What Does the Bible Say About Same-Sex Marriage?

14 10 2010

“What, exactly, is “sinful” about a loving, committed, same-sex relationship? Can anyone tell me what it is about this that makes it sinful, apart from just saying, “God said so”? In other words, we can no doubt come up with all sorts of reasons why murder, adultery, incest, lying, stealing, lust, etc are “sinful” which don’t rely solely on “God said so.” So what is it about a same sex loving relationship that is “sinful”?

. . . Scripture has nothing to say about “same sex relationships” as we know them today. Not a word. All 6 times it comes up in the Bible they are unanimously about cultic worship, abuse or rape. None of them have a loving, mutual relationship in sight.

I find it untenable to take a stand on the idea that just because a “counter example” is not given in Scripture then the one interpretation you land on regarding those 6 passages must be universal in nature. It really undermines the authority of Scripture and here is why: It suggests that every jot and tittle in the Bible has universal implications, meant for all times and all places, EXCEPT for those places where the Bible contradicts itself. IOW, Paul’s admonition that women remain silent in ALL the churches is universal for all times and all places (normatively) BUT, since we have an example of a woman speaking in church, THAT particular command is contextual, not universal. It sets the Bible up as some systematic book that actively seeks to confirm what is universal and contradict what is not. And then we are left to sort through this “encyclopedia” to figure out which is which.

The point is – even if there were not an example of a woman speaking in church, I would hope we’d come to the conclusion through the Spirit’s leading that Paul’s words were contextually construed and meant for a particular time and space. The issue is more murky with slavery, since slavery is upheld all throughout Scripture and nowhere is it said to be sin to own slaves. So for the church to now take a stand against slavery in all forms is really to go against the moral world of the Bible – the same one you try to construct when it comes to homosexuality (which again, has nothing to do with same sex relationships).”

Click here for the response to this (part 1).

“I believe you are reading in possible connotations and then extrapolating to mean that the passages are limited to those connotations. This seems illegitimate to me because:

1. From the beginning (where ANY discussion of sexuality should start) the male-female relationship is presented as the essence of what sex is to be. It wasn’t that man needed a “helper” (as many translations unfortunately render the Hebrew ‘ezer) in the sense of “another human for companionship”; man needed woman in order to be able to fully express the image of God, which the initial overview of creation specifically declares the “Image of God” to be (Gen 1:27). The joining of man and woman in sex is what creates the “one flesh” concept…the concept that Jesus Himself appealed to when discussing sexual ethics in the NT. In Scripture, EVERY TIME sex is EVER spoken of in a positive, joyful and holy way, it is ALWAYS spoken of as involving man and woman in lifelong covenant (even in the racy, titillating, and variously-interpreted erotic poem known as Song of Songs).

2. Whenever same-sex sexual relationships are mentioned in Scripture, they are ALWAYS and EXPLICITLY deemed to be outside of God’s plan for sex. One can argue that “the Bible writers didn’t know about committed, loving, non-exploitative” same-sex relationships, but that is a HUGE assumption that requires a heavy burden of proof when the passages in question never discuss or emphasize motives on the part of the transgressor.

. . . What’s also interesting is that the one time Jesus does actually speak to a situation that may in fact include people with same-sex orientations (the discussion of eunuchs in Matthew 19), he specifically says that it is something many people find hard to accept, yet the denial of one’s sexual desire or a life consisting of “normal” marital happiness must take a back seat to a life of faithfulness to God if need be. THIS is the heart of what it means to be a disciple…”

Click here for part 2 of this discussion.

“The entire book of Leviticus is primarily about proper liturgical worship… The point of Leviticus 18 then is not to condemn homosexual behavior outright but about forming a sort of people that are distinct from the modes of worship their pagan counterparts practiced. Sex of any kind in a worship service was something that Yahweh abhorred.”

Click here for a response to this (part 3).

Quote from Gagnon’s debate with Dan O. Via in ‘Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views’:

“Jesus was quite clear when he stated with respect to sexual expression that it was better to go into heaven maimed than to go to hell whole-bodied (Matt 5:29-30). In other words, one must take up one’s cross, lose one’s life, and deny oneself in the sexual facet of life as indeed in all facets of life (Matt 16:24-26, from Mark 8:34-37; cf. Matt 10:39 // Luke 17:33; Matt 10:38 // Luke 14:27 // Gosp. Thom. 55.20; John 12:25). Denial of strong sexual urges, even to the point of abstaining from any sex that does not conform to New Testament standards, can feel like a near-death experience. Such is the the road of discipleship, the way of the cross… [do we] really want to infer that fullness of life depends on the gratification of deeply embedded impulses of the flesh? I am not pushing for deliberate asceticism. But I am arguing that the rigorous call of discipleship quite often requires that we forego the satisfaction of many desires and wants in order to fulfill God’s will for our lives and the lives of others. Those who are homoerotically inclined do have a cross to bear. I have no desire to minimize that. At the same time, I would not paint the situation in the bleak colors that Via chooses, for reasons already stated. Joining them are millions of heterosexual persons who also, for one reason or another, have to forego a satisfying, sexually intimate union. We all bear crosses. It is inevitable. If it is not sex it will likely be something else. Sometimes when it comes to doing God’s will the flesh goes only kicking and screaming. So be it. It must go. The experiences of Christians worldwide and across centuries confirm the testimony of Jesus that it is in our interest to take up our crosses. What emerges from that obedience is beautiful forming of Christ in us, the hope of our glory.”

This is a quote by Gagnon (from his critique of Jack Rogers’ article ‘How I Changed My Mind on Homosexuality’):

“The notion that ancient Israel, early Judaism, and early Christianity only marginally held an other-sex prerequisite for valid sexual unions is absurd. Biblical texts that explicitly reject same-sex intercourse are more numerous than Rogers is apparently aware of. They extend beyond Paul and Leviticus to the “Yahwist” (much of the Tetrateuch), Deuteronomy, the “Deuteronomistic History” (Joshua through 2 Kings), Job, Ezekiel, Jude, and 2 Peter. Texts that implicitly reject homosexual unions run the gamut of the entire Bible, including not only the creation stories in Genesis 1-3, Jesus’ appeal to Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 as prescriptive norms (as well as a half dozen other indications of Jesus’ view), the Apostolic Decree in Acts and other porneia (“sexual immorality”) texts, and texts that reject overt attempts at blurring sexual differentiation (e.g., Deut 22:5; 1 Cor 11:2-16), but also the whole range of narratives, laws, proverbs, exhortations, metaphors, and poetry that presume the sole legitimacy of heterosexual unions. Nowhere is there the slightest indication of openness anywhere in the Bible to homoerotic attachments, including the narrative about David and Jonathan. The truth is that, so far as extant evidence indicates, every biblical author, as well as Jesus, would have been appalled by any same-sex intercourse occurring among the people of God. The other-sex prerequisite for marriage is not a marginal view in Scripture. It is the only view and one that is held strongly, absolutely, and counterculturally. There is as much, or greater, basis in Scripture for rejecting same-sex intercourse than there is for rejecting man-mother or brother-sister incest.”

Click here for the full response.

Here are some pics I took at the same-sex marriage celebration I went to with some friends at North Hollywood Park on August 4, 2010:

A few Christians (with differing opinions) talk about homosexuality:

Tony Campolo speaks about same-sex marriage rights:

‘The Cross and the Sword’ sermon series by Greg Boyd


“I was ignorant of the many facts about homosexuality and what the Bible says about it. Yet, without facts, I had pre-judged it; I was prejudiced. With little thought I had read into the Bible what I presumed it ought to say instead of reading out of it what it did say. My idea of not needing to study the subject was pure anti-intellectualism. I am now grateful to God that He led me to study.”

One. Homosexuality is an unchangeable nature; it is not a lifestyle choice.

Two. All people are created in the image of God. The homosexuality of gays and lesbians, created by God, is good and not evil.

Three. The homosexual is just as normal a person as a heterosexual and should not be thought of in sexual terms.

Four. Several passages in the Bible speak of same-gender sex. In every instance, the Bible is talking about heterosexuals who, filled with lust, have become sex perverts. The Bible says nothing about innate homosexuality as we know it today or about people who are homosexuals.

Five. The burden imposed on homosexuals by society is a great evil. We should stand in revulsion against, and do all we can to oppose, the prejudice, the hatreds, and the condemnation of a society that make the homosexual’s life so difficult.

Six. Homosexuals are being sinned against by our churches. Like our society, our churches need to change.

Seven. Gays and lesbians in general have the potential for outstanding character and accomplishment; some may have greater potential than most heterosexuals to be exceptional persons.

Eight. It is not only unrealistic to expect homosexuals to live without sex, but also it is psychologically harmful to them for them to do so.

Nine. Full acceptance by society, including the blessings and legality of marriage should be extended to gays and lesbians in the same way it is extended to others.

Ten. As in society, gays and lesbians should be accepted and affirmed in our churches and given any opportunity for service, including ordination, that others have.

To read more on this click here.

FB group about Christians and homosexuality here.




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