The Scriptures on Homosexuality

It has been requested of me to share what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, so if you are reading this and are thinking that I’m just picking on gays (or one of my readers in particular)… I’m just fulfilling a request. (Because, you know, I take requests!)

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. Leviticus 20:13

Interestingly enough, the word “abomination” is only used twice in all of the Levitical code, both times referring to homosexual sex. The word translated “abomination” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “an abhorrence” or “disgusting” and can also refer to idolatry. Much later in the Bible, as we will see in a bit, the Apostle Paul very much links homosexuality with worshiping the creature rather than the Creator.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9–10

One of the questions posed to me earlier was if I thought there was forgiveness for someone who has been gay; to answer that, I’ll quote the next verse from the previous passage:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

Who comprised the early church? Who were the Christians Paul was writing to at Corinth?

They were a group filled with people who had once been gay or thieves or idolaters or drunkards… people who were on the fast track to Hell but were rescued — indeed, transformed — by He who is powerful to save.

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. 1 Timothy 1:8–11

A few of my readers may have wondered about the quotes from Leviticus earlier… Is the Old Testament law still valid? I don’t blame you. Plenty of people like the New Testament quite a bit better — after God took some anger management courses, so to speak. ((However, it doesn’t take much reading in the New Testament to realize that God is just as indignant against sinners as He ever was.))

Writing to Timothy, Paul points out that yes, the law is in fact good! Yes, the Old Testament commandments are still valid!

The law, after all, shows just how short we fall when measured up against God, how desperate our situation is, and how needful we are of a Savior. The law is given for the ungodly, the unholy, the sinners, the profane, the lawless, and the disobedient so that they may see their need for Christ.

Because of that, Paul could include homosexuality in the list of sins given to both the Corinthian church and to Timothy. Perhaps it is because homosexuality is classed as an abomination over and above all the other sexual sins mentioned in Leviticus that Paul includes it separately in his lists, exclusive from the more general “sexually immoral.”

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. Romans 1:26–28

This passage scares me on behalf of gays even more than the two verses in Leviticus do… Being put to death? That isn’t that harsh by comparison when you consider that the wages of any and all sin is death — it’s grace and grace alone which keeps any of us alive after telling a lie, stealing even something small, or any of a great number of other things.

Here in Romans, however, Paul details the plight of the unrepentant homosexual: God gives them up. Now, I cannot pretend to fully grasp the implications of that — likely, we’re not meant to.

What we find in Romans, however, is that homosexual acts are not only against the law of God but are also unnatural. Just as a man is not meant to have sexual relations with a beast, so is man not meant to have sexual relations with another man. Homosexual behavior is an aberration from the created order, and God so dissociates Himself from it that He turns over unrepentant homosexuals “to a debased mind.”

In addition to homosexuality giving rise to any number of other sins ((As listed in Romans 1:29–31.)), Paul reveals the homosexual’s hard-heartedness toward God:

Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:32

Such is the spiritual state of so many in our world today.

Paul says that the future holds “wrath and fury … tribulation and distress” for those who do not obey righteousness and who do evil. ((Romans 2:8–9.))

I’ll take a moment to address something which may come up… You may have noticed that these verses deal with homosexual actions. Being homosexual is not in and of itself condemned; rather, it is part & parcel of being born a sinful human. We are all born inclined to lie and to steal, to be self-centered and selfish, to hate and to covet. It’s no mystery why such things are so much easier than love and respect or why people so often emphasize that relationships are “hard work.”

Sin is easy.

For a homosexual male, is it easier for him to just act on his impulses? Excluding pressure from society, yeah, it’s going to be easier for him to live out his desires. The same, of course, goes for heterosexual men and women. ((It is also no mystery why so few virgins are marrying.))

In Ephesians 2:3, Paul says that we are all “by nature children of wrath,” and he even ties that right to living “in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind.”

God demands chastity, and He has prohibitions against fornication (sexual actions outside of marriage, and don’t fool yourself into thinking this only applies to intercourse). Sexuality, as is made clear throughout the Scriptures, is only acceptable to God within the bonds of marriage.

And marriage, as defined by creation (Adam and Eve), is something which only exists between a man and a woman. ((And there may be certain other biblical requirements which reveal that many who think they are married nowadays may in fact be living in sin rather than matrimony. Oh, and a man may be husband to more than wife, as well, but I’m uncertain of that one… I just haven’t found a way yet to argue against it biblically.))

What this means is that a homosexual person is forbidden by Scriptures to both engage in sexuality outside of marriage and to marry. Given the severity with which homosexuality is treated in the Scriptures, I hope you can see just how depraved our society is becoming as homosexuality (and/or bisexuality) not only becomes ever more en vogue but as marriage is redefined to include gay unions as true marriage.

So what is a homosexual to do, then, if they cannot live out the desires they feel within, whether he or she was born with them or whether they developed later in life?

They must do the same thing the liar, the murder, the hateful, the idolater, the sexual immoral, and the drunkard must do: Repent.

They must repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand, and they will either encounter the King as a merciful Savior or as wrathful Conqueror.

God is more than able to give homosexuals a new nature, to remove from them the unnatural affections and to replace them with godly desires.

I’m not saying the process will be easy; indeed, everyone from myself to the great apostle Paul struggles with sin, even after having experienced transforming grace. No one’s saying the termination of homosexual inclinations will be immediate.

Perhaps you’ll be able to refrain from ever again acting upon homosexual tendencies, but the tendencies will still be there. Then the goal is to refrain from acting, to refrain from even lusting after another person (whether of the same sex or different, actually), lest you commit adultery in your heart.

While it may seem right to have the feelings and be forbidden to act upon them, all I can offer is that the eternal reward for obedience is unbelievably worth it.

Gay Pride Necklace on a Bible

Linked to Image Source

The alternative is to suffer the fate of Sodom & Gomorrah:

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day–7just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Jude 5-7


76 thoughts on “The Scriptures on Homosexuality”

  1. Ok, the closest you have ever come to convincing me! I don’t think homosexuality is en vogue as you state. I still have trouble believing people are bad by nature. Damning people to hell for actions that seem to me to not be as bad as others. I know, I know-I am not the judge! Not telling the truth, murdering, drinking are all choices you make on how to live your life. I am still uncertain as to whether homosexuality is a choice or the way you are born. Another friend pointed out to me today that maybe there was abuse (or some other profound event) in the childhood of homosexuals that influenced their beliefs. Something I have never thought about before and will have to mull over. I know for someone who is not homosexual I am troubled a lot by thoughts for those who are. Those who are family members, loving sons, good mothers…

  2. Sandi, perhaps taking homosexuality out of the equation will actually make it easier to understand.
    Perhaps someone had an event in their past (or perhaps they were just “born this way”) that caused them to be violent. A womanizer. I’m sure you would agree that this is wrong. This person could have been born with a tendency toward violence, or perhaps they were beaten as a child, and thereby learned violent behavior. That might make us understand the violence they exhibit better…but does that make their violence okay? No. They are still responsible for their actions and emotions, even if they have a tendency toward it.

    Homosexuality is similar (though, I realize this isn’t the best comparison). Whether someone has inborn tendencies or a “reason” doesn’t excuse the sin. It’s still wrong.

  3. Senior: Depends on one’s point of view. The end result for those who commit homosexual acts according to Romans 1 clearly show that the homosexuals themselves are the victims… victims of the wrath of a Holy God.

    Claiming an act is a-okie-dokey simply because it has no victims is a dubious morality at best — just as any moral system outside the Law of God is destined to become. Who decides what constitutes a victim? Does a victim have to be a person? Who decides what personhood is?

    Once you get outside the Law of God, you end up with absolute foolishness that says it’s illegal to kill certain animals yet that aborting babies is not only legal but is an acceptable alternative to an unwanted pregnancy.

    1. Rick

      Where are your comments about the law within this thread. The link is gone. I know it was from 2008. I’m doing a bible study on the issue of homosexuality and love this discussion.

  4. Senior, I realize that my analogy wasn’t the best. And the lack of (obvious) victims is one reason why I did comment that it wasn’t the best comparison. However I wasn’t trying to prove homosexuality wrong by that comparison, but rather show that though someone can be predisposed for something, whether from birth or due to some life-altering event they can still be in the wrong.
    I think that one of Sandi’s main hangups about the situation is “what if these people are just born this way?” or “these people are just being who they are, right?”

    Hopefully this all made sense. I probably shouldn’t try posting comments when I first wake up (and perhaps am not completely awake yet).

    1. I am a heterosexual male married 17 years. I used to have a spirit of perversion. Today we call it homosexuality or lesbianism. I imitated sexual acts with men. The reason I say imitate is because sex was meant for procreation. Saton is an imitator of God but he does it in a perverted way: gay imitation sex. Efemenint means a man acting like a woman or having female tendencies. Said person will not inherit the kingdom of God. Say what you will but to imitate sex with the same sex is a choice just as it is a choice for me to have sex with the opposite.

  5. Rick,

    “Victims of the wrath of a Holy God”? LOL!! The goblins will get you.

    “Claiming an act is a-okie-dokey simply because it has no victims is a dubious morality at best…Who decides what constitutes a victim? Does a victim have to be a person? Who decides what personhood is?”

    All of us, together, over time, work these things out. We have no choice. You yourself, Calvinist, admit that not all of us will hear “Gods” call. We have no choice but to frame an ethics, a morality, on the basis of this world.

    “Once you get outside the Law of God, you end up with absolute foolishness that says it’s illegal to kill certain animals yet that aborting babies is not only legal but is an acceptable alternative to an unwanted pregnancy.”

    First, a secular ethics is still a work in progress (probably always will be). You might argue that the Bible is a final product, but understanding it is still a work in progress.

    As for “absolute foolishness”. I guess it is all a matter of opinion as to what constitutes that.

    But I don’t guess it would take me too much time to come up with a list of absolute foolishness that is/was practiced by Christians.

    And you would argue, what?, that they had gone astray and were not following the Bible.

    And I would say, there’s the point.

    Even harder for the secularists, since we don’t have a Bible to point at. (not that having the Bible has done Christians a lot of good in this department).

  6. I watched a show called 30 days where a Mormon woman was sent to live with a gay couple who were fostering children. I figured she would come away from the experience with a different attitude towards them because she put a face to what she had been against. Well she stood her ground but she did come away from it a little wiser towards other people.
    I was rather intrigued myself while watching because I went back and forth with all these things concerning this topice because it has been on the forefront in everything it seems these days.
    Is it that we love the sin and hate the sinner?
    Or can we condemn others by something that they see as coming from God?
    I came to this conclusion

    All have sinned
    A person who says that they were homosexual from birth is telling the truth – not because God made them that way but because of sin. We are all born with a defiled sinful nature. We are all born with a predisposition to sin but many times our sin differs.

    To me (and I am pretty much saying what Rick already said) the only answer is Jesus Christ. I decided that I am not going to condemn others. I am not going to hate someone because they are a sinner headed for hell just like I was. I am going to do my best to let Jesus live through me and tell everyone He brings into my path about Him

    ….but don’t ask me what I think about your sin or what the Bible says about sin especially if you are living in it because you won’t like my answer

    Well thats my two cents

  7. An appeal to a biologically based orientation is not a moral argument. As two researchers who have worked hard to demonstrate congenital influences on homosexual development have admitted: “No clear conclusions about the morality of a behavior can be made from the mere fact of biological causation, because all behavior is biologically caused” (Brian S. Mustanski and J. Michael Bailey, “A therapist’s guide to the genetics of human sexual orientation,” Sexual and Relationship Therapy 18:4 [2003]: 432).

    Senior seems to think, maybe I am wrong, there are no objective Truths.
    If I am correct – that view leads ultimately to nihilism. A cursory look at history and one will find many folks embracing relativism because they think it leads to more tolerance and less persecution. In fact, a look at the very foundations of any authoritarian society and you will soon discover that objective truth is usually the first thing that is suppressed! What is right and wrong is no longer based on objective truths – it is the mere opinions of those in power.

    As far as the authority of the Biblical texts:

    “There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.”3
    “There is, I imagine, no body of literature in the world that has been exposed to the stringent analytical study that the four gospels have sustained for the past 200 years. This is not something to be regretted: it is something to be accepted with satisfaction. Scholars today who treat the gospels as credible historical documents do so in the full light of this analytical study, not by closing their minds to it.”4
    “Skepticism toward the reliability of Scripture seems to survive in many academic circles despite the repeated collapse of critical theories. One still finds a disposition to trust secular writers whose credentials in providing historical testimony are often less adequate than those of the biblical writers. Not long ago many scholars rejected the historicity of the patriarchal accounts, denied that writing existed in Moses’ day, and ascribed the Gospels and Epistles to second-century writers. But higher criticism has sustained some spectacular and even stunning reverses, mainly through the findings of archaeology. No longer is it held that the glories of King Solomon’s era are literary fabrication, that ‘Yahweh,’ the redemptive God of the Hebrews, was unknown before the eighth-century prophets, or that Ezra’s representations about the Babylonian captivity are fictional. Archaeologists have located the long-lost copper mines of Solomon’s time. Tablets discovered at Ebla near Aleppo confirm that names similar to those of the patriarchs were common among people who lived in Ebla shortly before the events recorded in the later chapters of Genesis took place.”5
    3 F.F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments, 3rd rev. ed. (Westwood NJ; Revell, 1963), p. 178.
    4 Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (Leicester, UK; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1987), p. ix.
    5 Carl F. H. Henry, “The Authority of the Bible,” in The Origin of the Bible, Philip Wesley Comfort, ed., (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1992), p. 17.

    Latest from Mark: The real American Idolaters

  8. Senior:

    But if the analogy is bad, then it does not support your claim.

    The analogy showed exactly what it was supposed to show; rarely are analogies perfect beyond their given purpose.

    LOL!! The goblins will get you.

    If there is no holy God who is an executor of perfect justice, then there is no justice and any attempt at it is vain and fleeting. As stated before by me (here and on the Hall) and by Mark above, where there are no absolutes, nihilism is all in all — we’re all just animals vainly hoping that somehow this life matters, destined to one day, if the species survives, to be engulfed by the dying sun.

    Also, I find it interesting that objectors to existence of justice (and the then necessary existence of an executor of that judgment) relate the concept to various absurdities… invisible pink unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, or in this case, goblins.

    All of us, together, over time, work these things out. We have no choice. You yourself, Calvinist, admit that not all of us will hear “Gods” call. We have no choice but to frame an ethics, a morality, on the basis of this world.

    I myself, Calvinist, believe that every man is responsible to the Law of God and most specifically the call of the Gospel. That most reject it simply confirms what the Scriptures say, and for those who claim “I’m not elect, so I can’t believe,” I can only say, “You won’t know for sure until you die; today you have a choice, believe.”

    No denying that those without God stand upon shifting sands. Social morality must change to fit whatever trends are currently popular, just as you point out regarding secular morality.

    You might argue that the Bible is a final product, but understanding it is still a work in progress.

    I do argue that, certainly, and every time earlier manuscripts of the Scriptures are found, they concur with what we have today. (Yet people continue to say the Bible has been repeatedly changed to fit various people’s whims. I won’t deny certain translations of the Bible are done with extreme bias — the Jehovah’s Witnesses depend on their own version, for instance — but there’s a long line of reliable translations in many languages… But I digress.)

    Yes, understanding the Bible is an ongoing process; and even if someone like Charles Spurgeon or John Knox had such great insights into the Bible, even though they are correct, it may take me a great time to come to the same determinations, not because I’m slow of learning, but because the Bible is much more than a text book of facts which can just be memorized, it is in a sense alive and life-changing and so much of what it teaches is directly tied to how mature a believer a person is.

    It’s no secret that seven years ago I hated Calvinism, hated every version of the Bible other than the King James, hated contemporary music, and so on. In my spiritual youth, I clung to a few easily memorized Scriptures and misapplied them to my life. As I grew in understanding of the Bible, both my beliefs and my life have been refined in the process. But such sanctification is always toward a goal, that of conformity to the image of God as revealed in His Word.

    Secular morality continues to evolve as well, but it’s path is as a ship without a header. Who knows where it’ll end up.

    But I don’t guess it would take me too much time to come up with a list of absolute foolishness that is/was practiced by Christians.

    You’d have to define “foolishness” first, and without any set of absolutes, just how does one do that and expect the judgment to hold fast?

    It’s no secret many who have taken the name of Christ have committed great atrocities. Ditto just about any religion or worldview out there.

    Still, thanks to Christians, untold millions have been fed, housed, and tended to… The printing press was invented, making Gutenberg not only the most influential person of the past millennium, but utterly revolutionizing the way mankind communicates. The West was freed from the idea of the divine right of kings thanks to the secularization by John Locke of the works of Samuel Rutherford. Christians gave us ivy league universities. Christians gave us hospitals and orphanages and free clinics and so on.

    Sure, perhaps someone else may have stepped up to do many of those things, but people like to claim the atrocities of Christians without giving “equal time” to all the benefit done in Christ’s name. It just seems a little dishonest to me.

  9. Clint: “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is what the Christian should live by. Indeed, everything we do ought to be in love to others, and that love is first and foremost to warn of the judgment to come; how much love can we claim to have for people if we don’t tell them that unless they repent, they shall likewise perish? I like what Jude said in verse 23… “hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Sin of any kind is despicable and damnable; if we are not loving sinners by telling them the truth, we are by default, I think, hating them.

  10. Well, I just installed Thesis as my blog template and driven myself crazy trying to tweak it (not through yet but giving up for the night.) I went to the Thesis forums, found some of your advice and then found your blog …

    and then found this post. I work for Exodus which is a 33 year old ministry helping men and women with unwanted same sex attraction.

    :)

    Glad I found your blog.

  11. Randy: Welcome to Kingdom Geek, Randy, glad to have you! Thanks for the comment. Awesome to meet someone of similar belief through Thesis. I get a lot of traffic from the Thesis forums; I doubt most people aren’t as appreciative of my conservative biblicism as you are. In any event, keep up the good work with Exodus. I spent a few moments over at your blog; I like what I see and will be subscribing.

  12. @Rick
    I have been reading through your blog for some time, really fascinated with your point of view and message. I am what I affectionately call a lapsed catholic, but more importantly a Red Letter Christian. I have been blessed to know Jesus and call Him my lord and savior. I think it’s important that you know that.

    There was a couple of points that I think we both (you and I) need to look up, but I believe that Leviticus used the word abomination a whole bunch of times. One of them in particular put’s shrimp and lobster as a food source out of the question. Leviticus 11:9-12 uses the word abomination. In fact, Leviticus is full of acts and situations that are considered “abominations”. Some, like that small acne scar on your cheek, would restrict you from praying on the temple steps, or in today’s world in front of the altar, because a mark of the face was considered an abomination (might be Deuteronomy on that one, got to double check)

    But my point is this, though considered a sin, and I’m not convinced on the authority of all books in the Bible (I don’t think they are all scripture), it seems to be TOO much of an issue.

    It’s just not. We have to wake up as Christians and Humans and see that these debates and fixations are taking us AWAY from the word of Jesus Christ. His message was never about abominations or women being submissive, or drunkards, or debasers, but about love of God, love of thy Neighbor, and love of the sinner. His rebellion of faith was never about any of this, so why do we, the people of the book (look that one up) have to sit here and throw stones again and again and again, and even start a ministry about it. Jesus himself put a stop to throwing stones. He was a man without fear, so why do we still fear these issues?

    All I know is that I thank God that the day I almost died from a severe trauma and blood loss in a bus accident, He sent me a man that saved my live, dressed my wounds, told me to think of my life and my wife and to hold on, while he got me into an ambulance and raced me to the hospital. Yup, the man was gay (why else would I tell this story. LOL)

    God love you Rick, thank you for being a person of Faith. Just remember, God is the maker of the World and the Universe. He created the Mountains, the Oceans, the Sky, the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Venus, the Galaxy, Stars, Red Dwarf Stars, Black Holes, White Holes, Math, Science and Oreo Cookies. Do you really think a few words in a book got His mind pegged?

  13. Robert: Just a heads up that the King James Version is a pretty outdated version that could probably be ignored entirely and we’d be just fine. It renders a couple of different words as “abomination” in Leviticus. One of those words is פּגּוּל, which means “unclean” or “a foul thing.” Another, the one used in the Leviticus 9 passage you mentioned, is שׁקץ, which means “filth” or “idolatrous.”

    Still another, תּועבה, actually means “abomination” outside of the “clean vs. unclean” realm of the others above, and that is the word used in the passages of Leviticus pertaining to homosexual acts.

    The Law of Moses — which Jesus Christ Himself upheld and extolled — calls homosexuality an abomination. This is over and above what is leveled against such as eating unclean foods. A good translation knows the differences.

    I appreciate your story about your life being saved by a homosexual, but be careful not to let that influence your beliefs. Moses may have led the Israelites, but he was still a murderer. King David may have been a man after God’s own heart, but he was still an adulteress murderer. Judas Iscariot may have been hand-picked before the foundation of the world to be one of Christ’s disciples, to be one of His circle of friends, but he was still a devil incarnate.

    Jesus Christ indeed was a man of love, but He was a man of love who hated sin and hated to see people remain in it. “Go, and sin no more,” was His call, and one day He will have slain before Him all those who reject His rule. That doesn’t sound like a God who ignores the Old Testament to me.

    (Likewise, it is illogical to consider the Gospels to be considered Scripture without considering the entirety of the Old Testament to be Scriptures first — the Gospels testify of a God, Jesus Christ, who believed the Old Testament, the Law & the prophets — to be steadfast Scriptures which will not pass away. To dismiss certain of the Old Testament is to make Jesus into a fallible man who is certainly unable to be trusted to save anyone, much less himself.)

  14. God love you Rick.

    But we are going to stay at ends with this. Though you feel it’s your calling to tell me what scripture really means, I’ve been down this path more times than can be counted my friend. We should talk again about it in 20 years.

    I’m incredibly impressed with your knowledge of the Bible. The translation you mention is but one, and of course uses the accepted format as it’s source. It’s one ministries version, no matter how honorable that ministry is. But bless you and bless them nonetheless.

    When asked which of the commandments where the most important, Jesus didn’t even come close to citing what where handed down by Moses.

    I would love to discuss this further. It’s refreshing to speak to a young man so prepared. Be well.

  15. Robert: The important commandments Jesus cited actually *did* come from Moses. Likewise, just because they are the most important doesn’t mean everything else Moses was told by God was suitable to be disregarded.

    I’m curious how you can be sure of anything regarding Jesus if you have trouble trusting translations.

  16. Robert,
    Glad to hear someone else has agreed to disagree with Rick. I have expressed to him before that I feel his views will grow older and softer with him.

    Richard, Jr.,
    Really, “He will have slain before Him all those who reject His rule. ” Doesn’t sound like love to me :)

  17. @Rick.
    You are right. Jesus did cite “Love they neighbor as yourself” from Leviticus 19:18
    “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
    However, the Hebrew teachers and Rabbi’s believed this to be something completely different, as in only love your own people,
    Jesus clarified “who is my neighbor” with the story of the Good Samaritan. As I said before, not even close to what the Wise of the time thought it meant.
    It leads you to wonder what else Jesus would have clarified?
    Would he clarify Leviticus 20 or 21 as well?
    I’m curious how you can be sure of anything regarding Jesus if you have trouble trusting translations.
    You are right. It’s difficult to be sure of exactly what Jesus said, only what we think he said based on interpretations of the men who know him. Luckily, Jesus is in history. Not just religious history, but cited again and again in Roman legal history. The Republic was a VERY modern society in the sense of legal mumbo jumbo, and that included forms, reports, INTERROGATIONS, and a whole bunch of other legal documents. So, we have some pretty rock solid proof on what He said, and how He acted, and all of it was pretty consistent with what is said in the Bible.
    So, where Leviticus says that a prostitute must surely be put to death, and Jesus saves a prostitutes life, teaches her mercy, and to sin no more, there is a pretty wide divide.
    Again and again Jesus had to teach us to break with what people thought they knew of the Lord.
    I don’t disregard the what Moses was told by God, but I do think that Jesus, God in the Flesh, made some adjustments.
    Bless you Rick.
    @Sandi. Thank you for your statement. But I know from reading this blog that Rick is sincere in his love for God and His teachings. Maybe you are right, with age comes clarity, and from the fire of youth comes hope.

  18. Rick, I really appreciate your treatment of this subject and even more your handling of the objections that have been posted here. I am afraid that I am often not as patient or as gracious. I believe that Senior stated that homosexual acts between consenting adults have no victim or hurt no one. Your answer to this was correct. I would also like to add to this.

    My brother is a homosexual. He was married to a wonderful woman, but came to the conclusion that he could no longer “live a lie” by denying his homosexuality. He divorced his wife and ripped her out of our family, where she was dearly-loved. The damage that this did to her was immeasurable. The pain that this created for my family was unbelievable. My nephew barely remembers her anymore, and my niece has no recollection of who she is.

    On top of that, my family is subjected to the constant reminder that a loved and valued member of the family is on a path to destruction. Our family times are not as safe as they once were because of this blatant sin.

    And beyond all of that, my brother still feels the alienation that his sin has created. He has lost the closeness of his family that he so desires to have – not because we have stopped loving him or expressing our love to him, but because light and darkness can’t dwell in the same place, and we all feel that distance.

    Based on my personal experience, it seems a bit cavalier to suggest that there are no victims between consenting adults. The damage to my family has been devastating.

    Latest from Jonathan: Biblical Worldview

  19. Sandi:

    I have expressed to him before that I feel his views will grow older and softer with him.

    It’s been seven years now since Christ opened my eyes, and I’ve only grown more strongly devoted to Him & His Word. The more I learn, the more I believe.

    For my beliefs to soften with age would require my pride in myself outweighing my belief in the Scriptures. It would take a mountain of audacity on my part to think that I can pick and choose what I want from the Scriptures or depart from them entirely — if I’m ever that prideful, I hope my wife slaps me. Hard.

    Really, “He will have slain before Him all those who reject His rule. ” Doesn’t sound like love to me :)

    Biblical love demands justice; and because true love is so intimately tied to God’s character, it stands to reason then that those who oppose God are to receive its opposite. I believe I’m standing well within the grounds set by such as the Psalms, so far as that is concerned.

    But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’” Luke 19:27

    That’s the concluding line of a parable, and it’s possible that it had its fulfillment when Jerusalem was destroyed, resulting in the death of many, many Jews, who had set themselves up as Christ’s enemies when they rejected Him as Messiah and had Him executed.

    Or it’s possible that at a point in time in the future, those who reject Christ will be slain before Him. For all I know — and this doesn’t seem to be a common idea at all in the resources I’m looking at — this refers to the everlasting destruction of the wicked in Hell.

  20. Robert:

    Would he clarify Leviticus 20 or 21 as well?

    That He did not would seem to indicate that there wasn’t an issue with how it was being interpreted. That’s rather bold of you to seek to put words into His mouth, though. I’m not sure that’s a road anyone should be comfortable going down. (Those who do come out of it quoting ridiculous things like “What Would Jesus Do?” or “What Would Jesus Drive?” or “Jesus Loves Porn Stars” — all things which are found in today’s churchianity.)

    So, where Leviticus says that a prostitute must surely be put to death, and Jesus saves a prostitutes life, teaches her mercy, and to sin no more, there is a pretty wide divide.

    Jesus exercised mercy on some, absolutely. On others, though, He withheld mercy, and in an angry rage, overturned tables and cast people out with a whip. Jesus Christ the Judge is more than capable of forgiving offenses committed against Him — we are in no position to do so. We may only forgive offenses committed against us, and sometimes I wonder just what an offense against me would be. I know my own depravity and that before God I deserve a place in Hell — what more could man do to me that I didn’t already have coming to me? That God through Christ has forgiven me by grace through faith, well, it makes any offenses against me done by men fairly inconsequential in the scheme of things.

    I don’t disregard the what Moses was told by God, but I do think that Jesus, God in the Flesh, made some adjustments.

    I don’t really even think He adjusted anything; He simply returned the people — those with ears to hear, anyway — to a right understanding. Mankind being the sinful mess that it is, we’re still having trouble with interpretations. I find the safest path to tread is the path which stays as close as possible to the plain readings of the Scriptures. The faith that Jesus expressed in the Scriptures I cannot ignore — ditto Paul, Peter, Steven, the prophets, and so on.

  21. Rick,
    I am not at all sugsesting that you will no longer believe in God. I am expressing that I feel your views will grow in time-with you. Just look at the things that you believed were a must in the past (women must wear dresses, only certain movies) and how those views have changed as you have grown older and wiser.

    This is why I don’t post more often. Private discussions are better for me.

  22. Jonathan: Thanks for sharing that, brother. I’ll certainly pray for you & your family, that Christ will bring reconciliation if it is His will.

    Based on my personal experience, it seems a bit cavalier to suggest that there are no victims between consenting adults. The damage to my family has been devastating.

    Sadly, Senior and others may suggest that there is only this damage & devastation because of our beliefs concerning homosexuality — not because of the homosexual’s.

    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

  23. Sandi: Doesn’t get any more private than a blog’s comments on the Internet. :P

    Although it should be noted that my views have grown more closely to Scriptures not away from them. Whereas I used to accept the teachings of friends, pastor, and authors without much questioning, now I pretty much reject whatever doesn’t mesh with the Scriptures. I don’t know the Scriptures entirely nor do I understand everything therein yet, so it is in those areas that I’ll continue to grow.

  24. And again I say, may God bless you Rick.

    Your faith is yours, and the purity of faith you feel is something to be proud of, and to see it in you makes me proud and happy that someone can be genuine in their convictions and genuine to their faith.

    I’m sorry that I’ve drawn your blog post about your views on homosexuality away from this initial conversation. This is your blog, and your faith comes from the personal relationship that you have with God. Though our opinions might be different, all I can say is that I have a faith in God and Jesus because of my personal relationship with God that brings me happiness as well as peace of heart and mind that there is a God that loves me enough to be a light in my life, and to show me the way to His kingdom.

    Your growth toward scripture is a personal one, and that I cannot deny. Where you used to accept what was handed to you, you now look to with your own eye to scripture, and a true heart cannot be denied.

    I’m sorry if you think I’m being bold enough to put words into God’s mouth. There are much more learned men and women than I who are closer to the scriptures than I am, and might make the claim of knowing EXACTLY what he meant. I can’t, and in getting closer to scripture yourself, it looks like you’re on the path of learning God in many more ways yourself.

    If God sent a homosexual man to save me, it’s obvious that he chose what that which was closest at hand to do his bidding. But you yourself said that Mose and David where murders, David a murdering
    adulterer. Yet STILL these are the men that God sent to lead his people. As sinners, we all have a chance to redeem ourselves, and as sinners, somehow God still finds in us a quality worth redeeming. Maybe I can dare to say that in each of us, even in the sinners, he finds something to love?

    Galatians 3:28
    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    And in this big ol crazy world, I a Cuban somewhat Catholic Red Line Christian can seek to find another man of faith online, and have honest discourse with him. I don’t think the differences between us are walls or things that will keep us from heaven. I like to think that our differences are the steps we take to get closer together.

    It’s your blog bro. It’s just like that joke about pizza. “Who gets that last slice of pizza? They guy who paid the bill.”

    Much respect.

  25. Robert: I can respect that you claim to have a relationship with God based on happiness and such. However, I disagree that is what a relationship with God is based on; Jesus said that we must worship in spirit & truth, not in emotion or experience. The “truth” He referred to is the Scriptures — the sure word of God in written form.

    And the Scriptures from start to finish testify that homosexuality is a sin.

    Galatians 3:28 says that we are all one “in Christ Jesus”; elsewhere the Scriptures make it clear that unrepentant sinners are not in Christ and Christ said Himself that if we are not for Him then we are against Him. And if you’re quoting Paul as Scripture, then I urge you not to ignore his words in Romans 1 or these words:

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9–10

  26. No, Rick, you’ve got me pegged wrong.
    My faith is based on the good and the bad. Wars happen, death happens, bad things happen to good people, and good things happen for the bad.

    The truth is that the world is a big, dangerous, messed up place where disease takes innocent children, and good fathers die from not enough medicine, because an insurance company didn’t approve it.

    Bad men prosper, good men loose it all. But somehow, you kneel and pray, and tell God that you’re sorry for the sins you’ve committed.

    When you’re on the floor, unable to breathe because of a ripped open gut, praying that you see your family just one more time, then you might understand my faith.

    When you know the loneliness and despair of a child in a dirty, third world country hut, dying alone from some alien and horrendous disease, who only learned the Lord’s Prayer, but prays it nonetheless, you might know my faith.

    So if I find some happiness in faith, I think it’s well deserved. So the scriptures say it’s sin. Your right, they do. But we are all sinners, the scripture says that as well.

    Thanks for pointing out the weakness in my faith.

  27. Robert: I understand faith in weakness. Asthma almost claimed my life in ’99.

    And you’re right, the world is a bad, terrible place. As a friend of mine is apt to point out: It’s jacked up. Even that’s an understatement. We are all sinners, and we all deserve the worst punishments imaginable.

    It is recognition of that which drives me to Christ — and conversely it is only by His grace that I even recognize my depravity. Apart from Him, I would love darkness rather than light just as everyone else who has not believed in His name.

    Experience and emotion are a big part of life — no doubt about it. My first several years as a disciple were spent following emotion. Out of emotion I “surrendered” to preach. Out of emotion, blah blah blah. As I matured, I realized that every believer is called to preach the Gospel to the nations. My experiences were replaced with a more complete knowledge of the Word.

    May your experiences, your faith by continually sanctified by the Word, as I hope mine continually are.

    And may we join the saints (and likely Jesus Himself) in raising our voices with the words of God’s song book:

    The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
    the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
    8the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
    the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
    9the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
    the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether. Psalm 19:7–10

  28. Rick,

    Thank you for quoting Psalm 19 for me, because I’ve had a question bugging me for a long time.

    The Psalmist in Psalm 19 states, “The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.”

    I don’t know exactly what translation you used, but there are two points I want to explore.

    1. The Law of the Lord is perfect, according to David. That means it is whole, complete, without need of improvement. The Hebraic word is “tamiym” which denotes what I just said. There is nothing wrong with the Law of the Lord.

    Is the Law to which David refers the Law of Moses? One can only assume it is, since it is almost inconceivable David knew of any other Law of the Lord.

    If, indeed, David is referring to the Law of Moses, and it being perfect, then why did we need a new Law?

    In Hebrews 7:18, the author says, “There is a putting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness.”

    The author is speaking of the Law of Moses, the same Law that David declared to be “perfect,” without need of improvement.

    How can the Law of Moses be both “perfect” and “weak and useless”?

    2. David says the Law of the Lord is perfect because it “revives” the soul. The Hebraic word is “shuwb” which means, “to return, to turn back.” So really, David is saying, “The Law of the Lord is perfect, turning back the soul.”

    Because the Law of the Lord turns back, brings back, restores, revives the soul, it is perfect.

    But the entire New Testament disagrees with this one statement. Again, Hebrews says, “For the Law made nothing perfect” (7:19). Indeed, Paul says, “For if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

    If souls can be revived, brought back to God, through the Law, what point was there in sending Christ?

    So which is it? Is the Law of God perfect, or isn’t it?

    If David is right, then Christ died needlessly. If Paul is right, then Christians have canonized a heresy (in that they accept the Old Testament as true and what not).

    ~~~

    You also opened another topic which I want to explore, which is more relevant to your post on homosexuality.

    I can’t remember where exactly, but there is a place in one of Paul’s letters where he admits that some things he teaches are not things Christ has taught him, but that he feels are beneficial to the Church.

    How do we know his views on homosexuality are views held by God? Is it possible he could just be teaching something he feels would benefit the church, however much they lack Divine authority?

    ~~~

    My opinion won’t change either way, but I’m curious to see what you believe.

  29. Walt Dickinson: Hey, Justin… Good questions. Regarding the Law, I would like that conversation moved to the Fellowship Hall, if you don’t mind. I already reposted your comment there. It’d be easy for this thread of discussion to be wholly replaced by discussion about the Law, and I’d prefer to keep the thread on-topic if at all possible. :)

    I can’t remember where exactly, but there is a place in one of Paul’s letters where he admits that some things he teaches are not things Christ has taught him, but that he feels are beneficial to the Church.

    You’re referring to the things Paul taught on marriage. Keep in mind that even those passages which are not explicitly labeled “Thus says the Lord” are Scripture. Paul’s teachings on marriage are binding — he is an apostle and thus has great authority within the church. Likewise, that God would enscripturate the marriage teachings prove that they are compatible with not only Christ’s teachings but God’s will.

    Note that Paul did not preface anything regarding homosexuality in that manner, so there’s no cause to even think that “Well, maybe it doesn’t count…”

    Once you start rejecting certain portions of Scripture, not only are you risking removing yourself from the Lamb’s Book of Life, you reveal your idolatry — if the Scripture’s revelation of God does not wholly describe who you worship, there’s something wrong, and tragically so.

  30. Rick, thanks for such a thorough and faithful exegesis! I really appreciate how you have weighed both Old and New Testament and how any emotions that you’ve shared are not ones of disgust, but ones of concern for the lives of others.

    Walt, I posted my thoughts about the law on the forum.

    As for the second, I think it might be 1 Cor 7:12 that Walt is referring to.

    Rick, you’re right, Paul is an apostle, authorised by Christ, through the Holy Spirit, to teach the word of God. I also agree about not picking and choosing scripture.

    When looking at 1 Cor 7:12, it’s important to look back at verse 10 and see what he’s saying. I think that he’s saying, “look, here are some things you need to hear that Jesus himself already spoke about”. We can see he spoke about them in the Sermon on the Mount and he probably spoke about it at other times. Then in verse 12 he says “but to this group of people that Jesus didn’t already address, I’m telling you this as his spokesman”. I don’t think Paul means that his opinions are less important, and in fact they’re not because he is teaching what God has commissioned him to.

  31. kristarella: You’re absolutely right, kristarella! As an apostle of Christ, Paul (and the other apostles) had the authority to speak on His behalf. Just as an ambassador for a nation may speak for a nation, so to did the apostles (of which there are an estimated fifteen mentioned in the Bible) have the authority to speak on behalf of Christ. As Jesus said, they were given the ability to bind & loose on Earth, and that their decisions would be mirrored in Heaven.

    Paul didn’t teach some new doctrine in Romans 1 when he decreed the ungodliness of homosexuality; rather, he did what every follower of Christ ought to do: hearken unto the Old Testament, just as Christ did. Paul extrapolates and further explains why homosexuality is such a grievous sin — an abomination, in Leviticus’ words.

    Homosexuality, as explained by Paul, is a sin which stems from an utter and complete rejection of God as Creator. Whereas God created as male & female so that two flesh may be as one (as Jesus also taught without apology), homosexuality rejects that Creation decree and emphasizes the relationship of two males or two females. It is idolatry, for it elevates the reasoning of man above the decree of God. There are few sins, if any, which are greater than idolatry — especially brazen idolatry done despite knowledge of the true God, as the Israelites did at Sinai — which explains God’s intense punishment upon Sodom.

    The angels in Genesis 6 went after strange flesh, and they are being held to this day in Tartarus, awaiting judgment (according to Peter & Jude); homosexuality entails going after “strange flesh” as well.

    And any attempt to interpret the Scriptures any other way is an exercise in wresting the Word of God to ones own destruction.

    Thanks for the comment, kristarella, and you posted on the Hall? *off to check that now*

  32. It is idolatry, for it elevates the reasoning of man above the decree of God. There are few sins, if any, which are greater than idolatry…

    Arguably all sins put the reasoning of man before the decree of God. We convince ourselves that it’s ok, that it doesn’t matter, or even that it’s good.

    If you class homosexuality as idolatry, does that make it similar to greed, jealousy, covetousness? All of which worship things other than God, the created rather than the creator.

  33. I think what Kristarella is saying shows why it is easy to reduce all of the commandments to two: love the Lord thy God with all thy heart mind soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Disobedience to God’s command, sin, is essentially idolatry. Is it any wonder then that all sin deserves punishment in hell?

    Latest from Jonathan: Regarding Russia’s Blitzkrieg In Georgia

  34. Jonathan & kristarella: You two are both right: All sins are essentially idolatry — the putting of ourselves or objects in the place of Yahweh — and virtually all of them are motivated by pride — we know better than Yahweh.

    In fact, near the close of Romans 1, I believe, Paul links homosexuality with myriad other sins.

    For whatever reason, though, homosexuality is in a class to itself — in Leviticus, it’s the only sin branded as abominable. I suppose you could link it directly with the sin of “going after strange flesh”; man isn’t meant to lie with man any more than angel with human (Genesis 6; Jude 6, 7).

    When the angels went after strange flesh and pursued unnatural desires, only a few were saved from the whole Earth. When the citizens of Sodom and the surrounding areas did the same, only a handful of people were saved therefrom.

    Sexual purity is clearly of paramount importance to the Lord.

  35. Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 are two passages used by many to condemn homesexuality. You are wrong in stating the “abomination” is only used a couple times in the bilble. The word used is to’evah. The biblical meaning of to’evah, a Hebrew word, is used to signify ritual uncleanness and is used quite a number of times in the Mosaic Code — but is instead tranlated as “unclean” when it comes to such things as eating shrimp and shellfish. Despite being the same word it is translated quite differently only when applied to homosexuality.

    Briefly, the Mosaic Code, as the law is called, is composed of 613 (that’s right! 613!) laws that the Jewish people were expected to follow. It permitted slavery yet punished the eating of shrimp and pork. It was intended to separate the religious practices of the Jewish people from the religious practices of the other peoples living around them.

    The upshot today is that “Christians are free to wear tattoos, eat shrimp, pork or rare meat, wear polyester-cotton blends, seed their lawns with a grass mixture, and get their hair cut. But homosexuality is somehow taboo. We have been unable to find any logical explanation that would justify conservative Christians concentrating so much on these two laws against homosexuality while abandoning most of the rest.” In other words, out of the 613 Mosaic laws, Christians choose to ignore 611 of them (approximately) and to prosecute just two of them. As you’ll see below, you either observe all of them or you do not but you do not get to pick and choose among them.

  36. But if you do decide that Leviticus has weight in this day and age then don’t conveniently overlook the rest of the Mosaic Law — because it’s all or nothing. You don’t get to pick and choose the parts of the Levitical scripture you want to keep. Just to point out a few other places where the death penalty applies in the Mosaic Law …

    * Lev 20:9 — Any person who curses his/her parents.

    * Lev 20:10 – Adulterers … both man and woman. Unless, of course the woman is a slave and then it’s ok (Lev 19:20).

    * Lev 20:15 – For beastiality. (Frankly that’s just plain disgusting! Yuuuck! … Though somehow if marriage for gay people is allowed it seems that marriage with animals must also be allowed. I don’t understand why the religious right seems to think they have to approve both if they allow the one. But then again I’m just a simple guy on the street.)

    * Lev 20 (all over) – For incest in any form … and it includes both partners.

    * Lev 20:27 – Mediums, spiritists, sooth-sayers and palm readers.

    * Lev 21:9 – The daughter of a priest if she has sex outside of marriage. (I don’t know what is supposed to happen to the son of a priest.)

    * Lev 24:16 – Anyone who uses God’s name in a curse.

    * Deut 21: 18-21 – Any and all rebellious children.

    The first two items in the list and the last two items in the list should just about wipe out most of America. Don’t you think?

  37. It is interesting that in Acts 9:7-11 the apostle Peter makes the case that the Law should no longer be a yoke around the neck of any believer in Christ. “And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”

    There is another, bigger, issue here. If someone claims to be a believer in Christ than there is another principle in play and that’s simply the fact that as believers in Christ we are no longer under Mosaic law.

    Romans 3 says that none are righteous in themselves but that, as believers in Christ, we are set apart from the law through faith in Christ so that we are no longer judged by the law. Verses 19 & 20 state that those who judge by the law will in turn be judged the same way. If one is to use the law in Leviticus as a way to judge others than one must be careful themselves to keep ALL the law themselves. In breaking even one facet of the law you break it all. In breaking even one tenet of the law you doom yourself and prove once again that human efforts are fragile and prone to failure. James 2:10 repeats the same theme, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one, he has become guilty of all.”

    Every Christian I’ve questioned about this has stated that the Mosaic law doesn’t apply anymore. Yet in the next breath they quote Leviticus to prove that homosexuality is wrong. Hello!?! Did you not hear what you just said? Do you not understand the implications of the law in that if you follow it you must follow ALL of it? There is no choosing of the part you want and the part you don’t want. So which part of the law can one choose to keep, which part can be discarded? It’s all or none if you are to use it for judgement.

    Even Jesus had a comment about that issue, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive.” (Matthew 7:1-2)

  38. Paul, in Galatians 3:1-3 says “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” The Mosaic Law is about human effort. The Gospel is about faith. So, as a believer in Christ, why are you going backward? Paul is telling the people to whom he’s writing that their attitude makes no sense.

    Ok, so we’re not under the law anymore, does that give us license to sin? Paul says “Heavens no!”. Faith is not a license to sin more. But the laws of Genesis, Leviticus and Deuteronomy concern the religious purity for the people of Israel that was appropriate before Christ. If most people are honest they’ll admit they don’t keep the Law anymore either … except as a way to make a point about something in which one doesn’t believe. In order to make that point one must accept and follow ALL of it because the law cannot be picked over and the parts chosen that one wants to keep or not keep.

    The word used as “abomination” in Leviticus is to’evah (or to’ebah)… the same word used for eating shrimp or pork and a host of other things! To’evah means “religiously unclean”. I find it strange that the English translations of Leviticus and the other books of the law sometimes translate this word as “unclean” and at other times they render it as “abomination”. We’re using the same word so why the difference. Could the difference simply be the translator’s bias? … It’s just a thought … Is it possible?

    The same word is used by Paul in Romans 1 as well … though it is not translated that way in English. So Paul regards the practice as unclean and dishonorable but doesn’t say it is sinful (other than stating, when the verse is put into the context of the whole chapter, that using any sex in a religious practice or context is wrong). Paul, being Jewish and speaking to the Jewish community in Rome, declares it unclean so that he can capture the attention of that Jewish audience. Along the way though he turns, instead, to talk directly to the gentiles in the church there at Rome, and in Romans 14:14 he comes back to say “I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but to him who thinks anything is unclean, to him it is unclean.”

    So at first Paul uses the Mosaic code to make a point but then he comes back and states that the situation is changed … “in the Lord Jesus”.

    There are things that are very clearly spelled out in many places in Paul’s writings but, in many instances, what makes a thing unclean? Not the law but our own feelings, belief or attitude about that thing. Therefore you should not engage in that activity. As a youngster, my parents prohibited us from seeing movies in the theater because they felt movies were wrong. They still do not see most movies today because of the same attitude. As long as they have that belief than, indeed, it is wrong for them to violate that and go to the movies. The principle applies even in small things such as this. Paul told us that the law was taken away but it was replaced with a better guidance system “in the Lord Jesus”.

    Unfortunately many Christians do not understand this because they have no idea what the bible really teaches. As one person once said as she spat the words into my face, “I don’t care what the bible says, I know what the minister said”. And therein lays the beginning of so many times that something done in the name of Christ has nothing to do with Christ at all.

  39. Don: That could have all been posted in a single comment… or better yet, in your own blog linking back to this page.

    In any event, you conveniently ignore the several New Testament citations of homosexuality being a sin, the fact that Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed by God prior to the giving of the Law at Sinai, and so on.

    Notice in Romans 1 that Paul isn’t simply equating homosexuality with ritual uncleanness; he’s stating rather emphatically that people who are committing homosexuality are doing so in willful disobedience to God, who in turn turns them over to their wickedness.

    There’s something a lot deeper there going on than a Jew eating pork, so to speak.

  40. I don’t have my own blog and it would not let me post it all in one or even two posts here so I broke it up.

    I didn’t ignore those other things at all. There just was not enough time or room to post more. And, yes, look at the original language in Romans 1 and you will see that Paul is equating it with ritual uncleanness … however, the translations don’t reflect that fact. It is the same with the extensive use of to’evah in Leviticus which is translated “unclean” everywhere except a couple instances.

    If you delve into the original language on Sodom and Gomorrah … and also read ALL the other passages that mention Sodom than it’s very plain to see that it was an entirely different issue for which God destroyed Sodom. Want me to post more here or would you rather I email it to you?? I don’t have your email so let me know what you want.

  41. Don: The mention of Sodom by Peter and Jude refer to the men of Sodom going after strange flesh. That’s the same reason the angels of Genesis 6 were condemned. “Strange flesh” for a man is another man.

    “Homosexuality” is listed as sin twice twice in the New Testament.

    If you believe the translators are wrong and that you are privy to knowledge they aren’t, then your issue is with them, not with me.

    Also, you keep referring to the Hebrew word “to’evah.” Irrelevant. The word translated “abomination” referring to homosexuality is unique. See this comment I previously made here.

  42. Rick,
    You ignore all the other scriptures about sodom and choose one that you also take out of context. Neither of us is going to convince the other when that sort of thing happens.

    Take care.

  43. I am not a religious person… but I am quite spiritual and I believe in a supreme being (God). However, I take lightly, the man made scripture as man has a way of manipulating. I have two children and quite often they try to get thier way with “mama said”. One will believe the other because it it thought to come from a reliable source when, in actuality, it is not true but it allows their desires to be lived out. I don’t think that God destroyed that city for reasons not indicated because if they told everthing that Sodom and Gomorrah did, it would disprove their statement that God detested gays. He loves us all. Nothing in my being forces me to be heterosexual and I cannot believe that people choose to be gay anymore than I choose to be black. Again, we were once looked at as posessions, livestock! It’s all in who you get your information from. Don’t agree…just think about it!

  44. If I think about it, and if I concede that the Scriptures are wrong about homosexuality, then I must also concede that they could be wrong about murder, kidnapping, and any other sins. Ultimately, once you remove the absolute authority of the Scriptures, then there is no real basis for anything to be a sin.

    It is better to trust in God than in man.

  45. a concession to one scripture doesn’t refute everything written, but you do have to look at the possibility of the information not being true. As I mentioned previously, just because my daughter lied to my son doesn’t mean that everything that comes from her mouth is false. And one of the other postings above indicated that Paul said that everything didn’t come to him from God. So, how do we determine what actually did. I do serve a higher being and I must believe that that being is a loving and forgiving , good and made us all in his image.
    How do you know that the lord isn’t talking to me??? because it goes against what “he told” the people that wrote the bible? How many books were written that may support my thought that weren’t written? Maybe none, but who knows. we have the truth that we were meant to have and then i ask, what makes us any different from the followers of Koresh or Jim Jones if we close our minds or hearts?

  46. All Scriptures were breathed-out by God; every last bit of it is God’s Word. There’s no biblical basis to doubt anything therein. None of the portions on homosexuality are part of Paul’s “from me, not the Lord” passages (which are few and far between but are still equally inspired); in fact, the teachings on homosexuality can be found in the writings of Moses, Paul, Jude, and Peter. When a teaching is endorsed by the Law-giver and multiple apostles, perhaps we should pay attention to it?

    Also, one of the prophets — Isaiah, I think — teaches that if any voice (even a voice from Heaven) were to contradict the Scriptures, we are to stick with the Scriptures. Even God Himself cannot contradict His own word, so if you’re hearing voices that tell you differently, then I’m sorry, but I have to question the divinity of such a voice.

  47. You will probably never agree with the possibility of these people being wrong about anything. But, I will respect that and I appreciate you taking the time to correspond with me. God cannot contradict his own word but him being the maker of all can change his mind and there’s nothing any of us could do about it. But to ignore it and do what we want would be idoltry. And as for the voices that may be telling me different why are those not the true voice? Because they’re not written? I’m sure there were other people back then that felt this way but because it contradicted what the majority wanted for the world, their writings were unpublished. Again, thank you for your responses and may God bless.

  48. When people trust voices, who is to say which is right? People hear voices which tell them that they are the one true Jesus. People hear voices that tell them that they must take a loaded gun into the school. People hear voices that tell them to go to war. People hear voices that tell them to be pacifists.

    One of the purposes of the Scriptures was to have a “more sure foundation” — a basis upon which to judge the prophets, the priests, the kings, the pastors, the apostles, the tongues-speakers.

    It is a ruler that God has given to us by which every other teaching may be measured. Without the Scriptures, confusion would reign and there would be no absolutes. (This is, of course, what atheists want but refuse to publicize; in a humanist worldview, all is meaningless — murdering a thousand orphans has the same net affect on the universe as feeding a thousand malnourished children.)

  49. Let me pose a question to the people who are gay. Why is it that you want to know so badly if God does or does not love you? There should be no question. Yes, he loves each and every person and he has your salvation in his hand to give. He didn’t say I love the adulterous but the one that is gay, leave him out of the kingdom. We have all missed it. Jesus is the mark. Do you think all the gay people during the early church who had received Christ all of a sudden stopped being gay? Being saved is a condition of our spirit and souls, but the body will return to the ground. If you are gay, don’t stop your relationship with God or refuse to persue God just because you swing the other way. If your relationship with God flourishes then don’t worry about it. Remember, Paul had a thorn in his flesh. We don’t know what that was but we all have our own issues with our physical fleshly bodies that crave all different things. We are spirits in physical cars that get us around on earth. Some cars run off other fuels if you get my drift. Love one another. The only issue that people need to be concerned with is not what God likes or dislikes in regards to sin but the fact the he likes us. Hello, he likes us. He doesn’t hate us or have anything against us. He made us and he loves us, no matter what. Would you stop loving your son or daughter because they turned out gay? Heck no you wouldn’t. That’s why I think this is a stupid debate and one that should not be judged by us. I know what Leviticus said, but if your going to try and get righteous by doing the Law, then you better keep every jot and tiddle the law requires. Wear yourselves out if that’s the way you want to go, but as for me, the Grace of Jesus and what he did 2000 years ago will suffice. I love everyone, even our Holy brothers who might like the same sex. If God has cleansed, made right, the people of God then who are we to come against that.

  50. Josh, I know your intentions are good, but you’re a bit off the mark; repeatedly, the Scriptures tell us that God hates (or abhors) the unrighteous. Apart from Christ, there is only wrath, condemnation, and hatred to receive from the Lord.

    It is only the elect which He will save, and those will repent of their sins (including homosexuality, as Paul tells us) toward Christ. Those who willfully continue in what the Scriptures condemn as sin reveal themselves to be hardened against the one they claim to believe in.

    Likewise, Jesus never done away with the moral Law. Grace is not a license to sin. Certainly the ceremonial and cleanliness Laws are fulfilled and finished in Jesus Christ, but the moral Law reveals sin even today. (Especially considering the New Testament repeatedly points out the sinfulness of homosexuality, even apart from the Leviticus Laws.)

  51. Hi Rick-

    Thanks for your reply. Who’s unrighteous is my first question? The bible talks about two ways a man can be righteous. One, by the works of the Law and there is only One who’s been able to do that and I think we both know who that is. Then, there is righteousness through faith in that Man. We are righteous because Christ made us righteous 2000 years ago. Jesus came, not to give us a ticket to heaven, but he came to give life and that more abundant. That means that there was no life before Christ. Sure, there were people walking and talking, but do you remember Jesus saying, “let the dead bury the dead.” He knew that the people carrying the coffin were just as dead as the ones in the coffin. Now, if we didn’t get a ticket to heaven, but instead got His precious life, then don’t you think that others would like to see that life too. Do you think someone’s going to want what you have to offer if there are strings attached? Jesus accepted you just as you are, just like he accepts all his children. We are all the elect of God. You know why I know we are all the elect of God? Because we wouldn’t be on earth if it wasn’t the case. Where do you think we all came from? Do you think we started living when we were born? “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world.” We came from God and we will all return to God. God’s Word never returns to Him void. The Word was made flesh and is now made manifest in all flesh. Jesus is in the hearts of all men and there is just nothing you or I can do about that. He was the corn of wheat that didn’t abide alone. He did die and is coming forth much fruit. He is coming through His body, which we are.

    What do you say to a human being, a man that loves another man? I can’t comprehend it because I am not gay. But I’m not going to play God and condemn a man for it. As far as I am concerned, he’s accepted and loved by God. I’m not going to judge the man nor am I going to judge the act. I’ll leave that to our Father and let him deal with it as he does. Judgment is after we die but you’ve got to look back and see when you died. You, like most others, think your death is something of your future. The Bible doesn’t say that at all. Your dead and your life is hid in Christ. We were crucified with Christ 2000 years ago but you may not see that the first time you look at the cross. Then, you’ve got to go back to the cross a second time and see something different. The first time you see the cross you see one man dying on the cross. Go back and tell me if you can see yourself dying on the cross with Him? Jesus was lifted up on the cross and he drew us all into himself and killed the Adam race of man so that he could raise up a new race of beings. Everything God hated about man he dealt with in the person and work of Christ. So, God saw the trevail of his soul and was satisfied. The criminal crucified next to Christ looked over at the other criminal and said we are getting what we deserved. Hello. We got what we deserved in Christ 2000 years ago. We have been made joint heirs of Christ. If you look there is a scripture for each. We were crucified with Christ. We died with Christ. We were buried with Christ. We were quickened together, or given life together. We were raised together and now we are seated together with him in the heavens. I’ll say it this way, you died, you were judged in Christ, you received the seal of God on your forehead and are now seated with him in the heavens. If you do not see that you are seated with him, it is true nontheless. And if you turn gay one of these days, I promise the same will always be the same. You are his son in whom God is well pleased, because he made you in right standing and holy and blameless because of what He did in Christ 2000 years ago.

  52. Do you think someone’s going to want what you have to offer if there are strings attached? Jesus accepted you just as you are, just like he accepts all his children.

    “Go, and sin no more.” “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

    Jesus demands change and obedience. He is, after all, King. Our transformative salvation enables us to live in accordance with His commands, and those who continue in sin show forth that they were never truly changed to begin with.

    Only those who believe in Jesus become the sons of God; everyone else (everyone by default, really) are children of wrath.

    We are all the elect of God. You know why I know we are all the elect of God? Because we wouldn’t be on earth if it wasn’t the case.

    John 6 tells us that all of the elect will be saved, that none of the elect would fail to be saved. Yet elsewhere Jesus tells us that a majority would not be saved. Trust me, all of humanity is not elect. Romans 9 hammers that point home.

    What do you say to a human being, a man that loves another man?

    We should say the same thing that Jesus said to the sinners He encountered: “Repent.”

    When we fail to warn people of the wrath to come and are instead welcoming and accepting of them despite their sins, we are not showing them love. We are turning a blind eye to their impending destruction — that is an act of hate toward them. We must love people enough to tell them the truth, no matter how offensive they may find it.

    if you turn gay one of these days

    I thought people were born gay? [/sarcasm]

    Seriously, though, I am thankful that I have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of the Scriptures to guide me in my life, both of which testify that homosexuality is wickedness.

    You seem to know your way around the positive, happy verses of Scriptures; I encourage you to keep digging in, embracing even those Scriptures which might offend modern sensibilities. Homosexuality, divorce, fornication, adulterating, and much more are still sins which must be repented of at all costs. I’ve no doubt that there are Christians who are still gay, but I trust God and His Word enough to believe that those Christians are struggling with their sin. No one who is alive in Christ will be able to enjoy a life lived in pursuit of sin.

    For more information, check out James White’s The Same-Sex Controversy. If you really want to learn what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, you’ll grab that book. It’s a quick read and is very informative.

  53. I appreciate you Rick. I’ve just come to see the wrath of God as something in the past. That’s all. There is no dought that God’s wrath on man was evident. But, that wrath was quenched in Christ 2000 years ago. God has nothing against man anymore. Man has things against man but God loves man. Remember there is nothing that shocks God. Please understand, that I’m not trying to give a license to do whatever they want to do, but we have to qualify people and not disqualify. That’s all I’m saying. Repent means to change your mind. It means to change your mind about the way you’ve thought previous. Why was John the Baptist constantly saying repent, or change your mind? Change their minds to what? Well, the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. Before the kingdom was way off and the promiseland was a blur, but you see, now they had an opportunity to grab hold of something that they had only hoped and dreamed of. Change you mind, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Don’t wait for some sweet by and by, or some glad morning. The Kingdom of Heaven was now at hand. We can preach it better than John did, because behold, change our minds, because we don’t have to wait to die to go to heaven, for, the Kingdom of God is inside us. The Kingdom is here and the King has returned. Just like they missed him 2000 years ago, because He didn’t come as they expected. Truth holds firm to this day. Jesus is here! He has come! Don’t miss him like they missed him 2000 years ago because he may not have come as you expected. But, believe me, He’s here. To really love someone, you love them no matter what, period. You take the bad with the good. Besides, don’t you think that the person has heard it 1000′s of times that homosexuality is bad. That doesn’t make them stop just by hearing that. Those people must first turn to Christ and he’ll work work on the soul through the Holy Spirit. You can’t tell a person to clean up and then you can have Christ. They must first turn and behold the serpent on a pole, just like Moses held up the serpent of brass on a pole in the wilderness. When the people looked and believed, they were cured. Jesus was that serpent of brass. People have to gaize upon the Him and then He takes care of everything else. WHat I was trying to accomplish was to encourage your readers to continue to chase after him, despite whatever snakes are biting them. There’s just too many snakes to fight off. You have to look at Christ and stay focused on him and he does the rest. You’ll never be able to clean yourself up. He’s the Purifer of our Hearts. He’s the one that works on our hearts. Not us. Just love people period. You don’t have to be sin conscious. He’s sprinkled our mind of a sin consciousness. I’m sorry, I just love the people of God, I love you Rick, and that’s the direction the Lord has taken me. I have no motives but to lift people up in their Most Holy Faith. I present every man perfect in Christ. There is a scripture for that and we must present every man perfect in Christ. Until we do, there will always be war and feuding.

  54. But, that wrath was quenched in Christ 2000 years ago. God has nothing against man anymore.

    It remains true that those who do not believe in Christ are children of perdition and God’s wrath abides upon them. The epistles and even the Revelation are very clear on this matter. Jesus’ sacrifice was efficacious only for the elect — only for those that the Father gives to the Son, those who are given life-changing faith.

    Change you mind, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Don’t wait for some sweet by and by, or some glad morning.

    Repentance is indeed a change — it is a change away from sin and the world and toward righteousness and a kingdom not of this world. Jesus and the apostles were explicit: Sin no more. Paul lists a great deal of types of sinners, then says that “such were some of you.” The Christians were no longer murderers, liars, adulterers, and so on — they changed their ways when Jesus changed them.

    Those people must first turn to Christ and he’ll work work on the soul through the Holy Spirit. You can’t tell a person to clean up and then you can have Christ.

    Agreed, but for those who do come to Christ, they are expected to clean up. “Sin no more.” Those who remain in sin are subject to exclusion from fellowship, as 1 Corinthians 5 illustrates. Sexual sins being so prominently denounced in the Scriptures, it is not unreasonable to expect a gay convert to begin the process of repenting from homosexuality rather early. The Scriptures, if they truly believe them and the Jesus of which they testify, really leave no room for unrepentant sexual immorality.

    You’ll never be able to clean yourself up.

    Also agreed, but neither Jesus nor the apostles said, “Don’t worry about it, just keep believing.” There are repeated calls to repent, to sin no more, to work out salvation with trembling and fear, and so on. We do those things by Jesus’ power, certainly, but telling someone to not worry about their sin because God loves them anyway is misleading and may be damning. We cannot underestimate the danger of sin, and we must not forget that those who remain hardened in their sin are accursed of God and that obedience is praiseworthy.

    I present every man perfect in Christ. There is a scripture for that and we must present every man perfect in Christ. Until we do, there will always be war and feuding.

    Only those who have truly believed in Jesus, though, are “perfect [complete] in Christ.” Everyone else are dead, damned, delinquent sinners and will behave as such until such a time as they believe in Jesus or they pass from this earth.

  55. Cool Rick! We’re just dealing with two different mind sets altogether. We’ll end up in the same place together. No worries. Take care brother.

  56. To say that someone is born this way would be calling God a lie. We all know that God is not a man that He would lie! And for you to say that the Bible has not done any good is just showing that most people like you continue to follow the worlds example. True we all fall short of the glory but face it only what you do for Christ will last. You believe what you want to believe, but as for me and my house we will continue to serve God!

  57. I think this is a very well researched and written piece on homosexuality.

    Overall, all sin-whether it is consensual sin between two people or our own personal sins-has victims since we are all members of the body of Christ.

    In the end, it is not my duty to judge the living or the dead, that it God’s job. But as a Christian if someone comes to me regarding homosexuality, I have to do what Christ would want me to do–love the sinner, hate the sin–and to do what Christ did often when asked about certain issues–he often said “For it is written” and then quoted scripture and then tried to others to a pathway of Holiness with love, forgiveness and compassion.

    Peace to you,
    Michael

  58. According to the biblical Story book, when Story book jesus returns from Story book heaven, it is the Story book sinner that is punished not the sins!

    So it is the sinner themselves / perpetrator, that is punished, not the sins punished!

  59. God does not condemn the homosexual, he or she condemns themselves by choosing to go their own way instead of God’s way. You choose Heaven or Hell. He suggests you choose life but he does not force you. If you go to Hell, do not blame God. You only have yourself to blame. Heaven is under his authority and the person who heads the home makes the rules. Just as if you make a rule for your home, if a person chooses not to follow the guidelines, he or she cannot stay there. But it is their fault because they chose not to follow the rules. it’s a simple thing to understand unless you who disagree think you made yourself and all the rules of the universe. Wake up.

  60. God didn’t play games when he handed down his judgement on this sex sin and we shouldn’t also. We didn’t call it an abomination of the worse kind ,but God did. If homosexuals want to be accepted into God’s heavenly circle,then they must do what the Lord says and change their ways and repent. Everybody out there trying to please this deadly sin and move it into a situation of being normal as a straight relationship that’s blessed by God. There are no Christian homosexuals, but homosexuals can become a Christian if they follow Gods Commandments instead of making their own.

  61. Why do you think God Jesus is the savior what is he trying to save you from.From going to hell of coarse,he doesn’t want any to perish.but if you want to follow the worlds way ,instead of his way,then you made the choice. Because you can’t serve two master’s at the same time. Just like the time of Noah and his family of eight people that’s all that God saved out of a world of 4,000,000,000 or so at the time,when the whole earth was flooded by God because his patience ran out and the world kept getting worse and worse.Like it is today ,study your bible for yourself,read Gods love letter . I read the king jame’s bible it’s much more accurate,you’ll read in the following verse’s about homosexuality in roman’s 1:24-27 leviticus18:22 you shall not with mankind,as with woman kind: it is abomination. Look for your self .Go to the bible store and get a strong’s concordance.Look up the verses on hell,homosexuality,etc, 1 corinthians 6:9-10 that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God see who qualifies.Make sure you are saved .It’s faith plus obedience and nothing else,narrow is the way.You’ll recieve alot blessings.I’m just here to help take or leave it.ther is’t much time left the sign’s are all around us,and one mote thing ,I know Jesus is the real one and only son of God because of his miracle’s and his bones aren’t in the grave.

  62. It seems so wr0ng to believe that people who could be kind and loving and show the best of life to the world could be in sin; but the Word of God says homosexuality is wrong. Frankly all men born are sinners. My trying to create an argument for why homosexuality is ok on the planet will always result in finding a reasonable answer. Frankly there is an answer for everything on both sides. Most sin and sinners can be explained away but just because we can make sense of something doesn’t mean it is righteousness. God is the judge of all righteousness and unrighteousness. The line has been drawn and the only answer for allllllll sin is to accept Jesus and follow Him. My question is, if it is proven without a doubt that homosexuality is unrighteous and just wrong, would the offending lay this sin down? So trying to stop or change is a real transformation. I don’t believe people should be judged to work or perform in general but people are people, and when a person takes a militant stand to decide they should work or share their opinions and behaviors in places that has religious values that differ from their lifestyle, they are out of place. If one is in a church that condones homosexual behavior and I (religiously opposing) come in and insist that I should have the right to teach and preach in their place of worship then I am in error. I should be allowed to be wherever I choose because I am human; but if I am oppose to their belief I should choose to create or join an establishment that is in agreement with my principles. Sin is sin and God will judge. That is the bottom line. Most of us need to really take the planks out of our own eye so we don’t fall under that judgment

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