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.
Strange Flesh The Bible And Homosexuality
So is being Homosexual a reality and how has it come about? Well the answer is yes, being homosexual is a reality
The question is why? Lets see
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity whisperers,
So we see above that the Most High has allowed people to continue blindly in their sins when they choose not to acknowledge him.
But more specifically these sins can result in people of the same sex coming together. The bible calls this vile affections, and the act of burning in their lust one toward another men with men working that which is unseemly.
Here we see that yes! It is possible to be homosexual, but its due to our ignorance, disobedience and unwillingness to keep the Most Highs commands.
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.
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Background To The Verses
So whats going on in the two verses that were looking at? First of all, these verses are addressed only to males there is no mention here of two women. Secondly, how are the Israelite people going to be distinct from, different from their neighbours by putting these into practice?
Well, in the surrounding cultures, the major socially acceptable form of same-sex activity was with male shrine prostitutes as part of temple worship to pagan gods and goddesses. And there is repeated rhetoric against these shrine prostitutes at different parts of the Hebrew Bible .
Looking wider afield, there were cultures like Ancient Greece, where the dominant form of male-male intercourse was men with boys pederasty. And did you notice that the verses said a man lying with a male, not a man lying with a man?
Now, occasionally Ive seen some commentators claim that this is trying to link it back to Genesis , but if so it is rather strange that female isnt used its as with a woman and not female.
I think it more likely that male is used here precisely because it can include lying with boys as well as men.
So two main contexts for the Israelite people to be different from male-male intercourse linked with pagan temple goddess worship, and pederasty.
Note how different these are from what we are looking at today with faithful, loving, committed relationships.
What Is The Truth About Homosexuality
The Bible teaches that we are all born into a sin-sick world. Not only are we born into a fallen world because of sin, but we are born with sin natures.
Notice what one of the verses of the famous Ten Commandments says,
Exo 20:5 âYou shall not worship them or serve them for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.
The impact of sin is passed down through generations. Everyone has a sin nature and a propensity to sin. Not everyones propensity to sin is the same. Some may have a propensity towards alcoholism. Others may have a propensity towards lying or stealing, and others may have a propensity towards homosexuality.
God didnt make us that way. The entrance of sin into the world and our sin nature are what influence us to lean towards a certain sin. So, some may have a leaning toward homosexuality because of the sin nature and its particular leanings that have been passed down toward them.
Others may have had a traumatic experience, like sexual abuse, that also involved sin that caused them to lean toward homosexuality.
And Jesus came to break the power of sin in our life, no matter what that sin might be. Jesus came to bring a solution to the sin problem, whatever the sin.
But, is it possible for someone to have been born with certain sinful leanings that even include homosexuality? The answer is yes!
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Is It True That Jesus Never Condemned Homosexuality
This question assumes three ideas that are unbiblical. First, it assumes that the teachings of Jesus are in conflict the rest of the Bible. Remember: when Paul speaks, Jesus speaks, because the Bible is inspired by the same Holy Spirit. When Romans condemns homosexuality, that is the same as God himself condemning homosexuality. Second, Jesus never says that you shouldnt poison a federal judge. Does that mean that it is okay to poison a federal judge? No. Thats not how Scripture works. One has to take the Bible as a whole to know what God says. Third, this claim is just not true. Jesus explicitly condemns sexual immorality which is a term that, as we know from other Greek and Jewish writings in the first century, includes homosexuality. So Jesus does condemn homosexuality he just uses a different word to do it.
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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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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.
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.
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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.
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.
The Queen James Bible
After hearing such self-justifications, many pro-family Christians wonder what bible the homophiles are getting their information from.
Believe it or not, there is an actual Gay Bible. The Queen James Version alters the eight verses in the 1769 King James Version that deal with homosexuality in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible.2
A person may disagree with the Bible on what it says about homosexuality, but it is just flat dishonest to produce a new version and then pretend that it is genuine. Perhaps this is why the editors of the Queen James Bible have wisely chosen to remain anonymous.
In reality, few sins are condemned by the Bible as explicitly as sodomy. Both the Old and New Testaments contain passages stating quite plainly that people who engage in homosexual activity will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
How Should This Affect Our Reading Of Scripture
How does this affect our reading of scripture? It should, at the least, stop us from what turn out to be in this particular instance misleading appeals to the plain meaning of scripture when debating this issue.
When we look at passages about sex, the wider context was one where male same-sex activity generally meant pederasty abusing boys. Recognising this as the background raises the question as to how we apply scripture that was written in a sexual cultural context vastly different from our own.
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Corinthians : 911 1 Timothy : 811
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate , nor abusers of themselves with mankind , Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Timothy 1:8â11 states:
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind , for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
In the letter to the Corinthians, within the list of people who will not inherit the kingdom of God, Paul uses two Greek words: malakia and arsenokoitai .
Some scholars consider that the term was not used to refer to a homosexual orientation, but argue that it referred instead to sexual activity.
V Conclusion: Loving In Truthmy Background
The Bible is realistic about human nature. It tells us that we all fall short of Gods standard of righteousness, and thus none are righteous before Him . All other religions of the world somehow offer the hope that by self-effort heaven may be achieved. The Bible does not do that. Instead the Bible gives us Gods humanly-impossible-to-attain standard.
But then God intervened. While it was impossible for me to overcome, it was not impossible for God. He used a combination of His Word that I was reading, and of messages that I heard on the radio to open my eyes to the rest of the truth.
My journal at this time goes from records of my continual failures each day, of my heart being so hard against God, of my struggling anguish, of the realities of my sinfulness, of knowing that I needed to repent yet could not in my cold-heartedness to all of a sudden ecstatically thanking God for His amazing love.
What happened? Over time I had realized my sinfulness in its awful self-destroying reality. I realized fully my incapability. I could not fix my life on my own. I could not earn Gods love, approval, or forgiveness. In my pride and self-sufficiency I needed to see the realities of my situation before I would or could humble myself enough to throw myself entirely on Gods grace. But as I did see those realities and surrendered myself to Him, He opened my eyes to also truly realize His love and grace.
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