Is Homosexuality the Worst Sin of All?

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Alan Shlemon in Do the Right Thing
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Christians define sin as “missing the mark.” It almost sounds cute. Kyle lied so he missed the mark…Oops. Katy gossiped…Shucks, that was wrong. Randy was prideful…Yikes, better stop that.

But homosexuality? Whoa! That’s more than missing the mark. That’s an abomination! Homosexuals aren’t just sinners. They’re revelers consummating their reprobate mind. Someone please cite one of the Levitical prohibitions against homosexuality (preferably Leviticus 20:13 since it includes the death penalty) and say it in the King James Version for rhetorical effect.

And Christians don’t just think homosexuality is the worst sin. We act like it too. Christians who rarely cite scripture suddenly invoke Bible verses when the topic comes up. We get uneasy when gay men come to church, but we gladly welcome post-abortive women.  We’ll move a lesbian who sits next to other females at youth group, but we won’t separate girls who gossip.

It’s no wonder the culture thinks Christians hate homosexuals. We give their behavior a unique status: the worst sin of all. And because homosexuals are committing the supreme evil, we treat them like pariahs.

As a result, not only do homosexuals think their sin is the worst, but they are the worst. They’re the chief of all sinners. That’s why our verbal antidotes like, “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner” are so ineffective. They only hear the word, “hate.”

We shouldn’t be surprised, then, when homosexuals get anxious around Christians. It shouldn’t shock us that they start their own denominations. These men and women still have spiritual yearnings, but because Christians keep them at arm’s length, they have no choice but to turn to churches with pro-gay theology that accept them.

Don’t get me wrong: homosexual behavior is a serious sin. I’m not trying to downplay the gravity of what they do. But the Bible doesn’t elevate its status above all other sins.

Although homosexual behavior was a capital crime under the Mosaic Law, so were blasphemy, false prophecy, adultery, bestiality, and many other sins. Under today’s New Testament teaching, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 places homosexuals among other sinners like thieves, drunks, swindlers, and fornicators. And 1 Timothy 1:8-11 lists them among liars, rebels, slave traders, and other sinners. There’s no special designation for any of these sins (although sexual sins are grouped together since they are sins “against the body” in 1 Corinthians 6:16-20).

Many homosexuals have come to Christ. But they didn’t do it because they believed their sin was the worst. Instead, they recognized their sin was an obstacle to fellowship with God. Making homosexuality the worst sin isn’t merely a peculiar theological mistake. It has practical ramifications that alienate men and women engaged in homosexual behavior. And it creates unnecessary offense to the gospel that’s already offensive.

  1. Good post. It would be great to see the day where the church doesn’t define or view homosexuality as an identity but rather another sin that some people deal with.

  2. sharon curtis says:

    Haven’t seen Christians react as you describe, and would only hope they would be respectful towards all. I know this sin is listed in the section where it’s listed with the behaviors that the repentent had in the past, and how God had redeemed them from such sins–and praise God! The problem I have is Christians that actually expect you to “cheer” for this sin above others—In other words they seem to want to show an acceptance for homosexuality over other sins–say adultry or pedophilia–the opposite of what you’re saying. God didn’t wipe out whole cities for other sins-(-even though I know they were involved in all sorts of things), but they were defined by this in particular. Could it be that the image of God is on men/women and to couple any other way than what God intended rejects His plan to replicate his image? His image would be stopped by the self centeredness/sinfulness of man with homosexuality, and THAT is a complete rejection of Him and what he desired for man/women to accomplish. It’s the ultimate rejection–though, thankfully He forgives all!

  3. You mentioned Lev. 20, where it talks about the sin of homosexuality. But there’s quite a bit more defined as sin in that chapter than just homosexuality–eat no unclean animals (:25), exile any couple that has sex during the woman’s menstrual period (:18), death to spiritual mediums (:27), death for adultery (:10), and death for “anyone who curses their father or mother” (:9).

    If you cite Lev. 20 for its condemnation of homosexuality, a lot more comes along for the ride. I doubt that’s what you’re looking for.

    I talk more about that here: