Is same-sex attraction a sin?
Question: "Is same-sex attraction a sin?"
Answer: In Matthew 5:27–28, Jesus equates lust with adultery. This establishes a biblical principle: if it is a sin to do something, it is also a sin to desire to do that something. The Bible very clearly states that homosexuality is a sin (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Therefore, it is also sinful to desire to commit homosexual acts. It is a sin to be attracted to something that God declares to be immoral and unnatural. Yes, same-sex attraction is a sin.
Heterosexual lust is a sin (Matthew 5:27–28), but heterosexual attraction is not a sin. It is normal and natural for males to be attracted to females, and vice versa. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people finding the opposite gender attractive. It only becomes a sin if that attraction turns into lust. Once the attraction expands into a desire to do something sexually immoral, it has become sin.
Homosexuality is different. From the very outset, same-sex attraction is an affection that the Bible forbids and declares to be abhorrent. It is depravity to be attracted to something that God says is absolutely unattractive.
While we reject the idea that some people are born gay, we do recognize that some people seem to have a natural tendency toward same-sex attraction. How, then, can it be a sin to be attracted to the same sex if it is apparently “natural”? We are infected with sin, and sin causes us to have warped and twisted thoughts, desires, and proclivities. Whether it be heterosexual lust, theft, out-of-control anger, etc., these tendencies are the result of our being sinners by nature (Romans 5:12).
However, it is absurd to say that sin, since it comes “naturally,” should be embraced. Is it right for a person with a proclivity for anger to lash out in rage towards others? Is it right for a kleptomaniac to steal? Is it right for a husband to commit adultery against his wife simply because a strong sex drive is part of his nature? Absolutely not! People may not always be able to control how or what they feel, but they can control what they do with those feelings (1 Peter 1:5–8).
That said, God’s forgiveness is available to everyone who desires it (John 3:16–21). The repentant homosexual, adulterer, idol worshipper, murderer, or thief is welcome to come before God to receive His grace and mercy. God also promises to provide strength for victory over sin, including homosexuality, to all those who will believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13).
The Bible is clear that children of God should think and act differently from the world, especially when the world’s standards go against what God has commanded in the Bible. Many in the world accept same-sex attraction and homosexuality as a social norm, but a Christian’s standards for life should come from the Bible, not conventional wisdom (2 Timothy 3:16–17). As Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Recommended Resource: 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley
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Questions about Sin
Is same-sex attraction a sin?