Connecting Faith and Life

Homosexuality: A Biblical Analysis

The modern world has made progress in leaps and bounds in all areas of life. In this age of information explosion and hi-tech living, numerous ethical issues have cropped up. People have started disregarding the Creator and are living selfish, independent lives. The Bible and ethics are regarded as unrealistic and out of practice. The current scenario poses a huge challenge to evangelical Christianity. The need of the hour is for Christians to stand up and speak from the Bible. When there is confusion and lack of clarity over controversial issues, instead of following the ways of the world, Christians have to look to the Bible for answers. The authoritative word of the living God is the only blueprint and model for an ethical life. Homosexuality is one such ethical issue which is hitting the headlines of the world regularly and drawing huge attention. The purpose of this paper is to bring out a Biblical perspective of homosexuality and the intended ethical response of Christians to this modern dilemma.

WHAT IS HOMOSEXUALITY?
The word homosexuality means same or like sexuality and is derived from the Greek word homortas.[1] A homosexual is a person motivated by a preferential erotic attraction to members of the same sex.[2] A homosexual act is designed to produce sexual orgasm between two members of the same gender.[3]
Homosexuality comprises both men and women, though lesbianism is the word which is commonly used to distinguish female homosexuality.[4] More recently the term ‘gay’ is used by homosexuals as it describes them in a better way rather than in derogatory terms. At this point there is a need to distinguish homosexual orientation and a homosexual act. While a homosexual act is any sexual relationship between two individuals of the same gender, a homosexual orientation conveys a deeper meaning. It describes an individual whose entire sexual urge is always towards the same sex.[5]

CAUSES OF HOMOSEXUALITY
The causes of homosexuality is a very hotly debated issue in the scientific world. It is very difficult to find out any direct cause for this problem. Some scientists attribute it to genetic and chromosomal factors over which an individual has no control.[6] Another possible cause that has been suggested is the imbalance of sex hormones.[7] Family psychopathology is suggested to be a possible reason for homosexuality. This theory has some support from homosexual men who claim to have had controlling mothers and passive fathers.[8] Scientists are not able to see apparent differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals because the testes of male homosexuals produce the same range of hormones as normal men and the ovaries of homosexual women produce the same proportions as in case of normal women.[9] Our sexual hormones do not necessarily play a role in the choosing of a sexual behaviour.

Many experts agree that homosexual orientation is discovered, not chosen.[10] It is not an intentional choice to start liking their own gender. Thereby, people conclude that they cannot change their sexual behaviour just as they cannot change their skin or hair colour.[11]  Some people argue that the condition of homosexuality for most individuals is as involuntary as heterosexuality  is for heterosexuals. Such an orientation is evident from the very beginning of formation of a person’s identity.[12] But such an explanation cannot be used to justify homosexuality or vindicate a person from personal responsibility. There are another category of people who do not have a homosexual orientation but still indulge in homosexual acts. Such people do it as an expression of their sexual urge due to the non-availability of the opposite sex. This is quite common in prisons, people working in ships, army etc. There are also people who are bisexuals living happily married lives with children and still having gay relationship on the side.[13] Thus, it can be concluded that no one particular reason can be singled out as the cause of homosexuality. It is a combination of various reasons working together in an individual.

EFFECTS OF HOMOSEXUALITY
Homosexuality is proved to have adverse effects on the individuals who practice it. It is one of the gateway for transfer of sexually transmitted diseases. It is said that a homosexual is likely to get syphilis five times more than the heterosexual.[14] Hepatitis B is another virus which is transmitted through homosexual anal intercourse. Homosexuality is one of the main causes for the spread of AIDS.[15] Although homosexuals call themselves as ‘gay’, they are unhappy people.[16] Even though they fight tooth and nail for their rights they are never fully accepted in the society. They continually suffer from loneliness and rejection. Since homosexual alliances are fragile and subject to change, they can never take the role of a heterosexual marriage partner. Some of them are afraid of divulging the truth about their homosexual nature and try to live normal married lives only to buckle up after few years. The rate of suicide among homosexuals is much more than the general population.[17] They are not able to live with the stigma of homosexuality attached to them. This problem may be more in a conservative Indian society where such discrimination is inevitable.

CONTEMPORARY VIEWS OF HOMOSEXUALITY
The 1960’s and 70’s in North America has seen the growth of an organised gay movement which fights for the rights of homosexuals and aggressively promotes a gay lifestyle.[18] Since there is some consensus that a homosexual orientation is not a choice, people remark that there can be no personal responsibility also. They argue that when God is the one who created a person as homosexual it is illogical if He has to condemn them for practising it.
Contemporary adherents to homosexuality assume that their sexual orientation is given and is not a meaningful choice. So we commonly see now the acceptance of gays and lesbians into full church membership, ordination of homosexuals as priests, pastors and bishops, legal marriages between two homosexuals and fight for rights against job discrimination and other legal rights.

Most theologians agree that homosexual acts done by heterosexuals and promiscuous homosexual acts are wrong. But there is a disparity when some theologians accede that homosexuality expressed between two homosexuals who are committed partners is not a sin.[19] They further add that same sex relationship does express God’s central purpose for sex.[20]

One of the arguments proposed by pro-homosexuals is the right of freedom. As matured adults they cannot be prohibited from expressing their sexual desire in mutual consent. While forced sex and abuse of children may be wrong but what two persons do sexually in compliance to each other is their own business.[21] Homosexuals argue that even Jesus did not condemn homosexuality. While he had strong words against divorce, adultery and sexual sins, he did not have any word against homosexuality. Even Scriptures from the Bible are interpreted in such a way that homosexual orientation is considered to be permitted. It is said that Bible condemns sexual abuse of boys by adult males but is silent about consensual, committed homosexual relationships. Both homosexual and heterosexual sex is a sin only if committed outside the framework of a committed relationship.

People who take a tough stand and preach against homosexuality become unpopular. The rate at which homosexuality is growing in the modern world is alarming. The Washington Times reported some time before that 10% of American men are homosexuals and 5% of women are lesbians.[22] Although one cannot confirm the accuracy of these numbers it certainly indicates a huge proportion. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code framed in 1860 defines homosexuality as a crime. But still there is increase in the homosexual population of late in India. A recent study conducted by UNFPA found out that 10% of unmarried men and 3% of married men reported  sex with other men in the last 12 months.[23] Thus, homosexuality has become very common all over the world and gained acceptance in many circles. The contemporary view heads towards tolerance and acceptance of the practice of homosexuality.

BIBLICAL VIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITY
There are numerous voices in the modern world which speak for and against homosexuality. But the Christian point of view is based solely upon the Bible, the word of God. “A truly Christian standard of ethics is the conduct of divine revelation, not of statistical research nor of public opinion.” [24] Thus Bible is the final authority  based upon which Christian convictions are built. Even if some of the Biblical views clash with the contemporary secular views, Christians should proclaim the Scriptural truth with confidence and boldness. The Bible is God’s revelation and throws light on issues which the secular world is groping with.

There are four main biblical passages which refer to the homosexual debate.[25] Each of these Scriptural passages require a detailed examination. Theologians who support and theologians who oppose homosexual practices use Scripture to justify their claims. So the passages need a thorough study and clear interpretation in order to arrive at a Scriptural position to this issue.

Incidents at Sodom and Gibeah
The first reference to homosexuality in the Bible is found in Genesis 19:1-11. The outcry of wickedness in Sodom and Gomorrah had reached God. So God sent two angels to investigate the two wicked cities. Lot entertained those two angels in his house. In the evening the men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and make demands to see the visitors. The important verse here is Gen 19:5 when the men question Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out that we may know them?” The traditional Christian view has been that the men of Sodom were guilty of homosexual practices. But D.S. Bailey argues that the demand to ‘know’ the strangers was just to be better acquainted with them and not a sexual desire. So the sin of Sodom was breach of hospitality.[26] Norman Geisler points out, “While it is true that the Hebrew word ‘know’ (yadha) does not necessarily mean ‘to have sex with’ nonetheless in the context of the text on Sodom and Gomorrah it clearly has this meaning.”[27] From the context here in which references to the wickedness of the city is made and Lot offering his daughters (Gen 19:8) to appease the men’s sexual passion, the sexual motive in the minds of the men is obvious.[28] While twelve references to the word ‘yadha’ is made in Genesis, ten of those instances denote sexual intercourse.[29] John Davis Jefferson says that Lot’s offering of his virgin daughters as a substitute to the men of Sodom  is very clear that they were demanding homosexual intercourse with his guests.[30] The second argument of D.S. Bailey was that the rest of the Old Testament does not suggest Sodom’s offence was homosexuality. References in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel speak of different sins of Sodom but never accuses them of homosexuality.[31] The term Ezekiel uses to accuse Sodom in Eze 16:49 is ‘selfishness’ but yet it does not exclude homosexuality since sexual sins are a form of selfishness to satisfy fleshly desires. Eze 16:50 accuses them of committing abomination and indicates their sin was sexual.[32] Jude 7 also clearly points out that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is sexual immorality. It is one of the main reasons why God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Similarly, the story at Gibeah in the book of Judges 19 is handled in the same manner. Here, a Levite and his concubine while travelling decide to rest in a house of an old man in Gibeah. Some perverted men of the city demand the old man to bring out the visitors so that they may ‘know’ him (Jud 19:22). Again Bailey uses the same interpretation and says that the sin was not homosexuality but violation of hospitality.[33] John Stott uses convincing arguments to prove Bailey wrong. He says that the adjective ‘wicked’, ‘vile’ and ‘disgraceful’ (Gen 18:7, Jud 19:23) do not refer to a breach of hospitality and the offer of women as substitute has sexual connotations.[34]
Thus in both Sodom and Gibeah, the men were guilty of homosexuality. On both occasions the sin resulted in God’s severe judgement upon the guilty people.

The Levitical Texts
There are two references in the Mosaic law which strongly condemn homosexuality. It is seen in Lev 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman.” Again in Lev 20:13 God warns, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.” The offence of homosexuality as per the Mosaic law carried the penalty of capital punishment. The Lord was giving the people of Israel a ‘Holiness Code’ which challenged the people of God not to copy the practices either of Egypt or Canaan.[35] But critics say that a strict adherence to Mosaic ceremonial laws will mean prohibition of eating shell fish or rabbit, against cutting hair, mixing different fabrics in clothing or having sex during the menstrual period.[36] So they conclude that one need not take the condemnation of homosexuality in the Mosaic law seriously. Geisler argues that if we think homosexuality has passed away as a ceremonial law and is not a moral issue, then even rape, incest and bestiality will neither be morally wrong as they are condemned in the same chapter.[37] Furthermore, homosexual sins among Gentiles who did not have a ceremonial law was condemned by God too (Lev 18:24,25). Also, one has to keep in mind the severity of punishment for homosexuality which was not the same for eating pork or shrimp.[38] The teaching on homosexuality repeated in the New Testament is another proof that it is still not done away. It is clear from the strong words used in Mosaic Law with capital punishment awarded as penalty for the guilty that God viewed homosexuality very seriously.

Paul’s Statements in Romans Chapter One
Romans Chapter One contains the most descriptive passages on homosexuality in the Bible.[39] In Rom 1:26,27 Paul clearly speaks about homosexuality and lesbianism. Paul argues that God’s invisible attributes are manifested through creation. The people had suppressed the truth and started practising idolatry and indulged in the wicked deeds of the flesh. Because the people turned away from God, He gave them over to their shameful lusts which resulted in men and women having sex with the same gender. Two noteworthy terms used by Paul in v.26 and 27 are ‘exchanged’ and ‘abandoned’ indicating that a free and wilful choice was made towards the sinful practice.[40] Thereby, adherents who say homosexuals are not responsible for their condition should think twice as they are contradicting the Bible.

However serious arguments are raised by theologians who support homosexuality. They say what Paul is describing here is about a heterosexual sinning against his own nature by practising homosexuality.[41] So they conclude that Paul’s limited world view and perspective made him to assume every person is a heterosexual. In reality, there are two categories of homosexuals – inverts and perverts. The inverts are those who always have a homosexual disposition and attraction towards the same sex. The perverts are those who are heterosexually inclined but still practice homosexual acts.[42] The critics conclude that it is a sin to have sexual relationships against one’s orientation. So when an invert who is born with a homosexual orientation tries to change, he is guilty of committing sin. Secondly, another argument to these verses are that Paul is condemning shameless, promiscuous behaviour of people and not a committed, loving homosexual partnership. But a closer look at the passage makes it clear that God is condemning homosexuality per se and not just the promiscuous acts alone.[43]

Above all, the wrath of God is kindled by not just the sin of homosexuality but the defiant attitude of glorifying in their shame which calls forth divine judgement. This is the same attitude which characterises many homosexuals even today.[44] The origin of homosexual practices is not the social environment but the human heart which has turned away from the living God.[45] When human beings walk away from God, the direct result is seen in the rise of gross immorality. The very prevalence of homosexuality in our culture is proof enough that we are walking away from God. Romans Chapter one views homosexuality as not just the violation of some Jewish code but the transgression of the moral law of God which transcends all cultures.[46]

Other Pauline Texts
There are two different occasions where Paul explicitly condemns homosexuality in his letters. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
The word translated in NIV as male prostitutes is malakoi in Greek and the word homosexual offenders is arsenokoitai. It is unfortunately combined together and translated as ‘homosexuals’ in the Revised Standard Version.[47] A pro-homosexual scholar named John Boswell argues that neither term referred to homosexuality in the time of Paul. He translated the word malakos as general moral weakness and arsenokoitai as male prostitutes.[48] John Stott agrees to the fact that the two words should not be combined as they have their own precise meaning. He suggests that the word Malakoi meant ‘soft to the touch’ and referred to males who played the passive role in homosexual intercourse. The word arsenokoitai means ‘male in a bed’ and the Greeks used this expression to denote the person playing the active role.[49] It is very clear that Paul indeed is condemning homosexuality in all forms to the extent of being barred from entering the kingdom of God. Even if Paul may actually be referring to male cult prostitutes of those times in this verse, still the moral prohibition applies to everybody.

The second passage where Paul mentions about homosexuality is 1 Timothy 1:9,10 where he says, “We also know that law is made not for good men but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God.” The word translated as ‘perverts’ in NIV is again arsenokoitai in Greek. The NKJV translates it as ‘sodomites’ and the NASB as ‘homosexuals’.[50] The entire list of sins mentioned here is referred contrary to sound doctrine and the gospel of Jesus Christ. From the beginning the Bible uses very harsh terms in condemning homosexuality at every instance. Jefferson concludes very strongly by saying, “The Old and New Testament are unequivocal in their teaching that homosexuality is contrary to the moral law of God, and only the most forced and arbitrary modes of biblical interpretation can conclude otherwise.”[51] The Bible can be twisted and hermeneutical principles can be flouted to force the text to convey anything under the sun. But if one has to be faithful to the Biblical teaching on homosexuality, it is obvious that it is very heavily condemned and there is no basis to claim that homosexuality is an accepted alternative lifestyle.

BIBLICAL VIEW OF SEX AND MARRIAGE
A detailed study of passages dealing with homosexuality in the Bible provides convincing answers to the Biblical stand on this issue. Still homosexuals hang on to the argument that the Bible does condemn certain homosexual practices but is silent on the issue of homosexual orientation and a committed love relationship between homosexuals. In order to answer this question, it is very enlightening to search the Bible for God’s plan for sex and marriage. This will ultimately seal the issue and enable us to move to the next step of Christian response to homosexuality.

God’s intention for healthy human sexuality is heterosexuality. This can be seen in the very design of male and female genitals.[52] While there is a sense of perfection and harmony when there is a sexual intercourse between male and female, the same cannot be said in case of homosexuals. The homosexuals indulge in anal sex, insert foreign bodies on their rectum, insert the fist or part of forearm into the rectum by using lubricants and some even insert objects into their penis for pleasure like pencils, pens, sticks etc.[53] Such gruesome acts can never be God ordained as in case of normal sexual relationship between male and female.
God created women to be an ideal companion and help-mate for man. We can see in Genesis Chapter two the complimentarity of sexes, which is the basis for heterosexual marriage.[54] Adam was not satisfied when all creatures were paraded before him to be his companion. So we see how God created woman out of man to live alongside and be his companion and mate. God ordained heterosexual marriage when he said in Gen 2:24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” The ‘one flesh’ is more than physical union, it has psychological and spiritual overtones.[55] This can never be true with a homosexual marriage as there is no union of flesh.

Similarly, God created male and female only and not a third sex. This is another proof that God’s pattern of marriage is heterosexual. John Williams clearly put it this way, “Marriage is an exclusive heterosexual covenant between one man and one woman, ordained and sealed by God, proceeded by public leaving of parents, consummated in sexual union, issuing in a permanent mutually supportive partnership, and normally aroused by the gift of children.”[56] While this describes in a most fitting way what is marriage in the sight of God, the same cannot be said of homosexual marriages. Scripture defines the marriage God instituted in terms of homosexual monogamy which is an union of a man and a woman. God provided no other alternative and there is no other pattern of marriage or sexual intercourse ever envisaged in the Bible.[57]
God’s view of sex and marriage totally seals the argument and gives no room for practice of homosexuality on any grounds. No individual can justify the practice of homosexuality through the Scriptures. The Bible doesn’t have any loop holes and clamps down very heavily on any practice of same gender sexual association.

CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO HOMOSEXUALS
Homosexual activists often blame Christians for creating a homophobia which results in their victimisation and increases the prevalence of mental problems among homosexuals. The term homophobia refers to heterosexual’s fear of homosexuality which often leads to emotional rejection of homosexuals.[58] Many hold the view that a homosexual act between persons should be legally punished. Variety of inhumane judgements are passed ranging from death penalty which still exists in many countries to imprisonment, entrapment and public humiliation.[59] It is very important Christians do not single out homosexual intercourse as a grievous sin which deserves special condemnation. Every sexual act or relationship which is contrary to God’s plan is sinful. Homosexuals are not serious sinners who deserve to be damned in comparison to others. While some people overlook pre-marital and extra-marital sex, prostitution, and casual sexual escapades they become legalistic when it comes to homosexuality. Such an attitude has resulted in detesting homosexuals. At this point there are two important areas of Christian response that needs to be addressed.

Hold Forth the Biblical Teaching
A Christian can never compromise with the Scriptural teaching on homosexuality. The Bible condemns homosexuality in all forms and doesn’t give approval to homosexual marriages. Any church that compromises on this ethical issue fails to be a prophetic voice in the society. Just because it is unpopular to hold such views in the modern world should not deter the church in holding forth the word of God. A church cannot echo the contemporary voices in the society and please every body. Its high time the church starts taking a tough stand in this regard. An unrepentant homosexual should be given church discipline (1 Cor 5:5).[60] A person cannot call himself a homosexual and continue to live a Christian life. The ordination of homosexuals in church leadership has become a serious issue. Again its very important that the church doesn’t compromise and fall prey to it. No denomination that wants to be faithful to the Bible can ordain professing homosexuals. When the Bible clearly prohibits unrepentant homosexuals from entering the kingdom of God, there is absolutely no room for them in church leadership without a shadow of doubt.

Show Forth the Love of God
It is very unchristian to reject the homosexual as a person and the church has been guilty of this offence. Condemning homosexuality does not prevent Christians from relating with homosexuals in a loving and supportive way.[61] While rejecting the sin strongly, churches should open arms to embrace the struggling homosexual. Homosexuals complain bitterly of being treated with scorn and insult. While homosexuals are responsible for their conduct, they are totally helpless with their condition. They experience deep loneliness, rejection, fear and trauma and are not able to relate with the world. This is the major reason for increasing suicide rates among homosexuals. A Christian environment of love and acceptance can be the healing balm for hurting homosexuals. Christians need to understand that the Lord Jesus died for every single person in the world and it includes the homosexual. A homosexual is precious in the sight of God. Christians should manifest this love of God in caring for them. While God can work in the life of homosexuals and break them free from the bondage, it is certainly dependent on Christians and the church to provide a loving fellowship and climate for the deliverance to take place. Rejecting them as persons develops a sense of anger and retaliation which drives them deeper into the sin. As Geisler points out, “Love reaches out to people, even sinful ones, it does not reject them. Homosexuals need compassion as persons, not condemnation.”[62] Even the condemnation of the sin of homosexuality should be done in a spirit of humility and love.

HOMOSEXUALITY : THE WAY OUT
There is definitely a way out from homosexuality. No person who indulges in homosexual life can throw the blame on his circumstances or environment and continue with it as a way of life. He should strive with all his heart to get out of the problem. The following principles can lend a helping hand to a person struggling with the sin of homosexuality.

Stop the Practice
Homosexuals who come to the saving knowledge of Christ don’t have any license to continue the practice. They need to resolve to abstain from homosexual practices. This may be quite painful and cause a lot of hurt. But in light of the Scriptural revelation, there cannot be a Christian who practices homosexuality on a regular basis. Homosexuals who become Christians should flee temptation and avoid the company of people who cause them to fall. Its a huge price that he has to pay but it is the bargain price for gaining fellowship with God.[63] Christian discipleship involves self denial and the homosexual needs to deny himself in order to follow Christ. John Stott firmly declares that the only alternative to a heterosexual marriage is celibacy.[64] Sexual experience is not essential to gaining fulfilment in human life.[65] God will give the strength to a person to be a celibate if He has called him to be so. While the secular world strongly objects to this view, it is a life which a homosexual can choose as an alternative to homosexuality.

Seek for Deliverance
Numerous homosexuals have been delivered from their lifestyle and have been changed totally. Testimonies of God’s miraculous delivering power setting homosexuals free is heard in many places. Its time the churches sound forth the message of the power of divine grace to transform sinful attitudes.[66] While giving the whole list of sins in 1 Cor 6:9,10, Paul goes on to say in v.11, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” Thus, the people in Corinth had experienced God’s healing power in enabling them to come out of sexual promiscuity and homosexuality. Unfortunately some modern Christians no longer believe in God’s miraculous power to transform lives. God is an unchanging God, there is nothing impossible for Him and He is eager to touch the lives of people. At the same time the possibility of change by grace and power of God depends on human resolve.[67] The homosexual who accepts Christ should determine in his heart to quit this lifestyle at any cost and then God will honour him for his commitment. A half minded person will not receive anything from the Lord since he doesn’t have the longing to be set free. The deliverance may not always be immediate and may take some time. The homosexual should continue to cling on to God and wait patiently.

Besides, the homosexual should also seek medical help in changing his sexual orientation. Often, people struggle with the conflict between believing God and taking medical treatment. There is absolutely nothing wrong in seeking treatment from psychiatrists or using modern methods of psychological treatment as long as it doesn’t contradict Scriptures. Christians should remember that all healing comes from God. God can choose either to work through a miraculous intervention or use medicine and treatment to heal an individual. Again, the result may not always be immediate as God chooses to work in His time. A homosexual who is in doubt and in a state of confusion should seek for Christian counselling. Here is the challenge for the Christian community to patiently listen to the experiences of homosexuals, engage homosexuals in meaningful dialogue and present the gospel message and the power of God’s transforming grace in a loving and caring manner.[68] Besides, the homosexual can develop good friendship with dedicated Christians who will help him overcome the problem.

Seek God’s Comfort
The struggle that a homosexual who accepts Christ undergoes is enormous. The temptations of going back to old life will be always recurring in his mind. Those homosexuals who opt for celibacy will have to fight with their fleshly nature every day. There is a possibility that a homosexual who comes to Christ and starts living for Him may encounter problems in the future too. All these struggles may drive them desperate, loathe in self-pity and feel bitter about life. The answer to such problem is the comfort of God available through Christ.
The book of Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus understands and sympathises with the struggles of the homosexual. Jesus had undergone every temptation which includes homosexuality. So Dr. John White says in his book Eros Defiled, “There is a High Priest for the homosexuals who can understand him because he knows from personal experience what homosexual temptation feels like.”[69] Thus, God Himself comforts the condition of the homosexual and understands him fully. He will definitely give the needed grace to help them come out of it successfully. There is hope and light in the end of the tunnel for every homosexual who comes to Christ.

CONCLUSION
The steady rise of homosexuality all over the world has made it one of the foremost ethical issues today. As per a Christian ethical point of view homosexuality cannot be justified as an alternative lifestyle on any basis. A biblical study of homosexuality both in the Old and New Testaments reveal that it is an abomination in the sight of God deserving severe punishment. However, the Christian response is to hate the sin of homosexuality and love the person who practices it. Its essential for Christians to hold on to their Biblical conviction and speak forth with boldness. At the same time the Christian community of love and fellowship should warmly welcome homosexuals in order to help them understand the gospel message.
For a person who is a homosexual all is not bleak. God’s grace is sufficient for him to overcome his struggles and temptations. The joy of communing with the Lord in this life should give him enough motivation and resolve to abstain from sin at any cost. He will receive his reward for abstinence from homosexual practices in eternity. The cross of Christ beckons homosexuals to come to the saving knowledge and the power of the Holy Spirit is available to give them the needed strength to live in victory.

Endnotes:
[1]C. Rosenak and H. Looy. “Homosexuality,” in Bakers Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, eds. David G. Benner and Peter C. Hill (Michigan: Baker Books, 1999), 571.
[2]John Jefferson Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today (New Jersey: P&R Publishers, 1993), 95-96.
[3]John White, Eros Defiled (Ilinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1977), 105.
[4]David H. Field. “Homosexuality,” in New Dictionary of Christ Ethics and Pastoral Theology, eds. David J. Atkinson and David H. Field (Leicester: Inter Varsity Press, 1995), 450.
[5]James B. Nelson. “Homosexuality,” in A New Dictionary of Christian Ethics, eds. John Macquarrie and James F. Childress (Kent: SCM Press Ltd, 1967), 571.
[6]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 99.
[7]Ibid.
[8]White, Eros Defiled, 114.
[9]Ibid., 116.
[10]Field. “Homosexuality,” in New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology, eds. Atkinson and Field, 451.
[11]Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues (Leicester: Apollos, 1990), 260.
[12]Andrew Sullivan, Virtually Normal (London: Picador, 1996), 17.
[13]White, Eros Defiled, 112.
[14]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 101.
[15]Ibid.
[16]White, Eros Defiled, 101.
[17]Rosenak and Looy. “Homosexuality,” in Bakers Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, eds. Benner and Hill, 577.
[18]Ibid.,118.
[19]Rosenak and Looy. “Homosexuality,” in Bakers Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, eds. Benner and Hill, 576.
[20]Nelson. “Homosexuality,” in A New Dictionary of Christian Ethics, eds. Macquarrie and Childress, 273.
[21]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, 260.
[22]Kirk Cameron, “The Numbers Game: What Percentage of the Population is Gay,”  www.familyresearchinst.org/FRI_AIM_Talk.htm; 23 June 2005.
[23]Jyothi Sharma, “Why Should Homosexuality be a Crime,” Timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-187403,prtpage-1.cms; 23 June 2005.
[24]Lehmann Strauss, “Homosexuality: The Christian Perspective,” www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1302; 23 June 2005.
[25]John Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today (Bombay: Gospel Literature Service, 1996), 303-304.
[26]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 103.
[27]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, 261.
[28]Ibid.
[29]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 103.
[30]Ibid., 103-104.
[31]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 304.
[32]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, 261-262.
[33]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 305.
[34]Ibid.
[35]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, , 258.
[36]Sullivan, Virtually Normal, 27.
[37]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, 262.
[38]Ibid.
[39]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, 270.
[40]Ibid.
[41]Sullivan, Virtually Normal, 29.
[42]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 307.
[43]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 107.
[44]White, Eros Defiled, 128.
[45]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 107.
[46]Ibid.
[47]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 307.
[48]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 108.
[49]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 308.
[50]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, 271.
[51]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 109.
[52]Rosenak and Looy. “Homosexuality,” in Bakers Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, eds. Benner and Hill, 576.
[53]“The Sexual Behaviour of Homosexuals,” www.amazinginfoonhomosexuals.com; 23 June 2005.
[54]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 309.
[55]Peter Pothan, Christian Ethics Lecture notes, 20, June, 2005 at SAIACS, Bangalore.
[56]Peter Pothan, Christian Ethics Lecture notes, 22, June, 2005 at SAIACS, Bangalore.
[57]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 311.
[58] Field. “Homosexuality,” in New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology, eds. Atkinson and Field, 453.
[59]Sullivan, Virtually Normal, 22.
[60]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, 274.
[61]Rosenak and Looy. “Homosexuality,” in Bakers Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, eds. Benner and Hill, 577.
[62]Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, 274.
[63]White, Eros Defiled, 133.
[64]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 316- 317.
[65]Ibid.
[66]Davis, Evangelical Ethics, Issues Facing the Church Today, 112.
[67]Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today, 318.
[68]Rosenak and Looy. “Homosexuality,” in Bakers Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, eds. Benner and Hill, 577.
[69]White, Eros Defiled, 137.

By Ashwin Ramani.

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