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Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

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Dominic Male
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  #1 Old 14-08-2011 Default Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

Here I shall present my reasons, based on the Bible, regarding why God and the Bible does not condemn homosexuality.

Romans 1:27-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.

In Romans 1, Paul addressed a particular religious situation in the city of Rome. Traditionalists view Paul?s words in vs. 26-27, especially the phrase against nature as a universal prohibition of homosexuality, a generic prohibition of any and all homoerotic practice. This view ignores the context of Paul?s argument and the most basic rule of hermeneutics.

Scripture cannot mean now what it did not mean then. Since Paul was referencing a particular pagan religious activity, shrine prostitution, in Romans 1, it is dishonest to reinterpret his words as if they suddenly refer to modern gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgendered people. Paul?s words in Romans 1 are neither generic nor theoretical.

In Romans 1, Paul addressed a real situation faced by Christians in first century Rome. He was not making a sweeping, universal condemnation of any and all same sex activity, divorced from the historical and religious context of his argument against idolatry. If Paul's words in Romans 1:26-27 were not a universal reference to homosexuality in the first century AD, then Romans 1:26-27 cannot be a universal reference to homosexuality today.

Reading into the text what Paul did not say (a universal prohibition of homosexuality) is called eisogesis. That is an improper way to interpret scripture. That kind of faulty interpretation is unworthy of Christians who love the word of God.

Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination."
Leviticus 20:13: "A man who sleeps with another man is an abomination and should be executed."

Leviticus is a holiness code written 3000 years ago. An abomination, in Hebrew, is an offensive behavior in a certain time or place. It's not a law, and it's not forbidden by the Ten Commandments. Other abominations? Touching the skin of a pig (Leviticus 11:8 ), eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:10), wearing mixed fabrics (Leviticus 19:19), getting a haircut or a tattoo (Leviticus 19:27 and Leviticus 19:28 ), and getting your fortune told (Leviticus 19:26). In the New Testament, Paul and Jesus both say that the holiness code in Leviticus no longer applies to Christian believers. Jesus, in fact, never talks about homosexuality at all in the New Testament.

Corinthians 6:9: "The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. So do not be deceived, neither fornicators nor idolators nor adulterers nor effeminate nor homosexuals nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor revelers nor swindlers, shall inherit the realm of God."

The word homosexual was not coined until roughly a hundred years ago. In fact there is no Greek or Hebrew word that means 'homosexual'. The actual word translated here as 'effeminate' was MALAKOI. This means soft, or vulnerable, and Greek scholars think it might refer to young male prostitutes that would gather outside the temples. The actual word translated here as 'homosexual' was ARSENOKOITAI and Greek scholars have NO idea what it means. Some believe it refers to the married clients of prostitutes. Nevertheless, in 1958, someone translating the Bible decided that ARSENOKOITAI meant 'homosexual'. It is the first time the word ever appeared in a Bible.

The Tale of Sodom and Gomorrah

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah has been used by people to condemn gays. The argument used by them is that God destroyed these cities because the people of these cities were homosexuals. In this section I will show conclusive BIBLICAL evidence that Sodom and Gomorrah were NOT destroyed because of homosexuals. The only book I will use to show this is the Bible. The Bible does not contradict itself because the it is the Word of God and God is not fickle.

The beginning of this story is found in Genesis 13:

Genesis 13:8-13
So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left." Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD. (NIV)

Abraham and Lot were so wealthy that they had to separate because the land could not support both of them with all their family members, herds, and workers in one place Lot chose to move his family to the twin cities.

The next time we hear about these cities is in Genesis 18:16-33. Here God tells Abraham his plan for Sodom and Gomorrah.

Genesis 18:20-21
Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." (NIV)

Abraham pleads for these cities because of his nephew Lot. While Abraham and God were talking, the other two angels go to Sodom. Let's read for ourselves what really happened that day:

Genesis 19:1-13
The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. "My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square." But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom both young and old-- surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in- law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it." (NIV)

There are several major holes in the theory that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality. First, The idea that "all" the men of Sodom were gay is ridiculous. For one thing, Lot's daughters were pledged to be married to men of Sodom. Second, if all the men were homosexuals, why did Lot offer his daughters to appease them? What good would it do to offer a gay man a woman to have sex with? Finally, these people threatened Lot. If he didn't comply with their wishes they said they would do WORSE to him that to the two visitors. They were also trying to force the door down. They were obviously violent and they were trying to get at two unwilling guests. Whenever you mix sex with violence against an unwilling person you do not have homosexuality, you have RAPE.

Why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? What were the grievous sins that God judged them worthy of such destruction? What was the great outcry God was referring to in Genesis chapter 18? We don't need to wonder. The Bible tells us exactly why these cities were destroyed.

Ezekiel 16:48-50
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (NIV)

Ezekiel Chapter 16 is an allegory God used to compare unfaithful Jerusalem to an adulterous wife for committing religious adultery. As you can see God listed the sins of Sodom. No homosexuality is listed there. Those detestable or abominable acts mentioned refereed to the religious rituals popular in that time. We will cover these in the section on false gods.

Deuteronomy 29:22-26
Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it. The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur-- nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger.

All the nations will ask: "Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?" And the answer will be: "It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. (NIV)

Moses was about to die and he predicted the scattering of Israel and the destruction of the land like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This destruction of Israel was not prophesied because of homosexuality but because of religious infidelity. This is quite in line with the context of the entire Bible. Of course God promises their restoration in Deuteronomy chapter 30. This complete restoration is about to happen in the end times, but that is another study.

Amos 4:11
"I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. (NIV)

If you read the book of Amos you find that God promises to overthrow Israel as He overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah for three things: turning away from God which is religious unfaithfulness, being evil to the poor and living selfishly. Homosexuality is not even addressed.

Jeremiah 23:13,14
"Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah." (NIV)

Here is yet another comparison of the promised judgment of Israel to the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. Once again the theme is religious unfaithfulness, not homosexuality.

Matthew 10:11-15
"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. (NIV)

Here, Jesus Christ compares the sin of Sodom to the sin of faithlessness in people who reject the Gospel and inhospitality.

Matthew 11:20-24
Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you." (NIV)

Here the Lord again makes reference to Sodom's destruction as he talks about unrepentant cities that refuse to believe in him or his miracles. This is about religious unfaithfulness and unbelief, not homosexuality.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can know him right now. Don't be guilty of not believing in Him. Here is what Jesus himself said:

John 3:16-18
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (NIV)

Notice that Jesus said WHOEVER believes in him shall have eternal life. The condemnation is reserved for WHOEVER does not believe in Him. He made no mention of homosexuals in this passage.


Sources:
http://www.christiangay.com/he_loves/sodom.htm
http://www.jodipicoult.com/sing-you-home.html
http://www.gaychristian101.com/Romans-1.html


NOTE: Added verse Romans 1:27.
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Last edited by Dominic; 14-08-2011 at 05:14 PM.
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  #2 Old 14-08-2011 Default Re: Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

Very interesting, informative read, but maybe you wanna italicise or bold or somehow highlight the quoted bits to separate them from your comments? Just for a little more readability, though actually it's already pretty readable.
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  #3 Old 14-08-2011 Default Re: Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

Dominic, could you explain why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed? In Gen 18, it just merely states:

(Gen 18: 20-21)
20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

What is your opinion?
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  #4 Old 14-08-2011 Default Re: Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

Quote:
Originally Posted by ayjiahui View Post
Dominic, could you explain why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed? In Gen 18, it just merely states:

(Gen 18: 20-21)
20 Then the LORD said, ?The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.?

What is your opinion?
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because the people turned away from God, engaged in sexual acts for mere pleasure, not to mention the rape of visitors in the example of Lot trying to protect them by offering up his daughters instead (which is horrifying, by the way). The Bible never equated sodomites (people who rape others for pleasure) with homosexuals (people who fall in love with members of the same sex).

From the above post,

Quote:
Why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? What were the grievous sins that God judged them worthy of such destruction? What was the great outcry God was referring to in Genesis chapter 18? We don't need to wonder. The Bible tells us exactly why these cities were destroyed.

Ezekiel 16:48-50
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (NIV)

Ezekiel Chapter 16 is an allegory God used to compare unfaithful Jerusalem to an adulterous wife for committing religious adultery. As you can see God listed the sins of Sodom. No homosexuality is listed there. Those detestable or abominable acts mentioned refereed to the religious rituals popular in that time. We will cover these in the section on false gods.

Deuteronomy 29:22-26
Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it. The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur-- nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger.

All the nations will ask: "Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?" And the answer will be: "It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. (NIV)

Moses was about to die and he predicted the scattering of Israel and the destruction of the land like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This destruction of Israel was not prophesied because of homosexuality but because of religious infidelity. This is quite in line with the context of the entire Bible. Of course God promises their restoration in Deuteronomy chapter 30.
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What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
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And thus laments the hopeless romantic that is yours truly.
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  #5 Old 14-08-2011 Default Re: Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_the_Bible_Tells_Me_So


There's a segment about Sodom.

You can find the full documentary on youtube or google video
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  #6 Old 14-08-2011 Default Re: Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

Then what about 1 Timothy1:8-11:
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and what ever else in contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
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  #7 Old 14-08-2011 Default Re: Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

Quote:
Originally Posted by mechwilson View Post
Then what about 1 Timothy1:8-11:
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and what ever else in contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
What version are you using?

If you look at the original script(most likely in greek or probably vulgar latin), it wouldn't translate to that.
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  #8 Old 01-06-2013 Default Re: Why God and the Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality

Hey Dominic,

Interesting argument. I must say your interpretation of scripture is indeed worth considering as much of your points can be argued for. It certainly has an edge in winning a debate. However, I would like to propose for your consideration a deeper stance, since by reading the Bible, we are also trying to discern the voice of God.

The issue at question here is not merely one of how we interpret scripture. With the dawn of what we may dub "the age of relativism", Christians like ourselves are increasingly using the philosophy of relativism in formulating theological principles. In simple words, relativism is the philosophy or belief in the idea that everything is relative. There is no real truth, only real opinion. Thus, the one who can argue best reserves the right to formulate his or her own truth, until someone else appears with a better argument. I must say however, that this is indeed a poor doctrine to be applied to the moral truths that concern Christianity. As Christians, we must believe that God is the author of truth. Jesus Christ is the truth. With this as our guiding principle, we must debunk and kick out relativism in favour of true morality, a morality that truly comes from God, and not from what we think God would say. I understand this can be truly difficult, as no one can claim he has seen and spoken to God, who appeared to him on a burning bush in some mountain last week. duh.. However, with regards to questions of morality, Christians must strive hard to go beyond clever arguments and perceive truth in the natural sense, as it is revealed to us.

Back to the issue of homosexuality, the real point in question here is the true meaning of sex or the sexual intercourse. And the truth about our sexualities are sometimes so clear to us that we do not really need biblical exegesis and hermeneutic arguments to prove them. What do I mean? Have you ever pondered about the meaning of sex? Why on earth did God create sex, knowing clearly that it would lead to such worldwide confusion and controversy? The answer lies right there in the book of Genesis. A direct answer lies in the link between the creation of humanity as male and female, and the mandate by the Creator to "Be fruitful and multiply". Another link that we may well observe is the fact that "God created man (greek addam=humanity, not just the male) in his image, in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them." . The creation of man (humanity) in the image of God also corresponds in a theological sense, to his creation as male and female. The unity between male and female, thus expresses also the image of God who is a Communion of Persons (the Trinity). Simply put, just like God, man and woman can become a communion and give life through sex. This is the natural means by which God intended that we glorify him.

In a nutshell, sex is procreative and unitive. And both its fruitfulness (procreation) and its unity has to be taken together. This does not mean I must have kids everytime I have sex with my wife. However, it does mean that my sexual intercourse must be OPEN to procreation. The sexual intercourse between a male and another male or a female and another female can never be open to procreation. However, as a Christian, I DO NOT condemn homosexuality as a tendency. It is not wrong to have homosexual tendencies. But the act of engaging in a homosexual intercourse is nevertheless intrinsically wrong, because it goes against the meaning of our sexuality or the purpose of sexual intercourse itself. In that sense, it is not different from fornication. Whether we have homosexual tendencies or not, we are all called to live a chaste life. Chastity is not merely abstinence. It is not about repressing and saying "no". It is about choosing to love rightly. It is about saying "yes" to love, so that our abstinence would have meaning. Chastity is the right path for all.

God bless
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