Some of today’s denominational churches are putting a stamp of approval on homosexuality. Some even have “gay clergy” members, as they are called, claiming that Jesus never condemned homosexuality. Is that true? If one cannot find an explicit statement from Jesus such as, “Thou shalt not commit homosexuality,” does that mean Jesus approved of homosexuality?
First of all, Jesus condemned homosexuality when He condemned fornication (Mt. 15:19; cf. 5:32; 19:9). The word “fornication” (from the Greek porneia) is a broad term encompassing various sexual sins, including homosexuality. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines this word as: “1) illicit sexual intercourse; 1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.” Note also that man must have authority from Jesus for every action (Col. 3:17; cf. Jn. 12:48). Even if Jesus did not explicitly condemn something, that action is still sinful if it violates principles in His Word, or if it is not authorized by His Word.
Second, Jesus taught that from the beginning of God’s creation, marriage and the physical intimacy therein was for one man and one woman (Mt. 19:3-9; Mk. 10:6-8). In fact, since “all things were made by Him” (Jn. 1:3), Jesus is the one who made the first man and woman! As someone once said, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” The fact that Jesus Himself made one man and one woman speaks volumes about what He desires. That is the type of union He approves–not two men or two women being united as “one flesh.”
Third, Jesus’ ministry was during the Law of Moses, which called homosexuality an abomination: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Lev. 18:22). The Hebrew word translated as “abomination” means something that is “disgusting…an abhorrence” (Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon). The term “sodomites” (from the sin of the city of Sodom, Gen. 19) occurs several times in the Old Testament, and always with a negative connotation (1 Kin. 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kin. 23:7). Although Jesus had a new Law to institute that would be different from the Law of Moses, one never reads of Jesus saying anything like this: “Ye have heard it said that sodomy was an abomination, but I say unto you that it actually pleases God.”
Fourth, “the Law of Christ,” which began after Christ’s death (Gal. 6:2; Heb. 7:12; 9:15-17), explicitly condemns homosexuality in many places (Rom. 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:10; Jude 7). The broader term “fornication” which includes homosexuality is also condemned repeatedly (Acts 15:29; 1 Cor. 6:18; Gal. 5:19-21, etc.). “Sodom” occurs 48 times throughout the Bible, and one of the New Testament writers, Jude, said that what happened to Sodom should be a reminder to all future generations: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7). Remember that every New Testament writer wrote by the authority of Jesus Himself, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, who, by the way, was sent by Jesus! (Jn. 16:7, 13; 17:8; 1 Cor. 14:37). Therefore, every Word of the Bible is inspired, whether “red letters” or “black letters” (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 3:16). Again, the New Testament Law of Christ explicitly condemns homosexuality.
Fifth, Jesus compared His destructive return to the destruction of Sodom, and made no apologies for what happened to those of Sodom or for the punishment of the wicked upon His return (Lk. 17:29, 30; cf. 1 The. 5:1-3; 2 The. 1:7-9). He loved all men enough to die for them, including homosexuals, but He only saves those who repent and obey Him (Mt. 7:21-23; Lk. 6:46; Acts 2:36-41; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Heb. 2:9; 5:9).
All of us have sinned, and whether the sins involve homosexuality or not, any sin is deadly and separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2; Rom. 3:23). Christ is the only hope for any of us! (Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12). Rather than being conformed to the deceptive “love and tolerance” of the world, true followers of Christ will allow their minds to be transformed by His Words (Rom. 12:1-2), understanding that true love often involves correction and repentance (Rev. 3:19).
One thought on “Did Jesus Condemn Homosexuality?”
Thirty years ago, I was an active member of a congregation that was just starting to consider whether it would condone gay marriage. I did not want to deal with this question. As it happened, the Lord had business for me far away, and I moved. The congregation proceeded to embrace gay marriage. I was glad I had escaped the issue. Still glad.