Dr. Robert Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, made the case for scriptural basis against homosexual unions at the Family Research Council on Wednesday.
Gagnon sought to counter popular criticisms against scriptural backing that condemns homosexual activity. Such claims include that Jesus supposedly did not make any comments about homosexual activity and therefore had no problem with it. Others say that prominent figures in Scripture were not aware of some considerations that society is today concerning homosexuality.
"For Jesus, marriage is not an institution that humans can tinker with at will," Gagnon said.
Gagnon used key texts from the Genesis creation story, including verses that describe how man and woman were created in God's image. He explained that since woman was made from parts of man, the two sexes are incomplete without one another, and only sexual unions between a man and a woman fulfill that complementarity.
"Sexual differentiation is uniquely integrated into God's image. Sexual activity can honor or dishonor this," Gagnon said. "Man and woman are thus the twoness complementary parts in a holistic picture of human sexuality...The twoness of the sexes is the foundation for the twoness of the sexual bond."
Gagnon also clarified that this complementarity does not equate to male dominance - rather, it stresses the compatibility of the two sexes. He stressed that Jesus emphasized this bond between a man and a woman in Mark 10 by echoing the Genesis text.
Gagnon also said that Scripture has a graded view of sexual offenses.
"Homosexual unions, apart from bestiality, is regarded as the worst sexual sin," Gagnon said.
He also tackled common criticisms of Paul in Romans 1:24-27. Defenders of homosexual activity often say that Paul only knew about exploitative forms of homosexual unions, he had no concept of homosexual unions, or he thought such activity would only upset male dominance over women. Gagnon argued that the Romans text directly echoes the creation text in Genesis, and that women and men anatomically fit together naturally, unlike in male-male or female-female unions.
"The truth about God's will for sex is visible in our gendered bodies," Gagnon said.
He said that unbelievers do not need the biblical text in front of them to know this since it is evident in nature.
"Even if the relationship is committed... doesn't mean it's not contrary to nature," Gagnon said.