Dos and Don'ts, all we need to know is the Bible; however, not all is covered explicitly. Discuss how Christians should act or what they should do when facing divorce, smoking, and other issues.

What Does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What Does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality?

    by Scott B. Rae

    In the OT, homosexuality is unequivocally condemned. Homosexual sex is prohibited in the law (Lv 18:22; 20:13) and called an abomination. However, of all the illicit sexual relations listed in Leviticus 18, homosexuality is not singled out as being any different or any more worthy of condemnation than any other sexual sin. God’s attitude toward homosexuality is portrayed in the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gn 19). Ezekiel includes among the sins of Sodom “immoral acts,” using the same term as in Leviticus 18 to describe homosexual acts (Ezk 16:43; cp. Jd 7). The law condemns all homosexual sex and does not distinguish between perverted and wholesome homosexual relationships.

    The central NT passage that addresses homosexuality is Romans 1:24-27 (cp. 1 Co 6:9;1 Tm 6:10). It is set in the context of the condemnation of those who reject God as revealed in creation, or though natural law. It is part of Paul’s broader argument for the universality of sin and judgment, setting the need for the believer to be justified by faith in Christ’s atoning death on the cross, outlined in Romans 4-5. Those who rejected the available knowledge of God and chose instead to worship the Greek and Roman idols faced lifestyle consequences. One of these consequences was homosexual behavior. Paul appealed to the natural order of creation to condemn homosexual behavior (Rm 1:27).

    What is natural is objective and based on creation, not dependent upon an individual’s sexual orientation. Male and female were created with an innate tendency toward opposite-sex attraction, but because of sin the human race developed the potential for homosexuality, in the same way that we have the potential for any other kind of sin Scripture describes.

    Some have suggested that Paul intended to condemn only certain types of homosexuality. For example, given the context of idolatry, some have argued that Paul was only condemning homosexuality in the context of idolatrous worship. Others have suggested that Paul intended to condemn perverse homosexuality, such as having multiple partners and engaging in nonconsensual homosexual sex. Still others argue that Paul was objecting to persons’ reversing their sexual orientation and acting sexually in ways that violate a person’s orientation.

    There is little evidence in the text that Paul intended to limit his teaching to certain kinds of homosexual activity. Rather, Paul’s appeal to a universal truth about sexual relations linked to the order of creation (cp. Jesus’ teaching in Mt 19:4-6) should prevent us from seeing this passage as limited to certain kinds of homosexual behavior and from seeing Paul as culturally outdated in his teaching. His teaching provides an appropriate context for a judgment on all same-gender sexual relationship.

    In applying these passages that forbid homosexuality, some suggest that it is important to make a distinction between homosexual attraction and homosexual sexual relations. And indeed there is a difference between being attracted to a person of the same sex and acting sexually on that attraction. For a straight, married person to be attracted to someone of the opposite sex other than his or her spouse is not sin per se. It becomes sin when that attraction is acted upon, either in lust (the process of mentally having sex with a person) or in sexual overtures. Likewise, it may be that the homosexual attraction is not sin per se, though at variance with the order of creation. But when the attraction gives way to lust and ultimately to sexual activity, it is sin.

    Some argue that what the Bible condemns in homosexual relationships is what it also condemns in heterosexual relationships-- that is, lust and sexual involvement outside marriage. Thus the options for the Christian homosexual would be the same as for the Christian single person: either abstinence or heterosexual sex in marriage. Some Christians who struggle with their sexual identity have grasped this distinction and have rejected the gay lifestyle while attempting to work out issues related to their sexual identity.

    It may be that failure to recognize a distinction between feeling a homosexual attraction and acting homosexually has kept the church from being a more accepting place for those struggling with their sexual orientation.

  • #2
    I think you can interpret the Bible in different ways. Previously, the Bible was often abused to discriminate African Americans / Colored, Women, or Jews.
    It is less important to me, what the good book, written in ancient time, has to say about this topic (because at this time they didn't know much about homosexuality); But how do we deal with people with the subject today? When a child tells us that he is homosexual or when a clergyman said to us that he or she is gay/lesbian. If we see in the person then the "sinner", which we are to remove from our midst; Or do we see in him as a man who has not changed, but on whom we now know more?
    On YouTube, I once saw a little video clip about a young man who told his Christian family that he was homosexual. They not only threw him out of the house, so that he became homeless; No, much worse: the father struck him and hurt him so much that he had to go to the hospital.
    The family describes itself as Christian.
    But, would Jesus act like that?
    Comment>

    • #3
      Hi Linda24, the Bible was also used by the famous atheist, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, as a means of "proving" atheism, because she claimed that "even the Bible says, there is no God". You know what, she's right, it does say that (a number of times, in fact .. e.g. Psalm 14:1), but do you think that's what the Bible really means when it says that? ;)

      There's nothing wrong with the Bible and what it teaches, rather, the problem you describe is with those who intentionally misinterpret/"use" it as a means to support their particular presupposition and/or (even worse) sinful beliefs and practices (e.g. the KKK).

      Finally, Jesus would obviously choose to 'not' do what the YouTube family you mentioned above did (just FYI, many "describe" themselves as Christians who are not .. e.g. Matthew 7:21-23). That said, neither would Jesus have failed to tell people that they needed to repent, to "go and sin no more" (as He said to the one woman in John 8), by turning away from doing/saying/thinking/practicing the things that the Bible calls sinful, and turning to God instead.

      In Christ,
      David

      John 3
      36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
      Last edited by David Lee; 06-08-2017, 05:49 AM.
      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

      "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
      Comment>

      • #4
        David, I grew up in a Mormon family. From the beginning I was told how to behave as a "real boy". Because, biologically speaking, I was a boy, although I, as far as I can remember (up to 6 years of age), I always felt myself as a girl.
        Everywhere, it came to me. That I should be a boy / man, and straight. Only, I was not one (one boy, from my feelings), and also not the other (heterosexual), I did not worry, because I was never particularly interested in sexuality.
        I grew older, and did what I was expected, not because I wanted it. I even married, and became a father, only to have my peace of constant pressure.
        To abbreviate a very long story: I became depressed, and stunned the contradiction between my feelings of being a woman, and the requirements of the Mormons, with alcohol. This intensified my feelings of guilt (Mormons are not allowed to drink alcohol), and my depression even more. Two suicide attempts were the result.
        After the second attempt at suicide, I first told my wife, then my minor children (8 and 5 years old), what was going on with me, and only then did I go to the bishop of my Mormon Ward to inform him. I was excommunicated because I wanted to live as a woman.
        I've lost everything: my church, my friends, my family, and my work. On the other hand, I also won a lot. I'm finally myself!
        I know homosexuality and transsexuality are two different pairs of shoes. But the internal and external struggles that are essentially the same! And here, I think, churches should lead their position from a contemned thinking to a thinking that allows homosexuals like transsexuals to accept themselves as they are. How God perhaps created them?
        God loves all his children. Even the children we may not love, and who can not love themselves because others persuade that God would hate them.

        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by Linda24 View Post
          I've lost everything: my church, my friends, my family, and my work.
          Since you were a Mormon the loss of your church is really a gain. They teach a false gospel and if you had remained in the church your final destiny would have been being condemned to Hell for eternity. I will pray that your presence on this forum will enable you to learn what the Bible really teaches about salvation and that your final destiny will be Heaven.
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by theophilus View Post
            Since you were a Mormon the loss of your church is really a gain. They teach a false gospel and if you had remained in the church your final destiny would have been being condemned to Hell for eternity. I will pray that your presence on this forum will enable you to learn what the Bible really teaches about salvation and that your final destiny will be Heaven.
            To lost the LDS cult, was the best thing which could happen. But to never see my children, that hurts a lot. I'm glad to be out of this freak LDS Club. But the main thing is, that even in various Christian Churches, they condemn homosexual and transgender members of their churches. And this is harmful, not just for the LGBTI Folks, even for Churches.
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by Linda24 View Post
              And this is harmful, not just for the LGBTI Folks, even for Churches.
              No, the real enemies of LGBT and transgenders are those who tell them there is nothing wrong with their lifestyles. He has commanded that the only permitted sexual activity is between a man and a woman who are married to each other. Those who really care about the welfare of gay people will warn them not to disobey God. The real enemies are those who pretend to be their friends but encourage them to live in a way that God has forbidden. If you really want to understand the Christian perspective on this subject I recommend that you read the book Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill. Hill is a man who discovered that he is gay but who chose not to engage in the gay lifestyle because it is forbidden by God. You can read a description of his book here: Washed and Waiting: the story of a gay Christian -Christforums

              Clyde Herrin's Blog
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                No, the real enemies of LGBT and transgenders are those who tell them there is nothing wrong with their lifestyles. He has commanded that the only permitted sexual activity is between a man and a woman who are married to each other. Those who really care about the welfare of gay people will warn them not to disobey God. The real enemies are those who pretend to be their friends but encourage them to live in a way that God has forbidden. If you really want to understand the Christian perspective on this subject I recommend that you read the book Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill. Hill is a man who discovered that he is gay but who chose not to engage in the gay lifestyle because it is forbidden by God. You can read a description of his book here: Washed and Waiting: the story of a gay Christian -Christforums
                The feelings of these people do not count for you? Scientific knowledge does not count for you? Only the Bible counts (of course only in your interpretation)?
                So a discussion is very difficult!
                But well, let's go down to your level.
                Let's start with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah:
                Fundamentalist Christians claim that these cities were destroyed because of their homosexuality. Ezekiel 6: 8-9 tells us what the real cause of the destruction was:

                This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy. They were arrogant and this was abominable in God’s eyes.

                The men, who wanted to "recognize" the two angels / ambassadors, wanted no sex, they wanted to humiliate both, because anal penetration of men was used, especially in wars, to the humiliation to make these men "woman", they To degrade.

                Let us now come to Leviticus in the Old Testament. There are two passages in the Bible that address the issue of homosexuality (chapters 18 and 20). According to this, homosexuality in the eyes of God is an abomination that deserves the death penalty. Do you know what the word "abomination" means? What is it in Hebrew (TO'EBAH), and in what context is it used?
                To'ebah does not imply immoral impurity but a ritual impurity. Jews washed themselves in a ritual bath (mikwe) to be pure again. A pregnant woman was impure.To wear mixed fibers, was impure. Pigs or other prohibited animals was impure.
                But today, fundamentalist Christians also wear suits from mixed fabrics, eat pork, and pregnant women no longer need to apologize for their pregnancy. Leviticus belongs to the so-called purity law, which should help Jews to become strong, and to distinguish themselves from the pagan influences surrounding them, such as temple reform and the worship of pagan gods.
                The "homosexuality", which is addressed in two chapters, is according to most biblical scholars to lead back to the temple prostitution. Homosexual love relationships existed already at that time, but were mentioned differently in Judaism. It was primarily the scribes of Leviticus that the male seed was not wasted to have a strong Jewish nation.
                As far as the Old Testament. If you are interested in Paul and his quotations in the New Testament, I have much to say.



                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by Linda24 View Post
                  The feelings of these people do not count for you?
                  Our feeling aren't a reliable guide to right and wrong. God created the first humans perfect and sinless. Anything they felt would be right because it was in line with God's will. Genesis 3 tells how that changed. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit he had forbidden and as a result they and their descendants are no longer in that original perfect state. That means that all of us sometimes have feelings that are contrary to God's will. We must choose to obey God rather than our feelings.

                  Jesus said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37)

                  If we have some desire that is contrary to God's will, whether it is sexual attraction for the same sex or some other desire, we must deny it if we wish to follow Christ.

                  Originally posted by Linda24 View Post
                  Scientific knowledge does not count for you?
                  Science can tell us nothing about what is right and what is wrong.

                  Originally posted by Linda24 View Post
                  Fundamentalist Christians claim that these cities were destroyed because of their homosexuality. Ezekiel 6: 8-9 tells us what the real cause of the destruction was:

                  This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy. They were arrogant and this was abominable in God’s eyes.
                  You are right. These were the primary sins of Sodom. But look at what happens when people indulge in sin.

                  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

                  Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

                  For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

                  And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
                  (Romans 1:21-28)

                  Homosexual desire is often the result of other sins. That doesn't change the fact that it is a sin.

                  Originally posted by Linda24 View Post
                  Leviticus belongs to the so-called purity law, which should help Jews to become strong, and to distinguish themselves from the pagan influences surrounding them, such as temple reform and the worship of pagan gods.
                  If that is the case then its teachings are irrelevant in a discussion of homosexuality..

                  God intended that sex only be practiced in the context of marriage and there is one point about marriage that is often overlooked.

                  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:23-31)

                  Marriage was intended to illustrate the relationship between God and his worshipers. In the New Testament the Church is called the bride of Christ; in the Old Israel was the wife of God the Father. The male partner in marriage represents God; the female represents his worshipers. A union of two men or two women could not illustrate this relationship.
                  Clyde Herrin's Blog
                  Comment>
                  Working...
                  X
                  Articles - News - SiteMap