Why Christians Can’t Affirm Homosexuality
What does the Bible say about homosexuality? In order to help us see what God’s Word says about homosexuality, consider six different “exchanges” that take place when we affirm or practice this sin. These “exchanges” explain why Christians can’t affirm homosexuality.
We exchange God’s pattern for our preferences.
Sin disorders our worship to where God is not supreme in our hearts. That’s the whole point of Romans 1:18-32. The reality is, any sexual sin, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual, springs from a heart that doesn’t delight supremely in God and God’s ways.
Interestingly, if you go back to Genesis 1 and 2, you see God’s pattern for marriage, which is clearly between a male and a female. The Bible very clearly and definitively shows us that this is God’s design. Everything else labeled as sexual sin in the Bible subverts this design. That includes sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman, sexual relationships between men and men, or sexual relationships between women and women.
We exchange God’s praise for our pleasures.
Sinful passions wage war in our souls because we’re born with a heart of pride. Though all of us have different biological heritages, we all have one common spiritual inheritance—sin. The Bible doesn’t leave room for anybody to say, “Well, God wouldn’t allow for somebody to be born with a bent toward a particular sexual sin.” The Bible says we are all bent towards sexual deviation.
If we shake our heads at conversations about same-sex marriage, but then we turn the channel to stare uncritically at a drama showing us adultery on TV, watch the trivialization of sex on the sitcoms, seductive images on reality TV shows, or virtual prostitution in advertisements, then we have missed the point. Our sins are not acceptable simply because they are the sins of the majority.
We exchange truth for tolerance.
To say that homosexual expression, or even heterosexual expression outside of marriage between a man and a woman, is wrong is to go totally against the grain of the culture. You would certainly be labeled “intolerant” very quickly. However, that statement in and of itself doesn’t make much sense.
It is self-defeating to say that I’m intolerant; in the process, you’re claiming your intolerance of me. Our culture is so sick of intolerant people that it’s not going to tolerate them anymore. In other words, people who claim to be tolerant are intolerant of intolerant people … which means they cannot tolerate themselves! This is foolishness that we’ve created in our thinking. There is such thing as truth.
We exchange the Word of God for the experience of man.
We have relativized the Word of God, saying that truth is actually dependent on what we think, what we believe, or what we want. This is the core of the issue when it comes to homosexuality. Even if there was nothing besides Genesis 1 and 2, we would see that this is God’s design. However, we do see clear pictures in Scripture that speak against homosexuality.
In Genesis 19 we read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. There the Bible gives us a glaring picture of homosexual sin referred to in Jude 7. There’s also the holiness code in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (See also Leviticus 20:13). Homosexuality is also identified as sinful in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, and Romans 1:26–27. To try to say that Scripture does not speak against homosexuality is to take the biblical text on an exegetical circus.
We exchange sexual responsibility for supposed rights.
Homosexuality has become a civil rights issue in many people’s minds. They’re all about debates over rights, including rights to sexual preference. My purpose is not to have a public policy debate. However, I do want to point out what’s not in the conversation that needs to be in the conversation in the church, namely, responsibility before God. At this point, we have exchanged what Scripture says about our desires for what science says about our desires.
The idea that prevails today is that science is serving the cause of civil rights. The bigotry of traditional Christian religion, it is argued, is against civil rights. Now, I’m not saying that the Bible is opposed to science. In fact, I’m confident the Bible is not opposed to truth in any form. But no matter what science says or science concludes about our desires—where they come from, how we get them, etc.—Scripture still speaks about those desires. And Scripture says improper sexual desire is immoral, not inevitable.
We exchange moral obligations for natural explanations.
There’s a lot of research being debated on all sides looking at what determines homosexual desire and behavior. Biological factors, social factors, environmental factors, emotional factors—all kinds of factors—play into each of us and who we are. But based on what we’re see in God’s Word, it doesn’t really matter what the research finally concludes (if it concludes anything.) None of the research determines the rightness or wrongness of one’s actions.
We assume that if there’s a natural explanation, then that implies a moral obligation: “If I am this way, then I have to act it out.” There is a mega-danger in that kind of thinking. Causation does not imply justification. The reality is, we do not always choose our temptations. So, there may be sufficient “evidence” that some of us are born with a tendency toward a particular sin. We don’t choose our temptations, but we always choose our reactions.
Everyone has struggles with sexual sin in some ways, but the Bible clearly gives us boundaries in which to live and restrain those things for the glory of God.
Editor’s Note: This excerpt is from David Platt’s teaching in Secret Church 11, “Family, Marriage, Sex, and the Gospel,” and has been adapted for the purposes of this article. Learn more about why Christians can’t affirm homosexuality.