“Homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God. He said to His people Israel, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13). In these passages homosexuality is condemned as a prime example of sin, a sexual perversion. The Christian can neither alter God’s viewpoint nor depart from it.” – Homosexuality: The Christian Perspective – Bible.org
This is untrue. Particularly the last statement. The Christian can decide that the bible is wrong, both morally and factually. They choose to adhere to the dogma regardless of their own beliefs (if they have even thought about what they claim they believe). The truth is that those who believe choose to remain ‘faithful’ to it’s content, have been conditioned to believe that these people are unnatural in some respect despite all evidence to the contrary. There is no failing in falling in love with another individual. The sexuality of others is none of anybody’s business. It is NOT a mental illness and therefore no cure is required. It is normal behaviour for those who are so inclined and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is the business of consenting the adults involved. Unfortunately, there are those who have ignored the facts because they have been programmed to believe what it says in the bible.
13“‘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
What Does SoulForce Say?
The article from SoulForce, uses weak arguments defending the Bible from blame and criticism and the author goes to great lengths to exhibit their ‘qualifications’ on the subject. The writer has convinced themselves than the bible does not in fact condemn homosexuality (I will get to why in a moment). They also makes unsubstantiated claims of the bible condemning private sexual acts that are now considered ‘acceptable’, including the practice of Levirate Marriage (Mark 12:18), while commanding those that have been cast aside. Aside from the fact that this practice removes female autonomy, and lends yet more weight to my misogyny argument, it is not a generally accepted practice in the UK. The story in question was more to clear up an issue of who would claim a woman as their wife come judgement day. DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12, is not a socially ‘accepted’ sexual act and nor are MARK 10:1-12, DEUTERONOMY 22:22, or DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21, which begs the question of exactly where the author got their ‘qualifications’ and why they chose these particular verses to support their ridiculous argument. It also leads me to question why even bother to defend this hate-filled book to begin with but then, as expected pops up the standard straw-man answer of:
“Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.”
And goes on…
“Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S. health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post-natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation. (See Recommended Resources, p. 23-24.)”
The article goes on and on and even makes an absurd statement that the Bible and Jesus do not condemn or even mention homosexual activity because it was unknown until the 19th Century (insert comedic ‘wrong’ buzzer). At this point I decided to abandon the article as a source (it made me too cross). The writer is clearly in a world of their own and I very much doubt that any amount of debunking would make the slightest bit of difference. What they did say, that I am glad that they acknowledged, is that the interpretation of various passages has enabled people to claim justification for their acts of violence and hatred. One of the many hundreds of instances of ‘collective misinterpretation’ led to the emergence of the Klu Klux Klan and cowards in disguise terrorising any they believed to be living in ways contrary to those laid down in the bible. This was not limited to antipathy toward homosexuals, but included race discrimination, misogyny and the persecution of any and all that they even suspected of sympathy or liberal ideology. The article was worth a mention because it illustrates the sheer level of denial we are up against.
This, at least, was honest about what the bible says on the matter and refrains from painting a rosy glow over the issue, but it was no less despicable. The page is in the form of questions and answers session and emphasises the wanton lack of respect for those who happen to be attracted to their own gender. Their reasons are just as despicable as the questions asked and the whole page was written by a single individual, Lehman Strauss.
Q. How can we help Christians who get involved in the practice of homosexuality?
We can help them by seeking to draw their attention to what God says in His Word. In a kind and loving spirit we can show them that they are wrong. However, the homosexual must admit to the fact that he is living in sin and that he has the desire to be made free from it. Without a genuine conviction of God’s displeasure and a strong desire to do God’s will, there is no hope. A truly born again person cannot continue to practice sin without reaping the results of miserable unhappiness brought on by loss of fellowship with God, the fear of retribution and the anxiety produced by guilt. The homosexual must ask himself, “Is the temporary gratification of the flesh worth all the penalty and losses I must suffer?”
Q. What should be the Christian’s attitude toward the homosexual?
We must always keep before us the fact that homosexuals, like all of us sinners, are the objects of God’s love. The Bible says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ “is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2). The Christian who shares God’s love for lost sinners will seek to reach the homosexual with the gospel of Christ, which “is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16). As a Christian I should hate all sin but I can find no justification for hating the sinner. The homosexual is a precious soul for whom Christ died. We Christians can show him the best way of life by pointing him to Christ. Our Lord said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). We are obligated to take the gospel to all.
Hating the sin but not the sinner dehumanises the individual and strips them of part of who they are and allows the believer to expect the same from others. I have no patience with this argument and it will never be accepted by any rational individual. If they have no inclination to partake in homosexual ‘activity’ then don’t. Nobody is expecting them to. They have no right to pass judgement on guiltless strangers for a lifestyle that harms nobody, because they have the credulity to believe the contents of ancient propaganda. The article points to a series of passages that I will use to compile yet another PDF over tomorrow and Friday.
Passages from the Old Testament have been interpreted to argue that homosexuals should be punished with death, and AIDS has been portrayed by some such as Fred Phelps and Jerry Falwell as a punishment by God against homosexuals. In the 20th century, theologians like Karl Barth, Jürgen Moltmann,Hans Kung, John Robinson, Bishop David Jenkins, Don Cupitt, Bishop Jack Spong challenged traditional theological positions and understandings of the Bible; following these developments some have suggested that passages have been mistranslated, are taken out of context, or that they do not refer to what we understand as “homosexuality.”
The Wikipedia article shows again that the bible has been open to interpretation for as long as it has existed. The number of official branches and sects that have sprung up and adhere to various ideologies are innumerable not to mention the cults such as The Watchtower Foundation and Scientology. Each of them have their own views on homosexual inclination and participation and, while some are more liberal, the majority view it as a sin worthy of punishment in the afterlife, not in this one. The reams of research and scientific evidence after painstaking investigation invalidate any their claims of unnatural behaviour. It renders all of their quibbling about interpretation and misunderstanding irrelevant.
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men … For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 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.” (Romans 1:18a, 21–27)
Despite the horror and the misery inflicted in the name of religion, and a wave of individuals who are determined to have everybody compelled to follow their own version of morality, there are liberal Christians who defend the Bible against those who express their justified objections. To back this up, they assert that the bible has been misunderstood by those who are qualified to interpret it correctly. They know very well that despite their calling for qualification before comment, Christianity is not solely directed at scholars and theologians but ordinary individuals who, for one reason or another, are not holders of Phds in Greek and Hebrew. This brings us back to the institution’s propensity to discourage followers from questioning what they are expected to believe and this is the problem. They are preached at and brow-beaten from every direction to believe and conform. When somebody really does believe the tirades of hatred against strangers to the extent that they act on that belief, rather than admit their own association with those acts and express outrage, other believers wriggle out with straw-man arguments of ‘having to believe’.
“The Inquisition was not a perversion of Christian doctrine, it was an expression of Christian doctrine.” ~ Dr. Darrell Ray, Author of, “The God Who Wasn’t There.”
Consider that dreadful cliché of ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ and imagine for one moment that one the perpetrators of a violent crime is a metaphorical gun. The gun on its own is an inanimate object. It will always have to potential to kill or harm somebody, but left untouched, unloaded and, to use the scientific sense of the word, not interfered with, that same potential will remain static (we are dangerous animals, with large brains and a lot of aggression). Add now, the bullets of religious dogma and doctrine that has been loaded into it since before it can remember or had the mental equipment to defend itself from the onslaught. The preacher picks up this metaphorical gun and aims it with their sermons, backed up by their scriptures. This, by no means, exonerates the believer from that act, but who loaded that same believer full of their own religious hang-ups and prejudice? If you think this attitude rings any bells then you are not mistaken. Christianity is no more exempt from accountability than any other world religion which has been used to justify atrocity and conflict and liberal Christians are just as guilty of selective dissociation from the facts as the rest.