Does 1 Cor 6:9 mean I can't be gay AND Christian?

Rick Brentlinger Answers -

Thanks for the interesting question. Many modern Christians have embraced false teaching about 1 Corinthians 6:9. They arrive at their false teaching by assuming that the Greek words, malakoi and arsenokoitai mean homosexual.

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malakoi), nor abusers of themselves with mankind (arsenokoitai),

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

-1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Of course, there is nothing in the Bible and very little in church history to support their false teaching. In the first century AD, no one would define malakoi to mean homosexual. The Greek word malakoi was rarely, if ever, used in the first century to indicate homosexual men and was never used to indicate lesbians.

In the first century AD, no one would define arsenokoites to mean homosexual. Historical evidence - the way the arsenokoit stem was actually used in the first century AD - indicates that the arsenokoit stem referred to:
  1. Rape

  2. Sex with angels or the gods

  3. Anal sex with one's wife

  4. Masturbation

Based on the extant Greek manuscripts available to us today, the Greek word arsenokoites was rarely, if ever, used to indicate homosexual men and was never used to describe lesbians.

Therefore, when someone quotes 1 Corinthians 6:9 or 1 Timothy 1:10 to "prove" that God is against homosexuality, they are conveying nothing more than their opinion, without any basis in fact.

It is important to keep in mind that getting saved means you've experienced heartfelt repentance from your sins and you are trusting God's grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as the satisfactory payment for your sins.

Once you're saved, nothing you do can cause you to lose your salvation because every born again Christian has eternal security in Christ as a present and irrevocable possession.

Additional Information

1. How do you answer the verse that says homosexuals will not go to heaven?

2. Does the Bible say homosexuals will go to hell?

3. Is it possible to change from homosexual to heterosexual?

4. Does becoming a Christian make you heterosexual?

5. Is there any evidence of an actual gay marriage in the Bible?

Original Question:

"I am a gay man who is also a Christian. I love the Lord Jesus and want to serve him. But, every fundamental church or evangelical group points me to I Cor 6:9-10 where it says homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I have a very hard time reconciling my sexual orientation and being a Christian. Can anyone help me with this? Someone even told me that you cannot be gay and be a Christian."

Comments for Does 1 Cor 6:9 mean I can't be gay AND Christian?

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Mar 01, 2010
Better a millstone around their neck
by: Darren Theoret

I am always very concerned when I hear that Christian people are telling anyone that they cannot be a Christian because they're gay or any other reason.

God sent Jesus Christ to die for all of us to make a way to salvation possible for all. I believe that anyone who errects a barrier to any individual and salvation is working directly against the will of God.

And I'm sorry to tell Rick that I disagree with that -once saved always saved- doctrine. Look in Romans where it warns that we are a wild branch attached to the vine and can be removed.

Again, my belief, it is the Holy Spirit working in us giving us the desire to be reconciled to God. I believe that scripture about grieving the Holy Spirit could well mean the act of telling someone that God doesn't want them. Further to that, I believe when we will stand in judgment, that Jesus will appear before us as the person that we discriminate against; whether that means gay, black, woman, muslim, jew, poor, disabled, etc.

For our part, we need to have compassion on them and pray for them and in the right time talk to them about all this while they still have time to repent. We have an exciting ministry of reconciliation - remember the beatitudes - we are blessed by God. Lets be stronger than their hate.

Dec 25, 2010
It is ungodly to be gay
by: Anonymous

God created man first and then woman. Because man was lonely God Created Man and Woman for each other changing the order of Gods creation is wrong alone

May 25, 2011
I am a saved homosexual
by: Anonymous

I don't think its possible for a straight person to ever understand how a gay Christian feels. This is why they always condemn us. Christ is so awesome that He saved me from the chains of guilt and sins relating from homosexuality.

The problem with homosexuality is that gays feel removed from the church and therefore removed from God. This is so wrong. Satan gets a strong grip on the lives of some gays in terms of porn, lust, self indulgence, etc., resulting from rejection by the church.

I understand. I have been there. I have also been saved. Not from homosexuality, but from the bondage that sometimes comes with homosexuality.

What is the result of being saved?

I am still gay, but without sexual chains. Lust has turned into compassion. Guilt has turned into freedom. I have discovered a Christ who loves and forgives.

Why should the church be any different?

Jun 27, 2011
response for dec 25th 2010
by: Darren Theoret

God did create Eve as a companion for Adam. But that doesn't mean that every companion for every man has to be exactly like the first relationship! It's true that if God created a same sex partner for Adam the history of the world would have been a lot shorter.

But when God noticed Adam was alone, He didn't say, "Adam's got no babies! I will make him a baby maker!" NO, He said, "The man is lonely, I will give him a companion." This worked well because apparently, Adam was straight. Good job I wasn't the first man created because Eve would be the one who would be lonely.

Expecting every relationship to be exactly like the first is ridiculous. I bet your relationship isn't even like your parents' or their parents' never mind going back 1000 generations.

Nov 21, 2011
by: Sean

The person who wrote this artical should read a bible. The Holy spirit is not teaching this, this is teaching taught by man.
Leviticus does mention something on the subject.
Here's the rub. In Jesus own words "go and sin no more" If you accept Jesus as saviour and continue in your sinful life style, then it's highly unlikely your a christian.
"By their fruit you will know them". The Bible makes this all very clear. Read the bible you will see through out church history christians are warnd about false christians teaching lies. People teaching you can be homesexual and christian are false teachers. The bible also teachers that in the end times many will be led astray by these liars because they dont really have a relationship with Jesus, also they want to follow these teaching to justify their lusts and perverted lifestyles. It all comes down to choice, choose to follow Jesus or choose to continue on your own way. Also christians can choose to leave God, he will never let you go, but you can leave him and he will let you go your own way.

Feb 20, 2012
Look and see
by: Angel Ramirez

Have you not read that which was stated in the bible in the book of Leviticus 18:22 which states thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 1 Kings 14:24 and there were also sodomites in the land and they did according to all the abominations of the nation's which the lord cast cast out before the children of Israel. Leviticus 20:13 states if a man lie with mankind, as he lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be apon them. These are not my words they are the words spoken by God himself to Moses as a commandment. Romans 1:24,27-32. Romans states it's an abomination also. We only have to look to Sodom and Gomorrah to know how God feels. Jesus stated Matthew 5:17-18 he came to fulfill the law not to change it. Revelation 21:8 but the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable and murders, and warmongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their heart in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Read your bible.

Rick's answer: Angel, I hope you will take the time to read the verses you quoted in context. None of those verses is talking about two men or two women falling in love and getting married. They're talking about temple prostitutes who worship the fertility goddess.

I hope you will read and study and learn why it is SO wrong to take verses out of context and argue that they're condemning gays and lesbians. Look on the NavBar under, What The Bible Says, for in context explanations fo those verses.

Apr 02, 2012
The Bible is the word of God
by: Anonymous

Rick's comment: You guys are either too dumb to read with comprehension or you are being intentionally dishonest because you are not saved and therefore, are incapable of loving God's truth.

Your lying misrepresentation of the Bible, i.e., ripping verses out of context and then insisting they mean something they didn't mean in context, demonstrates your dishonesty.

If you are saved, you will lose rewards at the judgment seat of Christ. If you are unsaved, you will go from the Great White throne judgment directly to the lake of fire. I hope you are not this dishonest in other areas of your life.

To answer the question with which you ended your rant: All saved followers of Christ are sinners.

Rant from an Anonymous coward: This means that the Bible is the word of the creator, who knows everything that will happen and has happened. Don't you think if he accepted homosexuality he would make it clear? Just as he does with sex after heterosexual marriage.
What do you think it means when it says in Leviticus that intercourse with another Man is a Hateful sin?

And like theft, adultery and murder this scripture is not changed by Christ in the New Testimony. You cannot truly believe you can be a gay Christian when the Bible is so clearly against homosexual activity.

If anything, I imagine 'homosexual Christians' are simply ignoring these areas of the Bible and labelling them as "out of context" or "dated" as to justify your actions despite the guilt they feel. God loves you and will always love you. However he is clear with what he considers wrong and right. How can you be living as -what God defines as- a sinner and yet still be a follower of Christ?

Jun 13, 2012
We have the righteousness of Christ
by: Anonymous

The very heart of man is sinful because we have a sin nature. The verse that says "go and sin no more" John 8:11, is impossible. But since Jesus knows that, I believe it means that, once we have Christ and the Holy Spirit living inside us, then positionally before the Father we are without sin.

Even though we are all STILL sinners, when the Father looks upon us He sees the righteousness of His Son. There was a transaction. Jesus took upon Himself our sins, and imputed to us His righteousness.

Rick's comment: Excellent! Someone who finally gets it! Many thanks!

Aug 04, 2012
You are defined by Jesus, not your struggle!
by: Jordan from Colorado

I am wondering, why do you call yourself a "gay" Christian? Why do you let a struggle or sin define yourself in such a way? I wouldn't define myself as a drunk Christian or a fornicating Christian. You are not defined by your struggle or sin, but defined by your Savior, Jesus Christ! I pray that this thorn in your side brings you closer to God, as my struggles have brought me closer to God. I know my words will come off as a bit harsh, but I hope you see that you do not need to be defined by sexuality, creed, or race, but by Jesus Christ! I also pray that you will have victory over this sin and find encouraging brothers and sisters in the church.

Rick's comment: I think you're missing the point. Anti-gay Christians attack gay Christians and tell us we are not Christians because we are gay, even though the Bible never says that. The same anti-gay Christians rip verses out of context and insist that the verses mean something out of context that they do not mean IN context.

This website exists to point out those facts and to give gay Christians ammunition in the form of cold hard facts and in context explanations of the Bible to help them defend themselves against anti-gay Christians. Hope this is helpful.

I'm familiar with the blather and bluster from Exodus International. Their idea that no one is born gay, that everyone is born heterosexual and therefore, gay people are just rebellious heterosexuals who made a choice to defy God, seems to be the idea you've embraced when you say, You are defined by Jesus, not by your struggle.

It will be helpful for you to know what Exodus International really believes.

Sep 04, 2012
Question and a comment.
by: JT

If that is not the correct interpretation of those two words, why are they consistently translated in that manner for those verses?

Rick's comment: Those two words were not used in the first century AD to mean homosexual. That is the point. Only in the last 60 years or so did modern translators begin to read homosexuality into the text of 1 Cor 6:9.

JTs comment: Also, your comment to another persons post is very disheartening. You claim to want people to understand your point and not judge you, but when they persecute you, you lash out in anger.

Rick's comment: I've never asked people not to judge me. I've asked them to read and interpret the Bible in context instead of ripping verses out of context to condemn.

JTs comment: If I am wrong please let me know, but I thought this was your comment - "Rick's comment: You guys are either too dumb to read with comprehension or you are being intentionally dishonest because you are not saved and therefore, are incapable of loving God's truth.

Your lying misrepresentation of the Bible, i.e., ripping verses out of context and then insisting they mean something they didn't mean in context, demonstrates your dishonesty.

If you are saved, you will lose rewards at the judgment seat of Christ. If you are unsaved, you will go from the Great White throne judgment directly to the lake of fire. I hope you are not this dishonest in other areas of your life.

To answer the question with which you ended your rant: All saved followers of Christ are sinners."

JTs comment: I just didn't expect the same attitude here that I see coming from the "fire and brimestone" Christians.

Rick's comment: First, everything I wrote in the quote you cited is true. They are either lazy or intentionally dishonest. And they will answer to God for that at the judgment seat of Christ if they are saved or at the Great White Throne judgment, Rev 20, if they are not saved.

Second, Yes, I believe precisely what Jesus believed about hell. Of the 23 times hell is mentioned in the New Testament, the mention comes from Jesus 20 of the 23 times. Think about that for a while.

Third, Jesus warned sinners against a burning fiery hell more than anyone else in the New Testament. So here's the question.

Will you believe Jesus that hell is a real place where real sinners suffer in eternal torment in eternal flames for rejecting Jesus as their Lord and Savior OR will you believe the no-hellers, those sanctimonious fools like Rob Bell and Jay Bakker who keep trying to air condition hell and re-purpose it into a non-biblical purgatory? I beieve what Jesus taught about hell.

Jesus teaches Hell 101

Feb 18, 2013
by: Anonymous

In 1 Chorinthians 6:9, the NIV says "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men". The footnote also also reads, "The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts."

I don't understand why you keep saying "take verses in context", "understand the historical context".

Many TRUE Christians READ verses in "context". If you are saying read everything in "historical context", then don't believe you're a Christian. The people in the first century CE had to believe they were going to heaven because they were suffering right? Read the whole Bible in its historical context and you should realize that it was written to give people hope of better life later because the writers, scribes, etc were in hard times.

So if you always have to read stuff in historical context, you're saying it doesn't apply to us anymore.

Rick's comment: I believe it will help you to re-read what I wrote and this time, click on the text links and read those pages too. You are missing the point, perhaps because you are not thinking it through, perhaps because you've been unwilling to digest new information.

I do not allow commenters to post links.

Apr 19, 2014
Defining Christ
by: anonymous

The word CHRISTIAN means "like-Christ". If we are Christians it should be our goal to be and like Christ did. Did Jesus live a homosexual lifestyle? No he didn't so why should we and that goes for male and female.

Rick's comment: I'll try to match your indubitable logic. Did Jesus live a heterosexual lifestyle? He was a single man who never married but who will one day marry millions of men who are part of Christs Bride. Because Jesus didn't marry hetero-sexually, so we shouldn't either, according to your zany logic.

You can call yourself a Christian, but a true Christian knows that in order to be a light in this dark world you can't follow your wants, rules and needs. You must follow God's and in that verse it says "Do not be deceived:Neither the sexually immoral...nor men who have sex with men...will inherit the kingdom of God." Just remember that God gives us free will to choose Right or Wrong, Good or Evil, Him or the Devil.

Rick's comment: It will be helpful to you to do some reading and study on this website. It may open your eyes to many things you have missed. No Greek text anywhere on earth says "men who have sex with men" in 1 Cor 6:9.

Sep 17, 2014
To all debaters
by: Paul

If Rick was wrong , he will have to answer to God. All of us have been saved by grace through Jesus Christ only. So lets stop using the holy word of God against one another. Just breathe for a moment, and put away that sword. Now, lets all go and properly study whether what Rick says about the ORIGINAL TRANSLATION isnt perhaps right, so that we will be set free by the Truth.

Its not like God told us to fight one another, but the fruit of a true follower will be marked by their heartfelt love for one another, and having patience with one another' s weaknesses. I just love how God uses sites like this to show us our beam in our own self-righteous eye.

Thank you Jesus Christ for being so patient with all of us, and I pray that only Your truth will set all of your body free, and that there will be unity in all Your body members, whether we think we're a bit more righteous or important than another, amen. If we don't have love unconditional for one another we still have Nothing!

Mar 05, 2015
I'm sorry but
by: Lynn owens

You cannot be gay and a Christian

Mar 06, 2015
Nobody asked for your permission Lyne
by: Darren

John 3:16 WHOSOEVER! not whosoever straight people! Salvation is open to all who believe. You are working directly against the will of G-d when you say stupid things like this! If you are going to Presume to speak for G-d, you'd better be right about what you say 'cause He gets anoyed with people who put words in His mouth.

Apr 30, 2015
Gay Marriage isn't recognized by God
by: Ken

the argument against the Levitical definition of homosexuality is that it applied to temple prostitutes not a true love seen in a marriage.

Rick's comment: LOL - Hi Ken - "The Levitical definition of homosexuality" - really? That is the lie which undergirds your unbib-lical opinion. What is a shrine prostitute?

From creation on God recognized a union between a man and a woman, there was to be no other union. True you can love a person of the same sex, and marry him or her, but that does not mean that God recognized the union. In fact, he doesn't! That is evident from the beginning, to Sodom, to Jesus, to Paul, to Now.

Rick's comment: Your lies are so earnest yet strangely unconvincing. You've presented your unbiblical opinion, not what the Bible says in context.

Why is homosexuality and homosexual marriage a sin? Because it goes against the very nature of who God is and his relationship with the Church, which is evident only in bond between a man and a woman.

Rick's comment: The more you share your unbiblical opinion, the more incoherent you sound. Are men part of the BRIDE of Christ? Yes, of course. Gay men and lesbians are already part of the body of Christ.

The problem with this web site and society in general is that they have chosen to view sin as a God given Identity, not as an action springing from man's corrupted nature. God almighty has the power to change any one. He can change a drunk, a prostitute, a liar, a porno, a drug addict, a glutton, an angry person, name a sin, God can change you. Please to those who read this, don't be like some "Christians" in that "They have a form of Godliness but deny the power of it" II Timothy 2:3.

Rick's comment: Ken, please do not be like so many anti-gay Christians who rip verses out of context and then insist that the out of context verses mean something they didn't mean in context. Lying arguments like yours are not recognized by God.

May 01, 2015
Gay Marriage isn't recognized by God
by: Ken

Sorry son, but your arguments can't convince me. I know the truth and the truth has set me free. What fascinates me is this, we both believe in the same Jesus but I am the bigot, and you have the truth. What unites a marriage? What makes two separate people to become "one flesh"?

Rick's comment: Hi Ken - You make statements like: "From creation on God recognized a union between a man and a woman, there was to be no other union."

Yet the Bible does not say the part of your statement I underlined. That's the point. You feel free to make up stuff AS IF the Bible says it and we're all supposed to accept your opinion as authoritative. That worked for you guys for a lot of years, until gay people started speaking up and saying, Wait a minute. That's not what the Bible says.

May 06, 2015
Gay Marriage isn't recognized by God
by: Ken

Rick's comment: Hi Ken - I do understand what you are saying. I reject it because it is your opinion, not God's truth. You've refused to engage any response I've made to your comments.

You keep repeating your opinion (three times in this thread) in the hope that someone somewhere will ignore what the Bible says in context and instead, embrace your opinion. I've given you three opportunities to state your views. That is enough.

Hi Rick. After reading your comments on the last two of my posts I'm afraid you don't understand what I am saying. Are you implying that I don't have a Biblical back up for my opinion? What creates a union between a man and a woman is more than just a spiritual connection recognized by God… Rick's comment: Edited because it's just more of the same.

May 19, 2015
I'm so confused and it hurts
by: Adam

I'm a gay male, in a gay relationship, and I'm lost. For 5 years I've loved the same guy, committed just to him, yet for the same amount of time, I've felt as though I could be sending myself straight to hell. now, because of the thoughts that have been instilled in me since I was a child, we are separating.

I'm lost because there is no black and white, and too many variations of the verses that I look to for help. Its very difficult to love God, yet then find someone that I love more than anything on earth, only to be told I'm going to hell. Breaking the heart of someone who has never hurt me, and has anyways been there for me, simply because of a "what if".

Those that judge gays miss the point of Jesus' teachings altogether. But, I personally can not go through life not being certain whether or not I'm sinning. So it comes down to this- do I hurt someone that I love and will always love simply because of what I THINK is wrong, or do I stay in the relationship with someone I love and HOPE that when I die, I don't go to hell neither is a great option.

Rick's comment: Hi Adam - God has good news and peace of mind for gays and lesbians and transgenders when we believe what He says in the Bible. The most important question to answer right now is:

Am I sure that I am saved? Many gays are cultural Christians instead of born again Christians. They grew up in church or they are religious or they are spiritual. They try to do the right thing but they've never personally received Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin.

Why do so many young people quit church?

The best preparation for being a disciple of Jesus is to know for sure you are saved. Everyone needs to be saved from sin and hell and the wrath of God. Here is what Jesus taught about hell and God's wrath.

Jesus teaches Hell 101

What is the wrath of God?

Getting saved and becoming a disciple of Jesus means not trusting your good works, baptism, sacraments, confirmation, being a cultural Christian or grace allegedly flowing from a church and instead, trusting by grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save you.

What must I do to be SAVED?

Once you know you are saved, it helps to understand What happens when you get saved?

Once you understand what happens when you got saved, it helps to understand how long you are saved for. Is your salvation temporary or eternal?

Saved forever = Eternal Security

Adam, if you'll read those links carefully and trust Jesus as your Savior from sin and from hell and from the wrath of God, He will save you eternally.

And the being gay thing? It is NOT an issue with God.

Please read through my website for more info about that. And please, if you have more questions, please get in touch with me through our Contact Us page.

Nov 21, 2015
by: tyler

Im not being hostile in any way. Why do you fight to try to find any loophole to keep your sinful desire when the bible is so clear? Can you quote me a passage from the bible that says, "if you PRACTICE homosexuality you will have eternal life".

Rick's comment: Hi Tyler - When I present in context evidence that you are unfamiliar with, that is not "finding any loophole for sin." Phrasing it the way you did indicates you have not studied this issue and these verses.

I encourage you to reread the article and also, please read the comments and take time to click on the links and read that information. Truth is available if that is what you seek.

What must I do to be saved?

Dec 04, 2015
What I know and what I believe
by: Austin McClung

I hate it when people use the quote,"go and sin no more" by Jesus (the coolest guy ever) to say you aren't a Christian. It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to not sin. He means that you have no sin in the eyes of God or something along those lines. Personally, I believe/hope that there is something for gays and lesbians.

I have a bi-sexual friend and he has been beaten down by ant-gay "Christians" (I say "Christians" because a Christian would never had said the things they said to him) and he is a cool guy and I don't want him to go to hell.

Rick's comment: Hi Austin - Jesus teaches Hell 101 explains a lot.

In short, I am looking for an answer and pray for one each day.

Rick's comment: What must I do to be saved?

Rick, thank you for what you have said and when you defend your argument, you bring evidence from other sites and providing links. To those who lashed out calling others names and such ignoring evidence, please look back at other information people have provided and if you comment again, please do it in a non-offensive manner.

If you believe that something is a sin, don't hate the sinner but the sin. Jesus never hated sinners. He doesn't hate you because you are a sinner so why should he hate gays. In short, I have mixed feelings about this subject, but I KNOW anyone can be saved regardless of what they have done and will do.

Jul 10, 2016
1 COR 6:9-11
by: DALE


Rick's comment: Hi Dale - I believe you will find it helpful to reread the article and then read it again, as many times as necessary, until you understand it.

Homosexuals are not listed with thieves and murderers except in unscholarly translations, of which the New World Translation is a prime example.

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