Greg Koukl and Alan Shlemon of Stand to Reason tackle what has become a highly contentious issue in the visible Church. Since Jesus didn’t talk about homosexuality, as some people claim, that must mean it’s okay to be gay, right? But what about Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:9-11, where homosexual behavior is condemned?
If you’ve ever claimed that Scripture says homosexual behavior is a sin, there’s a good chance someone tried to correct you with, “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.” It doesn’t matter what Bible verse bolsters your claim, Jesus’ silence on the matter allegedly trumps all other considerations. Here are seven reasons why this objection doesn’t work.
First of all, Jesus didn’t need to say anything about homosexuality. No first century Jew questioned whether homosexual sex was morally permissible. That’s because every Old Testament reference, poem, or metaphor that addresses sex and marriage in a positive way presumes heterosexual relations. Furthermore, every reference to homosexuality in the Old Testament is negative. There was no debate as to what the biblical witness was on that behavior. God-fearing Jews already believed homosexual sex was prohibited.
Second, it’s not certain that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. It’s possible He did address it but His statement wasn’t recorded. The Gospel writers didn’t document everything Jesus said and did—only what they thought was important to their audience. Indeed, most of what Jesus said (and did) was never written down. John 21:25 says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.” It’s possible Jesus did talk about homosexuality but the Gospel writers didn’t feel it was necessary to include it in their accounts.