Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Little Help?

Homosexuality and the Bible.

What if a person came to you and asked you to show him specifically where the Bible says that same-sex romantic love is a sin? How would you show him?

What if this person claims to be a born-again Christian?
Would you start by showing him the Genesis account of the creation of Eve, like so:
_____________________________________

What do you think of this passage of the Bible? How does it relate to the suitability of a male "mate" for a man?

Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." 19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

__________________________

What if then the person asnswered thusly:

Many people use the creation story as evidence, but is it? The theory is that as God made 2 heterosexuals that must be the ideal. Yet we are told hemade them vegan ... is veganism Gods ideal now? If Adam n Eve were both black, would being white not be Gods ideal? What if they were both redheads, would that mean all non red heads are not his ideal eather. The truth is, sexuality is not the issue here, but mans choice to sin and go against God. Don't read whats not there here.

What if then, after several more exchanges on this passage, you could see it was going nowhere, as the person was saying things like "... the bible tends to talk in heterosexual terms because most people are heterosexual..." Would you turn to a passage like this and gave these thoughts:

__________________________

What about these passages?

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Leviticus 18:21-23'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Leviticus 20:13

The difference, as I see it, between this "romantic love" as you put it, and a platonic, deeply respectful relationship is that the first culminates in a physical relationship. This culmination is what is spoken against here in this passage. Heterosexual men also have desires that are frankly very unrighteous - promiscuity, sex with multitudes of women in their minds... pornography etc...We must be willing to recognize that which is not pleasing to God about our own desires. This is the first step toward putting off behaviors that are unpleasing to God and ultimately destructive to us. (I include in that all those heterosexual destructive behaviors that are not within God's design).

_____________________

What if the young man then answered you in this way:

It says if a man lays with another man into 'ebah is the sin and to 'beah is idolotry...NOT abomination or detestable. Sorry. So the real crime listed is not homosexuality (same sex attractions) but male same sex acts in idolotry. Note the start of chapter 18 of leviticus and the verse BEFORE the gay law as you see it! Its all condemning a sex act in idolotry. Nothing to do with homosexuality in general then...

Would you kinda feel like this conversation is going nowhere and the person just wants to justify what they are doing? If I were having a conversation like this, Romans 1 might come to mind ... as well as Paul's exhortations to put off all sexual immorality, but is that the right thing to bring up? This person, this hypothetical (?) person, won't even recognize that laying with another man is a sin.

What would you say to him? He says he is a born-again Christian, remember. He should care about what the Bible really says and he would claim to want to know where it says that this is truly a sin. Presumably, if he could be shown, such a one would want to stop doing these things.

36 Comments:

  • That is a lot of questions.

    This is a real encounter, is it not?

    Yes, I think the Genesis account is the best place to start.

    The Levitical law is not the best text, as you will get bogged down in the complications of how we should use the law as Christians.

    You could point out that the Bible has a good deal to say about human sexuality. What does it say that is positive about homsexuality? Are there are any hints in Scripture that homosexuality is acceptable?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/12/2006 2:37 PM  

  • That fact that we are even having this discussion shows how revolting our society has become.

    If he says he is a born again christian, I would take him through the law and after proving him a sinner before God, ask him what it is that he bases his salvation or hope of salvation upon?

    By Blogger Jim, at 12/12/2006 3:40 PM  

  • I think the Leviticus passage is a good place.

    The text links homosexual activity as an expression of "idolatry" (the broader context is also a listing of what is cursed behavior).

    Rom. 1 is excellent in this regard. He'll likely argue well that's a "cultural" problem specific to the first century Roman culture of unbridled lust taking place in Rome. He'll try to particularize this text, and the issue it's dealing with to the first century. The counter to his assertion, is to go to Rom. 1:18-21 and provide the "universal moral nature" of the context. Notice the language of heaven in vs. 18, which figures for "all people under heaven"; and the lang. of "all" ungodlieness in the same passage. This text, by context and intention, is universal in application and thus transcends the particular time/space frame provided by 1st cent. Rome.

    I think openess and testimony will be the strongest witness to this guy, Rose.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 12/12/2006 6:23 PM  

  • Not to marginalize or minumize this sad situation, but this is definitely an issue where one's theology meets the road; isn't it?

    What I mean, is that a Free-Gracer based upon the profession of belief in Jesus for salvation, by this fellow, will conclude that this is a carnal way-ward believer.

    and

    the Lord-shiper will look at this guys life-style, and say definitely not saved.

    Have I over-simplified this, or is there reality to what I'm saying.

    Rose,

    if you feel I'm "hi-jacking" or going to far off point with this comment . . . then feel free to remove.

    In Christ

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 12/12/2006 8:03 PM  

  • Rose,

    how can a man look at another hairy man and be in love?

    it is utterly revolting.

    I don't have any words of wisdom.

    If he is born again, and he is truly seeking God's will in the matter, and is submitting to the study of the Word, I believe that the Holy Spirit will lead him to truth.

    But if he is merely looking to justify his sin (or position, whatever) and not open to the text of the bible, reason, or the Holy Spirit, the further he goes to defend his position, the harder his heart will get in the matter.

    Bobby,

    you are right. rubber meets the road.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 12/13/2006 12:41 AM  

  • Rose,

    In my reply to Brian I challenged the concept of "romantic love" as I think this concept is in error. He admits that the scripture condemns the homosexual act but does not find any problem with what I would call "fanning the flames". Romance is not love but a group of actions that are intended to provoke a sexual response whether emotional (in the heart) or physical (in the flesh).

    By Blogger Kc, at 12/13/2006 5:43 AM  

  • There's a LOADED question! Great Post! God Bles You!

    By Anonymous BJ Scoggins, at 12/13/2006 7:37 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I agree with Bobby, "Rom. 1 is excellent in this regard." That's where I would take him.

    And I don't think his argument against the Leviticus passages hold water. Verse 22 explicitly says, "it is an abomination." Pretty strong language. And it's directed at the act of homosexuality.

    And I would say that prayer is the first place to start. And I'm sure you already do that...pray for him. I've always heard of Rom. 1 as being a progression of God's wrath.

    Vs. 8 - "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness"

    Vs. 24 God gives them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity.

    Vs. 26 God gives them over to degrading passions.

    Vs. 28 God gives them over to a depraved mind.

    The very sad verses are 29-32, because they are "filled with all unrighteousness..." and they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death." But they keep on doing it and give "hearty approval to those who practice them."

    So I would say, even if he doesn't recognize the act as a sin, he would have to agree that it's part of a downward spiral. That it's not a good thing. He calls it a "degrading passion", "unnatural", and an "error."

    If he still doesn't listen, I'm not sure what I would do. It would depend on a lot of other circumstances. If he was a memember of your church, you'd probably have to follow the steps for church discipline.

    That's my input. Definitely a tough situation. But Christ can change the heart of any man.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 12/13/2006 8:50 AM  

  • I would partly agree with him. Depending upon if you mean romantic love and if you only mean homosexual love. I believe that homosexual love is simply love felt between two men, or two women, and it is good. I love Kc.

    The difference is that normally homosexual love is tainted. It is added to with aspects of sexual attraction and these sexual attractions (which I don't believe to be sin, even in homosexuals) lead to sin if not controlled.

    But this is just like any 'love', and it is not peculiar to homosexuals. It is asinine to think that just because two people are heterosexuals and in 'love', that their love is pure and holy and something God favors upon. God didn't like David's love to Bathsheeba did He?

    Two people can be in love, and it be pure. Whether the two people are two men, two women or two members of the opposite sex. This love can be pure, but it can likewise be tainted and become corrupt.

    I do not believe the homosexual attractions are sin, nor more than I believe heterosexuals are sin, they are neutral. It is not the attraction that is wrong, but whether the attraction takes action or not.

    That should be enough fodder for discussion I think....

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 12/13/2006 8:59 AM  

  • I had this same conversation via e-mail recently (probably with the same individual).

    The reasoning that I used is very similar to what you have presented, that is, that romantic love (eros) is a type of love that is designed to lead to physical action.

    The individual I discussed this with showed a distinct hardness toward any scriptural argument I put forth. I got the impression that despite his seemingly sincere initial question, he had already decided what he wanted to be true and was merely looking for someone to affirm what he wanted to believe. I say this, because the further the conversation progressed, the more combative and belicose he became.

    If someone is earnestly seeking the truth, then it behooves us to offer them any assistance that we can. But in this case I fear that this individual is not earnestly seeking the truth.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 12/13/2006 11:02 AM  

  • Hey Ten Cent,

    Good post. Say, if you do not mind, click on my profile and send me an email.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/13/2006 12:02 PM  

  • Thanks, Matthew.
    I thought of that about the law. But if someone is just asking what is a sin - I figured it would be a good place to go. Yes it is a real encounter and apparently I am not the only one who has had the encounter with this person.

    Jim,
    Ya know, I empathize with your sentiments. I do think that we need to engage the culture, revolting as it is. We need to fight for the minds of the people in our society.

    Hi Bobby,
    Thanks for your helpful ideas. I truly appreciate your comments. I also want you to know that your comments about where the rubber meets the road occured to me as well when I first got the email from the young man. I actually think about the practical issues of FG/LS all the time, because there are several people I know who have "fallen away" and are living in ways that are not becoming of a Christian. I think the simplistic view is not the best. People are very complex and Christians still have sin and self-will. They don't always chose the right path. Then again, I think sin can certainly destroy a person who embraces it while they have been justified. It is not congruent. It does us all a world of harm.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/13/2006 12:14 PM  

  • Antonio,
    I spit coffe on my screen when I opened the email notification of your comment. I appreciate what you have said. I think you are Absolutely Right!

    Thanks KC and Gordon ...
    for the heads up. I am glad I brought this up because now I know that this is a bit of a game perhaps. I am still going to say what I have in mind to him, but I have felt the hosility coming on the further I delve into the subject. Let's all pray for the young man.

    Hi Bonnie!
    It is good to see you. I hope you and Joe are well. Do you have any thoughts about the question?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/13/2006 12:20 PM  

  • Hi Ten Cent,
    Great thoughts! I have always found Romans 1 to be so powerful. It is sad how mankind turns away and away and away.
    You have provided some helpful ideas. Thanks for coming over again.

    Sofyst,
    Well, you had to bring that up. That is another whole can of worms. I have tried to work through that before and didn;t get to the end of it - is the evil desire the sin or is carrying it out a sin or are both sins of a different type? I tend to believe that the sins of the mind are because we are sinners and so to try to say that it is not sin is denying that we have sin in our very core. I do believe acting on wicked thougts bears much more responsibilty and gets into a sin of a different level.

    I love KC too.

    I also agree - heterosexuals have plenty of sin. I hear ya on that.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/13/2006 12:26 PM  

  • Gordon,
    Just as I said to you and KC above,
    Thanks for the heads up. We can pray that God's Word will penetrate.

    GOJIRA!
    You don't even say hello to me?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/13/2006 12:28 PM  

  • "Many people use the creation story as evidence, but is it? The theory is that as God made 2 heterosexuals that must be the ideal. Yet we are told hemade them vegan ... is veganism Gods ideal now?"

    Hmmmm....it doesn't sound like you are dealing with one who wants to know the truth. Regardless of that, his argument is a little on the queer side. For example, your opponent is in agreement that God created, but then denies the standard design of that creation. Had God been approving of a homosexual relationship, he would most cetrainly included one. His mentioning of God making them vegans is IMHO a poorly excuted smokescreen because he doesn't want to deal with the issues. Of course the food God gave them to eat were veggies. And then later God oked the use of meat. Yet that has nothing to do with the price of chickens in China. The morality that He designed, and the relationships that reflect that morality stayed the same -- hence, sin remained sin.

    "The truth is, sexuality is not the issue here, but mans choice to sin and go against God."

    And another flatulent blast, and for the same reason as above.

    "It says if a man lays with another man into 'ebah is the sin and to 'beah is idolotry...NOT abomination or detestable. Sorry. So the real crime listed is not homosexuality (same sex attractions) but male same sex acts in idolotry."

    Again, more ignorance. I'll have to check, but I think he has his Hebrew words wrong as well. Regardless, let's follow his logic here. He is wanting to say that outside of idolatry, homosexuality is okay. Now he is basing that on the Hebrew words. To be consistant, he would also have to say that beastality and pedophilia is alright as well as long as they are not done in an idolartious environment since that too has the same grammitical and contextual structure in the Hebrew. But is he willing to go that far? His position fails him.

    1 Timothy 1:9-10 condemns him. "We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for...the sexually immoral and for homosexuals."

    It isn't that homosexuals can't be saved or that homosexuality is the unforgivable sin. Nor is it that a person saved out of homosexuality will never be tempted by that. It is the fact that one who is a Christian, born again, has the Holy Spirit living inside them. If they can live in that sinful life style and have no conviction of that sin and God is not bringing discipline to that person, then that person has never been saved. And what is sad is when you have people who name the name of Christ and would argue against that.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/13/2006 12:43 PM  

  • Oh, yes, forgot my manners.....


    HEY ROSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/13/2006 12:45 PM  

  • Personally, the less I talk or think about Homosexuality the better.

    But it would be kind of cool to have the flair for style that a lot of 'Gay' people have, you know, really appreciating women's clothes.

    I saw this style expert on television once who was probably 'Gay' and it was really nice to watch his enthusiasm about women's clothes. It was nice to see somebody whith such enthusiasm and passion about something that most men are really ignorant about.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/13/2006 12:48 PM  

  • Matthew,

    You crack me up!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger Gojira, at 12/13/2006 12:57 PM  

  • Matthew cracks me up as well. What a funny thing to say. I laughed with my hand over my mouth - it was that kind of humor.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/13/2006 1:50 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I think you should carry on to Leviticus 20. That lists several sins, including homosexual sex, and including heterosexual adultery, and says that God abhors them.

    But heres the kicker... verses 23 & 24 tell us for certain that the Canaanites did these exact things, and that that was the reason that God dispossessed them and gave their land to the Israelites.

    Lev 20 makes it clear that God despises and hates all sex outside of marriage between a husband and wife. All such sex is clearly sin.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/13/2006 9:32 PM  

  • I agree with Buggy (of course). One of the issues we ran into earlier this year with Amy the Atheist was the idea that God is mean to certain minority groups, like women and homosexuals. But God isn't against sex, and he doesn't hate homosexuals--he hates sin, and any type of sex outside of marriage is a sin.

    Also, have you discussed 1 Cor 6:9-11 with him? Those who practice unrighteousness of various kinds will not inheirit the kingdom of heaven.

    "Such were some of you." Past tense. That was what you were, until you were washed, sanctified, and justified.

    By Blogger Gummby, at 12/13/2006 11:23 PM  

  • I still think the Leviticus text raises a lot of complications. Maybe if you have time to have a debate.

    But if you are witnessing on the streets like I do, using a texts like Lev 20 is not the best idea.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 12/14/2006 3:48 AM  

  • Hi Rose; Just found you blog. Very interesting thoughts you have. I think when you truly love God and want to serve Him you will not let anything stand in the way.

    By Anonymous Tabby, at 12/14/2006 4:38 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    You are much more patient than I am.

    I think Antonio's question is the best if the person you are having this encounter with is truly a man. I would hardly give the childish, selfish, sodomite you have described in this post the time of day any more than any whoremonger or adulterer or fornicator, except in a family setting where we are expected to be polite and civil. Yet since he/she claims to be born again I would rebuke him/her once. If there was no positive response, I would rebuke him/her a second time. If again there were no signs of him/her moving God ward then I would have nothing to do with him/her.

    Folks we are not the consolers of worldlings who choose to harden their hearts toward our merciful God. Judas was very clever in hiding his hypocrisy. Leave God some room to deal with such as He sees fit. I can’t picture God wringing His hands wondering what to do next. He is in control. I would give no place to playing games with this person. The Bible is practical not theoretical.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/14/2006 6:47 AM  

  • Haha Matthew, no I don't imagine it would go over well.

    J.Wendell, you nailed it I think.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/14/2006 7:42 AM  

  • Rose, I had been communicating with this same man for a while. His whole case for the word in Leviticus is flawed. He does not know Hebrew and is basing his whole argument on a misreading of Strong's Concordance. He looked in the back where the definition of the word says it is used with "idolatry." He has taken that to mean that the word means idolatry. The MAJOR flaw in this is that when you look up the word that Strong's itself uses in that the Leviticus passages, it is "abomination" and not "idolatry." He finally came to the point where he just said that the old law is completely dead. He is grasping for straws.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 12/14/2006 10:21 AM  

  • Gojira,
    Thanks for your comments above. I was thinking some of the same things as I read the email responses.

    Bugblaster,
    Thanks for stopping by! You are right about Leviticus 20. This person claims to want to know where the Bible says that it is a sin. I don't think we can really get any more clear cut than that.

    Hi Gumby,
    I suppose you stopped by because of Gojira's link. Well, good to see ya! I am wondering what you would say to him about the Scripture that you bring up. Is the idea to try and get him to see that if he is born again, than he should not live like what he was... Is that the point?

    Hello Tabby,
    Are you related to Jazzy Cat?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/14/2006 1:36 PM  

  • J. Wendell,
    Well! Why don't you tell me how you really feel?
    *clears throat*
    I will take that under advisement. I do understand what you are saying. We needn't pussy-foot around with this issue. Obviously, he has been bluffing with several other people about really wanting to know ... and will not break with his rebellion. Thanks for the counsel.

    Hi Jonathan!
    Yet another comes forward who has labored with this fella to no avail. I think I am getting the picture now. I have just a couple of more things to say to him and then I will move on - I have bigger fish to fry! Thanks for your input on the Leviticus word. I couldn't see what he was saying by looking in E-Sword and I just let it go when I could see that it didn't matter what I told him.. Yes, I think his mind is made up. We can pray for him.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/14/2006 1:42 PM  

  • I agree with J. Wendall. If we are dealing with a person who claims the faith we do and yet still trys to explain away truth, then there is nothing else to do, but let him go to destroy his flesh. He is no different than the man who was having sexual relations with his fathers wife in Corinth.

    However if this person was not denying the truth and was struggling to let go of his sin then patience and kindness is the order.
    If this person did not claim faith in Christ at all, then we have a totally different set of circumstances.

    By Blogger Kris, at 12/15/2006 10:38 AM  

  • John,

    Good words, and my instant first reaction along with Antonio's.

    But considering the fact that Jesus hung out with the list of people you said, remember to be patiently telling them over and over of God's love and mercy we should consider how Jesus taught others.

    I'm reminded of this over and over from Christ's words with the tax collectors and sinners....Always tell of the reality of sin and Christ forgiveness, yet if they respond like the Pharisees we are to do exactly as you said and rebuke them so that their heart may not be hardened by sins deceitfulness.

    Rose,

    Surprised by Nathaniel response, but I don't know him. I don't know what he is really talking about because this doesn't seem to be how the scriptures deal with these matters.

    Maybe I'm with Matthew on this one.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/16/2006 12:23 AM  

  • Shawn,

    When I said, "I would hardly give the childish, selfish, sodomite you have described in this post the time of day

    I perhaps should have included the word less also, thus, "...any more [or less] than any whoremonger or adulterer or fornicator..."

    Brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 12/16/2006 7:46 AM  

  • Kris,
    Yes. Very excellent! That is the Biblical approach. You expounded on J. Wendell's thoughts perfectly.

    Shawn,
    I agree, we can't be snobbish towards people in lifestyles that are sinful, but a lot rests on their attitude. Over the last few days, the attitude of this one has shown clearly to be pure rebellion and self-will. He is not interested in whether or not the Bible has anything to say about homosexulaity at all. He is just interested in doing what he feels like doing.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/16/2006 1:08 PM  

  • In this case sounds John sounds correct then as well.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 12/17/2006 5:04 AM  

  • And then comes the time, after all things have been said and done, to wipe the dust from your feet, cease casting pearls before swine, stop arguing for argument's sake, and let the Holy Spirit deal with him as He will.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 12/17/2006 4:03 PM  

  • Hi Gayla,
    Yes, you are right. Thanks for the visit.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/18/2006 2:56 PM  

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