 19; Lev. 18:22, 20:13). Michael Brown contributes to the debate with a biblical response to the homosexual agenda in light of the institution of marriage (Gen. 3:18-24; Mat. 19:8; Deut. 24) and the argument of silence that supposedly supports tolerance of homosexual relationships in light of Matthew 19:11-12. If this were the times of the apostle Paul, he would say that any claim that the Bible favors homosexuality is not only false doctrine, but the discipline of homosexual theology is biblically incompatible.

From a historic-biblical perspective, the Bible calls out any sexual act outside of marriage as sin/unclean (Mk. 7:21-22; and homosexuality as an abomination (Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Gen 18, 19; 1 Cor 6: 9-10; Rom. 1:26-27). Like many other opinions, people everywhere and throughout time have proof-texted the Bible to suit their agendas. The homosexual community is no different. Their argument is from a position of silence in that Jesus did not condemn the lifestyle, as well as suggesting he acknowledged some people were born gay (Mat. 19:11-12). This argument is totally false. From as far back as the Pentateuch, the practice of homosexuality was both known and condemned. When the divine law was given in the Sinai desert, God was explicit with respect to certain behaviors:

You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not follow their statutes” (Lev. 18:3)

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22).

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death” (Lev. 20:13).

 God’s thoughts on the matter were set in stone at the onset of his covenantal relationship with the Jews. His views did not change by the first century AD when Jesus engaged his audience. If anything he provided them with a fuller meaning of the texts. It was unnecessary for Jesus to speak to the practice of homosexual marriage to that audience as it was already presupposed that marriage was heterosexual, and sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage was condemned. Besides, there was no such thing as “gay marriage or a gay agenda” in Jesus’ time. Considering the law put forth the penalty for homosexual practices, one would say that community kept it together. Jesus however, acknowledged that some people would (1) “lack the capacity to have sexual relations from birth,” (2) be castrated and therefore lack the ability for sexual relations, and (3) for the sake of the kingdom, become celibate.”[1] He was in no way speaking about being born gay as often referenced in Matthew 19:11-12).

            Furthermore, marriage is an institution between a man and a woman (Mat. 19:4-6). It is important to establish this. “From the beginning, the plan was male and female,” (Gen. 2:24) not male and male. Suggesting that marriage should extend to gays is a complete disregard for God’s original plan. “For Jesus, male-female distinctions expressed aspects of the image of God and were the foundation of God’s order and basis for marriage.”[2]

            Lastly, consider the continuity of Christ’s commands throughout redemptive history: To the Jews God explicitly said, “You shall not do…” (Lev. 18:1-6). To the New Testament audience, Jesus affirmed his authority as God (Jn. 14:9), later delivering explicit commands on sexual acts outside of marriage (Mk. 7:21-22; Mat. 15:18-20). Different times, same message. The word on homosexuality has not changed; it is still a sin. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul encouraged heterosexual marriage, but acknowledged that some would choose/be assigned a different path (not born gay), and for those who are married, they can expect challenges (Mat. 19:10; 1 Cor. 7). But just in case anyone should miss both the Old Testament commands and Jesus’ words, the apostle Paul posits that the practice of homosexuality is un-natural, leading to depraved minds (Rom. 1:26-32). It is within this depraved context that the gay community attempt to justify its actions.


[1]  Michael L. Brown, Can You Be Gay And Christian: Responding With Love And Truth to Questions About Homosexuality, (Lake Mary, FL: Frontline, 2014), 134-136.

[2]  Ibid., 133.

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Written by Dr. Kevin A. Hall.

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