I recognize that in a postmodern culture such as the Western world today, homosexuality is considered a “tough topic.” This is why I’ve chosen to include it in the Tough Topics series. I’m not writing this to be controversial or bigoted or intolerant or whatever you may wish to label me. I have had homosexual friends in the past & I am simply trying to present a historical Christian view to this issue.
While much could be said about this topic, consider 3 questions with me as you read this today: What is a sin? Is LGBT the worst sin? and how should you respond to homosexuality?
1. What is Sin?
This word “sin” has basically become a word which makes many non-Christians cringe as it brings pictures of hateful Christians standing on the streets repeatedly yelling this word (and variations thereof) at everyone who walks past.
It should be first noted that a sin is any thought/word/deed that goes against God and His will. Sin starts in the heart and then manifests itself through certain courses of action. For example, a person may be violent because they haven’t dealt with some anger in their hearts. The first sin was from Adam & Eve when they took the fruit, the heart issue was that they thought they would be fine without God.
I hope you would see that sin is much more than simply doing bad/wrong actions. It is utter rebellion towards the Creator God. The Bible tells us that we all sin & fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). According to this word “all,” this means that Christians sin like everyone else who isn’t perfect.
2. Is LGBT the Worst Sin?
According to our definition of “sin” that we all know we do, where does something like homosexuality fit in? The Bible defines for us what counts as sin, so let’s look at just 2 of many examples:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Timothy 1:8-11 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted
At first glance, you may be wondering why I quoted these 2 pieces. If you look closely, you will see that “those who practice homosexuality” is included in a long list of many other sins. It is by no means the emphasis of the entire paragraph.
The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin, but it is not said to be the worst sin of all sins. I think non-Christians picture every Sunday morning’s sermon to be called “homosexuality is a sin!” I have been to a number of churches and I can assure you that this is not the case. Quite frankly, most Christians rarely sit around and discuss this topic at all.
What makes homosexuality different from the other sins listed is that it is one of the only sins that is celebrated by our secular postmodern culture. It is not Christianity who places the emphasis on homosexuality; rather, it is our culture today. While culture may simply be indifferent to many of the sins listed, some of them still strike us as “wrong” or “sinful.” For example, when was the last time you saw a pride parade for men who cheated on their wives? It doesn’t happen & this is why homosexuality is different but not ultimate from other sins in the Bible.
Very briefly, the reason why the Bible even says homosexuality is a sin is because God created us & He created marriage. He defines marriage, not us. When He created us, He tells us how to live in accordance with our own design. It is like a car manual that tells you how to keep the car running properly. God tells us that sex is for a man & woman inside marriage. Polygamy, sex outside of marriage, and homosexuality violate God’s will and our own design. The Christian view is that when we go against God’s will, we are actually missing out on God’s best for us and an even greater joy.
Answer: No LGBT is not the worst sin.
3. How Should You Respond to Homosexuality?
Firstly, ignore people like Westboro Baptist Church who do not represent the Bible or Christianity. Christians are called to love their neighbour (Matthew 22:36-40). That means that no matter what someone’s beliefs, religion, race, or sexual preference, we are to love & serve these people even though we disagree with their views.
Secondly, heterosexuality does not send someone to Heaven; therefore, homosexuality does not send someone to hell, sin does. The only way anyone can be saved is to stop assuming that good actions will save them. Jesus is the way to get to Heaven & not by being a good person or being even a heterosexual person. The Gospel of grace is much bigger than everyone’s sins. We are saved by grace through faith, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Lastly, if you’re a non-Christian and you’re still reading this and you’re upset because I’ve concluded from the Bible that homosexuality is a sin, then I would ask you to consider the resurrection of Jesus. Why? Because if Jesus did not rise from death then He’s not God. If He’s not God, then why does anything He say even matter? He taught some good things, but he also taught other things which you are right to reject because He has no authority over these things. BUT, if Jesus did rise from death then we have to take the whole Bible seriously in its context (context, context). We can’t pick and choose to create our own religion that we’re comfortable with. We can either accept everything Jesus taught or reject everything Jesus taught, but we can’t pick and choose the things we like.
– Tyson Bradley