Is Homosexuality a Sin?

Before I looked to see what the next section was of Corinthians, I was curious, given the recent events, if it would be the passage that talks about the sinfulness of homosexuality.  As the country talks about “what it means” in regards to the Supreme Court decision about DOMA, we stumble upon what the Apostle Paul had to say about homosexuality.  Indeed, here it is.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

It intrigues me how similar our society is to the society that was seen in Corinth.  Fornicators: one who has sex with multiple people.  Idolaters: on who worships anything other than the one true God.  Adulterers: those who have sex with those outside of marriage or simply those who do not have faith in God (unfaithful). Effeminate: a male prostitute, usually one who is a younger boy or dresses as a woman.  Homosexual: one who “abuses himself” by having sex with another man.  These were all the things that were happening in Corinth as a result of the presence of Aphrodite’s temple.  Paul continues.  Thieves: not just those who steal money but more importantly, false teachers who use their religious position to make money.  Covetous: one who is constantly seeking “more” whether it is material things or relationships with others.  Drunkards: one who is always intoxicated with something (wine, drugs, etc).  Revilers: one who criticizes in an abusive or angrily insulting manner.  Swindler: one who extorts and steals money.

 

Homosexuality is a sin.

Absolutely.  But we must not forget the rest of the list.  Do we revile against homosexuals while in secret we are thieves and drunkards?  Do homosexuals claim to be Christians: followers and believers of God the father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit?  How much do we idolize people and things in our lives?  Everyone has coveted something they didn’t have and may have even worked hard to get it with envy and lust for something that really doesn’t matter.  It really saddens me when I witness people judging homosexuals and they don’t even realize that they are committing sins as well; they are all lumped together.

 

All of these are chasing after the world.

After reading through Ecclesiastes and now through Corinthians, which had to be written as a result of not heeding Solomon’s words, I see how each of these elements that Paul lists is a result of desiring worldly things.  Lusting after people or things, desiring power and money, even cutting those down who you don’t think are worthy of something are all direct results of brokenness and sinful hearts.  We are all guilty of sin as a result of worldliness, regardless of what we call it.

 

There is hope.

Paul tells his audience, “some of you did these very things,” but through the salvation of Christ, they no longer we in that slavery of sinfulness.  This is exactly what it is because none of those things satisfy for the long term.  In the moment and short term they might seem revolutionary, exciting, and “exactly what we are looking for” but the reality is that all of these activities are a result of us acting outside of our design.

I hope we don’t lose sight of what Paul is getting across here.  He isn’t talking about pointing our fingers at those who do these things (that’s reviling, remember?).  But he is also saying that these things are not the fruit of the spirit.  They are not evidence of a changed life living for and following Christ.  Anyone who tells you differently needs to read their bibles more, especially this chapter.  Paul instructs us many times about how to handle people caught in these lives of sinfulness.  Does this mean they can’t come to church?  Does this mean you shouldn’t associate with them?  He said in chapter 5, 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

How far have we fallen from this?  Churches are not only proclaiming homosexual Christians but also letting them be supposed leaders!  Pastors are tickling our ears so they can boost their pride with higher attendance and filling their pockets.  Folks are being misled into what salvation looks like and aren’t experiencing the freedom of Christ.  We either have ridiculous pride and let nobody hear the Gospel of Christ unless they act a certain way or we tell them that their lives won’t change much but at least they will “feel good” about themselves.  How we have distorted the message!

What about your life is contradictory in relevance to this passage?  How have you pointed the finger at one sin but ignored your own?  How have you forgotten that you were once caught in the same slavery?  How much do we forget that these are the very people that Jesus hung out with so He could show them what real freedom and joy looked like?


2 thoughts on “Is Homosexuality a Sin?

  1. I have a few questions to ask, and I look forward to a response.

    1. What do you feel about making laws regarding homosexual acts (making them illegal, specifically), and about outlawing same-sex marriage?

    2. What do you think about reparative therapies, such as Exodus, or ex-gay movements?

    3. Do you believe homosexuality is innate? Based on your post, I cannot tell whether you think it is a choice to be attracted to the same gender or not, but it is clear that you find the actions to be a choice. If the trait is innate, in your view, but acting on it is a choice, how does that reconcile with the way humans are designed (i.e. to seek out companionship and affection)?

    I’m interested to hear your views on this.

    P.S. Which translation of the New Testament are you using?

    1. Brandon,

      Thanks so much for your questions! Sorry I haven’t had time to give you an adequate response until now. Here are my responses:

      1. What do you feel about making laws regarding homosexual acts (making them illegal, specifically), and about outlawing same-sex marriage?

      This is a very interesting question for me because I feel as if I am still trying to figure out how Jesus would respond to it, lol. So far, however, I feel as though the laws won’t make a whole lot of difference as far as the actions of people. We can see this in the “war on drugs” in America as opposed to different laws around the world that even if laws make something legal or illegal it doesn’t necessarily curb behavior if the people want to do it bad enough. While making homosexual acts (or lets say, to make it more practical and pertinent, homosexual marriage) legal may lend some to be more comfortable or “accepting” with it, it won’t necessarily change someone’s mind to be gay or not. Governing laws are meant to serve the people and if the people want to have abortions, take drugs, or participate in homosexual marriage and the government is designed to be a reflection of the people, then it should continue doing so. I don’t think dictating that homosexuality is illegal is going to stop people from having homosexual desires. Furthermore, making it legal isn’t going to convince someone to do it if they don’t have the desire in the first place.

      2. What do you think about reparative therapies, such as Exodus, or ex-gay movements?

      To be honest, until this question I never heard of Exodus or “reparative therapy”. My response, therefore, will have limited knowledge of their actual work (short of just reading mission statements). However, given my experience with other similar programs with biblically based “help groups” I think that 1) it can never be forced upon anyone because it would be ineffective and if someone sees homosexual desires as something they need help with, then I’m glad it’s there to help them.

      3. Do you believe homosexuality is innate? Based on your post, I cannot tell whether you think it is a choice to be attracted to the same gender or not, but it is clear that you find the actions to be a choice. If the trait is innate, in your view, but acting on it is a choice, how does that reconcile with the way humans are designed (i.e. to seek out companionship and affection)?

      I believe that just like all the other sins listed in this post, homosexual desires are a result of the brokenness through the introduction of sin in the world. We are designed to be relational, but our sinfulness causes us to seek satisfaction outside of our original design. Our first relationship is to be with God. Our sinfulness tries to guide us to fill that void with other things and as we continue to listen to the deceptions of the enemy, we continue looking in the wrong places. Even once we are in that relationship with God, we are constantly bombarded with lies and tricks to pull us out of it. I use the analogy of the “God Shaped Hole” (I believe this has been used by others as well) that there is a void in our soul that can only be filled properly by God because we were designed to live in communion with Him. Unfortunately, we try to fill it with other things and on the deepest of levels, are never satisfied with anything other than when He is the one who is there. It’s like trying to jam a jigsaw puzzle piece in a certain place. Sometimes it’s easy to tell the piece doesn’t fit and other times it just barely fits if we force it. We secretly know it doesn’t fit but we pretend it does and concede that it’s better to leave the improper piece in than take it out and find the right one. This theme is what I have seen as the main message in Solomon’s Ecclesiastes and what Paul is revealing through his letters to the Corinthians. Solomon tried all the pieces and wrote us a report. The Corinthians are in the process of putting the puzzle together and society keeps throwing random pieces at them. Paul is trying to help them fit the puzzle together.

      P.S. Which translation of the New Testament are you using?
      New American Standard. I really like the amplified bible, but it can be cumbersome to read, so I use and online database of the original text for seeking the original meaning the author intended.

      I look forward to your responses! I’d love to hear what your perspective is on the same questions you asked me. Thanks again for engaging!

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