So far in this series we have dealt with some of the arguments from the Harding ezine (you can read those posts here, here, and here). We have also begun a study of Scripture on the subject of homosexuality. We started with Creation, and established God’s ideal for human sexuality (you can read the post here). We next moved to the account of Sodom (you can read that here). From those two sections it is clear that homosexual practice is outside God’s will and results in God’s wrath.
Next, we will look at the two other passages in the Old Testament that deal with the subject. These are Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. The texts describe homosexual acts as an abomination. The word abomination means to abhor. It carries the same weight as to hate. This shows the seriousness of this sin in the Law of Moses.
The teaching of these passages is very clear. They condemn the practice of homosexuality as something God hates. However, this does not keep some from attempting to bypass the clear teaching and its implications. There are two primary ways used to accomplish this task.
First, they argue that homosexual sin in the Old Testament was connected with idolatry, or was not a part of a loving committed relationship. The argument is that homosexual sin is only sinful if the motive for the sexual act is sinful. This gets into ethical theory. In Christian ethics there are three ways something can be sinful. One, it can be intrinsically sinful, meaning participation in the act is sinful on all occasions. Two, is it is sinful because of the potential outcome. Three, it is sinful because of the motive for participating in the act.
The question is: into what category do these commands fall? Those who would say homosexual practice is okay in certain circumstances (i.e. committed loving relationships) would argue that what is being condemned is the motive behind the act. They would argue the condemnation is either because of idolatry or a non-love based relationship.
However, when you read the text, those arguments are nowhere to be found! In fact the form of the command is the same as the form of the Ten Commandments. It is saying that anytime this practice happens it is sinful. What is being condemned is the act itself. God does not delve into motive at all. No matter what the motive may be, the act is always sinful.
The second way people attempt to bypass these verses is by stating they are a part of the Law of Moses, and therefore not binding today. Now it is true that at the coming of Jesus a new covenant was made with mankind. It is likewise true that at times it is difficult to decide what should be brought over from the Old Covenant. In this case, though, the situation is not that difficult. As we will prove in the next few posts, the New Testament also condemns homosexual practice. I think it is safe to say that when an act is condemned in the New Testament, the prior Old Testament condemnation strengthens the New Testament condemnation.
Thus it is clear that the Old Testament condemns the act of homosexuality, no matter the motive for the act.