A Gay Bible Study: Understanding What the Bible Says About Homosexuality in Context

A Gay Bible Study

This is a Bible... with a magnifying glass. I think it's supposed to symbolise looking at it closely...
This is a Bible… with a magnifying glass. I think it’s supposed to symbolise looking at it closely, even if the magnifying glass isn’t actually magnifying the words…

 

With Manny Pacquiao recently saying that the LGBT community is worse than animals because he didn’t realise homosexuality exists in most animal species, and with Senator Enrile doubling down to tell the LGBT community to ‘go to another planet’, this issue is becoming more and more important. There’s a clear split in Philippine society between those who believe they are taking the Bible literally, and have a personal revulsion to homosexuality, and those of a more liberal mind.

It’s my hope for this blog post that both groups, and people in between, will be able to see things a little more clearly. People from a religious background will begin to realise the Bible isn’t so black and white. That there are fifty shades of grey in between, with a lot more weird sex going on in the Bible than the other book. Likewise if proponents of LGBT rights want to influence the Church and want to either remove them as an obstacle or even win them over as friends, then they’ll have to start debating using the Church’s own logic. Nothing will break down a Christian’s logic while they believe homosexuality is an “abomination”. Nothing trumps the Word of God.

That is particularly necessary in the developing world where wealthy American and European Churches have poured millions into deepening discrimination against groups they don’t like, so keep that in mind if you’re reading from Europe or the USA.

So let’s begin our Gay Bible Study…

How Many Verses in the Bible Refer to Homosexuality?

Judging by the number of evangelical pastors and politicians publicly speaking against homosexuality (who typically later turn out to be gay themselves) and politicians saying some variation of homosexuality is an abomination to win the Church’s vote, you’d expect it was a major part of the Bible.

So take a guess, how many individual verses speak directly about homosexuality?

Given the context, the mistranslations, and other factors a specific number will be debatable, but it’s less than 10. Many of those refer to ‘Somodites’ – but that’s a (w)hole other issue as we’ll see later.

There are 31,102 verses in the Bible. If we liberally agree on 10 verses, then that’s 0.003% of the Bible. There are literally more verses about a talking donkey than about homosexuality.

Why Gay Sex Isn’t an Abomination in the Bible

The most known verse about homosexuality is the simplest: Leviticus 18:22 says “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” Leviticus 20:13 then says “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.” At first glance this looks pretty clear cut.

But when you read the verses again in their proper context it may not be. One interpretation notes the context of the ‘homosexuality is bad’ part in Leviticus is actually about worshipping false gods – particularly Molech. Back in those days every tribe (of which the Jews were one of many) had their own gods (plural). Typically there was the main god, often sky gods like Zeus (Greek) and Jupiter (Roman) or otherwise rulers of the gods like Odin (Norse) and Osiris (Egyptian), and they each had a pantheon of gods who were the gods of agriculture, wine, war, and practically all aspects of life in the ancient world. This is why the Bible says “you will have no other god before me”. Not because Yahweh/Jehovah/El is the only God, but because He would become the only God the Jews worshipped. The usual custom was to worship the gods in each different area, gods were considered to have power only within their territories, i.e. if you went to Rome you would worship the Roman gods, if you went to Greece you would worship the Greek gods, and so on. The Jews, however, would denounce the other gods.

In the context of where the Jews were at this time, one of these Father gods was Molech. Molech’s fertility god was Astarte (sometimes distorted in literature to Ashtoreth to imply she’s an abomination). In Astarte’s temple, men would have sex with other men in order to worship her, like many agriculture or fertility gods who would be worshipped through orgies and similar displays of sexuality. This was nothing unusual back then. So this is where we see the context; Leviticus 18:21 talks about not sacrificing your children to Molech. Child sacrifice wasn’t unheard of, and in the Bible Jephthah sacrifices his daughter, albeit reluctantly, in praise of God after winning a battle.

And so the context of these verses is to denounce worship of other gods, not to actually denounce homosexuality (the act or the being). That is even more clear to a modern reader when Leviticus 20. You see more references there as it says that he who “giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death”. In other words the abomination isn’t gay sex everywhere, it’s having gay sex to worship this false god Molech. When you put your “seed” into another body, it didn’t matter what gender that body was, then, it mattered which god you were worshipping while doing it.

The Jews at the time would know that before because they understand the Hebrew and the context, a modern reader wouldn’t without a lot of research. Philo (a Jewish writer around Jesus’ time) also interpreted Leviticus as talking about shrine prostitution and not a general decree about homosexuality. Hence the problem with modern translation, we’ve lost the context. And so if we take the Bible literally we miss what it was trying to say in the first place. If homosexuality was such an abomination, much more would have been written in the Bible about it.

Different Kinds of Abomination

Further, abomination is a tricky word to translate. Depending on the version of the Bible you have, there are 67 “abominations” in the Bible. Two exist in the New Testament (Luke 16:15 says “love of money is an abomination” while Revelation 21:27 says anyone who has committed an abomination will not enter heaven). So out of the remaining 65, 13 of these abominations are dietary restrictions, e.g. not eating pork. Seventeen refer to improper sacrifice. Adultery and adultery caused by divorce are another three, Love of money is another two of those mentions, while the others are individual mentions of cross-dressing, stealing, murder, and others.

But this is from one particular translation and other versions of the Bible have different numbers. That’s because there are many different Hebrew words which are translated into English as “abomination” – in the same way as love is four different words in Greek, but refers to four different and specific types of love (agape, eros, philia, storge). Our single word in English, whether love or abomination, doesn’t capture the subtleties and we miss the relationships and underlying message on so many occasions as a result. This is one of the biggest problems with taking the Bible literally – we’re not actually taking the Bible literally, we’re taking a translation upon translation upon translation of it literally. And so much is lost in translation.

The original Hebrew segregates these 5 abominations; Shiqquwts (mostly idolatry and witchcraft), Sheqets  (dietary abominations), Shâqats (meaning abhor or detest, more like the modern use of the word), Tōʻēḇā (more complex and describes a whole variety of abominations, including the Leviticus condemnation of homosexuality), while Tâ‛ab is the verb.

Here’s a convenient list of all the uses and all the citations.

The usual counter to the Leviticus statements of homosexuality as an abomination, is that so is eating pork or men having long hair. Though to be fair that’s not exactly true, or at least they’re not the same kinds of abominations. Indeed Leviticus is saying that gay sex was an abomination and it was detestable to God… but only specifically when it was to worship a false god – not in any universal way (the tribal culture at the time was morally relativist and universal/objective morality came much, much later – interestingly when monotheism had “triumphed” over the more pagan times, but that’s a different story).

“Be Fruitful and Multiply”

Another example of the importance of context in a sexual situation is where God strikes someone down for “spilling” their seed. Here, Onan’s brother Er has died and it’s his duty to impregnate his dead brother’s wife (Genesis 38). He pulls out, though, and is struck down by God and killed on the spot. However his crime is not wasting his seed, it’s not obeying his heavnely and earthly fathers in providing his dead brother’s wife with another child. Unfortunately taking that verse out of context was also where most Christians got their understanding that masturbation is wrong, that it was wrong to “spill your seed”. A less literal understanding of the text and more understanding of the context, and we could have all been spared a lot of guilt on that one.

Instead when the Bible talks about homosexuality it is about sexual relations, i.e. the act itself. It’s always described as “laying with another man”. Semantically it seems there’s little difference and the gay community of course shouldn’t accept the lame attempts of some to “love the sinner, hate the sin” as a result of modern semantics.

But the importance of this is how the Bible, or rather the time it was written, has little concept of being gay. Partly that is because of how public sex was back then. Even in Roman or Greek times sex was everywhere and far more public than even today. They had all kinds of graphic statues in public and in every home. A room without a sex statue wasn’t considered a room. And by sex I mean sex with men, women, animals, and just about anything living or breathing in just about any part of it. Without going into the history here, it’s possible to say that the Ancient World was in some ways far more sexually liberated than ours.

It’s also relevant to note that one particular necessity back then was reproduction; the Jews were a relatively small tribe who needed to “be fruitful and multiply” just to survive, let alone compensate for all that war. If the entire tribe gave up sexual relations with women, then of course they don’t reproduce, and growing as a tribe was a commandment in many ways. That didn’t culturally prohibit taking a gay lover either, it just meant also producing babies. It’s an issue of practicality more than morality.

But most importantly, that the Bible doesn’t condemn anyone for being gay lends more credence to the idea that when it does condemn the act, it was specifically condemning the act in relation to worshipping another god, i.e. Molech. Not in any other situation.

But What About Sodom and Gomorrah?

But God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for sexual immorality right? The story is so infamous that anal sex is known as Sodomy. This story is the justification for many a religious nut-case preaching how an earthquake or typhoon is God’s punishment for gays in today’s world.

Unfortunately for them, they’re wrong. Aside from the story itself, Ezekiel 16:49 says “This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy”. In other words Sodom was not destroyed because it was gay, it was destroyed for not helping the poor, something the Church is often far too guilty of today also (again with some notable exceptions) and of which countless verses are written.

It wasn’t til much later than Jewish writes asserted that homosexuality was one of the sins which caused Sodom to get destroyed. They were writing in Jesus’ time and because of them by the end of the 1st century Jews commonly identified the sin of Sodom with homosexuality. That spread to the Gentiles as Christianity spread and that’s where the myth of homosexuality being the reason Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed comes from,and why anal sex is now called sodomy.

So, keen observers of the Bible will notice that Jesus came after the Old Testament. And so where ‘Sodomite’ is written in the Old Testament this is more likely to refer to how the Sodomites treated the poor, the needy, and those two particular angels who went to Sodom one day. Modern translators are using their own more modern understanding to translate the Bible, and we miss the original context and meaning.

If you don’t believe me, go back and read the story again: two angels arrive in Sodom one day. Here our protagonist is Lot, who sees the Angels and asks them to come to his house. The Angels initially refuse but Lot insists and they eventually give in and go to his house.

Then all the other men “both young and old” (verse 4) from the city surround them in the house. They all shout to Lot demanding to have sex with the Angels. Lot says no and the mob condemns him saying “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” (verse 9).

So Lot appeals to their reason… by offering his virgin daughters: “Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof” (verse 8). So our protagonist, our holy man, is offering up his virgin daughters to gang-rape. But the people of Sodom reject that and say they want the two men (not yet revealed to them as angels).

Saving the day (tellingly not before Lot offers his daughters up for gang-rape), the angels make everyone blind and tell Lot to get everyone he has out of the city, including his sons in law, those men pledged to marry his daughters. So Lot tries to call them ahead of what would surely have been a contender for ‘most awkward conversation’ ever once they found out their father-in-law offered their brides-to-be up for gang rape. Unfortunately that conversation never happened as they thought Lot was joking when he told them God was about to destroy the city and they didn’t go with him. So they got destroyed too. Some people just can’t win.

As if this wasn’t all weird enough, as his family were walking away Lot’s wife turned to look back and was instantly turned into a pillar of salt. Some time later down the road, the daughters (now without husbands) got their father drunk (now without a wife) and slept with him to get themselves pregnant. The older sister begot Moab (who led the Moabites), and the younger sister begot Ben-Ammi, who fathered the Ammonites. There is good explanation for all this, a symbolic and metaphorical explanation in the same vein as Roman and Greek legends. But not as literal, historical sources. Many of the stories in the Bible are likewise loaded with symbolism and metaphors for the intended readers at the time it was written. Many of the stories didn’t literally happen, therefore, but they were allegories of the survival of the tribe with a message for the current Jews. However our modern culture, based on Greek logic and rationality, has entirely missed the original meaning while has corrupted others.

So Sodom’s sin (Gomorrah is just lumped into the destruction) was their lack of hospitality and wanting to rape these guys, as well as their treatment towards the poor and needy (Ezekiel). Certainly part of that is about sexual immorality, but then I think most people would call wanting to rape a couple of strangers who just came to your village sexually immoral. There’s a verse in Jude about it also, but we’ll get to that later in the New Testament.

Was King David Gay?

Deep, deep love...
Deep, deep love…

Sticking with the Old Testament, there is a thought that the shepherd boy who became King of Israel, killed a giant, and ushered in a new era for the Israelites was a wee bit gay. Some scholars assert, for example, that David and Jonathan’s friendship had more than a few benefits. That view isn’t a whole lot discredited when II Samuel 1:26 says “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.” My personal favourite translation, though, is the New Living Translation: “Oh, how much I loved you! And your love for me was deep, deeper than the love of women!” Now obviously with all the wives, concubines, and lovers, David liked the ladies. He killed Bathsheba’s husband so that he could add her to his collection of women. Ignoring the issue of Bathsheba’s age here (she was somewhere between 10 and 13 years old) it would be more correct to call David a wee bit bisexual if his love for Jonathan was more eros than philia. But in many ways sexuality back then was fluid. They didn’t look to categorise things in the same way we do. In other words, that was normal to them.

Then in the New Testament, remember that centurion who went to Jesus to heal his servant (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10)? Jesus was amazed by how much the centurion loved his servant. Again the centurion’s love may be less agape or philia and more eros. The Greek word pais (meaning slave/servant) is often interpreted with sexual connotations (James Neil, Daniel Helminiak). Other scholars dispute that, same with David, so it’s not exactly 100%, but what is clear is that there was a whole load of love going round and Jesus says nothing against it. That should be telling enough.

Homosexuality in the New Testament

So, as promised dutiful reader (seriously getting this far I’m impressed), on to the New Testament references to homosexuality. Jude 1:7 says “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” For Bibilcal purists, this must be the Word of God despite the contradiction of the earlier Ezekiel passage. Aside from not specifying what kind of sexual perversion is involved, those examples are more often referring to the excess of lust and the abomination of sex to worship a false god. But for the more liberal reader (i.e. those not taking the Bible literally) we must also point out that Jude was written in the New Testament well after the event itself (if we even interpret Sodom and Gomorrah as an event and not a symbolic parable), and this is also during the time others were first attributing Sodom’s destruction to homosexuality.

There are three verses, then, which explicitly mention homosexuality in the New Testament. All are written by Paul. Here’s an article in the Huffington Post about that.

Two of the three, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:9-11, refer to ‘Sodomites’ in the context of the many types of sinners not inheriting the Kingdom of God. As we saw earlier, the idea Sodom being destroyed for being gay was an idea popularised after Jesus, indeed the same time Paul was writing. So it shouldn’t really be translated as ‘Sodomites’, but it does refer to homosexuals, as the original Greek is arsenokoitai (ἀρσενοκοῖται) which is typically understood as referring to men who lay with men. That’s also debatable as Philo wrote that the arsenokoit stem (which the word Paul used originates in) was about temple prostitution. Also there are exceptionally few uses of Paul’s version of the word and some believe he coined it himself.

Further remembering that these letters were written to specific Churches, those Churches would have to have been familiar with the issues there in order to understand what Paul was talking about, and shrine prostitution fits in that context.

Romans 1:26-27 also talks of women giving up “natural” sexual relations for “unnatural” ones, and the men doing the same. Admittedly I don’t know the particular context why Paul wouldn’t be generally condemning homosexuality here. We do have to acknowledge, though, that Paul is a particularly problematic writer. The idea that women speaking in Church is “disgusting” also comes from him (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).

The apologists have no problem talking about the context of those verses, though, claiming that the Church was being challenged by a group of rebellious women who refused the veil and were preaching against the Church, that the letter was written to the specific Church in Corinth and not anyone else, and that’s why the women there shouldn’t speak in Church – but can do elsewhere. However somehow that logic isn’t extended to other verses by the same writer.

The Tide is Changing

So in conclusion, we see there are only a handful of verses which specifically talk about homosexuality. They also aren’t as condemning as they first appear. If we want to use the Bible to justify our homophobia, we have to either live as a Jew did two and a half thousand years ago, or we have to agree with Paul on everything and so make women wear veils and call them disgusting if they dare to speak in Church.

More realistically, we can accept that the Bible wasn’t as condemning of homosexuality as we thought it was. It’s possible some of the greatest characters in the Bible had a gay fling or two (or more) understanding that it’s all about context, which unfortunately Western logic has missed out on. Likewise of all the things Jesus did condemn, nothing remotely homosexual is on the list. It’s a safe bet that it really doesn’t matter as much as most people thought it did.

In a topic which is often shows the worst in people, then, I’ll end with perhaps a little hope.

Wonder where that hand is going...
Wonder where that hand is going…

One of those groups trying to exorcise the gay out of people, Exodus International, closed down, apologising when they did. One part of their apology read: “For quite some time, we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”

Firstly they should be praised for their public statement and apology, it’s harder than you may think to reverse your entire worldview, no matter what their crimes before.

Then at the parades those kind of groups would normally protest, we find another particularly uplifting story.

One group went to a Gay Pride event and apologised for how they used to treat the gay community. Such stories are becoming more and more common. There are of course still many bigots, there are still many individual cases of hatred, of parents violently reacting to their son or daughter coming out as a gay. They’re still horrific of course, but the good news is that the tide is shifting. A few decades ago Pacquiao’s statements would haven’t have raised many eyebrows at all. Then again, thousands of years ago they would have been met with laughter and ridicule. It’s a bit of swings and roundabouts.

There’s never been a better time, then, for Christians sitting in Church wondering how to reconcile their loving God with the one who apparently hates all LGBT people, to stand up and say that’s wrong. There’s never been a better time for a Christian struggling with their own homosexuality to understand that it’s not a sin, and that they’re loved no matter what, as well as to find others in the same situation. There’s never been a better time for people questioning their faith and questioning some of the basic principles in the Bible to take an honest look and understand the context, and to explain that to other people in their Church too.

Importantly, though, there’s never been a better time for LGBT rights supporters to try and get the Church on their side – not just remove it as an obstacle for this progress.

Otherwise I think God will continue to look down on us with an Almighty facepalm…jesus facepalm meme.jpg

 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “A Gay Bible Study: Understanding What the Bible Says About Homosexuality in Context

  1. aimee829 September 11, 2014 / 22:09

    Dear Roy;

    I know you don’t know me, but lets just say that I first saw you via FTW, started following you from there. I am not really into football, so I haven’t been keeping close track, but I do applaud your efforts with the kids, especially with the difference you are making in their lives.

    This new post of yours seem to have come from deep within… and I appreciate this. Especially the fact that you very meticulously placed all your arguments in such a way as to hit each specific point that the “church” has been using to defend its stance against homosexuality.

    The reason why I am emailing this reply (and not in your wordpress blog) is because I just want to write to you, and not to the whole world… and anything religious in nature posted online tends to be subject to ridicule regardless of the amount of thought that went behind it. So here I am… writing this email.

    I, like you, grew up in a church… the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I, like you, was very active in most of the programs, even preached a time or two, and studied it in depth. But unlike the church that you grew up in that did not encourage discussion or debate, I was very fortunate that our church encourages it. And I am also very fortunate to have grown up inside a campus (AIIAS) where pastors and teachers who are members of our church, come to take up their Masters and PhDs, so I had alot of resources to supply my questions. And though I see the hypocrisy that is present in all churches, I am glad that I was able to cement my own beliefs and look to Christ, and not the people. I go to church to worship God… despite the people.

    About homosexuality.

    This was one of the most difficult things I had to contend with, growing up.But let me try to explain my world view regarding this.

    Homosexuality wasn’t from God. He did not create it. It wasn’t there in the Garden of Eden. It wasn’t present in that perfect world that He made. This came, as one of the effects of sin. I say effects, because we are not born into imperfect bodies, as a result of sin… it is not our choice.

    In the end, my answer is simple. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. Everything that you mentioned (levels of abomindation, etc), is sin. Your bodily urges, you can’t control… but doing it, even if you know it is wrong, then that’s sin. Practicing homosexuality is a sin, just like if you break any of the 10 commandments.

    (Segway lang: Our church believes that you cannot keep the other 9 and not keep 1 (meaning the 4th commandment). And yes, we worship on the Sabbath (Saturday), and we keep it from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. We also do not eat pork, or any of the animals deemed “unclean” in the Old Testament, nor do we drink alcoholic beverages, etc.)

    But NO ONE… and I mean NO ONE can get to heaven, by his own good works. If that were possible, then why did Jesus have to come to earth and die?

    In that, I am with you in saying that we should not condemn homosexuals (LGBTs). “Hate the sin, not the sinner”.

    What is difficult now, is that, they say that they have the right to practice, that it is the same as the heterosexual relationships, and should be treated as such.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t agree with them. And though I am quite biased (based on my own background), here is a non-Biblical argument, that manages to address this issue too. THis lecture is by Ryan T. Anderson on the definition on Marriage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWIhZ5xJJaQ

    Overall, Roy, in reading your blog post, I was amazed at the amount of knowledge you had about the Bible. I could feel the passion in your voice (which is quite visible in your life) in trying to right an injustice by trying to make life better for those who are less fortunate than you. You seem to be a man on a mission, and that is to make this world a better place. If that, my friend, is inspirational.

    And though I was quite dismayed when you wrote that you “left the church”, its quite obvious that though you left the structure, you did not leave God behind. And you still continue to search the Scriptures on your own, even going into the original Greek / Hebrew / Aramaic translations to see what they really mean. If only more church members were like you, then the whole image of “church” would change, wouldn’t it?

    Roy, at this point, I don’t know if I have solidified or weakened your view on “church” people… heck, I don’t even expect a reply for this letter ^_^.

    But I just felt compelled to write you… and share my view about the issue. And maybe to open up a communication channel (if you want) should you wish to pick my brains about stuff. (I try my best to be objective about things).

    God bless you in your ministry with the kids from Payatas. I will keep you in my prayers!

    Sincerely;

    Aimee Grace B. Tapeceria

    • Roy September 11, 2014 / 22:32

      Hi Aimee,

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate that you have kindly commented and have done so respectfully and I hope my comments is equally so. For that’s where we can debate, share ideas, and hopefully learn.

      Firstly I’d like to point out that this comment thread is public. So if you want to keep the comment secret I’d suggest deleting it. It didn’t send to my email directly, it goes to the comment thread here.

      So to reply, regarding your theology, I’ve come across this many times and unfortunately “hate the sin, love the sinner” isn’t something I can look at with positive feelings. Ultimately it simply means that you think it’s a sin but won’t do anything about it. Likewise the other justifications are very familiar.

      I am glad, however, that you find something good in Church and that you can look at things and question them. I would be interested to know, for example, what reaction people at your church would have if gay people attended regularly, or people ate pork, or who questioned repeatedly the teachings though…

      But regarding homosexuality, your view specifically hinges on two main points.
      1) Homosexuality didn’t come from God (i.e. it wasn’t in the Garden of Eden) and is therefore wrong.
      2) Everyone has fallen short of the glory of God, and we shouldn’t judge… though by definition homosexuality is still wrong.

      There are two things I’d like to ask in response.

      1) Your view relies on a very literal interpretation of the Garden of Eden story. Can I ask, do you believe the creation story literally happened that way? i.e. there was an Adam and an Eve who were created by God in that way, everything was perfect, and then they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and came to know good and evil and were therefore banished from paradise? Do you believe the devil possessed the serpent to speak on his behalf, that the earth was created in 6 days and God rested on the seventh? And therefore do you believe in the rest of the Bible in a literal way?

      2) Do you see how this viewpoint would still judge the LGBT community? How we can say all people have sinned, but by definition you are calling them sinners still for doing that? Even if you say that you cannot judge them, you are saying God will judge them. Can you imagine, for example, how someone who grows up with feelings for the same sex would feel with the discrimination and prejudice our society puts onto gays, especially within the church, and that ultimately saying they are still sinners for it is not much more comforting? and not much more loving?

      Thanks again for your comment. I just want to understand more about your viewpoint before potentially replying about another interpretation, or in understanding the Bible further.

      Roy

      • aimee829 September 13, 2014 / 13:34

        Intro:
        When I first realized that my comment was posted here, I did look for the delete or edit button… (but couldnt find any… or maybe i didnt look hard enough, hehe). The reason for this, is because very often today, any mention of belief in God or being a Christian results to that person being heckled and ridiculed by everyone else. But then again, if I couldnt stand for what I believe, what kind of Christian would that make me, diba? Hence i reply to your comment very much conscious of the fact that it is “public”.

        Below, I have copy-pasted the specific points of your reply, so I can reply to them in detail.

        1. do you believe the creation story literally happened that way? i.e. there was an Adam and an Eve who were created by God in that way, everything was perfect, and then they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and came to know good and evil and were therefore banished from paradise? Do you believe the devil possessed the serpent to speak on his behalf, that the earth was created in 6 days and God rested on the seventh? And therefore do you believe in the rest of the Bible in a literal way?

        Yes, I believe all the points mentioned above.

        2. How we can say all people have sinned, but by definition you are calling them sinners still for doing that? Even if you say that you cannot judge them, you are saying God will judge them.

        I guess the correct statement would be, We ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are ALL born sinners. But, Christ came to this earth to save us. It is only by accepting His gift that we can be saved. After accepting the gift of salvation, how can a person not follow what Christ has commanded?

        2.1 Can you imagine, for example, how someone who grows up with feelings for the same sex would feel with the discrimination and prejudice our society puts onto gays, especially within the church, and that ultimately saying they are still sinners for it is not much more comforting? and not much more loving?

        – The walls of discrimination and prejudice have had thousands of years to build up. The Jews were very much like these in the time Jesus was among them. And how He acted is a perfect example of how His followers should act. Didnt he mingle among those that the Pharisees judged as the most wicked? But neither did He condone their sins, but told them “Go and sin no more”.

        This is where you see if the people who call themselves “saved” follow their religion instead of Jesus. When their actions are ruled by their prejudices than by love.

        ||> Now on the other questions you had.

        3. Love the sinner, hate the sin. “Ultimately it simply means that you think it’s a sin but won’t do anything about it.”

        I agree that this statement is easier said then done. especially in a society when a person’s sins will always come back to haunt them (esp if in politics or showbiz), this very hard to do. To separate a person from the things that he does.

        Hating a person, because of the wrongs done against us (or others), or because of something they did that we consider as wrong is something that everyone does. But to love them, despite all the hurt and pain, goes against our very nature.

        But thats exactly why Christ’s life and his sacrifice should be our example on how to live our life and not any self professing righteous church people.

        Love the person… see that despite all the angst, anger, dirt, or filth on the outside, there is a person that the Savior died for. But just like a parent who loves their children gives them advice and discipline to help them to grow up right, so it should be on this loving thought that a believer should counsel those who have done wrong, to help them bring them to the right path.

        2. (Reaction of your church) if gay people attended regularly, or people ate pork, or who questioned repeatedly the teachings though…

        – unfortunately, though our church is only around 150 years old, there are those who are part of the old conservative generation who think very Catholic-like, and who do not entertain people who question their beliefs. You have encountered many of those like them.

        The younger generation (me included) have grown up to believe in a different approach. Yes, the lifestyle is quite difficult (no drinking alcoholic drinks or eating pork, shrimp, clams, etc). But instead of presenting it as a stiffling and suffocating type of church, I personally prefer to present it simply as a church that follows Jesus Christ and the Bible. We say that because Christ loves us, He wants us to enjoy full and healthy lives. Whether it be keeping the Sabbath, the giving of 10% of our salaries as tithe, choosing to eat only “clean” food (like the muslims), not bowing down and worshiping graven images, and so much more.

        And if we follow it, our lives would be so much longer, richer, and fuller.

        Finally: I agree that how the LGBT have been and are being treated is not “Christ-like” at all. And those who do all these vile and nasty things to them are wrong. I also agree that LGBT were born with those urges. This was not a choice. But they can control what they do with their sexual urges.

        Both sides can continue pointing fingers… and the cycle can just go on and on. There is wrong on both sides… but what is scary right now, is that, that which was so clearly wrong 50 years ago is now being presented as right… and the already descending standard of morality gains even more momentum as our society plunges even deeper into the darkness…

        But then again, it is in the deepest and darkest depths where the benefit of the Light is felt and needed the most.

        I pray that the Lord gives me more courage and strength not to hide… but to speak out (or in this case, write it out, ^_^).

        Aimee

        p.s. apparently, i have a friend who was a classmate of yours in UP sometime ago. her name is Donna Paras, and she’s currently taking her Masters in Philosophy there too. small world 🙂

  2. Dianne February 1, 2015 / 23:06

    You must spent a lot of time writing content on your page, you can save a lot of work,
    just search in gogle:
    treoughan’s rewriter

  3. True acceptance of gay sexuality in Christianity requires that gay sex be seen as a form of worship perhaps in private but if sex is sacred then why not in public as well? Until you bring God to your sexual acts and others let you there is no proper acceptance. If Jesus was gay then to worship Jesus is to worship gayness just like to worship his sacred heart is to worship him. Jesus was not perfect but we worship him because of his imperfection. It is homophobia to fail to worship him for being gay if he was gay. Why worship his imperfection as a man and not his sexuality?

    Satan tempted Jesus three times in the desert. It is telling how Satan never offered Jesus the love of a woman to tempt him into sin and making Satan’s temptations even more tempting. It is as if Satan knew there would be no point. He didn’t offer him the love of a man for he felt that Jesus would have been put off by society’s hostility to homosexuality.

    The Church kept portions of Marks gospel back for fear people would surmise that Jesus was homosexual upon reading them. We have the edited version of Mark. It is only in recent years that a fuller account, called the Secret Gospel, has been known of. It was claimed that there was a verse in the Secret Gospel running: “Naked man with naked man” which implied that Jesus was naked with a young man he sort of raised from the dead. Church Father St Clement of Alexandria was a falsification. He even ordered Christians who saw the complete gospel to deny any knowledge of this gospel, the secret gospel of Mark, even under oath and to promote the shorter version that we currently have instead. He was certainly capable of lying and this is the kind of man Christians honour as a saint. It is possible that the verse really did belong in the gospel. Clement when he advised lying, could have been lying about this. Also, when Clement wanted lies and secrecy to surround the content of the secret gospel it would make you think that his cleaner version of the secret gospel was not what he wanted to hide. He was embarrassed at the homosexuality of Jesus. The secret gospel says the young man begged Jesus to be with him that night and the young man came to Jesus wearing a robe over his naked body and Jesus taught him a mystery at night. The homosexual overtones are there.

    The Secret Gospel says Jesus seemingly raised a lad from the dead. Jesus took his hand. This was unnecessary for a shout had come from the tomb before Jesus went in indicating that the lad was not dead at all. The handholding was then probably sexual for it can’t otherwise be accounted for. Also if Jesus was single and unmarried he would not have been holding hands with men except in a romantic way! He would have known how onlookers would read this and didn’t care. That says it all. And we are told that the lad immediately loved Jesus upon looking at him. And wanted to be with him and the pair lived in his house for a while. This certainly does look like homosexuality being described euphemistically. Granted the word used for love is not the word for sexual love but for the sake of euphemism that fact may be irrelevant. What would looking have to do with loving outside of a sexual context. It is telling how the Jesus held the lad’s hand and how it is said the lad loved him upon looking upon him – sexual love and romantic love is caused by looking. No wonder the tale was taken out of Mark in the second century.

    In the Gospel of Mark, our current version, we read that a young man was following Jesus who had nothing on but a sheet over his naked body on the night Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. That alone makes one suspicious. Jesus knew what the Jews would say for they hated him but that didn’t stop him being alone with this young man who was semi-naked. The crowd who came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane found them alone. The young man was grabbed but he left and ran away naked leaving the sheet behind. They could have stopped him but why didn’t they? They must have deliberately removed the sheet though Mark says they pulled it off him accidentally. Why else would they have let him go if they wanted to hold on to him? Mark is trying to cover something up. They wanted to see if the man had been indulging in sexual activity with Jesus. They must have learned what they were trying to find out when they let him go. They wanted to find Jesus guilty of this crime and they did. Was the man so young that the crime would have been paedophilia? Was that why they let him run away? He was too young to be charged. Maybe a couple of men did run after him and arrest him.

    But it might be objected that when they let the young man run off they had found nothing to indicate anything indecent. But he was naked. They wanted people to see him fleeing from the scene to make a show of Jesus. They might have sought him out after that to punish him and especially if they knew he would not be too hard to find again. It was Jesus they were after for the time being. This doubtful for it was not hard to arrest two men. Nobody lets people who should and can be arrested run away.

    At that time of year, water was scarce in the area. That puts paid to the speculation of some that the young man was there for a baptism ritual. Plus Jesus never baptised.

    One thing for sure is that when Jesus was in a quiet place with a scantily clad young man the pair must have been going to do something of a sexual nature.

    The apostles had to contend with many licentious gay Christian groups as the epistles themselves show. If Jesus had been a practising homosexual then they would be evidence that he might have been one too. It would also explain why the crowds who welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem turned against him no time later. In that case, he would have been found out in the Garden of Gethsemane when he seems to have been getting consolation in the form of a young man who was not far from naked.

    Jesus let Lazarus die in order that he could raise him to life again. At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus cried a lot making the Jews remark, “See how [tenderly] he loved him” (John 11). You don’t waste time over a man you are going to resurrect. Either Jesus did not know that Lazarus was going to come out of the tomb alive or if he did as John says then he must have been in love with him. Love makes a parting tearful and sad.

    The rich young man came to Jesus and told him he kept all the commandments (Mark 10). We are told that Jesus looked upon him and loved him. He did not love him spiritually for he told the man that he sinned in being to attached to his wealth. To love a sinner except in so far as you want her or him to repent is not loving her or him but rewarding her or his sins and just to desire a person to repent is not loving them for you don’t say your enemies love you just because they are glad you are alive so they can pick on you. He could not love him emotionally except falling in love with him at first sight for he hardly knew him. Jesus did not even know why the man called him good. Looked upon him and loved him certainly shows that Jesus’ love didn’t start until he looked at the young man. There is only one kind of love that happens in response to looking!

    The John gospel speaks of the disciple Jesus loved. You don’t speak that way of somebody who is loved the best out of a number of people who are loved too. The gospel says that Jesus loved all his disciples. He said love one another as I have loved you and no man can love better than to give his life for his friends. That was a lot of love. Clearly Jesus’ love for the disciple was sexual or romantic. The disciple claimed to have made an input into the gospel or to be its author. He wouldn’t name himself as if he were worried about how people would react. React about what? Perhaps Jesus’ lover? It alone makes sense. And especially when according to the same gospel, he lay on Jesus’ chest at the last supper and was whispering to Jesus. Also at the end of the gospel, the disciple is described by the gospel writer as the disciple who lay on Jesus’ chest at the last supper. There was something remarkable about this – it was like two men in love. Why else draw attention to it again?

    Why did Judas betray Jesus with a kiss? The kiss is inexplicable for all Judas had to do was to point at him or hug him. Interesting that Jesus had to be identified and he was allegedly exceptionally well known. Anyway, Judas would want to rouse needless contempt by kissing a man to give him into the hands of those who hate him. Judas must have set Jesus up by offering Jesus himself sexually in full view of the men hiding in the bushes in the hope of duping Jesus to prove his homosexuality. When the men saw the kiss they were repulsed and decided to arrest Jesus. The gospels ask for our interpretation. All books necessarily do. If it fits it can be believed. But it must be said that this does more than just fit the narratives. It makes sense of them.

    The gospels do not say if Jesus was married which strongly implies that he was not. For a man like him to be single was truly astonishing in those days where the single life was considered almost as a crime. God incarnate or the Son of God could get married. It is stupid to argue that such a person would not marry a creature when he was the maker. If Jesus was man and became man there would be no degradation in that. Jesus’ celibacy would seem to indicate a strong dislike of physical contact with women. The New Testament says he was troubled by all kinds of temptations so he did have a sex-drive.

    Jesus might have forbidden divorce only because he did not like to see men being happy if they took wives. There is absolutely no justification for his eccentric divorce ban so some prejudice caused it. It hurt him to see men being married while he could not touch them. The apostles said that it is better for a man not to marry at all when they heard Jesus banning divorce. He didn’t tell them they were wrong but rather said that whoever can accept this teaching must do it.

    Jesus complained that Mary Magdalene touched him after his “resurrection” but he had no problem with being felt up by Thomas and other men! He had been known to refer to two pagan women as little bitches in Mark 7. He didn’t like women and Mark says he didn’t get along with his mother.

    The Gospel of Philip says that the disciples complained when Jesus was kissing Mary Magdalene. He told them he loved them like her meaning they should not be complaining about his sexual kissing of her. He must have meant that he had done it with them too but was focusing more on her at the moment or that he would like to but was just kissing her not them. You would think this gospel says he was possibly bisexual. There was no need for it to say this at all so it only said it because the writer thought it was true. He would certainly have been gay if he only liked one woman and loads of men!

    If Jesus had no father then Jesus despite perhaps having the look of a male body must have actually been genetically female and probably attracted to men.

    There is reason to believe Jesus was homosexual if he lived. The sins Jesus commits in the gospel of John where he miraculously provides wine for men who were already drunk and lying to his brothers about not going to the festival in Jerusalem indicates that early Christian traditions had Jesus down as a libertine. If so, if he was interested in men he would certainly have had sex with them.

    Jesus was not the Son of God if he was gay for God forbade homosexuality under very severe penalties in the Jewish Law. He said no man with a defect could be his priest. Clearly no man could be his Son and superior to the priests if he was gay which God would have considered to have been a defect.

    Christians who deny they are homophobic would not react kindly to the suggestion that Jesus was homosexual even if he didn’t practice. Catholics wouldn’t be happy if somebody suggested that the Virgin Mary could have been gay. This shows how they suspect that it is dirty and perverted and evil to have a homosexual inclination.

    The antinomian tendencies of the John Gospel which has Jesus doing wrong things and still pleasing God would indicate that Jesus could have been a practicing homosexual. Antinomians believe that Jesus did away with the law of God so that we can have sex, lie for a kindly reason and get drunk if we wish. The gospel presents Jesus as providing alcohol for a wedding party that was already drunk and lying to his brothers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s