A Biblical Argument for Gay Rights



(The FreeThinking Theist)


February 2, 2015

Recently, I have been having some good conversations with many in the gay rights movement. My friends in the LGBTQ community and their advocates often attempt to argue that homosexuality and biblical Christianity are perfectly compatible. This tactic should not be employed as it ultimately fails for several reasons referencing the New Testament alone.

First, Jesus made many commands, and in Matthew 19:18 He said, “You shall not commit adultery.” Occasionally a gay rights advocate will argue that adultery does not necessarily apply to the act of homosexuality. William Lane Craig responds:

“Jesus did not specifically mention lots of things which we know to be wrong, like bestiality or torture, but that doesn’t mean he approved of them.”[1] What Jesus did do, however, is offer the one man/one woman model of marriage found in Genesis while teaching in regards to divorce. Jesus said, “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh. Consequently, they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:6-8).

In a nutshell, Jesus says that marriage is between one man, and one woman, becoming one flesh for one lifetime. Craig goes on to point out that “for two men to become one flesh in homosexual intercourse would be a violation of God’s created order and intent.”[2]

 In addition to the model of marriage Jesus offers, the Apostle Paul makes it clear three times in the New Testament that the act of homosexuality is morally reprehensible in Romans 1:24-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, and 1 Corinthians 6:9. One might attempt to argue that Jesus never explicitly spoke against homosexuality, and who cares what Paul says? However, in the New Testament, Luke wrote not only the Gospel of Luke, but also the continuation of that book in Acts. In Acts 9, Luke records Paul’s conversion to Christianity on the Road to Damascus. On that occasion, Jesus Christ Himself calls Paul to follow Him. “If Paul and Jesus are not in agreement, why would Jesus call Paul to be his apostle? Jesus is God in the flesh and would, therefore, know all things (in his resurrected state). Jesus would certainly have known what Paul would teach (God’s “middle knowledge”) which, it seems, is one of the reasons Jesus called him.”[3] Therefore, what Paul teaches is the “Law of Christ.”

Jesus said “If you love me you keep my commands.” The law of Christ in the New Testament is clear that we ought not engage in many specific sins; homosexual acts are clearly one of the many sins we ought to avoid. Here is a deductive syllogism which makes this clear:

1- God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24; Romans 4:24; Galatians 1:1; 1 Peter 1:21).

2- The resurrection is God’s stamp of approval on the teachings of Jesus.

3- Jesus taught that we ought to follow His teachings (John 14:15, 23).

4- Jesus taught the heterosexual model of marriage (Mark 10:6-8).

5- The resurrected and omniscient Jesus chose Paul to continue His teachings (Acts 9).

6- Paul was clear that those who practice homosexuality (among other sins) will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10).

7- Therefore, the Law of Christ (teachings of Jesus) is clear that homosexual acts are against God’s will, and morally wrong (sin).

8- Therefore, the Church and all followers of Christ are rationally justified in holding the position that we ought not recognize gay marriage as it is against the will of God.[4]

Switching Gears

Many times, after those committed to the LGBTQ agenda realize that their commitments are antithetical to the Law of Christ and Christianity, they switch gears and change their worldview to that of atheism. After all, if God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist either. If objective moral values and duties do not exist, then there is nothing objectively wrong with homosexual behavior. This seems to be a huge victory for the gay rights movement because if atheism is true there are no logical grounds to condemn their actions as objectively wrong because all we would be left with is our subjective opinions.

However, now there is a huge problem for those in the “gay rights” movement if they are really concerned about their “rights.” Why is that? Because if God does not exist, not only are objective moral values and duties annihilated, but so are objective human rights. If God goes out the window, objective morality and human rights follow along with Him.

If God and soul do not exist, then humanity is merely “dust in the wind” and matter in motion in a causally determined universe. It logically follows, then, that we lose all grounds to affirm objective human value, and also the ability to choose otherwise. If we cannot make genuine choices, this would also include choices with moral properties. Therefore, objective morality and value both go down the drain in an atheistic worldview. However, if God exists and created us in His image, then all humanity is not only created in God’s image, but we also posses intrinsic worth and value. If this is the case, we can logically affirm that all mankind is genuinely created equal and we ought to be treated equally.

Moreover, if there is nothing objectively wrong with homosexual acts, there is also nothing objectively wrong with persecuting homosexuals and being intolerant of the LGBTQ community in general. We must keep our logical grounds of objective morality or nothing is objectively good, bad, right, wrong, fair, or evil. If atheism is true, the acts of Mother Teresa and Ted Bundy are morally equivalent and neutral in an objective sense. If there is nothing really wrong with anything, then there is nothing really (objectively) wrong with the beating, torture, and murder of Matthew Shepard because he was gay.

If we sincerely care about equal human rights, we must not abandon the objective grounding of these rights. Only if God exists do objective moral values, duties, and rights make any sense.

I would sincerely like to help my gay friends and neighbors out and provide them with an argument that is not only logically consistent but also affirms their objective human rights. The LGBTQ community ought to argue for Biblical Christianity! At first glance they might think this is crazy because many feel that conservative Christianity is the enemy of the LGBTQ community. However, we must remember that given Christian theism, we have grounds for the intrinsic value of all humans created in the image of God, and we have logical grounds for objective moral values and duties. Again, these are glaringly absent on atheism.

Sin is Sin

At this point, to be logically consistent, the practicing homosexual should admit that God exists, the Bible is God’s Word, and that homosexual actions are objectively sinful. However, after making this point, they should state that they freely choose to ignore these objective moral values and duties, and that they freely choose to sin. By the way, they should point out that anyone (heterosexual or otherwise), who is committed to a sexual lifestyle apart from the biblical model of marriage is just as objectively sinful as they are (that would be the vast majority of American college students)! My gay neighbor should point out that anyone committed to viewing internet porn is just as objectively wrong as they are. In fact, anyone who is committed to a lifestyle of any sin, from “little white lies” to rape and murder, are all morally reprehensible and objectively wrong. Anyone who does not hate his or her sin, and committed to fighting against it, is figuratively spitting in the face of Christ.

With that in mind, the mark of a true Christian is one who hates their sin, not one who parades and flaunts it. Taking part in “gay-pride parades,” is probably a sign that one is committed to sin as opposed to hating it. As a loving warning, this is a very dangerous place to be. I am not the ultimate Judge, but if a true Christian hates their sin, why would they parade it?

At this point, the gay rights advocate should make this move and state: Since objective moral values and duties exist, it is objectively wrong to hate and persecute the LGBTQ community (two wrongs don’t make a right). Just as we do not typically persecute the heterosexual college students who engage in sexual activity before marriage, we ought not to oppress or torment the practicing homosexual. After all, we are all created in God’s image. Jesus taught to love everyone from our neighbors (Mark 12:31) to our enemies (Matt 5:44) and that includes those in the LGBTQ community.

Christians should disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, but it doesn’t follow that we should be jerks about it. If the truth is not offered in love, then you are just making loud and obnoxious noise (1 Corinthians 13:1). Speak the truth in love, and as always…

Stay reasonable (Philippians 4:5)

Tim Stratton


[1] http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5339 (accessed 11-25-11)

[2] Ibid.

[3] http://carm.org/questions/other-questions/did-jesus-and-paul-teach-same-thing (accessed 11-25-11) emphasis mine

[4] I have crafted a variation of this argument for skeptics who do not think the Bible is the authoritative Word of God:

1. God raised Jesus from the dead (We can prove this via the historical method).

2. Therefore, Christianity is true.

3. Given multiple and early attestation in the Gospels, we can be certain that Jesus spoke of moral purity and against sexual immorality.

4. Sexual immorality (porneia) referred to all sorts of sexual misconduct, such as adultery, incest, having sex with one’s stepmother, same-sex relationships, sex with prostitutes.

5. Therefore, same-sex marriage is sinful and cannot be approved or facilitated by the Christian Church.

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About the Author



(The FreeThinking Theist)

Timothy A. Stratton (PhD, North-West University) is a professor at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. As a former youth pastor, he is now devoted to answering deep theological and philosophical questions he first encountered from inquisitive teens in his church youth group. Stratton is founder and president of FreeThinking Ministries, a web-based apologetics ministry. Stratton speaks on church and college campuses around the country and offers regular videos on FreeThinking Ministries’ YouTube channel.

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