In 2015, the Supreme Court of the USA ruled that same-sex marriage is to be recognized and licensed by its 50 states, making same-sex marriage legal in the country. In 2019, same-sex marriage became legal in Taiwan, the first country in Asia to legalize it. In Singapore, there have been repeated calls to abolish Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexual acts between men. While the government has not yet abolished Section 377A, it does not actively prosecute those who are in violation of it.
The voice of the homosexual community has grown louder year by year, and it has garnered many sympathizers and supporters. Those who do not approve of the homosexual lifestyle are often labelled as prejudiced and “homophobes.” What should be the Christian’s view towards this growing movement?
1. The Biblical Viewpoint
Firstly, we need to consider: who gets to decide whether homosexuality is acceptable or not? If the society gets to make that decision, can the people also make similar decisions with regards to other sexual acts like incest or bestiality? If the community was to one day decide incest is acceptable, does incest therefore be right? If we were to rely on man’s wisdom to decide what is right or wrong, we are going to get ourselves into big trouble! In the end, it is God alone who sets the standard for morality. Hence, we must consult His word to figure out the right standard.
The Bible clearly shows us that homosexuality is a lifestyle that is not acceptable to God, ever since the beginning of time. Under the Patriarchal age, we see God’s judgment upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah: these 2 cities were punished because of their wickedness in following after the sin of homosexuality (Genesis 19:1-9; Jude 7). Under the Mosaic age, we see in the Law of Moses the prohibition against the practice of homosexuality, the penalty being death by stoning (Leviticus 20:13). Under the Christian age, we learn from the law of Christ that homosexuality is one of those wicked practices that would hinder us from entering the kingdom of God.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
2. The Genetic Viewpoint
Many who defend the practice of homosexuality assert that the disposition towards homosexual behaviour is natural, just as a person’s skin colour is attained naturally and genetically. Since a person is supposedly born with such a sexual orientation, it would then be unfair to discriminate against him. Many scientists have performed various studies to “prove” that homosexual behaviour is influenced by our genetic make-up. However, these studies are controversial at best.
A few years ago, scientists embarked on a big project to map the entire human genome sequence. At the end of the study, it was concluded that there was no such thing as a “gay gene;” rather, it is said that our sexual orientation is affected by a complicated mix of factors. It should be obvious to us that homosexuality cannot be genetically attained. After all, genetic traits are passed down from parent to child: we inherit our genetic traits from our parents. Since homosexuals generally do not produce offspring, would not this genetic trait quickly die off very soon by natural selection? Instead, we see the practice of homosexuality persist with time.
If homosexuality were indeed natural, it would be unfair for God to condemn it. Yet, we know God is not a God who is unfair or unjust (Acts 10:34-35). The Bible teaches us that the practice of homosexuality is unnatural.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Romans 1:26-27)
Jesus Himself taught that, from the beginning, God has designed the marriage union to comprise of one man and one woman: this is God’s perfect design (Matthew 19:4-6). Any sexual relationship that happens outside of God’s design (e.g. polygamy, adultery, incest, bestiality, homosexuality) falls under the sin of fornication.
3. The Christian Viewpoint
Since we have determined from God’s word that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle, then Christians must flee from such a practice! As hard as it may be for a person to alter his sexual preferences, we know that God does not allow us to endure any temptation that is overly difficult to overcome.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Some of the Corinthian Christians had been involved in homosexual practices too; however, they were washed, sanctified, and justified by the grace of God, and they were able to change their lifestyles (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
How should Christians approach individuals who are engaged in homosexual practices?
We should approach them just as we do with any other sinner. On one hand, we do not tolerate their sinful practices, since we know that God hates sin, and sin brings terrible consequences (Revelation 21:8). However, we ought to give them opportunity to know the gospel of Jesus. God loves all men, and wants everyone to be saved!
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)
Jesus Himself often spent time with sinners, in the hope of bringing them to repentance (Mark 2:16-17).
The best thing we can do for any sinner is to point Him to Jesus.
May all men realize their need for the gospel, and obtain the salvation that is available in our Lord Jesus Christ.