Same Sex Marriage
God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph.5:32). Homosexual behavior is prohibited in the Old and New Testaments (Leviticus 18:22, 24; 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9–20; 1 Timothy 1:10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Romans 1:26–27).
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination … Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean (Leviticus 18:22, 24).
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them (Leviticus 20:13).
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:9-20).
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error (Romans 1:26-27).
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted (1 Timothy 1:8-11).
The Lutheran Church affirms that such behavior is “intrinsically sinful” and that, “on the basis of Scripture, marriage [is] the lifelong union of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:2-24; Matthew 19:5-6).” The Lutheran Church has also urged its members “to give a public witness from Scripture against the social acceptance and legal recognition of homosexual ‘marriage.’” At the same time, the Lutheran Church firmly believes that “the redeeming love of Christ, which rescues humanity from sin, death, and the power of Satan, is offered to all through repentance and faith in Christ, regardless of the nature of their sinfulness.” The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod developed a Law/Gospel ministry plan for use in ministry to those who are troubled by homosexual desires, Ministry to Homosexuals and Their Families.
The Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations has prepared a report titled Human Sexuality: A Theological Perspective that discusses the issue of homosexuality on pages 32-36. Another resource addressing the matter of same-sex relationships available online is the document Theological Implications of the 2009 ELCA Decisions