Why The Bible DOES NOT Forbid Homosexuality

I want to dedicate this post to Dr. Kevin Neuhouser, my friend and mentor, who one day told me never to read the Bible like a fundamentalist because so many liberal LGB/TQqi-friendly Christians do, and he totally gave me the idea for the “Apple Jacks” argument; and I want to dedicate this to Bethany Chupp whose passion finally opened my eyes to the oppression people living outside the heteronormative paradigm experience.  Keep it up my Mennonite friends!

A roommate and co-conspirator of mine, Tyler Mostul, recently asked me to say why the Bible does not forbid homosexuality in one minute. Basically, he requested a quick, defensible position for those of us who love our neighbors enough to argue against the Christian hate speech purporting that sex between people with the same anatomical parts will erode the moral fabric of the world, as if gay sex is worse than using the Bible to tell our children that people don’t deserve their rights because they are somehow different or worse than us. Usually, I am reluctant to write about this topic and how it relates to the Bible. Oftentimes, people rarely change their hearts based on “biblical” arguments. Only personal stories with real affects truly change people. Consequentially, I wrote one blog post not related to the Bible and one that claims the debate of sexualities is based more on how Christians read and less about what they read. In the latter post, I made this statement, “the Bible is rather clear: at the very least, homosexual sex is unacceptable.” While I still affirm the general thesis of that post, I will refute the aforementioned statement. This will be my biblical defense of sexualities alternative to heterosexuality.

Introduction

Let me begin by saying I have never heard a good biblical defense of LGB/TQqi1 people. Ever. I only hear one of two different arguments against or for LGB/TQqi people. First, there is the “For the Bible tells me so” argument. Those in this camp quote Leviticus 18.22 and Romans 1.26-7, shut their Bibles, and preach a 50-minute sermon about how hot fire is and how hell will be like a public swimming pool made of fire without lifeguards. Of course, to an 11-year-old who never wanted to get erections (which are awkward enough at that age) when he saw the 6th grade boys naked in the locker room, this sounds like the equivalent to “G*D2 hates you for who you are so be someone else.” These people often claim to be biblical literalists or at the very least, they thrust immense authority onto the pages of Christian scriptures. Nonetheless, when challenged, they become a bunch of interpreters. With a pork hot dog in hand3 while fishing for shrimp4 at a public execution of an immigrant5, they will spout out about how the “purity” laws of the Old Testament6 were culturally driven due to people’s lack of understanding about science and how one must cook pork extremely thoroughly in order to avoid getting ringworm (as though ancient people ate raw meat, exclusively). Thus, the “purity codes” were G*D’s way of protecting people from the bad stuff, and praise Jesus for science saving us from having to follow such ridiculous laws. Could the ban on homosexual sex not have cultural baggage just like the ban on eating shrimp or pigs? That will be the point later on but the other response first. The second response agrees with the first response: the Bible hates LGB/TQqi people, but to these folks, that does not matter at all. I call this response the “Apple Jacks” response. When I was a kid, “Apple Jacks” had an ad campaign in which a person would ask some youth what makes “Apple Jacks” taste good if they did not “taste like apples”. The youths responded to why they taste good with, “They just…do.” The second response to LGB/TQqi people goes something like this. When asked why they affirm alternative sexualities even though they believe the Bible forbids it, they respond with, “Because I just…do.” The trouble with both of these arguments is they rely on saying one thing and doing or believing another. Ultimately, they both have more to do with cultural conditioning than with biblical authority.

I'm not a big fan of U2.

Sexualities7

Our primary responsibility in showing how the Bible does not forbid LGB/TQqi people from being other than heterosexual is defining terms. For the most part, we can avoid talking about the gender identity issues such as being queer or transgender. The Bible says absolutely nothing related to such issues since these self-expressions never show up in its pages. Primarily, we need to define homosexuality since it produces the highest volume of debate and the Bible says a little bit about it (sort of).

Homosexuality, like heterosexuality, is a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation deals with a person’s sexual attraction to another person’s sexual organs. Put crudely, a person with a homosexual orientation finds sexual attraction to a person of the same physical parts. A heterosexual identifies sexual attraction to someone with different physical parts. That makes up the basic, biological description. Nonetheless, sexual orientation becomes more complicated when gender gets involved. Gender, unlike sexual parts, is socially constructed. Certain genders are affiliated with certain physical parts: male gender with penises; female with vagina8. Homosexuality, while simply stated above, can be, in more complicated terms, attraction between same genders. Attractions express themselves in various ways. People might simply express their attraction through sexual intercourse; or they might fall in love, enter a committed relationship, and get married. In our best forms of committed relationship, they happen between two equals. People in these relationships love each other rather than rule over each other, sex is an expression of affection and intimacy, and power is shared. Most importantly, sex is not used to dominate the other. Sexual intercourse expresses love and trust in committed relationships whether they be homosexual or heterosexual. In this purview, orientation stands as something different than simple attraction to parts. Wrapped up in it is a cultural milieu of emotion, connection, and commitment. It indicates what kind of a person and with who a person wants to be in relationship.  Healthy, consensual relationships stem from equal power, and homosexual, like heterosexual, relationships can be perfectly within the realm of mutual consent.

Roman Culture9

In first century, Roman imperial culture10, homosexual sex was a fairly common practice

Ancient porn

but only as a specific, social function. The Romans broke society up into parallel dualities: male/female, free/slave, Roman/“nation”11, sky/earth, spiritual/physical, strong/weak, conqueror/conquered, victor/killed, and most importantly for our purposes, penetrator/penetrated or impenetrable/penetrable. Penetration lay at the foundations of these dualities. In the same way a man penetrates a woman’s vagina with his penis so too does his sword penetrate an enemy or his plow penetrate the earth. Thus, anything penetrable became feminized. Men dominated others and expressed their masculinity through penetration. Unlike our best forms of sexuality, Romans considered sex to be a way to reign over another human. Hence, homosexual sex occurred frequently. It existed in order to enable Roman men to feminize other men, to penetrate them, to dominate them, and ultimately, to subjugate them. For this reason, Roman, male citizens would not have consensual sex with each other; they only penetrated men of a lower class, primarily slaves or at times, young boys12. In a time when women could still be considered property, to turn another man into a woman carried serious social implications. It established dominance over the other.

Consent meant next to nothing in this social dynamic. Sex without consent is one thing and one thing only: rape. As two authors put it, “[C]onsent is the continual process of explicit, verbal discussion, a dialogue, brief or extended, taken one step at a time, to an expressed ‘yes’ by both parties and a shared acknowledgement that at this moment what we are doing together is safe and comfortable for each of us. Consent is what establishes that the interaction (including sex) is between equals in power.13 Today, rape, though common, is frowned upon, yet rape pervaded all of Roman culture, since a vast majority of people did not and generally do not consent to be subjugated. More importantly, male-with-male-sex existed for the primary purpose of subjection and, subsequently, rape14.

While Roman men were expected to have sex with other men, consent never factored in to this equation. Consequently, the very notion that two men (or women) could enter into a relationship built on and defined by equality, quite simply, did not exist. Homosexuality as an orientation, which is to say the idea that two people of the same gender could meet and have sex (or even be in a relationship) as equals, would have seemed outrageous to a person in the 1st-century CE. It did not exist. Taking this into account, we can now turn to the Bible.

What Paul Has to Say15

Paul was so bald!

Paul is the only author in the Christian Testament who has anything to say about homosexual practice. First, we need to establish Paul in his thought-world. One of the most popular Pauline idioms, and a verse that relates closely to the aforementioned Roman culture, is Galatians 3.28, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.16” Here, Paul lists off binaries, but claims that they fade away in Jesus. It is the exact opposite of the prolifically dualistic Roman culture. Nearly every commentator and biblical scholar agrees that Galatians 3.28 was written as a polemic against the popular Judean prayer in which a man would thank G*D that he was neither a Gentile, a slave, nor a woman17. While I do not want to exclude this prayer from being in the cross-hairs of this verse, it is important to note that Paul uses the word “Greek” (Hellen) rather than broader phrase “gentile” (ethnos18). By saying Greek, Paul implicates people who have embraced Hellenistic, which is to say imperial, culture. Paul distinguishes between the dominant culture and the subjugated one. Since Hellenes would naturally include the Judeans as one of the conquered “nations” (ethnos), Paul critiques the Roman rather than the Judean duality. By using the term “Greek”, Paul clearly is speaking against Roman culture as described above. More precisely, in Paul’s thought, the old hierarchies of Roman socialization disappear under the banner of Christ Jesus.

The primary text against homosexuality comes in Romans 1.26-7, however, I will quote starting at v. 22, “Claiming to be wise, they became fools; and they exchanged the glory of the immortal G*D for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. Therefore G*D gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about G*D for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. For this reason G*D gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.19” At first glance, and in context, the author, Paul, seems rather clear: the natural course for sex is men with women and anything otherwise is against G*D. Seems simple enough. Of course, to say this is to omit the necessary truth of Paul’s social world: “natural” sex itself happened between unequal partners and “unnatural” sex existed for the subjugation of other men (or for the subjugation of women by women). Furthermore, we see Paul identify who these people given up by G*D are; they are people who worshiped “images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles” and who “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” Vitally important in this argument is who is noted first, “a mortal human being”. Paul indicts emperor worship! Furthermore, we can rest assured that in Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Paul has something to say about the worship practices of the Roman people for whom worship of humans and other idols was the norm. Paul picks out the Roman religio-political social structure, and describes the results of it. Part of what he picks out, along with many other things, is male-with-male-sex, which I have already conclusively shown is not sex at all but culturally promoted rape.

Roman culture built a rigorously stratified environment. Paul’s gospel preached a world in which these dualities disappeared. As a result, when Paul critiqued the results of this culture, he included the practices that re-inscribed this thickly woven social fabric. We should not be surprised that homosexual sex came into the purview of Paul’s criticism seeing as how, socially, it was used to assert power structures. It was not a form of relationship that consisted of two people in the company of equals, feeling attracted to each other, and forming a relationship. Therefore, Paul could not be condemning homosexuality as we know it. It did not exist. To say the Christian Testament forbids homosexuality would be tantamount to saying Paul wrote a letter banning the internet or that Jesus preached against cell phones. It is impossible. Romans chapter 1 assails the Roman stratification and caste system and the subsequent expressions of that unjust creation. Ultimately, the Christian Testament does not forbid LGB/TQqi people and their sexual expressions. What it preaches against is a world of inequality, subjugation, alienation, and exploitation. What it argues for is a world in which women and men, slaves and freepeople, the conquerers and the conquered, and the homosexuals and the heterosexuals are all equal under Jesus.

I have believed for a long time that the Bible does not stand against homosexuality. This, I believe, shows exactly how the Bible not only permits it but encourages it so long as it comes in a package of equality and love. It is good not to forget that rape still exists. It exists between people of all sexualities. It is the domination of rape the Bible speaks out against, and it is the subjugation of people that it rebukes. Now, go forth, and be free from homophobia and gay-hating based on poor biblical exegesis!

1LGB/TQqi means Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender or Transsexual, Questioning, queer, and intersexed. I put a backslash between the B and T since the first three are sexualities and the last four are gender identities.

2I follow in the footsteps of Jewish people who replace the vowels in the name of G*D with a “-”. However, in following the practice of Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza in her book The Power of the Word: Scripture and the Rhetoric of Empire,1, who considers the writing of “G-d” to be patriarchal, I replace the hyphen with an asterisk.

3Leviticus 11.7f

4Leviticus 11.10f

5Leviticus 19.34

6I find the term “Old Testament” deplorable since for Jews it is the only testament; I prefer “Hebrew Bible”. Nevertheless, I use it colloquially here for dramatic purposes.

7Most of my knowledge of sexualities come from workshops and affinity groups. A great deal of my understanding of sexuality and gender also comes from working with people living on the street, many of whom are a sexuality alternative to heterosexuality or identify with a gender outside the binary.

8Except in the case of transgender people.

9Most of the information I write concerning Roman homosexual practice comes from this book: Williams, Craig A. Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity. Oxford University Press: New York, 1999.

10This essay will deal only with the Christian Testament (aka the New Testament). This is because Christians, for the most part, put no value on Hebrew Bible laws. This is not to say that I put no value on the Hebrew Bible, but it simply takes the realistic assumption that all Christians find the Christian Testament in common.

11In Greek: ethne

12Sex with young boys had a lot to do with socialization. It was only appropriate in certain contexts. This does nothing to deny the fact that pedophilia was perfectly acceptable, normal, and encouraged by Romans. In fact, a common insult between Roman men was to say, “I had sex with your sons,” in much the same way U.S.-Americans say, “I slept with your mom.”

13Weinberg, Joseph and Michael Biernbaum. “Conversations of Consent: Sexual Intimacy without Sexual Assault” in Transforming A Rape Culture. Eds. Buchwald, Emilie; Pamela R. Fletcher; and Martha Roth. Milkweek Editions: Minneapolis, 1993. 93. Emphasis added.

14I apologize for not including the social dynamic of female-with-female-sex in the main text, but it functioned in basically the reverse fashion. It masculinized a penetrable female since her sexual parts penetrated the mouth of another female. This made female-with-female-sex completely taboo for Romans since the penetrated should not become the penetrator even though it still occurred. For this same reason Roman men resolutely abstained from oral sex.

15Most of my information concerning Paul’s thought-world is accredited to these books: Lopez, Davina C. Apostle to the Conquered: Re-Imagining Paul’s Mission. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, 2008.; Wright, N.T. What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity?. Wm. B. Eerdmas Publishing Company: Grand Rapids, 1997.; and Elliot, Neil. The Arrogance of Nations: Reading Romans in the Shadow of Empire. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, 2008.

16All quotations come from the NRSV.

17Recent scholarship which looks into the Roman imperial context of the Epistle to the Galatians finally breaks free from the dogmatic insistence that Paul’s whole purpose was to prove the Jews wrong, especially with this verse. For further reading, I recommend Brigette Kahl’s Galatians Re-Imagined.

18ethnos is, in my opinion, better translated “nations” rather than “Gentiles”.

19An important note: Paul gives the reason why people participate in homosexual sex/rape and the reason is idolatry!

About ben adam

The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and we might miss Armageddon because we're too busy watching MTV and CNN. Please, read a book, throw a ball, bake some bread, and for goodness sake, turn the TV off.
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89 Responses to Why The Bible DOES NOT Forbid Homosexuality

  1. Chaunce says:

    love it. Thanks man. This is a hugely great tool for discussion. I had a conversation last night about this with a good friend and completely forgot the context of sexual practice in the Roman world. It would have driven my point home better. Money in the bank.

  2. Keilah M says:

    I’m sorry, I get what you’re trying to do, and i admire it. You’re right, it is completely wrong for believers to look down upon and preach hell-fire and brimstone sermons to homosexuals because of their emotions or physical (sometimes uncontrollable) feelings. However, no matter what you argue, i think if you really do live by the Holy Word of God, you know that Homosexuality (whether the act or orientation) is a Sin. And VERY clearly stated in the Bible; just like the sins on lying, stealing, cheating, and many other sins. We Christian’s just need to understand that the Sin of homosexuality is no worse nor better than any other sin in the eyes of the Lord. What we as Believers and Followers of the Infallible Word of God, need to do is treat homosexuality as all the other sins in people’s lives just like God does and be quick to “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” cliche as it may sound. And your argument from the time’s of Paul, saying that Homosexuality then was different than now and didn’t “exist” really does not make any sense at all because the Bible specifically states many time in detail what Homosexuality meant back then (“a man laying with a man, and a woman lying with a woman”) At the end of the day, no matter what “proof” you may have, it was never natural for anyone of the same sex to have a romantic/sexual relationship. If so, then God would have made Eve and Sarah or Adam and George. Simple as that. And i really do pray that God would begin to reveal His truth to you and that you would search for it! He loves you so much, and you are obviously an intelligent and confident person, you can do so much for the kingdom of God!
    God Bless

    • Darshika says:

      Well said Keilah and I agree with you 100%. Love the people, hate the sin. The most loving thing to do is to point out the truth. If a friend is sinning, the right thing to do is to point out his/her sin but still loving and acknowledging them as fellow humans. Sometimes we can tolerate sin, but God wont. Also, love what you said about it being unnatural for a man to sleep with another man, and a woman with a woman because God created Adam and Eve. There is a reason men have a penis and women a vagina. People are not born homosexual, it is a choice. Just like it is a choice to steal, kill and lie.

      • ben adam says:

        Dear Darshika,
        I am going to leave your comment up because I respect that you are a human being with a right to an opinion. However, if you ever write hate speech like this ever again on my blog, your comment will be deleted. I hope you understand that this is a safe space for all people, and hate speech is not safe.

        Sincerely,
        ben adam

      • Max says:

        Well I sure as heck didn’t “choose” to be sexually aroused at the sight of a naked man. Darshika (and Keilah), I respectfully ask that you consider my natural attractions as God-given. I understand that God created Adam and Eve and heterosexual impulses for the furthering of the population, but that doesn’t automatically rule out a naturally occurring homosexual disposition. Ben rightly points out Paul’s argument is a non-scientific admonition about a pervasive cultural act. In Paul’s Roman paradigm, the notion of two men or two women being attracted to one another in a romantic way was not a thing. The word “orientation”, with the meaning we now understand, didn’t exist then and therefore Paul could not possibly be condemning monogamous couples of the same-sex. As far as the Bible being “super clear” about the issue, only 6 passages of scripture mention it and in every occurrence, the intention is not to rebuke the homosexual orientation.

        I hope that makes sense, and I pray that God will one day reveal to you that the Bible is so much bigger than face-value! It is important to question and dig and attempt to understand something that we will never fully know. Who are we to say we have everything figured out? We are not God, and we definitely should not be falsely accusing people of a sin they aren’t committing. So many gay men and women are hurt every day because christians wont put faith in the holy spirit and marry reason with the scriptures. They were created as tools for us to continue learning the heart of God.

        I’ll stop there. Thank you for being willing to post your opinions, and thank you Ben for sharing this powerful message!

        -Max Sutherland

      • ben adam says:

        I love and miss you Max! Keep it real!

      • Scott says:

        @ max, yes you did choose to be in love with other men, just like I chose to love women, everything we do is a choice that we make by ourselves, and our back-round and how we are raised helps us to chose what we want. But just because its what we want doesnt make it right. Like say for a drunk, he can say that God gave him the love for alcohol, does that make it right??

      • Al says:

        @Scott

        I operate under the assumption that you are a straight male (that is to say, one who does not find other men attractive, nor is able to have an emotionally intimate relationship with another man):
        I certainly don’t believe you choose to be sexually attracted to (and subsequently, be able to fall in love with) women – it is simply the way you are and how your brain functions. The very fact that you can’t be attracted to another male means that it was never a choice as to whom you find attractive, so you must not have been able to “choose” to love women any more than a gay person “chose” to fall in love with the same sex.
        Also, I would like to point out beforehand that I acknowledge the fact that we can choose with whom we have sexual intercourse (although one sexuality would generally not choose to sleep with the gender that doesn’t appeal to them). Having sex with someone does not necessarily equate “being in love” in today’s society. Yes, a person can find both men and women physically attractive, but I also don’t believe that is a choice either.
        Anybody can say that “being gay is a choice,” but unless that person has legitimately (meaning they aren’t just claiming to have done so to defend their argument) “chosen” to be gay, and then “chosen” to be straight, I would have to strongly disagree.

      • Scott says:

        okay, so tell me more about why you believe it is not a choice?

        Lets throw away for the moment, all rules and regulations of state and government. Its just you and your will and desire. There is an attractive woman and an attractive male standing in front of you, which one would you CHOOSE to have a relationship with?

        just like I said with the drunkard, theres two options for him, he has some friends that are hanging out that he knows wont be drinking, but he loves to get drunk, so he has some friends that are drinking. Which one does he CHOOSE?? He can say, God made me this way, he made me love alcohol so therefore its okay to get drunk tonight because God loves me as I am and this is what makes me happy.

        Or how about the murderer? theres this certain person in his life that every day he goes to work this one person makes fun of him, pushes blame on him, does everything in his power to make him feel worthless. And the worst part is, he lives right down the street. One day this man pushed him over the edge, he knew his daily schedule, so he starts planning his attack. He says, I cant help that God gave me this anger, its against my own will. God had people kill bad people in the bible all the time, I am doing just the same, its Gods work. Life would be better without him. So what does he CHOOSE??

        When you are making a choice, you cannot blame God for what you choose because heres the deal, God did not force you to go and have relationships with men, same as God did not force me to have relationships with women. God did not force the man to go and get drunk off is butt and slam his car in to another family killing all of them. God did not force the man to kill the bully down the street in bloody murder. Its all a choice of what they wanted.

        Heres another question, did God tell Adam and Eve to not eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden?? But wait, what did they do? They CHOSE to eat of it anyway! Did God give them the desire to eat of that fruit? or was it their choice, to see why God really didnt want them to eat it?

        In the end it is still, your choice.

      • Al says:

        @Scott

        Let’s roll with your example situation:

        In front of a straight man are two other people: a man and a woman. The man has his will and his desire, and can choose which one he would like a relationship with. If the man is truly straight, his will and desire will completely exclude the man from his list of options, leaving only the woman left to have a relationship with. Because the straight man’s brain does not find other men attractive, the woman was consequentially the only option for the man to choose from, since the other man was ruled out automatically due to the fact that straight men don’t find other men physically attractive. Since there was only one option to begin with, there was never a “choice” involved. The same goes for a gay man in the same situation.

        However, I should point out that two people can technically be “in a relationship” without feeling any sexual attraction to one another. For example, many gay men “date” straight women in order to hide the fact that they are gay. The man does not find the woman attractive, nor is he truly invested in the relationship, because he’s gay and only finds other men attractive. He chose to date a woman, but he did not choose to not love her, nor did he choose to continue loving other men. He can’t help the fact that he is attracted to men, but he only dates a woman because he feels the need to hide the fact that he is gay because he believes society will disapprove of his true self.

        In your original reply to Darkshika, you said, “yes you did choose to be in love with other men, just like I chose to love women”. I never claimed that a relationship wasn’t a choice, which is what you tried to refute in your responding post (“There is an attractive woman and an attractive male standing in front of you, which one would you CHOOSE to have a relationship with?” Keyword: relationship). I could very well choose to have a relationship with a raccoon (albeit a very one-sided relationship), but the fact would remain that I would be the only one invested in this hypothetical relationship, because the raccoon can’t reciprocate my feelings. Raccoons are hard-wired by nature to only be attracted to other raccoons; they did not choose this, it is simply the way they were born. A relationship is a choice made between two people, but love is not a choice. (Animals, by the way, also exhibit homosexual behaviors: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0722_040722_gayanimal.html , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals ) You could choose to be in a relationship with a man, but I do not believe that you would ever develop feelings of romantic love for the man you are in a relationship with, because you are straight.

        Because you could not develop feelings of love for a man you are in a relationship with, it is not a choice.

        “God did not force you to go and have relationships with men, same as God did not force me to have relationships with women.”
        You’re all too right about this: God didn’t force either of us to do anything. You chose to have a relationship with a woman because you’re straight; you could not help but grow to love her for the same reason (keywords: “could not help,” implying that you did not choose). Were you in a relationship with a man, that would also have been your choice. The subsequent lack of love, however, would not have been a choice, it just never grew because you aren’t capable of romantically loving another man due to your being straight.

        Being in love with (and/or being sexually attracted to) someone and having a relationship with them are two very different things.

      • Shane says:

        Hey Mr. Ben Adam. I don’t see anyone hating on you or anyone in the comment you said, they are just posting the truth that you lack and they are telling you that they will pray for you, because your salvation might be in question because by writing this article you are hating God and you don’t know it.

      • ben adam says:

        Thanks Shane. That doesn’t make any sense, but I appreciate that you care enough to let me know that I’m hating G*D. If loving another human being is synonymous with hating G*D, then I guess I’m fine with that.

      • Billy says:

        Ha! Yea you only love those who have the same views as you Ben.

      • Lee Masters says:

        Darshika: Homosexuality is not a choice

    • scott says:

      Agreed! But not only that, only a hypocrite would use a statement like that Ben. To hate God by loving a man is basically denying your relationship with God. You no longer serve God, your a lover of mankind and serve men and not God. Your Idolizing men over Christ. That goes against almost everything the bible teaches.

  3. elysemk says:

    Great post, Ben! I’m glad you wrote this.

    I think you ARE doing so much for the kingdom of God! There are so many gay Christians who feel conflicted and don’t know how to reconcile their two identities. There are so many Christians who love the LGBTQ community, but don’t know how to defend homosexuality from a Biblical perspective. And there are so many people whose main reservations about Christianity lie in their belief that the Bible condemns homosexuality, because that’s what most Christians have told them. I think a lot of people want to believe that God does not condemn homosexuality, but they don’t know the arguments. Literal interpretations of the Bible without looking into historical context and various translations ruin people’s lives. Suicide. Slavery. War. These are just a few results of people preaching the Bible from a literal perspective.

    People are always going to disagree, but I hope those who disagree will do so with humbleness and respect. No one is all knowing when it comes to interpreting the Bible, but what is important is that we all imitate Jesus, and I believe if Jesus were here in flesh I would find him at a gay bar. My parents believe gays should be celibate, while I believe it is okay for them to be in relationships, but we respect each others’ opinions. We don’t go around trying to impose our opinions on other people. And we agree that our job is to love, not judge.

  4. Great post, Ben! I’m glad you wrote this.

    I think you ARE doing so much for the kingdom of God! A lot of gay Christians don’t know how to reconcile their two identities. A lot of Christians love the LGBTQ community, but don’t know how to defend homosexuality from a Biblical perspective. A lot of people’s main reservations about Christianity lie in their belief that the Bible condemns homosexuality, because that’s what most Christians tell them. If more people considered the historical context and various translations of scripture, the church would be different. Literal interpretations of the Bible are so destructive. Suicide. Slavery. War. These are just a few results of preaching the Bible from a literal perspective.

    People are always going to disagree, but I hope those who disagree will do so with humbleness and respect. No one is all knowing when it comes to interpreting the Bible. What’s most important is that we imitate Jesus, and I believe if Jesus were here in flesh today I would find him at a gay bar. My parents believe gays should be celibate, while I believe it’s okay for them to be in relationships, but none of us go around imposing our beliefs on other people. We agree our job is to love, not judge.

  5. navert says:

    This was well written and I appreciate your use of citations to back up historical claims (something that i rarely see in blogs and it pisses me off). It is nice to see someone else highlighting the role of homosexuality in Roman culture. I think there is mountains more to address, but this was so good. I would love to chat with you on the topic someday perhaps.

  6. Tsid says:

    Hey Ben Adam!
    I hope you’re doing well! This is a difficult subject for me and, as you know, many other followers of Jesus as well. This has helped to give me a better idea of how you personally look at this. It’s very interesting to hear about the history of warped cultures and how they related to this issue. I think many of your criticisms of mainstream “christians” are fair. However, for some of us who may not fit quite so neatly into your stereotype of the bible-shutting-hell-flinger, there remain some serious problems with a world view that encourages the actions of those who choose an LBGTetc. lifestyle.
    I think we agree that it is dangerous and foolish to build a worldview on merely one or two verses from the bible, or any other book for that matter. I find it equally as dangerous to build a world view based on the lack of such verses. (i.e. “If the bible doesn’t explicitly say that lesbian sex is wrong… it must be encouraging lesbian actions”). I think the few passages that you mentioned, by themselves, will never be proof texts…for or against the issue. I think that we have to view the Bible as a body of work that attempts to document God’s relationship with the world and communicate God’s ways and desires for us. With that being said, I think we have to look at the big picture that the Bible reveals. Through my own reading of the Bible and through my personal relationship with God, here is how I have come to see it:
    a. God is good.
    b. God is smart, smarter than us.
    c. God knows what’s best for us.
    d. God wants what is best for us.
    e. God created us to be able to do and experience what is best for us.
    f. God gave us the capability to choose to do what is best for us… or to choose things that are not good for us, things that God never intended.
    h. It should be our greatest aspiration to discover what God wants and then have the courage to live by that.

    Here are my biggest questions about this subject for you, or anyone else. What was God’s intent when God created us? What can the Bible as a whole show us about God’s desire for how things should be when it comes to intimate relationships? How exactly did God intend the human body to be used? What exactly was God’s intent for female organs and how they function? What exactly does God intend for us to do with our male body parts? When God gave humans feelings of deep connection to one another what was the highest purpose? Do we humans sometimes misunderstand those feelings and connect with others in a way that God never intended? When God gives us feelings and passions, does God want us to understand and control them so that they can be used in the way God intends…or are we supposed to give in to our feelings and let them control us?
    I see God’s design filled with wonderful purpose. Often times we fail to appreciate that purpose and think our way is better. I believe that this is the leading factor that draws people into un-viable intimate relationships of any kind (adultery for example). We think that the world is about us feeling good, so we do whatever makes us feel good. God’s way is better than just good. God’s way includes others. We want what feels good to us. God wants what is best for everyone. He has designed this into the very fabric of our human bodies, our parts, our hearts and our minds. We have the choice to use them the way God intended. When we do, we experience the true joy and height of feeling that God planned, rather than the temporary “feel-good” that we sometimes fall for.
    I don’t believe we need the “bible to tell us so.” I believe that all we need is an honest heart and a truthful mind that is willing to look at the world and realize that God has a built-in purpose order and function that, when respected and followed, brings life and joy. When that order and function are abandoned by any of us who care only for ourselves, chaos, hurt and sadness are the ultimate and end result.
    I really appreciate your desire to study and learn about this. As we both continue to study and struggle with this topic I pray that God will continue to lead us into truth and that we’ll have the courage to live it and speak it. Thanks for being patient with me and listening. Take care!

    Tsid-

  7. Scott Martin says:

    Ben, sometime it would be nice to sit down and discuss this over with you. You seem to really know your history, I agree with what Tsid said, and I want to stand in for all those people that have hurt you, misjudged you, slandered you, or just threw you out, and I want to stand in for the church for hurting you and anyone else by preaching the fire and brimstone speech, I want to say sorry, and ask forgiveness. There is too much of that goes on, and as a dedicated Christian, Christ called me to love everyone no matter who they are or where theyre at and show them the love of Christ as he loved all of us. I feel that as a Christian we need to love everyone, but still realize that homosexuality is a sin, as many other things are as well. I am not perfect and I will never claim to be until I reach heaven. So please, Id like to discuss this more with you sometime, shoot me an email. Porsches2cool@aol.com

    -God bless

  8. Ariel says:

    To Tsid’s comment, “What can the Bible as a whole show us about God’s desire for how things should be when it comes to intimate relationships?” I think this reading of conceptualizing the overall relationships of people to be one of consent allows for a very illuminating view of the Bible. And I think it speaks to what we see working out and continuing to be true today. I see couples of all sorts who are in consenting, healthy relationships whose being together allows them to serve the Kingdom of God, the poor, the oppressed, and the widow, where their love inspires them and gives them strength to serve. I also see relationships of all kinds where consent is not important. These relationships damage and destroy both those in the relationships and those around them. But I see no evidence that these relationships are more homosexual than not.
    I also think that female and male body parts were made primarily for pleasure as on average in the USA, the female uses her “body parts” for 23 months to carry a baby and the entire rest of the time uses it for other purposes. It seems silly to reduce the whole advancement of female sexual experience to “body parts” and birthing.

    • Scott says:

      @ Ariel

      okay, so what Im getting from your comment is you really dont care about what the bible says you should do, you just want your body parts to please you in a sexual mannor?

      • Ariel says:

        Well, nope. I was commenting and saying that a women’s body parts should not be thought of as simply baby making machines. Speaking about women without reducing them to this is pretty common and the just way to go about treating them these days from my experience.

        About the comment you made above about choice, it’s really hurtful and disgraceful when Christians equate falling in love with a person to the pain that comes from addiction, because the love that comes from a long term relationship between consenting adults produces the very cure of unconditional love that helps relieve people of needing alcohol to soothe their distant emotions. I think it’s hard to even conceptualize the love though when someone equates homosexuality with things that are actually destructive. I challenge you to become friends with a homosexual couple in a long term relationship and to then compare their committed love to the desperation of a long term alcoholic. You will find little in common.

    • Scott says:

      If you read my post carefully I was not comparing love relationships to alcohol and murder, I was comparing it to weather it is the person that makes the choice or if it is God that makes the choice for us. So by what your telling me you agree that it is a choice that the person makes and not a God given desire.

      Also we are not discussing weather you are in love with someone for a long term relationship or not, we are discussing weather it is a sin to have homosexual acts or not. Your proof that it is not a sin only relies on the emotion that you feel, you feel that you are in love with each other and it makes you happy. Well guess what theres a lot of other people in the world that doing other sins makes them feel happy too and they feel its a God givin desire. You have no biblical proof that says it is okay to have homosexual relations, please, find me a passage in scripture that says: “Love and marriage should not consist of gender, but of Love and passion and what makes you happy”

      On the other hand, I have plenty of biblical proof and scientific proof that homosexual relations are not God created and are not right. If you want me to show you my proof I can, but first, show me your proof that it is not a sin. Where is the passage in the bible that shows it is okay.

      • Elyse says:

        Oh my god did you even read this article before commenting on it? Just scroll up!

      • ben adam says:

        Scott, where in the Bible does it say a lot of stuff is “okay”? These arguments that continually harp on predisposed notions of right and wrong are not helpful. My blog post in question has nothing to do with “choice” or whether people choose their sexual preference. What it addresses are the relevant discrepancies between Paul’s Roman world and the current 21st century view of sexuality. No one here is talking about choice. Please, if you have something to say about what I wrote, say it. If you want to launch a sustained, viable, relevant critique of what is stated in the post, by all means do so. So far, all we hear from you is condemnation of human beings. This is not the same as actual criticism.

  9. Nick Taylor says:

    http://www.presbyterymiddletennessee.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/hays-article.pdf

    Here’s an article that counters many of your points, Ben. Maybe give it a read, and then let me know your thoughts. I thought your essay was very interesting.

    • ben adam says:

      Hey Nick, what’s up. Per request, I read this entire article. While I have tons of respect for Dr. Hays, we have almost always diverged on this topic. Let me affirm some great things he said:

      1) He does not affirm either side of the debate. The judgmental gay-hating Christians get no love from him, and the anything-goes gay-loving Christians get the cold shoulder. Here we both totally agree. I am very disconcerted by the liberal stance on LGB/TQqi issues. Mainly, their inability to actually admit that sexual disfunction exists in the world and in their own communities bothers me. Healing should be our focus not tolerance.

      2) I’m glad he affirms Christian support of political support of LGB/TQqi equality. While I myself stand against this equality (see my upcoming blog post or this site) I think he does a fine job of not reducing the issue to a political debate. Praise Jesus.

      3) His treatment of Sodom and Gomorrah is excellent. His treatment of Leviticus is good not great.

      However, what he writes still bothers me, and here is why. Too often, when dealing with issues of sociological importance, the scholars of the Bible rely heavily on what they deem “theological interpretation”. Essentially, by reading with theological eyes, scholars enable themselves to omit important cultural, political, anthropological, and historical information in favor of theology. Put more crudely, they frequently pick and choose select information to back up their preexisting theological complexes. Hays very clearly does this here. I think the most obvious way he does this is in his reading of Romans 1. Hays privileges Romans 1 as the crux of homosexual legislation by stating that it “places the condemnation of homosexual behavior in an explicitly theological context” (7). This statement secures Hays from being chastised by anthropologists and historians, alike because it dissociates the theological from the earthly matter even though Paul talks at length about very somatic topics. By implementing this dissociation, Hays becomes free to talk about G*D, G*D’s design, and G*D’s punishment of lack thereof. What he fails to do is realize that the social and political beliefs of 1st century CE people are inextricably tied to theological beliefs. Therefore, any time Paul puts forth a theological statement, he definitely includes social and political statements, as well. Hays never touches this. He makes only a few remarks about the social climate of homosexuality in the negative claiming that people arguing on behalf of acceptance use the social conditions of the 1st century CE improperly (9)! I belief firmly that what I have written takes into account the social and political climate of Paul’s day albeit not exhaustively.

      Ultimately, I think the views of Dr. Hays are a positive first step for those who stand staunchly against LGB/TQqi peoples. Nevertheless, it is a view that is unsustainable. Once people meet those who are LGB/TQqi, spend time with them, and understand their lives and stories, they will no longer be able to assert G*D’s judgment on them as living in a sinful lifestyle because of their orientation. As progressive as Dr. Hays is, he still comes from the old-school. Soon, the Church will look back on its former stance toward the LGB/TQqi community with embarrassment. First, we will be doing a lot of work. This is only the beginning!

  10. Scott says:

    @Elyse, please do not swear at me by using Gods name in vain, I find that very disrespectful to me and to God. I dont appreciate that at all.

    Heres why I believe Homosexuality is a sin:

    Lets start at the beginning in Genesis, I will be using the NIV version, and I will advise to read the whole passage instead of just one verse so we know what the bible is talking about. Genesis 2:20-25, this passage talks about how Men and Women were created. God specifically says that Men are to leave their mother and father to be united with a woman in an intimate relationship, because since woman was created from man, when they come together in marriage they become one flesh. If God wanted us to just be happy and can marry either sex he wouldnt have made woman from man, He would have made them both separately and he wouldnt specify that a man is to be united with a woman, he would just say you are to be united with a mate. This passage says nothing about being fruitful or multiplying, it is stating that a man is to be united with a woman so that they become one flesh because they were taken from one another.

    Next passage is Genesis 18:16-33 and 19:1-29, we see here that God intends to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because they are wicked people. Now the cause of which they were destroyed was not only because they were practicing homosexual acts but because they worshiped idols and did everything against the Lord. But it does focus on one thing in this passage. When the two angels come to visit Lot to help him escape from the city, the men of the city, young and old, want the two angels because they want to have sex with them. Lot knew that this was wrong, not only because they were angels but because having sex with other men is against the Lords will. He even goes as far as offering both of his daughters to them but they are not pleased with that, they want the men to have sex with. So the angels pull Lot back into the house and blind everyone outside so they could make their escape. And the Lord destroys the city. Their homosexual acts were only one of the reasons why the Lord did not find favor of the people in that city.

    Next passage is Leviticus 18 and 20. These passages deal with sexual sin. Now its clearly says that “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” it says there and in leviticus 20 very clearly and says nothing about ” it is unclean” or it is ” unsanitary” it says detestable, which means its wrong. Unlike in Leviticus 11 where it talks about unclean animals, Yes God was most likely trying to keep them from diseases but thats not what it says here, it says detestable

    Next passage is Matthew 19:1-8 Here even Jesus says ” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” A man should be joined with a woman to be united as one flesh from once they were departed in the beginning.

    Next passage is Romans 1:18-32 READ 26 and 27!! “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” How much more clear can you be??!! It comes right out and says it right there, it even says about women exchanging unnatural relations with one another!! You cannot, turn this passage down. This is even the New Testament, not the old order of things. Even in the beginning of this passage it says you are without excuse, God has provided everything for you in nature and in law so that you have no excuse to do wrong.

    Galatians 5:13-26 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery” Do not be giving into the sinful nature, sexual immorality is one of them! To be sexually immoral means to have unnatural relations with one another, unnatural means other than what God has created.

    Ephesians 5:3-7 again dont be sexually immoral

    Colossians 3:5-7 PUT TO DEATH everything that causes you to sin. It is a serious thing, we need to literally cut off from us everything that causes us to sin, it does not mean to cut yourself, it means spiritually take away everything that causes you to sin.

    1 timothy 1:3-11 “8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” Homosexuality, right there it is, the law is against it again, you cant run from it.

    Clearly! Clearly it states in the New Testament that Homosexuality is a SIN! look these verses up yourself, I did not change any of them, they clearly say homosexuality is a sin.

    Now to reply to this article. The first part of your article, Yes I agree with you, there are a lot of cruel people in this world that claim to be Christians but punish severely their own brother that has troubles with homosexuality and I hate to see that! It burns me with a passion! I love all of you here, I consider all of you as my brothers and sisters and I want to show you my love, I do not bring my message here to say that your going to hell or that your not going to heaven just because you are gay. You will enjoy the kingdom of heaven with me if you say that Christ is Lord and he died on the cross for our sins. But I am here to say that homosexuality is a sin.

    Your findings on the Roman culture are very unique, and I must say you know your history very very well. But that culture has been played out many times before, it just wasnt Just the Romans that had a practice like that.

    And as for Paul when he said in his scripture: galatians 3:28, lets read the whole passage not just the one part of the scripture Galatians 3:23-29, when you read it as a whole, we see that Paul is talking about the Old testament rules. We are no longer justified by rules, we are justified by faith. And as customary to the Jews to be separate from the Gentiles that is no longer because we are all equal in Christ. This means that in our spiritual life, we are all equal, we are all, men and women for Christ and in Christ we stand together. This does not mean that physically we are one and we dont have to be under the rule of homosexuality anymore.

    As for Paul in his roman culture, Jesus, Paul, and Jude (Jude 1 talks about sexual immorality) All agree that homosexuality and sexual impurity are sins, Not just paul and his Roman culture. Because heres the other thing. If the bible were just for that time period when Paul lived, then All of the new testament and the bible are out-dated and all of Christianity is no longer valid. These rules that have been laid down in the bible stand until Christ returns again, and to my knowledge, he hasnt come back so there you are, these rules still stand even in todays society.
    This is why I believe that homosexuality is a sin, like ive said before, you have no biblical proof that says homosexuality is not a sin, if there is such a passage please share it with me.

    as for Ben, when you said ” when does the bible say that anything is okay?” heres some passages to show you what is right:
    Isaiah 43:7
    “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (KJV)

    1 Corinthians 10:31
    “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (ESV)

    1 Corinthians 6:20
    “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (KJV)

    1 Corinthians 6:20
    “you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (NIV)

    Colossians 3:23
    “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (NIV)

    Ecclesiastes 9:10
    “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” (NIV)

    Philippians 4:13
    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”(NKJV)

    1 Corinthians 10:23
    “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. ” (NIV)

    1 Corinthians 10:23
    “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things
    edify.” (NKJV)

    John 10:10
    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (KJV)

    Psalm 16:11
    Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (KJV)

    Psalm 86:12
    I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. (KJV)

    Philippians 1:9-11
    “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” (KJV)

    Zephaniah 3:17
    The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (KJV)

    ~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~

    What Pleases God? What Makes God Smile? What Brings God Pleasure?

    Psalm147:11 “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” (KJV)

    Hosea 6:6 “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (ESV)

    Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (NKJV)

    Isaiah 58:6-14

    Psalm 149:4
    “Hallelujah! Sing to God a brand-new song,
    praise him in the company of all who love him.
    Let all Israel celebrate their Sovereign Creator,
    Zion’s children exult in their King.
    Let them praise his name in dance;
    strike up the band and make great music!
    And why? Because God delights in his people,
    festoons plain folk with salvation garlands!” (The Message)

    Isaiah 66:2 “Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD.
    “These are the ones I look on with favor:
    those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
    and who tremble at my word.” (NIV)

    Romans 14:17-19 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (NIV)

    1 Timothy 5:3-5 “Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.” (ESV)

    1 Samuel 12:22 “And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. “For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people.” (NKJV)

    Psalms 5:3-4 “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up. For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You.” (NKJV)

    Psalms 35:27 “Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (NKJV)

    Ezekiel 18:23 “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” (NKJV)

    Ezekiel 18:31-32 “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” (NKJV)

    Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?” (NKJV)

    Matthew 9:13 “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (NKJV)

    Hebrews 10:38-39 “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” (NKJV)

    Hebrews 11:5-6 “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (NKJV)

    James 2:23 “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.” (NKJV)

    Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (NKJV)

    Hebrews 13:15-16 “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (NKJV)

    Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (NKJV)

    2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
    “Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (NKJV)

    • ben adam says:

      Scott, I unapproved your comment responding to Al because of the overt homophobia expressed in it. Comparing people’s sexual identities to murder and rape is not acceptable on this blog or comment thread.

      As for the Roman passage, you can find it quoted in my post. Furthermore, I do not have a unique view of Roman culture. In fact, I have a very common view of Roman culture. It is one that has been written about in thousands of books. Roman culture was divided by very distinct bifurcations, and their dualistic worldview resulted in homosexual sex as a form of social domination.

      You should not use texts talking about sexual immorality as a way of proving that LGB/TQqi people are living in sin when those commenting disagree that non-heterosexual acts are immoral.

      As for the Genesis 2 argument, the existence of intersex people undermines the implied normativity of the male and female sex. G*D does not make only men and women. In the words of my old professor, “There are at least seven sexes.” This of course is an exaggeration, but it speaks to the fact that we cannot split the world into simple sexual categories predicated on gender identity.

      Concerning Sodom, please read Ezekiel 16.49, and please consider whether or not you are arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned for the poor and needy.

      As for Leviticus, I am slow to read it at face value. There certainly are a lot of cultural things going on there. The primary thing I would like to mention is how women, at the time, were still considered the property of males. Hence, the command to not lie with a man in the same way one lies with a woman is another way of saying do not turn property owners into property. Just a thought though.

      What is more, Jesus never says anything about same-sex sexual activity. Ever. His comments on marriage directly address divorce not sexuality.

      Your reading of Gal. 3 only go to show that you still subscribe to the standard Protestant reading of that text. It is a reading that is slowly being eroded by damn good scholarship. I highly recommend reading The Apostle to the Conquered or Galatians Re-Imagined. Even The Faithfulness of Jesus Christ by Richard Hays, despite Hays’ conservative views, will begin to undo that reading.

      Ultimately, following Jesus is not about exclusion it’s about embrace. When you begin to spend time with the “unclean” and the people outcast by our society, such as the poor and non-European-Americans, you will begin to see that these debates over sexuality are distracting us from true works of justice. Speaking of which, right now I am at work where I spend all day with the homeless, and I need to go help those needy sisters and brothers. Peace!

      • Scott says:

        So what about when Paul is writing to Timothy in 1 timothy 3:10 where he clearly says to not give into homosexuality?? It So clearly states it that you have no reply, you cannot turn those words around to make them say what you want.

        And to back up my other point, If Pauls gospels were only written for the date and time period that he was in then all of his writings are useless. If all he was writing to was the Romans and their slave culture then all of his teachings are not valid to us in this date and time.

        I spend time with the unclean every day. I see what people do everyday and I am not immune to anyone. I help people in need and I spend time with people that are suffering, and it hurts me deeply to see people in pain. To me the bible clearly points that it is a sin, I feel that your defense is only opinion and you cannot back it up using the bible. If paul wanted to say that the Roman culture is wrong in what it does with its slaves, he would have wrote about it in its letter to rome, which he did in fact! But as we see when he writes to Timothy he clearly says to not practice homosexuality.

        Ben, I still consider you my brother, and I want to get to know you more. I dont want us to be fighting viciously over this because I want us to help save people together for Christ as He wanted us to do. I want to get to know you better so that together we can save lives. I want to stand at the gates of Hell with you so that we can save people right before they are falling in and being lost forever. Please Ben, we dont have to talk about this anymore, after I post this and you still feel that homosexuality is okay between you and God, Im not going to push my argument anymore because I feel it is taring us away from the Lord. I would love to meet you someday, please contact me, you have my email I have no intentions of hurting anyone, and if we do meet we dont even have to talk about this, we can talk about anything and everything. I hope you hear my prayer. I am truly sorry to everyone here for hurting all of you, and to you especially Ben.

        God bless everyone. Jude 1:24-25- 24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

    • Elyse says:

      Hi Scott. I’m sorry I offended you. I would like to point out that I said god and not God , and I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where taking God’s name in vain is defined as this cultural expression “oh my god” which does not specify as to which religious or mythological god it refers to. Exodus 20:7 says, “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (NIV). I, as many Biblical scholars, interpret this as making promises in the name of God or doing things with false representation of His name. This would include saying things such as “God told me to…”, “God wants me to…”, etc. when the person saying such things did not clearly feel the Holy Spirit leading them to these actions, and when their actions clearly misrepresent God.

      One thing I would like to point out about your arguments is that you did not define your terms. Since you’re commenting on Ben’s article, I would assume you would be arguing according to how he defined his terms, yet you keep bringing up Bible verses which Ben never threw out or said he disagreed with. When you read the word “homosexuality” in the Bible, you think of what homosexuality is in our culture today. Ben defines it according to the cultural practices of the time when it was written. You may still disagree, but you can’t argue properly if you’re arguing with different definitions of terms. This is why it does not appear to me that you fully read Ben’s article. A lot of your arguments and questions have already been addressed by Ben and if you read the article more carefully you will see this.

      Scott, I would also encourage you to spend time getting to know more people from the LGBTQ population. I used to have more conservative views, but my brother came out when I was in high school and as he embarked on a journey of accepting himself and finding acceptance from God, his family and friends, I spent a lot of time in prayer trying to figure out what God’s view of all this was. I never prayed that my brother would be straight. I only prayed that he would grow closer to God every day, as I pray for myself and everyone I know. My brother is now in a committed relationship with a man and continues to follow the Lord. I fully support him and do not see anything wrong with him being in a committed relationship with a man. My parents have a slightly different view. They believe gay and lesbian Christians should remain celibate, according to their interpretation of the Bible. However, they support my brother in the choices he makes and love him no matter what. They do not pass judgement on anyone in the LGBTQ community and keep their views private unless asked. None of us, however, believe that same-sex attraction is a choice. No one would ever choose that. My brother suffered. He tried to be straight. He is not. He never will be. I think if you had a close friend or family member who was gay you would approach this topic differently.

      • Scott says:

        So just because homosexuality in the bible was written in a different time a culture means it does not apply to us today? Then why follow anything in the bible? Because the culture is so completely different.

        Just because it was written in a different time and culture doesnt exclude us from the rule. In timothy 3:10 Paul specifically says homosexuality. Homosexuality is homosexuality, weather it was written 2000 years ago or written today, it is still a man having an intimate relationship with another man or a woman having an intimate relationship with another woman. People in that era not only practiced homosexual acts just because you were a dominate roman, but they practiced them out of free will, as we do today. Paul wrote this clearly to Timothy because the Romans and their culture were not the only ones in the world that practice homosexuality, if they were he would have no reason to tell Timothy! I have read in full Bens article and I still feel that between me and God that homosexuality is a sin. I also feel that Bens article and everyone elses defense is mere opinion based and has no biblical proof that homosexuality is okay to practice. The guides that were laid down in the new testament we not specifically only for the people in that time but for everyone in every age until Christ returns.

        And I do personally know people that are homosexual, I know quite a few. And I really do what to get to know more of them. I want to hear more of their views any why they believe in what they do. Please email me so I can get to know you better, I want to hear from all of you.

        So far no one, no one here has provided me with scripture to back up their argument. I am still waiting to hear scripture that says it is okay. Because without scripture it is no longer Gods rules, but the sinful desire of mankind making up their own rules because they want to be happy.

      • ben adam says:

        First of all, no homosexuality was NOT the same then as it is now. Not even heterosexuality was the same then as it is now. Second, what I wrote in the article was extremely factual and predicated on countless hours of reading and research. Granted, it still involves opinions, as does your argument. Moreover, Paul did not write 1 Timothy. Scholarship has pretty much proven that.

  11. scott says:

    Okay so what Is your view of 1 Timothy 3:10?? Are you saying that what was written in bible times is not able to be applied today?? If what was written in the bible isnt able to be used in todays society then what use is any of the bible??

    you still have yet to show me scripture to back up your argument. My argument has opinions but I have scripture to prove my opinions.

    • Scott says:

      I correct myself 1 Timothy 1:10

    • ben adam says:

      Here’s the problem with this discussion. I read the Bible critically. This does not mean I am critical of it in the negative sense. It means I seek to understand it in its own context before dismembering it in order to place it in my own. Because the Bible is a library of writings written over the course of nearly a thousand years by dozens (maybe even hundreds) of authors in 3 different languages, we cannot understand it without some concept of its socio-political location. This task, however, is an immense udertaking! Thus, Evangelical Protestants decided to run away from this difficulty and declare the Bible to be “the Word of G*D for all time”, which is to say, we no longer need to do the difficult work of understanding the Bible in context because we can read it at face value and know exactly what it is saying! This is why you think you have proof-texts for what I have written, but you don’t. You never have because your verses come without any context. You provide no evidence showing that homosexuality was the same in the 1st century CE as it is in the 21st century. I have shown (conclusively, in my opinion) that the two practices are extremely different. I also showed how Paul’s thought focuses on ending Roman imposed dualisms. Therefore, if homosexual sex functioned to reinscribe those Roman dualisms, then Paul naturally stood against it. Put more simply, Paul’s aversion to homosexuality has more to do with the culture it represented. One that privileged domination over love and Lord Caesar over crucified Jesus. In our social context, homosexual sex does not intrinsically reinscribe oppressive, hierarchical, bifurcations in the way it did in Rome. Therefore, Paul is not speaking about the romantic love, affection, and commiment that can come between a same-sex couple. Such a notion did not exist. Instead, he is addressing the oppressive form of social control expressed in same-sex sexual relations. Read the book “Roman Homosexuality”, and you will begin to understand a little better what I mean.

      As for 1 Timothy, read the book of Galatians and then read 1 Timothy, and you will see what a plagarized letter of misrepresentation 1 Timothy is. Galatians, all about liberation and the ending of hierarchy between men, women, slaves, free people, colonizers, and colonized, is completely refuted in 1 Timothy as the author of that epistle only sets in stone the exact opposite of Galatians’ radical purview! So for me, the question becomes which one do I ascribe to? The radical liberation of Galatians written by Paul? or the patriarchal domination set up in 1 Timothy by someone stealing Paul’s authority? My preference is Galatians.

      Now, don’t ever get me wrong. I love the Bible. I’m quite enamored with it, but the Bible is not G*D. Our main task in life is to discern the will of G*D. The Bible is a tool in doing that, but it is not in and of itself G*D’s ultimate will. Thus, to critique it, to disbelieve in parts of it, and to be angry at the parts with which we disagree is perfectly reasonable. Furthermore, the debate over what pieces of scripture are useful is a part of living the Christian life. Jesus did it all the time! As did Paul. I hope this ultimately leads you to dig deeper. I was in the same place as you when I was your age. I believe you’ll figure it out.

  12. scott says:

    So let me get this straight, when you personally read Galatians, then personally read Timothy, you feel that they appose each other so you as a mere mortal with a sinful nature, take the bible into your own hands and cut out and substitute your own words so it says what you want to hear, am I correct??

    you cannot separate the bible, the bible is to be read as a whole, not just certain books or passages that apply to you and then you just throw everything else in the trash. Yes different books deal with different issues but you cannot separate the bible into sections of what you want and dont want. If you do, you would just be using the fools cut and paste bible. I believe we are to read the New Testament as a whole and follow its teachings because that is what Christ commanded us to do. Jesus used parts of the old testament yes. But as Jesus, being God in human form, recreated the old Testament so that we no longer have to sacrifice animals to obtain salvation, but that he would be the ultimate sacrifice so we would be saved by grace. The only reason, the one and only reason Jesus was able to change scripture is because He is God, He was the one speaking through the people telling them what to write. You however are not God, you are no where close, and neither am I. So therefore you cannot just take the bible as you will and change it so it satisfies you. Theres things that you want and things that make you happy but they are sins, well guess what, they are still sins even though they make you happy. There are sins that I make that I wish were not sins but I am not God so therefore I must obey what the bible has taught me.

    and for your first paragraph, using scripture to back my argument up is valid as it says in the bible, John 1:1-5 in the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God ; Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is Active, shaper than any double edged sword, This means the word of God is still very alive and is useful for any teaching. As it says also in 2 timothy 3:16-17. Which also brings me to your last paragraph, when you said “the bible is not God” wow are you ever WRONG! The bible is God, the Bible is Gods own very words! As Hebrews says it is alive and active! and As John said the Word is God.

    Im starting to find out that you believe more in your history and and science than you do the Bible and God. You toss the bible aside and cut it up to say what you want. You no longer read the bible as God intended you to, you read it as though it is a history book and you seek to prove wrong the very words of God. I urge you to read Romans 16:17-18 and ask yourself if you are doing this.

    • ben adam says:

      Here’s the deal Herb, I’m not going to respond to your comments anymore after this. Bibliolatry is not my cup of tea, and by claiming that the Bible is G*D, you have now incurred my ire. The Bible, whether you like it or not, was written by human hands. It was edited by human hands, canonized by humans, and ultimately read by humans. To claim that anything made by human hands is G*D is nothing short of idolatry (Isaiah 44.9-20). We cannot even speak because I’m talking about a tool that guides us to G*D; you are talking about a god. As pluralist as I am, I become furious when Christians participate in idolatry. Maybe the Bible as G*D makes sense to you in some fucked up circular logic, but G*D is not the pages of a 2000-year-old library. G*D is Love. I think it says that somewhere in the Bible. So good day. How about you keep hating gays, I’ll keep loving them, and in 60 years when we’re standing before the divine, we’ll be reconciled. Peace!

      • Scott says:

        hahahahaha Well you see, my real name isnt Herb, and If you really need to facebook stalk people to learn how to oppose their views thats pretty weird if you ask me. I never once looked you up because I didnt have to. My real name is Scott Martin, as it appears here, I have nothing to hide from you. I live in Ephrata, PA. If you want to meet with me Id be more than glad to.

        The bible was written by men yes But! As 2 Peter 1:21 says : 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. This means that God guided their every pen stroke as they were writing and what did it say? “NEVER HAD ITS ORIGIN IN THE HUMAN WILL”. John 14:26 says the same! By the Holy Spirit the Bible was written through men therefore the bible is Gods words, written by human hands. Hebrews 4:12 the word of who??? GOD! the Word of God (not men) is living and active, sharper than a double edged sword.

        The word of GOD is not a 2000 year old history book, it says so itself! It is Living and Active, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. And yes God is love, 1 John 4:8. But the word was God John 1:1 and the Word was with God.

        I do not hate gays or anyone for that matter, I have made that very clear to you and everyone else here. I have posted many times saying that I love all of you and i want to get to know you all more deeply. It is you that hate me, for you cursed at me. And by the way i dont appreciate that at all, that is not what the will of the Lord is to have us do. We are not to be cursing at each other as brothers in the faith. And I firmly believe that we will both see the gates of Heaven.

        i come in the name of the Lord, to bring the Lords will to everyone.

      • Elyse says:

        You just took God’s name in vain. Right there.
        Also, the Word of God is Jesus. Read any Bible commentary and it will tell you this.
        No one reading your comments here would conclude that you love gays.
        I’m also done responding to your comments. Go get to know some gays, read the Bible, study it in its original languages, read some Bible commentaries (why do you think we have these if the Bible, according to you, can be read at face value?), learn how to debate properly, and then, maybe, we can have an intellectually informed, civilized discussion.

    • Jen says:

      Ben Adam, your view of the Bible is twisted. You are using the Bible to support something you want to believe to be true. (Fun Fact: the bible was used to justify the Holocaust in the Nuremberg trials…interested that the Shwastica is actually a “twisted” cross) What I’ve learned from using the Bible that way for 13 years, then actually becoming a born again believer for the last six years is this: If what you read in the Bible doesn’t flip you upside down (or rightside up) then you are not reading it clearly. It should challenge you to conform to Gods identity( he says we will be born again, made new..new creations!). We like to conform the Bible to our identity, but there’s no real change in that, no new creation. If you really want to experience God, then believe him at his word…He IS the Word, his words are active as the book of Hebrews says…the words are Alive, they literally are him…that’s why he’s so ridiculously amazing!. Get low and raise Him high, trust Him and be changed…then you may be able to start reading the Bible clearly and you’ll get what all the excitement is about.

      • ben adam says:

        Jen, thank you for your concern. It should be noted that I read the Bible as an anti-LGB/TQqi text for many, many years. I was a “born-again” Christian that entire time. The problem was that I knew absolutely nothing about the Bible! My church and my community who claimed to follow the Bible so closely knew next to nothing about how to teach me about what it actually said. So I took their word at face value. Then, when I really started to study it, not just like a wiji board or with “spiritual” eyes, but with real intent, I began to see that G*D loves us all. Period. Love does not condemn. It liberates. Well all I saw in the “born-again” world was condemnation without any liberation. I saw Gay men proclaim they had been cured by G*D sexually abuse other men. I saw so much hate! Then I looked to the Bible. It showed me Love (which is to say it showed me G*D), and I found a different message. I hope you don’t hate the LGB/TQqi people who G*D loves in the way my community did (and still does).

      • scott says:

        Ben, you are still not following the bible and God by leaving out and cutting out verses and books in the bible. The bible is about LOVE and God is LOVE, I agree with you, we all need to love each other. But you can’t just cut out of the bible what God has declared as sin.

  13. Scott says:

    Please, do explain how that is taking the Lords name in vain?

    And thank you for agreeing with me that the Word of God is God, because Jesus is God. John 10:25-30, Jesus says : I and the Father are one.

    Neither do you love me. I never once said I hated anyone, I just firmly believe that homosexuality is a sin, but just because I believe that doesnt mean i automatically hate you. I believe there a lots of people sinning in the word, I sin, everyone sins, but just because they sin, doesnt mean I hate them. I love them as Jesus did, and I want to show everyone I can the Love of Jesus.

    I ask that you do the same. Get to know some real people, read the bible in its true form, not reading it in a historical way but in a way that you are trying to learn more about God and how you can advance his kingdom. And how about instead of cursing at each other, we can talk one to one as a mature, Christian adult would? And maybe If we would all believe in all of the Bible, instead of just parts of it that you just want to believe, we could have a intellectually informed, civilized discussion.

    I hope that today everyone has a very wonderful and glorious day. May the peace and love of our Lord, bless you and keep you, may his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face towards you, and give you peace (numbers 6:24-26) Amen and Amen. Love you all.

  14. Elyse says:

    I know I said I wouldn’t respond anymore, but I don’t want anyone to think that I idolize the Bible as you do. The Bible is not Jesus! ” The Word,” as mentioned in scripture, is a reference to Jesus, not the Bible. This is how John introduces Jesus. You think he is talking about a book that was written by men and assembled by men (though God inspired)? Not so. In the beginning was Jesus. And Jesus was with God. And Jesus was God.

    Neither Ben nor I are gay. We just advocate for the LGBTQ community. I just want to clarify that because I think it says a lot about our interpretation of scripture. We’re not trying to twist the Bible to defend our desires. We’re trying to figure out what God’s view of all this is. What’s in it for us? Nothing.

    • Scott says:

      I do not Idolize the Bible, I believe that the bible was created by men, but the words are from God, meaning the words written are not of human intentions. But I also believe that the bible is not dead. Every book, every passage, every word, are Gods word and they are still as true and powerful as the day they were written. It is not in any way, shape or form just a “2000-year-old library”. This book was written for everyone, in every century, and every age, until Christ returns. And everyone is under the rule of the New Testament, unless you are Jesus, and none of us are Jesus. If you believe in the sinful nature of man rather than the Holy Spirit of our Lord, theres something wrong.

      I never once mentioned that you or Ben are gay. And if you are not trying to twist the bible to defend yourself’s then explain why you, as an individual, choose to believe Galatians and not Timothy? So some people say that Timothy wasnt written by Paul, are you going to believe sinful men? Or the bible with the Words of God? You cannot serve both, either you love the one and hate the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. I choose to serve the Lord our God and be devoted to Him, not sinful men that claim they know more about the history of the bible.

      Gods view of all this is as he first made it in the creation, He created woman out of man so that when the two come together in a intimate, romantic, loving relationship, they will be reunited and become one flesh from which they were once taken from each other. If he wanted it to just be all about the relationship part of marriage, and none of the physical part of marriage (by physical I mean male and female) He would have just made everyone transsexual. But God wanted it to be more intimate than that. Homosexuality has been on this earth for thousands of years, even in Sodom and Gomorrah because when the Men came to Lots door, they asked for the Men to have sex with, they did not want women as Lot offered, they wanted the men to have sex with. Having said that there are two problems I see there, 1. They wanted to rape the people they saw which is sin and 2. pretty clearly they were already practicing homosexuality themselvs because it said all of the men in the city, young and old, came to his door. This means not only did they practice homosexuality with just the things they owned like the Romans, but they practiced it among themselves together. So, what say you? Does the bible not say that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted to have sex with other men? Therefore the Romans were not the only ones in this practice of homosexuality. There were lots of people, throughout all ages, practicing it in a relationship setting and a rape setting, Homosexuality was not just created in the 21st century.

  15. John says:

    Ben, I have been searching the internet for a good biblical defense of homosexuality and this has been the best I have come across in a few weeks of searching. Although, I have some problems with it.
    1. “The Bible says absolutely nothing related to such issues since these self-expressions never show up in its pages. Primarily, we need to define homosexuality since it produces the highest volume of debate and the Bible says a little bit about it (sort of).” – The fact that the bible does not specifically speak of something does not make it good or not a sin. Just because the bible does not specifically talk about global warming, does not mean we should ignore it (global warming or the bible) and not perform our God-given duty to live in harmony with it.
    2. “Gender, unlike sexual parts, is socially constructed. Certain genders are affiliated with certain physical parts: male gender with penises; female with vagina.” This is highly debatable. I believe that genders are physically connected to the “parts,” as you put it. “Gender roles” I believe are socially constructed.
    3. “Attractions express themselves in various ways. People might simply express their attraction through sexual intercourse; or they might fall in love, enter a committed relationship, and get married.” – This is a social construct. You are expressing a modern view of relational attraction, which can be argued is different from, but is a part of, relationships. Also, how is “expressing attraction” “through sexual intercourse” outside of “a committed relationship” or marriage biblical?
    4. “In our best forms of committed relationship, they happen between two equals. People in these relationships love each other rather than rule over each other, sex is an expression of affection and intimacy, and power is shared. Most importantly, sex is not used to dominate the other.” – This again is a modern social construct. The argument that sex is not used to dominate the other, is I believe not shared by everyone. Your statement “In our best forms of committed relationship” is where the “power is shared,” but most uncommitted sexual relationships (heterosexual or homosexual) are places where power is not shared. Even in our modern day, just look at pornography. It is filled with images of sex used for domination, not just S&M or other things of that sort. Just regular pornography degrades all of the people in it and gives the viewer a power-over the people in the pornography.
    5. “Roman Culture” section – I had heard it said in other places that homosexuality has been around for thousands of years. If that is the case this whole argument may be marginalized or turned around and used against itself. Such as, you could say that “homosexuality as we know it is only a newer development in history,” then you could no longer argue that homosexuals have existed in other cultures throughout time and weakens the homosexual gene argument. If it is genetic, it must have been passed on from generation to generation, implying that there would be other homosexuals as we know them today throughout time (ie Paul’s time). If you say that “it is genetic and it is the social construct of the time did not allow them to have relationships as people do today,” then you could say that it is the same case today but homosexual people are doing it anyways. Also, if that is the case then why couldn’t they do it then, in that social construct? Why couldn’t they just mask their homosexuality by “pretending” to be “raping” or “dominating,” (your words) to the prevailing culture, if it was socially acceptable; all the while really having consensual homosexual relationships? Much more effort and “pretending” than this was put into hiding one’s homosexuality in our American culture before approx 10 years ago. I am not saying this is a good thing, but just that it has been done before when the culture at large disagrees with something one does or believes.
    6. Your interpretation of Romans 1:26-27 – Even with all your arguments about the translation, it still seems that Paul still sees homosexual acts as, at the very least, sin. You are putting many connotations to his words which do not exist and many contextual issues that do not seem to exist anywhere else Paul speaks about homosexuality. If they do, I would like to see specific scripture and/or scholarly book (multiple) references where some of these issues are explained in more detail. NT Wright nowhere says or even implies that Paul is trying to convey what you are conveying with your arguments.

    Conclusion – After saying all of this, I can agree with you that hate speech is wrong. Christians who hate homosexuals are wrong and are guilty of having the board in their own eye as try to remove the speck in the homosexual person’s eye (Matt 7:1-5). But I am still convinced that homosexual lusting and sex “misses the mark” (sin) and/or is “not ideal” (sin). It seems to go against the creation story, whether you see it as literal or as an allegorical story. As well as other places in the Hebrew scriptures and the Christian scriptures. To quote NT Wright “Our supposedly selfish genes crave a variety of sexual possibilities. But Jewish, Christian and Muslim teachers have always insisted that lifelong man-plus-woman marriage is the proper context for sexual intercourse. This is not (as is frequently suggested) an arbitrary rule, dualistic in overtone and killjoy in intention. It is a deep structural reflection of the belief in a creator God who has entered into covenant both with his creation and with his people (who carry forward his purposes for that creation). Paganism ancient and modern has always found this ethic, and this belief, ridiculous and incredible. But the biblical witness is scarcely confined, as the shrill leader in yesterday’s Times suggests, to a few verses in St Paul. Jesus’s own stern denunciation of sexual immorality would certainly have carried, to his hearers, a clear implied rejection of all sexual behaviour outside heterosexual monogamy. This isn’t a matter of “private response to Scripture” but of the uniform teaching of the whole Bible, of Jesus himself, and of the entire Christian tradition.” This is an excerpt from http://www.themergeblog.com/2009/07/nt-wright-on-homosexuality.html
    I do believe what Jesus said in Matt 5:27-28 applies to homosexuals as well. It is lust that is the problem, whether homosexual lusting or heterosexual lusting, neither are good. Jesus died to free us from the bondage of lust and as Christians we are to use the power of the Holy Spirit to free ourselves from all forms of lust. God did not create homosexuals “doomed to sin,” as much as he did not create “heterosexuals doomed to sin.” We as heterosexuals can say the same thing, that “God just created us to commit adultery” or “God created us to have sex outside of a committed marriage” because we cannot control our lust. We can claim the same issue with regard to other sins in our fallen world. It seems that fundamentalist/ultra-conservative Christianity has made homosexuality the worse sin ever known to man/woman. But as I stated above, this just amounts to them having a board in their own eye while trying to take out the speck in their brother’s/sister’s eye. We are all “recovering sinners” so I can join with you and the whole LGB/TQqi people, in moving toward a closer walk with Christ, which includes being freed from all forms of sin (including lust, homosexual and/or heterosexual).
    Let me also submit to you that there is a third kind of Christian response, which I admit, is in the minority (or is quieter than the others). A response which says we accept you where you are, we love you where you are. We are willing to be your friend, to serve you, to love you, no matter who you are, what you have done and/or what has been done to you. A response that says, all LGB/TQqi people were made in the image of God and have immeasurable worth. A response that says we want to join with you to move toward a Christ-like ethic of sexuality, which is free of lusting and all other issues dealt with in Jesus’ teaching.
    Note: If you would like a better understanding of this lusting portion of the sermon on the mount (ie explanation of the plucking eyes out), read “The Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard.

    Love and God bless!

    • ben adam says:

      Thank you John for calling it the best defense you have read. I read over your response. It is lengthy. Anyway, I’m not going to respond to it now. I will however be collecting everyone’s reactions to it and craft a response that might make some coherent answers to people’s conflict with my views. In response, I must only say that insofar as believing anything other than heterosexuality is a sin, go ahead and try to hold that belief while still “loving” people of other sexualities or genders. That’s what I did. For years. And this is where it got me!

      • Scott says:

        “In response, I must only say that insofar as believing anything other than heterosexuality is a sin, go ahead and try to hold that belief while still “loving” people of other sexualities or genders.”

        lol so what your saying is that if you consider something a sin, it automatically means you hate them…. interesting. So you must hate, drunkards, slanderers, liars, idolatry, stealers, murderers, And me. How can you condemn someone for hating people when you yourself hate me?? Because clearly you do, you swore at me dropping the F-bomb. that’s clearly what Jesus wants us to do….

        On another note, yes, the bible does say that Homosexuality is a sin.

        Matthew 19:1-8 Here even Jesus says ” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate”

        1 Corinthians 6:8-10 says this:
        8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

        also 1 Timothy 1:8-11 says:
        8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

        Or are you still using your Cut And Paste version of the bible where if you dont like a certain book of scripture because it doesnt line up with the book before it you just throw it out?

        I also agree 100% with Paul, Homosexuality was around since the world was created. Look back and read about Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:4-5 says : 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.” it says it as clear as day right there, so the Romans werent the only ones to be practicing homosexuality….

        Also Paul hit a very good point that I agree with, “A response which says we accept you where you are, we love you where you are. We are willing to be your friend, to serve you, to love you, no matter who you are, what you have done and/or what has been done to you.”
        As when I posted my very first comment here, Im sorry that there are people that hate Homosexuals, it should NOT be like that. We are to love everyone as Christ loved us. But that doesnt give us the excuse to say something is not a sin. I love those who are homosexual because they are my brother through Christ. I also love those who commit other sins because I, myself, am a sinner too, I commit sins, just like everyone else sins. I am only stern when I speak because I firmly believe that homosexuality is a sin because the BIBLE, says so. And the bible is put in our hands to guide us until Christ returns, to help us know what God wants us to do and not do. I also believe that many other things are sins, but does it mean that I hate those people?? Not at all!! As its been said before, hate the SIN, NOT THE SINNER. So basically you hate what is wrong, and love the people. Its exactly what Christ has done in the bible.

        I still Love you Ben, and consider you my brother in Christ. I still love homosexuals as well, if they were to come to my church, I would accept them with open arms, same as with anyone else, I would welcome them as well. I hope that God blesses your career Ben and that God will be with you to the end of your days. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

      • Max says:

        Hi Scott,

        I’d like to challenge you to consider that interpretation and layered translations of scripture on this issue may not mach up with the original intent of these passages. What if what was written by Paul and other authors of scripture has not been translated verbatim and is not exactly what we read in our English translations today?

        I encourage you to read this text excerpt about the translation of 1 Cor. 6 9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:10. It comes from a book entitled The Children are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence for Same-Sex Relationships.

        http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence/no_fems_no_fairies.html

        I’d like to highlight where the greek word “arsenkoitai” is referenced and the argument that it by no means condemns committed homosexual relationships.

        Thank you for caring enough to keep at this debate.

        God Bless,

        Max

      • John says:

        Ben,
        I need to make a distinction before I reply to your message. I do not believe it necessary to hold people, who do not call themselves Christian, to Christian values and/or judge/condemn them. We as Christians are called to love everyone and make disciples of Jesus. We can “discern” what is sin and what is not but I do not wish to condemn anyone for their sin (Christian or non-Christian). As Christians, we are all recovering sinners, no one but God can truly “judge the living and the dead.” What we are doing here is discussing one particular issue and trying to decide if it is truly sin or not.

        All that being said, we can hold the belief that homosexuality is sin while still “loving” people of other sexualities or genders. It is the same way we can hold the belief that lying or greed which are sins that prevail in our culture, but we are still be able to love the liar or greedy person. This is what Jesus taught us. Unfortunately, not all Christians have fully grasped that message and/or worked it out in their lives. But in the same way, if someone who considers themselves Christian or a follower of Christ and says that God condones homosexuality, this is where I think there is an error. I believe it is not correct for a Christ follower to affirm or condone homosexuality. This has nothing at all to do with someone’s love for them. A child who constantly goes against their parent’s correct teaching, is still fully loved by them, the parents may get hurt and let resentment set in, but that is to give the “enemy a foothold” (Eph 4:27). We as sinners who are are constantly going against God, are still fully and completely loved by Him

        Love and God Bless!

      • scott says:

        Amen John!! I believe this with my whole heart. Just because the bible declares something a sin, does not mean we automatically hate that person.

        If you say that you declare something to be a sin, it means that you hate that person, Ben you must hate….. pretty much everyone.

  16. Scott says:

    So what your saying is the bible has been miss interpreted just only on these two verses alone?? If the bible has been miss interpreted, then all Christianity is a joke and we are all living a lie. The people that make these translations and the people before us that have translated the bible spend years and years, longer than you and I have been alive and know the Hebrew and Greek language better than any “internet Scholar”. So I trust their interpretations because thats their life, thats what they do, and they do it with God.

    The other thing is, there isnt just one person that translates the bible, there are thousands. So do you really think that if one person got the interpretation wrong, someone would be there to correct it and change the bible?? And from what I see most of the translations, NKV, NIV, etc, etc. agree with each other, so therefore, thats really is what the original text is telling us.

    Heres my other debate: if you refer back to your biology class lets look at the human body. In a woman her main sexual part is her vagina, there are others but lets focus on that. The vagina is basically where you insert the penis to have natural sex and to make babies. On the man his main sexual part is his penis, where in a natural reproductive cycle, he inserts it into the vagina to make babies. Now lets say a man, loves another man, they get married and they want to have sex, what do they do? well they could sit around masturbating each other, or the one man could insert his penis into the others anus. Lets look at the anus: whats its main job? It is an opening in the body to allow waste to exit the body. So when you insert the penis into the anus, would you consider that by nature natural, or unnatural?? You tell me.

    Now you can throw the defense that animals participate in homosexual acts therefore by nature it is natural. But put the brakes on that thought, think about this: Animals do things that people DONT do, thats why they are considered ANIMALS, NOT HUMANS. Animals also kill each other to feed themselfs, they also poop and pee in public, they have sex with multiple partners, they roam around naked, the list goes on. So if you say that animals do these things in nature so therefore its natural, does that make killing, stealing, and prostitution is all normal and correct for Humans?? By no means!! If it was we basically wouldnt have laws!!

    So lets take this back to my point, if having a man and a woman have sex is natural by nature, and a man and a man have sex is unnatural by nature, wouldnt you think God would want us to do with our bodies AS HE CREATED THEM TO DO??
    Like it says in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20:
    12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

    Therefore honor God with your bodies….. is doing something Unnatural with your body honoring God? You tell me.

    Try not to take me wrong here Max, Im not trying to “condemn” your or hate you, or put you down. I love you as my brother In Christ, and I hope you Love me too. Im just trying to help you understand my view point. I see yours and yes, it is very hard to believe that we get every single word right translated into English from Greek because they are so different! and like it says in your article there are some words in Greek that we cannot exactly translate into English , I agree with that! But just because we cant 100% translate all the words, does NOT make the bible WRONG. The bible still points out as in 1 Corinthians here, that our bodies are the Lord our God’s, and we ought to do with our bodies what God Created them to do because thats what honors God.

    Blessings to you Max on your journey through life, hope your week is going well! May the Lord bless you and keep you! I pray that even if we dont see eye to eye that we will still be brothers for the Lord, hope to hear from you soon!

    • ben adam says:

      I want to just say briefly that I am very close to deleting your comment “Scott”. I feel fairly annoyed by your defense of biblical scholars as proper interpreters and translators of the Bible, yet when scholars decide to interpret and translate in a way contrary to your beliefs, you suddenly have no regard for scholarly pursuits and resort to cut and paste style Christian Testament quotations. Furthermore, you are responding to the post of someone who is a trained The*logian. Then you proceed to stray far away from the biblical witness and begin referencing contrived biological doctrine predicated on no other evidence aside from anecdotal allusion to “biology class”. All along, I find your arguments streaming from verses with no context. You do no word studies, no historical, literary, social science, or inter-textual work. So basically, I have trouble reading your impulsive, ill-constructed reprimands of my own, and others’, hours upon hours of study, experience, and prayer to finally conclude that G*D has no interest in condemning LGB/TQqi people for the way they express their sexuality or gender.

      All that being said, I have read all these comments through completely. I will be creating more blog posts for the people who follow Jesus based on further research and prayer. Hopefully, I will be able to respond to every question brought up with clarity and thoughtful study. Before then, I will not be responding to comments, and I will be deleting the insensitive, hurtful comments. Those do not belong on this blog.

      • Scott says:

        Its okay Ben because I still love you and call you my brother, I still pray for you every day that the Lord our God blesses you in your career and life. I understand that we may never see eye to eye on this because you and I are both very strong in our beliefs. I just pray that instead of this taking us away from the Lord that through this we would both draw closer to God because thats what we both aim for right?

        My comments were not meant to be insensitive or hurtful, and if they were taken that way I am truly sorry. Like I said at the end of each one of my posts that I am not trying to hurt anyone, but bless everyone in the Lord

        if you are planning to respond Id like to hear your view on 1 Corinthians 6:8-10 and 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and especially the post put up by Paul because he has very good points as well. Id also like to hear more on why you believe 1 and 2 Timothy should not be a part of the bible.

        And dont worry about putting my name in quotes, Scott is my real name, for those that facebook stalk people, Herb is just a nick name.

        Hope that you are having a blessed week Ben! Hope to hear you soon and that your walk with the Lord grows stronger every day. Blessings

  17. Billy says:

    Here’s something to think about: Matthew 19:4-6: 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    What did Jesus say about God’s creative work? Did He make Adam and Joseph? Did He create male and male, or did He create male and female? According to this passage, what has been God’s plan for sexual union [one flesh] since the beginning of time? Was His plan for a male partner to be joined to another male partner, or was it for a husband to be united to his wife? According to this passage, is a man to cleave to his male partner, or to his spouse?

    Although in this passage, Jesus was asked the question about divorce, He is still affirming that a man and woman should be married together as God created them to be.

    Also in Genesis 2:23-24

    23 The man said,

    “This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”
    24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

    God Created women to be with men in marriage because the woman was taken from the man, and when they rejoin back together, they become “one” with each other. It does not say ” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, but if he truly loves another man he may marry him”. So if God originally created men to marry women, is it right and natural for a man to marry a man? Answer these two questions for me Ben: Is it natural for a man to insert his penis into another mans anus? Did God Create men to have sex with men?

    • ben adam says:

      Honestly, I am super tired of answering these comments, but I guess I always feel compelled to respond.

      Billy, you’re point here is completely out of context and absurd. You even go so far as to undermine the entire text by saying, “Jesus was asked the question about divorce” not about sexual preference. Neither Jesus nor Paul would have any conception of a union between two men that functioned like the union between a man and a woman. Same-sex relationships, as the blog post indicates repeatedly–I beg you to read it–had everything to do with social hierarchies. Women were the property of men. Therefore, in order to feminize other men, males penetrated the other males. Of course the notion of marriage, love, and sexual partners is no longer predicated on economic exchange. Men no longer own their wives. So of course, men should no longer own other men. Therefore, same-sex relationships, not relying on that same social structure in place during the 1st century, do not fall into the purview of Paul’s and especially not Jesus’ statements.

      Here’s what I find so offensive about your comment Billy: you cannot think about sex and sexuality outside of penetration. This indicates to me that you have a severely limited, male-focused point of view concerning sex. Sexuality is outrageously complicated. It ranges from first glances to passionate kisses to deep, intimate sexual intercourse (which itself includes a whole range of activities not limited a penis going inside someone). The question about “Is it natural” is obviously an absurd question. Do you know how unnatural most of our lives are? Is it natural for us to be communicating via billions of bits of data being sent over a ubiquitous network of wires, cables, routers, computers, servers, and websites? Are Cheetos natural? Is space travel natural? Are guns natural? What about surgery? Do you own a refrigerator? Are cars natural? If Christians refrained from all unnatural activities, we would all be living in the woods growing our own food not having this conversation.

      Ultimately, trying to discern what is and is not natural is stupid. What is and is not beneficial for people’s well-being, that is useful. Until someone can show me that one man penetrating another man or one woman sleeping with another woman is truly bad for all people involved, I’ll keep plugging away at this.

    • ben adam says:

      Billy, I deleted your comment. Insinuating that gay men started AIDS is not only factually wrong; it is offensive, homophobic, hateful, and just plain misinformed. These comments are meant to spark useful conversation in a spirit of mutual challenge. Criticism is expected here. Hateful conjecture is not.

      • Nick Taylor says:

        Hey Billy,
        I am still of the notion that homosexuality is wrong, because I cannot reconcile what I believe the scripture says about it with what Ben and others are saying, although Ben has provided some interesting suggestions on the topic. However, it is not true that gay men started AIDS, and that’s definitely not the kind of conversation we need here. I am following this blog because I have a burden for homosexuals, to love them and show God’s grace to them, so let’s not throw those kinds of arguments into it.

        Nick Taylor

    • gracelings says:

      Billy, I am no theologian nor claim to be extremely knowledgable about the Bible (in fact, having been raised in the Church, I feel that I am significantly less knowledgable than I *should* be.) I’m not even sure what I think about the whole issue of homosexuality in the Bible (which is how I landed on this blog.) But I would like to tackle your first question: Is it natural for a man to insert his penis into another mans anus?

      Here’s the thing. I am a married woman in a heterosexual marriage. I’ve only ever had straight sexual desires and experiences. But I was raised in a fundamentalist church that taught a lot of non-Biblical crap about sexuality, and it’s taken me most of my adult life to come to a healthy and Biblical understanding of human sexuality— a knowledge that is still growing, but has dramatically improved my marriage.

      What I’ve learned is this: there are certain parts of the human body that have been designed to reproduce. The penis and vagina are what you have mentioned, although there is a growing number of couples and individuals who reproduce without utilizing those parts because of IVF and IUI. Testes, ovaries, and the uterus are significantly more related to reproduction than the penis and vagina.

      But reproduction and sexuality are very different. The whole of the human body is sexual. Everything about the human body is sexual, and sex is a full-body experience. Every part of my body is designed to be shared with my husband, as his is with me. And we experience sexual pleasure from all sorts of interactions and in a variety of places in/on the body. As long as we give consent and engage in a way that is respectful and honoring to each other and grows our unity and intimacy, I believe what we do in bed us between us and God, and He sees these experiences as good.

      It seems completely natural to me that part of those sexual experiences would involve anal play; it is a highly erogenous area of the body. It’s purpose is not reproduction, but again, the entire human body can be, and is, sexual- even the parts that are not engaged in the reproduction process.

      Therefore, in a homosexual relationship, I imagine anal play would ALSO be completely natural. So, yes, it would be completely natural for a man to put his penis into another man’s anus.

      But the fact that you even raised this question makes me wonder why you even care so much about what two men may do in their bedroom. Do you care what I do in my bedroom with my husband? I hope not, because there is nothing that is more private or designed to be more intimate than what happens when two people share themselves with each other sexually. The intense scrutiny that you are placing onto what is happening in bedrooms other than your own is not at all honoring to ANY person’s sexuality. Especially not yours.

  18. Billy says:

    Thats okay Ben, Ill just re-post the first part of my reply:

    Thank you for calling me stupid Ben. Its interesting how you claim we should be peaceful and Loving and “I will be deleting the insensitive, hurtful comments”. But yet you put down and humiliate those who love you even swearing at them! as you said in your comment to Scott on May 20th 2012 : “in some f***ed up circular logic” How can you claim that you love people and care for everyone when you are swearing and clearly hating them?

    and you cant claim that if you believe something is a sin, you automatically hate that person. If that were true then we would all be hating one another! Do you believe it is a sin to lie? Is it a sin to steal? Is it a sin to commit adultery? If you believe those are all sins, do you hate those people that commit them? It been said before and Ill say it again, Hate the SIN, Love the sinner.

    You said in your reply “Until someone can show me that one man penetrating another man or one woman sleeping with another woman is truly bad for all people involved, I’ll keep plugging away at this.” Is watching an R rated movie bad for anyone? Is listening to music with swearing in it bad for anyone? Is having sex with a prostitute when your not married bad for anyone? Is looking at someone lustfully when your not married bad for anyone? Is sitting in your house and getting drunk bad for anyone? But yet, all of these things a Christian shouldnt be a part of, why? because like paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20: ” ‘I have the right to do everything’ you say, but not everything is beneficial”

    you also didnt respond to one of my questions, so please respond with a yes or no : Did God create men to have sex with men? You also avoided one of my questions, again, yes or no: Is the anus made to have a penis inserted into it?

    • ben adam says:

      Those aren’t questions. They’re traps.

      If I answer, “Yes and yes”, then I’ll be accused of, somehow, misrepresenting facts. Facts no one bothers to back up with actual evidence. Which I would just like to make note: everything written on my blog is backed up with actual research and evidence.

      If I answer, “No and no”, then I’ll be accused of backing down on my assertions.

      Yes or no questions do not elicit useful information or opinions. Open-ended questions are much more useful.

      For example:

      Without quoting the Bible, why do you think one male having sex with another male or a female with another female creates a damaging relationship?

      When did you first realize you were attracted to a different gender?

      What psychological problems, if any, does same-sex attraction cause? Please use actual, reproducible evidence not conjecture or anecdotal defense.

      Why does the Bible permit slavery if we know it to be wrong?

      Why might it be important to understand the social world of the biblical authors? What might be different from their worldview in comparison to ours? (You may have to pick up a book for this one)

      What defines “sin”? How can we know if something is “sin” or not? Again, it would be nice if actual evidence could be used here.

      What makes you afraid of one man’s penis entering another man’s rectum? Do you fear being penetrated? If so, how does that change your view about women’s experience of sex?

      To whom does same-sex attraction pose a threat, if any?

      These are useful questions that might elicit actual dialogue. I want this to be a good conversation, but all I see are context-free quotes from the Bible, taking offense at critiques of logic, lack of definition for vague terms like “sin” or “unnatural”, and so much other frustrating stuff, that I get overwhelmed by the endless darts being thrown at my proverbial board. Please, for all of our sakes, Billy and Scott, actually say something well thought out or researched or directly approaching what the blog is about. And in the mean time, think about all the questions I wrote above.

      Finally, I have no problem with personal attacks. You can say whatever you want about me or whoever. What I do not like are blanket statements about groups of people. For example, calling someone a group of people sinners because of sexual feelings they carry for other people means anyone from that group is automatically unsafe in this conversation. Hurtful statements like that coerce people into either feeling shame or dissociation. That is why people with same-sex attraction either stay in the church and pretend to be heterosexual, or they abandon G*D. I want people to still love G*D but not live in shame. I don’t understand why that’s so difficult to grasp.

      • Billy says:

        To reply to your first comment, I never said that your post wasnt backed up by actual research and evidence. But you can not change what the bible says in 1 Cor. 6 9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:10.

        I will answer all of your questions, and in return I hope you answer all of mine.

        1. No it does not create a damaging relationship, I never said it did. When did I ever say that?

        2. It was actually when I was quite young, I think when I was about in 5th grade I started to see that the girls in my class were actually pretty cute.

        3. It doesnt. Its a desire like anything else is. We all have a desire to do something, thats why we basically do everything. But there are good, and bad desires. According to my bible, God tells me its a desire I should not take practice in.

        4. The biblical world and our modern world is vastly different, technology has since far advanced and things around us are much much different. But the Human body and soul have remained the same since God created Adam. Nothing, absolute nothing, has changed about the human being, we still live, die, eat, breathe, and have a spirit. It is the things around us that have changed, not the human itself. The other thing that hasn’t changed is God’s word. He created the word, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:21, (you might actually have to pick up your bible for that) and His word WILL stand for everyone, in every age, till the end of the earth as Jesus said in Matthew 5:18-19.

        5. How do we know if it is a sin or not? Read the bible, its simple, if you study the bible you will soon find out what God wants us to do, and not to do.

        6. Why would I be afraid of men having sex with men Ben? I am not afraid of Men having sex with men, if they really want to do it, fine go and do it, no one is stopping you. But one cannot claim that he is not disobeying Gods word when he does that because Scripture clearly says that its not right. I dont fear of being penetrated, unless its by a sword or something, I just simply dont want to be penetrated. And from what I understand, most women like to have sex.

        7. No one.

        and to reply to your last paragraph, to you personally, if you find someone that you feel is constantly doing something you know is not right, and claims to be a christian, do you just not confront them about it and just let them keep on in their actions? Shoul we just let people do what they want and just cut the bible out? In my view it is okay to express who you are, but just because you have a desire to do something and it doesnt hurt anyone, does not make it right.

        Here are some questions for you Ben:

        1. Do you believe that Humans have changed since bible times? If so, how?

        2. Are there things that the bible says are not good to do, but yet are not hurtful to anyone and people have desires to do those things?

        3. Just because something isnt hurtful to anyone, and you have a desire to do that thing, does that automatically make it right? If so, why?

        4. What threatens you about using the bible? Is there something in the bible that you are afraid of?

        5. As a Christian (I think you are a Christian), are we to look to the bible first for guidance? Or are we to look to the world and mans natural sinful nature?

        6. What makes you afraid of those who do not agree with your “beliefs”?

        7. If you preach that we should love one another and should respect one another, why do you turn from your own teaching and hate those who love you?

        These questions I believe will help me better understand your views on the bible, why you refuse to yield to it at all, and why you edify yourself rather than Christ. Because clearly, as I read your replies, you toss the bible aside like an old rag and refuse to use it as it was intended.

        I apologize for misusing false facts against homosexuals, I hope that you can forgive me of that. It was wrong and uncalled for. I hope that through Christ this week, you will be blessed, and I want to let you know Ben, and everyone who is a homosexual, that I love you and care for you. Let me say it again: I LOVE ALL OF YOU, AND I REALLY MEAN THAT. I wouldnt clearly say it if I didnt mean it. Blessings to everyone and hope your week goes well.

      • Billy says:

        I misses one of your questions, why does the bible permit slavery if we know it is wrong? Please, inform me of where this is written in the bible. I have never heard of such a thing and to claim that would just be absurd. Sure people had servants and masters, but thats no different than having bosses and employees.

        Does the bible permit whipping and abusing people?

      • scott says:

        something I just thought of Ben. If your message is the truth, and you have confidence in what you speak, it shouldnt matter if the question is a trap or not, because you will still be able to speak the truth.

        So is your message the truth? or will those so called “traps” reveal the truth??

      • ben adam says:

        What? The sort of rhetoric and discourse on the blog post has gotten so out of hand that I can barely stand it anymore. I was discussing with a friend the other day about how I would love to see some actual critique of my argument in a nuanced fashion through which people raise concerns about my methodology and construction of the argument. Instead, all I’ve gotten are reactionary rantings and degrading statements about an entire population of people in the LGB/TQqi community. So if you actually have something useful to say about the historical, the*logical, sociological, or rhetorical biblical criticism (and I by criticism I mean reading the Bible with scholastic intent) please, I am all ears. But these non-sensical “You hate G*D” and “Is that truth” comments are really making me depressed, angry, and tired of writing. So, please, please, please, if you don’t have anything well-researched to say don’t say it all. I don’t want your opinions. Thank you.

      • scott says:

        sure then dont tell me that I hate people just because I believe something is a sin.

      • scott says:

        oh and still like to hear your reply’s to Billy’s questions and my questions.

  19. Scott says:

    Now although I agree with you Billy, try to be a little more respectful of those you are in question of. Lets not try to be throwing false facts around. But also Ben, if you want respect and a well mannered blog, then you must give it as well. Im not saying that you have to be super best friends with everyone but do unto others as you would want them do to you. Now Ben, I would like to see your answer as well to his two questions, he has a very good point. I also would like to hear your reply to my questions as well.

    Nick, Im glad to hear you love homosexual people too, Id like to hear your view sometime if youd like to express it. Feel free to email me if youd like, Porsches2cool@aol.com .

    As always, God bless everyone. Hope your week is going well and that the Lord our God blesses your work and guides you though your day. Love you all

  20. Scott says:

    Man, Billy, I couldnt agree with you more! You have some excellent points. I agree with Billy because as a Christian, (that is if you are a Christian) we are subject to Gods will and desires first, then to men second. Reason being is that God is greater than anything here on earth, and He is much much greater than any Government or laws we have here. I live for God because here on earth we are only here for a little while, a mist in the wind, like lilies in the field. And when we die and go to heaven we are there for Eternity, forever, nothing will ever take us from heaven when we are there. So when I see that I am here for just a blip in time, I will praise and honor my God to the very best of my being, with all my heart, with all of my soul, and with all of my mind until I go home to see Him. Why are we to undermine his Law when clearly He knows much more than we do and is much greater than us? I choose to follow my God, my savior, and to follow His will for my life.

    Hope everyone is having a blessed week! I continue to pray for everyone that Christ will bless all of you and bless your work. Love you all! Blessings

  21. Billy says:

    your exactly right Scott! Like Joshua says it: Joshua 24:15: 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

    I Choose to serve the Lord, my God and King. Not Men or the world.

    and my prayer is that of Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians: 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

    Amen and Amen!!

  22. gracelings says:

    Ben, I hope you write more on this subject. I would be so interested in learning how the word that has been translated “homosexuality” in the Christian Testament was used/translated in non-biblical texts (ie- outside of the influence of the Pope and other leaders who certainly had an agenda with each translation.)

    Scott and Billy- before I adopted my black daughter, I didn’t understand the pervasive, institutionalized racism that exists in America. It was only through loving my child and viewing each and every experience in her life as either building her up or tearing her down that I began to see how often people and institutions propagated thoughts, speech, and actions that devalued my baby based on her skin color. Now that my eyes have been opened, I can no longer tolerate it— this means I am extra-aware of situations that carry racial connotations and devalue others based on race (although, likely not nearly as aware as those who have been raised in a non-white race and have had years more personal experience than I have.) Until I developed this, I thought Racism was rare— limited to some minority of Racist people. Now I know that Racism is prevalent, although not visible to most white people. Most white people are not Racist (specifically hateful of non-white people), but most (myself included) engage in racism because it is normative in our culture.

    It’s the same with homophobia, which you have both been accused of in these comments. While you both claim to love everyone, your very word choice and tone in these comments reveals the institutional homophobia that is normative in your culture. I suspect you do not even realize how homophobic you sound because this is the standard for you, much like most white people don’t understand that they are engaging in racism with word choice, tone, assumptions, thoughts, and actions that devalue individuals based on a characteristic outside of their control.

    I pray for you, that you will stop “loving everyone” and love an individual. A LGBTtqi individual. When you truly love an individual, your heart is softened. You want them to know their value and worth as a child of the most holy God. And you change the way you speak to them because of it. You begin to share their sorrows and their joys, understanding the way society/culture hurts and devalues them. You recognize the imprint of the Divine in them, and you begin to treat them as Jesus would have treated them. (Which, no where in these comments did I see anything that I think Jesus would have even come close to saying.) God is Love. Peace.

    • scott says:

      So just because I dont agree with someone actually means I hate them? Interesting. I dont know if youve actually read Ben’s comments to me but its obvious to me that he doesnt love everyone either and actually turns on his own teachings. He claims that he loves everyone and shows compassion but if you read hes constantly swearing at me and belittles me. So before you judge me without actually knowing me, maybe we all should stand back and look at who is doing the “hating” here.

      Ever since I started commenting here I have been open to meeting people and talking with them one on one not even about homosexuality, just as people talking with people. I also want to point out that Ben was the one to first start judging and condemning people that view homosexuality is a sin in his post. I think its interesting that people that are for gay and lesbians are allowed to voice their opinion condemning christians and its viewed as “peace”. And as soon as I voice my opinion its viewed as “hate”

      • graceling says:

        Scott, please re-read my comment. I never suggested it was your view of the Bible that was hateful. It is your tone, your word choice, and general attitude that has come across in these comments. I have read every single comment on this post, and read some of the choice comments aloud to my husband.

        Again, like I said, I expect you don’t realize how hateful and hurtful you sound because this is normative in the Christian culture. It’s just like the way people claim to love people of all colors, but don’t want their white daughter marrying a black man. I honestly don’t think you can’t see it.

        Just yesterday a friend confided that her son had stopped attending church because once he came out, he found that his church that preached acceptance and love for all as sinners, actually practiced acceptance and love for all straight sinners. It’s pervasive, it’s insidious, and it’s ugly… But it’s the truth for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

        If you haven’t met a LGBT individual in the year since this was posted, I think you need to ask why that is. 3-4% of Americans identify as something other than straight. Maybe you could seek out the local church that is open to accepting their gay brothers and sisters, the Gay-Staight Alliance at your local university, or attend a support group for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

      • scott says:

        Just so you know I have meet and have become friends with people that are homosexual within the past year so I am not numb to what is around me. If I sound upset or hateful towards homosexual please accept my apology because it is not the homosexual people that I get upset with. The real problem I have on this whole issue is people that take the bible into their own hands and twist it and cut out pieces of scripture they dont like and twist the bible to make it sound like something they want to hear. To say that the bible is not against homosexual acts a person would have to cut and paste a lot of scripture to make it sound that way. If you would like I could share with you again all the passages I have found that affirm that homosexuality is a sin.

        That being said I come back to my original point, Just because I believe something is a sin does NOT mean I hate that person. I have no idea where that ever originated but it is shear hypocrisy. Do you believe lying is a sin? do you believe getting drunk is a sin? do you believe adultery is a sin? If you believe those are sins do you hate those people?

        I know that there are churches and multitudes of people that push homosexuals out of the church and I believe that is why there is such a great separation on this issue. But I believe in what the bible says, that I should love everyone to the best of my ability but yet keep God’s commands first. If I meet homosexual people I do not share my viewpoint with them unless I am asked. I believe it is rude to start shoving a belief down someones throat the first time we meet, but if I am asked or questioned I will share my belief in a respectful way and I will share what the bible originally says.

  23. Pingback: Moral vs. Legal Imperatives and Marriage Equality | Morning Meditations

  24. Blake says:

    Thanks for working to make sense of a hard issue, and trying to hold the Scripture up as something worth taking into account. We are, after all, a people of the Book, and without it we basically cease to have any unifying Story. I think some of the insights you offer are helpful and worth keeping in mind. I’m concerned, however, that your argument–though it uses a lot of nice words–is actually pretty thin. It’s not responsible exegesis, and you run the risk of coming across as “authoritative” for people who haven’t had exposure to the same kinds of materials you do. In short, you’re writing like a grad student. I am writing this response because 7 or 8 years ago I was writing like you. I thought I knew more than I did, and I had little love for those who saw things differently than me. You seem to take Paul seriously, so let me start by saying when it comes to writing, there is one rule of Paul’s which you should never, never forget: You can speak with the tongues of a thousand angels, but if you have not love, it is worthless. Your post treats people with “less sophisticated” exegetical skills (expressed through your mishmash on the purity codes) as basically stupid. And they’re stupid because…well…insert Apple Jacks argument here.

    There are a lot of points in your piece I’d like to suggest need further explanation, but let me just make a few notes, for the sake of the less educated who are easily cowed by someone who writes in a manner such as yourself.

    1) All gays and lesbians should be incensed and infuriated by your argument. You make the claim that homosexual sex existed in the ANE only in “a specific social function.” You make the claim that the kind of homosexual sex we know today did not exist back then. Excuse me?? You are saying that NO ONE until modern times engaged in homosexual sex out of affection or love, but only as an act of power. Wow. That is incredibly offensive to the gay man or woman. If you believe homosexuality is God-given, it should be so from the beginning. If it’s not, you need to explain why only in modern times have people of the same sex been able to engage in mutually beneficial sexual relations.

    2) You did not conclusively prove anything, nor should you ever expect to. You won’t do it in a book and you certainly can’t do it in a paragraph. Making that claim weakens your argument tremendously, and weakens your credibility. Why should I listen to someone so arrogant?

    3) You completely mismatch the intended recipients of Romans in your exegesis. You first make the claim that the Romans 1 passage is explicitly pointed towards the Roman context of sex-as-power, then you turn around and state the dialectic is a polemic against the Judean prayer, “God thank you I am not…” Which one is it?? You and I both know the letter to the Romans is a strongly worded soteriological argument directed to the Jewish diaspora in Rome. It’s certain the Jews knew of Roman practice, but they did not practice it themselves, and so your claims place you on shaky ground.

    4) Your neglect of the Leviticus text is a mistake. “Because American Christians don’t know the Hebrew Bible” is not a valid excuse to ignore it. Paul certainly knew the text, and his hearers certainly knew the text. Trying to interpret Romans without acknowledging the Levitical passage is irresponsible…and convenient. Don’t make that mistake.

    5) But since you ignored the passage, other than basically saying all the purity codes are messed up anyway since we eat pork and shrimp, etc. am I to assume all the other sexual acts listed in Leviticus are just fine to practice? Because you seem pretty ready to throw out Leviticus as a valid source for decision making. So I’ll just have some good sex with my mom tonight? And my sister? And a sheep? And my daughter? And my mother-in-law? Come on, man, you can do better than that. Throwing out the homosexual portion of the Leviticus text because it’s “not relevant anymore” or whatever creates a whole new host of problems you didn’t even bother to hint it, even in a footnote.

    6) Finally, you claim that since the Paul was only talking about sex-as-power and the Bible doesn’t “forbid” homosexuality, then in fact the Bible *promotes* homosexuality? Really?? Sex between a man and a woman is the *overwhelming* norm in the Bible. Scripture is full of stories, metaphors, poems, and eroticism describing love between a man and a woman. Even Christ’s most powerful metaphor of his relationship to the Church is of bride and bridegroom. You just can’t make enormous leaps like that, man.

    Let me finish by saying this: I, too, hope to come across a perfectly sound biblical argument supporting homosexual sex. I’m not a hater. I love God and I love people. But we are people of the Book, and we have to treat it with respect and handle our exegesis of it with a great deal of wisdom. I am writing this not because I want to make your life difficult or discourage you, but to ask you to keep moving on an upward trend in your writing. Look to honor people on both sides. This probably comes across as a bit of a rebuke, and perhaps not as lovingly as I intend, but if so it’s only because I did a lot of damage with the kind of tone you have in your writing. I basically split a church, and I was the clanging cymbal in that case. I may have been right, but it wasn’t worth shit in the end.

    Keep working, keep studying, keep learning from people on the margins (I commend you for that), and keep loving through words, thought, and deed. Peace, friend.

  25. Ryan McKenzie says:

    Adam,
    First off – Holy crap there is a lot of response to your blog – way to get dialogue rolling! I really appreciate what you are doing here, bringing in a contextual approach to understanding the heart of Paul and his Kingdom centered cry for justice. I agree. His ruberick was the restoration and renewal of God’s intentions in creation. To mark him, for example, as a sexist, or an advocate for slavery is to miss reading him between the lines, and he’s much too brilliant for the casual glance over, eisegetical adventure in missing the point. Here’s the thing, I, too, long to find the evidence to silence the claims against the idea that Paul advocates against a homosexual lifestyle, but this might be a reflection of something I desire in my contemporary yearning to stand with biblical integrity with my homosexual brothers and sisters. Nevertheless, I am looking and striving to be critical as well. I read your post with great interest, but I’m not sure that you’ve hit it.

    To say that homosexuality (as it exists in a contemporary consensual sense) did not exist during a first century hellenized world is a bit of a stretch, isn’t it? It’s a huge blanketing statement that doesn’t quite do your historical research justice. Not to say that your points about “domination” are invalid, unimportant to understand, or even incorrect – no, this is extremely helpful, but surely consensual homosexual relationships existed throughout the Roman Empire throughout it’s entire existence. Examples off the top of my head ranging from the foundationally inspiring Greek epics like Homer’s Iliad with its unapologetic mutually intimate relationship between Achilles and Patroclus to similar such cultural nods that filled the early Celtic identities for those living throughout the Lycus valley region – to whom Paul directed a great deal of his ministry. These are tiny un-thought-out examples at best, but it’s all to say surely the first century hellenized world both knew about consensual homosexual practices between equals as well as practiced them.

    Furthermore, couldn’t your argument harm the fact that homosexual practices as we know them today have existed throughout human history and are therefore not lifestyles merely chosen for the sake of some sort of deviant sexual rebellious embrace? I do not think it is a choice and I don’t think you do either, but if you believe that it “didn’t” exist during this period of time…?

    Again, I respect this very much, but I think you need to flesh it out a bit more. You are on to something, but its not ready for your conclusions. I hope you read this as coming to you humbly, and I’d love to hear what you think or if I’ve missed something.

    Keep up your passion!

    Peace,
    Ryan

  26. Johnny says:

    I agree with you Scott. Christians are frequently “pigeon holed” as practicing hate speech when most of the time they are simply stating their beliefs with respect to the Word of God. When a person states they base their position on the Bible, most often they are ridiculed, mocked and called less enlightened or intelligent. So, many Christians are afraid to express their point of view for fear of being ridiculed. The most intolerant are those who have liberal viewpoints. Most do not even want to hear your viewpoint. People may have tendencies toward homosexuality that may be difficult to control. But because one has that tendency doesn’t mean that person MUST engage in homosexual acts. One may have tendencies to desire little children, or have sex with animals or to have multiple wives. The bottom line: it is still a choice just like a married person can choose to be an adulterer. Expressing such views does not make me a bigot or hater of homosexual people.

    • scott says:

      Thank you Johnny. Your statement here is exactly what I was trying to explain. Yes Humans have desires to do all kinds of things. Every single thing a human has done on earth started as a desire or thought in their brain and heart. But we still have the option on what to do with those thoughts and desires. Just as an example, if I have the greatest desire to go get drunk, does that mean I absolutely have to get drunk? No it does not. Same goes for homosexual acts, just because a person has the desire for another person of the same sex does not mean they have to act out on those desires, it is still their choice and what they chose to do will determine if its a sin or not.

  27. Daniel A Grant says:

    I am a heterosexual male, pastor with a degree in psychology, theologian for life and am dedicated to knowing and living the scriptures daily.I am an evangelical, and a conservative BUT I desire to do my best to be loving to people who identify themselves as homosexuals. I have several friends who are actively living a homosexual lifestyle. I love each of them dearly, although I have offended them more than I have ever intended. I have always been of the belief that the Truth MUST be spoken in love and when those two meet it will have good fruit.

    I have spent my life studying the scriptures and the background, and contexts – I by no means know it all, and I an no expert – but I think it is err to disregard 2000 years of scholarship from Orthodoxy, reformed and evangelical scholarship that all point to the same thing. All the scholars point to the same interpretation of the Hebrew and Greek words. Understanding the context of the Roman dualism, and the cruelty of rape can give us some insight – but it does NOT substitute scripture. I also think it err to place oneself as the judge of which scripture is relevant, accurate and can be followed. Its not a buffet that you can select some truths that you like and ignore others. When you do Critical analysis of a document you place yourself, your knowledge and your belief system over the material and look to point its faults and contrast that with truth. Problem is God’s word is the Truth, the standard by which all things are measured, not the other way around.

    You said earlier that you welcome critique, and I think that’s great. What it looks like from here – and I haven’t looked at all of your sources yet – is Eisegesis. Biblical scholars have always held that the Scripture stand alone. What you have done is taken a 21st century idea and imposed those ideas onto the scripture and declared your hypothesis is correct. When God used man to create the scriptures, and maintained the integrity of the scriptures, He made it simple enough for children to understand. We do not need to take 30 hours of in-depth back study to understand the Scriptures. A clear read, and the insight of the Holy Spirit are enough to understand and apply what the Bible says.

    I in no way want to demean you, your opinion or your blog. I want to be respectful, and sincerely hope that you will respond in kind.

    Respectfully yours,
    Daniel

  28. Darshika says:

    Ben,
    Please do explain how my above comment classifies as “hate speech”. I was not condemning or hating on anyone. I was just pointing out the truth in it’s most simple form.

  29. john says:

    Homosexuality is CLEARLY forbidden in the Bible. Remember it is YOU who will be judged for your sins and the authors are who saying its ok to be gay are not telling people what God really wants. They are just trying to corrupt people to their own personal level.

  30. Cheryl says:

    So much I see is written by men here, but I want to reply on this topic as this is so much part of a woman’s world too. I am so tired of hearing people blurt out that homosexuality is clearly forbidden in he bible. People need to do their homework about who wrote in the bible. It was a group of men. Women were treated like slaves and not to be heard. They were used and thought of as property to be owned, Maybe another reason why a lot of us women may have chose to like our same sex rather than that of a man who used and abused us? Just one avenue. …. In this day and age that women have a choice to speak, do and live to do things as well as men can. I have worked and done many manly jobs. And have had to endure the hate of man that I was even doing that type of work. I do not think it is a choice. I feel it as a desire. I have been married twice and do have a child. It wasn’t until later in life that I chose to really go after what I wanted. I have had many relationships with men. However, I have always been attracted to women. It was not a choice, it just came to me naturally as much as getting up each day and doing anything else that seemed natural. I wish that people that are not homosexual, would work more towards finding peace and love in the world rather than the hate that they keep flinging out there towards people who are loving one another. That is what God wanted, was for us to love, not hate. Be happy for some one who has found love and smiling and found their contentment in the world. You are the haters of the world, the ones who just keep up the condemning all the time and using the bible who was written and re written over and over. There are even some women haters too of homosexuality. It is a sad world that we live in with all this hate….. When we should be focusing more on so many other issues! People who have love for one another, let them love!!

    • John says:

      Cheryl. Sin is natural. Does not mean we should sin deliberately. The bible says that they knew God but chose not to glorify Him and were turned over to a depraved mind. Read Romans chapter 1.
      Rather than having relationships with men to justify your choice to be homosexual, it would be wise to first have a relationship with God. If you did, you would not be sleeping with the same sex, nor have the desire to do so.

  31. Dana says:

    If homosexuality is a sin then how is love able to happen between two men or women? When love is pure and not a sin??

  32. Jen says:

    Ben, I no more hate Lgbt people than I hate my children, myself, and other friends with their myriad of sins! This is a sin sick world, there’s one cure. With that being said, i also don’t put my energy into assisting sins, my bible study friends who hold on to.. from human standards “righteous anger”, I tell them (as God tells me!) to pray for their enemies, pray for those who curse you…because that’s what the bible teaches us (do you think they like hearing that? hell no!)…the Bible is FULL of hard truths that are in total conflict with our human desires. We are more than our desires, especially our sexual desires! I think its crazy that people define themselves by what or who they desire to have sex with. Define yourself as a slave to God, a child of God, one counseled by God. The world is full of desire but God wants us to desire him. Its a full on heart transplant, it was such a change that he changed peoples names! LGBT people are not the enemy of bible believing Christians, consider us like the friends who takes away the keys from the guy who’s about to leave the party drunk. We are more concerned with the eternal salvation of all than the fleeting desires people think will satisfy them while walking this earth. But again, just changing behavior on your own strength is a fail…all Christians know none of our behaviors or desires can be changed without the help of the holy spirit. This is a war not to change peoples actions alone, its their hearts we want to change!!

  33. Lisa Adams says:

    This is a great post! I as a straight person, agree with your study! I think a lot of Christians should study the bible for themselves before taking on there churches or pastors opinions on what the bible is saying! Knowledge and study of the Lords teachings is the only we can have a relationship with Him! No one is worthy to judge others or throw the first stone!

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