Thursday, February 21, 2002

First Lincoln, now the Log Cabin Guys?-After giving me an assignment to defend Lincoln, Kevin's assigned me to make a Biblical take on homosexuality earlier this evening. He's responding to a Ted Barlow piece where Barlow says
Homosexuality is never mentioned by Jesus. It's not in the Ten Commandments. As far as I can tell, the Biblical justification for condemning homosexuality comes from an ambiguous story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and from the same set of rules that are commonly judged to be part of the old covenant. It seems to me that homosexuality is singled out by much of Christian theology, and I don't understand it.
The Old Testament does include that Sodom story (Genesis 19:4-11) where two angles visit Lot and the men of Sodom want to have sex with them. The angels proceed to blind the men in question. However, Leviticus spells it out clearly-here are the two key passages.
Leviticus 18:22-"Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." Leviticus 20:13-"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."
Homosexuality was a capital offence in the Levitical law. True, none of the Gospels has Jesus commenting on homosexuality, but Paul's not bashful about the subject.
Romans 1:22-32 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. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Some homosexual backers will try to say that the "indecent acts" were a particular type of homosexual behavior and that the passage doesn't condemn it outright; that is some of the lamest exegesis on record.
I Corinthians 6:9-10-Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
The homosexual has to do a dance around this one. The New American Standard (usually a better word-for-word translation; the NIV goes more for a thought-for-thought), goes for "homosexual" rather than "homosexual offenders" at the end of verse 9.
I Timothy 1: 8-11(NASB) But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted..
The NIV has "perverts" instead of "homosexuals." Let's review (1) While not part of the Ten Commandments, homosexual activity is a capital offence in the Levitical code (2) On three separate occasions, Paul includes homosexual behavior as sinful. If one wants to take their Bible a la carte, and throw out the politically incorrect stuff, you can throw out the five passages I mentioned above. However, if you're trying to take the Bible at face value, you have to have some of the most twisted exegesis in recorded history to justify a pro-homosexual stance. I don't know Greek, but those who do point out that trying to make Paul's writings neutral on the issue doesn't hunt.

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