In the Bible it is said many times that homosexuality is a sin.

It is also said that love is the most important thing, and compassion is important as well; love your neighbor as yourself.

This appears to be a contradiction - in calling something a sin and yet being called to love.

How do Christians explain what seems to be a contradiction here?

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    I suggest you break this up into two (those you mention) or more specific "contradictions" to get a better quality of answer. Sep 5, 2011 at 14:37
  • Yeah, you need to break this up. As it stands, it's too broad of a topic and will probably be closed.
    – Richard
    Sep 5, 2011 at 14:47
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    how would a christian explain the "contradiction" of pride? ;) Sep 6, 2011 at 16:55
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    In the bible it is said many times that adultery is a sin, however love is the most imortant thing, and compassion is important as well; love your neighbour as yourself. How would a Christian explain what seem to be contradictions between different parts of the bible?
    – Chance
    Sep 19, 2011 at 15:24
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    What is the contradiction you believe exist?
    – V. Rollins
    Apr 18, 2014 at 0:36

6 Answers 6


No contradiction at all. We are, indeed, commanded to love our neighbors. We are also told that homosexuality is a sin. How is there any contradiction in that?

Loving our neighbors does not require us to approve of everything they do. Lying, stealing, adultery, profanity and greed are also defined as sins in the Bible. If loving our neighbor demands we approve of everything they do, then we would need to approve of all of these.

We could go farther and include more heinous sins as well.

It is important to note that a biblical understanding of sin is that all sin is to our destruction and loss. Loving someone would then require us to dislike anything that threatens to harm them, whether it be greed, pride, adultery, homosexuality or anything.

We don't allow our children to play in the streets because we love them and don't want them to be harmed. It would only be if we hated someone that we would want them to experience harm.


Homosexuality is not about love, it's about sex. There is nothing wrong with a man loving another man, we are supposed to love each other, but love is NOT equal to sex! That goes for heterosexuals as well. Sexual intercourse is designed for 1 male and 1 female who are in the covenant of marriage. The Bible is very clear on that one. Anything else is

the alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended.

Which is the dictionary definition of perversion.
And the Bible is also very clear on what Love means, both in the specific words it uses and the meaning of the texts describing it. When the bible speaks of love in a positive manner it uses the word agape which is the perfect love of God, of which Christ said : "Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for a friend." (John 15:13) and it is the agape love that is spoke of in 1 John 4:7-8:

1 John 4:7-8 (KJV)
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

So what does agape look like?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

So now compare that description of real love with sexual contact. They are miles apart. This is not to say that sex is bad, but it is to say that sex has nothing to do with agape. Now the bible does talk about sex elsewhere:

Mark 10:6-9 (NIV1984)
6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Now comes the next issue, what about christians loving homosexuals? We are supposed to love them as ourselves, but that doesn't mean we accept the sin. See this question on loving the sinner but hating the sin. Jesus will take you as you are, but you don't get to stay that way! That applies to all sin not just homosexuality, I'm an equal opportunity sin hater.

  • Homosexuality is not about love, it's about sex. Riiiiiiiiight.
    – TRiG
    Mar 14, 2012 at 0:06
  • Or, put another way, -1 for gross and ridiculous slander.
    – TRiG
    Mar 14, 2012 at 0:07
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    @TRiG From his viewpoint, he could have equally said heterosexuality is not about love, it's about sex - would you think that slanderous as well? May 6, 2014 at 12:48
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    @TRiG Actually my previous question was misleading - his answer says exactly that. So, do you actually think it's "gross and ridiculous slander" to say "Heterosexuality is not about love, it's about sex."? May 7, 2014 at 17:26
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    "We are supposed to love them as ourselves, but that doesn't mean we accept the sin." Indeed --- because my love for myself prevents me from accepting my own sins; it causes me to strive to break bad habits and avoid sin, so that I can properly love and serve God. Jan 2, 2015 at 16:34

There is no contradiction with homosexuality.

To be homosexual is to pervert the things that God has made for Good and to do wicked with them. To love God is to obey his commandments. Notice the order of importance in the commandments.

Matthew 22:35-39 (NIV)
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Your first priority is to show love for God, by doing as He has commanded you to do.

1 John 5:3 (NIV)
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

Your second priority is to love your neighbor.

1 John 5:2 (NIV)
This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.

But remember that there is no line, when you pervert the good that God has made, you are not a child of God, but instead you are a child of the Devil. Sounds harsh, but it's biblical...

Acts 13:10 (NIV)
“You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?

  • The title of your answer had me wondering until I read on. +1 Sep 14, 2011 at 3:13
  • So to sum that up, the OP said "love is the most important thing" which is not completely correct. Loving God is the most important thing and loving God means obeying his commands.
    – styfle
    Sep 17, 2011 at 22:14
  • Amen @styfle but keep in mind that loving/obeying god is to love one another. Sep 18, 2011 at 0:11
  • What I always wondered was that the ban on homosexuality is in the Mosaic Law. There are many other things which are also called abominations but when Paul said you are "dead to the law" he argued everyone can now eat pork etc. Since Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, how do you pick that commandment to continue strongly criticizing others but you yourself can light a fire on the sabbath day, eat meat with blood in it or have sex with a menstruating woman? Whats the rule? Jan 1, 2015 at 17:52

Such "contradictions" are often alleged. In order to really understand them you should take them one at a time. You can see how a few of these have been approached in the tag.

Sometimes these take the form of textual issues such as:

Sometimes they take on more doctrinal forms such as the how the OT laws are to be understood in light of Jesus NT teachings.

However, Christians hold that there are no legitimate contradictions either in the text or doctrines. There are some paradoxes, but that's a different question.

Holding that homosexual acts are sinful is not incomparable with love being the greatest commandment. See: What is the Biblical basis for "hate the sin, love the sinner"?

The issue of woman being silent is the topic for another question. There is an explanation for why Paul gave that instruction and why it is not implemented the way people "expect" today. See: Why don't many churches obey Paul's command that women must be silent in church?

  • Thanks, some Christians (at least they consider themselves Christian, for example westborough baptist church) will hate the sin and the proceed to publicly or privately, verbally or physically harm/abuse them. That is the contradiction.
    – Jonathan.
    Sep 5, 2011 at 14:44
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    @Jonathan. WBC is not an example of a a contradiction in the model but a demonstration of what happens when you have a fatal flaw in the implementation!
    – Caleb
    Sep 5, 2011 at 14:55
  • @Cakeb so strictly they aren't Christians.
    – Jonathan.
    Sep 5, 2011 at 15:05
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    In the context of this site where anybody that self-processes the label "Christian" is considered to be so, that doesn't make them genuine Christians no. We are told in the NT to judge people carefully based on fruit. We cannot pronounce their eternal fate but looking at their actions in this world I would say that WBC has not born the kind of fruit that would indicate that they are Christian. Just be careful that the standards you use to make those kind of judgement calls are not your own preferences or ideals but actual Biblical standards.
    – Caleb
    Sep 5, 2011 at 15:14
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    I can't help but wonder if the WBC folks are actually Christian at all, and not a group of provocateurs working to project a negative image in order to discredit Christianity. They're a small enough group to pull it off, and it's certainly a less absurd hypothesis than thinking that actual, believing Christians could screw up their understanding of the Gospel that badly...
    – Mason Wheeler
    Sep 5, 2011 at 18:50

Obviously, it's important that the concepts that a person means to convey match the terms that they use in conveying it. Otherwise, languages have no reliable meaning. The framing of your question sounds like you are inferring that 'to love' is 'to respect' or 'to accept' the actions and/or lifestyle of.

  • All persons have free will. The Bible does not instruct us to 'respect' or 'accept' anything that people choose to do with their free will whether it be sodomy, rape, adultery, bestiality, murder... etc.

  • The Bible says 'love thy neighbor as thyself'. It does not say 'love thy neighbor according to thy neighbors will'. Display compassion for others in the same manner as you would like to receive compassion.

  • You can love a person without 'loving' their actions. You can despise a person's actions without despising a person's soul.

  • If you love your fellow man, you should probably be praying for the deliverance of his soul. If you perceive a brother in danger, shouldn't you warn him? Should we appear to be accepting of things that would endanger a person's soul?

In all of this there is no contradiction (without perverting the Word of God or the concept of love for fellow man).


Every "contradiction" in the Bible can be explained either by adopting an explanation of the text that resolves the contradiction or by accepting that the Bible is imperfect.

This means that the apparent "contradiction of homosexuality" can be approached in one of three ways:

  1. The first approach is to view the Bible is an imperfect text, and accept that it does indeed contain contradictions. Some Christians believe that the Bible is inspired by God, but that the text was written down by imperfect humans. However, many other Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant.

  2. The majority of Christians who believe in that the Bible is inerrant do recognize that our interpretation of it can be (and often is) faulty - either as a result of mistranslation or misapplication. Some Christians believe that this has been the case with the texts about homosexuality, and that it was never actually God's intention to outlaw homosexual acts. However, this view is highly controversial. If you want to explore it further, please do ask additional questions on this site as a full discussion of the arguments is beyond the scope of this answer.

  3. The other alternative is to re-evaluate your understanding of the word "love" as it is used in the Bible. In English we use the word "love" to mean a wide variety of different things, including our emotional response to certain people, acts of kindness, bonds of kinship, sexual desire, appreciation and so on. However, when the Bible talks about God's love, it generally means sacrificial love that seeks the good of loved one over the interests of the lover. Many Christians who believe that the Bible speaks clearly against homosexual acts recognize that they may involve giving pleasure to someone else, but believe that homosexual activity is ultimately founded on a person's own physical gratification. As such, it is viewed as absolutely contrary to Christian love.

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