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April 27, 2010

What Does the Bible Really Say About Being Gay?

That's the premise of 'Fish Out of Water,' but the filmmaker doesn't explore it thoroughly

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Our friend Ken Morefield has written a thoughtful commentary on the new documentary Fish Out of Water, which asks the question, "What does the Bible really say about being gay?" But it doesn't really explore it from an objective point of view, and certainly not from an evangelical point of view. The filmmaker, who is gay, seems to assume that Scripture, if it doesn't condone homosexuality, then at least it doesn't outright condemn it.

Writes Ken, "While the film did not persuade me of the truthfulness of the director’s thesis—that an accurate and impartial investigation of the Bible shows that true Christianity does not condemn homosexuality—it does, perhaps, more than most films in this vein provide some hope that a reasoned, substantive debate about the issue might be possible." And: "The film effectively prods the viewer (especially the Christian viewer) to confront the question of how well he or she really knows the Bible. I’ve certainly been around my share of evangelicals who will adopt the rhetoric of 'the Bible says' . . . without being able to specifically expound on a particular passage, much less explain what sort of consistent, coherent interpretive strategy governs their approach to the whole text. If some of rebuttals in Fish Out of Water appear all over the place, some might argue that this could be because so too are the traditional cultural interpretations that frame the argument."

The DVD is now available at First Run Features.

Comments

"What Does the Bible Really Say About Being Gay?" the Bible is pretty clear and you don't need to be a biblical scholar to figure it out.
Leviticus 18:22 "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."
Romans 1:24-27 "Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."
I Cor. 6: 9 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
I Tim. 1:8-11 "But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of (the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
Jude 7 "...just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire."


Nothing like an article on homosexuality to get the comments count up on CT pages.

Unfortunately, it's not quite as clear cut as some seem to think. The Leviticus proscriptions are in the context of cultic and social practices of Canaan and Egypt. In Rom 1, Paul is using the language of Pederasty (read Plutarch or Philo, Paul's contemporaries to confirm this). This vice lists in 1 Cor and 1 Tim refer to young men who make themselves "soft" (i.e. feminine) and the older men who purchase their services. 1 Tim adds to the list the slave traders who emasculate boys and sell them into sexual slavery. So the question is, are these the same things that we find in modern times? It is by no means obvious, as opposed to what is popularly believed, that this is the case.

We should all remember each of us has been born genetically predisposed and biologically designed for heterosexual behavior. No one is "born" homosexual. No such thing as a biological design for homosexuality exists. Homosexuality is sexual behavior and nothing more. Paul was clear about homosexuality in Romans 1.26-27 when he described men and women who had "exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural." Only two categories of human beings exist: male and female. We are designed for one another with one overriding purpose: procreation, not recreation.

"The Leviticus proscriptions are in the context of cultic and social practices of Canaan and Egypt." So what? When the writers in the NT prohibit sexual immorality, do we just infer they are only speaking within a first century context? Of course not! So please provide one example where the Jewish religious leaders - from Abraham to the present -approved of homosexual behavior. Then please produce one example from the NT where Jesus gives approval or condones homosexual behavior. Also give one example from the New Testament Era | Apostolic Era (33-100) | Ante-Nicene Era (100-325) | Nicene Era (325-451) | Byzantine Era (451-843) | Late Byzantine Era (843-1054) | Post-Roman Schism (1054-1453) | Post-Imperial Era (1453-1821) | Modern Era up to, say, 20 years ago where the church approved of homosexual behavior. Surely, since it's so unclear you can probably find at least one example where the church or Jewish religious leaders somewhere throughout history supported, approved, condoned homosexual behavior. It's only unclear if you are blind to the obvious. Of course, sin blinds people to the truth.

"The Leviticus proscriptions are in the context of cultic and social practices of Canaan and Egypt." (Can't-have-your cake-and-eat-it-too Alert!!) And furthermore...using your logic all of the other prohibitions in Leviticus 18 - such as engaging in sexual activities with father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, neighbor's wife, any animal!, etc. - are no longer proscribed either, b/c...uh...what was the reason again? Oh yeah, they "are in the context of cultic and social practices of Canaan and Egypt." Hmmm. And so does this also mean I can "off" that little brat of a kid down the street who annoys me b/c if I'm not sacrificing him to Molech (v. 21)...then it would be okay? Cool! (Ooooppps. Caught me thinking outloud.) If you believe your logic, I've got some cheap swamp land in Death Valley I would like to sell you.

So many experts, so little knowledge. Look to your own walk kiddies and leave the judgement to God. You might be suprised when the time comes.

The Old and New Testaments are very clear that homosexual behavior is a sin. The NT is equally clear that Jesus Christ can do something about it, (as with all other sins), if the person is willing to repent and turn it over to Him (1 Cor. 10:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-11). Period.

However, for some people, they've already been exposed to pro-gay scholarship and now have doubts or questions about the clear claims of the Bible. Promoting such doubts and questions is a favorite tactic of the gay activists. They neither care about the Bible nor Christianity; their only goal is to defend and promote their own religion (homosexuality).

The good news, is that there exists solid Christian scholarship (from multiple sources) that clearly address and resolve those doubts and questions about the Bible's position.
Here is but one example. If you have friends, family, or acquaintances who view scholarly discussion on the homosexuality issue as being personally important to them, then consider offering the following Bible-centered, Christ-honoring website to them:

http://www.robgagnon.net/

"So many experts, so little knowledge. Look to your own walk kiddies and leave the judgement to God. You might be suprised when the time comes."

Funny, the OT and NT authors were writing to people who were mostly illiterate according to today's standards. I don't think they had a difficult time understanding biblical moral standards as articulated by the Holy Spirit through the writers of the original autographs, Dave.


@Bo Russell: "Sex is a gift which God gave as an intimate expression of love between two of the SAME sex..." Are you serious? Can you provide biblical support for this claim?

Dan correctly spotted a BIG ERROR in my earlier submission. It should read "separate sex" vice "same". Please delete original and use below version. My deepest apology. Bo

Sex is a gift which God gave as an intimate expression of love between two of the separate sex, reserved for the marital bonds of a lifetime commitment. Anything outside of this precious paradigm of passion is lust. And sex is a such a force, left to lust, will wreck the lives of those who trifle with its intended purpose.
The present day lack luster look at love has reduced sex to an obsession of self centered lust which promises the pleasure it can not deliver. And we are each equally challenged to choose love above lust.
As a pastor, I can still recall the last time I had a problem with lust. It was this morning. Fortunately I gave it back to the One who gave it to me, as a test, and He took care of it.

@Pester...er...ah...I mean Pastor Bo: Whew! Big sigh of relief here. ;^)

Interesting, I simply pointed out the clear context of Lev 18 and you all assume that I think that all forms of sexuality expressed there are okay. I didn't say that. However, for those who think everything in Leviticus 18 applies today, I assume that sex with your wife during her period is also verboten? My underlying question is _why_ are these prohibitions here? What purpose to they serve?

What is interesting is that you still haven't explained your rationale for deciding which sexual practices in Lev. 18 are and are not approved and condoned by God today. Here's another chance - go for it. And while you are at it, please provide book, chapter, and verse where God's word approves of homosexual practice. So far, all I hear from the homosexual activists is that the bible doesn't condemn it. And then they try to explain away the plain truth with silly explanations. Gay activists remind me of the man whose wife caught him in the arms of another woman. She screamed at him to explain himself. He was sure his wife was so stupid and insecure he could convince her of his innocence. He replied to her: who are you going to believe - me or your eyes?

You're actually putting words in my mouth that I didn't say and then demanding that I defend them. I spoke to context. Does the Bible have to explicitly authorize something for it to be permissible? If you show me a verse where God's word approves going into debt to buy a house or a car, then we can talk. If you believe that what is being described in Lev 18 is the same as homosexual practice today, if you believe that this proscription can be generalized to all forms of same-sex activity, then you should be asking yourself why you believe this? What is it about sex that makes the Leviticus prohibitions universal (except the case of menstruation)? If you can't answer those questions (which would be difficult in a blog response, I admit), then how can we have a discussion about what the Bible says and does not say about sex? It simply degenerates down to what you think Leviticus says and what I think it says and we stand across the street and shout at each other. There becomes no point in continuing because there is no learning and growing on either my part or yours. I personally am hoping to continue growing.

"Lev. 18:22'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." Pretty clear, trierr.
It isn't the religious conservative that needs to be 'splaining. I've heard the best of homosexual activists try to explain away Lev. 18:22. To believe their line I would have to suspend belief in the rationality of language.

So in other words, there is no purpose and no context behind this command and there is no point in asking what the Bible is trying to convey about sexuality, humanity and God if read traditionally? Keep in mind, other prohibitions in Leviticus are equally clear. Are all of them still applicable? Actually other commands and prohibition are far more clear since Leviticus 18:22 is an obvious euphemism. Why is that? I hope you enjoy your street corner; I have to go find one where people ask and seek to answer hard questions.

Hey trierr, if you don't like Leviticus, check out Rom. 1:26-28 and 1 Cor. 6:9-10.

@trierr: You've had several opportunities to state your case. You have not - other than your first post which was a typical response for those who espouse the proglib postmod gay agenda. Sketchy - mostly assertions with a few questions thrown in so as to sound intelligent. And if you're looking for some traditional christian scholarship vs. theology-since-last-Wednesday scholarship/philosophical action, you are talking to the wrong guy. That discussion more often than not sounds like dialogue from Waiting for Godot. Exegete the text - plain and simple: what does the text say, what does the text mean, what does it mean for us today. At this point the homosexual commenter ususally backs slowly out of the room, presumably unwilling to come face to face with God's truth.

I have exegeted the text(s) and this euphemism in Leviticus is the only explicit condemnation of a form of same sex eroticism in the Hebrew Scriptures. But exegesis is only the first step. The text never stands alone, but had a meaning when written and has a meaning today, although that meaning may be different for many. It's obvious that you have made the (automatic?) transference of the ancient context to our modern context, but why? Is the situation Leviticus is addressing the same as in modern society? This is why I ask the questions about what does the text say about sexuality, humanity and God.

@Trierr: {Whow! A triple poster! Way to get your point across!} "It's obvious that you have made the (automatic?) transference of the ancient context to our modern context, but why?" Think so? Lev. 18:22 says " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." This is a pretty concrete euphamacallit. Doesn't leave much to the imagination, either. So are vs. 6-21 also euphamadoodies too? How about vs. 23? " 'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it." And to extend your interpretive principle to every day life: what do you do, trierr, when you read the back of your medicine bottle? Do you choose what directions you will read euphathingamajiggies-ly (awkward adverb)?
Keep this up and your unique interpretive skills will quickly become legendary.
(And I only need to post this once to get my point across.)
Hey! Hey! Hey! One more thing before you go...I thought you were going to another street corner. But now you're back. No problemo, tho, there is always room for you here. You can even borrow my soapbox.

Sorry about the triple posting, Dan. One of my posts yesterday didn't get posted and I had assumed that was the case today as well. Such is life. Now, if you had done your exegesis on Leviticus, you would know that the Hebrew literally says, "with a male, you (masculine) will not lie in the bed of a woman." If that's not a euphemism, then I assume you want to read it to imply that men should never lie in women's beds? It seems you are starting to resort to ridiculing what you don't understand, something I have not done to you. Did you learn that from the Bible? Since I had not stated my thoughts on Leviticus explicitly, your question was fair and I responded. Are you willing to do the same? Saying, "it doesn't leave much to the imagination" is not an answer to the question of why you believe that the social and cultic contexts of Leviticus transfer to the modern context. Nor have you answered any other question I have asked to allow you to clarify your reading. I have to assume that you have no reason outside yourself as a source of authority because you will not or cannot articulate an answer to my questions. And these questions are not idle or trivial questions; how do we understand and appropriate a text that was written thousands of years ago into our modern context?

The Holy Bible, the Word of God, does indeed say that homosexuality is a SIN. Here is a link to numerous excellent articles to show what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality:

http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Homosexuality/

The homosexual will argue that the word “homosexual,” which is used in some Bible translations, is a mistranslation. In fact, the claim is made that there is no biblical word for “homosexual.” The Bible only addresses sinful expressions of homosexuality, but not homosexuality per se. Accordingly, the Old Testament prohibition “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable” (Lev. 18:22; cf. 20:13) refers to religious or cultic homosexuality (i.e. a form of idolatry and prostitution) and not to non-cultic homosexuality. From the perspective, the New Testament Greek word arsenokoites4 is narrowly defined as male prostitutes and/or pederasty.

But Leviticus 18:22 condemns homosexuality in general. There is no mention of religious homosexuality/prostitutes in this verse or its surrounding context (although there is in Deut. 23:17-18). God does not want his people to imitate the abominable practices of the Canaanites (Lev. 18:3), for which they were being punished (Lev. 18:24-25). The Canaanites practiced general (in the bedroom) and specific (in the temple) homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 condemns the former, and Deuteronomy 23:17-18 the latter.

But even, as one theologian has noted, “if it could be shown that there is some cultic association with the homosexuality prohibited in Leviticus 18:22, there is still no reason to think that the law is exhaustively cultic in its reference; after all, God would abhor homosexuality all the more, it seems, for its incidental idolatrous connections. The circumstance would in this sense aggravate the offense of homosexuality, not reformulate the basic meaning of the prohibition.” 5

The absurdity of this pro-homosexual interpretation is demonstrated by applying the same reasoning to other sexual prohibitions listed in Leviticus 18. For example, the very next verse condemns bestiality. Is non-religious bestiality morally acceptable? What about incest, which is denounced in verses 6-17? Are brothers free to sleep with their sisters as long as it is non-religious, consensual, monogamous, and occurs within a “loving” relationship?

As has been mentioned, the New Testament Greek word arsenokoites, used in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, is similarly narrowed to refer to male prostitutes and/or pederasty. This word is a combination of “male” (arsen) and “bed” (koite), so that its etymology means “to go to bed with a male.” It first appears in the writings of the Apostle Paul; it does not appear to have had an established use prior to this. This implies that its meaning is derived directly from its etymology. It is likely that Paul coined this term from the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 (both Greek terms are used in both verses).

Recent research has confirmed that arsenokoites is indeed a broad term properly translated as “homosexual.” 6 As Professor James B. De Young says, “It cannot be limited to pederasty or ‘active male prostitutes’; nor can it be limited to acts. It must also include same-sex orientation or condition.” 7 Consequently, contrary to some biblical scholars, there is a term for “homosexuality” in the Bible and it, along with fornication and incest, is condemned as sin.

- excerpt from "Is the Bible Ambiguous about Homosexuality" by D. Patrick Ramsey

A second argument for doubting the Bible’s denunciation of homosexuality boldly affirms that Romans 1:26-27 does not condemn homosexuality as being unnatural, that is, it does not teach that homosexuality is contrary to God’s created order. Instead, the phrase “against nature” in verse 26 is taken to refer to acting contrary to one’s orientation. It is argued that the word “nature” in this context means “what is natural to me.” Therefore, Paul is saying that heterosexuals must not act like homosexuals and vice versa, as that would be personally unnatural for them.

Needless to say, this interpretation is far-fetched. The word “nature” never means, “what is natural to me” in either Greek literature or the Bible. 8 Furthermore, verse 27 says that the male leaves or abandons the “natural use of the female.” This abandonment is not subjective or personal (one’s personal sexual orientation); it is objective and generic (sexual function of the female).

One reason God created man in two genders (male and female) was for the purpose of sexual satisfaction. The female was made for the male and the male for the female. Hence, Paul says that the husband’s body belongs to the wife and the wife’s body belongs to the husband (1 Cor. 7). Each is to find sexual fulfillment in the other. Consequently, when a male seeks sexual pleasure in another male, Paul says he leaves the created or “natural” use of the female.

In short, according to Romans 1:26-27, homosexuality is not “normal” or “natural.” Neither is it innocent or morally acceptable. It is unnatural and sinful.

-excerpt from "Is the Bible Ambiguous about Homosexuality" by D. Patrick Ramsey

A number of people today would have us believe that medical and psychological studies have proven conclusively that homosexuality is natural, making it impossible for homosexuals to change their ways. They are simply born, constituted or orientated this way. And if they are made this way, then surely their Creator cannot condemn them for it.

In response, let me say first of all that nothing of the sort has been proven. The various studies are at best inconclusive. For example, concerning biological causes, in an article from Scientific American, W. Byne writes,

A biological or physiological origin for homosexuality is not proven. What biological evidence exists thus far of innate biological traits underlying homosexuality is flawed. Genetic studies suffer from the inevitable confounding of nature and nurture that plagues attempts to study heritability of psychological traits. Investigations of the brain rely on doubtful hypotheses about differences between the brains of men and women. Biological mechanisms that have been proposed to explain the existence of gay men often cannot be generalized to explain the existence of lesbians (whom studies have largely neglected). And the continuously graded nature of most biological variables is at odds with the paucity of adult bisexuals suggested by most surveys. 9

Second, we need to distinguish between cause and influence. Various factors (environmental, biological, and psychological) may influence people to become homosexual, but they do not cause them to become so. For example, poverty may influence stealing, and migraines may predispose one to irritability, but these do not force one to steal or be angry.

Third, we need to distinguish between necessary and sufficient cause. It is possible that some biological, environmental and/or psychological factors may need to be present for one to lead a homosexual lifestyle, making these necessary causes. However, their presence alone does not result in homosexuality, meaning that they are not sufficient causes. If there is one thing that these scientific studies have proven, it is that none of these various factors are sufficient causes. A person still must make a choice.

Fourth, it is important to be aware of the biblical relationship between the body and soul. The two are so closely related and interconnected that one affects the other. The thoughts and intents of our hearts are expressed through our bodies, and what happens to our bodies can affect how we think and feel. 10 As a result, a habitually angry person will display different brain activity than a peaceful person, and one who constantly worries will develop gastro-intestinal disorders. Therefore, we should not be surprised if there are physiological differences in homosexuals.

Fifth, the Bible (1 Cor. 6:11) teaches us that homosexuals can change, and counseling shows us that some homosexuals do change. This indicates that homosexuality is neither necessary nor inalterable, regardless of any association it may have to one’s constitution.

Finally, the Bible tells us that the cause of all sin is the heart. “Out of [the heart] are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matt. 15:19). Therefore, the reason men sin, whether it is homosexuality or adultery, is that they want to sin. The problem is our sinful desire, not our genes. As James 1:13-15 says,

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Conclusion

The looming tower of cynicism that presents the Bible as ambiguous on homosexuality is easily toppled. For the building blocks are not strong enough to sustain such an ambitious and outrageous structure. This, however, is good news for the homosexual. You are not bound like a slave to your homosexual lifestyle, which you know to be wrong and judged by God (Rom. 1:32). Christ has come to set the sinner free. He is the friend and savior of sinners. He is able to wipe your guilt away and to change you from within so that you might not perish but receive eternal life. Turn to him right now and you will find love, forgiveness, hope, peace, grace and life forevermore. Amen.

- excerpt from "Is the Bible Ambiguous about Homosexuality" by D. Patrick Ramsey

@Trierr: I responded to your last post but it didn't go through - at least not yet. But I assure you I answered every concern you had and then some. I was eloquent, articulate, and persuasive. I even translated from the Hebrew to the Greek and then to the Aramaic. (Some would say I was awesome.) Now it is true I answered your post. And it is true it didn't go through. But the rest is baloney. Linda, however, has done some heavy lifting. In fact, her posts make mine look rather anemic. Sigh. (Hey, I wanna be articulate and knowledgable about stuff, too.)

Pro-homosexual advocates spend much effort and time trying to show the irrelevance of the Law to Christians today. Scanzoni and Mollenkott are an example of this. "Consistency and fairness would seem to dictate that if the Israelite Holiness Code is to be invoked against twentieth-century homosexuals, it should likewise be invoked against such common practices as eating rare steak, wearing mixed fabrics, and having marital intercourse during the menstrual period." [11] Blair follows Scanzoni and Mollenkott in arguing that the Old Testament Law must be thrown out when seeking a guide to the issue of homosexuality.

It is interesting how lightly evangelicals have taken other proscriptions found in the same Old Testament Code, e.g.: rules against the eating of rabbit (Lev 11:26), oysters, clams, shrimp, and lobster (Lev 11:10ff), and rare steaks (Lev 17:10). Evangelicals do not picket or try to close down seafood restaurants nor do we keep kosher kitchens. We do not always order steaks "well-done." We eat pork and ham. The wearing of clothes made from interwoven linen and wool (Deut 22:11) does not seem to bother us at an. Evangelicals do not say, in accordance with these same laws of cultic purification (Lev 20:13), that those who practice homosexual activity should be executed as prescribed. Evangelicals do not demand the death penalty for the Jeane Dixons of this world (Lev 20:27) nor do we
"cut off" from among the people, as is demanded by this same Code, those who have intercourse with women during menstruation (Lev 20:18) and those who marry women who have been divorced (Lev 21:14). Evangelicals do not keep out of the pulpit those who are visually handicapped or lame or those "with a limb too long" (Lev 21:18ff). [12]

These statements expose a great ignorance of how the Law fits into the total scheme of the Scriptures. When taken to their logical conclusion these assertions make it possible to say that having sex with animals or engaging in incest is okay for today simply because homosexuality is sandwiched between these two prohibitions. These writers pay a great price in trying to justify their position. It would have been easier for them to say that Christ brought an end to the entire Law (Rom 10:4). The Ten commandments are also included in this termination (2 Cor 3:7-11). Christ is now the Christian's High Priest, which shows that a radical change in the Law has come about (Heb 7:11). The Law has been superseded (Heb 7:11).

When the statement is made that the Law had ended, this does not mean that God no longer has any laws or codes for His people. This does not mean that there are no moral precepts to be followed. The New Testament speaks of the "law of the Spirit" (Rom 8:2), the "law of Christ" (Gal 6:2), and the "royal law" (James 2:8). This "law" includes numerous commands, both positive and negative, which form a distinct code of ethics for today. [13] It is here that the pro-homosexual exegetes have made their mistake. As a unit the New Testament code is new, but not all the commands in the New Testament are new. There is overlap, deletion, and addition. Some of the commands in the Mosaic code have been reincorporated into the New Testament code.

But if the Law was done away, how can parts of it be repeated in the New Testament? The answer lies in the distinction between the Old Testament code and the commandments which were contained in that code.

The Mosaic law has been done away in its entirety as a code. God is no longer guiding the life of man by this particular code. In its place He has introduced the law of Christ. Many of the individual commands within that law are new, but some are not. Some of the ones which are old were also found in the Mosaic law and they are now incorporated completely and [are] forever done away. As part of the law of Christ they are binding on the believer today. [14]

This throws much light on the statements made by those who would justify homosexuality from a biblical standpoint. It serves to bring their emotional rhetoric into proper focus. The laws concerning diet, punishment by stoning, or wearing mixed fabrics have been abrogated. However, the proscriptions against homosexual behavior have been repeated in the New Testament code (Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 1 Tim 1:9-10). This should be a major concern of pro-homosexual advocates simply because it totally destroys the point they attempt to make with regard to the Old Testament law. It is false to say that something which was sin under the Law is no longer sin under grace.

What this all means is that the commands dealing with homosexuality in Leviticus 18:23 and 20:13 are still highly relevant because they have been reincorporated into the New Testament code. A moral unity exists between the Old and New Testaments. It has always been wrong to murder, rape, steal, to have sexual relations with animals, and to have sexual relations with persons of the same sex. God has dealt with people in different ways at different times, but His standard for righteousness has never changed. If morality has changed then the character of God has changed, because the basis of morality is in the character of God who is immutable (Mal 3:6).

- excerpt from "Homosexuality and the Old Testament" by P. Michael Ukleja

It's amazing how people use the rules regarding the eating of certain foods and hygiene laws in the Bible to try to explain away the practice of sinful sexual behaviors. I don't see the lucidity in those arguments. This is not rocket science, nor is this just a Biblical argument. Can a man and woman not look in the mirror at their bodies and be honest with themselves? How about if we meditate just a little bit about the purpose of our bodies, the way they are designed with a purpose, the beauty of it? God created woman for man, not man for man! God created marriage as a sacred union between a man and woman. God created sex for the marriage between a man and woman. Hey, how about if we just throw away the first 3 chapters of Genesis and make up a whole new creation story so we can justify all sexual immorality. Maybe that would make everyone feel better.
Gen 2:18-25
Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him."
19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one.
20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man's ribs and closed up the opening.
22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
23 "At last!" the man exclaimed. "This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken from 'man.'"
24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

@trierr: Any questions? (Nice job Linda, JD, and Cybereagle.)

There is no doubt that the Bible condemns homosexuality (male-male sex and female-female sex). However love and sex between men, and between women, is okay because the Bible’s condemnation does not apply today, just as its acceptance of slavery does not apply today. This is partly because our culture is very different from the culture of Bible times. It is also partly because love and sex between men, and between women, usually does not cause harm. See the “Gay and Christian” website (www.gaysandslaves.com) for more details.

Is homosexuality a sin? Why do you care? Is your goal to prove a point, make others obey a list of rules you think are important, to pass judgement on who God loves? Or is it because you are concerned about the spiritual condition of those who think they are homosexual? Do you truly love those who self-identify as homosexual, do you pray lovingly for them, do you welcome them into your church without condemnation?

Romans 1:24-32 lists several sins, including gossip, being heartless, and arrogance. Romans 2:1-4 goes on to say, "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"

Each of us has our areas of weakness, and it is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict us and change us. I would like to Christians lead the dialog using language that shows people God loves them, and accepts them where they are.

Cindi, multiple passages in the Old and New Testaments condemn homosexuality. The reason it is important to us to stress that it is a sin is because, as Christians, we don't want to see anyone go to Hell. However, unless those who practice homosexuality repent and turn from their ways, this is exactly what is going to happen.

Raycol, please try to be more original. Your argument of the Bible not applying today is a classic part of the liberal playbook that has been shown to "not hold any water."

@Raycol: (Tail-wagging-the-dog alert!) "...love and sex between men, and between women, is okay because the Bible’s condemnation does not apply today..."
You're kidding - right?

So the film does not explore the issues from an objective point of view and, "certainly not from an evangelical point of view." Which is best, an objective and intellectually honest point of view, or homophobic views, disguised as religious, bible thumping beliefs?

@John Boy: Would you agree, then, the Bible, objectively speaking, disapproves of homosexual behavior? .

I cannot out logic the depraved or out scripture those who have found ways to validate immoral behavior. I cannot argue sinful men and women in to living according to God's original design. Does not nature itself show you that every life form is built around the simple plan where one male plus one female equals new life. Men desiring men and women desiring women is simply us thinking God made a collosal mistake. We know better. Not! The hating.

Does anyone here believe in Jesus and remember that he died on the cross for sinners? That's what He already did. Mission Accomplished. That is the GOOD NEWS!!! Do you think this great news holds an asterisk to it that does not include homosexuals?? He died for liars, thieves, sex-fiends, homos, idol-worshippers, for you, for me, and every single sinner who acknowledges His name. A Christian battles their entire life to be fully sanctified and never getting there, growing in Christ and trying each day to live for Him and make it through the day and to live rightfully in God's eyes. You or I cannot go a single day without sinning (regardless of how big or little the sin may be) and Jesus went his ENTIRE life with not one sin in his Father's eyes. Imagine how hard this would be to do. Impossible for any of us, of course, but Jesus lived an immensely hard life here on earth so that his sinlessness and infinite nature could die for an infinite amount of sinners and bring us to life in Him when he was resurrected. A beautiful thing! He died for all of us a long time ago. The time now is definitely not to judge homosexuals. The point is not understood by those who only want to "defend the faith" ... the point being that there are homosexuals (and always have been) who believe with all of their might that they are born that way. It is simple to be heterosexual and to stay away from homosexual activity. It is very tough to be homosexual (with no sexual desire for the opposite sex) and stay away from homosexual activity. To the guy who talked about how obvious it is for a man and a woman to look in the mirror and see that they are designed for each other ... yes of course. It is clear by the fact that men and women procreate that God intended for man to be with woman. But with 7 billion people in the world, I am absolutely not going to judge someone who says they are homosexual. God is God and has created billions and billions of people. How are any of us to shun a human being as "going to hell" simply because they are gay. That is ludicrous!! Especially for Christians. We, as Christians live under grace, not condemnation! The only thing we are responsible for with gays is pointing them to Jesus. He will (and already did) take care of the rest.

@David R:
1. Gal. 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who PRACTICE (my caps - the operative word is "PRACTICE" not just "struggle") such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

2. I John 1:6,7 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

3. I John 2:4-5 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

4. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; (neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Do you believe the word of God, David? Do you believe that if a person "PRACTICES" sinful behaviors he/she will still go to heaven? If you do believe that, then how do you explain the above scriptures? Do you think God stuttered when He moved Paul and John to write them?

So soon, out comes the aggressive evangelical "christians", so full of self proclaimed bible knowledge, used to condemn all and sundry. I do not understand why this type of "christian" is so obsessed with sex what other people do in the privacy of their own beds.


I believe in a God of love and every time someone expresses love, God is always there in the midst. I personally know many people who have had the honesty to openly decalre their (gay) sexuality in church communities, and experienced much hatred and offence by the "body of Christ."
"Father forgive them for they no not what they do," springs to mind.

So Dan, I should spend less time burying your head in the bible looking for reasons to damn and condemn people and look for joining with God and his Son and unconditionally loving God's creation in all its glorious variety.

@johnboy The God is love argument is a very limited idea.
God is many things: God is Love, and Just, and Righteous and Holy, etc.
Similarly, keep in mind Jesus, who so greatly professed and personified "God is love" didn't have sex, wasn't born of a sexual union. Ideally, as Paul reminds us, we should be chaste. I'm always confused with the need to not only be driven by sex, but define ourselves by our sexuality.
Yes, God is everywhere there is love, but love doesn't equal sex.
Lastly, condemning "evangelical Christians" for being condemning is problematic.

@John Boy: First, JB, take a deep, cleansing breath. Let it all out now. Second, don't shoot the messenger: I just quoted some passages out of the biblical text that are relevant to this thread. Third, I can't help it if you don't like what the bible says. I didn't write it, and nobody asked for my input. So you might want to take your complaint up with the appropriate party responsible for the bible - I think that's God. (I hear He listens closely and takes copious notes!) And if you're able to get Him to change His mind on this topic and issue a revised and updated edition of the bible, please remind Him to shoot us a memo regarding His new policy. See, so many gay activists have told me that God has changed His mind about homosexuality - but I've yet to get the memo. [But this is SOP - I'm always the last to find out. The next thing you know He'll change His mind about the rapture. But will He ever think to tell me? No! Probably not. And so I'm just sitting down here waiting...waiting...waiting and thinking it's going to happen any moment now. And missing my "soaps". I already missed out on who killed JR on Dallas. Why? 'Cus I was waiting for the rapture. And I never did find out who killed him! Everybody else knew who killed JR - but not me. Huh, uh! Dan don't matter none. Nope, he's just a lowly evangelical conservative traditional Christian who never gets policy updates from God. Let me tell you what, John Boy, I'm getting pretty darn tired of it, too. If I weren't so close to retirement (if you know what I mean), I'd file a grievance with the union. Then I bet I's start gettin' those updates. You know, I might just do that. Now I gotta' look up the number to the union. Dang, where's my union directory? Wouldn't you know it, SOP - the union didn't even send me a directory. Dang union - Dan don't matter....

Yes, we are saved, those who believe. Those who believe REPENT of their sins (like Jesus told the prostitute), and try to live a more Christ-like life) see Col 3. Jesus said "go and sin no more". People who are DENYING their sin, and don't believe it is a sin are not saved. Picking up our crosses and following Jesus is not always easy. If you think you just have to say you believe and then go on and continue in all your sins, how do you differ from satan? Satan believes too, but doesn't accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. You have to repent of your sins. Remember what it says in Hebrews in the NT.

26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Hebrews 10:26-27

It can't get any clearer than that.

All right, john boy, it comes down to this: in the Bible, God condemns homosexuality (exchanging the natural use of a woman for that of a man and vice versa). He does love everyone, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want and still expect to go to Heaven. We believe that you should love the sinner and hate the sin, but don't believe in sitting by while someone is on the way to hell. If we just sit back and don't say anything, then when that person dies and goes to hell, we are held accountable for not witnessing to that person.

We're not going to just sit here and be quiet or say, "Um, sir (or madam, whichever the case may be), I really wish you wouldn't do what you're doing, but it's okay if you want to keep doing it. No one's opinion matters but yours and God will let you do whatever you want and still take you to heaven if you're a nice person." That's essentially standing idly by and letting opportunities to win others to Christ go on by. Sometimes feelings may be hurt but you know something? Sometimes when someone steps on your toes like this, that means you needed them to step on your toes and you know they're probably right.

It's better to have your toes stepped on and have an opportunity to follow Christ and turn from sin than to just keep going through life without anyone telling you you're wrong, having no hurt feelings, and spending eternity in a lake of fire with no way out.

Can someone tell me how many things, that the Bible, God, condemns? I do so wish not to spend "eternity in a lake of fire." I know too many Catholiics who have nightmares and wake up in cold sweats because of this threat. I have tried to make a list from the Bible, but it overwhemed me, so I would like an expert to post a list, if there is space.

@peter: It's not about a list, Peter. The question is this: "Are you in a right relationship with God? Have you found Christ or more correctly, been found by Him?" Here are some verses that have helped me understand the gospel. First some very discouraging facts about us.
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." God is perfectly holy - and we're not. Every last person on earth has committed sin - and even one sin is enough for God to condemn us. (But I am glad He doesn't want to!)
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death..." Death is not only a physical death but a spiritual death as well. Our sin results in our spiritual death. But that is not the end of the story.
Hebrews 9:27 "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment..." What? No second chance? Guess not. We're all sunk!
Conclusion: Looks like it sucks being human!

But that's not the end of the story. First some facts:
Luke 19: 10"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Am I lost? Yes I am, but Jesus is looking for the lost - and finding them! Hooray!!
John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." Abundant Life! For me? Such a deal I can't refuse! But what's the catch? What do I have to pay? Give up? Hand over? DO!!!
Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Now here's the hard part - here's what you have to do:
John 3:16 - John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." Gimme some of that love! (Okay, #1 I have to believe in Jesus and His death for me on the cross.)
Luke 13:3 "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.) #2 Got to Repent (as in pent and then to pent again? - No.) Repent as in turn away from your sin and follow Christ and obey Him. See the Owner's manual - the Bible)
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name... #3. Receive Christ. "How do I do that?" It's as simple as A,B,C. Pray and ...
A = Admit you are a sinner
B = Believe on Christ as the One who took your sin on Him on the cross and paid the penalty for you.
C = Confess His as Lord and Savior.

Then find a good bible believing, bible teaching, friendly church.
Hope this has helped.



Proverbs says "Faithful are the wounds of a friend but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy." Friend, if you are engaged in homosexual acts or other forms of fornication then you have a sin problem. Maybe it wounds you to hear it, but it is better than the kisses of deceit. Good news is that we ALL have a sin problem. Even better news is that God promises in 1Cr 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." Of course, the first step in overcoming temptation is to accept the redeeming work of Jesus the Messiah. Even if you think you were "born gay" your desires are clearly in violation of Scripture. It is spelled out so clearly it is undeniable without throwing out the authority of God's Holy Word. The answer is to accept Jesus, let Him work in your heart, claim God's promises on temptation, live a pure life. If your inclinations still don't change then celibacy should be your life calling. Does that sound "unfair" or harsh? No. It is just God's plan for you. I was born a man and no matter how much I try I'm never going to give birth to a child. I'm not a woman. A person born blind from birth, or with a "deformity" or any other type of physical infirmity could spend the rest of their life angry at God. So it is your choice. Will you accept God's moral standards and find a path for your life that is holy? Or will you try to explain away your sinful inclinations and reap the sad and bitter fruit of disobedience?

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