Can the Bible be interpreted in such a way so as to affirm, rather than condemn, the Gay lifestyle? Only a generation ago Christians of all denominations would have almost unanimously responded to this question in the negative. However, we have witnessed a major culture shift within the past few years, especially among millennials. A poll conducted in 2021 by the Pew Research Center indicated that presently 70% of Catholics and 36% of Evangelicals now affirm the homosexual lifestyle. 
Is this recent shift based upon a careful reexamination of the Scriptures on the subject, as some like Matthew Vines would have us believe in his book “God and the Gay Christian,” or is it in fact a suppression of the truth of Scripture in order to justify a sinful lifestyle? How do the Gay advocates explain the numerous passages which have traditionally been understood to be unequivocally condemning of all homosexual activity of any kind? In the following two blogs I will be briefly considering the arguments presented by Vines and others to the effect that God actually approves of homosexual activity as long as it is limited to a committed, monogamous relationship.
Before considering the six primary texts which present homosexuality in a negative light, in this blog I would first like to respond to three superficial arguments commonly presented: 1) The Bible only forbids homosexuality a few times, so it must not be that important, 2) Jesus never condemned homosexual activity, so neither should we, and 3) The term “homosexual” was only recently invented and is therefore unbiblical.
1) The Bible only forbids homosexuality a few times.
I have commonly heard the whole teaching of Scripture against homosexuality swept aside by comments like: “There are only 7 verses out of 31,102 verses in the entire Bible which speak against homosexuality, so it is obviously not that important to God.” Although there are actually more than 7 verses which speak against homosexual activity in the Bible, it is true that not much attention is given to the subject in Scripture.
However, this is a totally fallacious argument. How many times must God forbid something for us to obey? Bestiality is only mentioned 3 times. Does that mean that bestiality is okay? Certainly not! The reason why these activities were not frequently mentioned is because they were regarded by the Jews as abominable acts and rarely practiced. The only times they are mentioned in the Law of Moses is in the form of a prohibition against imitating the abominable practices of the Gentile nations around them (Lev 18:22-29).
Believers are being forced to address this subject more today because Gay activists have become more aggressive in promoting homosexuality in our society and even within our churches. However, as a child growing up in the church in the 1950s, I cannot remember the subject ever having been brought up anywhere. I don’t recall even being aware that there was such a thing as same-sex attraction until I did time in a correctional institution at 12 years of age. The only reason we address the subject more today is because it has become more prevalent in our society.
So, the reason why homosexual activity was not frequently addressed in the Scriptures, is not because it wasn’t an abomination before God, but simply because it was not commonly practiced among the Jews of that time. If homosexual activity had been as common as illicit heterosexual activity, it would no doubt have been mentioned just as frequently as adultery was.
2) Jesus never condemned homosexual activity.
Perhaps the most commonly repeated statement is: “Jesus never condemned homosexual activity so neither should we.” However, that is an argument from silence and in no way indicates that He approved of homosexuality. To argue, for example, that because Jesus only said that looking at a woman to lust after her was adultery, without also condemning same-sex desire, he thereby affirmed homosexual desires, is non-sequitur reasoning.
Again, the primary reason why there is no record of Him explicitly addressing the subject is because homosexuality was so clearly understood to be an abominable practice among the Jews from what is stated in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, and it was so unheard of among them, that the subject never needed to be addressed by Him.
No doubt, if someone were to have brought up the subject, He would have responded saying something like, “Have you never read in the Scriptures?” or “you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures,” just as He did on other occasions. Neither did He speak directly against incest or pedophilia, but very few would argue that He therefore condoned those practices. So, His silence on the subject should not be construed as an affirmation of homosexual behavior, since He consistently affirmed the entirety of the Old Testament Scriptures (Matt 5:17-18; Matt 4:4).
However, while Jesus did not make use of the same terms specific to homosexuality that Paul did, He was not entirely silent on the subject. He indicated that, out of the heart of men proceed fornications (Matt 15:19). The word “fornications” (πορνειαι, porneiai) is in the plural form, which would include all forms of fornication. The term porneia is a general term, including all forms of illicit sex. In Kittlel’s exhaustive 10 volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, he demonstrates from secular Greek sources that porneia included homosexual activity. In fact, the substantive πορνos (pornos) means “male prostitute.” Male prostitution (LXX πορνευων, porneuon), was also something specifically condemned in the Old Testament (Deut 23:17; 1Kings 14:24; 15:12).
Additionally, when asked about divorce, Jesus reminded them of God’s original design of a one-flesh lifelong relationship between a male and a female:
“And He answered and said to them, Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female (ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ, arsen kai thelu),' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife (γυνή gune, lit. “woman”) and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate… 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality (πορνείᾳ, porneia) and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." (Matt 19:4-6,9)
Jesus here says that, in the beginning God made them male and female, and for that reason a man is to unite with a woman in a lifelong one-flesh union. Man with man or woman with woman is a violation of God’s established order in nature (Rom 1:26-27). The man-woman union in holy matrimony was designed to be complementary in a way not possible in a homosexual relationship. In Genesis 2:18 the word “help meet” in Hebrew is neged ezer. Neged simply means “a mate or counterpart.” The husband-wife relationship is, by divine design, between two who are different emotionally, and physiologically and yet complement or complete one another.
Apart from the fact that it is not possible for a homosexual union to fulfill God’s injunction to multiply and fill the earth, the needs of a man, both emotionally and sexually were intended to be fulfilled by a woman and vice versa. God’s design in marriage is between male and female, husband and wife. I have heard dominant homosexuals refer to their passive mate as their “wife.” But the Greek language does not allow for that, since the word for “wife” (γυνή, gune) is gender specific, also meaning “woman.”
The female vagina was perfectly designed to receive the male penis, but the rectum was not designed for penetration, and the health consequences of violating God’s natural design are many and severe. Anal sex ruptures the membranes, propagating blood transmissible diseases such as AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, as well as syphilis and other venereal diseases. The risk of anal cancer is 20 times higher than average among HIV negative homosexual/bisexual men and 40 times higher in those who are HIV positive. 
So, when Jesus reaffirmed the male/female one-flesh design fixed at creation, He made it clear that the only God ordained sexual union was the male female union between a man and his wife ((gune “woman”). He also said that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality (πορνείᾳ, porneia), and marries another, commits adultery. We have already seen that porneia covers the whole spectrum of sexual sins, from adultery to homosexuality. Therefore, it is not accurate to say that Jesus was entirely silent on the subject of same-sex relations.
3) The term “homosexual” was only recently invented and is therefore unbiblical
Gay advocates point out that the word “homosexual” didn’t appear in any version of the English Bible until the first edition of the RSV came out in 1946. Since then, most modern translations have also rendered ἀρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoites) as “homosexual.” What is the justification of the translators for this recent change of terms?
Prior to 1869, when the word “homosexual” was first coined by the Hungarian author Karl Kertbeny, the English language did not have a precise equivalent to terms used in Scripture such as arsenokoites and malokos. I will be examining the precise biblical meaning of terms such as these in the next blog. But in brief, modern biblical scholarship agrees that the term “homosexual” better expresses the actual meaning of the original words which prohibit relations between persons of the same sex than the words previously used such as “sodomites” and “abusers of themselves with mankind.”
I believe that it would be more precise to define arsenokoites as “a practicing homosexual” since “homosexual” alone could give one the impression that they are sinning just by having homosexual thoughts and desires. One is not an adulterer or a murderer simply because they are tempted with thoughts of adultery or murder. In the same way, we need to distinguish between the temptation to commit a homosexual act, which is not sin until one surrenders their will to it, and one who has actually given himself over to the homosexual lifestyle.
Neither should we categorize someone as an arsenokoites or a malokos just because they struggle and fall from time to time. We all succumb to temptation in certain areas of our lives, but what makes the difference is that we do not embrace or justify our sin. As Solomon said: “Although a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again.” That is what marks the difference between a righteous man or woman, and a practicing homosexual or adulterer, etc.
In the next blog we will be considering briefly the six primary passages of Scripture which address the subject of homosexuality (Genesis 19:5; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; and 1 Timothy 1:10). Do the revisionist arguments presented by the Gay advocates merit a redefinition of the historic position of the Church on the subject of homosexuality? While it is easy to feel overwhelmed wading through their extensive and nuanced argumentations which are primarily derived from secular sources, I hope to demonstrate that the Bible speaks clearly on the subject when we simply compare Scripture with Scripture and allow Scripture to define its own terms.
Since I have people who are very close to me whom I love very much who have identified themselves as Gay, over the past few years I have poured over volumes written by Gay revisionists in an attempt to understand how they justify their homosexual lifestyle. However, without wanting to be judgmental, I can’t help but conclude that they are simply unwilling to acknowledge the plain truths revealed in Scripture because they don’t affirm their sinful lifestyle. I am reminded of the words of Paul in Romans 1 where he speaks of those “who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them” (Rom 1:18-19).