Does the Bible condemn homosexual orientation as sin?
The Bible is somewhat ambiguous about orientation as such, only because that language is relatively new language. So you are not going to find a specific verse that talks about orientation. What the Bible does say clearly is that to perform same sex acts—to engage in homosexual practice or behavior—is sin.
What the Bible does say clearly is that to perform same sex acts—to engage in homosexual practice or behavior—is sin.
Leviticus says that a man should not lie with a man as with a woman. In Romans, Paul talks about exchanging natural relationships—men with women—for unnatural ones with persons of the same gender. In 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1—a vice list of sins—one of the sins mentioned is men who practice homosexuality. So the emphasis clearly is on the consciously chosen activity of homosexual intimacy.
What does that say about orientation? Well, it would certainly suggest that the sexual desire for somebody of the same gender is sin, if it arises to the level of lust (just like lust for somebody of the opposite sex would be sin as Jesus says in Matthew 5). And I think we go a little farther to say that the desire itself—the kind of attraction—is disordered, meaning it’s not the way that God designed things from the beginning.
Offering readers a valuable resource for thinking through a contentious issue, this timely book by award-winning author Kevin DeYoung summarizes the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality and responds to popular objections raised by Christians and non-Christians.
Now having said that, there are many desires we may have in the Christian life that are disordered and all of us need to come daily to God in repentance for all sorts of desires.
So is homosexual orientation sinful? I wouldn’t want somebody watching this who has a struggle with same sex attraction to think that they are beyond the pale of God’s mercy or forgiveness. At the same time, I want them to know that Scripture clearly says that to act upon those attractions and to engage in that behavior is sinful.
That word is an unusual word. It’s a new word; we don’t know of any other instances of the word until Paul coins the word in 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1.
A thoughtful answer to a question that we all—sooner or later—may need to face, and how to honor Christ with our response.
How to respond biblically to the question of natural-born homosexuality with grace and truth.