LGBT+ issues have been under a political spotlight for the past few decades, so there’s definitely a lot of wondering what the Bible has to say about it. In fact, this is probably a question I’ve been asked more than any other, by both friends and strangers. It is possibly one of the greatest spiritual hurdles that this generation has to face. This is going to be a long one, so – get comfortable, pour a drink, sit back and enjoy!
To begin, we must of course, start at the beginning.
The Creation story found in Genesis, teaches us about the formation of Adam and Chavah, the complexity of gender roles, the gift of marriage and the consequences of our actions; but never homosexuality.
the Creation story really is about Adam and Eve (Chavah), and not Adam and Steve, as critics so fervently emphasis.
The authors of the first chapters of Genesis never intended to write an entire anthropological history – they never discuss friendship for example – but to answer the question of how we were created; Which, until this day, requires the “marriage” between male and female, or in Biblical terms, the “becoming of one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
In spite of this, the notion that marriage was designed solely for pro-creation is an entirely fabricated teaching.
From the very beginning of our existence, Christians have understood that marriage means more than sexuality, and sexuality means so much more than reproduction; setting us apart from other religious groups.
This approach is echoed in Genesis 2:18, where we find an odd blankness in the vastness of the “good” universe that God had so far created.
Here, it is stated that it is “not good” for Adam to be alone, so he makes a partner in Chavah. It is at this point we see the first objectives of human sexuality: connection and companionship.
There is nothing inherently anti or pro-LGBT in the Creation story, but a few chapters later, in Genesis 19, we find the story of Sodom and Gomorrah – where homosexuality is briefly referred.
“Sodom” and it’s derivatives are some of the most distasteful words in the English language. This is because they are usually associated with male homosexual acts as being abominable. Something interesting to note however, is that this association was never made until 395CE.
It was St Jerome who first noted that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah involved a sexual sin, but he never mentions which.
Dr Meir Tamari describes the Sodomites sin as “Economic Egoism” in his book, Jewish Values in an Open Society, and other scholars endorse this idea of inhospitality to outsiders, as the primary sin that led to the destruction of these ancient cities.
Interesting enough, Yeshua himself uses this parable to refer to inhospitality. In Matthew 10:5-15 NLT he states,
If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
So what is St Jerome referring to? Perhaps homosexuality, but even more likely – rape. Rape is a serious sexual sin, whether it be homosexual or heterosexual, under both the Mosaic Covenant (Deut 22:13-29, Deut 22:25-27) and the New Covenant (Rom 13:1-14 – rape was a crime under the roman government, Matt 5:32).
To conclude this post, we can confidently say that Genesis mentions very little about LGBT+ issues. As this issue is such a complex one with a very long history, it is best to address each “clobber verse” in separate posts. Stay tuned for more, and I hope that this has begun to answer your question!
New Living Translation (NLT) Bible,. (revised edition 2007) (v. Genesis 2:24, Genesis 2:18, Genesis 19, Matthew 10:5-15, Deuteronomy 22:13-29, Deuteronomy 22:25-27, Romans 13:1-14, Matthew 5:32). Tyndale House Publishers.
Haiken, A. & →, V. (2012). Genesis 1: Turning the Creation Story into an Anti-Gay Treatise. On Being Jewish, Christian and Gay. Retrieved from https://jewishchristiangay.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/genesis-1-turning-the-creation-story-into-an-antigay-treatise/
Coontz, S. (2005). Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage. New York: Viking.
Meir, T. (2000). Jewish Values In Our Open Society. Maryland: Jason Aronson, Inc.
A Select library of Nicene and post-Nicene fathers of the Christian church. Second series : Schaff, Philip, 1819-1893, from https://archive.org/details/aselectlibraryn05wacegoog