Homosexuality (Leviticus Chapter 18-20)

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Sex is God’s invention. It is He who created human beings male and female; He who told the first pair to be fruitful and to multiply. The New Testament even calls teaching that believers are to refrain from marriage, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the words of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5).

But sex has a specific and wonderful function in human experience. While pleasurable and exciting, sex is designed as a bonding experience: an expression of union and oneness to be known by a man and a woman who commit themselves to each other for life. Outside of this context of lifelong union, and outside the context of intimate self-giving, sexual activity will be destructive rather than constructive.

Leviticus Chapter (18) reflects this and even goes beyond it. It identifies certain sexual liaisons as “detestable things” which defile not only individuals but the society “the land” (v. 27). Included are sexual relations with blood relations and in-laws, sexual relations with animals, and homosexuality (versus 7-23).

This last practice, which the Old Testament text calls “detestable” is an issue today as gay men and women demand not just civil rights but to be recognized by society as persons who practice an acceptable “alternative lifestyle.” There are even openly homosexual clergy, who demand that their denominations affirm them as ministers of God and give congregations into their care.

The prohibition against homosexuality is not found solely in this one passage. Leviticus Chapter (20) expands on the sin and decrees the death penalty “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them” (Leviticus 20:13).

The New Testament Book of Romans speaks of homosexual acts as a “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.” “For their women exchanged nature relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:24-27). Whatever moderns say about homosexuality, the Bible clearly identifies this sexual practice as sin.

As Christians, living in a secular society rather than in Israel’s society under God, we can take a moral stand on what is right. But probably we will not be able to criminalize homosexuality. As for those outside the Christian community who practice it, their real spiritual need is for Jesus Christ. With them, we need to keep the focus not so much on this sin as on the message of forgiveness for all sins that comes with personal faith in the Savior.

But those who claim to be Christians and still demand a right to be homosexual must be challenged with a vision of our Holy God, who insists that all who have a relationship with Him depart from their iniquity, to live a holy and godly life.
God Bless You All!