Editors’ note: 

This article is adapted from The Gospel Project’s Winter 2013-2014 Bible study on “A God-Centered Worldview.” Check out options for adults and students and kids.

As fallen human beings we tend to explain away or excuse our sin. We all do it. It’s part of our desires to justify ourselves apart from the blood of Christ.

So below are four street-level excuses we commonly use to justify our sexual sin coupled with answers.

1. My sexual choices aren’t hurting anyone else.

I call this the Golden Rule idea. If it’s not hurting anyone else, what could be wrong with it? If a guy is sleeping with his girlfriend and the two of them are consenting adults, why should the church condemn that behavior? Likewise, if a woman wants to be in a monogamous sexual relationship with another woman, why does it matter as long as it’s not harming anyone else?

The truth is, sexual sin does harm us.

It’s a sin against the body. We also must remember that the Golden Rule (love your neighbor) is second to the greatest commandment (love God with your whole self). Jesus said clearly in the Gospel of John that those who love him obey his commands (see John 14:15). In other words, “If you love me, obey me.”

When you place the Golden Rule within the framework of biblical teaching, you see that sexual sin is a sin against our own bodies and is ultimately a sign of our rebellion against the God who made us.

2. We’re all sinners, so who are you to judge?

Whenever Christians affirm Jesus’ vision for human sexuality, we are often greeted with the comeback line “So you’re perfect, then?”

The critics have a point here. The Bible shows us up as sexual sinners—all of us. But the real issue is repentance. The question is not “Do I sin?” but “Am I walking in repentance?”

Christians ought never to feel superior to others. We’re sinners too. The question is about repentance. Are we turning from sin and embracing Jesus?

3. Jesus never talked about homosexuality.

This objection is only half true. When it comes to dealing with the topic explicitly, Jesus did not speak to the subject, so far as we know from Scripture. But there is a sense in which Jesus did address this issue.

In Matthew 15:18-19, we read: “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” The word for “sexual immorality” covers all sorts of behaviors condemned in the Old and New Testaments.

Furthermore, when asked about divorce, Jesus went back to God’s design in creation to show how men and women were to relate to one another. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus built on the Old Testament understanding of morality and even went beyond it—calling us out for lust.

4. Sexual promiscuity is seen in nature.

Sometimes people will condemn faithfulness between a husband and wife (monogamy) or the Christian view of homosexual behavior by appealing to nature. As long as animals aren’t monogamous and as long as we see some animals behaving in same-sex ways, then why would we condemn adultery or homosexuality or sex outside of marriage? If it’s in nature, it must be natural.

This line of thinking denigrates the dignity of human beings, implying we are nothing more than our sexual passions. If we roll out that argument, we arrive in a scary place. We know of certain insects where the male impregnates the female and the female turns around and eats the male. Who wants that as the norm for humans?

What’s worse, those who believe in evolutionary theory adopt the principle “survival of the fittest.” Do we want to imply, for example, that people with same-sex attractions are genetically weaker than other human beings? Of course not! Appealing to nature to justify any kind of sexual immorality is a dead end leading us to see people with less dignity, not more.