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The Bible & Homosexuality – Part 3

posted Jun 10, 2015, 10:16 AM by First Baptist


In this series of articles, we are considering the major biblical passages dealing with homosexuality. Last week, we looked at Genesis 2:22-24. Today, we continue with the Old Testament and two similar passages in Leviticus.


Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Leviticus 18:22


If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Leviticus 20:13




These two verses are part of the so-called Holiness Code. The Holiness Code begins in Leviticus 17 and continues through the end of the book. The reason it’s called the Holiness Code is because it details how the Israelites were to live as God’s holy people.


Absolute & Unqualified


You’ll notice that the prohibition on homosexual activity is absolute & unqualified. That the activity might be consensual or part of a long-term, loving & monogamous relationship between two men (or two women) is irrelevant.


It is the activity itself that is “detestable.” This is a translation of the Hebrew word towebah, which means disgusting, loathsome or abhorrent. Disgusting to whom? To the LORD; homosexual activity is something HE despises!


Why does the LORD so despise homosexual activity?


God isn’t obligated to explain Himself, but we can surmise that one of the “problems” with homosexual activity is that it denies one of the main purposes of sex, that being procreation. Obviously, 2 men or 2 women can’t procreate.


Furthermore, homosexual activity is a violation of the created order (i.e., how God created & designed things to be). Without becoming too graphic, a certain body part commonly used in male homosexual activity was not designed for sexual intercourse, but for an entirely different bodily purpose. It’s not a coincidence that the habitual misuse of this body part has resulted in disease and suffering for millions of people.




The prohibition on homosexual activity in Leviticus is emphatic. However, it is frequently argued that the prohibition, and indeed the entire Holiness Code, only applies to the ancient Israelites, not the rest of humanity.


On the surface, this sounds like a powerful argument. But, we need to step back a second. The two passages in Leviticus tell us that homosexual activity is “detestable” (disgusting) to the LORD. Does it make sense that God would find an activity detestable only when engaged in by a certain ethnic group? That when other ethnic groups engage in it it’s perfectly acceptable, even admirable? That doesn’t make sense to me.


But, even if you could get around that argument, here’s the clincher:


As we’ll discover next week, the Old Testament prohibition on homosexual activity is affirmed in the New Testament. This should put to rest the notion that the prohibition is limited to a certain people for a certain time. Instead, this tells us the prohibition is timeless & universal – for all people in all ages.



Pastor Dan