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Romans 1:23 spoke in general of the exchange of Gods glory for figments of human imagining. Verse 25 identifies same-sex practice as a specific example of what happens when Gods truth is exchanged for a lie and when veneration of the creature substitutes for worship of the Creator. So great is Pauls regard for God that he segues here into the first of five doxological exclamations in Romans.2Paul models intuitive and spontaneous praise to God for the excellence and nobility of his good gift of human sexuality!
Does Homosexuality Exist In The Bible
When we read the scriptures, we see homosexuality first in the Book of Genesis 19, with the story of Lot, Abrahams brothers son i.e. his nephew .
In the scriptures Homosexuality is called Sodomy
Here we see acts of homosexuality in the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. And from that point on wards the word Sodom which mean burnt becomes synonymous with what is homosexuality in modern terms.
The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah which is a place in the east, explains how the Most High sent Angels to be Lots guests to find out how bad the sodomy was there.
Unfortunately the angels that were sent in human male form, became the preferred sexual preference of the men in Sodom and Gomorrah.
Lot even attempts to offer his daughters to them, in an attempt to prevent this sin of sodomy.
In verse 5 it specifically says that the men of Sodom and Gomarrah wanted to Know them . And the them referring to the Angels the Most High sent to Lot as guests in his home.
These scriptures are clearly talking specifically about sexual acts between men when Sodomy is mentioned.
Sodomy only relates to men in the scriptures and not women .
Jesus’s Discussion Of Marriage
In Matthew 19 and parallel in Mark 10, Jesus is asked if a man can divorce his wife. In that context, Jesus replies:
He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Theologian Robert A. J. Gagnon argues that Jesus’s back-to-back references to Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 show that he “presupposed a two-sex requirement for marriage”. On the other hand, Bart Ehrman, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, states of Jesus’s references to Genesis 1 and 2, ” not actually defining marriage. He’s answering a specific question.” Ehrman notes further “And here the conversation is quite easy. In our surviving records Jesus says nothing about same-sex acts or sexual orientation. Nothing. Nada.”
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Bibles Stance On Homosexuality
EditorWayte quotes selectively from the national survey on sexuality about the prevalence of homosexuality. He is doing exactly what I reported in my personal viewdistorting the evidence.
He says that the Bible references to homosexuality clearly show that they are disapproving of homosexual activity . Experts in biblical interpretation believe that in biblical times there was no understanding of the modern view of homosexual orientation as mutually supportive and affirming., Wayte is right in saying that the Bibles stance is not to bash homosexuals. Leviticus chapter 20, verse 13 reads: If a man has intercourse with a man as with a woman, both commit an abomination. They must be put to death. So the Bibles stance is not just to bash homosexuals but to murder them. Why Wayte or anyone else wants to associate themselves with such barbarous and inhuman texts is beyond my comprehension.
The Best Christian Argument For Marriage Equality Is That The Bible Got It Wrong
How often did Jesus get things wrong?
For many Christians, opposing homosexuality is as simple as opening the Bible.
You could be reading the Old Testament, for example, and come across this particularly harsh passage from Leviticus: If a man lies with another man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death. Or you might be studying Pauls first letter to the Corinthians and read something like this: Do not be deceived,writes Paul neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality will inherit the kingdom of God.
Now, its possible to read Pauls rhetoric here as something other than a condemnation of same-sex relationships, and many trained theologians have been doing so for years. Its possible, too, that other biblical passages that have historically been used against gay people, like the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah, could be similarly re-imagined in less anti-gay ways.
For decades now, the halls of academia have teemed with well-meaning scholars and bible commentators anxious to show that, actually, the Bible isnt as anti-gay as we think, and that if we all just followed their hermeneutical lead, wed see that both the Old and New Testaments speak positivelyalbeit codedlyof homosexual love.
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Jewish And Christian Criticisms Of Same
This cultural approach is alien to us, so hard to accept. But Jewish criticisms of male same-sex activity in Roman times assumed that one of the participants would be a boy pederasty. Heres an example from Philo, who lived about the same time as Paul, and like Paul was Jewish.
And let the man who is devoted to the love of boys submit to the same punishment, since he pursues that pleasure which is contrary to nature
Philo, Special Laws 3.39
The earliest Christians also attacked pederasty as something routinely accepted by society but rejected by the Church. The earliest interpretation of Romans 1:26-27 that we have assumes that Paul is talking about pederasty:
For those who have set up a market for fornication and established infamous resorts for the young for every kind of vile pleasure, who do not abstain even from males, males with males committing shocking abominations These adulterers and pederasts defame the eunuchs and the once-married
Athenagoras, Apology 34.
And this assumption carries on through the first few centuries of the church. Writer after writer condemns pederasty, calling it child corruption 6).
This, then, is the background to the world of the New Testament. It was a world where a freeborn man was expected to demonstrate his masculinity and dominance through intercourse with his wife, his slaves and prostitutes, whether the slaves or prostitutes were male or female.
What Does All This Mean For Those Who Deal With Homosexuality On A Personal Basis
Those who practice homosexuality seem to fall into two categories.
Some can remember decisions, choices, and circumstances by which they moved into this lifestyle. Others believe this lifestyle to be a sexual orientation which, for them, existed from birth or prior to conscious choice and intention. It is obviously both impossible and wrong for me to say which category is appropriate to a specific individual.
At the same time, it seems clear to me that homosexuality is an unbiblical lifestyle. So, what practical conclusions can guide those who interpret Scripture as I do as we seek to relate biblically and positively to those who are homosexual?
First, I need to state clearly that homosexuality is not the unpardonable sin .
The only sin God cannot forgive is that sin that rejects his forgiveness. To be more specific, the Holy Spirit works to convict us of our need for salvation through Christ. If we refuse this offer of saving grace, God cannot forgive us, as we have rejected the only means by which his forgiveness can be given.
As a result, whether homosexuality is a persons choice or orientation, he or she does not stand outside of the grace and love of God. Such sexual activity is no more unbiblical than many other sins listed in Scripture, including hatred, slander, gossip, and gluttony. We are wrong to reject the person because he or she is practicing a lifestyle we consider unbiblical. In other ways, so are we.
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What The Bible Says About Sexual Relations
Its important to talk about sexual relations, because this is really what is most important to the Most High. Because the act of having sex holds great significance to our relationships.
The Paul tells us to flee fornication because it is a sin that we commit against our bodies. As you may or not know our bodies are the temple of God.
1 Corinthians 6:18
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
In the preceding verse the importance of the our bodies is explained also:
1 Corinthians 6:15-16
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
The Most high gives us clear instructions in this area, about who our sexual preference should be. And we are told to have relations with the opposite sex.
Scriptures confirming this and tell us that a man should not lie with a woman a man as he lies with a woman.
22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
When sexual relations take place, this is when the bible says the act of homosexuality takes place. The bible refers to it as an abomination.
Any perverse thoughts and mannerism can be dealt with by fasting an praying. Read my post here.
Homosexuality Definitions And Overview
Lets start with the word homosexuality and how the dictionary defines it.
So, looking at the definition above, a homosexual is somebody that has a relationship with somebody that is of the same sex as them.
Another popular word used to describe somebody that is homosexual is Gay. Im sure you know the term originally meant happy or Merry. If you didnt. It did.
As early as the 17th century it began to be connected with act of two people of the same sex having a relationship i.e. Homosexuality.
Today the word Gay is commonly used when referring to a person that is Homosexual.
If youre a homosexual person reading this, Its important you understand that these terms were not created by the Most High.
These are man made words, used to categorise your behaviour. The scriptures give more clarity on homosexuality, so keep reading theres hope
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What Does The Bible Say
Attitudes about homosexuality may vary from one culture to the next or from one time period to another. But Christians arent governed by popular opinion or carried here and there by every wind of teaching. Instead, they base their view of homosexual conduct on the standards set forth in the Bible.
The Bibles standard regarding homosexual acts is clear. Gods Word says:
You must not lie down with a male in the same way that you lie down with a woman.Leviticus 18:22.
God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, . . . gave them over to uncontrolled sexual passion, for their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature.Romans 1:24, 26.
Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit Gods Kingdom.1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.
In reality, Gods standards apply to all people, whether they have homosexual desires or heterosexual desires. The fact is, everyone must exercise self-restraint when it comes to urges to engage in conduct that displeases God.Colossians 3:5.
The Alleged Case For The Naturalness Of Homosexuality
The basic claim made by those who defend the morality of homosexuality is that homosexuals are born that way. Homosexuality is alleged to have some genetic basis, and some scientific research has been conducted to try to establish the genetic link.^^ Thus Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard assert, Our own research has shown that male sexual orientation is substantially genetic.^^
Space does not permit a detailed response to these studies. Suffice it to say for now that the research alleging to show a genetic basis for homosexuality is far from conclusive.^^ The conclusions and even methods of these studies have been hotly contested, leading Columbia University psychiatrists Byne and Parsons to conclude:
There is no evidence at present to substantiate a biological theory, just as there is no compelling evidence to support any singular psychosocial explanation. . . .he appeal of current biological explanations may derive more from dissatisfaction with the present status of psychosocial explanations than from a substantiating body of experimental data. Critical review shows the evidence favoring a biological theory to be lacking.^^
Second, even if ones genetic makeup does cause or predispose one toward homosexuality, this again does not make such behavior good or morally permissible. Some people reason like this:
> Homosexuals genetic makeup predisposes them to engage in homosexual behavior.> > Therefore, homosexual behavior is morally permissible.
Homosexuality In The Hebrew Bible
The bible addresses the act of two people of the same sex having a relationship, but it does so differently to sociey.
Its important to undertsand the bible doesnt assume that a person is homosexual because of their behaviours alone, as the world does.
For example if two people of the same sex have a non physical relationship, theyre not automatically categorised as being homosexuals.
The bible tells us how we should act as men and as women.
So lets deal with these two things i.e. behaviour and sexual relations.
Homosexuality In The New Testament: Romans : 26
The first is Romans 1:26-27: Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
At first reading, Paul seems clearly to consider homosexual activity to be unbiblical. But there is another way to interpret the passage, suggested by those who support homosexuality as a biblical lifestyle.
In their reading, Paul is addressing the issue of heterosexual men and women who choose homosexual activity, which is unnatural for them. If this is true, Pauls statement bears no relevance to those who consider themselves homosexual by innate or natural orientation.
Is such an interpretation the most objective way to read the text?
No, for two reasons.
First, Paul describes homosexual acts themselves as shameful lusts , indecent acts, and perversion . To suggest that his descriptions relate only to the decision to engage in such activity by heterosexuals is to strain the Greek syntax beyond its meaning.
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What Was The New Testament Attitude Toward Slavery
And how does this stance affect our study of the issue of homosexuality?
Slavery in the Roman era was dramatically different from the despicable practice as we know it in American history. If you had been walking through any first-century Roman city, you would not have been able to distinguish between slaves and free. Patterns of work, relationships, or faith were no different between the two. Slaves served not only to do manual labor but also as doctors, nurses, household managers, and intellectuals. They administered funds and cities. They were typically given an excellent education at the expense of their owners so that philosophers and tutors were typically slaves.
Even more amazing to us, it was common for people to sell themselves into slavery to secure such privileges. A person who desired citizenship in the Empire could achieve it by enslaving himself to a citizen, then purchasing his freedom. Slavery was more a process than a condition.
While there is no doubt that many slaves were abused physically, sexually, and socially, it is also true that at least as many were part of the more privileged strata of society. And the total dependence of the Roman economy upon the labor of slaves made it impossible for the Empire to conceive of abolishing this institution. If an economist were to propose that we refuse all goods and services imported from outside America, wed be equally surprised.
Does the New Testament then argue for slavery? Absolutely not.
Bible Verses That Have Been Used To Condemn Lgbtq People
When seeking to understand any Bible verse, it is important to know the context of the verse, as well as how the verse has been translated from the original language. The following are points to consider when thinking about the verses that have been used to justify prohibitions on same-sex marriage and full participation in church community for LGBTQ people. Nowhere in the Bible, taken in its original language and context, is there a prohibition against loving, consensual same-sex relationships, nor against people living as their authentic genders.
Genesis 19:1-13 The Sodom & Gomorrah story is preceded by examples of Abraham and Lot being very welcoming to strangers. The lack of hospitality and the desire to do violence to the visitors were considered grave transgressions, regardless of the gender of the visitors. The reference in Jude 1:7 to strange flesh likely refers to the fact that the angels they wanted to assault were not human. Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned they did not help the poor and needy.
Romans 1:26-27 Here, Paul is condemning the sinful and harmful acts he perceives in Roman culture at the time. Since same-gender and non-heterosexual attractions are natural, this condemnation is not directed at LGBTQ people.
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