***I leave this post up to humble me. I no longer share these beliefs and wholly affirm LGBTQ persons.***
I was watching The Shawshank Redemption and right towards the end of the movie there is this quote. The character, he says it like this, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
And whenever I hear about hope I always think of this Bible verse in Romans, it says “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not put us to shame.”
I had this friend come to me with a question. Now my friend is homosexual so I assume I’m about to hear a loaded statement, about to hear a hard question. And so he calls me up and says he wants to pursue God, he feels this calling to be a follower of Christ. And I just know going through his head is the question “But how can you do that and be gay?” It’s the question that seems rooted in a lack of hope. An obvious curiosity. I mean is that the message the church has gotten out there? That if you are gay you can’t be a Christian?
Now I can imagine when someone who’s gay thinks of God, they probably think of those signs. (<-There is a link to the sign, and I do apologize if the following word offends you.)
God. Hates. Fags.
Or they hear someone say the verse 1 Corinithans 6:9 which states “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers nor male prostitutes, nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
There’s not a lot of hope there.
Or they hear someone read Leviticus 18:22 and think I don’t even have a chance. They look at God and see him as this hateful being who shuts his door to anyone who’s gay.
I mean is that the image we have painted of a God who claims to be love, who’s law is love.
So, to sidetrack a bit, some perspective.
This big issue of the Church vs. the Homosexuals really has been made public lately due to the issue of marriage. Bear with me on this. Marriage is of God. It is traced back to creation. It is a sacrament just like baptism, confession, and the Eucharist to help us live a more divine life. It is a gift from God. Outside of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity) marriage (the way we have it) doesn’t exist. Christians are the ones who spread this form of marriage that we are arguing for to other countries. Marriage is what man and woman were created for. It is the symbol of becoming one with the other. The two have become one flesh. In the times of Jesus in many ways sex was Marriage. That’s why Christians are supposed to remain abstinent till marriage. Because sex is the becoming of one and the means of furthering God’s creation.
As Jesus puts it in Matthew: “Haven’t you read, that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife. (Now the texts of the New Testament were originally written in Greek. In Greek the word for wife is also the word for woman. Same word.) and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together let no one separate.” The act of sex at that time was completing the marriage. In fact as soon as they did the “I do, I do’s” they would run into a room and consummate the marriage as the ENTIRE FAMILY waited outside the DOOR. And once they were done they would party for days.
Now hopefully that explains why you are supposed to wait. Haha.
So by definition Marriage is between a man and a woman. It doesn’t exist any other way Jesus said so. Which is why the church has put up that fight. And they rightly should.
Marriage, does not exist any other way than man and woman.
So there is that discussion, now back to my friend, he asks me, So what should I make of Leviticus 18:22? Cause that might be the deciding factor on whether or not I can do this.
And in Leviticus there is some harsh language from God. 18:22 states “Do not have sexual relations with another man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Some translations say, it’s an abomination.
And this is the Law of Moses. It’s in the Bible which means this is where God stands on it.
Now Leviticus 18 is all about sexual sins. It’s not just calling out homosexuals. It’s calling out incest, bestiality, adulterers. It lists all the sexual sins and then says that if you commit any of these sins, You must be cut off from your people.
Now in those times this meant more than likely being stoned to death. Killed.
Now to even make this worse. In Matthew 5 it states “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
So lustful eyes, are adulterous eyes.
So you as a straight guy looking at that girl with those thoughts. Whether it be on campus, at work, or on that website…
Gay, or straight, your sexual sin, is the same.
We all should be cut off.
Not just the homosexual. We all should be cut off.
Now this law was written before Jesus came into the picture. But surely Jesus would be all about this Law I mean it came from God. He as we would expect condone that kind of stoning.
So what would Jesus do in this situation?
Well in John we find Jesus confronted with that very question.
The top religious leaders of that time, this group of people called the Pharisees, weren’t the biggest fans of Jesus. The top religious people of Jesus’ time…not big fans. The people who followed this law so strictly….not. big. fans.
And so they bring before Jesus this woman caught in the act of adultery. Caught in her sexual sin. Now keep in mind this story would be EXACTLY the same had this been someone caught in the act of homosexuality.
Now these religious rule followers they bring this woman before Jesus as a way to trick him. Because of the Law, if Jesus said that they weren’t allowed to stone her to death, then they could arrest Jesus.
Arrest Jesus, if he said no.
And so Jesus steps in front of this woman…
And then he kneels to the ground.
He steps in front of this woman and begins drawing in the sand.
And the eyes of The Pharisees go off the woman and focus on what Jesus is doing.
He takes their attention off this woman who is probably terrified. Probably knowing she is about to die. I mean not only does everyone know her secret sin, but she is about to be stoned to death. I imagine she’s screaming and begging for forgiveness and everyone’s watching her.
And Jesus takes the crowds attention off of this woman, draws in the sand.
Now these Pharisees, I’m sure some of them are waiting for Jesus to give the go ahead. They probably got their arms locked and loaded just waiting for the word to fire. Stone in hand anxious.
And Jesus he steps back up and the whole crowd just anxious for what is about to be said.
And Jesus, He looks these religious people in the face and says, “He who is without sin, may throw the first stone.”
And I imagine there was a great silence.
And then thud, thud, thud.
The stones began to fall to the ground.
The religious people dropped their weapons and walked away.
Now this woman probably cradled up ready for the first stone to hit. Probably crying in a corner eyes closed awaiting the worst. Jesus walks up to her.
He walks up to her and says “Woman, where are those who condemn you?”
And this woman probably for the first time looking around to see where they are she says “There are none, they have all left.”
And Jesus, probably with this comforting smile, he says “Then neither do I condemn you.”
Man that just seems REALLY hateful. (Sarcasm).
Now the most important line of this story is what follows. These few words were essential to his message to her.
Jesus told the woman “Now go and leave your life of sin.”
Now Jesus knew what he was asking. He knew this was her biggest struggle. He knew this wasn’t easy for her. He knew this would cause suffering.
“Then neither do I condemn you. Now go, leave your life of sin.”
That’s a powerful message. One that applies to us all.
Now things to realize.
Homosexuality is a sin. It is going against what man and woman were created for which was to become one and further God’s creation, keep it going. Just as this woman caught in adultery was going away from what she was created to do which was to be “one” with her husband.
Now understand that asking a homosexual to not desire to look at that guy or girl that way is not any different than asking a straight person not to look at a guy or girl that way.
Lustful eyes are adulterous eyes.
Jesus wanted all to look at each other with respect. Attraction is not a sin. Where you take that attraction can be.
Love is not a sin. Lust is. Truly focus on what you are actually feeling.
Upon the topic of being “born gay.”
In the Bible in the book of Romans in chapter 1, Paul talks about these men and women who have same sex attraction. He describes it as this, “They gave up natural desires, for unnatural ones.” “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.” He calls them shameful lusts and shameful actions. Paul who is speaking on behalf of God states that by very nature a woman should be attracted to a man and a man a woman.
I understand that that statement probably makes a lot of people angry.
And the age old argument that no one would choose to be gay. I’m not saying they did.
I am no expert on this matter but there are those out there. The surprisingly high number of statistics that talk about homosexuality indicate that it is from something that happened before the individual hit puberty. Whether it be abuse or simply not enough of a connection with the same sex parent the numbers are close to 90% that claim it was something other than birth that drives it.
Maybe it wasn’t your choice to have that desire. God knows that.
But sexual sin, is sexual sin. Almost every time the Bible mentions homosexuality the word “active” or “practicing” appears before it. Putting the emphasis on the act itself. Which includes any act with the same sex. Bisexual or just plain curiosity. If you are straight and do it…still a sin. The emphasis is on the act itself. Not the attraction.
God knows your situation. But sexual sin is sexual sin. No matter if you are straight or gay. If I were to fool around with a girl before marriage it would be the same as you fooling around with your same sex partner.
That doesn’t mean it’s okay. God is strongly against that.
And to go back to those hateful signs…
God. Hates. Sin.
God. Loves. Homosexuals.
Or to put it another way…
God. Hates. Sin.
God. Loves. The individual.
This conversation isn’t about being gay. The conversation should never have been about whether you are gay or straight. The conversation is about whether or not you are a sexual sinner.
God is against sin. God doesn’t change. People change. God does not.
Or another way of putting it:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Do not conform to the pattern of this world. Don’t conform to what the world is telling us.
Conform to Christ. Transform.
God loves everyone. The whole world. God is love.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
God loves homosexuals, God even loves those hateful people who hold up those signs.
God offers this love to all people. That means all people.
There. Is. Hope.
The door is not shut.
You don’t have to be perfect to walk through the door. You can be a sinful mess. As Jesus stated “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners.”
God calls you as you are. As a complete mess he invites you in. The only thing you have to do at first is acknowledge your sin as sin and ask for God’s help, for God’s guidance. God knows you aren’t perfect because NOBODY is perfect. And he still loves you and wants you to come home. Respond to what Jesus came here to do. Respond to God’s love for you. Live for that love.
As Paul continued in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 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.”
There is hope.
For all sinners, there is hope.
As Charles L. Allen says “When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.”
The door is open.
Invite Jesus in.
That doesn’t mean you are going to be perfect. But when God looks at you he will see that “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
And may you allow Jesus to live in you and conform you to the image of who you were created to be.
Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
This is a message that I do wish would be heard. I didn’t write it just to stay on some blog. I truly believe that the message that is out there that is representing the church on this topic is the message of no hope. It is a lie and it is against God. Please help in spreading this message of truth and hope.
29 thoughts on “Hope. (A discussion on Homosexuality.)”
Perhaps in light of your post above, you might especially appreciate this post titled: “Genesis 19: What the Bible REALLY Says Were the Sins of Sodom” (link below).
Blessings on your New Year!
This article is very good, however I do not see how this put’s up a good fight. As you seem to clearly believe the bible is without error it seems that you are searching for answers that help you believe that God is okay with a certain sin. God is against all sin. Homosexuality is a sexual sin. As I’m sure you know, The coming of one flesh refers to how Eve was taken from Adam’s rib and when they come together in sex they return to that “one flesh”. And as I wrote in my blog this is what Jesus says they were created for. This is what man and woman were created for. I would love for Jesus to be okay with my sexual thoughts toward women. That would be so much easier. But he’s not. And I acknowledge my sin as sin and ask for God’s help to bring me out of it because I know that it is a fight I cannot do myself. God is against sin. And we all deserve death for our sins. But God sent Jesus to die for those sins….not so that we could keep on sinning. But so that we could be transformed into his image.
With much love
Devon, I agree with you that God is against sin. However, what is at issue here is your presupposition that any and every expression of homosexuality is categorically sin. Let’s not forget that exegesis (which comes from the Greek verb which means “to draw out”) is about drawing out from the text the true meaning of a Bible passage. Or to phrase it a bit differently, it means getting out of the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading into the text the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it.
In contrast to this, I believe what you’re doing instead is what some theologians refer to as “frontloading”, that is to say, you read your own personal, political, ideological and/or prejudicial beliefs back into the Bible, instead of reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying. This process of reading one’s own ideas into interpretation of the Bible is called “eisegesis”. Exegesis and eisegesis are conflicting approaches to interpreting the Bible. Exegesis is about getting out of the text what is truly there in the first place. Eisegesis is about putting into the text something never intended by the author. The reader today must somehow try to enter the world of the biblical writer and seek to understand what the writer was saying. If we fail to pay attention to the world in which the Bible was written, our understanding will almost assuredly be misunderstanding.
Oh I agree completely with that method of study. And that is what I am studying currently. If you can explain how woman was not created for man and how that we as humans actually not were created to…create more, I would actually really like to hear that 🙂 (I apologize if I come off as putting words in your mouth, not my intent.) Could you also explain why you think “the act of homosexuality” does not mean “the act of homosexuality”? It seems there are several to believe that however they all are,for the most part, the extreme of that side.
I never made the statements you appear to attribute to me nor do I think “the act of homosexuality” does not mean “the act of homosexuality.” Let’s not insult each other’s intelligence or put words in each other’s mouth.
What I am concerned about is your reading things into the biblical text that simply are not there. To argue that the creation story privileges a heterosexual view of the relations between humankind is to make one of the weakest arguments possible: the argument from silence. The creation story is indeed about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, as critics of homosexuality like to admonish. But though heterosexuality may be the dominant form of sexuality, but it does not follow that it is the only form of appropriate sexuality.
The authors of Genesis were intent on answering the question: Where do we come from? Then, as now, the only plausible answer is from the union of a man and a woman. This text celebrates God’s deliberate and equal creation of man and woman: God created both the males and the females. The creation story does not pretend to be a history of anthropology or of every social relationship. It does not mention friendship, for example, and yet we do not assume that friendship is condemned or abnormal. It does not mention the single state and yet we know that singleness is not condemned. The creation story is not, after all, a paradigm about marriage, but rather about the establishment of human society. The creation story is the basis, and not the end, of human relationship and thus to regard it as excluding everything it does not mention is to place much too great a burden on the text.
The argument from the creation order is also hazardous on several other fronts. Virtually all churches reject the notion that God created sex for procreation only. Churches don’t teach that the “lifestyle” of married couples who choose not to have children is prohibited by Scripture despite the fact that the first man and woman were commanded to be fruitful and multiply. Undoubtedly, the male and female sex organs are designed to complement one another and are necessary to produce babies. But sexuality means much more than reproduction. This insight seems to be confirmed by the complementary account of creation provided in Genesis 2. God, we are told, was strangely sympathetic to the loneliness of Adam, observing that within the universe he had so conspicuously pronounced “good” there was, nevertheless, a significant omission. “It was not good for the man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). Significantly, this was declared by God in paradise, before the fall, and while man was still in unbroken fellowship/relationship with God. In the following verses, we are given another account of the purpose of sexuality: not procreation this time, but companionship. In other words, a primary creation purpose of sex is inter-personal intimacy, not just procreation. Sex as a profound expression of love and mutuality is something most of us accept gratefully as a good part of God’s good world. It is a marvel, a mystery and a grace that babies can come from ecstasy, but the ecstasy does not require babies to justify it.
You are very educated and I agree with most everything you say. And do know I wasn’t saying that if you don’t have babies, sex (within the confines of marriage) is a sin. But the issue comes down to “marriage” which is quite specifically between a man and woman. My statement was that Jesus Christ stated what man and woman were created for. To try and go against that would be sin. While I will continue to hear you out I believe we are clearly on opposite ends of the spectrum. There is a clear stance on homosexuality just as there is adultery and incest and bestiality. Yet I’m sure somewhere out there people believe that it doesn’t mean adultery the way we do today, or it doesn’t mean incest the way we do today and so on. Yet we know that is not true. It is very clearly painted as sexual sin and supported continually throughout the Bible. It’s not an argument from empty space. I suppose the response I would like is where the Bible actually does not say that it is a sin. Or support on that.
Thanks! Hope I’m not stirring you up! I just would like to know where biblically your beliefs come from!
I went looking for videos on youtube that maybe would be clearer than I and perhaps this will help. This pastor actually touches on pretty much everything I do sometimes verbatim. Maybe he will say it in a better way for you than I did. His name is Mark Driscoll and while he’s not my favorite haha I believe he says the truth quite clearly here.
You asked: “I suppose the response I would like is where the Bible actually does not say that it is a sin.”
I’ve actually addressed this on my blog in multiple posts and in multiple ways. If your question is indeed a sincere one, I would suggest you begin with the post: “Why No One in the Biblical World Had a Word for Homosexuality.” I would also suggest:
“Romans 1: What Was Paul Ranting About?”
“Romans 2: Paul’s Bait and Switch”
“Leviticus 18: What Was The Abomination?” and
“A Good Life in the Closet?”
You can find links to each of these posts on my “Archives” page.
I read all of these. But the point I seem to keep coming back to is that ANY sexual acts outside of marriage (Sexual immorality) is considered a sin. Marriage is man and woman. Very clearly defined. To say that he was only talking to people involved in demonic rituals is to claim the act itself is not a sin. You would have to say “Beastiality and adultery is actually not a sin for Christians because he was only talking about people who do it in rituals. ” To claim that the writers of the Bible never experienced homosexuality is a very huge leap from text. Just because they didn’t refer to it as “homosexuality” in their time does not mean the idea was not apparent or relevant. It would be the same as saying “They didn’t know the english definition for sex, so it didn’t exist.” Please know I have no political or grudge reason to defend this. It is simply biblical truth. If the Bible said it was okay I would just as quickly defend that. But it does not. I am about truth and love. It doesn’t matter what the topic is even if I just really wish it wasn’t true. I wish hell didn’t exist, but it does. As Peter says “We must obey God, not man.” If you have to search for reasons that a certain sin is not actually sin and by doing so claim that every time he mentions the act quite specifically that he is actually saying something else then I think in that situation you are searching for a reason for your sin to be approved by God. I am no saint. I am a sinner and as I grow closer to God I realize more and more of my life needs changing. Because thats what God does. He conforms you to his image. He lives in you. “God loves you as you are He just loves you too much to leave you that way” He is constantly working to help you rid yourself of sin. To give you life to the full. If I were to search and search for text that says say for instance “Porn is actually okay” I could say well they didn’t have the internet or magazines back in the day so clearly Jesus and the others couldn’t say that was wrong. But as we know Jesus and the others have very clearly mentioned the act itself and lust in it, though the scale and real concept of it had not yet existed. It would simply be me looking for an excuse to get away with my sin. And that is me crucifying Christ all over again. Christ died for my sins. He died. Why would I search for reasons to make his death meaningless? To search and say he actually did not die for my sin because that sin isn’t really a sin even though there are several text that say otherwise would to put his death to shame. It is good and essential to know the context and crowd that the writers were writing to. But just because Jesus mostly talked to Jews it doesn’t mean his message isn’t for Americans, or Russians, or Australians. Just because America didn’t even exist yet in Jesus’ time doesn’t mean that he didn’t want the message for us. Because Jesus spoke of sharing this good news to all.
To ask someone to change is actually what Christ was about. Not exactly in those terms but he wanted you to return to righteousness. “leave your life of sin” is how he put it.
As Jesus put it “Seek and you will find.” We can make a biblical text say anything and even provide others who believe similar things. But if we have to fight and fight for something in more than one case to mean something else. We are not appreciating God’s breathed word. Not appreciating God’s inspired word. We are making it our word and convenient for us, Not appreciating the people who died for that message. This blog was made to un-separate peoples views on Gay or straight and put the focus BACK on sexual sin. Most all of us are sexual sinners. And we all still have hope. But Christ died for your sins, accept that and when you sin again confess it for forgiveness. You are dead to your old self and alive in Christ. Dead to your old way and alive in THE way.
I have appreciated this conversation and I hope you know it is hard to relay a message of love through text. Debate the worthiness of the idea without infringing the worth of the person. I hope I have been able to uphold that and though we may disagree I hope that I have not offended you. Because that is truly not my intent. All I can say is continue living for Christ and allowing him to conform you and I will continue as well.
One day we will both have the truth revealed and what a marvelous day that will be!
Your post below is so riddled with errors and inaccuracies, presuppositions and unwarranted assumptions I hardly know where to start.
You accuse ME of taking a giant leap from the text while that is PRECISELY what you continue to do. And you seem to delight in reading things into the test that simply are not there.
As we agreed, responsible biblical exegesis is about drawing out or getting out of the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, WITHOUT reading into the text the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it. The opposite (i.e., eisegesis or frontloading) is reading your own personal prejudices back into the Bible, instead of reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying. I suspect you’re not doing the latter with malicious intent; you’re likely completely unaware that you’re even doing it.
You begin with your presupposition that homosexuality is a sin, but nowhere do you prove it. You accept it and expect your readers to do the same. Why should we accept this as true? Nowhere in the Bible does it state that at all. Your assumption is unproven and it is false.
You say: “It is simply biblical truth.” Well, where is your exegesis to support that it is biblical truth? Answer: You have none. The only way you can make such a declaration is to rip passages from their context and replace them in another age for the sake of convenience, throw completely out the window the cardinal rule of exegesis as cited above and frontload your way along by reading things into the text that simply aren’t there. Show me! Show your readers! Where is your exegesis? Don’t just presume and say “it’s simply biblical truth!” We already went over the Creation story and I pointed out a slew of presuppositions and unwarranted assumptions you made with the text.
Throughout church history, most Christians who have used the Bible to condemn other Christians were acting in good faith. They, like you, thought they were defending against an enemy attack of the clear teachings of Scripture. History has revealed, however, that what many were defending was their presumption of what the Bible teaches, not the truth of Scripture. As best-selling author and former professor of biblical exegesis, F.F. Bruce put it: “It is not enough to say: ‘The Bible says…’ (and you can fill in the blank with whatever you want), without at the same time considering, to whom the Bible says it, and in what circumstances.”
To illustrate Bruce’s point: The Bible speaks only negatively of tax collectors. You will not find one single favorable mention of them anywhere in Scripture. But when the Bible speaks negatively of “tax collectors,” we realize that it’s not talking about modern IRS agents. Tax collectors in Jesus’ day were frequently corrupt and cheated people out of more money than they owed. So when the Bible talks about “tax collectors,” it’s not condemning all tax collectors for all time; it’s condemning the specific behaviors of the tax collectors at that time. But when you read of the same regarding homosexuality, you toss Bruce’s rule right out the window.
You said: “I am no saint. I am a sinner and as I grow closer to God, I realize more and more of my life needs changing. Because that’s what God does. He conforms you to his image. He lives in you. “God loves you as you are He just loves you too much to leave you that way” He is constantly working to help you rid yourself of sin. To give you life to the full.”
I could not agree with you more here. But what does that have to do with homosexuality? Answer: Nothing. Are you implying that God wants to and/or is in the business of changing gay people into straight people? You’ll find nothing in the Bible to support such a premise. We also know now that efforts to change one’s sexual orientation fail. People who have experimented with homosexual behavior (as many heterosexual people do) can turn away from it. Homosexuals, like heterosexuals, can become celibate. Or they can marry against their desires and have children. But research on efforts to help people do a 180 degree U-turn with their sexual orientation — their feelings and fantasies — reveals that no such treatment is effective. Many a person has tried hoping upon hope to escape their culture’s contempt without succeeding.
Christian ex-gay organizations have had a go at this too for the past 40 years offering support to those seeking to leave their orientation. But many — including many such organizations affiliated with Exodus International — have been abandoned by their ex ex-gay founders. Countless former ex-gay ministry leaders, including myself, confess that they counseled hundreds of people who tried to change their sexual orientation and none of them changed. The bottom line is it doesn’t work.
Many gay and lesbian Christians have felt “called” to heterosexuality, but after years of effort, prayer, laying on of hands, Christian counseling, and searing guilt, have found only misery and in many cases lost faith. While there is no scientific evidence that reparative or conversion therapy is effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation, there is much evidence that this type of therapy can be destructive.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift. Unless you can show through responsible biblical exegesis that your presumptions cab be biblically supported, you are doind nothing more than selling snake oil.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their
women exchanged natural 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 indecent acts with other men,
and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Lust is sin, indecent acts are sin, perversion, is sin. all of these are listed in reference to homosexuality.
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit
the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
this verse as I wrote says that these people were cleansed of their sins. and then Washed. Sanctified. By the Lord Jesus Christ.
‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have
done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will
be on their own heads.’ (Leviticus 20:13)
It talks the same way about adultery, incest, and beastiality. How could anything holy be detestable? or and abomination? And as I mentioned in my blog Jesus was confronted with the issue. and told the individual to leave their life of sin.
These are just some of the scriptures. To say that they actually say anything else is difficult to do. Look at all translations and original. They are quite clear even in context even with the historical narrative. Clear on God’s stance. He still loves but sin as it states in 1 Corinthians cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Attraction is not a sin, sexual immorality is.
Please re-read my blog and see I backed up everything you say I have not backed up. I’m afraid I will end my replies here. Out of risk of a conversation that will lead to great division. I do not question your love for Christ but we must allow the truth to be truth. Feel free to reply and I will see your response.
It goes without saying that I really value your thoughts and who you are as a person, Devon, and it’s so clear that you put a lot of thought into this particular blog. I’ve actually been thinking about it for a few days, because you were open to responses and am someone full of opinions. I probably don’t have to say where I stand on this topic, at least not to you, and that’s all this really is anyway. A conversation with you. I think it’s really admirable that you’ve tried to sort of rationalize a solution that is both Christian and accepting, and if that’s where Christianity is headed then perhaps there is hope after all.
I myself grew up Catholic, an experience that leaves me first with a decent knowledge of the books and practices outlined in the Bible and by the church, and second, with little desire to participate in the religion. It is not lost on me the amazing benefits a church can have, and I used to thoroughly enjoy all those young life meetings. But I guess the biggest issue I ran into was that this kind of religion requires you to pick sides. One side is that the church inspires so many people to live better lives. The other is that the church is the basis upon which many people harbor prejudices and use them to make other people’s lives worse. On topics, in politics, its all about taking sides. And it’s great when you fit in, and Christianity makes sense for you. Because that sense of belonging leaves you with a fulfillment that you can’t find just anywhere. I guess some say that’s finding God and letting him into your heart. That feeling of fulfillment is a wonderful reason to be a good person, and do great acts.
But what happens when you don’t belong, what happens when Christianity doesn’t make sense, and in fact, makes you resent yourself, resent who you are, and prevents you from becoming whole and finding that satisfied, belonging feeling? It doesn’t seem like it does much good then. For your friend’s sake, I think he should find a spiritual place that appreciates and loves him for the person he was born as, sexuality and all, so that he too can find that belonging place you’ve found in Christianity.
As for me, I’ve done quite a bit of thinking and research myself, and ya know, there’s a rule in journalism and reporting that highlights the importance of knowing your source. So I think it’s important to do just that, know the source of your information. You say a lot in your writing the phrase “God says…” and I wonder where this really came from. Well I’m going to assume that it came from the King James version of the bible, which is essentially the “authorized” English translation. But it is important to remember that, as every educated christian knows, that God himself did not write this bible. The bible was written by man, and even more specifically, in several different books, by several different men. History tells us then, that these books were sorted and compiled into one by Emperor Constantine, known as Constantine the Great. Or the the First Christian Emperor. (Note: under this first christian emperor, homosexual marriages were not outlawed). What is important about this fact of the bible’s earthly origins lies in it’s propensity to become distorted. Constantine convened a the First Council of Nicaea, and group of people that literally decided whether or not Jesus was the divine son of God, or a prophet man. Neither of these distort his teachings necessarily, but the simple awareness that this well known christian “fact” was decided by a council of men is enough for me to question the reliability of the bible as a source of god’s true word, and not another man’s interpretation of it. It is also interesting to note that Constantine, a pagan up until his death, was under political pressure to unite his kingdom and did so by merging certain pagan rituals with Christian beliefs….that’s a fun google search! In short, it’s relatively undeniable that a man with a political agenda was in charge of putting together the bible, what books went in, what books stayed out (and were destroyed…or not: dead sea scrolls?) It isn’t then absurd to think that just as political parties are subject to slander and propaganda today, so could they have been in the days of Constantine. Maybe Constantine didn’t like gay people. Maybe he left out a few books focusing on loving thy neighbor for whoever they are and put in more books like Leviticus. Maybe we’ll never know. The point is, knowing your source is crucial to finding the truth, and it’s important to realize that the common bible, although influential and important, is not the full documentation of God’s will and word Christianity has it made out to be. If you know your source, you can know your truth. I think the truth is what we’re all after, now isn’t it 🙂
Hey Brynne! I’m glad you read this. Please know that I am very loving and accepting of all individuals I hope I made that very clear and that you know me well enough to know I’m not the one to condemn anyone or say they have no part in the good news of Christ’s resurrection. I try my absolute best to treat everyone with love as I am called to do. Which is why I wrote this blog because I believe the message that has gotten out there is not a message of love but of division and hatred. I have many gay friends who would probably struggle with this article. If any church turned some who is gay away than it is not a church. The problem however is that we are all church. And that if one part is divided there is great struggle. It’s not about rejecting an individual. Because God welcomes all. It is very hard to defend the Bible with the Bible so I will do my best to explain why I believe it’s original text is without error. Without the word, there is no Jesus. Because Jesus is quite literally The Word in the flesh. We know the Old Testament is real because of the texts that existed some of them thousands of years before Christ that specifically talked about Christ. Jesus while on the earth almost always used scripture and was very educated in the old testament. As it was custom for Jewish boys to learn and memorize scripture. Jesus was all of the Prophecies fulfilled. The ones that without a doubt existed before the man on Earth.
Upon the other scriptures and the New Testament. In John Jesus spoke very clearly that when he left Earth he would send The Holy Spirit of Truth into all the disciples so that no matter what they said it would be truth. He would speak through them. And Paul who wrote nearly the entire New Testament comes back to this often in Romans 9 puts it and says other times as this “I promise you this truth. This is not I myself who speaks but The Holy Spirit who is in me.” Which is why as a Christian I believe the Bible is without error because all Scripture is God breathed. Just as I mentioned with Peter’s binding and loosing The Catholic Church was responsible for the structure of the Bible. Again, I’m not Catholic and many times I think some in that denomination can be very harsh and miss the message of love (as in other denominations). If any movement is not in Love than it is not from God.
I hope my blog showed that I do not believe in setting aside but uniting all. However as I must “fight the good fight” against sin I cannot say that any sin is okay or acceptable. I can say that God welcomes all sin, there wasn’t any sin that he didn’t die for.
One of my favorite verses in the whole Bible is this,
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
In him we might become righteous. We we become Christians God works in us to make us become righteous. Sin is not righteous. Sin separates us from God. And that is why I stand by what I have said. I do understand that it’s not a message that some will agree with, I knew that when I wrote it. However I have tried my best to not offend anyone though the topic is very heated and political. And I appreciate those whom disagree and will do my best to explain things as I have tried to here.
I apologize if you have ever heard any message that is not Love. Do not let so few Christians with the wrong idea ruin how great God is. And if you would like to talk about this even more or the other things that have made you feel the wrong way I am more than willing to have that conversation mainly because I REALLY FRIGGIN’ miss ya! So gimme a call sometime!
Now where getting down to the meat and potatoes. As you know, there are only five or six verses in the entire Bible that have been interpreted as addressing or condemning homosexuality. Some of which you’ve quoted above.
Now that we know what God says, but we also need to know what God means. And here is where biblical exegesis comes in. That means we never begin by asking: “What DOES it mean?” That is the always wrong starting point. Why? Because you’re really asking, “What does it mean to us today, individually?” and that’s why we end up with hundreds of different answers that can be answered by anyone subjectively. If you have 25 people, you’ll end up with 25 different opinions, resulting in 25 different doctrines, every one of which may be wrong, even though they all sincerely and completely believe they are correct. Exegesis always asks: “What DID it mean?” There’s a vast difference in those questions as a starting points. Our job is to somehow try to enter the world of the biblical writer and seek to understand what the writer was saying and what it meant at the time. If we fail to pay attention to the world in which the Bible was written, we will run amuck every time.
So you get an “A+” for quoting the passages a big “F” for doing no exegesis on them at all. Your total exegesis is to say, “They are quite clear even in context even with the historical narrative. Clear on God’s stance.” Such an outpouring of thoughtful biblical hermeneutics! Such scholarly work should be published (not)! I suppose I don’t need to tell you that you are just a tad presumptuous?
On the other hand, if you’ll note from my post on “Romans 1: What was Paul Raving About?” (to cite just one example) — I did not take my own personal opinion, I did research. I looked at some of the valuable and scholarly work done on these passages and I brought in some of the respected work, for example, of Dr. Catherine Kroeger, New Testament scholar, noted expert on Ancient Greek culture, and professor of classical and ministry studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary from 1990 until her death in February 2011. It just so happens she published a feature article in “The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society” titled “The Apostle Paul and the Greco-Roman Cults of Women” where she speaks in detail about what Paul saw and was writing about in Romans. Read the post!
You, on the other hand simply say, “They are quite clear even in context even with the historical narrative. Clear on God’s stance.” Hmmm, not too presumptuous on your part, is it? That is your proof? Shame on you!
What have you proven? Where is the scholarly research? Where is your exegesis? Where is your demonstration that you have even the slightest understanding of what this text meant to the author and to the original intended audience? Where is the slightest hint that you’ve taken the time or trouble to try and enter the world of the biblical writer and seek to understand what the writer was saying? Where is the tiniest indication that you have paid some attention to the world in which the Bible was written? Answer: It is completely non-existent. You did none. Nada. Zip Zilch.
Some history, This is for all peeps. When it comes to interpreting scripture here we go: As Jesus told Peter “Whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in heaven whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18. This is in reference to interpretation. As Jesus would often say “You have heard it taught this way but I tell you it truly means this…” This was a custom for the Rabbis. That process would be called loosing. Saying it is actually not the way you previously heard it but moreso this way. In essence after Jesus left he gave Peter the authority to say what is said and what isn’t. Whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed on heaven. I ask you all to research this. And as it goes Peter was the first Pope. And that has been the role of the Pope since Peter. To bind and loose. To say this means this. And Jesus said that it would be matched in heaven. The role of the Catholic church, a.k.a. the first church. I am not Catholic though I acknowledge their supreme role as the church authority. The stance that the past and present Popes have had is that homosexuality is a sexual sin. And against God’s will as are all the other sexual sins. As I have stated it’s not about gay or straight but whether or not you are a sexual sinner.
I knew that this topic would become difficult for many. But I stand by my words. And the hope and support of all people so that they may see the truth.
“To “bind” in rabbinical language is to forbid, to “loose” is to permit. Peter would be like a rabbi who passes on many points.”
Here is more on the Popes stance.
It is not valid to simply say: “The stance that the past and present Popes have had is that homosexuality is a sexual sin” and presume that simply because the Pope’s — or anyone’s stance for that matter — has been such and such, that therefore it is without error. It is embarrassing to admit that it took the Church 18 centuries to challenge the notion that light skinned-people were not superior to dark-skinned people, or that slavery is not God-ordained, or that that women and blacks should actually be allowed to vote, or that interracial marriage is not wrong, or that that women should be allowed to preach, teach or wear lipstick, or that anti-Semitism is biblically supported, and on and on. A number of biblical texts were cited to give support to each of these and, of course, the Bible verses that once footnoted these notions are all still in the Bible.
The legitimacy of slavery, to cite only one single example, was enshrined in canon law. The Papacy itself owned many hundreds of slaves and had done so for centuries. How could the practice and doctrine possibly be wrong?
Apart from a handful of reconstructionists who advocate the re-introduction of the law of Moses, all Christians today accept that slavery is morally and doctrinally wrong. If they wish to retain a high view of biblical inspiration, however, they must somehow explain the Bible’s embarrassing failure to condemn slavery and the consequent moral blindness of the church to the issue for 18 centuries. The way this has been achieved is by the addition of a key principle of interpretation of special relevance to the discussion of biblical ethics — now open your ears and hear this!!! ALLOWANCE MUST BE FOR THE WAY THE BIBLE ACCOMMODATES ITSELF TO ITS ORIGINAL CULTURAL SETTING
Are you actually trying to tell me, your readers and your friend Brynne, that there other no other mistaken ethical and doctrinal judgments for which Christians like yourself claim biblical warrant but which will seem as embarrassingly inappropriate and anachronistic to later generations as the Church’s former support for slavery does to us now? Wake up and smell the coffee!
Lord knows the presumptions of men like you have often obscured the truth of Scripture! One of the most profound cases of this is that of Calvin and Luther, two of the most revered Christians of all time, WHO WERE UNANIMOUS WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (and later the Protestant church) in condemning the astronomer Copernicus (1473-1543) as a heretic. Copernicus’ crime was to assert that the earth rotates around the sun. However, “godly” people and the church believed that the Bible taught otherwise. The proposition that the earth rotates around the sun was unacceptable to the Christian theologians of that period because there were many biblical passages which seemed to “clearly” indicate that the earth did not move.
As far as they were concerned, the Bible words used to describe the sun rising and setting and moving across the sky could be interpreted to mean nothing other than that the sun, and not the earth, is the one that moves. Martin Luther, referring to Joshua 10:13, in his series of Table Talks in 1539 said:
“People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon…. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”
Luther’s disciple Melanchthon, in emphasizing Ecclesiastes 1:4-5 said:
“The eyes are witnesses that the heavens revolve in the space of 24 hours. But certain men, either from the love of novelty, or to make a display of ingenuity, have concluded that the earth moves… Now, it is a want of honesty and decency to assert such notions publicly, and the example is pernicious. It is the part of a good mind to accept the truth as revealed by God and to acquiesce in it.”
And John Calvin, citing Psalm 93:1 in his Commentary on Genesis said:
“Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit? ‘… the world also is established that it cannot be moved.’”
Calvin, Luther, and all believers with them took their stand on what they believed to be the clear teaching of Scripture and went to their graves condemning Copernicus as a heretic. It was many, many years before the church recognized that the descriptions of the sun’s movement were what today any first-year Bible student calls “phenomenological,” or merely descriptive. Allowance must be made they discovered, especially in poetic texts, for the use of metaphorical language. Copernicus is only one such case in which the consensus of opinion about how the Bible should be understood has changed over the years. There are many others.
Is the issue of homosexuality, which the Church is now wrestling with, any different from the many others the Church has had to muddle through? Again, in every one of the past blunders of the Church, innocent and well-meaning people like yourself claimed their errors to be “the clear teaching of Scripture.” Does that phrase sound familiar to you, my dear brother? It should. You have used it here over and over again to support your claimed infallibility on this issue.
As we look back over our 2,000 years of Church history, we find that oppression of one sort or another against people who are “different” — whether by means of race, color, gender, class or sexual orientation — has always been endemic. And to our great shame, the oppression and injustices are always carried out in the name of someone’s Christianity. One of the lessons we can learn from these experiences is that reading and interpreting Scripture is not quite as simple as some would like to believe. A text does not simply “say what it says” despite the rational good intentions of some readers. For reading Scripture is not only a matter of what is written there, but also what we expect to find there, what we bring to the text, and what we take away from it. Reading Scripture then is by no means a clinical or a neutral affair. And we must not forget that while it may seem evident to us that others did terrible things in the past, it isn’t always so easy to see that we ourselves may be doing terrible things today.
Why do you think growing numbers of evangelicals, biblical scholars, theologians, religious leaders and others (yup, Catholics too!) are changing their minds on this issue? Answer: Because they are discovering that when examined more closely and in their historical and social contexts, the standard canonical interpretations of the few passages that generally get appealed to in this debate do not survive close scrutiny!
And as I did say before will be loosed in heaven. So his stance does indeed actually become the stance. Which is why there is such careful selection in choosing the Pope. If one person does not feel they are fit, they vote again. You knew I couldn’t not reply to this hahahaha Very Good.
I don’t need a long response just please a yes or no. Is bestiality a sin?
In answer to your question: Yes, bestiality is a sin. I presume you’re asking with reference to Leviticus 18 which I’ve blogged about. (See my post — “Leviticus 18: What Was the Abomination?”) The sexual abuse of an animal (bestiality/Lev 18:23) as well as the illegitimate taking of a human life (child sacrifice/Lev 18:21) are indisputably exploitive and abusive under ANY context or circumstance — whereas the same does not hold true for what we know of today as “homosexuality”, which often encompasses a committed, faithful and loving monogamous partnership or marriage between two consenting adults. That said, if we’re to consider context here which you seem to ignore like the plague, in the Leviticus passage’s specific context these acts are prohibited because of their association with pagan idolatry. Hence Leviticus chapter 18 begins with a strict caution to avoid retaining the idolatries of Egypt (from where the Israelites had come) and of receiving the idolatries of Canaan (to where they were now going). According to the Matthew Henry Commentary, this strict caution to avoid these idolatries “sums up the whole chapter of Leviticus 18.”
PLEASE TELL ME YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TRY AND COMPARE THE LEGAL MARRIAGE OR RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO CONSENTING ADULT GAY PEOPLE FOUNDED ON LOVE, FIDELITY, MUTUALITY, TRUTHFULNESS, AND PERMANENCE WITH THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF AN ANIMAL? BECAUSE IF YOU ARE, YOU’RE TREADING ON EVER THINNER ICE THAN I THOUGHT.
Remember F.F. Bruce’s words to the wise (and to those who respect the biblical text enough to want to interpret it responsibly): “It is not enough to say: ‘The Bible says’… without at the same time considering, to whom the Bible says it, and in what circumstances.”
Now I have a question for you: You wrote: “And as I did say before will be loosed in heaven.” Since you keep throwing around the Matthew 18 passage about binding and loosing is if to suggest this passage represents the answer to our quandary here (and of course, as usual, without any reference to context). I really need for you to ease explain to me what you believe this means to you (a) doctrinally and (b) specifically with regard to the issue of homosexuality. Please do not make assumptions. Spell it out so we can understand how you believe it relates to the issue at hand.
I provide context for everything sir (as I spoke of Rabinnic terminology and Jesus was indeed a rabbi). You deny every bit of my context. Second question for you is Why is bestiality a sin?
Where is the context??!! I didn’t deny it. I totally missed it. I don’t think you were clear. Perhaps you need to rephrase. How does your binding and loosing passage relate to homosexuality? It appears to be completely and totally unrelated to the issue entirely. Can you bind and loose someone’s poverty and make them rich? Can you bind and loose someone’s cancer and other illnesses and therefore do away with our medical and doctor bills altogether? Can you bind and loose someone’s cavity in their tooth and do away with visits to our dentists? Can you bind and loose 20/20 vision in your brothers and sisters and therefore do away with eyeglasses for the Church? Can you bind and loose children with autism and make their autism disappear? What I’m trying to get it here is what would be the difference between applying this biblical passage responsibly and exegetically as opposed to going totally off the deep end with it (as I believe your doing by relating it to homosexuality) and trying to get it to say things it was never intended to say? Don’t just quote the passage; explain this to me and others here, please!!!
If you evade this, it only makes me (and others) think you’re selling snake oil and that you’re not man enough to admit that you can’t defend your position. Perhaps the prospect of having to admit to the possibility (the operative word here being “possibility”) that you’re wrong on this issue — not that you’re a bad person but that you simply bought into something that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny when examined more closely and in context — would be too much for you to bear. No one wants to have to come to terms with a truth that would set him or her apart from their friends, family and community.
Sometimes truth is costly. Sometimes truth will put us at odds with our communities and with the people we most care about. But we have a responsibility to be a discerning people. We cannot afford to be naïve and simply follow ideas and teachings for the sake of tradition, our personal comfort, or because of our cultural backgrounds and learned distastes or doctrines. Our fears of upsetting the status quo can lead to our own self-deception and the message of the gospel can be watered down by a play-it-safe mentality. Jesus was not crucified for maintaining the religious status quo, you know!
Don’t evade what I’m asking you here — explain it. Please! If I’m wrong then I want to know. But if you’re wrong you must come to terms with it or at least stop spreading stuff that was handed down to you but which you cannot support exegetically!
I’ll get to this when you answer the question I previously asked which is why is bestiality a sin. And bestiality can be a plain as having sex with an animal. So why is it a sin?
I answered this already above. But since you appear to have missed it (as I appear to have missed your exegesis on the binding and loosing passage), here it is again, rephrased and in greater detail:
Bestiality is a sin for a number of reasons. In the Leviticus 18 passage, God was taking the Israelites to task for bestiality because the pagan religions practiced bestiality because they believed having sex with animals would grant them “life force” power from their pagan gods and fertility.
Fertility was highly prized in Ancient times in ways that are completely foreign to our modern thinking. In many ways their lives literally depended on fertility. As a result of the great value placed on fertility, Egyptian and Canaanite religions were replete with practices believed to appease the fertility gods of the day and thereby win them the blessing of fertility: fertility of the land in the form of rains to ensure and boost crop production, fertility in the way of life through pregnancy and birth, fertility for the reproduction of their livestock, and so on. Israel’s survival hinged on fertility and Baal was a god of fertility. This meant that Baal was the power behind the rain and the dew. And with rainfall levels unreliable, famine was always a real possibility.
But here’s the problem: If Israel is thought to be bound to God in an exclusive covenant relationship, then Israel can be said to “play the harlot” whenever they looked to powers other than Yahweh for sustenance, comfort or protection. “Playing the harlot”, as the English translations tend to put it, became a common idiom for the Israelites worshipping of other gods. That is why it was idolatry.
It is also true however, that even aside from this particular context where bestiality is mentioned in Leviticus 18 with a slew of other detestable pagan cult idolatrous practices, bestiality or the sexual abuse and forcing of oneself on an animal (Lev 18:23) happens to be always and indisputably be exploitive and abusive under any context or circumstance.
Now stop evading the question above. For the third time, please go back and reread my previous comment and explain to me what you believe would be the difference between applying the biblical passage of binding and loosing responsibly and exegetically as opposed to going totally off the deep end with it (as I believe your doing by relating it to homosexuality) and trying to get it to say things it was never intended to say?
I would be obliged if you would also respond to my comment above about truth being too costly sometimes as well.
It seems that you keep saying these sins are only in reference to pagan rituals. Though bestiality is wrong as is adultery (Which comes from attraction). I am simply asking why is bestiality a sin. Because the real root of it is “because it’s not what sex was intended for. It’s not why man and woman were created. It is using the beautiful act of intercourse for detestable things.” To say that it only is in reference to rituals is to say that incest and adultery and bestiality are in fact okay to perform because he wasn’t talking about it “in general”. And you keep leaving out the stance on homosexuality like it’s not there. or as it is put “lying with a man as one lies with a woman.” which is not the word homosexual but in fact the act. It doesn’t matter if that what floats your boat it is a sin. As I am attracted to most women and could very well go crazy if I acted on every attraction I had. But that is a sin and goes again being created to be “one flesh.” And how is that one flesh described? Man and woman.
And I used all the scripture and exegesis in my blog.
What you need to realize is that I couldn’t care less if the Bible said it was okay to have those relations with a man. If that is where God stood on the matter I would defend it. This conversation is not for me to win my side but to defend the truth.
You’re preaching to the choir here, bro. I am not building a case to support or promote bestiality. I explicitly said that bestiality is exploitive and abusive under any context or circumstance. But since we agreed (unless you’re trying to weasel you way out of it now) that exegesis requires that we seek to draw out from the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading into it the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it, it is also imperative that we address the context.
A text without a context is pretext. The dictionary defines a pretext as, “An effort or strategy intended to conceal something.” In other words, unless we consider the context of Scripture — I mean the entire context including the historical setting — we are, purposely or not, engaging in a strategy to conceal the teachings of the Bible.
The context of Leviticus 18 and surrounding passages is that God is addressing a slew of pagan idolatrous cult rituals that he does not want the Israelites to partake in because they were part and parcel of the idolatrous Canaanite religious practices — and one of these was bestiality. They were to look to Yahweh for their sustenance, comfort and protection, not turn to the pagan deities.
If you refrain from ripping the passage from its context and instead read the passage in context, you would see that Leviticus is prohibiting bestiality for RELIGIOUS reasons, not MORAL ones. The concern is to keep Israel distinct from their idolatrous neighbors.
Now repeatedly you said you would answer my question about your usage of binding and loosing when I answered your question about bestiality. I believe I have honored your request. Now I will ask you to do likewise. For the fifth time, please go back and reread my previous comment and explain to me what you believe would be the difference between applying the biblical passage of binding and loosing responsibly and exegetically as opposed to going totally off the deep end with it (as I believe your doing by relating it to homosexuality) and trying to get it to say things it was never intended to say?
If you’re going to keep saying “the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin” and use your binding and loosing passage to support your claim, you must be bale to demonstrate exegetically how and why this is so.
You begun with your presupposition that homosexuality is a sin, but nowhere do you prove it. You accept it and expect your readers to do the same. Why should we accept this as true? Nowhere in the Bible does it state that at all.
If anything, when the few passages of Scripture that generally get appealed to in this debate are examined more closely and in context your “homosexuality is a sin” supposition is found to be sorely wanting. Since we have already established that the church has had to correct many, many many of its embarrassing doctrinal errors over the past 2,0000 years, you must be bale to show how and why this is not only the most recent of these blunders.
Kindly begin by answering the question that you repeatedly said you would address. What do you believe would be the difference between applying the biblical passage of binding and loosing responsibly and exegetically as opposed to going totally off the deep end with it (as I believe your doing by relating it to homosexuality) and trying to get it to say things it was never intended to say?
I submit the only way you can support your claim that “homosexuality is a sin” is to take the few passages that generally get appealed to on this issue and rip them from their context and replace them in another age for the sake of convenience or to read things into the text that are simply not there. This is not exegesis, it is eisegesis — precisely what we’re supposed to be avoiding!
i explained binding and loosing very clearly. The end result is what the pope says ultimately goes. This Rabbinic process began after Christ with Peter and continued through the church. The pope says that homosexuality is against God’s will for man. He says that because it is. I have no desire to continue this never-ending conversation because it has gone nowhere and I worry that no good will come out of this. And it will just lead to continued debate instead of loving discussion. I will pray for the both of us on this topic. I hope you have a good new year and I hope that you continue in your walk with Christ and continue in his love.
Peace and love
Too bad that you feel that way, Devon. As iron sharpens iron so too can one man sharpen another if the debate is handled respectfully. We know we can’t both be correct on this. One of us is definitely wrong.
The bigger question is: are we willing to wrestle through this and could we handle discovering that a cherished doctrine that we were taught, embraced, toted around and “preached” to others for years was simply not correct.
I think we both respect the Word. I love the Bible. In my handling of Scripture, I think that I am as in other areas of my life and outlook, very conservative. As a Christian, I consider myself both conservative and Evangelical. If I were accused of twisting the Scriptures to justify sin, it would cut me very deeply. My love for God’s Word will not let me twist it or otherwise do it any harm.
But there are rules of exegesis we must follow if we wish to “rightly divide the Word,” as Paul puts it, and interpret the Bible responsibly. We can’t toss them out the window when we can’t our doctrines won’t fit the rules and I fear you have simply taken flight here.
Where you missed my exegesis on bestiality, I took the time to repeat, rephrase and expand on it so you could get where I was coming from. You, on the other hand, dismissed the matter with a curt, “I explained binding and loosing very clearly. The end result is what the pope says ultimately goes,” as if to completely deny that both the Catholic and Protestant Church has not had to correct many of their embarrassing doctrinal faux pas over the years.
We must be cautious about what we consider “crystal clear” as well as our appeals to the “plain sense” of scripture. “Plain sense” too often goes no deeper into the Bible’s complexities than the “common sense” that knows the earth is flat. The Bible is vast, complex, and multi-layered. To apply it reliably we have to do our homework.
The debate over homosexuality crosses all religious lines and is of critical interest in our Church and our culture. It is not going anywhere anytime soon. Therefore, we need to be as informed as possible in order to cope constructively and honestly with what affects all of us.
I think your depriving your readers and yourself of a rich and important opportunity.
Ya know Devon this’d all be less complicated if you just decided to be Calvinist.
Couldn’t agree more. “Gay, or straight, your sexual sin, is the same.” – Agreed. All sin is the same in the eyes of God and EVERYONE has the privilege to be a Christ follower as long as they confess and accept the Truth.