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Posted by: Rizzen

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I'm not sure I agree with the "prayer-fully pick and choose" part of the last reply. I will agree that we need to be open to what God wants to tell us in our lives. Times DO change, and Christianity IS progressive (or at least it should be). However, I don't believe the Word of God changes at all. I believe he has stood firm from eternity to eternity, that he was completely and perfectly right in the beginning, and he will be completely and perfectly right in the end, with no changing in this time.

 

I did a simple search for homosexuality in the Bible, and this is what turned up:

 

Romans 1:24-32:

24 "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

 

I don't think these verses leave much room for interpretation. There is one way I would believe that a gay bishop would be acceptable. I believe it would by OK for him to be gay if he didn't want to be gay, and was searching help for it. But it doesn't appear that way. It appears that he "has pleasure" in being gay, and doesn't think it is a bad thing. I oppose it in entirety, and the Bible is my reference book.

 

Let me examine some of the other things mentioned above:

- there would be no allowance for divorce except in cases of adultery

I believe this.

- there would be no allowance for the ordination of women as priests/pastors

This is indeed a highly controversial topic, which I will not discuss in this reply (I am a teenager who already lacks sleep, and cannot afford to lose any more). I will gladly address in a later post.

- there would be no allowance for being tolerant of straight couples who live together outside of marrige while simultaneously bashing homosexual couples.

In all honesty, if the Bible says this, then I believe it. If they're a couple that loves and cares for each other, and they want to live with each other, why aren't they getting married? I beg you to think about this.

- there would be no allowance for war or for the death penalty.

There are much more suitable alternatives to war (but as I said earlier, I'll discuss this in a later post). As for the death penalty, I think it would be a personal issue on whether a man can be so criminally insane that there's no way he will turn back into the Light. But I'm saving that for later. For now, I believe there should be no death penalty.

- there would be no allowance for suing people in public courts.

What happened to loving your neighbor as Chirst has loved you? (John 15) If someone has done wrong to you, Jesus instructs us not to "get revenge", but to love.

- there would be no allowance for life or property insurance.

God says he will care for us, as long as we put our trust in him. We should we as Christians be so worried about our earthly possesions? They amount to nothing in God's eyes! In any case, I'd like to see where this lies in the Bible. (help?)

- there would be no allowance for working on the Sabbath

I believe this. It hasn't always been this way, so who said we were being "progressive" in beginning to work on the Sabbath?

- Christians would worship on Saturdays instead of Sundays

- there would be no allowance for gambling

I don't believe in gambling. Do other Christians? What does that say aobut them?

- there would be no toleration of such massive disparities between the rich and poor in our nation and in the world

And I absolutely believe this.

 

I think the big thing about the above items is that we tend to allow it. But we shouldn't. I firmly believe the devil gets a stronger hold on Earth each day. but the Bible says this will happen! Those who aren't Christians may not find anything wrong with the above, and that's okay for them. I'm saying it should not be okay for us.

So, this is where I stand. I believe that homosexuality is wrong. I firmly believe that people are not born gay, that being gay is not necessarily a choice, but that if we are gay, we believe it is wrong, and we take steps to return to a heterosexual lifestyle, God will place his mercy on us.

But what am I saying? This is Progressive Christianity, is it not? I'd really like to reach a conclusion with the other members of this board. I'm only 17, and still impressible (ha!). This is where I stand now, but I want to become firm in where I stand for the rest of my life. Either I'm taking steps in the right direction and your points will only strengthen my view, or I'm headed in the wrong direction and you guys are taking me the right way. Either way we're making progress; am I right?

 

Peace,

Rizzen <{{{><

age: 17

Rizzen Unlimited

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To my understanding, at least several of the Biblical referrences to homosexual behavior (though that term is never used) pertained to either pedophillia (i.e. nonconsensual/power imbalanced sex between an adult male and a boy); cultic temple prostitution; and/or to straight persons engaging in homosexual sexual behaviors - all of which are rightly to be condemd.

 

However, the concept of nonpromiscous homsexual sex between consenting homosexual adults was largely foreign to that ancient world.

 

I'd earlier explained that the original Biblical understanding of the "sins of Sodom" (see Exekiel 16:49) was that community's utter lack of hospitality and hesed (loving kindness toward each other and toward the aliens in their midst) - and NOT the misnomer that it had much at all to do with sexuality (as contemporary right-wingers would have us believe).

 

Here's two articles that explain it well:

http://thedoormagazine.com/webintro/lastword7_99.html

THE LAST WORD "What's Mine is Yours"

Confessions of a former Sodomite

Angelic beings are rarely politically correct. The angels visiting Lot didn't wait around to file a sexual harassment lawsuit when the men of Sodom tried to pinch their booty.

 

They just struck the suckers blind. All of them. And they didn't even stop to check with God about it, either. Later God blew up the city. The Sodomites must have been very evil indeed, everyone agrees. But be forewarned. This story will come back to bite you.

 

The truth is, you don't have to proposition an angel to be a Sodomite. Simply turning your back on the poor earns you that label, according to the wisdom of the ancient rabbis.

 

Now wait a minute, you're thinking. Isn't this line of reasoning just typical example of liberal obfuscation to blunt criticism of homosexuality? If only it were that simple, dear reader. (Obfuscation itself is illegal in several states, by the way).

 

Clearly, the account in Genesis tells how a group of Sodom's finest citizens thought nothing of trying to force Lot into turning over his angelic house guests for the crowd's sexual amusement. But that was just a reflection of a deeper and more widespread corruption, according to Talmudic commentary. (Yes, kids, its time for more Talmud stories.)

 

Sodom was infamous for being inhospitable, money-grubbing, prideful and selfish. And from God's point of view, there's a little bit of Sodom in all of us.

 

One sage describes four types of people: "The one who says, 'What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours.' This is the average person.

 

"The one who says, 'What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.' This is the simpleton {and most of The Door's readership--Editor}.

 

"The one who says, 'What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours.' This is the saintly person.

 

"The one who says ' What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine.' This is the wicked person.

 

But then, incredibly, one rabbi offers an opinion regarding the first example, the average man. "This one is the Sodomite." (see Mishnah, Avot 5:10)

 

Why the average man, and not the wicked person? His slogan could be taken directly from America's corporate mission statement--"What is mine is mine and what is yours is yours." An even playing field for entrepreneurship, democracy and civic cooperation. What could be bad about that?

 

Jesus' words in the Book of Revelation gave us a hint why such an attitude is so corrupt: "I would thou wert hot or cold."

 

The Sodomite slogan allows us to separate ourselves from community, use people, dismiss those in need, and abdicate any responsibility for being our brother's keeper.

 

As a recovering Sodomite, I know.

 

I ran for the Texas Legislature back in the '60s as a conservative Republican with practically no compassion for the poor. I despised them. I believed their problems were caused by laziness or some other uncorrectable character flaw. I justified my own greed with the "trickle-down" theory. Later, in a more compassionate mood, I served on the board of directors of the War on Poverty.

 

But I found the problems of the poor defied all the political solutions.

 

After I became a believer, our Christian community adopted a vow of poverty that echoes the attitude of the saint described in the Talmud. "Whatever I own that you need to own, you can have. Whatever you need that I don't have, I'll help you get."

 

The attributes of Sodom are described in Ezekiel 16:49: "...pride, fullness of bread and idleness, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor." Whenever the church abandons the poor, she turns into Sodom, and invokes God's wrath. That's why Jesus said "The poor you will always have with you." Without a place to give, we would be sucked into the black hole of self-seeking.

 

Sodom was the most beautiful of cities, populated by successful people, the best of the best. That's why Lot chose to live there. It could have been any gated community in any American suburb. It probably had a great school system. It offered the most promising future for his children. It was safe. In Sodom, what's mine is mine, and what's yours is yours.

 

One poignant Talmud story captures the failure of political solutions to poverty with surprising clarity. Charity was forbidden in Sodom because they believed it encouraged the proliferation of beggars. One day a beggar entered Sodom and approached a shopkeeper. He gave the beggar a small bar of gold, but first inscribed his name on it. The next person did the same. But no one would sell the beggar any food. They only gave him more gold bars inscribed with their names. The beggar finally died, loaded down with a bag of gold he couldn't use. When his death became known, each Sodomite retrieved his own gold bar from the beggar's bag. In that way they experienced the "joy of giving" without the cost.

 

The poor don't need our money, they need us to share our lives with them, our time, our homes, our skills and energies. Instead we give them money that buys nothing of real value.

 

Another story especially speaks to those of us who are tempted to deal with the homeless and the needy as "clients" of a professional charitable organization.

 

"Every visitor who came to Sodom was thrown into a bed. If he was tall, they put him on a small bed and hacked off his protruding feet. If he was short, they put him in a big bed and stretched his limbs out from head to feet until the dismembered body filled it up."

 

The temptation is to judge the needy, try to fix them, force them into a mold, constrain them with superfluous rules or make them fit the agenda we plan for them. But that is the way of Sodom. Taken to the extreme, it leads to ethnic cleansing and a holocaust for those who don't meet our standards.

 

The Talmud says Sodom's final outrage was when a young girl was caught giving bread to a hungry stranger. She was tried and found guilty, stripped naked, daubed with honey and hung on a parapet of the city, where the bees consumed her. Her cry reached up to heaven, and God determined to destroy Sodom and its inhabitants.

 

"Although the people of Sodom were guilty of all the sins, their fate was sealed against them only because they refused to give alms to the poor."

 

If Abraham had been able to find just 10 righteous men, Sodom would have been spared. Repentance is possible even in the cities of wickedness where we dwell. But the genuineness of our faith is determined by how we respond to those in need.

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Here's the other article I'd mentioned:

 

# 2 http://www.rayofhopechurch.com/sexual1.htm...gt;</o:p>

PURPOSE: This information is here gathered to assist any person who is trying to respond to the usual "statements" that are attributed to the Bible concerning the topic of homosexuality. These "responses" are designed for dialogue with persons who hold a negative point of view and to convey a truly Christian, and at the same time a thoroughly LITERAL Biblical proof that constitutional, mutually consenting homosexuality is NOT condemned mentioned in the Holy Bible.

 

The writer of this paper, Br. Shawn Francis Benedict, Pastor of Ray Of Hope Church, starts from the point of view that the Holy Bible is the inerrant (contains no errors), inspired Word of God, and is the ONLY infallible (unerring, certain) authority on which the Christian can base his or her Salvation. To be frank, this is just about the most Conservative Hermeneutical (science of interpretation) approach one can take to the Bible today. When this Literal method of Biblical Interpretation is correctly applied to the subject of Homosexuality the conclusion is astonishingly the opposite of the teaching that is often proclaimed by "Conservative Christians" or the "Christian Right." "Conservative Christians" claim to be interpreting the Bible "literally" when studying Homosexuality. In fact, it will be shown here that their own method of Biblical Interpretation (the Literal Method) proves the Bible in no citation of chapter or verse ever condemns true Homo-sexuals or their mutual expressions of Love.

 

At the same time, we do not abandon the Holy Scriptures for a "Liberal Left" point of Theology. To abandon the Literal interpretation is spiritual suicide for the GLBTQS Christian. The Holy Scriptures are our ONLY sure defense to show God's position in this matter. Sometimes I summarize the problem this way: the Christian Right believes they are SO RIGHT that they end up totally WRONG, and the Christian Liberal Left has gone so far to the "left" that there is nothing LEFT in their theology or belief system. Both positions are not Biblical. The Bible actually defends us against both the "left" and the "right." To assist the reader with further inquiry the sources used herein are listed on the last page. Sources will be referenced in this paper by listing the author's last name and citing the page of the source where the ideas and information are confirmed by that author. For example, (see Boswell page 1).

 

<o:p></o:p>

 

WHAT THE BIBLE DOES CONDEMN THAT IS MISREPRESENTED AS HOMOSEXUALITY:

 

The Bible clearly mentions SAME-SEX ACTS and unconditionally condemns them when they are in the context of ritual cult prostitution, idolatry, engaged in by married heterosexual men, AND general 'free sex' usually referred to as "fornication" by most denominational dogmatic systems.

 

SPECIFIC PASSAGES SUPPOSED TO CONDEMN HOMOSEXUALITY:

 

THE STORY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH Genesis 19:1-26

 

Statement: "Surely the word "SODOMY" comes from this story."

 

Response: Actually, the name Sodom was not attached to Homosexual relations until the Middle Ages. The closest word for "homosexual" in Latin or any vernacular was "SODOMITA". (see Boswell, page 93)

 

The etymology (origin and development) of the word "SODOMY" has rendered it to mean many things throughout history including ordinary heterosexual intercourse in an atypical position, even oral sexual contact with animals, exclusively male homosexuality, and even certain heterosexual sex acts. (see Boswell, page 93) In some U.S. sates "Sodomy" can even mean sexual contact between married Heterosexual persons.

 

<o:p></o:p>

 

Statement: "Surely the sin of Sodom was that the men of Sodom tried to rape the Angels of God."

 

Response: There is absolutely no indication that the citizens even entertained the thought of doing such an act. Would this mean that all the men of Sodom were Homosexual? That is absurd in and of itself. This wrong interpretation is based on the phrase : "Bring them [Lot's visitor's - angels in some traditions, men in others] unto us, that we may KNOW them." (Genesis 19:5) To "KNOW them" is supposed to mean "to have them sexually, to rape them".

 

Statement: Of course it meant sexually!! After all, in Genesis 4:1 Adam KNEW Eve....

 

Response: True enough with Adam and Eve; however, the same word is in verse 3:7 "They knew they were naked.". Surely this same word did not mean sexually... To clarify the issue we have to be LITERAL here and look at the Hebrew (original as we have it) word and see what word was used in Genesis 19:5. The Hebrew word is yadha. In the Strong's Concordance numbering system it is word #3045.

 

According to Biblical word scholars F. Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, the word yadha appears in the Hebrew Bible 943 times. D.S. Bailey (1955) argues it is used only 10 times, excluding Gen 19 and its derivative Judges chapter 19, to denote any sense of sexual intercourse (sexual coitus). (See Bailey, page 2)

 

The 931 times the word yadha , to know, appears in the Hebrew Bible, it means simply to be acquainted with, or be informed about just as plainly as it does in English. McNeill asserts the very few times it might be used used to denote sexual coitus, it is always heterosexual intercourse . McNeill explains the word normally used in the Old Testament for both homosexual and heterosexual coitus and bestiality is shakhabh (word #7902). (See McNeill, page 42 & Boswell, page 94F)

 

Statement: If this is true why did the men of Sodom demand to be informed of who was in Lot's house? And, why were they blinded by the visitors??

 

Response: The men of the City demanded to know who was in the house because Lot was violating the city rules. He was not a citizen by birthright. He was only a 'sojourner' and therefore had only limited rights. <o:p></o:p>

 

Genesis 19:9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to sojourn, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.

 

Because Lot was himself an alien to the city he had the obligation to inform the others when strangers were staying with him. He did not do this. The men were enraged when Lot refused to hand over the persons he was housing without their permission. Lot was a good and holy man. He was Abraham's nephew. L ot was far more concerned with ancient Laws of Hospitality to Strangers (and travelers) than he was about the laws of the City of Sodom.<o:p></o:p>

 

Exodus 22:21 "You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus23:9 "Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:33 'And if a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.

Leviticus 19:34 'But the stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.<o:p></o:p>

 

Lot was more willing to hand over his own virgin daughters to the men than to have the Laws of Hospitality violated with his guests. Choosing the "visitors" over his own daughters seems horrific to us today but it indicates how seriously these Laws of Hospitality to the Stranger were to be observed.

 

Biblical scholars have embraced this interpretation (that the city was destroyed for disregarding the sacred laws of hospitality to the stranger, and in this case visitors sent from God) since around 1955. Scholars also recommend that sexual overtones in the story are faint, if suggested at all. In the original interpretive traditions the moral of the story was about hospitality to the stranger and failure to respond to the offer of Salvation made by the visitors. (See Boswell, page 93)

 

Personally, I also believe Lot knew how serious the rejection of the offer of Salvation was. Lot clearly heard the messengers announce that everyone who wanted to be saved from the destruction of the city needed to leave, that is, be "saved." Lot believed them and realized they were not only "strangers" according to the laws but he knew they were God's personal messengers of Salvation. For Lot, the protection of God's messengers was even more important than his own daughters, for surely they would have been "saved" if they had died for the message of God. However, do notice they are NOT harmed and are clearly mentioned in the story as escaping the city in the morning.

 

Statement: JESUS referred to the destructions of Sodom and Gomorrah......

 

Response: YES He did and we are so thankful He mentioned it the way He did. Jesus made reference to the sin of Sodom as inhospitable treatment of visitors sent from the Lord!

 

Jesus refers to Sodom and Gomorrah only in the context of sending his own disciples out to preach the Gospel. <o:p></o:p>

 

Matthew 10:11-14: Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. and when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive yo nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and gomorrah in that day of judgement than for that city!

 

and Luke 10:8-12: Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 'the very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you. But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.

 

Jesus tells them to go into a town. They are, therefore, sojourners,travelers, strangers bearing the message of God's SALVATION for the people. This is exactly what the 'visitors' of Genesis 19 were. Only now, in the Church Age, Jesus' disciples are delivering the Gospel, a far more important message (by implication only, for salvation is by Grace in every dispensation) than the salvation message the Old Testament Good News bearers were bringing to the cities of the Plains. Jesus tells His disciples, the Ambassadors of the New Covenant:<o:p></o:p>

 

"Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement, than for that city." (Matt. 10:14-15, CF Luke 10:10-12)

 

In other words, Jesus says the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and burned because they would not receive the Word of God in the Old Testament; but any City that will mistreat you (my disciples) or refuse to hear the Word of God in the New Gospel of Jesus Christ shall bear a heavier punishment. ...........................

 

<o:p></o:p>

 

THE CONCLUSION: THE BIBLE NEVER ADDRESSES PERSONS WHO ARE NATURAL HOMOSEXUALS, CONSTITUTIONAL HOMOSEXUALS, SEXUAL INVERTS.

 

Although homosexuality was widespread in the Hellenistic world (Plato and Aristotle had both written about it and there were theories about the condition in Roman medicine.) it is not clear that Paul distinguished in his thoughts or writings between gay persons (in the sense of permanent sexual preference) and heterosexuals who occasionally engaged in homosexual behavior. Boswell notes that it is in fact unlikely that many Jews of Paul's day made such a distinction. Boswell's final conclusion is Paul did not discuss gay persons but only homosexual acts performed by heterosexual persons. (SEE JOHN BOSWELL, PAGE109)

 

JOHN MC NEILL, pg 60, quotes the conclusive ideas of Herman Van De Spijker the Bible has no specific text which explicitly rejects all homosexual activities as such independent of the circumstances of idolatry, sacred prostitution, promiscuity, violent rape, or violation of guest's rights.

 

Perhaps the loudest commentary the BIBLE DOES MAKE on true Homosexuality is the UTTER SILENCE ON THE SUBJECT.

 

There is no reason to correct something that isn't functioning in error!!!!!

 

NONE OF THE BIBLICAL REFERENCES FREQUENTLY QUOTED (INCLUDING 3 OR 4 OTHER LESSER NEW TESTAMENT CITATIONS) EVER REFER TO HOMOSEXUALS WHO ARE SO FROM BIRTH WITH AN EXCLUSIVE ORIENTATION.

 

THE ONLY PERSONS CONDEMNED IN THESE VERSES ARE HETEROSEXUALS WHO OCASIONALLY PARTAKE OF SAME SEX ACTIVITIES.

 

SAME SEX ACTIVITIES DO NOT INDICATE A SAME SEX ORIENTATION. THIS IS PROVEN FREQUENTLY BY THE NUMBER OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS WHO DO CONCEIVE AND BEAR CHILDREN BUT WHO RECEIVE THEIR EMOTIONAL FULFILLMENT WITH PERSONS OF THE SAME GENDER.

 

OUR CONCLUSION?????

 

THE BIBLE IS LITERALLY A GAY'S AND LESBIAN'S BEST FRIEND. THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONDEM US IN ANY WAY. DO NOT BUY INTO THE LIE ANY LONGER. COME BACK TO GOD AND THE BIBLE. THOSE WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIAN WHILE CHASING YOU AWAY ARE FRAUDS!!!! THE WORD OF GOD DOES NOT COMDEMN YOU, GAY SON AND LESBIAN DAUGHTER OF GOD!!!!!!!!! REJOICE! RECLAIM YOUR HERITAGE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!

 

See also: What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality By Daniel Helminiak, Ph.D.

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Dear Rizzen,

 

Your post is thoughtful. I don't think this is the place to debate and work to change each other's minds, but I want to address one comment you made:

 

Rizzen said: "So, this is where I stand. I believe that homosexuality is wrong. I firmly believe that people are not born gay, that being gay is not necessarily a choice, but that if we are gay, we believe it is wrong, and we take steps to return to a heterosexual lifestyle, God will place his mercy on us."

 

All I want to say is that I hope you will test your thoughts against the experiences of others who are gay. I am a 55 year old heterosexual. I did not choose my orientation, it happened to me. I know that my sexual orientation is deep rooted and constitutive of who I am. So it seems I could say that "God made me this way." If I believe this about my own life experience, how do I apply it to the experience of others who are oriented toward their same sex? I have to say also that "God made them that way." At least for some gays they could no more "return to a heterosexual lifestyle" than I could turn to a gay lifestyle. It's not in them.

 

I think there is a big theological issue here. One approach is to say "the Bible says..." and deny any reality that doesn't fit. Another approach is to ask "What is real?" and search for how the Bible shed light on that reality.

 

I don't think that denial of the real is, in the end, a good thing.

 

Just a couple of thoughts,

 

Lou

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I'd like to first discuss Lou's reply:

 

>>Your post is thoughtful.

 

Gee, thanx!

 

>>I don't think this is the place to debate and work to change each other's minds, but I want to address one comment you made:

 

I'm not sure I understand this. Why isn't this the place to debate? Jesus commands us to go and share our faith. This is what I believe, and you think differently. I'm not going to sit around telling other Christians why I'm a Christian; that would be wasting my time. I'm not saying that you aren't Christian by any means, but I do believe you are wrong, and I'm only trying to help set things right. TCPC has provided for us a place where we can discuss progressive Christianity. So why am I wrong by discussing it?

 

>>All I want to say is that I hope you will test your thoughts against the experiences of others who are gay. I am a 55 year old heterosexual. I did not choose my orientation, it happened to me. I know that my sexual orientation is deep rooted and constitutive of who I am. So it seems I could say that "God made me this way." If I believe this about my own life experience, how do I apply it to the experience of others who are oriented toward their same sex?

 

Can I share something with you all? I used to be gay. And when I became straight, I felt the exact same way I felt when I became Christian. I felt totally cleansed. This isn't just my experience, but the same experience two of my (formally) gay friends felt when I told them how much more "whole" I felt. I felt then that Jesus could fully enter my life, a way I've never felt before. This is my experience!

 

>>I have to say also that "God made them that way." At least for some gays they could no more "return to a heterosexual lifestyle" than I could turn to a gay lifestyle. It's not in them.

 

I was not made gay. I know that for a fact. Halfway through my adolescence I found myself more attracted to men than I was to women. I would even go so far as to say I enjoyed it. (Like any average man enjoys sin. One who does not know Christ has little problem doing things that he finds pleasurable.)

 

>>I think there is a big theological issue here. One approach is to say "the Bible says..." and deny any reality that doesn't fit. Another approach is to ask "What is real?" and search for how the Bible shed light on that reality. I don't think that denial of the real is, in the end, a good thing.

 

I would agree on that. Denial of the real is hardly a good thing. But what you perceive as "real" and what I perceive as "real" are two totally different things.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

As for the the other two letters, I never once mentioned the story of Sodom. So why is it being brought up? "BrotherRog" never brought up the passage I talked about. Why is it being ignored? I just want people to reply to what I've posted, because explaining one thing to me when I said another doesn't help anyone. But, enough of that.

 

Now, for the sake of this article, I'll grant that people may be born gay. You said that I was not born that way, so I can't say that it doesn't happen. So be it. However, I did not condemn being gay, which is what the author of the articles above assumed. I DO condemn acts of homosexuality, which is exactly what the Bible talks about.

 

Let me give you an analogy. (please don't shun me for giving the following example, this is just an analogy). There's an average man whose name is Joe; he has an average life, and average wife, average kids, etc. Say someone (named John) at his workplace is really making him mad. He dreams about shooting John in the head. We know, from the Bible, that murder is wrong. However, he never actually does it. It's just a thought. Has Joe done anything wrong?

 

Let us apply this to Mike, the Gay Person. He fanticizes sleeping with his workmate (and close friend), Tom. But, he never actually does it. Has Mike done anything wrong? What if he constantly had thoughts about getting in bed with him? What if Joe constantly thought about killing John? Are these wrong?

 

Does the Bible condemn thinking about same-sex relationships? The articles above says it doesn't. However, the Bible DOES condemn same-sex activities (I explained this in my first passage).

 

I'm still really confused by your line of thinking. Do you believe in naturally-born serial killers? Why not? In fact, the Bible never addresses them, so it must be okay for someone to be a serial killer, because they were naturally born that way. Am I right?

 

Peace,

Rizzen <{{{><

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FYI (and for what it's worth..)

 

A UMNS Commentary By the Rev. Tex Sample*

 

The case of Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Church raises the issue of whether a bishop engaged in a homosexual relationship ought to be confirmed. I contend that on a matter of this kind, the primary focus of the church needs to be on marriage, and in this case, homosexual marriage.

 

Let’s look at this question in terms of Scripture and the tradition of the church.

 

The term "homosexuality" as we understand it today appears nowhere in Scripture. In fact, the word was not coined until the 19th century. Moreover, there is no evidence that the Scripture addresses the matter of sexual orientation as that characteristic is now understood. In Scripture, the attention is given to same-sex practices. It is a minor concern and appears in only five passages. (I exclude two passages on same-sex rape that are not under consideration here. Rape of any kind is wrong.) Biblical scholars hotly contest all of these passages.

 

Two passages in the Hebrew Scriptures prohibit same-sex practices. These passages, in Leviticus 18 and 20, are known as the "Holiness Code." There is little question that a good deal of the Holiness Code has been surpassed and transformed by the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament church – for example, the code’s purity guidelines and drastic punishments that are not in the spirit of Christ. Much of the code is not regarded as authoritative for the church today. To make a case against homosexual marriage, one must go beyond these texts.

 

In the New Testament, three passages cast same-sex practices in a negative light. I Corinthians 6:9 names two groups that will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Two Greek words are used for these groups, and their translation is a matter of contention among New Testament scholars.

 

One of the words, "malakoi," means "soft" and "effeminate," morally and in other ways.

 

The translation of the other word, "arsenokoitai," is highly contested. Its meaning is not clear. This second word is also used in I Timothy 1:10. Some claim that it refers to an active or superior man engaging in intercourse with a passive, inferior one. Others maintain that it is a reference to same-sex prostitution. Still other studies suggest that the acts cited in these passages involve some kind of economic exploitation, and so on.

 

In none of these cases can one move to a blanket condemnation of all same-sex practices. Too many kinds of same-sex activity fall outside these prohibitions.

 

The most important text is Romans 1:24-27. Here, Paul is addressing the idolatry of Gentiles. In this idolatry, God gives these Gentiles up "to degrading passions" expressed in same-sex relations by both men and women (this is the only time women are addressed in terms of same-gender sexual acts in Scripture). The same-sex practices in this passage result from idolatry.

 

Moreover, Paul sees sexual desire as of one kind. That is, same-sex desire is not a different sexual orientation in Paul, but rather an inordinate and excessive desire. The desire that, say, a man has for a woman is the same desire in same-sex desire, only of greater degree. So, because of their idolatry God gives up the Gentiles to this excessive desire and same-sex practices.

 

To be sure, sexual practices growing out of idolatry should be condemned, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. This prohibition, however, does not address a host of same-sex practices, as it does not address heterosexual practices that do not result from idolatry.

 

In short, all of the references to same-sex activity in Scripture are negative. It is not condoned anywhere. Yet, each passage either occurs in a biblical context that has been surpassed and transformed (the Holiness Code), or it addresses specific instances that can’t be generalized.

 

To address Christian homosexual marriage, one must look at the tradition of the church. St. Augustine is the major figure in the church’s teachings on marriage. For him, marriage is an office, a duty in which one serves the church and the larger society. He sees marriage serving three purposes.

 

Raising children for the Kingdom of God. For Augustine this does not mean primarily having children of one’s own in a biological sense.

Enabling couples to learn faithfulness to each other and to God.

Fulfilling a sacramental end, in which Augustine emphasizes that marriage cannot be dissolved.

 

These three ends are sustained in the later Middle Ages. In the Reformation, they are basically accepted but with modifications. Marriage as an official sacrament of the church is rejected, but it continues to be sacramental – that is, it can point to God, especially in the mutuality and companionship of couples with each other.

 

Centuries later, when John Wesley edits the Book of Common Prayer and sends it to the United States in 1784, he keeps the section that lays out the three purposes. However, in a 1792 revision of the marriage liturgy, U.S. Methodists drop these three ends. Since then, marriage as loving companionship has been central, though fidelity and the indissolubility of marriage are not absent. The procreative end is no longer or seldom used.

 

The point is that marriage in the Christian tradition serves a number of purposes: procreation, fidelity, sacrament, mutual support and companionship, mutual society and loving companionship. What is striking is that all of these ends can be met by homosexual marriages, even the procreative end when the procreative end is understood as raising children for the Kingdom of God and not primarily as a function of nature.

 

On these grounds, it is appropriate for gay and lesbian Christians to be married in the church, and it is not in violation of Scripture or tradition.

 

Some Christians object to this argument by raising up Mark 10:7-8, in which Jesus states, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." The argument is then made that this is the only form scriptural marriage can take.

 

The issue addressed in this passage, however, is divorce. Jesus is responding to a hard-hearted test of his authority. Extending his response to a blanket denial of homosexual marriage goes well beyond the text. Moreover, it is uttered by a single Christ who did indeed leave his mother and father to engage in his incarnate mission. So long as we are dealing with a single Christ who left father and mother for a different reason, we must be open to other possible options, especially options that fulfill the ends of Christian marriage as it is traditionally understood.

 

Biblical teaching does not address a host of same-sex practices, among them homosexual marriage. Moreover, the ends of marriage as understood in the tradition of the church are ends that homosexual marriage can fulfill.

 

So the issue in the confirmation of a bishop in a homosexual relationship is not whether he or she is gay, nor even whether he or she is a practicing homosexual. The question is: Is he or she married to this partner, and if so, does this marriage meet these ends?

 

*Sample is the Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers emeritus professor of church and society at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person and coordinator of the Network for the Study of U.S. Lifestyles in Phoenix. In this commentary, he is indebted to the work of Daniel M. Bell Jr.

 

Commentaries provided by United Methodist News Service do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of UMNS or the United Methodist Church. For an overview of the United Methodist Church’s stands on homosexuality, go to http://umns.umc.org/backgrounders/homosexuality.html online.

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Well, I don't think that it is as easy to use the Bible to condemn homosexuality as some people think it is; likewise I don't think that it is as easy to use the Bible to condone homosexuality as some people think it is. :-) This issue is always especially sensitive because it involves people with real emotions feelings etc. who have been discriminated against simply for being who they are, because people have to seperate traditional cultural views from what the text is really saying, and because the Bible is often very misunderstood (by both sides) on this issue.

 

We have to approach this issue with tolerance and acceptance...

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Hello Rizzen :-)

 

>I did a simple search for homosexuality in the Bible

 

Rizzen, may I ask why you think that “simple search” for the word homosexuality in the Bible is so authoritative? Are you aware that the English translations (which I’m assuming you used, correct me if I’m wrong) are translated by fallible human beings, and therefore have their own opinions that will creep in just as we all do?

 

I guess I’m asking, why do you think that because some man translated a Biblical Hebrew or Koine Greek word as “homosexual” that that’s the true meaning of the word?

 

>Can I share something with you all? I used to be gay. And when I became straight, I felt the exact same way I felt when I became Christian. I felt totally cleansed.

 

Okay, then I’m happy for you! However, I personally know or know of at least 100 people who used to be gays in the closet, pretending to be straight, and when they decided to accept themselves and be honest they felt a peace with themselves and with God that they didn’t when they were living a lie.

 

One such person is Mel White, the former ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell (of all people!), whose autobiography Stranger At The Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America I just finished rereading. Others are the friends I made over the summer at the TCPC conference, ministers at MCC churches in San Diego and San Francisco.

 

Now, I’m not saying your testimony is wrong, but what do I do with the testimonies of all these people, some of whom I’ve personally known for a long time and have seen their happiness as self-accepting gay Christian men and women?

 

>I was not made gay. I know that for a fact. Halfway through my adolescence I found myself more attracted to men than I was to women.

 

Okay, first of all are you aware that kids begin to have romantic tendencies in their early childhood? They are not *sexual* tendencies, but they are romantic ones. They pair off in boy-and-girl twos, they tell their parents they are going to marry So-and-So when they grow up. And the gay people I know, they’ve all said that they felt differently WAAAAY before “halfway through adolescence” (I’m assuming that’s ~14, 15 years old). They didn’t want to have sex with another little boy or another little girl, for goodness sakes, but they did want to hold hands with a little kid of the same sex when everyone else was pairing up for a fire drill or exchanging those cardboard valentines in heart-covered shoeboxes.

 

Secondly, gay people feel NO attraction to the other sex period. Just like heterosexual people feel NO attraction to the same sex period. I am not straight because I find myself “more attracted to men than I am to women” as you say, but because I’m just attracted to men period.

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(continued, sorry Rizzen I'm long-winded! :D)

 

Now. I can’t tell as a person who’s just read two Internet posts who you really are or what your sexual orientation really is.

 

But personally, I think your own words have shown that you may be of a bisexual nature, because you were able to be attracted to BOTH men and women, i.e. that you are able to have romantic, passionate feelings about both of them.

 

Do you know why bisexuals have a lot of success in “ex-gay therapies” or otherwise “changing” in the way you say you have?

 

Because they are already “wired” so to say, to be in love with a person of either sex. They can either 1) with therapy, merely concentrate on the opposite-sex people they are attracted to and look for a committed relationship with those people, or 2) they find an opposite-sex person to be in love with and lose interest in looking to the same sex for potential mates.

 

Gay people can’t do that. They’re not wired to fall in love with a person of the opposite sex. I again urge you to read Mel White’s biography, where he describes more than 30 YEARS of trying to fall in love with his wife romantically – and it didn’t work. He tried electrocuting himself, he tried isolating himself on an island and yelling at his father in his head like a "Christian therapist" told him to do, he tried considering suicide to end it, and he tried dozens of other ex-gay therapies, and all he could feel was a friendly or brother-sister love for her. And that attempt to live in a heterosexual marriage ended up hurting the entire family.

 

Now, you may have been a gay man and truly changed!

Or you may be one of the products of ex-gay therapies that eventually can’t stand it anymore and take drastic harmful steps because of their desperation.

Or you may be a bisexual that’s managed to just concentrate on women for that once-in-a-lifetime love.

Or you may have been a normal heterosexual teenager that starts wondering if they’re gay because its such a hot issue – and the more they obsess and worry about it, the more they think they truly were.

 

I don’t know!

 

But I do know two things:

 

1) The Bible is very, very ambiguous on whether it condemns committed, love-based (as opposed to lust-based or pagan-worship-based) homosexual relationships.

 

2) Many gay people have found an acceptance from God that they don’t find from people, and they are God-loving, ethical people in loving relationships raising families (often composed of children that heterosexuals wouldn’t take in!).

 

So…what do I do with that?

 

~ Lib

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I'm wondering... would it be appropriate to conduct a Hebrew/Greek study on the Bible and homosexuality in a number of posts here? You're right, the original readings/contexts of Scripture are much more complex and the search for Biblical truth here must go beyond simply stating that

 

"...no homosexual will enter the kingdom of heaven..." (1 Cor. 6.9 supposedly)

 

I researched this topic extensively for my hermeneutics paper, and there is a lot more to it. I also know people who are gay and Christian (some practise some don't). And also, for some of us, the door swings both ways... ;) as was evidenced in the Kinsey reports.

 

For clarification, I do not really agree with either the conservative or the liberal view on homosexuality. However, I have found that when researching it via the Scriptures and through psychology (integrating the two appropriately) that an entirely different and distinct view emerges. I am all into talking about it and looking at the issues here, but I know that it is imperative to be sensitive, as an issue like this involves real people with real feelings and emotions. There's always the risk of people getting angry/ruthless/judgmental/hurt etc. and I don't want to see any of that.

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hi pac:

 

if you want to engage in a debate with members who hold more conservative viewpoints on the subject, you could just continue the discussion here on this thread (if it relates to homosexuality). but if you want to discuss it with other more moderate or progressive members, or respectful conservatives who want to learn more about progressive views on the subject, then post away. the general discussion section awaits you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the way I see it is that one has to carefully look at the psychological data and carefully look at the Biblical data--then a synthesis or "Christian position" can be deduced. Although psychology is not my field of expertise, systematic theology is. However, my fiance is a psychologist and thanks to her I have had access to valuable information regarding homosexuality.

 

Some general conclusions from psychology (anyone feel free to add to this or edit this if you know more than I know)...

 

1. The terms "gay" and "straight" are not necessarily polar opposites, but apply to different places on the spectrum. In other words, an individual is not either gay or straight, but probably inbetween. Some people are apparently completely gay, some are completely straight, some are completely bi-sexual and others fall at different places. This is the oberservation of orientation, desires, feelings, etc. Thus, when polled, a distinction has to be made between those who practise homosexuality and those who have ever had gay feelings/desires.

 

2. Orientation is "natural" in the sense that a person does not necessarily have control over how they feel, i.e. who they are. This can be interpreted in one of two ways: A. Any existence of homosexual tendency is not only part of the person but is also a positive attribute (compare with how some people are naturally inclined towards math, philosophy, etc.) or B. It is defective, but nonetheless inherent. This would not be to say that it is because of the person's sin but rather is a "natural" outcome of the fallen world--they were affected by sin. In this case, it is a negative attribute (compare with how some people are naturally inclined to be alcoholics, violent, etc.) In either case, what can be said is that the homosexual is not gay of their own doing, choice or sin. Again, there is a spectrum, just like how one philosopher could have a higher IQ than other and how one alcoholic could drink more than another. These things are said to establish the data and show what is and is not a logical interpretation (I'm not endorsing either view at this point).

 

3. Thus, homosexual orientation is something that an individual has regardless of the choices they make. What they do choose is what to do with their tendencies, feelings, desires, etc. There is nothing a gay person can do to "ungay" themselves. Psychological attempts have been shown to be futile in actually "de-gaying" a person. Thus, the aim of psychological counseling should not be to change gays, but to guide them in such a way that respond to their feelings appropriately and ethically (what this means in terms of ethics is yet to be examined).

 

4. There _could_ be a gay gene, additional proof that gay people really are gay. This has not been either proved or disproved. However, an observation from animals (a good example is my fiance's male cat who goes for other male cats) does solidify the view that homosexuality could be genetic, or otherwise occuring in a person due to "nature" (not nurture).

 

5. With that said, nurture is not without influence. Sometimes straight people believe they are gay (and even act accordingly) because of nurture. Sometimes culture and environment does lead to a type of homosexuality. Likewise, this has also caused gay people to not be able to admit they are gay (hence the whole coming out of the closet phenomena). Perception and reality do not always mesh. There are also transvestites who are not gay, cross dressers, men trapped in women's bodies, etc. etc. This enters the world of gender studies which is related but not exactly the same thing. For a good example of both gended dissonance and homosexual feelings, see the movie Boys Don't Cry.

 

6. It has been claimed that gays do change. That God uses miracles to change people and that groups (like Exodus International) can help de-gay someone. There are really two things going on here. One is manipulation of evidence and evangelical hypervigilance. People are not able to "cure" gay people (not the individual gay or a priest, etc.) However, sometimes counseling and Christian groups do help people to understand themselves and do help people to become actualised as who they are. In other words, straight people who are straight do sometimes need help to get beyond how they were raised and/or nurtured and will eventually realise they are not gay. This is great, but it is not an argument that counseling can "cure" gays. Regarding miracles, they happen. If God wants to change someone from a gay orientation to a straight orientation God will do that very thing. It is a totally logical possibility. Whether or not this happens will be discussed later (its base is theological not psychological).

 

7. As Tony Campola once said, "it is one thing to repent of what you do--it is another to repent of who you are".

 

To be continued...

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  • 1 month later...

Dear All

What this discussion demonstrates is that 'sola scriptura' is a dead end.

Even to enagage in discussion on that basis seems to me to encourage the delusion that there are prescribed answers to everything.

 

(Tradition-based approaches can be similarly infantilising, but that's another question).

 

Gerard

Edited by gerard
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  • 4 months later...
Dear All

What this discussion demonstrates is that 'sola scriptura' is a dead end.

 

I think you are on the right track here. The underlying debate is to the authority of scripture. I addition, I can even agree that the Bible does explicitly condemn homosexuality (which I don't by the way) but if I don't operate from a sola scriptura position, my conclusion will not guide my faith practice. I much prefer to believe that the Holy Spirit continues to interpret/inform what we find in scripture.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone!

I am a lesbian christian. I was raised southern baptist, very conservative, and was driven from the church and felt unloved and unlovable. When people talk about gay people who have prayed their way out of being homosexual all I can do is give my testimony. It tried, believe me. I prayed, prayed and prayed some more. I agonized and I cried. I tried to make myself hetero any way I could think of. It didn't work. I was so miserable trying to be someone I wasn't that I drank and had one night staands with men trying to be straight.

Now I have come back to Jesus after years. MY 5 year realtionship to my partner is the most christ-like loving and helathy thing I've ever experienced. I thank God for my place in the church I am in now where I can worship and serve.

Armadillo

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ArmadilloUCC, welcome to the boards and thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy for you that you have found not only a loving, life-giving partner but a church that affirms you and your relationship.

 

Sophia

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  • 3 months later...
Dear All

What this discussion demonstrates is that 'sola scriptura' is a dead end.

Even to enagage in discussion on that basis seems to me to encourage the delusion that there are prescribed answers to everything.

 

(Tradition-based approaches can be similarly infantilising, but that's another question).

 

Gerard

What this discussion demonstrates is that 'sola scriptura' is a dead end.

 

I disagree that the tenet of any group or denomination can invalidate an ecclisology in general. Further, in the specific case here - the two don't even touch. Sola Scriptura stands for nothing more than the proposition that the Bible is a devine work (there are many branches on that tree), and thus the sole source of authority for Christians. For the record, our Church is part of the Old Catholic movement - and reject Sola Scriptura, but for different reasons :D

 

The issue discussed here is what valid teaching does the Bible offer on the issue of Gay life. A rather compelling argument that it is possable to live a sanctified, Christain life and be Gay can be drwan from the Bible. Put simply the Bible posits two sexual sins (the OT has more but thats another thread). Adultory and fornication. Cor. does condemn lesbian and gay lifestyles, but attention should be paid to the entire verse - what is condemned is "giveing yourself over to...", a restatement of fornication. Christ and the Apostles wanted Christians to live a spiritual, God centered life. So while gays living a bathouse lifestyle are clearly fornicators - the offense lies not in who their partner is as much as that they are 'giving" themselves to the life of the flesh. No better or worse than straits who live for the party life.

 

I can't see any justification for the argument that a Gay life is sanctified - but that's not the issue. Is a Gay life a bar to salvation?

 

No - Christ in Matthew lays out the simple precepts for Grace: Keep the commandments, Love thy Neighbor, Love the Lord thy God. No easier, or harder for Gay people to do then strait people.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This has been said before, but I believe it bears repeating.

 

Why is this the issue that we take the literal interpretation on, and yet not all the other restrictions in Leviticus?

 

I truly believe that our approach this issue is an indication of how open we are to the Spirit.

 

I don't think we have to all agree on the issue, but we need to approach it with a willingness to look inside ourselves and honestly look at why we feel the way we do.

 

Jesus taught me to embrace diversity, not to fear those who are different from me.

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  • 3 months later...

From the works of the Psychatrist JG Sinford

 

 

http://jgford.homestead.com/

 

Reparative Therapy is a pseudo science.. And don't change anything, there is a proof in the ex-gay christian ministries..

 

Some promoting these ministries..have been going on homosexuality.. Without any solution apart from guilt..

 

Their orientation had not been changed at all, human beings are quite complex, people can be attracted by the opposite sex, attracted by the same sex, attracted by both or attracted by none ..

 

Someone who is potentially "attracted by both" can change , it relates to his/her identity and the meanig of their life.. So "Miracles" can happen..

 

Jesus Christ was subversive he has accepted women (despised), romans (hated), tax collectors (scorned), prostitute , and this inclusive attitude had a cost..

 

Being inclusive..

 

Religious people of the time has reproached him his attitude..

 

I am concerned by this question for some reasons: I am straight, and have an action as counsellor, and I hate hypocrisy , after years of private practice in churches..

Edited by Oak
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Jesus Christ was subversive he has accepted women (despised), romans (hated), tax collectors (scorned), prostitute , and this inclusive attitude had a cost..

Yes, but he only accepted the humble and those who knew that they needed redemption. He criticized the self-righteousness of the religious leaders. You mentioned the prostitute... When Jesus saved her from being stoned to death, He did not say, "I affirm your sexual promiscuity." He said, "Go, and sin no more." He did not turn a blind eye to sin, but accepted sinners who knew that they needed forgiveness.

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Jesus Christ was subversive he has accepted women (despised), romans (hated), tax collectors (scorned), prostitute , and this inclusive attitude had a cost..

Yes, but he only accepted the humble and those who knew that they needed redemption. He criticized the self-righteousness of the religious leaders. You mentioned the prostitute... When Jesus saved her from being stoned to death, He did not say, "I affirm your sexual promiscuity." He said, "Go, and sin no more." He did not turn a blind eye to sin, but accepted sinners who knew that they needed forgiveness.

From a strict point of view all humanity needs redemption,

 

Usually we say ancient sacred text need actualization, and I am not sure at all the word homosexuality used in the OT and in the NT relates to the same reality we have today..

 

1- Homosexuality in the OT, relates to idolatry in Israel, sacred prostitution,

2 - In the OT the crime of Sodom is to be hard to the poor

 

Crime of sodoms (according to Ezekiel)

 

49 " '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.

 

In the NT, according to the best interpereters , the words used by Paul relates to man abduction, homosexual rape and prostitution.. (In the pastoral Epistles)

 

And in Romans it relates to believers (monotheistics !) who go and participate to sexual rituals of fecundity ..

 

This is not the actual reality, there is no temple with rituals of fecundity .. And the crimes against poor and needy are still performed..

 

We can say abduction, rape and prostitution cannot be admitted ,

 

- the sin of prostitution is a sin commited by the pimps (and the customers) and not by the prostitute..

- the sin of rape is a crime committed by the raper and not by the victims..

 

The reality is not the same, in the society of the NT and now, we have an ethical attitude to grow..

 

Each people has to live with love, acceptance and dignity, his relations, the relation with fellow believers must be kept, and the Church has not to add sufferings to the sufferings people live.

 

When the LAW was saying "lapidate them", Jesus has said "The Son of the Man is the mater of the law".. And he has transmitted this responsability to Peter.

 

19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[4] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[5] loosed in heaven

 

To Bind and to Loose , are the way we have to behave, for the propagation of the gospel ..

 

It relates to ethics - We know that (apart for Bi-sexuality where people have a "real" choice, homosexuals don't change their attirance, just like heterosexuals do..)

 

We have an ethical choice to do :

 

1- Applying the concervative interpretation of law and say to homosexuals "you are rejected, you will go to hell, there is no place for you with the fellow believers in Jesus Christ"

 

2- Or affirm the Gospel is for all people who need redemption and it includes,white, asian, blacks, women and men, homosexuals and heterosexuals..

 

We are not perfect, just acting to grow..

 

Excerpt from the UCC , Declaration

 

We know, with Paul, that as Christians, we are many members, but are one body in ChristÑmembers of one another, and that we all have different gifts. With Jesus, we affirm that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, that we are called to act as agents of reconciliation and wholeness within the world and within the Church itself.
We know that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are often scorned by the church, and devalued and discriminated against both in the Church and in society.

We commit ourselves to caring and concern for lesbian, gay and bisexual sisters and brothers by affirming that:

 

We believe that lesbian, gay and bisexual people share with all others the worth that comes from being unique individuals,

 

We welcome lesbian, gay and bisexual people to join our congregation in the same spirit and manner used in the acceptance of any new members,
We recognize the presence of ignorance, fear and hatred in the Church and in our culture, and covenant to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, nor any other irrelevant factor, and we seek to include and support those who, because of this fear and prejudice, find themselves in exile from a spiritual community,
Edited by Oak
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We believe that lesbian, gay and bisexual people share with all others the worth that comes from being unique individuals

Absolutely, all people have infinite worth since they were created in the image of God.

 

We recognize the presence of ignorance, fear and hatred in the Church and in our culture, and covenant to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, nor any other irrelevant factor

The Church should not be discriminating against individuals, since the Church is a community of sinners who have themselves been forgiven. However, a distinction should be made between the individual and their behavior, and I wouldn't classify sexual orientation as an "irrelevant factor". Not because evangelicals are bigots or homophobes, but because of the clear teaching of Scripture: Paul made several references to the subject, and Jesus Himself affirmed the sacred union of a man and a woman when he quoted Genesis concerning Adam and Eve.

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We believe that lesbian, gay and bisexual people share with all others the worth that comes from being unique individuals

Absolutely, all people have infinite worth since they were created in the image of God.

 

We recognize the presence of ignorance, fear and hatred in the Church and in our culture, and covenant to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, nor any other irrelevant factor

The Church should not be discriminating against individuals, since the Church is a community of sinners who have themselves been forgiven. However, a distinction should be made between the individual and their behavior, and I wouldn't classify sexual orientation as an "irrelevant factor". Not because evangelicals are bigots or homophobes, but because of the clear teaching of Scripture: Paul made several references to the subject, and Jesus Himself affirmed the sacred union of a man and a woman when he quoted Genesis concerning Adam and Eve.

The Church should not be discriminating against individuals, since the Church is a community of sinners who have themselves been forgiven. However, a distinction should be made between the individual and their behavior, and I wouldn't classify sexual orientation as an "irrelevant factor".

 

Not because evangelicals are bigots or homophobes, but because of the clear teaching of Scripture: Paul made several references to the subject,

 

Yes Paul has made references to the subject , a part of theses reference

 

- Romans : Talk about believers wo leave monotheism to enter in fertility cults, these fertility cults were including sexuality

- Corinthians : He talks agains rapes and abductions , so from the original text , we see that rape, abductions and prostitution are condemned vy the scriptures

 

(I have learned this in my Biblical Institute - Evangelical) and there is a good discussion on this point, the biblical stance here

 

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm

 

Romans

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc.htm

 

Corinthians

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc1.htm

 

From matthew 8, we can see Jesus has helped an homosexual

 

and Jesus Himself affirmed the sacred union of a man and a woman when he quoted Genesis concerning Adam and Eve.

 

No problem with this, this argument relates to the sacred character of the union of a mana and a woman..

 

The sexual orientation of people exist and , cannot be changed , if people have same-sex attraction, of other-sex attraction, or both they have to be responsible..

 

But it is not an effect of their own choice..

 

The NIV has accepted these results (about rape and abduction), so the scripture is clear, and we have at last a verse against rapes and sexual abuses..

 

Of course - the authority of the scripture, in their original language, in the context of their civilization..

 

For theses times it was the meaning , but from now where is the actualization for the scriptures we have to do ?

 

The concept of homosexuality in the civilization of the first century, is not the same concept we have today..

Edited by Oak
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