What does the Bible say about Homosexuality? The Christian faith and Homosexuality have always appeared to be on two opposite and extreme ends. Even in this new modern era, there are hate groups that use religion as an excuse to be homophobic and act against the LGBTQ+ community.
This raises the biggest question, does the bible teach people to spread hate toward a community? Is it justified for people to harm others in the name of their religion? Does the Christian community Still believe that Homosexuality is a sin? Today we’ll take a deep look into the bible and its teachings about Homosexuality to answer these questions once and for all!
1) Can the Bible be Taken Literally?
There are no easy answers to this question since there are believers who take these words literally. The Bible says many things that aren’t relatable or applicable in the world we live in currently.
There are people in high positions promoting the idea of taking the words of the bible literally. For instance, the bible says that god created males and females. Nothing more nothing less, this compromises the whole issue of an individual’s gender identity.
In this new era, people have found the liberty to identify with the gender that they are comfortable with instead of their biological gender. This is the most amazing thing about this new era.
Being more accepting of ourselves and those around us makes the world a better place. But this sentiment itself contradicts the teachings of the bible. As it Emphasizes inclusion and accepting everyone while clearly stating that there are two genders period.
The worst part about taking the bible literally is that people can use it’s saying just to win an argument or force their agenda onto others. Let’s say there’s a Homophobic senator and he/she wants to convince others to believe that homosexuality is a disease or something unnatural. They can simply bring in religion and make the whole argument about how same sex relationships and same sex marriage is wrong.
This can lead many Christians to believe that they are fighting for a good cause if they are supporting homophobic ideology because following the bible is the ultimate commitment to God’s word.
2) Impact of Homophobia on the LGBTQ+ Community
Now after taking a look at the whole agenda of people wishing to be a “good Christian” by denying someone’s identity, how does it impact the people of this community?
The worst-case scenario is for people who have devoted Christians and are also a part of the gay community. From the biblical interpretation and the whole community, they are constantly reminded of how they are the ones who are sinning. It doesn’t matter if they are good citizens, if they are gay they are sinners. This can have a life-changing negative impact on a person.
Such experiences and constant reminders that somehow you are a bad person in the eyes of God and the people you believe in can be heartbreaking and unfortunately even now people face this situation. This can drive a person to the path of self-pity and hate.
People start thinking that they are doing something wrong, and that same sex relationships are the root cause of their misery. They start thinking that homosexual behavior is an act of sexual immorality.
This also makes psychological pressure on the person that they start hating this so much that at times they end up becoming homophobic themselves. And it’s just an addition to the problem.
There are thousands of new stories appearing daily about how a gay man/woman got married to a straight woman/man just to prove that they are straight. And once they realized that they can’t go on with the marriage it broke apart the family. These types of circumstances are destroying lives and it’s more common than you might imagine.
Another dark and twisted part of homophobia is bullying. Calling out someone to be a bad person because of their sexuality opens up opportunities for people who think they can do whatever they want in the name of religion and their beliefs. This has led to so many cases of bullying and some ended up with the person committing suicide.
We live in a new age of acceptance and inclusion but it’s still common for people to call someone a sinner based on their sexuality and declare them sexually immoral. It has driven people to such lengths that they end up being inside a closet and faking their preferences and at times getting married without any feelings for their partner.
3) What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?
The Bible is a vast resource of knowledge and a philosophical take on how we must live with ethics and preserve humanity. But It has also become a vessel for spreading hate. It’s used as validation by people who are racist, Homophobic, and even sexist. But does the bible promote something so hateful?
In reality, the Bible contains significantly less information regarding the topic of homosexuality. It covers so many bigger issues that in comparison there’s not a lot written about homosexuals. But the parts that do point towards the topic don’t outright describe Homosexuality as a sin. The most acknowledge story in the bible is of Sodom and Gomorrah
3.1) Story of Sodom and Gomorrah (GENESIS 18)
Genesis 18 explains the story of the City of Sodom. Once there was a man named Abraham, who lived with his wife Sarah. One day he was visited by three men and as soon as he saw them, he knew that they were special. They all were angels sent by god in the form of travelers. Abraham offered them food and requested them to stay in before they leave for their journey.
One of the travelers said that Sarah will give birth around the same time next year. But Sarah simply laughed because they both were old and she wasn’t expecting to get a baby. While the three individuals were leaving, Abraham decided to walk with them.
While walking the travelers said that they are heading to The City of Sodom and Gomorrah which is known to be an evil place filled with men committing indecent acts.
They said that if the city is indeed that evil, they will eradicate it. But Abraham pleaded with them to hold that thought since in the process of eradicating an evil place they’ll kill Good people as well.
Abraham argued that just because sin is great, would god punish the few good souls in it as well? The travelers and Abraham get into a wager and finally, the Angels agree that if they find even 10 good people in the City of Sodom, they will spare the rest of them.
(This conversation hints towards the fact that God already knew that there weren’t even 10 good people in the city of Sodom.)
Two of them visited the city of Sodom and they were greeted by a resident of Sodom named Lot who was the nephew of Abraham. Just like Abraham, Lot felt that these men are divine and he bowed down when he saw them.
He offered them to stay at his place, but the angel said no. However, Lot insisted they stay for their protection because he knew how dangerous it’ll be if they stayed outside. These two men were also striking as different which would grab the attention of a crowd. The travelers agreed to go with him.
It was about the time when they were going to bed, but during this time the word spread quickly in the city that two handsome men were seen in the city and they were tracked down to Lot’s house.
A huge crowd of men from every corner of the city of Sodom, old and young, started banging on the door of Lot’s house demanding to “know” these travelers
(Here “Know” doesn’t mean a simple “hello how are you?” It’s hinting towards sexual abuse, the entire crowd wished to sexually assault the travelers)
Now, after hearing the crowd demand such things, Lot refused to open the door. He tried to dissuade the crowd. However, his way of turning them away was extremely questionable.
Lot told the crowd to leave the men alone and instead of having sex with them, they can have sex with his two virgin daughters. Which is still a crime! This man offered his own daughters to get gang-raped by the whole city.
While the whole crowd’s motive to commit something so miserable is disgusting but Lot offering his daughters is equally disturbing.
The crowd refused to do so, and said that Lot is an outsider, he doesn’t have the place to be the judge. They threatened Lot that they’ll do worse things to him if he didn’t hand over those men.
The Angels pulled Lot back and struck the crowd with blindness. They told Lot to leave with every person he cares about and told him that they are planning to destroy the city.
But in the end, Lot leaves with his wife and two daughters. After they leave, the Bible describes that the city was engulfed by burning Sulfur. Thus everyone who lived in the city was destroyed.
3.2) What Does the Story Imply?
Clearly, the main reason that the city was burned to dust wasn’t because of the homosexual acts shown by the crowd but because they were totally corrupted individuals filled with sinful desires.
When the men of the city of Sodom came down to Lot’s house, the bible describes it to be the crowd of men from every part of Sodom both young and old. This means the whole village was a part of this misconduct.
The crowd said that they wanted to know the travelers which means they didn’t care who it was, they just wanted to have sex with them. Regardless of their consent. So, it’s not just homosexual practice, it’s practically homosexual rape.
So this means that God wasn’t angered because they wanted to have intercourse with men but because they wanted to sexually assault some strangers.
On a side note, the major reason why they spared Lot’s life was as a favor to Abraham. Since Lot was willing to offer his daughters which is exactly the same thing as agreeing to let these people have non-consensual sex.
Whatever the case might be it did not directly declare homosexuality as a sin. But the act of sexual assault is a sin.
3.3) What Is Sodomy?
Sodomy is a word thrown around quite often. People think it means homosexual intercourse, but in reality, it has a different meaning. In the bible, the word Sodomy appears many times, but it literally means the sin of Sodom.
It also establishes that any sexual activity done without the aim of procreation is Sodomy. Which broads it to oral sex or even sex with condoms. It doesn’t simply refer to gay sex.
Even later on it’s used to denote forceful or non-consensual sex of any gender. This is when it starts getting a bit confusing. If the Bible didn’t say that homosexuality is a sin, how did we get here?
4) Different Contexts of the Bible
The thing that matters the most when you read The bible is context. For instance, what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah?
In the situation where the entire city was trying to gangrape two angels, it’s a disturbing action. Not because it involves men who practice homosexuality but because there is a huge crowd prepared to force down someone who is not willing to have sex.
Another thing people say about the bible being against homosexuality is that God made us in his image. And he created a man and a woman to become one.
Here the bible doesn’t establish a fixed and permanent situation. Even though it glorifies that marriage is between a man and a woman, it doesn’t outright say that marriage between two men or between two women is supposed to be looked down upon. That’s something we added ourselves to. The cultural context of the new testament is more direct with same-sex couples.
Leviticus 18:22 says that a man shouldn’t lie with another man. This is a widely used saying by people who want to condemn homosexuality. But this statement was made under some different context, and it was entirely situational.
Here it’s hinting that a sexual relationship between an older man and a young man is an abomination called pederasty. It was also said under the context of declining family lineages and health issue
However, this “Medical risk” in homosexual activities can only mean anal sex. According to some surveys, there is one-third of the heterosexual community that enjoys having anal sex, So shouldn’t this be pointing toward their medical risk as well?
With every new Testament, the underlying issue is sexual exploitation done by older men to young boys. While the old testament law was more liberating. It directly condemns any and every relationship that is driven by the lust to consume instead of a loving and mutual relationship.
The term homosexuality wasn’t even a thing back then, so it wasn’t the focus of the stories written in the Bible.
In the New Testament Romans, 1:18-32 has relatively more information regarding the takes of the Bible on Homosexuality. Since it did become a part of Greco-Roman culture. Here Paul starts making a statement to God that the entire humanity as a whole is unrighteous and this needs to be pushed towards salvation. He also talks about homosexual offenders.
Paul explains how he came to this conclusion by pinpointing three things, one of which states that people have rejected God’s knowledge and efforts by turning natural relations into “unnatural” ones.
One clear thing is that God didn’t desire people to have Homosexual relationships. But this does not imply that homosexuality is the only thing that God didn’t desire. Paul highlighted it as “unnatural,” but that word itself is based on the actual course of someone’s nature.
Let’s say a Heterosexual man with a wife is having intercourse with another man; this describes the unnatural phenomenon. For this man, it was natural for him to be with a woman, but he went against it despite having a wife.
From this point of view, it means that Paul isn’t speaking against every homosexual but only against people that go against their original identity.
However, his takes on homosexuality also showed that any homosexual activity is a sign of contradiction to God’s purpose for humans.
Either way, it’s applicable for every individual that when they reject God, they wish to do things they aren’t designed to do naturally.
Paul’s words aren’t directed towards homosexuals but everyone that goes against the natural course of life (and yes, that means even using a condom because it prevents procreation).
Just like this, several instances in Romans 1:18-1:32 are directed toward a vast crowd, but it’s often thought to apply to homosexuals alone.
5) So, Is Homosexuality a Sin?
No, that’s the simplest answer. It’s not a Sin to be Homosexual, according to the bible. The things that are sinful are forced sex between any gender, Any relationship that’s based on the foundation of lust and greed instead of Love and care, and The sexual advantage taken by older men from young boys who aren’t old enough to understand the concept of consensual intercourse.
Another Significant matter is how it’s considered unnatural for a man to be in a relationship with another man and a woman with another woman.
However, Homosexuality is considered a part of the unnatural course of life chosen by people. Using birth control, getting divorced, and polluting the environment, all these things fall under the category of “unnatural.”
But those issues are not highlighted by people in comparison to Homosexuality. The Bible written once has been translated many times, and every time it has established the lives of a devoted Christian in the old times. These rules and statements were made according to the times. And we are now ahead of them.
The Bible also believes in gender-based roles, which would put women back to the worst times. And yes, Woman empowerment can also be counted as “unnatural” if seen from Paul’s viewpoint.
This is the main reason why The Bible’s teachings should be taken to a certain level but not literally. It wouldn’t make people devoted Christians but prominent haters.
Anyone who is in a loving relationship, with mutual feelings, and with an understanding partner, your gender doesn’t matter.
Being homosexual has never been a sin in the eyes of God, it’s a sin in the eyes of people that don’t want others to live a life of honesty and confidence in who they are.
The Bible is not a promoter of homophobia; it’s just a book that gives people a righteous path to follow. It’s like a tool that can be used for both good and bad, so it’s mostly about the people who derive its meaning based on their convenience.
The Bible doesn’t have a single point of view. It doesn’t have a consistent ideology of how to live your life. It’s something that establishes meaning behind everything from multiple points of view.
But the most important thing for us as a society is to move forward. Why do people wish to pin down the old chapters of our History? What’s the need to take anything “literally” if it becomes a source of hate?
The Bible, including other Holy books, talks about a time in history that faced calamities of insane proportions, and following the words of a prophet was the only right path.
But this is the 21st century; we need to look forward to making a better future instead of sitting on the same rules made for people thousands of years ago.
This generation needs to move forward and make their paths by thinking for themselves and believing in things based on their experiences.
If you find something inspiring and motivational from holy books, that’s good. But if those words make you feel like a bad person, who needs to follow those words?!
It’s time to focus on bigger things and plan a better future, not go backward and ruin all the development we’ve made since old age.
There’s nothing more painful than hiding your true self just because you are scared of others’ judgment. But if you want to stress what the Bible says, it definitely doesn’t promote homophobia, it’s just homophobic people who do it for their own amusement!!