A friend of my posted an article from a discussion board which said that homosexuality is compatible with the Bible. This is my response to the article.
I feel a need to respond to your views of homosexuality and the Bible. Before I begin let me say that I am up for my views being challenged. I have no problem with a person saying that I maybe wrong and giving me reasons why that is so. However, I expect the same attitude from the challenger. He should allow his beliefs to under go attack as well. Allowing the possibility that he may be wrong.
And in all things, Christ’s love and mercy should reign in the discussion. That does not mean things will not get intense. Yet, I am to respect you and not demean you as a person. If I correct you it is not out of hatred but out of love for God’s truth and wanting you to attain God’s truth. So, let me begin.
“Even when we believe the Scriptures are "infallible" or "without error," it's terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error. We are human. We are fallible. And we can misunderstand and misinterpret these ancient words. To many people have used the scripture to justify murdering, or condemning homosexuals and other minorities.”
So you begin with a Post-modern assault on our ability to understand. Why is there error in every understanding of a sentence? Is this not what you said? “it's terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error.” Funny that you seem to understand fully what God meant when He said that He is love! If you are going to say that our ability to understand is limited, apply that to yourself as well. Not just on the people you disagree with.
It is agreed that people have and are misinterpreting Scripture. But that cannot be used for your position. You have just as good of chance of being wrong as those you disagree with! To stand up and say, “everybody can be wrong, so follow my beliefs.” is inconsistent to say the least. People have just as good reason to follow what they want to believe.
“I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is still teaching us. When we reconsider the texts that are used by some people to condemn God's gay children, we must fervently seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, or we risk being misled by our own prejudices.”
You need to change the words “some people” in the second sentence to “basically every Christian since the God gave the Law to Moses!” The belief that homosexuality is a sin has been held by the church for 2000 years. I don’t mean this in a mean way but, your belief is the strange one, held by very few believers. (It gets even fewer with you put the word “orthodox” before believer).
I agree that the church is still reforming. Yet, God is not some distant being, waiting and hoping that we get the facts right. God wants to be known. He wants His commandments to be obey by everybody on earth. He became man so that He would be known! And God has not left the church to fight for herself. He has guided her through many trials and hard times. So, when I want to see whose position is correct, where should I turn to? I new movement saying follow us. Or the consistent testimony of believer after believer after believer for 2000 years saying the same thing?
“Because the text says it is "natural" that a man and a woman come together to create a new life, it doesn’t say that people of the same sex who love each other are unnatural. It doesn’t even address any other relationship. Such as those who cannot have children, or those who are to old, or those who are single. And this story is not about sexuality, or fact. It is about Gods power, and his creation of the universe. This story is not meant to condemn anything. The bible is not used as a sexual “handbook” it is a testament to the power of our God.”
You really start going far away from the Bible with these arguments. “it doesn’t say that people of the same sex who love each other are unnatural.” I argue the fact that it does! So lets break from what we are doing to look at the texts themselves
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Lev. 18:22)
You said, “The only reason that homosexuality is an "Abomination" is because the word in English is different meaning than in Hebrew. The word in Hebrew is (TO'EBAH) and it means: behaviors that people in a certain time and place consider tasteless or offensive.”
Let me be clear and kind about that definition. It is flat out wrong! If that is the meaning, how do you explain verse 30 of the same chapter,
“So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 18:30)
God did not believe that those behaviors listed in chapter 18 was for a certain time and place! God’s people were never to practice them.
Lets get the context of this text. In chapter 18 God tells Israel what practices Israel must avoid when they enter the land,
“You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.” (Lev 18:3-5)
All the practices in that chapter were sins before God. And in that list was homosexuality.
You said, “Aside from the fact that Leviticus was meant for Priests so that they would be greater than priests of other nations. Paul and Jesus both said that it wasn’t for Christian believers.”
The first sentence is, once again, completely wrong as Lev 18:3-5 demonstrates. And can you show me were Paul and Jesus said that all of Leviticus was not for Christians?
Romans 1:24-27: Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
You said in regard to this passage, “This is hard to see the true meaning of the text, because it has to do with what Paul did that led to this letter to the Roman church. Why did he do it? Because he was on a travel and he came across temples dedicated to the gods and goddesses of sex and passion. In the temples he saw many lustful sexual acts. All of them rituals to the Gods they believed in….It’s the lustful and pagan like beliefs and rituals that he came across when traveling…It is about letting desire take over, and then lose sight of God.”
Take this from a loving brother in Christ, I call your explanation, “Making something up to get around the clear meaning of a passage!” Where in the verses, or the surrounding context, or the entire book of Romans does Paul give this reason for what he said in verses 24-27! Where is there anything about untamed sex in the verses? No where! Instead Paul is quiet clear in what he is addressing, “men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another,” The only sin stated is men wanting other men sexually!
1 Corinthians 6:9: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
The trouble you had for this verse was the Greek word that was translated for homosexual. You also made a remark that was very strange indeed, “Its also important to know who Paul was talking to. He was talking to the Christians of Ephesus and Corinth during a war they were having. He was reminding them to love one another like the 10 commandments say. And then preceded to remind them of the new law. And showed them that God doesn't want us squabbling over who is "in" and who is "out." God wants us to love one another.”
A war that they were in!? What is your historical backup for that belief?
I ask this in love, have you ever read 1 Corinthians? Or even the context of chapter 6? Paul and God was, and still are, very concerned about who is “in” and who’s “out.” Now I am not going to respond to this any further because there is a chance I don’t understand what you are saying about “in” and “out.” Is that in regard to salvation or something else?
Now back to the Greek word, Having looked at The Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains, Greek-English Lexicon of the Net Testament Based on Semantic Domains, and Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. All translate the word homosexual. Here is the verse in the NET translation and the explanation on why they translated the words as they did,
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners,5 practicing homosexuals,6”
5tn This term is sometimes rendered “effeminate,” although in contemporary English usage such a translation could be taken to refer to demeanor rather than behavior. BDAG 613 s.v. malakov" 2 has “pert. to being passive in a same-sex relationship, effeminate esp. of catamites, of men and boys who are sodomized by other males in such a relationship.” L&N 88.281 states, “the passive male partner in homosexual intercourse—‘homosexual.’ …As in Greek, a number of other languages also have entirely distinct terms for the active and passive roles in homosexual intercourse.” See also the discussion in G. D. Fee, First Corinthians (NICNT), 243-44. A number of modern translations have adopted the phrase “male prostitutes” for malakoiv in 1 Cor 6:9 (NIV, NRSV, NLT) but this could be misunderstood by the modern reader to mean “males who sell their services to women,” while the term in question appears, at least in context, to relate to homosexual activity between males. Furthermore, it is far from certain that prostitution as commonly understood (the selling of sexual favors) is specified here, as opposed to a consensual relationship. Thus the translation “passive homosexual partners” has been used here.
6tn On this term BDAG 135 s.v. ajrsenokoivth" states, “a male who engages in sexual activity w. a pers. of his own sex, pederast 1 Cor 6:9…of one who assumes the dominant role in same-sex activity, opp. malakov"…1 Ti 1:10; Pol 5:3. Cp. Ro 1:27.” L&N 88.280 states, “a male partner in homosexual intercourse—‘homosexual.’…It is possible that ajrsenokoivth" in certain contexts refers to the active male partner in homosexual intercourse in contrast with malakov", the passive male partner.” Since there is a distinction in contemporary usage between sexual orientation and actual behavior, the qualification “practicing” was supplied in the translation, following the emphasis in BDAG.
The same reason of 6tn is given for the 1 Timothy 1:10 passage.
Let me get back to your flow of arguments now,
“It doesn’t even address any other relationship. Such as those who cannot have children, or those who are to old, or those who are single. And this story is not about sexuality, or fact. It is about Gods power, and his creation of the universe. This story is not meant to condemn anything. The bible is not used as a sexual “handbook” it is a testament to the power of our God.”
Yes God displays His immense love to us through the Bible. But that is not the only thing. The Bible is the revelation of God’s glory which is His love and justice and grace and all that He is. No, the whole story is not about sex, it is about God. Yet God created sex for the display of His glory. God’s glory is only shown through sex when it is practiced the way He wants it done. So, we must conform our sex lives to the glory that God has revealed to us in Scripture. Namely, obeying His commandments. For His laws show His glory. To disobey them is to diminish the glory of God. So how we view and practice sex is connected with God’s big story.
You said, “This story is not meant to condemn anything.” The story is meant to condemn any person or thing that rises in rebellion against the glory of God! If homosexuality diminishes God’s glory, which I believe God says it does, then this story is against homosexuality.
“Remember that Jesus, the Jewish prophets, and even Paul never even comment on the responsible love a gay man or lesbian feels for another.”
They never commented on the supposed “love” a 53 year old has for a 7 year old either. So I guess, biased in your logic, that is acceptable as well?
What the Biblical writers made clear was, the only sex that glorifies God is done in the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. That is the only praised means of sexual practice. All others are looked down upon! There is no way you can argue equal footing for gay’s and straights in Scripture. It is not there.
“There is nothing in the bible to condemn it or approve it.”
I have given you my refutations of your arguments and interpretations in this response. I have made it clear that I believe that the Bible condemns homosexual as diminishing the glory of God and thus making it a sin.
Please look to the Scriptures and think about your position. May we, by God’s Spirit, all attain the understanding of the precious truth of God’s Word.
Soli Deo Gloria
- The Reformed Pastor
- My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!