Recent months have seen increased discussion about the permissibility of homosexual marriage. The public debate will probably continue for many months. For many who have a religious background the debate has gone beyond what is publically permissible to center on what the Bible teaches. Some churches have declared the Bible does not teach homosexuality is sinful. Some churches have become more ardent in their protests that homosexuality is sinful. With these issues certain to stay in the public eye for quite a while, it is necessary to answer the question, does the Bible say homosexuality is a sin.
The answer is really very simple. Yes, homosexuality is a sin. The Bible plainly and repeatedly condemns homosexuality. Jude 1:7 identifies homosexuality as one of the reasons Sodom and Gomorrha were destroyed. The Mosaic law specifically forbade any kind of homosexual behavior, including cross dressing. Romans 1:25-27 speaks of those who have rejected God and the punishment of their idolatry. “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.”
Romans 1 identifies homosexual behavior as the punishment of rejecting God. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle to be embraced, but Divine judgment that should promote repentance not rejoicing. 1 Corinthians 6:9 includes homosexuality, “abusers of themselves with mankind”, in the list of sins which will not be found in the true child of God. 1 Timothy 1:10 says that homosexuals, “them that defile themselves with mankind”, are behaving in a way that is opposed to truth.
These are the specific Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality. Added to this is the Biblical definition of the only category of permitted sexual behavior, that which occurs between and man and his wife. The commands against all forms of illicit sexual behavior always encompass homosexual behavior. To state the case succinctly, the Bible plainly forbids all sexual desire, fantasy or activity outside the relationship of a man and woman in marriage. God’s Word does not just condemn the action it condemns the lusts. How any one can attempt to offer legitimate argument against the Bible’s clear statements is rather baffling. The statements of the Bible are plain. The only way to read the Bible as giving anything other than a consistent condemnation of homosexuality is to make one’s own ideas and philosophies more important than the plain reading of the Bible.