What About The Argument That Homosexuality Is Inherited
If this is true, at least for some, how can such activity be wrong?
God made me this way is a typical testimony. A very brief response would be that the connection between genetics and homosexuality is tenuous at best.
Where research has seemed to indicate some physical propensity toward homosexual orientation, others in the field have refuted such a conclusion. It is widely believed that alcoholism can be an inherited genetic propensity, but no one would therefore endorse its practice. While this is a very unfortunate analogy regarding homosexuals, it perhaps illustrates the fact that not every genetic tendency should be endorsed .
Q3 What Explicitly Does The Bible Teach About Homosexuality
The Bible explicitly teaches that homosexuality is a sin in both the Old and New Testaments. It also explicitly teaches that God offers His grace to redeem and reconcile every kind of sinner to Himself at His own expense through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The conclusion of the New Testament section succinctly states it this way: The Biblical and Christian view of homosexuality is that it is wrong, but Gods grace, just like it did for us, offers freedom from sin to all people.
Old Testament Vs New Testament
Now, some people will say the Old Testament prohibition against sex with someone of the same gender is not valid today because we are no longer under the Law. They sometimes use arguments like So its okay for you to eat shellfish, but we cant define our sexuality however we want? How can you pick and choose what to obey and what not to obey?
My answer is, its not the same thing. When you look in the New Testament, you find that Jesus declared that all foods are clean . Nowhere in the New Testament, however, does God define acceptable sexuality as being other than between one man and one woman. In fact, the New Testament specifically reaffirms the Old Testaments position that same-gender sexual activity is not acceptable.
The most prominent example is in Romans 1:26 27. These verses come in a context where the apostle Paul was giving a historical and theological explanation for human sin and separation from God. Having sex with someone of the same gender is far from being the only sin he cited as an example, but its a prominent one:
God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual 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 shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
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Intimacy Identity And Culture
Sam Allberry, a same-sex pastor from England, confronts the pain of being alone, even by choice, on the grounds of obedience to God. Celibacy is made more difficult by the elevation of marital intimacy to a lofty position above all other forms, including friendship.
Allberrys fear is that if someones only choice in life seems to be either unbiblical intimacy or no intimacy, theyre going to end up choosing unbiblical intimacy. And if thats the case, I think the wider church shares responsibility for that.
As Allberry asserts, people within the LGBQT+ community are being denied access to this kind of intimacy, so even those who are keen to follow Gods commands and to please him by their faithful obedience are drawn to other sources for belonging and acceptance.
Jesus never taught his disciples to deny friendship and familial love to anyone. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother .
He also promoted mutually uplifting, godly friendship. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends . The word friend, philos in the Greek, means beloved or dear. I have called you friends, Jesus said to his disciples .
Not everyone accepts forgiveness through Jesus but he offers dignity, love, and truth to everyone. When a gospel-believing person highlights sin in a persons life, the purpose should always be to point that person to Jesus and his saving mercies.
The 6 Bible Verses On Homosexuality And Differing Interpretations
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There are six direct references to homosexuality in the Bible — three in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament.
Some Biblical scholars say the passages needs to be taken at face value. Other theologians say it’s much more complicated.
Here are the references and what scholars say, based on Kalamazoo Gazette interviews with theologians from Notre Dame, Western Michigan and Central Michigan universities, Kalamazoo and Calvin colleges.
Genesis 19: The story of Sodom and Gomorrah
This has been held up as a cautionary tale about the sinfulness of homosexuality. However, many scholars point to Ekezial 16:49 as indicating that the cities were destroyed by God for not helping the poor and needy. Some also say the sinful sex occurring in Sodom and Gomorrah was rape, which means it doesn’t apply to teachings on consensual same-sex relationships.
Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13
The Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament has two references condemning homosexuality: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman that is detestable” and “If a man lies with a man as one lies with woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death their blood will be on their own heads” .
While condemnations of gay sex are unequivocal in Leviticus, it also is part of a long list of Jewish laws, some of which are not followed by Christians today.
Leviticus also advocates the death penalty for adultery.
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Gods Moral Law And Homosexuality
In the law of Moses, there are very explicit statements about the immorality and sinfulness of homosexuality. For example, we read:
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female it is an abomination, .
This is not simply one of the distinctive holiness commands by which Israel was to set themselves apart from other nations as a special people, like dietary laws and such. This is a moral law by which all nations are judged before God. The list of primarily sexual sins in Leviticus 18 that contains this command ends with the statement:
Do not defile yourselves by any of these things for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants, .
The nations were not punished for eating pork, wearing mixed fabric, or even working on the Sabbath. Such commands were distinctive to maintaining Israel as a sacred people. The nations were judged, however, for breaking universal moral laws of God like sexual immorality, including homosexuality. Now, some have suggested that this is meant specifically to address ancient homosexual temple prostitution as it related to the worship of false gods, but that is not how Leviticus treats it. Note in chapter 20 we read again:
But this is not in a section about cultic practices. Note the verses just before:
And just after:
Repent And Wash Away Your Sins
Acts 3:19Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
When we sin, we must go to God in prayer and repent which means,
To think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider : repent.
We can ask God to help us cease our sins, homosexual or not. Then we must put in the effort and stop sinning, all while keeping God in prayer. When we accomplish that through Gods gracious gifts, notice what happens.
Our sins are blotted out which means,
To smear out, that is, obliterate : blot out, wipe away.
When we repent and truly change our ways, God completely erases our sin. He preserves our name in the Book of Life. Through Christ, we then obtain Eternal Life where,
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
How can anything else compare?
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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.
What Does The Bible Say About Homosexuality
God has never been unenlightened, naÃ¯ve, or intolerant.
Human sexuality is complex. It affects us physically, mentally and emotionally. After the fall, God gave us spiritual laws to ensure that sexuality could remain the blessing He intended it to be.
God created man in His own image in the image of God He created him male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 1:27-28 and Genesis 2:24.
This relationship between a man and a woman within a lifelong, faithful marriage is repeated again and again throughout the Bible, and is the only sexual relationship sanctioned and blessed by God.
After the fall, however, peoples pure sexual instincts tainted by sin, and suddenly they were ashamed of their nakedness. Impure lusts were awakened, which would go on to plague their descendants throughout all the generations.
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Does The Bible Promote Prejudice
Still, some people would say that the Bible promotes prejudice against homosexuals and that those who adhere to its moral code are intolerant. The Bible was written at a time when people were narrow-minded, they claim. Today we accept people of all races, nationalities, and sexual preferences. To them, rejecting homosexuality is the same as rejecting people of a different skin color. Is that comparison valid? No. Why not?
Because there is a difference between rejecting homosexual conduct and rejecting homosexual people. The Bible tells Christians to be respectful of all kinds of people. But that does not mean that Christians must accept all kinds of conduct.
Consider a comparison: Suppose you view smoking as harmful and even repugnant. What if you have a workmate who is a smoker? Would you be considered narrow-minded just because your view of smoking differs from his? Would the fact that he smokes and you do not smoke automatically mean that you are prejudiced against him? If your workmate were to demand that you change your view of smoking, would that not make him narrow-minded and intolerant?
Jehovahs Witnesses choose to live by the moral code set forth in the Bible. They do not approve of the actions that the Bible prohibits. But they neither mock nor mistreat people whose practices differ from their own.
A Leviticus 1: 22 Prohibition Of Homosexuality In The Law
Lev 18:22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman it is a detestable act.
This straightforward law prohibits all homosexual acts. It makes no distinctions as to whether or not they were consensual. It comes in the midst of a section of laws related to sexual relationships. No consequence is given here in each verse for the individual laws, but rather they are all listed as things that must not be done. All of the items in this chapters list are said to defile and are called abominations . In balance, homosexuality here is not singled out from among the rest of the sexual sins , but is included with the rest. Likewise, those who break any of these laws are to be cut off from the midst of their people . These various sexual activities are ones which brought about the punishment of God upon the previous inhabitants of the land . Thus in the law homosexuality was an offense against God. It, along with the other sexual sins, was not to exist in Israel at all.
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What The New Testament Says About Homosexuality
Volume 21-3May-June 2008
Mainline Christian denominations in this country are bitterly divided over the question of homosexuality. For this reason it is important to ask what light, if any, the New Testament sheds on this controversial issue. Most people apparently assume that the New Testament expresses strong opposition to homosexuality, but this simply is not the case. The six propositions that follow, considered cumulatively, lead to the conclusion that the New Testament does not provide any direct guidance for understanding and making judgments about homosexuality in the modern world.
Does The Bible Endorse Homosexuality
I am not gay, have no family members who are, and have no experience with this lifestyle. So who am I to judge? Why dont we just let consenting adults do what they wish so long as no one else is hurt?
Many in our society take this approach to the subject, whatever their own sexual preferences might be. To do otherwise seems to be intolerant and judgmental, two words our postmodern, relativistic society condemns.
On the other hand, believers and those interested in the Christian faith do well to ask what Gods word says to every subject present in our culture. An objective reading of history and Scripture will inform our faith and make it more relevant to our problems and issues. For many paragraphs, weve considered such a survey. Now lets summarize what weve found and ask how it all applies to our lives and relationships.
We have surveyed the seven passages typically cited with regard to this issue.
In Genesis 19, we find the attempt by men in Sodom to have sex with Lots angelic visitors and Gods consequent punishment against the city. While homosexual practice is clearly part of the text, the passage is less clear as to whether Gods judgment is against homosexuality itself or the crowds abusive attempt to commit homosexual rape.
Next, we found Leviticus 18:22, with its clear prohibition against homosexual activity, and Leviticus 20:13, with its prescription of the death penalty for such activity.
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Proposition : At Most There Are Only Three Passages In The Entire New Testament That Refer To What We Today Would Call Homosexual Activity
None of the four gospels mentions the subject. This means that, so far as we know, Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, and we simply have no way of determining what his attitude toward it might have been. Moreover, there is nothing about homosexuality in the Book of Acts, in Hebrews, in Revelation, or in the letters attributed to James, Peter, John, and Jude. Further, homosexuality is not mentioned in ten of the thirteen letters attributed to Paul. It is only in Romans 1:2627, 1 Corinthians 6:910, and 1 Timothy 1:811 that there may be references to homosexuality.2 The paucity of references to homosexuality in the New Testament suggests that it was not a matter of major concern either for Jesus or for the early Christian movement.
First Argument God Made Two Distinct Genders
Lets look at the first building block more closely, that God made two distinct genders, male and female.
Now of course the passages in the Bible which are usually talked about at this point are the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, and also other passages that refer back to these, for example when Jesus does it in Matthew and Mark .
But it seems strange to use Genesis 1 and 2 to say that God only made a male and a female and that therefore this must apply to everyone since. Sure, it applies to the vast majority. But according to studies, only about 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 50,000 of the population are transgender .
The creation accounts in Genesis arent focused on unusual situations they dont even apply straightforwardly to those who dont have children or remain single. The creation accounts say that God blesses both male and female, that both are made in his image, that God blesses, if you like, marriage and children.
But Genesis doesnt try to address transgenderism, or whether you must get married, or whether you must have children. Genesis doesnt address transgenderism at all.
But lets also consider the problem in claiming that there are two distinct biological sexes. Thats true for most people, but its not true for everyone.
But not always. Occasionally, women are born with XY chromosomes. How come? Because from being in the womb their bodies dont react to a male hormone. These females have what are usually considered male chromosomes.
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