Questions and Answers: Leviticus 18:22 and Homosexuality

From Issue: R&R Volume 24 #9


Does Leviticus 18:22 condemn all homosexual activity, or certain acts?


It has been argued by certain homosexuals, and those sympathetic to their cause, that Leviticus 18:22 does not teach that all homosexual acts are wrong. Supposedly, this verse (“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”) “refers to the male’s assuming the passive role in anal intercourse, which was held as an abomination because of taking on the inferior status of women. Apparently it does not view the ‘active’ role in anal intercourse as an abomination, nor other homosexual acts” (as stated on one particular pro-homosexual web site). As sickening as it is to respond to such a grotesque interpretation of Scripture, we are compelled to answer the homosexuals’ ever-growing perversions of God’s Word, including this one.

First, nowhere in Scripture is a particular posture commanded or forbidden for a husband and wife while they are engaged in sexual intercourse. The Bible’s only emphasis on legitimate sexual relations is that it always take place between a scripturally married husband and wife (1 Corinthians 7:2; cf. Matthew 19:1-9). God never stipulated specific postures in order for sexual relations between a husband and wife to be appropriate. For the homosexually tolerant interpretation of Leviticus 18:22 to begin to have any validity whatsoever, it must be proved that God placed emphasis on postures during intercourse. Such cannot be done.

Second, the homosexual’s explanation of this verse also is flawed in that it suggests that while the “active” person involved in anal intercourse is not sinning, the one “assuming the passive role” is doing something detestable. Thus, allegedly while two men are engaged in sexual intercourse, one may be doing something perfectly honorable, while the other is doing something despicable. What kind of nonsense is this? According to God, intercourse is either legitimate for both people (1 Corinthians 7:2; Hebrews 13:4), or illegitimate for both people (Matthew 19:9). Scripture never indicates that sexual relations between two men might be moral for one of the participants, but immoral for the other one.

Those who interpret the Bible in such a way are doing just the opposite of what Paul stated that he did (and that God wants from us all): They have not “renounced the hidden things of shame,” but are “walking in craftiness” and are “handling the word of God deceitfully” (2 Corinthians 4:2). They are unstable people who twist the Scriptures “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).


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