Homosexuality and the Bible

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SJoseph
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 09:40 am
Jesus dying for our sins accounts for why many of the taboo practices of the old testament are not required today.

Why are many things in the old testament forgiven after the Atonment, but homosexuality wasn't one of those things? We no longer have to keep the Sabbath day, or follow things like "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

It appears to be picking and choosing which items in the OT were unnecessary to follow after the Atonement.

I'm sure there is an apologetic answer for this, but political figures pick "a man shall not lay with another man as he does with a woman" from the OT, they work on Sundays and do countless other things that were forbidden in the Old Testament.

Thanks!
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 12:17 pm
@SJoseph,
Thing is, Paul reasserted biblical homophobia in his letters - so the OT isn't the only source Christians can look to in order to justify any icky feelings they might have about hot man on man action.
 
SJoseph
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 01:08 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;77688 wrote:
Thing is, Paul reasserted biblical homophobia in his letters - so the OT isn't the only source Christians can look to in order to justify any icky feelings they might have about hot man on man action.


Stand to Reason: Paul, Romans, & Homosexuality

After researching a little, I couldn't find any direct references in the new testament to homosexuality as a sin. There are things that can be interpreted as such if one tries, but nothing like the old testament.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 03:19 pm
@SJoseph,
Quote:
1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (New American Standard Bible)

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.


As for "you can interpret it that way if you like" well - isn't that true of pretty much anything in the bible. The writers of the New American Standard bible obviously think Paul meant homosexuals when the KJV mentions "abusers of themselves with mankind", and both of them state that you're to be denied God's grace if you're "effeminate".

So whilst modern theologians who don't feel the need to scream "Eww! Grodie Wodie!" at screenings of the new Bruno movie can hypothesise that he referred to certain pagan cults as abusers of mankind, those that do can state it's divinely inspired licence to regard gays as destined for damnation (along with those who like a drink, or worship idols, or practice sex for pleasure).

And neither can be shown to be more correct than the other - because it's all down to interpretation.

In my opinion it's just best to view it all as so much rubbish and look to clearer explanations of how we should all get along as well as humanly possible.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 05:09 pm
@Dave Allen,
S.Joseph;77660 wrote:

Why are many things in the old testament forgiven after the Atonment, but homosexuality wasn't one of those things?


All sins are forgiven if one seeks forgiveness. All sins. That is the teaching of Jesus. Today, modern bigots in the guise of preachers say otherwise. Do not let their strange, hateful perversions of Jesus' good message lead you astray. Trust your own sense of reason.

S.Joseph;77660 wrote:
It appears to be picking and choosing which items in the OT were unnecessary to follow after the Atonement.


It's absolutely picking a choosing. And it's childish of those people who practice that method of reading scripture.

Dave Allen;77733 wrote:
As for "you can interpret it that way if you like" well - isn't that true of pretty much anything in the bible.


A person can interpret anything in any way they please - but that does not mean that their interpretation is correct. In literature, and the Bible is literature, there does not exist a single true interpretation, but there are incorrect interpretations. For example: we can interpret the poem "A Red Wheelbarrow" in many ways, but to say it's in praise of communism is incorrect.

Dave Allen;77733 wrote:
those that do can state it's divinely inspired licence to regard gays as destined for damnation (along with those who like a drink, or worship idols, or practice sex for pleasure).

And neither can be shown to be more correct than the other - because it's all down to interpretation.


This is incorrect, my friend. Being left to interpretation does not mean that any interpretation is valid. Again, there are incorrect interpretations. Interpreting Jesus' "love thy neighbor as thyself" as 'kill the Jews' is incorrect. Some interpretations are better than others.

Dave Allen;77733 wrote:
In my opinion it's just best to view it all as so much rubbish and look to clearer explanations of how we should all get along as well as humanly possible.


How is it all rubbish? Has man changed so much since those days? "You are your brother's keeper" and "do not kill" are just as good moral teachings today as ever.
 
emochicken-x-
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 05:47 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;77688 wrote:
Thing is, Paul reasserted biblical homophobia in his letters - so the OT isn't the only source Christians can look to in order to justify any icky feelings they might have about hot man on man action.


I completely agree. I think some people are just bigoted hypocrites who hide behind their religion as an excuse. It's completely ridiculous to suggest that we should follow the Old Testament word for word, stoning people for having sex and being gay. I think if you had a closer look at the bible, you would realize that Jesus was about love, compassion and acceptance, Jesus had a name for bigoted rule abiders like this, the Pharisees!!!If jesus was around to day, he wouldn't be in a church, he'd be with the havenots on the council estates. I used to be a christian and it was people like this that put me off organised.
 
SJoseph
 
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 06:13 pm
@SJoseph,
So if there are correct and incorrect interpretations, you know what I'm going to ask.

How can we as humans possibly know what is correct or incorrect? You deem many incorrect, while others know/believe that their interpretation is correct, and that is the real question in my first post.

There are many good things in the Bible, but there are many things that don't seem to make sense. I find myself frustrated with apologetic answers, with the best example being in the satire "Kissing Hank's Ass". It says something like:

(commandment mockery)
Item 2: Use alcohol in moderation.
Item 9: Don't use alcohol.

Answer when asked why the contradiction: "Item 9 simply clarifies Item 2." The ultimate moderation is to not drink alcohol.

YouTube - Kissing Hank's Ass

There are a lot of good answers on websites like CARM.org, but there are a lot apologetic answers that either don't follow logic or aren't rational.

The question of homosexuality is one I just started pondering over, but haven't been able to reason it.

For the record, I'm atheist, but I strive to understand every religion.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 12:36 am
@SJoseph,
I think alot of religion was written to suit the times and beliefs of the people, being against homosexualty one of them. Today, in less barbaric times, (i think), if you're not harming anyone then let them be, why would anyone be against homosexuality if it's not harming anyone, so now we have logic not just beliefs, comes with evolution. It's a question of applying common sense and reasoning instead of barbaric rules that were written centuries ago to suit the beliefs and values of that time, now they have changed and evolved to suit our society.
 
SJoseph
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 09:01 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;77852 wrote:
I think alot of religion was written to suit the times and beliefs of the people, being against homosexualty one of them. Today, in less barbaric times, (i think), if you're not harming anyone then let them be, why would anyone be against homosexuality if it's not harming anyone, so now we have logic not just beliefs, comes with evolution. It's a question of applying common sense and reasoning instead of barbaric rules that were written centuries ago to suit the beliefs and values of that time, now they have changed and evolved to suit our society.


I agree. I think that there was a time and place that needed religion, much like how there was a time and place that affirmative action was necessary.

I think humans have evolved enough for religion to not be necessary for most. We should use many of underlying principles, but the time has passed that we form government legislation or societal opinions from the Bible.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 10:43 am
@SJoseph,
It is a matter of interpretation whether the few passages that seem to condemn homosexuality actually do so (as a matter of inaccurate translation) or are of the same status as those which appear to condone slavery or tell us to avoid lobster.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 12:13 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;77764 wrote:
This is incorrect, my friend. Being left to interpretation does not mean that any interpretation is valid. Again, there are incorrect interpretations. Interpreting Jesus' "love thy neighbor as thyself" as 'kill the Jews' is incorrect. Some interpretations are better than others.
And if we were talking about "love your neighbour" I would cede your point of view, but we are not. I reckon context helps a reasonable reader understand that "love your neighbour" does not imply "kill all Jews" (though it hasn't been obvious to everyone), but the topic of this thread is how or why people who take it seriously might get the impression from reading the bible that homosexuality is sinful.

As for interpreting the Red Wheelbarrow as a communist screed, I don't know of the work personally, but if I found the notion incredible then I would regard those that do so as lacking credibility. However, seeing as many Christians claim the bible to be (at the most extreme) the literal word of God, or (at least) a guide to moral behaviour, the fact that one of Christianity's most prominent figures claims therein that being effiminate prevents you from heaven strikes me as supporting those who reckon "God hates fags" - and has certainly been proclaimed as the most common motivation behind those who do so.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 12:24 pm
@SJoseph,
Jesus said love thy neighbour, I think the rest was written by people to suit what they believed.
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:33 pm
@SJoseph,
The new testament, in the words of Jesus, makes a comparison between Capernaum and Sodom.
Jesus considers the moneychangers in the temple to be worse than homosexuals in this text.

Sorry, I cannot find the original verse.
You'll have to read the new testament yourself to find it.

Its also interesting to note that nowhere in the bible are lesbians mentioned.
It only talks of male homosexuals.
 
hammersklavier
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:35 pm
@SJoseph,
Recall that the Mosaic prohibition against homosexuality was an artifact of Jewish self-differentation: at that time almost all the Mesopotamian cultures (IIRC) engaged in acts of ritual homosexuality, a practice that was also passed down in the Hellenistic traditions and was still recorded as late as the Victorian era at Eton and even the mid-20th-century here in Philadelphia (at Girard College). So since the issues that led to its being included in Scripture, i.e., the homosexual (later pedophilic) unions common among ancient cultures are, by and large (except at certain places like boarding schools), eradicated, then the prohibition is invalidated amongst Christians the same way as the condoning of slavery or the prohibition against pork and shellfish is invalidated. One must remember that today's homosexuals couch their arguments in love, and so those who persist in maintaining the veracity of this commandment (as a corollary) are insisting on preaching hate. In fact most ordinary churchgoers have nothing against homosexuality per se.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:42 pm
@SJoseph,
The question whether homosexuality is a sin is hotly debated by many Christian sects. The week,for example, the American Episcopal Church in convention has voted to allow the ordaining of openly gay bishops, and begun to formulate rites for blessing gay marriages. And even within that one denomination, there is strong dissent that might lead to schism.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 12:48 am
@jgweed,
Given the nature of the Anglican community, that schism has essentially already occurred:

Anglican realignment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
click here
 
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2009 11:45 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I probably should be pulling out verses while participating in this discussion though it is late. I will say a few things quickly though.

The Bible does not explicitly tell whether many activities would be considered sins or not. So simply arguing that because it doesn't say it, means its permissible is poor reasoning.

I would like to speak to homosexuality generally now.

If homosexuality is NOT a choice then in the future homosexuality will be a thing of the past as all homosexuals will not be able to pass on their proclivities to following generations. I do think that that is an interesting thing to keep in mind when throwing around the idea of a homosexual gene. I personally know of people whom chose their orientation because of events that occurred to them that made them dislike the opposite sex.

Also if homosexuality IS a biological trait it does NOT make it an excuse that homosexuality is 'right'. That is where I think many churches are making the mistake, they believe that it is not a choice but something related to God's design (ignoring the possibility relating to Adams fall). From there they continue on to approve of it in the church.

I can tell you that their are people whom have biological disorders that give them a predisposition to wish death on people. Yet does one excuse a serial killers action as 'ok' due to the biological orientation of his self? I would hope not.

The church views things such as addictive gambling and alcohol abuse as bad and so does the society. So what is addictive gambling and alcohol abuse? Both refer to a person whom continually does one specific socially inappropriate activity over and over again. I would compare these very closely to homosexuality, the difference being homosexuality is socially permissible by a decent size percentage of the population. The problem I see with a Christian homosexual is that they are like a Christian alcoholic EXCEPT they do NOT see their activities as wrong. The alcoholic is looking to change their actions the homosexual is being encouraged in them.

I believe that someone questioned earlier what should happen if a married homosexual couple joins the church? Should the family be broken up? Well the marriage isn't valid in God's eyes, it does not matter what the government say nor the church. Sure its a lot of junk that needs to be cleaned up but the same would go for someone whom runs a people trafficking business whom becomes a Christian, he can not continue in his normal manner anymore as the business man that he use to be.
 
Justin
 
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2009 07:32 am
@SJoseph,
Interesting thread. I think it does come down to interpretation though. In my humble opinion, the Bible can be interpreted in so many ways that it's validity as truth is completely irrational. It's a series of stories written by men.

As far as Jesus' take on homosexuality, that message was very simple IMHO. Love the unlovely, love your neighbor as yourself, anything you do to the least of them you do to me, I am the vine ye are the branches, forgive seventy times seven, and turn the other cheek. Although there is NO proof of a Jesus Christ, it's sort of traditional when it comes to humankind passing on stories. So in the department of Homosexuality, who knows?

One thing I would like to point out though is the condemnation delivered in all religions. Doesn't matter what Bible they are using or who's interpretation they use, I think they all distort these messages to best suit their needs at the time. Besides, if these ideas of God or Jesus were actually among us as humans or beast, we'd kill them anyway and the religions would cry out - Blasphemy!

Not so sure there is an answer to your question and trying to understand all religions is like trying to understand ALL men and women. I think the important thing to understand is that we're all blind and we're all following another blind man. Not many know truth but they claim to. Heck, they all claim that they are correct and their doctrine is the only truth... BS, all of it.

This is only my opinion and after careful research and discovery, and searching up and down for answers, all I can come up with is that humankind is disconnected from the source of who we are and we disconnect ourselves with phony doctrines and myths.

Oh, I wanted to add that our church was Episcopalian. When they decided to allow gay ministers in the church, the church I was raised in condemned them for this because it's unacceptable. For months the toil in the church and the arguments of who owns the property and the words of condemnation delivered from the pulpit as everyone sits there as zombies listening intently to some silly man up there fills their head with hatred towards the Episcopal Church. Needless to say, it was on the news and there were court battles and lots of slapping of other religions around until finally, they became non-denominational and were able to keep their building. All the while, they claim to have been saved by the blood of the Lamb - Jesus Christ. After years of listening to the message of Jesus Christ and then seeing this event take place in my own church, that's when I decided unequivocally that they are all full of crap. Praise the Lord!
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2009 07:37 am
@SJoseph,
Given mankind's poor track record in interfering with the natural order of things and its inability to foresee the long-term effects of its actions, are we to now begin to make eugenic decisions based on uncertain religious interpretations of a dubious document only held by a portion of society?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2009 07:44 am
@SJoseph,
People are born with their sexualty, it would be like saying to you it's wrong being hetro, why? Why? Why? Why is homosexualty distaseful to others, they're not harming you so why dont people just back off. In this day and age I think it shouldn't even be up for discussion, just accept it that some folks are gay, variety is the spice of life, it takes all sorts to make the world go round and thank heavens for that or else it would be boring. The company I work for has an equal rights policy, they employ people from all sorts of backgrounds, it's a sign of the times, to be modern, come on folks, get with it!
 
 

 
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