One of the hot topics in today’s culture centers around questions of sexual identity, same-sex attraction and homosexuality. What does the Bible say about these issues?
Sam Allberry says that we can look to the definition of marriage throughout Scripture to help us gain a better understanding of God’s stance on human sexuality and the issues surrounding it.
“I think the key passages on homosexuality are not actually about homosexuality. In other words, I think that the key texts are actually what the Bible says about marriage.”
“My starting point is normally Matthew 19:3-6, where Jesus is speaking about marriage. He is asked a question about divorce, but answers by explaining what marriage is. He makes it very clear in that passage that marriage is between one man and a woman; that it’s uniquely a one-flesh union, and that the alternative to that kind of relationship is to be celibate, which He even talks about in verses 10-12.”
Sam says that while there are other passages that directly mention homosexuality including, Leviticus 18 and 20, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, he wants to encourage us to focus on God’s definition of marriage to help us shape the way we think about sexual identity, same-sex attraction and homosexuality.
“What we think about marriage, and our beliefs about homosexuality, flow from what we understand to be the Christian understanding of marriage.”
“Part of the reason Jesus teaches what He does about marriage is because in the whole of the Bible, marriage is a pointer to the relationship Jesus has with His people. When we’re talking about the Christian understanding of marriage, we’re in gospel territory. The promises that Christ makes to us in the Gospel, are the very promises that are made within the marriage ceremony.”
By understanding God’s definition of marriage, we will have a much better understanding of how He views issues of human sexuality. In turn, we will be able to point those who are struggling to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Sam expands,
“If I address the issue of sexuality from the vantage point of what the distinctively Christian view of marriage happens to be, I’m actually pointing people to the kind of love God has shown us in Jesus.
“For me, it’s a way of showing that my beliefs about sexuality, actually flow from something that itself is part of the architecture of the gospel.”
Sam Allberry is a global speaker and apologist for RZIM based at the Zacharias Trust in Oxford. Sam is also an editor for The Gospel Coalition, a Guest Lecturer at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and a founding editor of LivingOut.org. He is author of the book Is God anti-gay? (Questions Christians Ask).The Bible and same sex attraction