What the Bible Says About Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage
I recently was a part of a rather lengthy blog comment discussion about same-sex marriage on the site of a liberal Christian. I noted that Genesis 2:24 was pretty clear what marriage was defined as, and that when the Bible mentioned marriage, it was always heterosexual. (Another commenter picked up on the idea that, even when polygamy is mentioned, it is one-man-many-women.; each of the women were married to the man, not to each other.) Every mention in history, in a parable, or even just talking about a particular married couple, it was heterosexual. There’s even a whole book (Song of Solomon) devoted to heterosexual marriage and the sexuality within it. But nothing–no press at all–on same-sex marriage.
And the mentions of homosexuality in general? Again, 100% negative. You can argue the contexts, I suppose, but every time homosexuality is mentioned, whatever the context, it is sin. I’m willing to listen to arguments as to where homosexuality is mentioned positively, or even neutrally, but I don’t recall ever hearing it.
I find this significant. The Bible talks about marriage quite a bit, and yet nothing at all about same-sex marriage. Now, the arguments against me included the idea that, while Genesis 2:24 says what marriage is, it doesn’t say what marriage isn’t. I found this laughable, and surprisingly legalistic for someone who, I’m pretty sure, did not appreciate legalists. In this particular case, it sounded like this person required that the commandment must include fine print and enough provisos worth of a car commercial. “This command should not be construed to permit situations such as, but not limited to, marriages of minors (under the age of 18), animals, toasters (including other mechanical and/or electrical objects), and/or siblings. Tax, tag, title and dealer prep extra.”
Another objection was that the Bible didn’t mention nuclear power, either, but we don’t take it as a handbook on that. Indeed,the Bible says nothing about all things nuclear, nor energy sources in general. But it does talk about marriage, a lot, and when it does, it’s all about the man and the woman.
I was also told that there were so very few verses at al that even talked about homosexuality that it wasn’t enough to really draw any concrete conclusions. This from guys who were literally ridiculing my point about 100% of the Bible talking exclusively about heterosexual marriage. Amounts only matter, it seems, in certain cases.
Anyway, that’s what the Bible has to say. Over the millennia, a lot of smart guys have looked at the issue and have come to the same conclusion.
Church history is crystal clear: Homosexual practice has been affirmed nowhere, never, by no one in the history of Christianity. . . .
Christianity is a tradition; it is a faith with a particular ethos, set of beliefs and practices handed on from generation to generation. The Christian tradition may be understood as the history of what God’s people have believed and how they have lived based upon the Word of God. This tradition is not only a collection of accepted doctrines but also a set of lifestyle expectations for a follower of Christ. One of the primary things handed down in the Christian church over the centuries is a consistent set of lifestyle ethics including specific directives about sexual behavior. The church of every generation from the time of the apostles has condemned sexual sin as unbecoming a disciple of Christ. At no point have any orthodox Christian teachers ever suggested that one’s sexual practices may deviate from biblical standards.
Concerning homosexuality there has been absolute unanimity in church history; sexual intimacy between persons of the same gender has never been recognized as legitimate behavior for a Christian. One finds no examples of orthodox teachers who suggested that homosexual activity could be acceptable in God’s sight under any circumstances. Revisionist biblical interpretations that purport to support homosexual practice are typically rooted in novel hermeneutical principles applied to Scripture, which produce bizarre interpretations of the Bible held nowhere, never, by no one.
This applies to a host of other churches and traditions, not just the orthodox ones. Ignore all of that collected wisdom at your peril. Indeed, sometimes there does need to be an overturning of established understanding (see: Martin Luther), but there had better be an extremely good Biblical foundation and argument accompanying it. The reasons I’ve seen so far trying to establish a Christian imperative for same-sex marriage could just as easily be applied to many other actions that the church considers sinful. Jesus loved the woman caught in adultery, and did not condemn here there, but told her to “go and sin no more”. He called it what it was and didn’t affirm her behavior just because it was forgiven.
We should do the same. The Christian Left will complain, but while they can come up with their own arguments, they have little (if anything) to stand on, biblically speaking. When the Bible speak of homosexuality, it is always negative, and when the Bible speaks of marriage is it always heterosexual. This is significant.
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!