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Does The Bible Really Condemn Homosexuality?

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Christopher Profile
Christopher answered
Homosexuality remains one of the most controversial issues for Christians in Europe and North America, where gay rights and same-sex marriage have been at the top of political agendas. Traditionally, many Christian churches have thought that being homosexuality was a choice, rather than a biological or genetic reality. According to this belief, one’s sexual orientation is not defined at the time of birth, but is a product of one’s environment and family situation. While no mainstream Christian leader believes that God condemns homosexuals, many do feel that the Bible—which is seen as the word of God—does teach that homosexual relations are immoral and sinful. Yet a closer reading of scripture and even a basic understanding of its history shows that the Bible as a whole does not condemn homosexuality, despite what some Christian leaders might think or what society may assume. While there are passages in the Old Testament which—on the surface—might sound like a condemnation of homosexuality, Jesus Christ does not speak explicitly about this issue at all and it appears only a couple of times in the New Testament.

Homosexuality and the Old Testament
The Bible itself is not just a book, but rather a collection of books written by a whole range of different people, in vastly different times and for diverse audiences. As such, when we look at what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, we need to keep in mind just how complex a collection this is and not lose track of the given historical context. For example, one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible by those who believe that homosexuality is immoral is Leviticus 18:22, which states that “thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: It is abomination.”

On the surface, this really does seem to cast homosexual relationships as unethical and as being against God’s will. But if the reader looks at the broader context, it likely refers to a much more specific set of circumstances present in Old Testament times. The verse immediately before the Leviticus 18:22 talks about how Israelites must not worship a Pagan god called Molech. Historians and theologians have pointed out that those who worshiped Molech often had sexual intercourse with prostitutes who were present outside the temple.  Molech’s followers believed that having sex with these prostitutes would please their god and might even increase their fertility. If we keep this in mind when reading the verse which tells male readers not to lie with another man as they would with a woman, then we can logically conclude that this is not a blanket condemnation of homosexuality, but a statement condemning purely physical and sexual relations with prostitutes and other activities practiced by Molech’s followers.

Liberal Christian theology not only maintains that it is important to understand verses such as Leviticus 18:22 within its proper historical context, but that some books of the Old Testament may even support committed same-sex relationships. For example, in 1 Samuel 18: 1-4 we can read about the very close friendship which existed between Jonathan and David. More progressive theologians believe that the two men were more than simply platonic friends, but were actually involved in a homosexual relationship. In this verse we learn that “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.” Later, Jonathan goes further, making a “covenant” with David while he “stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armour, including his sword and his bow and his belt.” Historians point out that in ancient times, people did not have underwear. This means that if Jonathan took off his robe, he would have been completely nude in front of David.

This level of nudity would have been unacceptable between males who were simply friends. The final image of Jonathan handing over all of his belongings symbolizes a formal relationship between the two, and one that goes beyond a simple friendship. In fact, Saul—who at the time was the king of Israel, viewed the relationship between Jonathan and David as homosexual in nature, and he suggested that this was shameful. While the king might have seen it as unacceptable, this verse presents what looks very much like a loving same-sex relationship between two committed adults in a positive light. That David’s relationship with Jonathan may have been homosexual in nature is underlined by verse 2 Samuel 1:26, where David speaks about how this love was “more wonderful than that of women.” This is a very important passage, since men would not normally have any personal contact or friendship with women, other than a wife. As such, this verse implies that David and Jonathan had a committed sexual relationship.

Homosexuality in the New Testament
Paul’s reference to homosexuality in the Book of Romans is frequently cited by conservative Christians who continue to believe that same sex relationships go against Scripture. In fact, even liberal theologians often concede that Paul seems to condemn homosexuality, at least on the surface. In Romans 1: 24-26, Paul wrote about how “men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another” and that “Men committed indecent acts with other men.” What conservative Christian often forget when reading this verse is the historical context. Paul was speaking about Christian who decided to leave the church and return to pagan religions, including idol worship and orgies. Paul also implies in this verse that these Pagans, who were heterosexuals, started engaging in homosexual behaviour and this went against their sexual nature. As such, Paul does not condemn homosexuality in its entirety, but rather heterosexuals who engage in all forms of sexual behaviour outside of a committed and loving relationship. There is no question that Paul condemned homosexual acts in this verse, but he probably only knew of casual same-sex encounters or other forms of prostitution and had no personal knowledge of people living in committed homosexual relationships.

Jesus and Homosexuality
The teachings of Jesus Christ form the foundations of the Christian faith. Interestingly, Jesus is silent on the issue of homosexuality, even though he has plenty to say on a whole range of sins and the immorality which permeated the society in which he lived.  A brochure produced during the early 1990s by Stanford University’s Episcopal Chaplain probably best explains Jesus’ views of homosexuality. The pamphlet’s cover includes the question: “What did Jesus say about homosexuality?” But when the reader opened the pamphlet, all that he/she would find was a totally blank page, with absolutely no text whatsoever. Penelope Duckworth, Stanford’s Episcopal chaplain at the time, pointed out that Jesus focused mainly on “sins of the spirit” rather than “sins of the body.”

Christ’s message was one of love, compassion, understanding, peace and forgiveness among people, and he supported social justice. Rather than condemn people engaged in sexual behaviour that would have been seen as completely immoral at the time, he embraced people from all walks of life. The best example is how Jesus stopped the stoning to death of the prostitute by the Pharisees. In one of the most famous verses in the Bible, Jesus told those who were prepared to stone the woman accused or adultery that "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Jesus preached a message of forgiveness and mercy, and this even extended to those who engaged in sexual behaviour widely condemned even today in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Gay Christians today
While there are a large number of Christian groups and churches which call for their members to embrace homosexuals but condemn the act of homosexuality, a growing number of openly gay men and women are also taking a more active role in their church communities. Anglicans have had to deal most openly with issues of homosexuality in recent years, especially after the openly gay Gene Robinson became Bishop of New Hampshire. In fact, Robinson continues to live in a same-sex relationship, with his spouse, Mark Andrew, even while remaining an Episcopal bishop.
Grassroots organizations are also challenging the way in which church leaders view homosexuality. For example, Dignity USA, established in 1969 is the largest such organization and aims to serve as a home for lesbian, gay and bisexual Catholics and challenges the Vatican’s conservative views on sexuality in general. At an even higher level, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has run a special ministry geared towards gay Catholics for over two decades.

Christian views on homosexuality are changing, especially as a growing number of countries legalize same-sex marriage and as gay rights remain at the centre of political dialogue. There is still much debate on whether the Bible condemns or condones homosexuality. But liberal theologians argue that an examination of the broader context shows that the overall biblical message supports sex within loving, committed relationships, but condemns all forms of sexual intercourse among those who seek it purely out of physical pleasure.
thanked the writer.
John
John commented
Christo fer : Read the book of jude if your still confused about what God says about sodom and gamorrah...and he turned them over to their vile affections....(paraphrasing)..
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
As Sunyday says, so what? Clearly there are verses that condemn homosexuality in the Bible, but there are also verses that condemn eating crustaceans, and tell us that we should stone prostitutes to death.

Reading the Bible is one of those things that people do selectively. Things that are inconvenient for people to follow tend to be ignored as "outdated rules for a specific time" but the things they like to obey are "commands from God". It's a game of pick and choose- many things in the Bible are completely contradicted by things written in later books of the Bible.

It is important to remember that all of the books of the Bible were written by people that believed stomach aches were examples of demonic possession, that the earth was a flat disc, and that stars were holes in the sky that allow us to see heaven. Interpretations of God's Law by the imperfect men who tried to write it down with little understanding of how the world actually works should be taken with a grain of salt, in my opinion.

To each his own though.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Well, I am a lesbian.  I truly don't care what anyone thinks.  I don't pick who you love, and I am not going to allow someone else to choose who I love.  Whether you realize it or not, we all sin everyday and do not realize it.  The Lord knows what you are thinking, and I know we all have some bad thoughts at times.  Therefore, don't judge others by whom they chose to love.  There are a lot of nice, helpful, professional, and closet homosexuals out there!!
greg c Profile
greg c answered
As Curlysue said "yes, it does". I've been a born again Christian for many, many years. I know a lot of the Scriptures regarding homosexuality as a sin, an abomination to God. I'm sure most of us do. Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament and Paul in Romans, chapter one in the New Testament and so many others. I know that the gay community uses a few Scriptures to defend their lifestyle. The David/Jonathan relationship in the Old Testament and the idea that Jesus didn't "directly" speak out against it in the New Testament. But let's take the Bible and any other Scriptural book off the table for a moment. Let's think about it rationally and civilly. It's so easy to pull an idea out and point the finger. "Come, let us REASON together"! God made man and woman - not man and man or woman and woman. I don't believe homosexuality is wrong simply because it's been ingrained in me since my youth or that it says so in the Bible or elsewhere. It's wrong because it doesn't make sense. Could God have made a whole society of men/men and women/women and left it at that? But He didn't. We have sex by marriage and have babies who grow up to do the same and on it goes. The bottom line is that the penis and the vagina were meant to go together. Now let's return to the Bible, read it for what it says, and let the Holy Spirit convict us in our thoughts and hearts.
Allie or Al Ranslett Profile
Yes it  does  look the word up in the back of a Bible and look up the references.
Meta Forrest Profile
Meta Forrest answered
No. Only the King James version does. There were books of the new testament taken out of this version. When Phillip asked Jesus , "When will you return" he answered him "When men are as men and women as are women ,"   So it could be any time soon that Christ will be among us again. God does not condemn homosexuality and any living man or woman who does so are speaking for the devil. Rejoice in the word of the Lord.
Kristi W Profile
Kristi W answered
Why has no one referenced Sodom and Gomorrah? They were two cities filthy with sin (such as homosexual acts and loss of values and morales) God destroyed them by fire and brimstone. Sodomy is clearly written as a sin in the bible. People are going to say whatever to make it sound ok, just because this is such a touchy subject. Do you think that you are going to justify homosexuality by saying you do not interpert the bible by saying it is a sin?It is a sin and you participated, so you will not get into heaven without repenting for sinning just bu participating in these types of acts. God will forgive all sins, but you do have to repent.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Yes it does. God cast fire on Sodom and Gomora, if you ever visit the Red Sea, evidence is there. The whole plays turned into salt.
Selie Visa Profile
Selie Visa answered
Mankind is the crown of God's creation. The union of Adam and Eve marked the first marriage. God performed the ceremony and gave the bride away. Human wedlock is truly holy and ordained by God. The government or a court may legalize gay marriage. But that does not make it right and lawful in the sight of God because God's equation of marriage is...
Marriage = 1Male + 1Female.
1Male + 1Female = 1Flesh.

Romans 1:24-27 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Genesis 19:4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land.
Suny Day Profile
Suny Day answered
Yes, it does. So what?  There is also a bunch of other stuff that is so silly it will make your head swim.  Observant Jews spend a lot of time and energy trying to follow all the food rules and how to trim your beard, & etc because of the rules in the Old Testament/Torah.  On the other hand, slavery and child abuse seem perfectly OK.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Yes the bastard god(s) condemns it among other things                                                      join your voice with mine and we shall sing peace everlasting
Ed White Profile
Ed White answered
Say what you will, believe what the world tells you is right. But the day will come when you won't be able to have The lawyer of The devil defend against the laws of god an you all will be judged by the word. The only way out is to repent of your sins (Sodomy) an not re-vist them! The world can allow but Fathers law is not to be debated! God Save this country from the Politcally correct an Sodomites.

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