Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Discussion On Using The Bible To Legitimize Homosexuality

  • Discussion:
          -Following are a series of excerpts with responses to them from a debate that veered far from the original topic of the article in which they were published. A number of points may prove to be useful in discussing the issue of whether the Bible endorses homosexuality:

          "What if some christians think that oppressing gay people is a great evil and others do not even see their harsh treatment of homosexuals as oppression?"

          That would be a matter of semantics in this culture. If by "oppressing gay people" you are referring to something genocidal in nature, then that would be a heinous crime.

          "What if, in these cases, all concerned are genuinely striving to follow God and they've just reached different conclusions?"

          If God has delineated something to be good or evil, then there is no other conclusion to reach than that which He told us.

          "Are those in sincere confusion and mistake going to be damned for their lack of understanding?"

          I suspect the problem is more willful than accidental for a lot of people.

          "As to 1 Cor 6, as I'm sure you know, Paul was writing to a specific place with some specific circumstances and throughout Corinthians, he is addressing some specific concerns they had, offering his advice."

          Paul also gave moral imperatives for us to adhere to at all places and at all times. Morality pertains to that which is timeless and transcendent.

          "God has not delineated gay folks getting married as good or bad. Literally, that never has happened. Not in the Bible and not to you or me."

          Go read of the Apostle Paul's condemnation of homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. He says outright that people who practice such a lifestyle will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Paul would have drawn this teaching from the Book of Leviticus which is in the Old Testament.

          "But the word that is sometimes translated as "homosexual" (and the word translated as "soft" or "effeminate" sometimes) are not at all clear in the text or context. But in context, sometimes in that day and time, men would have young male prostitutes - boys who were forced to be the "soft" ones and abused by the men who were prostituting them. That's the reality of Greco-Roman life at the time."

          The text of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 refers to both the active and passive partners of a homosexual relationship. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, edited by Spiros Zodhiates, contains Strong's Greek Dictionary of the New Testament which has this entry on the phrase "abusers of themselves with mankind": 

           "733 arsenokoites ar-sen-ok-oy'-tace from 730 and 2845; a sodomite:--abuser of (that defile) self with mankind."

           The section of this Study Bible titled Lexical Aids to the Old Testament has this entry on the meaning of the term sodomite:

          "6945 Qadesh; this adj. is derived from 6942. It means a consecrated one, a devoted one, a sacred person; a devotee to licentious idolatry, a cultic prostitute or priest of Astarte (1 Kgs. 22:46). It is ironic that such a "holy" word could be applied to abominable practices of male homosexuals dedicating themselves to the honor of a false god (Deut. 23:17; 1 Kgs. 14:24; 15:12; 2 Kgs. 23:7; Job 36:14)!"

          Consider also this excerpt from a Dictionary of the Bible: Comprising Its Antiquities, Biography, Geography, and Natural History, by William Smith:

          "Sodomites. This word does not denote the inhabitants of Sodom (except only in 2 Esd. vii. 36) or their descendants; but it is employed in the A.V. of the Old Testament for those who practised as a religious rite the abominable and unnatural vice from which the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah have derived their lasting infamy. It occurs in Deut. xxiii. 17; 1 K. xiv. 24; xv. 12; xxii. 46; 2 K. xxiii. 46; 2 K. xxiii. 7; and Job xxxvi. 14 (margin). The Hebrew word kadesh is said to be derived from a root kadash, which (strange as it may appear) means "pure," and thence "holy." "This dreadful 'consecration,' or rather desecration, was spread in different forms over Phoenicia, Syria, Phrygia, Assyria, Babylonia."

           Consider this excerpt from the Archaeological Study Bible, Walter C. Kaiser Jr. and Duane Garrett general editors:

           "Evidence exists that even the Greeks may have been aware that this behavior was deviant. Aristophanes, the Greek comic poet, mocked homosexual behavior (even as he employed it as a comic device). For example, in Women at the Thesmophoria he ruthlessly ridiculed the notorious homosexuality of the poet Agathon. It would be an overstatement to claim that Aristophanes opposed homosexual practice, but his comedy betrayed an uneasy conscience about such behavior within the culture he inhabited. Plato, on the other hand, in his earlier dialogues spoke approvingly of homosexual behavior. Yet near the end of his career he observed in his Laws that homosexual intercourse was widely recognized to be unnatural." (p. 1836)

           It should be clear to anyone that the Apostle Paul condemned homosexual relationships as such. He would have expressed disdain toward the idea of a same-sex wedding. That would have been totally repulsive to him. Paul would have viewed homosexuality as sinful and something practiced only by people who are heathenish. 

          "Why do those religious traditions get to speak for God what God hasn't said? Isn't that blasphemous? Why not?"

          Are you serious in taking up this kind of a sweeping skepticism toward the moral dimension of the Mosaic Law? What sort of textual critical evidence do you have to support this branding of moral imperatives from God as being nothing other than man-made oral tradition?

          "So, if there SEEMS to be some disagreement with Jesus and the OT or Jesus and Paul, we look FIRST to what Jesus said to help us understand the other, not the other way around."

          This reasoning would be utterly inexcusable given that both Jesus and Paul held to Old Testament ethics. Jesus Christ upheld traditional marriage as defined by God since the timing of creation: "And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He 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’?" (Matthew 19:4-5)

          "We have Saved by God's Grace gay and lesbian and transgender members, beloved by God. The Bible does not say otherwise. Anywhere. It's just not there."

          The consistent pattern of marriage in the Bible from beginning to end is between a man and a woman. It presupposes that kind of a relationship. Never once are two partners of the same gender even hinted at. Never once are more than two genders spoken of.

          "But those all appear, on the face of them, to not be any kind of universal condemnation of gay guys getting married..."

          But God describes homosexual behavior in Leviticus 18:22 as being an "abomination" and "worthy of death" in Leviticus 20:13. That is indeed a universal condemnation of the practice. Consider this excerpt from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, edited by R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke, on the Hebrew term toeba:

          "...the abomination may be of a physical, ritual or ethical nature and may be abhorred by God or man. Sharing a meal with a Hebrew was ritually offensive to an Egyptian (Gen 43:32), as was offering certain kinds of sacrifices (Ex 8:22). homosexuality and other perversions are repugnant to God and fall under his judgment (Lev 18:22–30; 20:13). Idolatry (Deut 7:25), human sacrifice (Deut 12:31), eating ritually unclean animals (Deut 14:3–8), sacrificing defective animals (Deut 17:1), conducting one’s business dishonestly (Deut 25:13–16), practicing ritual prostitution (I Kgs 14:23f.), and similar acts of disobedience (for seven more abominations, see the list in Prov 6:16–19) were sure to bring God’s wrath on those who perpetrated them. Twelve times the book of Proverbs uses the phrase, “is an abomination to the Lord.” In Ps 88, a prayer for help written by a man close to death, the physically repulsive appearance of a tôʿēbâ is stressed; the man’s former friends avoid him because they consider him to be a thing of horror (Ps 88:8 [H 9])."

          The Jewish Study Bible has this excerpt on Leviticus 18:22:

          "Biblical and ancient Near Eastern culture was not familiar with homosexuality in the sense of a defined sexual orientation of lifestyle (the Bible gives no indication that David and Jonathon had a sexual relationship). It acknowledges only the occasional act of male anal intercourse, usually as an act of force associated with humiliation, revenge, or subjugation (for the biblical examples see Gen. 19.4-5; Judg. 19.22). Of the biblical collections only H mentions it (here and in 20.13), declaring it to be an abominable act and a capital offense. One possible explanation might be that H views certain sexual acts that are not potentially procreative as aberrant."

          "(heck, lesbians aren't mentioned at all in the OT, so presumably, it's okay for THEM to get married, right?)"

          You take liberties by attempting to follow the strict letter of the text in a manner that is favorable toward your own theology. Your efforts to manipulate what it says is disingenuous and proves that you do not really care what Scripture says. How could you possibly be a Christian?

          The original audience to whom the Law was given would have understood Leviticus 18:22 to apply to lesbianism in principle. Furthermore, Paul expressly casts such relationships in a negative light in Romans 1:26-27. There is something especially unnatural about two women being together given that they have a motherly instinct. 

          "I know there are a handful of passages that SEEM to touch on perhaps gay issues, but they are nothing like clear or definitive condemnations of gay folks getting married."

          Even if there was only one passage in the entire Bible that implicitly showed God's disapproval of homosexual marriage, that would be enough for a real Christian. That would still count as evidence, but there are multiple lines of evidence showing that homosexuality is incompatible with a biblical theology of marriage.

4 comments:

  1. “What if some christians think that oppressing gay people is a great evil and others do not even see their harsh treatment of homosexuals as oppression?”

    Homosexuals are not oppressed; they are disagreed with and don’t want to be forced to sanction their sexual choices.

    "What if, in these cases, all concerned are genuinely striving to follow God and they've just reached different conclusions?”

    Scripture is very plain that God abhors homosexual behavior, so one would have to thumb their nose at God to reach a “different conclusion.”

    The Bible is explicitly clear that homosexual behavior is against God’s will and that those who practice it without repentance will not inherit the kingdom of God. No one for thousands of years of reading both Old and New Testaments ever understood anything different about God’s view of homosexual behavior. It is only in the past few decades that those who practice homosexuality are trying to excuse their choice by manipulating scripture to say what it doesn’t say.

    ”God has not delineated gay folks getting married as good or bad. Literally, that never has happened. Not in the Bible and not to you or me.”

    This is a blatant lie. God said that homosexual behavior is worthy of the death sentence as well as being denied eternal life in Christ. If God says such behavior is an abomination and worthy of death, that certain implies that there is no such thing as “gay” marriage. God defined marriage in Genesis 1—opposite sex union.

    "Why do those religious traditions get to speak for God what God hasn't said? Isn't that blasphemous? Why not?”

    God has plainly said homosexual behavior is an abomination and worthy of death. It is not blasphemous, nor is it a “tradition” to say homosexual behavior is WRONG!

    The author of these quotes KNOWS he is wrong and twisting scripture but can’t accept it because it goes against his ideology.

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  2. Incidentally, it is the homosexuals who are oppressing Christians by lawsuits in the USA and hate-crime charges in other countries--for nothing more than disagreeing with their ideology and refusing to sanction their lifestyle.

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  3. And the hits just keep on coming...and from a guy who claims to revere "reason".

    1. What if actual Christians are accused of "oppressing" "gay" people simply because they speak and defend the truth about its sinfulness, disordered nature and the lies "gay" people say in order to further their selfish desires? That's a far more accurate representation of reality than this nonsense that there's harsh treatment of homosexuals happening.

    2. Anyone striving to follow God can find what is true in Scripture regarding human sexual behavior. Dan rejects what Scripture says and insists it MUST refer to "gay" or "homosexual" marriage or SSM exactly in order for anyone to insist the Bible...and thus God...speaks against any manifestation of the behavior. To come to any conclusion which suggests God would not reject SSM as the sinful corruption of His Will that it is requires some direct and distinct evidence from Scripture to make that case. Dan's never produced a mere hint that such is possible. Where he's laid out his "argument" requires one to read on an empty bladder.

    3. Who are these two or three people? Extremely low IQ sufferers? There's nothing ambiguous about what Scripture says about human sexual behavior, marriage, family, etc., that could possibly result in confusion or mistake. There is only rejection of that which is crystal clear.

    4. This is a common, willful corruption of something very clear. It doesn't matter in the least to whom Paul was speaking. What he spoke was a truth, a fact, that the people listed, which included homosexuals, will not inherit the Kingdom of God. This is the same nonsensical argument used against Lev 18:22, as if God only hates a behavior when certain people of a certain nation at a certain time indulge in it. It would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic. Once again...no "reason".

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  4. 5. Of course "gay" people can marry those of the opposite sex. That's never been an issue and I'd wager it falls within Paul's suggestion to marry rather than to sin by having sex outside marriage. But marriage was NEVER so much as hinted as being anything other than a one man/one woman proposition, and homosexual behavior was NEVER so much as hinted as being anything less than an abomination regardless of the context or scenario in which it might take place. Dan has never been able to argue intelligently against this reality. Instead, he thinks that two people can sin if they get "married" first.

    6. Dan parrots a standard agenda line (lie) regarding the translation of the word rendered as "homosexual" in many versions of the Bible. Only homosexuals and their enablers pretend there's any confusion about it. What's more, to suggest that whatever the most direct translation of that word is the best, the message regards homosexuality and even homosexual/lesbian scholars have affirmed this.

    7. I can't really improve upon or add to your incredibly marvelous response to Dan's fallacious "speak for God" angle. It's genius. Wish I had thought of it. You'll never get an answer to your question, though.

    8. There only seems to be disagreement to homosexuals and their enablers like Dan. No honest person detects any.

    9. Yes, it does, in 1 Cor 6...saying quite clearly, in fact, that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Now, if they repent and reject their compulsion to engage in homosexuality, that's another story. But that's not what Dan's insisting. What he insists is a straight up lie.

    10. Yet, it doesn't have to. It's absolutely absurd, in the most childish, but intentional of ways, to suggest that a behavior God called detestable and worthy of death would somehow no longer be worthy because the two engaged in that behavior committed their lives to each other (whatever that means for homosexuals). Only homosexuals and their enablers like Dan would dare embarrass themselves by pretending such a thing is possible based on all Scripture says on the subject.

    11. Another laughable attempt...an extremely childish "gotcha". Given the times, it's inconceivable that women would be tolerated perpetuating the same sin which is worthy of death should men indulge in it. A more honest and obvious understanding would demand expecting if a sin was denied men, it was denied women as well. This angle is a sign of desperation.

    12. Two lies which have been addressed: 1. that it only seems to "touch on" homosexual issues is only true of homosexuals and their enablers, like Dan. Honest people...including honest homosexual/lesbian and/or homosexual/lesbian supportive scholars...recognize and accept the prohibition on homosexuality in Scripture, and 2. that there needs to be some explicit, plainly worded prohibition on SSM for liars like Dan to pretend "married" homosexuals are in the clear. That does homosexuals no favors, but ensures they lose their salvation. There's just no way to pretend Scripture isn't clear on this issue. Dan's a liar.

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