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Homosexuality And The Bible
Is there just ONE way to look at the issue of the Bible and Homosexuality? Many preachers, pastors and priests would say, “Yes! It is as plain as black and white.“
Others who have re-examined Bible verses used to refer to homosexuality, have come to a different conclusion. They have come to believe that there are NOT different standards for Christian salvation for gay and straight people. They don’t see a blanket condemnation of gay people in the Bible. And they even believe the Bible has revealed positive promises for gay and lesbian people.
If the “religious right” is wrong about Homosexuality, history will record the spiritual oppression of gays and lesbians as one of the greatest errors of this century.
It Is Time To Take Another Look At The Bible And Homosexuality!
We will address what gays refer to as “Clobber Verses” in a moment. But first, what EXACTLY is a Homosexual? Sexual attraction to a person of the same gender is only a small part of being gay. It also means that the DEEPEST SENSE of Love, Friendship, Social Interest and Emotional Connection is directed to someone of the same gender.
So What Do You Say When Someone Says
“GOD DIDN’T CREATE ADAM AND STEVE, GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE!!
This argument ignores an important principle of Bible interpretation: Context. The Genesis account is a creation story that was to describe how the human race got here and to start a genealogy. The first couple HAD to be heterosexual and fertile. But this in no way has to be the norm for all sexual relationships forever. If that were true, even childless marriages and celibacy would be sinful.
“THE SIN THAT BROUGHT JUDGEMENT ON SODOM AND GOMORRAH WAS HOMOSEXUALITY.”
This is one of the easiest to address if you simply look up all of the references to Sodom & Gomorrah in the Bible. Ezekiel 16:48-50 says, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom. She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned. They did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things in my sight.” Other scriptures to check are: Isaiah 1:10-17, and 3:9, I Jeremiah 23:14. Zephaniah 2:8-11 and 1 Matthew 10:5-15.
“IF A MAN LIES WITH A MAN AS ONE LIES WITH A WOMAN, BOTH OF THEM HAVE DONE WHAT IS DETESTABLE. THEY MUST BE PUT TO DEATH.“
Leviticus is part of the Jewish Law. A person who wants to be saved by the law must keep all of it PERFECTLY. And that is IMPOSSIBLE. Christians who point out this verse, and yet DO other things prohibited in Leviticus, such as planting two kinds of seed in a field (19:19), wearing mixed fabrics (19:19), and eating rare meat (19:26) are using the Bible in a selective and dishonest way.
The New Testament Teaches
We are not saved by the LAW, but by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). The whole book of Galatians was written to address those who wanted to teach a gospel of works. One of the strongest condemnations in the Bible is directed to those who teach a gospel of works (Galatians 1:8).
The WHOLE witness of scripture is that right standing with God is by faith.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to ALL who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.“
“ROMANS 1:18-32 DESCRIBES GODS’ WRATH TOWARD HOMOSEXUALS.“
Once again, it is essential to consider the CONTEXT of the passage. Romans 1 condemns sexual acts of ritual prostitution that were connected with the rampant idolatry of the Apostle Pauls’ day.
“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” (1:22-23)
Today, it is hard to imagine a culture where orgies in front of idols are a part of worship as in Romans 1.
In addition, there was little concept of a committed, love relationship between persons of the same gender, which is absolutely normal for them. An opposite gender relationship is as unnatural for a lesbian or gay person as is a HETEROSEXUAL committing same gender sexual acts, as described in Romans 1.
It is absurd to look at the whole book of Romans and single out one group of people as a special category of sinners
Romans 1 teaches that Gentiles are sinners. Romans 2 teaches that Jews are sinners. Romans 3 teaches that ALL are sinners. Romans 4 teaches righteousness by faith for ALL!
“1 CORINTHIANS 6:9 AND 1 TIMOTHY 1:10 REFER TO HOMOSEXUALITY.“
First, understand that “homosexuality” is a clinical term from psychiatry that was first used in the late 1800’s. It refers to a concept that was unknown in the first century when this part of the Bible was written. So, if it occurs in a translation almost 2000 years later, it CANNOT have the same meaning.
“What About Jude Verse 7?”
This is the only reference that connects Sodom and Gomorrah to anything sexual. Some teachers think this refers to a kind of gang rape commonly used in ancient times to humiliate strangers visiting a city (much like “prison rape” done by heterosexuals in our prisons).
And Now For Some Truly Good News!
Many people are unaware that there are positive promises in scripture for sexual minorities. There are! Here are some important things to think about!
“To the Eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant – to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and name better than that of sons and daughters.“
(The word Eunuch is used to refer to sexual minorities.)
Many Christians say that being gay or lesbian is a CHOICE. But Jesus Christ recognized a group of people who were born different.
“For some are eunuchs because they were born that way.“
If you have an honest conversation with most gay people, they will tell you that they have known they were different for as long as they can remember. If they were in the church, they often went to great lengths to try and be heterosexual.
Interestingly, the Holy Spirit took great pains to insure and record the salvation of ONE BLACK GAY MAN, (see Acts 8:26-39) even before the gentiles were brought into Christianity. (Who did you think the Ethiopian Eunuch was??)
There is a WONDERFUL move of the Holy Spirit taking place in the lives of gay and lesbian people. God is pouring out His Holy Spirit on spiritually hungry gay and lesbian people all across this nation, and in other countries as well!
So What Does All Of This Mean?
If you are a lesbian or gay person, Jesus Christ loves and accepts you just the way you are. LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR THE GLORY OF GOD AS A GAY PERSON!!
The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality
Matthew Vines speaks on the theological debate regarding the Bible and the role of gay Christians in the church. Delivered at College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas on March 8, 2012.
Transcript and translations: http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript.