How Do We Determine the Morality of Same-Sex Relationships?

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Considered by former president and Founding Father John Adams to be one of America’s three most notable Founding Fathers, Dr. Benjamin Rush was an advocate for free public schools for all youth. In fact, he can rightly be called the father of public schools under the Constitution.[1] Dr. Rush once wrote, “The only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible.”[2] He also wrote, “The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life … The Bible … should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.”[3] In other words the father of public schools would be appalled to learn that the Bible is no longer welcome in the American public school system. What was once considered to be the foundation for our educational system is today verging on illegality. This is because societies change; cultures change; principals, morals, and convictions change when given enough time. Recognizing this, we cannot allow social preference and cultural agreement to determine our morality. Specifically, we cannot allow social preference and cultural agreement to determine the morality of same-sex relationships.

As Christians, we serve an all-knowing and sovereign God who has spoken the end from the beginning according to Isaiah 46:9–10, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’” Furthermore, 2 Timothy 3:16 teaches that all Scripture is God-breathed, and 2 Peter 1:20–21 teaches that no Scripture is the interpretation or understanding of man but is rather the result of God’s inspiration—these men having been “carried along” in their writing by the Holy Spirit. In other words, these Scriptures—instructions and teachings that we today refer to as “the Bible”—come from a God who knows in advance every philosophy and cultural shift that mankind will ever experience, and He has produced the Bible for His people in a manner that is uncorrupted by man’s understanding and prejudices. Because of this, we hold the Bible as our inerrant and eternal standard for truth. Regardless of the latest scientific study or theory, regardless of the political temperature of our nation, regardless of our emotions and circumstances, we hold the Bible to be our only reliable standard for determining truth and morality.

Unfortunately, there is not space to review the plethora of internal and external evidences that substantiate the authenticity and reliability of the Bible. This is a book that was penned by more than 40 different authors in all walks of life and in multiple civilizations stretching over 1,500 years. Despite this and the fact that the Bible addresses history’s most controversial political, social, and spiritual issues, there is never a contradiction that is not discovered to be in harmony with the remainder of Scripture when adequately studied in context. Moreover, the testimony of Scripture is continually reaffirmed through archaeological discoveries of locations and customs that have been forgotten by all other known records. Suffice it to say that there is vastly more reason to trust the reliability of Scripture than any other historical record. If one were to dismiss the reliability of Scripture, then one would be compelled to dismiss the credibility of all known history. For a far more thorough examination of the subject, read Josh McDowell’s book New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, or check our J. Warner Wallace’s website

Throughout the Bible, God declares the practice of homosexuality to be sin:

  • Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
  • Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
  • Romans 1:24–27, “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
  • 1 Timothy 1:9–10, “Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.”
  • Jude 1:7, “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”


Scripture is clear, and God’s Word remains consistent. Cultures, principals, morals, and convictions change in societies over time, but God’s Word is eternal. This is why it is imperative that we as Christians determine our sexual morals based upon the Bible, and we must be careful not to forget this amid the social debate that surrounds us.

Be sure to read Timothy Zebell’s book Laid Bare: Uncovering the Relationship Between Homosexuality & the Gospel.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Barton, David. “Dr. Benjamin Rush.” Wall Builders, August 15, 2003. Accessed June 19, 2014.

2. Barton, David. “The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible.” Wall Builders, May, 2008. Accessed June 19, 2014.

3. Barton.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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