Biblical Perspective on Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage

Is it true that the Scriptures don't really have anything to say about homosexuality and the legalization of gay marriage? I've heard this argument advanced many times – so often, in fact, that I've become seriously confused about the issue. What's your perspective?

As an evangelical Christian ministry committed to the authority of Scripture as the inspired Word of God, Focus on the Family believes that sex is given by God as an expression of love to be shared and enjoyed exclusively between a husband and wife. Further, we are convinced that the Bible leaves no room whatsoever for confusion or ambiguity where homosexual behavior is concerned. The Scripture both explicitly and implicitly regards it as falling outside of God’s intention in creating man and woman as sexual beings who bear His image as male and female.

“There is no place for hatred, hurtful comments, or other forms of rejection toward those who experience same-sex attraction or identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.”

To this we would add the crucial observation that, here as elsewhere in the Christian life, the example and commandment of Christ places us under obligation to proclaim both God’s truth and His redemptive grace. We must “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). There is no place for hatred, hurtful comments, or other forms of rejection toward those who experience same-sex attraction or identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Because we humans are made in the image of God, Jesus teaches us to regard all humanity as having inherent value, worth and dignity – including those affirming or adopting labels or behaviors which we believe the Bible associates with sexual sin. The priority of love for the Christian is unquestionable, and the cause of love is advanced by telling the truth with grace and compassion.

As for same-sex “marriage,” we see no place for it within the context of a Christian worldview. According to the Bible, marriage is heterosexual by definition. Jesus, when expressing his understanding of the scriptural foundation for the divine purpose and design in marriage, referred to its origins in the Creation account: “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh…” (Mark 10:6-8, quoting Genesis 2:24).

We realize that not everyone shares our perspective. Even within the ranks of professing Christians there are those who don’t believe that God’s Word and created order affirm heterosexual marriage as the one and only legitimate context for sexual expression. A careful study of this stance shows that its adherents either discount the authority of Scripture or adopt interpretive methods that create the latitude to ignore or distort the plain and obvious meaning of its words.

“The Bible prohibits all kinds of sexual promiscuity – heterosexual as well as homosexual.”

In our opinion, the clarity of God’s truth on this matter remains unchanged in spite of hermeneutical methods designed to justify homosexual behavior. The Bible prohibits all kinds of sexual promiscuity – heterosexual as well as homosexual. Logical consistency demands that individuals and groups who want to reinterpret Scripture to sanction free sexual expression among homosexuals should extend the same concession to heterosexual singles; and, in fact, some have already taken this next step. But none of this can alter the facts: there is simply no scriptural support for endorsing sexual immorality (i.e., sexual activity outside the bond of heterosexual marriage) for anyone, no matter what his or her personal sexual feelings may be.

We hope these thoughts help to clarify these issues in your own mind. You may also want to view our articles concerning revisionist theology. For further information on our perspective, we invite you to visit two other areas of our website, Sexuality and Understanding Homosexuality.

If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your concerns at greater length with a member of our staff, we invite you to call Focus on the Family’s Counseling department.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Must Know About What’s Really at Stake

The Gay Gospel? How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread the Bible

Engaging the Culture: Marriage & Religious Liberties

Desert Stream Ministries

Restored Hope Network

Christian Research Institute

Insight for Living


Understanding Homosexuality

Homosexuality, Theology and the Church

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