So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
The book of Genesis is the first of the five books–known as the Pentateuch–written by Moses. By starting at the beginning of creation, the book of Genesis provides the foundation for all subsequent Bible teachings. In the book of Genesis one finds the beginning of creation (Gen. 1:1), the animal and plant world (Gen. 1:2-25), human beings (Gen. 1:26-30), sin (Gen. 3:1-7), judgment (Gen. 3:8-24), salvation (Gen. 3:21), and Israel (Gen. 12:1-3), as well as a myriad of other important beginnings.
Central to all of these beginnings is the creation of human beings. Humans are unique in all of creation because only they are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27). Though no one is certain what it means to be created in the image of God, what is certain is that as God’s image-bearers, humans hold a position of singular importance in God’s plan for creation. They are representatives of certain divine attributes that God considered important in His plan. A proper understanding of humanity is essential, therefore, for understanding God’s intention for the role of humans in creation.
A concerted effort is underway to normalize homosexuality in our culture. Homosexuals are pressing for legislative protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation. They are busy educating children and the general public that homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle. They are even pressing for the right to marry and to enjoy all of the social and financial benefits that accompany marriage. And they are making progress. Today, in Vermont homosexuals can be joined in a civil ceremony conducted by state-licensed Justices of the Peace.
One popular argument homosexuals use to justify their homosexuality is to claim that God made them homosexual. However, when one consults the Bible’s record of the creation of humans, it becomes clear that there is no biblical support for the claim that God intended homosexuality. Three arguments are evident in Genesis 1:27-28 that refute the claim that God created people as homosexuals.
I. The Argument of Exclusivity, v. 27
There are those today who insist that there are as many as five sexual types–male, female, bisexual, transsexual, and homosexual. The testimony of Genesis 1:27 is that God made two sexes–male and female. The text utilizes two very specific words to refer to the man and the woman. Whereas the Bible usually refers to a man as ‘adam and to a woman as ‘ishah, Genesis 1:27 calls man zakar and woman neqebah. Kenneth Mathews, Genesis 1-11:26, NAC, p. 173, notes that these terms “particularly express human sexuality.” These two sexes comprise the sexual universe of humanity. There is a male and there is a female, and that is all.
Given this foundational truth, it is understandable why the Bible condemns homosexuality. Homosexuality represents a third sex, which is not acknowledged in Genesis 1:27. Indeed, one can find numerous passages in the Bible that reject homosexuality as a God-given sexual orientation. When Moses wanted to describe the kind of wickedness that the Lord went to investigate in Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:20-21), he described the efforts of the men of Sodom to rape the angels who were staying with Lot (Gen. 19:1-10). When God was preparing His people to enter the Promised Land, He told them in clear terms that homosexual behavior is an abomination (Lev. 18:22 and 20:13). Paul referred to homosexual behavior to illustrate the depth of depravity to which men and women sank when they rejected God (Rom. 1:24-32).
II. The Argument of Fertility, v. 28
Genesis 1:28 affirms that God blessed the man and woman with the ability to reproduce. John Sailhammer, Genesis, EBC, p. 38, clarifies the nature of the instructions that God issued to the man and woman. Sailhammer says, “‘Be fruitful,’ `increase,’ and ‘fill’ are not to be understood as commands in this verse since the introductory statement identifies them as a blessing.” In other words, the blessing is the ability to be fruitful, to increase, and to fill the earth. Accomplishing these things is the exercise of the blessing.
There is no other way to understand this blessing by God except as an expectation that the man and woman would have offspring. This blessing can only be realized through the union between a man and a woman. Homosexual relationships will never produce their own offspring because the homosexual relationship is sterile by its nature. So, if part of God’s blessing was specifically related to having children, it is not possible that He intended homosexual relationships that could not fulfill this blessing.
III. The Argument of Complementarity, v. 27
Verse 27 makes an important connection in describing the creation of human beings. The text says that God created man in His own image. The word “man” is singular. It refers to humanity as a class. In other words there is only one humanity. Yet, the text goes on to say that God created two sexes within this one humanity. Humanity, therefore, consists of people who are male and people who are female. The human race is complete only in the two sexes.
This sense of completeness is further explained in Genesis 2:18-24. In that passage, God observed that the man needed “a helper suitable for him” (2:18 NIV). Kenneth Mathews, Genesis 1- 11:26, NA C, pp. 213-14, notes that Eve is to be Adam’s helper “in the sense of aid and support.” The phrase does not denote a lesser status for the woman, but rather a specific role distinction. Mathews observes, “In the case of the biblical model, the ‘helper’ is an indispensable ‘partner’ (REB) required to achieve the divine commission.” The two complement each other. Neither is complete without the other; neither can exercise God’s blessing without the other.
While it is true that procreation was an important part of God’s blessing, this is not the only reason God created man and woman. The blessing includes “subduing” and “ruling” over creation (v. 27). In order to exercise this part of the blessing God devised a partnership that required a man and a woman working together. Adam needed one from his own species that possessed the specific characteristics that he needed to secure the blessing. God chose to create woman for this task. She is his completion and intended partner. The text nowhere indicates that God intended for another male to fulfill this function.
The clear answer of Scripture is that God does not create people as homosexuals. God created humanity as male and female. This raises the question: If God didn’t create people as homosexuals, how do we explain the phenomenon of homosexuality? It is likely that some people engage in homosexual behavior because of the lust of their sexual appetite. However, for many homosexuals other factors are involved. Most people who study the causes of homosexuality believe that it is a response to a number of genetic and environmental factors, contributing in different degrees in each case.
None of these contributing factors can be blamed on God. Rather, sin is the culprit here. Sin contributes to the phenomenon of homosexuality on at least two levels. First, when Adam and Eve sinned, they subjected all of humanity to decay. This decay can be seen at every level of the human experience. It can even cause the human body and mind to function abnormally. In the case of some homosexuals, their bodies are not producing the right levels of the right kinds of hormones.
Second, sins of commission or omission can affect the way people respond to others later in life. For example, relationships with adults during their formative years can affect the way some people respond to men and women later in life. For instance, there appears to be a direct connection in some cases between sexual abuse and later homosexual tendencies. At other times, homosexual inclination can be started by the failure of a father to participate properly or adequately in a child’s life. No doubt, many other factors are involved since most people who have these negative experiences do not develop homosexual attractions. But regardless of the reasons, one thing is clear–the Bible does not say God intended for people to be homosexuals.
What Can One Person Do?
- Begin a ministry to homosexual people in your community. For example, provide medical and counseling care to homosexuals.
- Ask your pastor to preach a message on the biblical understanding of homosexuality.
- Teach a study on the biblical teaching about homosexuality.
- Invite a former homosexual whose life has been changed through Christ to share with your church about his or her own struggles with homosexuality to help people understand it and begin a redemptive ministry to homosexuals.
- Share with family and friends that God does not make homosexual people. Share the reasons why people develop homosexual attractions.
- Begin a ministry in your church that helps people fulfill their God-given responsibilities to others, especially their children, so they can help their children and others have a better chance at developing proper attachments to men and women. For example, lead or start a class on godly fatherhood.
Bible verses about the Homosexuality:
Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Deuteronomy 22:5; Judges 19:1-25; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7; Revelation 22:14-15.