“It is an abomination”

Recently, because of the debate about homosexuality in our culture, the word “abomination” has resurfaced. In the context of this topic, we find the word in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, as God’s description of homosexual activity.

“You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act.” Leviticus 18:22

“If a man has sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves.” Leviticus 20:13

The Hebrew word is the same for both of those bolded words above – to`evah (תּוֹעֵבָה) – and it means “something abominable, detestable, offensive.”

However, while Leviticus is the first time this word is used to describe something God hates, it’s certainly not the last. So what does God consider an abomination? Here’s the entire list (each one uses the same Hebrew word, regardless of how various English Bibles translate it):

  • coveting silver and gold from idols…Deuteronomy 7:25
  • idols, idolatry…Deuteronomy 7:26; 27:15; 32:16; 2 Kings 21:11; Jeremiah 16:18; 32:35; 44:3-4; Ezekiel 5:11; 6:9; 7:20; 14:6; 16:36; and all of Ezekiel 8
  • false worship of God…Deuteronomy 12:31
  • blemished sacrifices…Deuteronomy 17:1
  • worshiping the sun, moon, stars, and other gods…Deuteronomy 17:4
  • witchcraft, sorcery, necromancy, magic…Deuteronomy 18:12
  • child sacrifice…Deuteronomy 18:12; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 28:3
  • crossdressing…Deuteronomy 22:5
  • prostitution…Deuteronomy 23:18; 1 Kings 14:24; Ezekiel 16:43
  • improper divorce and remarriage…Deuteronomy 24:4
  • cheating others in business…Deuteronomy 25:16; Proverbs 11:1; 20:10, 23
  • living in rebellion against God’s law, wicked plans…Proverbs 2:32; 6:18; 15:9, 26; Jeremiah 7:9-10
  • perverted hearts…Proverbs 11:20
  • lies, lying…Proverbs 6:17-18; 12:22
  • religious acts, outward religion…Proverbs 15:8; 21:27; Isaiah 1:13
  • arrogance…Proverbs 6:17; 16:5
  • acquitting the guilty, condemning the innocent…Proverbs 17:15
  • shedding innocent blood…Proverbs 6:17
  • the prayers of those who ignore God…Proverbs 28:9
  • adultery…Ezekiel 22:11
  • creating disunity…Proverbs 6:19

It is important to remember that, while “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1), Christianity does not give us the license to do whatever we want. Because God’s standard against sin has never changed, and he is working to grow us to become like himself, we must learn to despise the actions that he despises, while at the same time pointing the people who do them back to Jesus.

Which of these surprised you the most to be on “the list”?