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.”
God Is The Highest Authority
Our personalities, inclinations, reactions, orientations, viewpoints, opinions etc. are complex. Some of these are hardwired in our genes, whereas others are influenced by our environment, circumstances, education, upbringing, and other factors.
Societies, cultures and norms are continuously changing and evolving, but God and His Word and the Spirit in the Word remain unchanged. When God specifically forbade homosexual activity and other sexual immorality, it wasnt because He was unenlightened, naïve, or intolerant. The law was given because people had strayed from His original purpose and blessing. What was immoral by Gods standards then has not become moral today just because the majority tolerates and accepts it.
We are fortunate in this day and age that human rights and freedoms have been in focus, clamping down on oppression, abuse and injustice. Every person has the right to choose their own faith, outlook on life and way of life, and that must be respected. However, if we want to live as believing Christians, Gods Word cannot be ignored. The Bible gives us many promises, but also conditions, for a good and happy life. God is our Creator, and it is only His will, as expressed in the Bible, that is unchanging and perfect in time and eternity.
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 Fallen Human Condition
While Paul can be taken as describing the morals and practices of the Greco-Roman world he has been raised up to evangelize, these verses describe observable human behavior as judged by Gods standards in all places and times. Heinous qualities and deeds such as those Paul describes are not confined to certain eras, geographies, or demographics but are endemic to the fallen human condition.
It should be recalled that Paul is an apostle of the Lord Jesus, who stated similarly: From within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person . Paul in this section of Romans is concurring with a view of the human heart that he has not invented.
Jesus spoke of what comes from within. Paul speaks in Romans 1:29 of people being filled with and full of. These respective descriptions amount to the same bleak portrait. Paul speaks first of unrighteousness, the opposite of Gods righteousness to which he has already referred . This unrighteousness could serve as the heading for all of the characteristics and practices that follow.
Human sexuality is a gift not to be squandered.
The Bible And Homosexuality
There are a number of passages in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament that have been interpreted as involving same-sex sexual acts, desires, and relationships. The passages about homosexual individuals and sexual relations in the Hebrew Bible are found primarily in the Torah . Some texts included in the New Testament also reference homosexual individuals and sexual relations, such as the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Luke, and various lettersattributed to the Apostle Paul originally directed to the early Christian churches in Asia Minor. Both references in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament have been interpreted as referring primarily to male homosexual individuals and sexual practices.
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A Homosexual Person Deserves To Be Treated With Dignity And Respect
He or she is acting out a lifestyle that many of us understand to be unbiblicalbut so are any of us who practice slander, gossip, heterosexual lust, or egotistical pride.
So-called gay bashing is always wrong. Any action or attitude that demeans a person or makes them less valuable is the opposite of the grace and unconditional love of Christ.
While We Wish To Offer The Dignity And Respect Of Christian Grace To All Persons We Cannot Truly Love Them While Endorsing That Which Is Unbiblical In Their Lives
As intolerant as the next sentence may seem, it is honestly motivated by a sincere desire to speak the truth in love: we can and should pray for those in the homosexual lifestyle to come to repentance and transformation.
After including homosexuality in his list of sins , Paul next told the Corinthians: And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God .
I recognize that some will read this paragraph as bigoted prejudice. However, any of us would want to help those we care about to practice a biblical lifestyle that leads to the fullest abundance of Christs joy . This is the honest motivation behind my suggestion that such intercession is appropriate for the gay people we know and love.
I must offer one last suggestion, a statement that will engender further resistance from many in the gay community:
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The Bible On Same Sex Relationships
There is no room for error when we read the Scriptures in both the Old and the New Testament about men having sexual relationships with men and women with women. There is no grey area at all. Even the Old Testament said that this was an abomination to God as Moses wrote, You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female it is an abomination . Just how serious did God take the sin of homosexuality? In Leviticus 20:13 He says, If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death their blood will be on their own heads. We realize that the same thing applies to women having sexual relationships with women, for God has no double standards. Just as He is no respecter of persons, neither does He regard treating sin with a man any different from that of a woman.
Paul instructed the young pastor Timothy about sins that were contrary to biblical doctrine, telling him that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine . Sodomites are referring to same sex partners and the association is easy to see when you read the story of Lot in Sodom which was destroyed by God for such abominations.
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.
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The 6 Bible Verses On Homosexuality And Differing Interpretations
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.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:10
Claim : The Ancient World Didnt Understand Genuine Same
Apparently neither Jesus nor Paul nor even God the Fatherwho inspired Scripturerecognized this potential category. But this claim ignores how widespread same-sex relationships were in the ancient world. Not all of them were abusive or exercises of raw social power. This is a classic example of chronological snobbery, which C. S. Lewis described as the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited , and which his friend Owen Barfield explained as the belief that, intellectually, humanity languished for countless generations in the most childish errors on all sorts of crucial subjects until it was redeemed by some simple scientific dictum of the last century .
Such a claim drastically underestimates the options ancient life presented, and it ignores the fact that ancient culture fairly uniformly rejected the idea of same-sex marriage. This point is important for understanding Pauls inclusion of such relationships in the category of porneia . The infidelity in view isnt just to another person, but to the complementary divine design of man and woman in Gods image.
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The Bible On Marriage
Let us rely on Scripture when we are defining marriage. Neither should we depend upon human opinions, liberal theologians, sociologists, modern philosophies or on new state laws and constitutions. Gods law are a higher moral standard than that of mankind and even governments and states. If we rely solely on Scripture, we will know the truth. Since the Bible is the Word of God, we must believe what it says and we care not that its not popular because its more important to believe what God says than what humans think. What is popular is not always the right thing and what is the right thing is not always popular, so lets read the Word of God to see what He says about marriage, same sex marriage, and homosexual relationships.
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female it is an abomination .
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.
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What Does The Bible Say About Homosexuality
This article is an exploration of the specific passages that mention homosexual behaviour, but its important to remember that Gods blueprint for sexuality is interwoven throughout Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. The passages below need to be set in the wider biblical framework of teaching on sex.
It is a surprise to many people to discover that there are only a handful of passages in the Bible that directly mention same-sex relationships. Yet despite its infrequent mention, where the subject does come up, the Bible has some very important things to say about it. We need to understand them if were to avoid the twin mistakes of homophobia and thinking God is indifferent about how we use our sexuality.
The first two passages that directly mention homosexuality come from the Old Testament, the other three are from the New Testament.
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 .
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Lusts And Sexual Immorality
Our sex drive is not a sin. But sexual desires outside marriage between a man and a woman are what the Bible calls lusts, and giving in to them is sin. This includes premarital sex, extramarital sex, giving in to impure sexual thoughts, and practicing homosexuality. This is described in both the Old and the New Covenants. Some of these verses are listed at the end of this article.
Those Who Consider Themselves To Be Homosexual By Sexual Orientation Should Practice Sexual Celibacy
Many will counter that I have no idea how difficult such a lifestyle decision would be. Theyre right.
But given that I understand the Bible to teach clearly that homosexuality is an unbiblical lifestyle, the only conclusion I can draw is that the practice of this lifestyle will lead the person out of the will of God and into harmful behavior.
Abstinence is, by this logic, the option that is in that persons best personal interest. I can only hope that my heart is clear in offering this suggestion. My desire is not to condemn but to offer biblical truth as I understand it.
This article is offered with the prayer that the Lord of Scripture will use his word to bring healing, hope, and help to hearts and homes troubled by the issue of homosexuality. To the degree that these thoughts have shed more light than heat, my prayer will be answered.
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