Whats Next For The Church
Everyone was made in Gods image, but not all people embrace Christs message of hope, peace, love, mercy, and justice. One reason for this is religious arrogance Christians who act as though they are in a position to condemn or pardon.
But if churches shut their doors to those who defy Gods commands about sexual intimacy, the doors would be shut to everyone. The duty and privilege of Christs disciples are to offer all who will listen to the message of salvation and the promise of a love greater than anything.
His love and justice go together, but all who call on Christs name for salvation are covered by his blood. Each of us is a work in progress. We can teach his inerrant Word but must always do so without judging or persecuting anyone.
For further reading:
Leviticus 1: 22 & Deuteronomy 2: 17
Leviticus is an interesting look at a legal system foreign to us. In Leviticus we are told that you cant worship God if youre physically imperfect. If youre disabled, if you have eczema, if you have crushed testicles, you are forbidden to enter places of worship. There are many things labeled abominations: clothing made out of mixed cloth, eating pork, and intercourse with menstruating women. There were many things defined as unclean that we no longer consider forbidden.
But Jesus brought in a re-creation ethic that disrupted the ideal of Levitical purity. Jesus touched people with skin diseases. Jesus wreaked havoc by healing on the Sabbath and allowing his disciples to work by picking grain. And if this wasnt enough, God told Peter, Do not call anything impure that God has made clean . The categories rooted in a binary understanding of creation were uprooted. Purity was no longer about reflecting the binaries of creation it was about breaking down the walls of hostility. All days, not just Sabbath, are now holy. There is neither Jew nor Gentile all people are chosen. The curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the less-holy is torn all is sacred. And we are no longer bound by an ethic of separation now the commandments are rooted in love. In Christ, there is a nonbinary multifaceted beautifying of every person that more closely reflects the image of God.
The Bible Mentions Homosexuality 7 Times But Poverty 300 Times
here are really only seven passages in the Bible that refer directly to homosexual behavior, and none of them are associated with Jesus. Compare that to the more than 250 verses on the proper use of wealth or more than 300 on our responsibility to care for the poor and work for justice, and you appreciate quickly that homosexuality was not exactly a major theme of the Bible.
The precise estimates of how often the Bible mentions each of these vary. Nonetheless, that there is a big gap is pretty clear. What is less clear is that those seven passages actually prohibit homosexuality. Along with many other Christians I would argue they are either time specific injunctions that are no longer binding or bars on rape or prostitution. Whats more theres a double standard in how passages relating to sexual and financial morality are treated. Though shalt not lie with a man as with a women is generally taken as an inviolable rule, while go, sell your possessions and give to the poor is generally treated as at most as steer.
Whether or not one thinks homosexuality should be an issue for Christians, it evidently should not have become a defining issue. When choosing our priorities as a broad steer we should probably gravitate towards issues Jesus actually mentioned.
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But What About Romans : 26
At this point some of you might be wondering about the controversial verses in Romans 1:26-27. Even if the general background was one of pederasty, surely here Paul is plainly referring to men having sex with men and women with women?
Again, this is one of those unusual cases where a combination of translation and context means that we can be seriously misled in a number of different ways.
There isnt space here to unpack this in full, so check out my other post on Romans, but Paul actually writes males with males and not men with men .
The use of males was a common one within the Greco-Roman culture to recognise that one of the participants would be, not a man, but a boy. This is one example of why we need to appreciate how radically different the sexual culture of Ancient Rome was from that of ours today.
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.
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Why Did The Old Testament Not Decry Slavery In General And Move To Free All Those Enslaved
In many ways, it did.
There were several ways a Hebrew slave could be freed :
- An individual could be purchased and set free .
- A slave permanently injured by his master was to be set free .
- Hebrews were to be held as slaves for no longer than six years .
- And the Jubilee Year, which occurred every forty-nine years, was to free all Israelite slaves .
But still we ask: Why did the Old Testament sanction this practice at all?
In fact, it simply recognized a fact of all ancient civilization. And its rules minimized this evil, protected its victims more fully than did any other society, and provided means for their eventual freedom. But the New Testament would bring Gods word on the subject to much fuller expression.
In the Old Testament era, the primary way persons were enslaved was through capture in war. But in the first century AD, the breeding of slaves swelled their numbers enormously. And large numbers of people sold themselves into slavery as a means of improving their quality of life. Owning and using people as slaves was so commonplace in the Roman Empire that not a single ancient writer is known to have condemned the practice. But all that would begin to change with the advent of the Christian movement.
Positive Commands About Sex
Sex is a gift. Before the fall before sin sex was part of the created order. It was good VERY GOOD, wrote Paul Carter. In fact, contrary to cultural ideas about sex propounded during the first century AD, Christianity taught that sex within a marriage should be free, generous and reciprocal.
But God never depicted coital relationships between two men or two women in a positive way. When God made Eve, Adam said this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh she shall be called Woman .
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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.
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.
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Bible Verses About Being Gay
Bible verses related to Being Gay from the King James Version by Relevance
Topics and verses are auto-generated from user searches. If a verse or topic does not belong, please contact us. Some scripture references/categories courtesy of Open Bible .info under CC BY 3.0
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Modern Arguments About Etymology
There is an argument that Scripture does not contain the word homosexuality and that God is not opposed to men or women having sex with consenting members of the same sex. The word zakar in Hebrew can refer to any male, including human and animal, but also to boys.
But Strongs concordance indicates that zakar, as used in Leviticus 18:22 above, refers to sodomy, a term not reserved for acts of child sexual abuse or rape but also consensual acts between adults.
Arsenokoitai is Greek for men having sex with other men. And there is no real other interpretation that makes the best sense of the evidence both in the early Christian literature and especially in the Old Testament.
Kevin DeYoung explains that Paul, a scholar and former Pharisee, coined the term. If Paul had been referring to men forcing boys to have sex, then he could have used the word biazó for violent force to denote a difference between consensual and non-consensual sex. He did not.
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How Can I Learn More About Being An Lgbtq+ Christian
Q Christian Fellowship has a variety of resources for individuals hoping to reconcile their faith with their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. We recommend reading our Sexuality & Spirituality Guide and joining one of our many seasonal Q Community Groups, particularly the Coming Out Support Groups if you are unsure of next steps in your faith journey as an LGBTQ+ Christian.
If you are trans or gender non-confirming, we also recommend reading our Affirmation Guide for Trans/Gender Expansive Identities and joining our seasonal Trans/Gender Expansive Community Group.
Does The Sin Of Sodom Condemn Homosexuality
The Supreme Court made history on June 27, 2003, when it struck down the sodomy laws of the state of Texas. In a 6-3 decision, the justices reversed course from a ruling seventeen years ago that states could punish homosexuals for private consensual sex. Such activity is typically called sodomy because of the text well study today.
In a survey of passages typically cited on the divisive issue of homosexuality, Genesis 19 and the sin of Sodom is usually listed first. Lot entertained two angels who came to the city to investigate its sins. These angels appeared as men. Before they went to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodomboth young and oldsurrounded the house. They called to Lot, Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them . For such sin, the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah , destroying them.
Is this text a condemnation of homosexuality?
Dr. Walter Wink believes not: That was a case of ostensibly heterosexual males intent on humiliating strangers by treating them like women, thus demasculinizing them . However, Dr. Wink offers no textual evidence that the men were ostensibly heterosexual. His view is only conjectural and stands against the vast majority of interpretation across the centuries.
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Romans 1 Is Beyond Words
Neither of these words appears in Romans 1, yet that scripture graphically condemns homosexuality, lesbianism and homosexual lusts. By now, the response of the gay advocate is predictable. They insist that this scripture is speaking of temple prostitutes who idolize sex, and not committed homosexual couples. Anything that appears to speak negatively about their lifestyle, they deflect the condemnation elsewhere.
Again there is no reason to limit the scope of those condemnations described in Romans 1. Any student of scripture knows that Romans 1 speaks of the sinfulness of man who has rejected God, and this thought crescendos and culminates in Romans 3 where all men are deemed guilty. Paul is building up to the idea that all have sinned and fallen short of Gods glory. It makes no sense for him to limit his condemnation to temple prostitutes. The context only allows for a wide application of the condemnations detailed. Romans 1 condemns all homosexual acts and lusts.
Is being gay a sin? According to the NT, yes.
Una Introduccin A La Teologa Lgbti
Damos la bienvenida a quienes están empezando estas conversaciones acerca de la inclusión y afirmación de las personas LGBTI en el cristianismo, y les invitamos a aprender y crecer con nosotros. Sean cuales sean vuestras preguntas, desafíos o miedos, pedimos a Dios que los recursos y las ideas compartidas aquí os acerquen aún más a su amor incondicional incluido su amor incondicional hacia las personas LGBTI.
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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.”
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
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