The Second Witness Of Sodoms Sin
In Judges 19, ala Sodom, the attempted homosexual rape of a Levite by the Benjamites of Gibeah leads to civil war among the Hebrew tribes .
Frequently, God give special emphasis to His teachings by sending two witnesses. A we noted above, this occurred when God sent two angels to bear witness to Sodoms homosexual sin before the outpouring of His wrath. But there are also two separate incidents in the Bible which bear witness to the special relationship of homosexuality with apostasy and judgment. The first is, of course, Genesis 19. The second witness is Judges 19.
Readers of both passages will be struck by the clear parallels in the two stories, the primary common elements being the mobs of predatory homosexual men insistent on raping the male guest, the offering of a female substitute as the lesser evil, and the severe consequence to society from the behavior of the homosexuals. The differences in the stories highlight the importance of the common elements but also add meaning to the lesson. For example, the fact that the object of the homosexuals lust in Judges 19 is a Levite is significant as the Levites were the tribe of priests who served as Old Testament intermediaries between God and man, and thus the offense was against both God and man simultaneously a violation of the first and the second great commandment.
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.
Is Homosexuality A Choice Can Sexual Orientation Be Changed
Some people believe that homosexuality is a choice people make and they could just as well choose to be heterosexual. However, The American Psychological Association says this about the origins of sexual orientation:
Some groups claim to be able to change sexual orientation using “reparative therapy” or “conversion therapy.” However, studies claiming to show the effectiveness of these methods have been criticized as flawed and one widely quoted study has been retracted by its author.12
According to the American Psychological Association:
To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation is safe or effective.11
The American Psychiatric Association states:
The validity, efficacy and ethics of clinical attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation have been challenged. To date, there are no scientifically rigorous outcome studies to determine either the actual efficacy or harm of “reparative” treatments.13
Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.14
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The Lust Of The Heart
How low can people go? While in recent years same-sex relations have been glamorized in some sectors of society, Jesus confirmed that Gods will for marriage has always been lifelong heterosexual monogamy .1Alternatives may be fashionable, but they are expressions of Gods abandoning people to the lusts of their hearts and to impurity, which can also be translated vileness .
These verses reflect not a low but rather a high view of sexuality. Dishonoring . . . their bodies by same-sex erotics implies that opposite-sex relations can have the effect of honoring human bodies. God intended marital relations that have the potential for fruitfulness and population of the earth . Old Testament teaching affirms the virtue and joy of physical intimacy in marriage . Elsewhere Paul condemns the forbidding of heterosexual marriage . Paul is not sour on sex. He seeks to warn readers of the grimy origins and consequences of misuse of one of Gods greatest gifts: human sexuality.
Innate Awareness Of Evil
People have an innate awareness that evil of the breadth and scale described in verses 2831 deserves Gods punishment. This means not just a slap on the wrist but the full wages of sin banishment from Gods presence and the eternal punishment that accompanies it. Paul describes this explicitly elsewhere: They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might . The human condition as described here is perilous in the extreme.
But as bad as it is for those who practice such things, it is even worse for those who give approval to those who practice them. It is one thing to condemn oneself. But in a religion whose second great commandment is to love others, to give approval and thereby encouragement to others in their lawlessness is the ultimate in loveless treachery. Elsewhere Scripture teaches, Whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins . Paul describes the opposite situation: sinners condoning others abominable, self-destructive behavior, thereby ginning up mans rush into the multitude of sins that Romans 1:2831 has surveyed.
Little wonder, then, that this section began with the warning that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven . Gods response is the inexorable consequence of human bad decisions and behavior.
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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.”
What About Transgender And Transsexual People
The Bible does not say anything specific about either situation. However, the book of Deuteronomy has a prohibition against dressing in clothing of the opposite sex:
A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.
No one knows for sure whether this prohibition was intended as a general principle or was directed at some specific abuse among the ancient Hebrews. Cross-dressing was likely considered an affront to the natural distinction between the sexes ” rel=”nofollow”> Genesis 1:27). It may also have been related to some deviant sexual practice, or more likely, to pagan worship. It is known that some pagan rituals of that time involved women wearing armor and men dressing as women, and the Hebrews were forbidden to do anything that had even the appearance of pagan worship.
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The Bibles Dress Code
I will start with how the Most High expects us to behave.
In todays society people wrongly believe that because a person behaves a certain way, they must be gay
So lets begin with conduct that the Most High expects of man and woman:
5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a womans garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
Above we see that cross-dressing is out! As you can see the Most High says in Deuteronomy 22:5, that it is an abomination in his eyes for men and women to wear each others clothes.
We know in todays society that a man that is in the habit of wearing womens clothing is very likely to act effeminate i.e. in a feminine manner.
It should also be noted that the Most High doesnt condone women wearing mens clothing, either. So being a tom boy is also out of the question.
All of this highlights the wisdom of the Most High. It shows that effeminate behaviour and cross dressing aka being a transvestite doesnt necessarily mean youre homosexual.
There are people that just like to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex and this behaviour is not condoned in the bible either.
Tactics 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan For Discussing Your Christian Convictions
In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. Youll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, youll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.
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When Did It Become Christian To Endorse Sin
Feelings of same-sex attraction are often unwelcome and spontaneous for those who are tempted to engage in homosexuality. It is not sinful to be tempted. It’s sinful to yield. This truth about temptation applies to everyone, regardless of the sin. Those saying that homosexuality should be affirmed in the name of Christian love contradict the Bible.
When President Obama “made history” in 2011 by endorsing same-sex couples, he cited supposedly “Christian” reasons for doing so. Obviously, it is not a Christian virtue to hate people who sin. Christians are not against people who practice homosexuality . Likewise, Christians are not against the people who become ensnared by homosexuality. But Christians do oppose sin , and we must kindly disagree with the president’s misguided view.
People who use the Bible to argue that accepting homosexuality is how we are to ‘love our neighbor’ wrongly omit the first half of what Jesus said in that context. Jesus actually said, “The great and first commandment is ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind'” . In other words, love for one’s neighbor is bounded by one’s primary allegiance to God. How can one claim to love God, yet despise what His Word says about homosexuality and disregard His design for marriage?
Does Jesus Address The Issue Of Homosexuality
Jesus himself does not come out and directly condemn homosexuality, nor does he support it. However, on issues of human sexuality, Jesus either affirms the Jewish understanding of appropriate human sexual practice or he places stronger restrictions on existing Jewish sexual customs . This affirmation of traditional Jewish understanding includes homosexuality. Jesus was never afraid to challenge a tradition or belief that did not align with the direction that God was taking humanity.
There was an opportunity for Jesus to address the issue. In Matthew 11:7-8, Jesus is confronting peoples expectations about his cousin John the Baptist. In his challenge, he asks if people were expecting John to be a man that wears soft clothes. The Koine Greek word for that phrase is malakos and it translated euphemistically as wears soft clothes. Its actual meaning is an effeminate homosexual male . Jesus associates this practice with the houses of kings and the wealthy who he often identified as oppositional to Gods kingdom.
This continues the idea that a proliferation of homosexual practice in a society has to do with the direction that a nation is taking in regard to following God. While not using direct language, this is evidence that Jesus did not view the practice of homosexuality as acceptable.
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Widespread Sexual Perversion So Defiles The Land That God Employs Genocide To Cleanse It
In Leviticus 18, God identifies incest, homosexuality and bestiality as the sins which cause the land to vomit out its inhabitants . Even in this dark context homosexuality is singled out for special condemnation as an abomination .
In what is probably the most challenging Biblical passage of all, Deuteronomy 20:16-18, God tells the Hebrew people to completely wipe out the Canaanite inhabitants of the Holy Land. His explanation why is detailed in Leviticus 18:24-30.
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.But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you so that the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them I am the LORD your God.
Of course, this does not condone hatred or violence against homosexuals. To quote from one of my recent articles:
What Does The Bible Say About Homesexuality
Posted by tuttlec on Sunday, December 5, 2010 in Side Notes.
Sunday, December 5, 7 PMFurman 114
Are you a Christian or Jewish? Gay? Both? Neither? If you have ever wondered exactly how homosexuality is dealt with in the Bible, this is the event for you! The Vanderbilt Lambda Association joins with Vanderbilt Hillel and the Wesley/Canterbury Fellowship to bring you an open discussion about what the Bible says about Homosexuality.
The event will begin with a screening of the film Fish Out of Water. A critically acclaimed documentary, Fish Out of Water explores the seven Bible passages most frequently used to condemn homosexuality, from the perspective of Vanderbilt alumnus Ky Dickens .
Vanderbilt Professor Amy-Jill Levine will join us after the film to facilitate a discussion. Dr. Levine is the Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilts Divinity School. With a Ph.D. from Duke University and honorary doctorates from three other institutions, this self-described Yankee Jewish Feminist promises an invigorating, intellectual, and often-humorous discussion.
We are also excited to announce endorsements by Vanderbilt Divinity Schools GABLE, Victory Christian A Capella Choir, the Presbyterian Student Fellowship, and the Interfaith Council.
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What About Leviticus 1: 22
The next text typically cited on our subject is Leviticus 18:22, and it is far less ambiguous: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman that is detestable. The Hebrew is as clear as the English translation.
The obvious sense of the command seems to be: homosexual sexual relations are forbidden by Scripture. This is the way the text has typically been understood by Jewish and Christian interpreters across the centuries. It is the way most read the text still today.
But those who advocate homosexuality as an acceptable biblical lifestyle have found ways to dissent. Dr. Walter Wink admits that this text unequivocally condemn same-sex sexual behavior. But he theorizes that the ancient Hebrews saw any sexual activity which could not lead to the creation of life as a form of abortion or murder. He adds that the Jews would have seen homosexuality as alien behavior, representing yet one more incursion of pagan civilization into Jewish life.
And thats not all. Other critics see the Levitical laws as expressive of worship codes, not universal moral standards. And they argue that all such laws were intended only for their day and time, such as kosher dietary laws and harvest regulations.
Are Homosexual Relationships Mentioned In The Bible
In modern Western culture we associate touching, kissing and the word “love”with a sexual relationship. But that was not at all the case in Biblical era culture. Most Bible scholars say these relationships were no more than close friendships. That is especially clear in the case of Jesus and John – the word translated as “loved”was the Greek word agape, which means kindness and respect rather than romantic or sexual love.
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