Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality? By Scott B. Rae

In the OT, homosexuality is unequivocally condemned. Homosexual sex is prohibited in the law (Lv 18:22; 20:13) and called an abomination. However, of all the illicit sexual relations listed in Leviticus 18, homosexuality is not singled out as being any different or any more worthy of condemnation than any other sexual: sin. God's attitude toward homosexuality is portrayed in the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gn 19). Ezekiel includes among the sins of Sodom "immoral acts," using the same term as in Leviticus 18 to describe homosexual acts (Ezk 16:43; cp. Jd 7). The law condemns all homosexual sex and does not distinguish between perverted and wholesome homosexual relationships.

The central NT passage that addresses homosexuality is Romans 1:24-27 (cp. 1 Co 6:9; 1 Tm 6:10). It is set in the context of the condemnation of those who reject God as revealed in creation, or through natural law. It is part of Paul's broader argument for the universality of sin and judgment, setting the need for the believer to be justified by faith in Christ's atoning death on the cross, outlined in Romans 4-5. Those who rejected the available knowledge of God and chose instead to worship the Greek and Roman idols faced lifestyle consequences. One of these consequences was homosexual behavior. Paul appealed to the natural order of creation to condemn homosexual behavior (Rm 1:27).

What's natural is objective and based on creation, not dependent upon an individual's sexual orientation. Male and female were created with an innate tendency toward opposite-sex attraction, but because of sin the human race developed the potential for homosexuality. This potential is often realized when certain developmental factors are present. Because of the reality of sin, every person has the potential for homosexuality, in the same way that we have the potential for any other kind of sin Scripture describes.

Some have suggested that Paul intended to condemn only certain types of homosexuality. For example, given the context of idolatry, some have argued that Paul was only condemning homosexuality in the context of idolatrous worship. Others have suggested that Paul intended to condemn perverse homosexuality, such as having multiple partners and engaging in nonconsensual homosexual sex. Still others argue that Paul was objecting to persons' reversing their natural sexual orientation and acting sexually in ways that violate a person's orientation.

There is little evidence in the text that Paul intended to limit his teaching to certain kinds of homosexual activity. Rather, Paul's appeal to a universal truth about sexual relations linked to the order of creation (cp. Jesus' teaching in Mt 19:4-6) should prevent us from seeing this passage as limited to certain kinds of homosexual behavior and from seeing Paul as culturally outdated in his teaching. His teaching provides an appropriate context for a judgment on all same-gender sexual relationships.

In applying these passages that forbid homosexuality, some suggest that it is important to make a distinction between homosexual attraction and homosexual sexual relations. And indeed there is a difference between being attracted to a person of the same sex and acting sexually on that attraction. For a straight, married person to be attracted to someone of the opposite sex other than his or her spouse is not sin per se. It becomes sin when that attraction is acted upon, either in lust (the process of mentally having sex with a person) or in sexual overtures. Likewise, it may be that the homosexual attraction is not sin per se, though at variance with the order of creation. But when that attraction gives way to lust and ultimately to sexual activity, it is sin.

Some argue that what the Bible condemns in homosexual relationships is what it also condemns in heterosexual relationships-that is, lust and sexual involvement outside marriage. Thus the options for the Christian homosexual would be the same as for the Christian' single person: either abstinence or heterosexual sex in marriage. Some Christians who struggle with their sexual identity have grasped this distinction and have rejected the gay lifestyle while attempting to work out issues related to their sexual identity.

It may be that failure to recognize a distinction between feeling a homosexual attraction and acting homosexually has kept the church from being a more accepting place for those struggling with their sexual orientation.

Extracted from the Apologetics Study Bible.

1 comment:

  1. For the sake of sodomites' abomination acts, God destroyed Sodom as Ezekiel 16:49,50 shows for us. Ezekiel uses 16:50 Hebrew word towebah, which is the same Hebrew word in Lev 18:22 (and Lev 20:13) that describes homosexuality as abomination. It is very clear that in Ezekiel 16:50, abomination means homosexuality acts as the reason for destroying of Sodom. Sodomites pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness and hardened hearts towards poor and needy were sins, but destruction came for the sake of homosexuality, and the New Testament confirms this:

    Jude1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    Apostle Paul wrote very clearly that homosexuality (men having sex with other men; women having sex with other women) is a sin. Ro 1:27 is word error, which is in Greek plane, which means error, to deceive, deceit, one led astray from the right way, error which shows itself in action, a wrong mode of acting. In this place, the Bible in the New Testament shows very clearly that same-gender sex is a sin and aberration from the right way. Apostle Paul taught very clearly that homosexuality is unnatural sin.

    Many scientists believe that homosexuality is congenital, a matter and orientation that can't be changed as heterosexual. Paradoxical is that many scientists don't believe in God of the Bible, and they proclaim that God of the Bible is not existed. Nevertheless, God of the Bible is capable of change homosexuals individuals to be as heterosexuals.

    Arsenos means male and koiten means bed. Lev 18:22 and 20:13 teach that a man cannot lie (sexual act) with another man as he lies with a woman. The origin of the word arsenokoites means homosexual activity and homosexual. Lev 18:22 and 20:13 prove very clearly that arsenos koitenmeans homosexuality sex, because the Jews scribes translated words' arsenos koiten to describe men who have sex with another men (homosexuality), which is a sin and against the will of God. Apostle Paul didn't make up the word arsenokoites, but it was already as the concept in the Old Testament, where it meant homosexuality.

    It is very clear that the words' arsenos koiten meant homosexuality (man who had sex with another man) to Jews of the Old Covenant era. In the same way arsenokoites meant homosexuality (man who had sex with another man) to Jesus' disciples in the New Covenant era.

    Jewish philosopher Philo lived in the same time as Jesus Christ and Philo has said that arsenokoites meant shrine prostitute (male temple prostitute), and not homosexual. Some people have made from this a conclusion that the word arsenokoites meant a male temple prostitute. Philo's interpretation was totally wrong, because the Bible proves this undisputedly and shows that Philo erred.

    Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13 doesn't use temple prostitute word, but words in which is denied that a man can't lie sexually with another man. Always when the Bible speaks for temple prostitutes, so the Bible uses words gedeshah and gadesh. If Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13 told for temple prostitutes, so verses would mention them, but there isn't, because in those verses, the Bible forbids homosexuality. It is very clear and undisputable in the light of the testimony of the Bible, that arsenokoites means homosexuality.

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    Reference: http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/homosexual.html

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