Updated: May 5
Please be advised- due to the nature of the topic, the content of this post is not intended for young audiences. I would give this a PG-13 rating.
For quite some time this topic has been on my heart and mind. I posted on it briefly in the past but was not satisfied with my previous analysis and ultimately took that post down. This time, I am going to try and be as thorough as possible when it comes to what the Bible says regarding these sexuality issues which are rising up at an extremely rapid pace among society.
I am not writing on this topic to start drama or join the general hype that surrounds the issue. I want people, especially young Christians who are struggling with their own identities, to be well informed. I want them to know that things regarding the LGBTQ community are not nearly as black and white or straightforward as society is implying. This issue is not going to disappear with time. In fact, it is going to grow. It is going to become more and more mainstream and we cannot be negligent in recognizing that. It is already fully integrated into social media as well as the entertainment industry. We as followers and believers in Jesus cannot draw conclusions on it without looking at what God says in the Bible.
It was just a few days ago that I wrote a letter to my readers pointing out that my goal with my writings is not to focus on the controversial issues in Christianity but instead promote positivity and focus on the good. I still stand by that stance. This post is in no way meant to be used to belittle or degrade anyone. Please do not reference this post as a supporting argument for whatever agenda you may have.
If you would like to discuss my stance on this topic, I welcome you to do so. My only requests are that you first A) read this post in its entirety first and B) back up your counter-discussion with scripture.
This is a long post because I want to address as many of the issues I have seen rise up in this category as possible. With this in mind, I have broken up my thoughts and studying into three categories: Sexual Promiscuity, Gay/Lesbian Relationships, and Transgender Issues. I would also like to define a few terms so that the context is clear:
LGBTQ community- people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (or queer)
Gay- a homosexual man
Lesbian- a homosexual woman
Bisexual- a person who is sexually interested and/or intimate with both males and females
Transgender- a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond
with their birth sex.
Queer- an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual
Three-some- When a group of three people join together for sexual pleasure
Orgy- a wild party, especially one involving excessive drinking and unrestrained sexual activity
Sexual Immorality- the absence of sexual purity; involving any type of sexual expression outside the boundaries of a biblically defined marriage
The Equality Movement- desiring the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
It is important to state that the only way to salvation according to the Bible is accepting Jesus as your Savior (see my post on salvation: https://www.thebiblegirl.com/post/faith-alone-has-freed-me ) I am not implying with this post that if you fall under the LGBTQ title you will be scorned or rejected by God. I believe the opposite.
When it comes to the discussion of sexual orientation outside of heterosexual relationships, many faith-based or conservative people assume the worst. They think of Gay and Lesbian relationships as the epitome of sexual promiscuity. While that is certainly an element of what takes place among many LGBTQ couples, it is also something we see happening among heterosexual couples. If we are going to address sexual immorality and fornication, we must address it all the way across the board. We must apply biblical principles to ALL intimate relationships.
The reality is, the majority of people in the United States are sexually immoral. A quick google search tells us that 77% of Americans have sex by age 20, and of that percent, 75% had premarital sex. Women have an average of four sex partners during their lifetime; men have an average of seven.
Perhaps you are wondering what the statistics are like among Christians. The facts are grim. Statistics state that 80% (a higher percentage than secular adults) of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) say they are having sex. The average age for marriage for women in the 90’s used to be 24 now, according to the U.S Census Bureau that same age has climbed up to 27 and for men 29.
What does the Bible say about having sex before marriage?
1 Corinthians 7:1-3 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
Exodus 22:16 If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry.
Perhaps this doesn't seem very straightforward. We must keep in mind the context. Sexual immorality was a phrase referred to sex outside of marriage in Biblical times (don't believe me? Go look it up). In society today sexual immorality is not defined as sex outside of marriage but that does not change how it was defined by God originally. Since that probably doesn't convince you that sex outside of marriage is wrong, lets study the texts.
In Exodus we see that once a man slept with a woman he was expected to make her his wife. Maybe you don't like Old Testament examples because of the confusion about Jesus doing away with certain laws. If that is the case lets look at the Corinthians texts. Why would the New Testament (a time after Levitical and Mosaic law) tell us a man must marry to avoid sexual immorality? If sex with anyone he wanted was acceptable, what would marriage with "one wife" allow him to do that he wouldn't already be doing? It is so he can act on his sexual desires without going against God's wishes. Both of the texts found in Exodus and Corinthians put an emphasis on having one sexual partner or on marrying in order to act on sexual needs.
Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
In the Bible sex and marriage are a pair. You can't have one without the other. Adam and Eve didn't have a wedding ceremony, instead they "knew"or "went into" each other. There are many couples in the Bible who become "married" when they have sex. I think of Jacob with Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29). Jacob marries Leah by accident because he has sex with her before realizing that she isn't Rachel (Genesis 29:23-25). The traditions of marriage feasts and ceremonies are all man-made celebrations. God's view of marriage is not a wedding or even a legal document. Marriage is established by having sex. We even see this in our modern day terminology with phrases such as, "he consummated the marriage" which is saying he had sex with her.
When you understand this concept, the rest of what the Bible says about sexual immorality makes a lot more sense. It also suddenly makes more sense as to why it is a sin to "sleep around" or have sex with multiple people (breaking commandment 7 Exodus 20:14). It is wrong because in God's eyes, the first person you slept with was who you married and then you proceeded to cheat on them (again, commandment number 7 Exodus 20:14) with every person you slept with afterwards.
Now before you have a mental breakdown or go straight into my comments section over this, keep in mind that God takes us where we are at. If you didn't realize you were breaking God's commandments you can't expect God to judge you as if you did. Even if you did realize what you were doing, you're not out of God's favor forever. No sin is greater than any other sin and God is a loving and forgiving God.
The relationships highlighted in the Bible are beautiful testimonies of God's grace. For example, God is telling people to have one wife and one husband yet polygamy is everywhere among popular Bible characters. King Solomon had 700 wives! Does this make polygamy okay? No. But God still used King Solomon and others for great things. This shows that people have made mistakes from the very beginning. There are many wonderful, faithful people in the world who have sinned against God but God has not forsaken them. You can move forward from your mistakes both sexually and otherwise. The Bible says:
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we understand the Bible and what sex actually means to God, we can better understand the sorts of acts we should and should not be carrying out. Obviously, if sex means marriage we can't go around getting drunk sleeping with multiple people (orgies). We also can't go around sleeping with multiple partners at one time (three-somes).
These guidelines about sex aren't meant to take away our fun or pleasure but rather protect us from bigger problems.
Think of all the unwanted babies we see in the world. Think of all the abortions and accidental pregnancies that occur. Think of all the sexually transmitted diseases we have.Think of all the broken families. Think of all the people suffering emotional damage and psychological trauma because of their sexual promiscuity. God never comes up with rules or regulations to make us miserable... he is trying to protect us and give us the best chance at a happy, healthy life.
Because 80% of the Christian population are already disregarding what the Bible says about sexual intimacy and marriage, it is very hard for us to now address the LGBTQ community with some of the same scriptures. How can you show the LGBTQ community the "error in their ways" while you still sleep around with whoever you want without a second thought? This idea that homosexuality is "wrong" because of the "promiscuity" of it, is misinformed. Sexual promiscuity is wrong for everyone!
If we are going to establish what God wants for everyone's romantic and sexual relationships, we have to play fair. We have to be real and admit that people of all orientations and cultures are doing things wrong. It is time for us to confess our mistakes to God and start a new way of living that allows us to grow closer to Him.
The concept that it is acceptable to be romantically involved with someone of the same sex is now everywhere. Not only is it everywhere but it is becoming extremely aggressive and abrasive. Suddenly our streets are filled with "pride parades" and rainbow flags are flying from restaurants and businesses... and in many cases even churches. While this movement claims to promote "equality" it treats it's opposers as anything but peers. If you are not supportive of the LGBTQ community acting freely on their sexual desires, you are a bigot, a prude, and prejudiced. You will quickly find yourself in the same category as a racist and a Nazi.
This is unjust. It is not okay for anyone regardless of his or her stance on any issue, to imply that the opposing opinion is automatically in the wrong. It is not okay for our kids to be told that unless they act on their LGBTQ feelings or questions, they are being untrue to themselves. I am a believer in freedom of choice. I think if someone studies the Bible for themselves and somehow still thinks that sex outside of marriage is okay or that they still should act on their LGBTQ desires, that is their choice. What I don't like is people implying that we must be supportive of the popular opinion for fear of somehow becoming less of a caring or loving person.
Christians are not handling the backlash well. Instead of standing up for what we believe is right, we are changing our own opinions. If this was any other issue such as murder, stealing, or idolatry we would have no problem maintaining our stance. Yet for some reason this topic has really undone us. Suddenly we are tip-toeing around the issue of same-sex relationships. We are making big blanket statements about the issue because we think if we are vague we will be less targeted and attacked. The reality is, the Bible is not vague. God is not vague. I am not telling you what God's words about sex are so I can judge or ridicule you. I am telling you this because it is what the Bible says and it is unfair to hide this information from you for the sake of "not hurting your feelings". I would rather hurt your feelings than give you a false image of who God is or what he wants you to do with your life. I am not saying that someone who has LGBTQ feelings is automatically in the wrong, but I do believe acting out sexually on those feelings, is a mistake. I think it is wrong for anyone to act out sexually based purely on emotion.
Just because I don't advocate for the LGBTQ community doesn't mean I am a hateful, evil, judgmental person. I do not have to agree with every aspect of your life to still consider you my friend, my family member, or my neighbor. The issue of sex is no different. As stated before, I believe in freedom of choice. I have many friends who do things I wouldn't do, yet I still love and enjoy hanging out with them. There are probably things I do that they wouldn't do. I would never want anyone to make life decisions based on my personal opinions of their actions. I want you to act on what you feel God is saying to you through His word and through prayer.
Earlier, I established that according to the Bible sex is united to marriage. That means that from God's perspective when you sleep with someone you are married to them. If someone is having sex with someone of the same sex, they are essentially trying to apply God's act of marriage to their same-sex relationship. Here is what the Bible says:
Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
1 Timothy 1:10 The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.
These verses are fairly self explanatory. We also see the story of Sodom and Gomorrah:
The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
“Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
This story is not trying to advocate for the fact that Lot was ready to give away his daughters (which was not the right move), but instead it shows that the act of men sleeping with men was considered "wicked" not only that, but the two cities were full of people carrying out other acts that were wrong (probably including heterosexual immorality as well!) This is what led to their destruction.
This is hard information to deal with. You will find many people, even Christians, who will take these verses and try to twist them to meet their own agenda. They will try to explain them away to make the message mean something different. I've watched many videos and heard many discussions where people try to explain that in Hebrew the verses don't read "homosexual", that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah isn't about homosexuality, etc. Upon further research, I've seen that many of such claims are fake. The Bible says what it says. Read it for yourself.
Other people disregard these verses entirely, but here is something to think about... if Gay and Lesbian relationships were something God intended why don't we see any Gay or Lesbian Bible characters? Where is the evidence of these sorts of relationships playing out positively? Just something to think about.
Another perspective to consider is that of the scientific and medical evidence. Our bodies and hormones (those of male and female people) were designed to compliment one another. Two men cannot naturally conceive a child, nor can two women. This is one of the reasons that heterosexual relationships can be so beneficial and rewarding. A person of the opposite sex holds qualities and traits that a person of the same sex doesn't have. Often an individual in a same-sex relationship will try to take on characteristics of the opposite sex. This can include how they act or dress. One woman may act more masculine or one man might act more feminine. In some ways you could argue that same sex relationships imitate heterosexual ones.
The topic of being transgender is possibly the hardest to address with scripture because there aren't a ton of Bible verses that directly address it. Here is what I did find:
Deuteronomy 22:5 A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Of course we could also in a sense apply the verses which I shared in the Gay/Lesbian Relationship section because in a sense even if someone is "transgender" they often are attracted to someone of the same sex (their birth sex). I think aside from the things I've already pointed out in that category, another issue that comes up among the Transgender community is how expensive it can be to receive hormones and surgeries which alter your body to meet your desired sexual identity. Hormone replacement therapy averages at $130 a month. Top of the body surgery averages at $6,000. Bottom surgery averages around $10,000. Facial surgery runs between $20,000-$50,000. Genital surgery averages around $15,000.
These are costly treatments and surgeries- thousands of dollars that are spent on yourself for the sole purpose of how you look or what you can gain from the procedure. You cannot argue that it is not a selfish act.
Many people who are convinced that they were born in the wrong body will tell me that the price is worth it. They will tell me that they cannot be satisfied as their current gender. They describe their feelings as a sense of being "trapped". I believe they feel that way. I am in no position to argue with them... but I will say this- is the God of the universe unable to help you find inner peace without a medical procedure? Are your feelings and convictions so strong that you must take matters into your own hands?
Throughout this entire post we see the common concept of "what feels right" to me. I feel like having sex with many different people. I feel like being in a relationship with someone of the same sex. I feel like I am the wrong gender. If someone said they felt like eating only desserts for the rest of their life, we wouldn't support it. If someone said they felt like an addiction was part a of their personality we would still urge them to get help. In other areas of our lives we recognize that feelings can be misguided, yet for some reason when it comes to our sexuality we let feelings take the lead. Society says we must accept everything with no questions asked or else we are bad people.
I would urge us not to do this. I would urge ALL of us not to do this, regardless of our sexual identity or orientation. We need to do our own seeking and our own research. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" Our life and our purpose on this earth is far greater than how we feel or what we can do to pleasure ourselves. 1 John 3:20 says, "For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything."
God knows how you feel. He knows if you believe you are homosexual. He knows if you feel trapped in your own body. He knows if you are sleeping with a boyfriend or girlfriend before marriage. He still loves you. He still wants to get to know you. He wants you to know that even though your trials are great, you can still find inner peace and joy. Isaiah 41:10 says, " Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." If you love God, trust that he will help you. Ask him to send you the right guidance and the right resources. This is not something between you and society, this is something between you and God.
Below I have listed some resources for anyone who might be struggling with their own sexual orientation or identity: