Should Preaching About Homosexuality Be a Priority?

Louie Giglio, pastor of the Passion City Church in Atlanta, was invited to deliver the benediction during the President’s inauguration. He has since withdrawn from participating in the event after some “gay-rights” advocates protested. The following quote was included in the article linked above. It is from a sermon of Giglio’s from the 1990’s and was the cause of the opposition against his participation in the inauguration.

“If you look at the counsel of the word of God, Old Testament, New Testament, you come quickly to the conclusion that homosexuality is not an alternative lifestyle… homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the word of God. You come to only one conclusion: homosexuality is less than God’s best for his creation.”

I know nothing about anything else Giglio teaches or has taught, but his remarks above about homosexuality being a sin are exactly correct. In every dispensation, homosexuality has been an abomination in the eyes of God. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were utterly destroyed for this sin (Genesis 19:4-13; Jude 7). The Law of Moses clearly condemned the practice: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22; cf. 20:13). Even in the New Testament, homosexuality is said to be “unnatural,” “indecent,” and “contrary to sound teaching” (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Timothy 1:10). Paul told the brethren in Corinth that the sin of homosexuality, if not repented of and abandoned, would prevent one from inheriting the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9).

It is not surprising that “gay-rights” advocates would oppose one who made such statements. By now this should be expected. What I want to call attention to is a statement that Giglio made in response to the controversy surrounding his participation in the inauguration. This is from the same article linked above.

“Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.”

Giglio did not say that he changed his position (at least it is not indicated by this quote). I have not read any other articles about him and this issue so I do not know if he commented since about whether or not he still believes that homosexuality is a sin. Regardless, he made it clear that for fifteen years, discussing the issue has not been a priority for him.

This begs the question: Should teaching about homosexuality be a priority for Christians and, in particular, preachers of the gospel? Notice a few passages:

  • Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:26-27). One who preaches the gospel is obligated to teach “the whole counsel of God” (NKJV). This means that we are not at liberty to ignore certain matters simply because the truth is unpopular.
  • Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). Part of preaching involves reproving and rebuking. If one is in error, he needs to have that pointed out to him so he has a chance to develop the godly sorrow necessary to lead him to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).
  • For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Romans 1:26-27). The fact that homosexuality is “unnatural” means that one has to alter the way he thinks in order to practice it. He must cease honoring God in the way that God desires (Romans 1:21) and no longer “acknowledge God” (Romans 1:28). Homosexuality, while a sin in itself, is also a symptom of this ungodly mindset that must be defeated, regardless of how it is manifested.
  • Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals…will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). If we care at all about leading people to the kingdom of God, we need to warn them about the sins that prevent them from inheriting the kingdom, regardless of whether the sin is adultery, idolatry, thievery, or homosexuality.
  • Realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious…for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching” (1 Timothy 1:9-10). If it is important that we teach people to hold fast to sound teaching – and it most certainly is (2 Timothy 1:13) – then we must warn them to give up sins that are “contrary to sound teaching,” regardless of whether the sin is murder, kidnapping, lying, or homosexuality.
  • Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7). The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality (indulging in “gross immorality” and going after “strange flesh”), serves as “an example” to warn us about “the punishment of eternal fire.” Our goal must be to “save others, snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 23). We have to teach against the sin of homosexuality if we are to do this.

So should teaching about homosexuality be a priority? Absolutely! Obviously we cannot neglect other important lessons from the word of God in order to focus on this issue. But we must discuss it. It is timely and vital for our culture. It is not popular, but this should not deter us. Our goal is to please God, not men (Galatians 1:10). When we speak according to “the utterances of God,” we make it so that “God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). Let us continue to teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2), and not be deterred by any opposition.

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  1. Brother , as always – this is poignant and proper. The decline of our nation is spiraling right in front of us and this topic seems to be in the forefront of it all ,among others…

    Dark times don’t call for dark measures…they call for light.

    Thank you for being one!


  2. Thanks, Keith. I appreciate your encouragement.

  3. So much good teaching from the scripture in such a short study. Anyone that is at all interested can not miss the point that necessity is placed on the Christian to teach the word like it has been reveled. Keep up the good work.

  4. Wayne D. Teel says

    Homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted by our society today and that is simply because of the acceptance of wickedness in general by nearly everyone. Only Christians are speaking out against homosexuality and even they are not speaking out as loudly as they should.

    But many so called Christians have “toned down” their opposition to this very nasty sin. Most Christians even use the word “Gay” which the homosexuals have coined to lessen the impact of this terrible sin and make it sound and appear less evil. The word gay was and is a perfectly good word but it has been corrupted by those who want to cover up the truth. The word gay means “happy, carefree.” Homosexuals have nothing to be happy about as they live a wicked and morally depraved life. But when they coin such a nice sounding word to describe their evil lifestyle,they are softening the blow that should be dealt them.

    Why should Christians go along with, and partner with, such wicked people by using their terms to describe a lifestyle that is in opposition to God’s law? I will not be sucked into this practice and I encourage other Christians not to do it either. It is calling “good evil and evil good”(Isa 5:20) and God warns us not to do it.

    Thanks, Andy, for a good article.

  5. That’s absolutely right about the word “gay.” I try not to use it when talking about homosexuality. Occasionally I’ll slip and use it, just because it’s so common for people to use the term.

  6. This is an email that I sent to Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. It’s time we expose those who say they preach God’s Word but approve of what God’s Word does not approve of.
    I am confused, Mr. Sharpton. I am a Bible Teacher, and know many Bible teachers. You proport to be a Bible teacher, and based upon that assertion, I have the authority to hold you accountable to what God’s Word, the Bible says. Would you agree that the greatest love that could be shown to a lost person ( you do teach that people are lost, don’t you?) is showing them the only way to be saved ( you do teach that there is one way, as Jesus did, don’t you?) ( John 14:6 ) by placing their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, therby escaping the punishment that awaits those that die lost; namely the lake of fire ( you do teach, as the Bible does, that there is a lake of fire, don’t you?) ( Luke 16:22-31). If you do not agree with the Bible’s conclusion, then there really is no need to continue, but for the sake of assuming you agree, I will. In God’s Word, the Bible, in Romans 1:22-32, it is stated three times that God ” gave them up ” ( verse 24 ), ” gave them up ” ( verse 26), and ” gave them over ” ( verse 28 ). Any avid Bible teacher or preacher knows that the ” them” here are those that practiced unnatural sex, namely the women who ” changed the natural use into that which is against nature “( verse 26 ), and men who ” leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men, working that which is unseemly “( verse 27 ). This is homosexuality and lesbianism clearly being defined here. I have an admonition for you, Mr. Sharpton, based upon God’s Word; Either start trying to get lost people saved ( including lesbians and homosexuals), instead of promoting this lifestyle and giving lost people a false hope, or stop calling yourself a minister of God’s Word. If you do neither, then I have no other words for you, other than concluding the same thing that Jesus concluded about false preachers in His day ; ” ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do ( John 8:44 ). Please repent, Mr. Sharpton; You are going to stand before a Holy God one day.

  7. Larry, you’re right. Sin must not be condoned, but condemned, if we ever hope to lead people out of it.


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