We recently received the following email:
My wife and I love one another and love the Lord, and want a fulfilling love life that’s pleasing to ourselves and to Him. With so little info we’ve struggled with what is OK sexually within our marriage. Particularly with respect to anal sex, your site indicates that the scripture does not speak to this between a married man and woman. If I look up “sodomy” in the dictionary it appears to address all anal intercourse, regardless of whether man/man or man/woman. When the scripture talks about sodomy, how do we know whether it limiting to man/man or extends to man/woman? any input on this area would be greatly appreciated!
What a great question and we knew just the person to ask when the CN spice girls and I said “If only we knew of a pastor who had deep Biblical understanding regarding this question.” Sugar & Spice’s husband! So rather than attempt to answer it ourselves, I asked him if he would be so kind as to lend us his knowledge on this topic. To our delight he said yes and having already done an in depth Biblical study on this, he offered us the results of his study for this article. Our thanks to him for his lending us his expertise. Here are his findings:
Abraham was camped near an oak grove when three men appeared to him in Genesis 18. One of the men was God who stayed with Abraham while the two other men (“angels” according to Gen 19:1) proceeded to Sodom. In Sodom they met Lot who prepared them a meal at his home. That evening the men of Sodom surrounded the house and wanted Lot to bring out the men in the house so they could have sex with them. Lot refused and the men were struck blind by the angels. Then the angels told Lot that they needed to escape because God was going to destroy Sodom.
This is our knowledge of Sodom and the picture we see is a group of homosexuals trying to rape two men. It is believed by many that since homosexual men engage in anal sex then anal sex must be a sin. However, there is no Biblical evidence to back up this claim that anal sex between a married heterosexual couple is wrong. Many people feel that the Bible condemns sodomy but it does not. The word “sodomy” doesn’t even appear in scripture. Sodomy is a legal term that varies from state to state but typically includes legally forbidden acts such as anal sex, oral sex, and bestiality.
What were the sins of Sodom? Certainly homosexuality was one of them by looking at the whole council of scripture (Romans 1:26-27) but what else does the Bible say about Sodom and its sin?
“As I live,” declares the Lord God, “Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.”
From Genesis we see that homosexuality was a sin of Sodom but according to the above passage, there was much more to the story. It seems that their sexual perversion was one of many sins. God destroyed Sodom because:
- Abundant food and careless ease
- Not assisting the poor and needy
So how are we to define sodomy biblically? If Sodom was guilty of the above sins as scripture teaches, then a Sodomite could be defined as anyone who doesn’t help someone in need and is arrogant. If you have plenty but your neighbor does not and you fail to act, you are also committing sodomy!
So to the question: “Is sodomy a sin?” According to the Bible verses stated above, the acts of the people of Sodom were indeed sinful and we too would be sinning if we behaved in the same manner. But, is anal sex between a man and wife equivalent to today’s standard definition of sodomy? I would have to say, according to the Bible, no. It is true that homosexual men engage in anal sex but it is also true that they engage in oral sex. They also hold hands and kiss one another. Does the fact that a homosexual does these things too mean that heterosexuals are forbidden to do these acts as well? It most certainly does not. I believe that God created our desires and it is we who have perverted it. God gave sex to us as a gift for a husband and a wife to share and it is we who have perverted that. Homosexual sex was stolen from heterosexuals, not the other way around. We can conclude that anal sex or any sex by a homosexual is sin. We can also conclude that according to the Bible anal sex, oral sex, or any sex by an unmarried heterosexual couple is sin too. But if you are married and both partners agree to any sex act within the confines of your marriage bed, it is indeed pure.
I hope this clarifies for you the question of what sodomy refers to. You can view further information regarding anal sex according to our world view in the category listing on the right side of every page.