1 Corinthians 5:12

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

1 Corinthians 6:9

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 a 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Is it okay to judge homosexuals outside the church?

2 Answers 2


There are several matters here that should not be confused. However before proceeding, we should note that Paul's teaching on human sexuality was, for the time quite radical - homosexuality (in its various manifestations) was extremely common and regarded as perfectly "normal" in Roman culture.

First - Paul is judging no one in 1 Cor 6:9. He is stating a fact (as he understands it) that sinners of various kinds, those who deliberately sin despite a knowledge that God disapproves, will not enter the kingdom of God.

Paul was well-aware that God does not judge the ignorant as he states in Acts 17:30. Therefore, God cannot and will not judge people for what they are unaware.

Thus, Paul is making no comment about any particular person - judgement is left to God alone. Paul is making a very general statement about who will enter the kingdom of God.

Those in secular Roman culture would not be among those who held such views about human sexuality and homosexuality because most regarded this as acceptable. Thus, Paul's comments could only apply to those familiar with Bible teaching.

Second: We must treat very carefully about what 'homosexuality" 9in its various manifestations means. Jesus is quite specific about this area. He says that, (Matt 19:11, 12)

“Not everyone can accept this word,” He replied, “but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way; others were made that way by men; and still others live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

The same idea can be applied to homosexual people - there are some that are born that way and other who have decided to be that way. If a person finds themselves born with homosexual tendencies, does that mean they are forever excluded from the Kingdom of God? Of course not! We ALL have our weaknesses and tendencies to sin which vary from person to person.

Now let me be very frank - some argue that because SOME homosexual people are born that way, that makes the practice of homosexuality for them acceptable. Unfortunately, there are also some who are born with pedophilic tendencies - does that mean that they and their practices should be acceptable. Or what of the person with a hyperdrive sex urges who wants to be very promiscuous? None of these practices should be acceptable just because a person is born with such defects - we all have them is different ways. See Rom 3:10-18.

God is gracious and kind and "helps us in our weaknesses", Rom 8:26.

  • The view of this in Judaism might help in understanding this idea. Christians believe in spiritual salvation and mental attitudes, but to Jews, it is only the physical that counts. If one actually breaks a law, that is sin; if one only thinks about it, it can be ignored. Evil thoughts are judged only after they have actually led to a physical sin. The person that has sinful thoughts is no worse than the person that doesn't. Wanting to steal or kill or have illicit sex is not a sin; it's giving in to those thoughts that is sinful. Being homosexual is not bad; practicing homosexuality is. Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 20:54
  • @RayButterworth - what of Jesus' comment about committing adultery with a woman "in the heart" is sin? (Matt 5:27, 28)
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 21:36
  • Jesus was introducing a new way, drastically different from the old covenant. The Israelites physically obey the letter of the law, but Christians obey the spirit of the law. Experiencing pleasure at seeing a beautiful woman is normal, but seriously contemplating committing adultery with her is now a sin. Pedophiles will always feel pleasure when they see children, that is their burden; but their sin will only happen when they allow themselves to imagine following their feelings rather than forcing themselves not to. Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 23:21
  • I am a little miffed by Ray's separation of the letter of the law and spirit of the law. If one says, in principle I follow something, are not they saying I agree with it fundamentally and therefore it is validated? This in no way means the law is redundant as many churches seems to claim since the crucifixion.
    – Adam
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 20:40
  • @Ray I think that looking with lust at a woman is a sin, regardless if you are contemplating adultery with her or not.
    – Riemann
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 12:08

God does not require your knowledge or understanding to refuse your entrance into the kingdom of Heaven!

These homosexuals Paul is referring to is anyone who does not rely on the grace of Jesus Christ for salvation (Eph 2:8,9). Paul has the responsibility and authority to judge because he is an Aposle of the Lord and assigned that job by Christ Himself. There are those who can attend church and not be saved, but this generalized statement about who does and does not enter the kingdom of Heaven applies to all mankind, and not limited to within the church. So, are you saying that sinners outside the church don't need a Savior and won't be judged by God? How can they have faith without someone who will share that all sin and fall short, and by grace are you saved?

  • Because the law of God is written on everyone's hearts and also the Holy Spirit ministers these things to everyone. Even atheistic homosexuals know deep inside they are doing to wrong thing according to Gods law. Homosexuality, like racism, in society is a big issue because of the well known traditional principles of morality. Society argues about such things because it (right and wrong) is inside all of us.
    – Adam
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 20:45
  • 1
    @Adam I'd not presume that much about what other people know deep inside. At least not if I simultaneously held the notion that there is one universal source of morality, for true.
    – Stian
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 12:51

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