Will the “Gay Debate” destroy the Christian Church.

Just as our previous post was not intended to offend any of our Muslim friends, this post is not intended to offend any Christians.

We have stated many times that we are intending to facilitate peace and unity, one way we intend to do this is to constantly challenge hatred and violence wherever we are able. Christians when pushed will often say, We hate the sin of homosexuality, we do not hate homosexuals, but their actions, attitudes and overt discrimination often tells a different story.

Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you ask a Christian who is intolerant of homosexuality, why they are behaving in that way, they will often say “because it says so in the Bible”

If you ask “What does it say” ? or “where does it say it” ? you will often receive the reply, ” I don’t know for sure, I just know that the Bible condemns homosexuality”

We pose the question “has the lie about the Bible condemning homosexuality, been told so often, that people now just believe the lie without actually going to read the bible to see what it truly says” ? After all, didn’t the Southern Baptists use “The mark of Cain” to justify slavery and apartheid in America ? The misuse of the mark of Cain being used to subjugate and dehumanise Black people is dealt more fully here but it is provided as a sad example of :-

“how, man has, and will continue to, attempt to twist Scripture to fit his own preconceptions, rather than allowing the word of God to break them down.”

This brings us neatly back to the homosexuality debate, there are rare occasions when you will ask a Christian what the Bible says about homosexuality and they will quote leviticus, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Romans, to prevent any hatred based on a misinterpretation of Christian text, we intend to visit each of those areas in turn and will finish by including a beautiful verse from Galatians.

LEVITICUS

At a first glance it seems perfectly reasonable to accept the words of Leviticus as they are written:-

18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is an abomination.

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.

Unfortunately for many Christians, it is now becoming clear that quoting Leviticus can never prove that God hates homosexuality. Have a quick look at the context of Leviticus, which  teaches that faithful performance of the sanctuary rituals can make it possible for God to live with humans, in the jewish tabernacle, so long as the people avoid sin and impurity whenever possible. The rituals, especially the sin and guilt offerings, provide the means to gain forgiveness for sins (Leviticus 4-5) and purification from impurities (Leviticus 11-16) so that God can continue to live in the Tabernacle in the midst of the people.(Source)

Leviticus uses the word “Abomination” this gives us a clue as to the context inasmuch as  Abomination (from Latin abominare, “to deprecate as an ill omen”) is an English term used to translate the Biblical Hebrew terms shiqquwts (“shiqqûts”) and sheqets שקץ,[1] The Biblical words usually translated as “abomination” do not always convey the same sense of moral exceptionalism as the English term does today, as it often may signify that which is forbidden or unclean according to the religious practices, or pervading culture, of the time . Linguistically in this case, it may be closer in meaning to the Polynesian term taboo or tapu, signifying that which is forbidden, and should not be eaten, and or not touched. (Source)

Apart from the sexual taboos of the time leviticus also bans other abominations namely:-

Failing to include salt in offerings to God (2:13)

Eating fat (3:17)

Eating blood (3:17)

Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve witnessed (5:1)

Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve been told about (5:1)

Touching an unclean animal (5:2)

Carelessly making an oath (5:4)

Deceiving a neighbour about something trusted to them (6:2)

Finding lost property and lying about it (6:3)

Bringing unauthorised fire before God (10:1)

Letting your hair become unkempt (10:6)

Tearing your clothes (10:6)

Drinking alcohol in holy places  ( best not to mention holy communion here ) (10:9)

Eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof (cf: camel, rabbit, pig) (11:4-7)

Touching the carcass of any of the above (11:8)

Eating – or touching the carcass of – any seafood without fins or scales (11:10-12)

Eating – or touching the carcass of – eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. (11:13-19)

Eating – or touching the carcass of – flying insects with four legs, unless those legs are jointed (11:20-22)

Eating any animal which walks on all four and has paws (11:27)

Eating – or touching the carcass of – the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon (11:29)

Eating – or touching the carcass of – any creature which crawls on many legs, or its belly (11:41-42)

Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (12:4)

Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (12:5)

Reaping to the very edges of a field (19:9)

Picking up grapes that have fallen in your  vineyard (19:10)

Holding back the wages of an employee overnight (not well observed these days) (19:13)

Cursing the deaf or abusing the blind (19:14)

Perverting justice, showing partiality to either the poor or the rich (19:15)

Spreading slander (19:16)

Seeking revenge or bearing a grudge (19:18)

Mixing fabrics in clothing (19:19)

Cross-breeding animals (19:19)

Planting different seeds in the same field (19:19)

Eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it (19:23)

Trimming your beard (19:27)

Cutting your hair at the sides (19:27)

Getting tattoos (19:28)

Not standing in the presence of the elderly (19:32)

Mistreating foreigners – “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born”  (19:33-34)

Using dishonest weights and scales (19:35-36)

Cursing your father or mother (punishable by death) (20:9)

Slaughtering a cow/sheep and its young on the same day (22:28)

Working on the Sabbath (23:3)

Blasphemy (punishable by stoning to death) (24:14)

Selling land permanently (25:23)

So it becomes clear that claiming that God hates homosexuality because of what is written in Leviticus is the same as saying that God hates people who eat fat, pork and calamari, and despises people who remove their facial hair. We all now realise that leviticus forms part of the Torah or Jewish law which Christ said he had come to supersede, the new testament is full of citations which promise christians that Christ has set them free from the previous dispensation, for example in Galatians we read :-

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”.(Galatians 3:10)

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us.(Galatians 3:13)

There is a more indepth analysis of Leviticus here

SODOM and GOMORRAH

There are so many people writing about Sodom and gomorrah these days that we consider it a better use of your time to point you towards Hope Remains, which has been designed by Christian people who have a sincere desire to cut through the prejudice and misinformation concerning God’s gift of sexuality. They provide a very informative and informed debunk of the Sodom and gomorrah argument  Here. 

ROMANS

Romans 1 26-27 is also often quoted out of context to justify christian hatred of homosexuality. In reality when we look at Romans in context we see that it actually is an argument about trying to distort people’s sexuality to conform with societies current expectation of what is normal. The context is pagan Rome where bisexuality was the expected norm , it is now accepted that there are only a few people who are naturally bisexual, by far more people are either naturally heterosexual or naturally homosexual, hope remains again explains this concept very well :-

Romans chapter one, as a whole, deals with pagan Rome’s attempts to turn the creation into a god, worshiping the things created rather than the One who created them. They were attempting to remake that creation in their own design, by ignoring the inborn sexual orientation of the people, and expecting them to live bisexually. This chapter is not about homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, but rather about the error of trying to change the way we were created. God has created each of us with a sexual orientation, and for us to attempt to change it into another orientation is, in effect, telling God that He created us wrong. But if it was wrong for heterosexuals and homosexuals in the first century to try to be bisexuals, then it is equally wrong, and for the same reasons, for homosexuals in the twenty-first century to try to be heterosexuals, or vice-versa. Read More Here

Can we finish our blog by quoting again, that Justification for ill-treatment or discrimination against others can be found nowhere in the Bible; and the very idea stands in stark contrast with one of the most foundational teachings of the New Testament, found in Galatians 3:28, that all men are equal in Christ: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. (Source)

Please search your hearts and stop hating people who are who they are and who were created that way, and are happy and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect just as every other being on earth. Jesus said he was love and urged us not to be judgemental and to love our neighbours, let us stop finding excuses not to.

bright blessings j

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