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Why would a loving God be against loving same-sex relationships?

God is love (1 John 4:8). This truth about God is used by some people to argue that, therefore, God must approve of any relationship that our culture defines as loving. But there are two key flaws to this argument.

First, although God is fully love, he is not only love. This is just one of the wonderful attributes of our infinite and perfect God. But the love of God must be understood and experienced alongside every other aspect of the divine nature. So, for example, God is also holy, just, faithful, wise and so on. By over-emphasising one of God’s multi-coloured attributes to the detriment of others, we inevitably end up with a God of our own imagination, or an idol (cf Exodus 20:4).

Secondly, the God who is love is also the Creator and ruler of everything. In the beginning, he gave men and women great freedom to enjoy his good creation within the context of an intimate loving relationship with him: ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden’ (Genesis 2:16). But he did wisely provide a limit to human freedom. This was to ensure that our enjoyment of life in this world would continue forever: ‘but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’ The original temptation was for us to ‘be like God’ (Genesis 3:5) by deciding for ourselves what is good and what is evil.

So, when it comes to sexual relationships, the God who is both love and the King of all creation gets to decide what constitutes a loving relationship. He gets to define the boundaries for love. Not us, his creatures.

This does not mean, however, that God intends Christians who experience same-sex temptations to live without love or intimacy. There are several examples in the Bible of non-sexual intimacy between Christian brothers and sisters. Think David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, Jesus and John – the disciple that Jesus loved. And Jesus also promises his followers that no one who leaves homes or relationships for the same of the kingdom of God ‘will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life’ (Luke 18:29-30). 

Resources for further study

Please note that any external resources below are intended to complement the main answer given above and may not entirely match TFT's position.

Living Out article: 'What's wrong with a permanent, faithful, stable same-sex sexual relationship?'

This article (click link above) by Ed Shaw answers the question from how the Bible presents God's purpose behind sex and relationships.

'What Does The Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?' by Kevin DeYoung

This book (click link above) has a chapter addressing the statement "The God I Worship Is A God Of Love".