Are the Levitical Prohibitions against Same-Sex Sexuality Still in Effect Today?

Article ID: eNLqa160725 | By: Hank Hanegraaff
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Questions and Answers


Q. Are the Levitical Prohibitions against Same-Sex Sexuality Still in Effect Today?

A. For a male to have same-sex intercourse with another man as though the latter were not male but female was distinctly forbidden in the Old Testament context (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). In The Bible and Homosexual Practice (Abingdon Press, 2001), Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon astutely observes that the proscriptions of Leviticus are grounded in “transcultural creation structures,” and that “the closest analogies appear in the proscriptions to incest, adultery, and bestiality—forms of sexual behavior that continue to be rejected by contemporary communities of faith.”

Furthermore, the common suggestion that “Jesus was, or might have been, personally neutral or even affirming of homosexual conduct,” says Gagnon, “is revisionist history at its worst.” All available evidence speaks to the contrary. Although Jesus did not directly address incestuous, intergenerational, interspecies, or same-sex sexuality, He clearly reaffirmed every jot and tittle of enduring moral law (cf. Matthew 5:17–18).

Finally, Paul, likewise, derived his proscriptions against same-sex sexuality in Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, and 1 Timothy 1 from the creation order of Genesis and the prohibitions of Leviticus, and he contended that “even Gentiles without access to the direct revelation of Scripture have enough evidence in the natural realm to discover God’s aversion to homosexual behavior.”

It would be homophobic in the extreme, especially in the aftermath of the horrific Orlando massacre, to obscure biblical teaching concerning same-sex sexuality. We should model the behavior of our Lord toward all who are lost through speaking truth—and speaking it in love. Says Gagnon, “The church can and should recapture Jesus’ zeal for all the ‘lost’ and ‘sick’ of society, including those engaged in homosexual practice. Concretely, this means visiting their homes, eating with them, speaking and acting out of love rather than hate, communicating the good news about God’s rule, throwing a party when they repent and return home, and then reintegrating them fully into communities of faith.”
 

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