Homosexuality – Sin or Not?

I just watched a program on same sex marriage – in the Anglican church and the split that is happening there. I want to get at the heart of this issue. I hear this Anglican bishop mentioning it is a ‘sin’ and it is ‘not okay’. Yet the actual church, by majority, has found it to be ‘okay’. Here are some of the arguments: 

(a) Nowhere in scripture is same sex marriage blessed

(b) Paul outright disassociates himself with it in Romans 1

(c) Jesus never mentions it – but yet mentions marriage of man and a woman 

(d) Homosexuality is not a biblical term

(e) John and David had a very close relationship

(f) Jesus actually does not outright mention this aspect of life 

I know bits and pieces of the argument but I would like to hear your opinion as to why this is a sin or why it is not. My mind leans towards treating all people equally irregardless of the issue at hand – and even then it effects me very little (not being gay and all). I tend to not see it as a sin – mainly because gay people are quite normal. 

But where do they attend church then? Should they not? If we are all sinners – then how is it any different for someone ‘gay’? What makes being gay an actual sin? What biblical argument is to be defended or seen as the standard? 

***Don’t worry I won’t judge you concerning your opinion – I just want to hear it so I can make some further sense of the issue.

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9 thoughts on “Homosexuality – Sin or Not?

  1. VS,

    There needs to be distinctions drawn with this topic that usually aren’t. I believe homosexuality is a sin, but how this works its way out in how people are to be treated, how churches should deal, etc, is a bit tricky.

    In Leviticus 18 God declared men lying with men as an abomination (as this chapter does with many things), and that all the things listed in that chapter cause the land to be defiled and that anybody who does those things will be cut off from their people. Paul in 1 Corinthians 6 declares that homosexuals (among the list of other things, too) shall not inherit the kingdom of God, but that some of the Corinthians used to be/do those things. So, in short, I have no problem believing that sexual acts between same genders is sin.

    But I believe the actual act is the sin (with the addition that lusting in the heart is too).

    There are too many false dichotomies set up in today’s thinking. The belief that equates “believing it is a sin” and “hating gays” is absurd. One can believe it is a sin without hating people. Contrasting “homosexuality” with “heterosexuality” is another, as if heterosexuality in and of itself was not a sin.

    Jesus never mentioned it because it wasn’t prevalent in Judean culture. Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel, not to the Gentile nations. Paul did mention it because he was sent out to the Gentiles where it was prevalent. There’s no evidence that David and Jonathan had a sexual relationship.

    As to which gender somebody might be “attracted”, this isn’t the issue as I see it. Jesus offers forgiveness for sins committed; sexual sins; regardless of the gender makeup, and offers cleansing from sin.

  2. Paul in 1 Corinthians 6 declares that homosexuals (among the list of other things, too) shall not inherit the kingdom of God,

    Depending on the Bible translation you’re using (some of the modern ones — NIV, Amplified, for example — do use the term; but many others — KJV, Concordant Literal, Young’s Literal, Darby,… — don’t).

    The original Greek words used in the passage are “arsenokoites” and “malakoi” — neither of which translate to “homosexual”.

    The first one translates to “male beds”, and (based on history) may’ve been a reference to the practice of older men keeping younger boys for the purpose of sex. (In the story of the centurion in the Gospels, I’ve read of the idea that the “son” of said centurion may’ve been a kept boy.) Coincidentally, this is the only passage in which “arsenokoites” appears in the entire New Testament.

    “Malakoi”, on the other hand, means “soft”, which could also be taken to mean “effeminate”, in the context of the passage. However, it could also be a reference to those who are “soft” in their attitudes toward sin or justice, IMO.

    Jesus never mentioned it because it wasn’t prevalent in Judean culture. Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel, not to the Gentile nations.

    On the flip side, the Leviticus passage (which was part of the Holiness Code, which — IMO — Christians are not bound to) was directed to Israel, not to the “Gentiles”. If you read that particular verse, the key phrase (for me, at least) is, “…as with a woman”. Culturally, women were (in general) subordinate to men; they were less equal. Plus, in pagan (read: unbelieving) cultures/regions, men sleeping with male prostitutes or whatnot was common. In regards to a man sleeping with another man “as with a woman”, one of the men would have to become subordinate. He would have to surrender his control, his power, to one of his equals, as if he were a woman. I can imagine that, to a man of that era, and particularly to an Israelite male, that would’ve been shameful. I think that may’ve been why that particular law was introduced (also the other bit about being “put to death”).

    * * * * *

    (a) Nowhere in scripture is same sex marriage blessed
    This is true. And, FWIW, it’s not cursed, either.

    (b) Paul outright disassociates himself with it in Romans 1
    I’m not too sure about that. I think the Romans 1 passage is more Paul giving a “what-if” scenario in regards to what happens when people become locked up in stubbornness in regards to their faith, using cultural references the Roman Christians could understand.

    (c) Jesus never mentions it – but yet mentions marriage of man and a woman
    *nods*

    (d) Homosexuality is not a biblical term
    Nope. The term didn’t exist until the late 1800s and first appeared in an English version of the Bible (Amplified) only about 50 years ago.

    (e) [Jonathan] and David had a very close relationship
    But was it sexual? I’m not 100% sure (though I can understand where those who believe it may’ve been are coming from).

    (f) Jesus actually does not outright mention this aspect of life
    Never. His emphasis was more on how people treated each other.

    I think you can figure out that I don’t believe homosexuality is a sin. 😉

  3. We all will have to let go of our sexuality when we die, so why make it a big deal while we’re alive? I love women and I’m glad I found one who loves me. But I’m not going to demand of St. Peter (to use an iconic image) that I have to get laid or else I’m not going in. Frankly, I’m tired of hearing homosexuals complaining that they aren’t accepted as homosexuals. The question is not being accepted, but accepting Christ as Lord. It is up to HIM if He is our Savior. It’s up to US if He is Lord. All else is a worthless dog-and-pony show. Regards.

  4. Interesting, Shelley! I think you’re a good thinker. I know in my own experience, I’ve been told it’s a “worse” sin than other things (yeah, by a pastor). Crazy! That concept is totally unbibilical. I think “we” have pulled this activity out because it’s easy to underline because most of us don’t struggle with it. (I think that’s a true statement; don’t quote me on that). I have homosexual friends, and getting to know them (rather than rallying around a nameless, faceless cause) has made me re-think this whole thing. If God loves everyone, and if we are all sinners … doesn’t my excess weight make me unfit for the kingdom? Doesn’t my judgmental tendencies add me to the damned? Like Steve said, if we’ve going to outline Leviticus as a way to live, shouldn’t we be willing to accept ALL of it — not just pick and choose?

    Sorry … no real answers, because I question this, too. I do know I’m not the one to answer this question, because I’m not the judge, you know? My responsibility is to love, regardless. If I want to be like Jesus, I need to love and restore, right?

  5. Societyvs

    It is my understanding that most of the scriptures used to bash homosexuality are actually about, Rape, Idolatry, Pederasty and Prostitution. Those seem to be far removed from a Loving Homosexual coupling. By the way, arent we all ‘Gay” once and a while. Happy go lucky that is. 😉

  6. Societyvs

    You know the more I study biblical stuff, from a “Christian” perspective, I realize how Whacked it is. I mean look at its basis. We are all Sinners in need of help. Rather than looking at the duality of our natures, which is both 50% Good and 50% Bad, Christianity focuses on our Shit. How dysfunctional is that?

  7. “Malakoi”, on the other hand, means “soft”, which could also be taken to mean “effeminate”, in the context of the passage. However, it could also be a reference to those who are “soft” in their attitudes toward sin or justice, IMO. (shelley)

    I have trouble accepting this view. For a couple of reasons; (1) “soft on sin” does not fit in the context of the other sins that Paul is listing, which are more sexual in nature. So, viewing it as being “soft on sin” does not fit in well with the context of the statement Paul is making and; (2) if it is interpreted “soft on sin’ then the alternative or the non sinful act is to be “hard in our attitudes on sin”, which is not such a good thing.

    As for the question at hand, it seems that it is the act of homosexual intercourse that is the sin, which may also be the same standard for adultery that Paul is using. Adultery not being adultery until the act of sexual intersourse is committed. Therefore being a homosexual is not sin, but it becomes sinful when an act of homsexual intercourse is commtted. Of course, if Paul is only referring to pedophilia then this whole argument is blown out of the water.

    Anyways, in Paul’s list are also idolatry, sexually immoral, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers. Yet this group of “sinners” will in no way be treated as harshly by churches (and by society in general) as the homosexual.

  8. I had a whole long thing wrote out – and then my comp crashed – now that blows.

    Basically what I said was – I am not sure I will ever understand the issue completely to say a lot about it. I am not gay and do not quite understand what people in that community think and deal with…I really should sit down with some gay people and ask the questions I have…maybe one day.

    I thank everyone for their perspective on the issue – some people feel the action is a sin – some do not. I am not sure where I am on this issue personally – I like gay people – I get along with them great – but I know the biblical arguments seem to be against a man and man lying together (which bothers me less than woman/woman for some reason – I know – you can booo me now). Must be the mental image culture we live in these days.

    All I know is at the end of the day – no matter which I tend to think on this issue (sin or not) – I will treat gay people with the utmost respect and courtesy – since they already have it hard enough from family members and others practically dis-associating with them. There is an aspect of mercy in me that has to be embraced when dealing with people that suffer.

  9. John T. rawks as always…

    my answer to your question: “What makes being gay an actual sin? ” is the same thing that makes being heterosexual a sin.. mainly lustiness and multiple partners.

    loving, long-term commited relationships is the goal.

    RAWK

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