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First, this question assumes the Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. If you disagree, that's a separate question.

Based on that assumption, my question is why is homosexuality a sin? My reasoning is that God defines something as a sin because it is harmful or not loving; He doesn't just create an arbitrary list to catch people out!

But homosexuality doesn't harm anyone, I think, so what is the problem? Why does God classify it as a sin?

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Why the close votes? –  Wikis Aug 31 '11 at 21:30
I think you would have better luck with a question along the lines of "Why are some things that don't hurt anyone a sin?" This makes it less of a hot-button issue, and probably less controversial and therefore less "not-constructive". My 2 cents. –  Flimzy Aug 31 '11 at 21:42
@DTest: 1) Not a single VtC is for Duplicate. 2) That's not a duplicate. –  Flimzy Aug 31 '11 at 21:42
If you subscribe to the belief that Christianity was conceived by humans and not gods, then you can look at the Bible as more of the authors' idea of a "Guide for good living" rather than a religious text. The authors apparently felt homosexuality was detrimental and/or offensive. –  Jenny Thomson Aug 31 '11 at 22:11
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closed as not constructive by Flimzy, wax eagle, Caleb, Richard, Dori Aug 31 '11 at 22:42

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3 Answers

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God desires our greatest happiness. In the area of romantic relationships, He has designed us to be happiest in a man/woman marriage. Homosexuality gets in the way of this.

Genesis 2:20-22:

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

From this, it seems God created woman and man to compliment each other.

If we accept that God's design is for man and woman to compliment each other in a marriage relationship, then anything that stands as an obstacle to that design being realized would be "sin," even if that thing doesn't seem overtly harmful.

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Homosexuals would disagree with you, that they are happy in a man/wom relationship. Also, where is this reason written in the bible, do you have any reference for that? –  Sven Aug 31 '11 at 21:35
@Sven: Everyone who sins does so because they think it will make them happy. Myself included. –  Flimzy Aug 31 '11 at 21:40
@Sven - some are called to celibacy. John the Baptist, for instance, was a celibate, as was the Lord himself. So there is certainly another, more difficult (perhaps) but more rewarding path for anyone who wants to try it. –  RiverC Aug 31 '11 at 22:15
@TRiG: That's what the verse I quoted is intended to demonstrate. God created woman as man's helper--not another man. –  Flimzy Sep 6 '11 at 20:19
Ah. Gender essentialism. And the assumption that what suits one person must suit all people. Meh. –  TRiG Sep 7 '11 at 10:08
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God says that we shouldn't worship idols. Therefore, idol worship is a sin. Similarly, God says homosexuality is a sin. Therefore it is.

We cannot question God on why he thinks something is abominable.

Isaiah 40:13a

Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD

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My answer would be that sexuality involves a 'telos', which is to say, an end for which it exists. While in some circumstances homosexuality may not harm the persons involved, it definitely changes what sex is 'for'.

We must interpret the reason for the command being that at the very least, what sexual intercourse or in general, the sexualization of a relationship, is for, is affected for the negative by the normalization of homosexuality. For one, the term 'sex' becomes somewhat odd, since 'sex' refers to complementary parts of a whole.

Also, it should be noted that having strong affections for or attractions to a member of the same sex is not the sin, but the act of 'doing what you'd do with a woman, with a man.' We can only infer that in a society where a woman has 'sexual choice' like men did in those situations, female homosexual acts would be likewise considered wrong.

What makes this a hot-button issue is that usually what people reject or object to is not so much the acts but the mere attraction, which is often something a person cannot help.

Additionally, the normalization of homosexuality makes it very hard for men who have strong affections for one another to keep their relationship asexual. Again, if we accept homosexual acts as normal then the 'reason' for their relationship may be interpreted differently.

This comes at it with the idea that attraction or strong affection is not necessarily sexual, but is sexualized in the context of a marriage, which in this context means male and female.

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