Hermeneutics, Homosexuality and Holy Compassion

The ubiquitous and intrusive nature of gender ideology and woke culture has been a cause of theological capitulation in much of the professing church, specifically with its affirmation of homosexuality as a lifestyle compatible with following Jesus. Whilst this trend is hardly surprising, perhaps the more concerning trend is that of professing Christians claiming it is Scripture itself that attests to such an affirmation.


Mathew Vines in his book the God and the Gay Christian[i] remarks:  “My core argument is that Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm monogamous, same sex relationships.” Vine’s claim typifies much of the argumentation and dismissiveness logged back at Christians who are unwavering in their conviction that homosexual practices are sinful according to Scripture. Accusations of mistranslation concerning the word ‘homosexual’ or claims that the Apostle Paul was only condemning non-monogamous, or paedophile gay relationships are gaining traction in popular culture. But do these claims hold any weight?



The word Homosexual used in 1 Corinthians 6:13[1] is “Aresnokoitai”, it is a compound Greek word. “Arenso” male and “Koitai” meaning bed, the sexual connotations need no explanation. When Paul uses this word, he is drawing from the Septuagint, which is the Greek Translation of the Bible the early church used. This is where Paul is deriving his Greek vocabulary. Both these words Paul borrows are present in Leviticus 18-20.


In Leviticus 20 it reads if “there is a man who lies with another male as if he was a woman both of them have committed an abomination, they should be put to death”. Under Mosaic Law it was a capital offence. In chapter 18 it reads “you should not lie with a male as if laying with a female”. Genesis 18-19 clearly teaches sexual activity between two men is prohibited. The words are right next to each other in Leviticus 20 the word for man (“arsen”) and the word for bed (“koitai” or “koite”). The context of Leviticus 18 and 20 make it truly clear that Paul has in mind sexual activity between the same sex as being sin. Even if you think the definition of aresnokoitai is unclear, the practice of same sex relations is clearly described and prohibited in Scripture. No Jew in the first century would dispute any of this.


Moreover, this is ratified in New Testament, Romans 1, describes explicitly that gay sexual activity is sin. Romans 1:26-27 reads: “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” The insinuation that Paul is condemning merely paedophile homosexual relationships or non-monogamous ones, is pure eisegesis, foreign to the text and imposed by activists with an agenda. This is a universal, unqualified indictment of same sex relations. The Bible is clear that homosexuality is sin.



From my experience, much of the Church that affirms a Biblical sexual ethic have done its people a disservice with its handling of the topic of sexuality. It is often only spoken of from a negative perspective or treated like Pandora’s Box. “Stay pure before you get married” or “if you are fornicating, stop,” is often the extent of the teaching. This negative approach only breeds ignorance and stigma that eventually morphs into resentment and licence. If we are to proclaim the full counsel of God as we are called to, then we are admonished to present the positive Biblical picture of sexuality.


God is very much pro-sex! Sexuality is a gift from Him as it functions not only as the means of bearing children, but as an intimate bonding act between one man and one woman, cleaved together for life (Matthew 19:6). When Scripture records that Adam “knew” Eve (Genesis 4:1), the Hebrew word “knew” is ‘’yada.”  The word speaks of sexual intimacy and physical intercourse. But the word also denotes a multifaceted connectedness. It speaks of holistic vulnerability, to surrender one’s inner world, to be truly known by your spouse and to truly know them, emotionally, intellectually, and physically.


Sex is a beautiful gift from God that solidifies and reinforces this holistic ‘knowing’ within this heterosexual, monogamous covenant established by God (Gen 2:24). Homosexuality is a sin, for the reason, fornication, adultery, pornography, and polygamy is sin. They are all distortions of God’s intended purpose for sexuality and a perverted disintegration of true intimacy.



It is important to state that the Bible outlines for us realistic expectations when aligning with the purposes of God for sexuality. Nowhere in Scripture does God condemn someone who may identify as same sex attracted or homosexual in their sexual orientation. Tendencies some people claim are beyond their control. What the Bible does clearly condemn is those who practice homosexuality in both thought and deed as sin. It is perfectly possible for a Christian who is same sex attracted or who is homosexual in orientation, to live a life that is pleasing to God by choosing not to act on such depositions, as a set apart disciple of Jesus.


As the church it is incumbent on us to hold space for our brothers and sisters who struggle with gay dispositions yet want to faithfully follow Christ. We do this knowing full well that sanctification, like for all of us, is a process not an event. With patience, forbearance, kindness, love, and truth, we journey with our brothers and sisters who struggle in this area, extending to them the same grace, love and compassion our Lord undeservedly extended to us. We do this whilst still resolutely clinging to the reality that Paul described when speaking of the once homosexual Christians in the church of Corinth when he writes “such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).


Perhaps you are reading this article, and this is an area of struggle for you. My encouragement to you friend, if you have not already, is to connect with a community of believers you can trust and do life with. You were made for community (Hebrews 10:25). Your Christian walk is intended to be within the context of community, where mutual, love, support, edification, and accountability can take place. There is no freedom in isolation. Secondly confess within a trusted community of believers, perhaps a small group. We confess our sin and struggles to God for forgiveness. But we confess to each other for freedom, healing, and accountability (James 5:16). Darkness is vanquished when it is brought into the light. Thirdly commit to the journey. Ultimately, we are all in the same waka – sinners saved by grace who are in the process of becoming more like Him. Be grounded in the reality that you have been adopted into Sonship as a son or daughter of the living God, that the love He has for us is not based on our goodness but His faithfulness. But because He loves us, He calls and empowers us not to remain the same (2 Corinthians 5:17).


Ps Jake Stowers

On behalf of Fresh Truth Ministries – fresh.truth1711@gmail.com | www.freshtruthministries.com 


[1] All Bible references in this article are taken from the NIV Bible Translation.

[i]God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, Matthew Vines, Crown Publishing Group, June 16, 2015

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