The awards ceremony erupts into a frenzy when two popular actresses greet each other with a passionate kiss! Onlookers gasp in shock and then cheer in support. Gays call it a triumph. Skeptics call it a publicity stunt. Whichever it is, video clips of the kiss will be aired repeatedly on TV newscasts—and elicit millions of hits on the Internet—for days to come.
AS ILLUSTRATED in the above scenario, few events create more media buzz than when a celebrity comes out as being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Some people praise such ones for their courage; others condemn them for their debauchery. Between the two extremes, many view homosexuality as nothing more than an alternative lifestyle. “When I was in school,” says Daniel, 21, “even straight kids felt that if you had a problem with the idea of homosexuality, you were prejudiced and judgmental.”
Attitudes about homosexuality may differ from one generation to another or from one land to another. But Christians aren’t “carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching.” (Ephesians 4:14) Instead, they adhere to the Bible’s view.
What is the Bible’s view of homosexuality? If you live by the Bible’s moral code, how can you respond to those who label you prejudiced, judgmental, or even homophobic? Consider the following questions and possible responses.
What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
The Bible makes it clear that God designed sex to be engaged in only between a male and a female and only within the arrangement of marriage. (Genesis 1:27, 28; Leviticus 18:22; Proverbs 5:18, 19) When the Bible condemns fornication, it is referring to both homosexual and heterosexual conduct. *—Galatians 5:19-21.
(*The Bible term “fornication” refers not only to intercourse but also to acts such as masturbating another person or engaging in oral sex or anal sex.)
If someone asks: “What’s your view of homosexuality?”
You might reply: “I don’t hate homosexuals, but I can’t approve of their conduct.”
✔ Remember: If you’re guided by the Bible’s moral code, then that is your lifestyle choice, and you have a right to it. (Joshua 24:15) Don’t feel ashamed of your view.—Psalm 119:46.
Shouldn’t Christians treat all people with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation?
Absolutely. The Bible says: “Honor men of all sorts” or, as Today’s English Version renders it, “Respect everyone.” (1 Peter 2:17) Therefore, True Christians are not homophobic. They show kindness to all people, including those who are gay.—Matthew 7:12.
If someone asks: “Doesn’t your view of homosexuality encourage prejudice against gays?”
You might reply: “Not at all. I reject homosexual conduct, not people.”
✔ You could add: “To illustrate it, I also choose not to smoke. In fact, I find the very idea of it repugnant. But suppose you’re a smoker and you feel differently. I wouldn’t be prejudiced against you for your view, just as I’m sure you wouldn’t be prejudiced against me for my view—am I right? The same principle applies to our differing views of homosexuality.”
Didn’t Jesus preach tolerance? If so, shouldn’t Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality?
Jesus didn’t encourage his followers to accept any and all lifestyles. Rather, he taught that the way to salvation is open to “everyone exercising faith in him.” (John 3:16) Exercising faith in Jesus includes conforming to God’s moral code, which forbids certain types of conduct—including homosexuality.—Romans 1:26, 27.
When it comes to popular opinion, Christians have the courage to walk against the crowd
If someone says: “Homosexuals can’t change their orientation; they’re born that way.”
You might reply: “The Bible doesn’t comment on the biology of homosexuals, although it acknowledges that some traits are deeply ingrained. (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5) Even if some are oriented toward the same sex, the Bible tells Christians to shun homosexual acts.”
✔ Suggestion: Rather than get ensnared in a debate about the cause of homosexual desires, emphasize that the Bible prohibits homosexual conduct. To make a comparison, you could say: “You know, many claim that violent behavior can have a genetic root and that as a result, some people are predisposed to it. (Proverbs 29:22) What if that was true? As you might know, the Bible condemns fits of anger. (Psalm 37:8; Ephesians 4:31) Is that standard unfair just because some may be inclined toward violence?”
WHAT ABOUT BISEXUALITY?
Although it can be found among both genders, it seems that bisexuality is becoming increasingly common in girls. Consider a few reasons.
“Boys openly admit that they think lesbians are appealing. Girls who lack self-confidence will do almost anything to make a guy like them.”—Jessica, 16.
“When you put something out there in movies, TV, and music that promotes girls kissing girls, teens will be tempted to try it—especially when they do not consider it to be wrong.”—Lisa, 26.
“I met two bisexual girls at a party, and later I found out from a friend that they liked me. Eventually I started texting one of the girls, and I started developing feelings for her.”—Vicky, 13.
If you want to please God, you should avoid experimenting with conduct that the Bible describes as unclean. (Ephesians 4:19; 5:11) But what if you’re really drawn to both sexes? Many would urge you simply to embrace your sexuality and come out as bisexual. However, you should be aware that same-sex attraction is often nothing more than a passing phase. That’s what Lisette, 16, found. She says: “Talking to my parents about my feelings made me feel better. Also, through my biology classes in school, I learned that during the adolescent years, hormone levels can fluctuate greatly. I truly think that if more youths knew more about their bodies, they would understand that same-sex attraction can be temporary and they wouldn’t feel the pressure to be gay.”
Even if your feelings are more deep-rooted than a short-lived growing pain, realize that the Bible presents you with a reachable goal: You can choose not to act on any wrong desires.
How could God tell someone who is attracted to the same sex to shun homosexuality? That sounds cruel.
Such reasoning is based on the flawed notion that humans must act on their sexual impulses. The Bible dignifies humans by assuring them that they can choose not to act on their improper sexual urges if they truly want to.—Colossians 3:5.
If someone says: “Even if you’re not gay, you should change your view of homosexuality.”
You might reply: “Suppose I didn’t approve of gambling but you did. Would it be reasonable for you to insist that I change my view, simply because millions of people choose to gamble?”
✔ Remember this: Most people (including homosexuals) have some ethical code that causes them to deplore certain things—perhaps fraud, injustice, or war. The Bible prohibits those behaviors; it also draws the line at certain types of sexual conduct, including homosexuality.—1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
The Bible is not unreasonable nor does it promote prejudice. It simply directs those with same-sex urges to do the same thing that is required of those with an opposite-sex attraction—to “flee from fornication.”—1 Corinthians 6:18.
The fact is, millions of heterosexuals who wish to conform to the Bible’s standards employ self-control despite any temptations they might face. Their numbers include many who are single with little prospect of marriage and many who are married to a disabled partner who is unable to function sexually. They are able to live happily without fulfilling their sexual urges. Those with homosexual inclinations can do the same if they truly want to please God.—Deuteronomy 30:19.