Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

My observations of various bible verses regarding homosexuality
Vanity | 4/21/05 | Ray Serra

Posted on 04/21/2005 6:05:56 PM PDT by Raycpa

To whom it may concern,

This letter is to explain my observations of various bible verses regarding homosexuality. Since the ordination of the actively homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church, I needed to answer certain questions to my satisfaction. While I am still pursing answers, I thought it would be helpful to you to understand what I have ascertained for myself. You will find that some of my approach is different than the typical writings from traditionalists. It is different because the traditional arguments fail to address the theological arguments that homosexuals actually use and they fail to address the bible’s message of salvation and redemption.

The Law condemned homosexual relations, specifically in Leviticus, but it is also accepted that Jesus fulfilled the law. It is accepted that since Jesus fulfilled the law, that Christians are no longer bound to the law. The law is written in our hearts and Paul provided examples. Jesus doesn’t address homosexuality directly but he did address marriage and celibacy.

Beginning with the law. We usually assume the law begins in Leviticus and homosexual theology likes to start with that because Leviticus only applies to the Hebrews who entered into a special covenant with God at Mt Sinai. This covenant provided for many rituals and customs that we no longer keep and consider silly by today’s standards. Although it is possible to demonstrate that we can discern between customs and rituals that no longer apply and laws that still apply (The Ten Commandments), it becomes a debate that can become hopelessly circular.

A favorite argument is to ask if you wear fabric woven with different materials. In today’s garments the answer is yes. Leviticus forbids weaving linen and wool, therefore the argument states, Leviticus is illegitimate as the source of law. Even though most people who sew tell me its still advisable to avoid weaving wool and linen together, its not an argument they want to hear. They are too excited by the prospect they can invalidate one law in Leviticus so that they can claim all laws in Leviticus are invalid. They also seem oblivious to the problem they create by invalidating scripture in one area in order to claim that some other scripture validates their life style.

Another favorite argument to disarm Leviticus is to ask if we should still put homosexuals, witches, and other breakers of the law to death. This line of arguing is designed to render the traditionalist speechless because no one today advocates the kind of penalties that Leviticus calls for. The problem with this argument is it completely ignores that the people of Israel voluntarily agreed to the Law of Moses. At Mt. Sinai, God offered his people the option of being his chosen and they agreed. According to Exodus 24:3

3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.

Therefore, the best place to start is to realize that before Moses, there were laws and that these laws applied to all people in all nations. These laws are called Noahide laws or “the seven laws of Noah”. I have attached an essay from another writer that provided a more in depth discussion. With this in mind, it makes Leviticus 18 more relevant because it can be assumed that Leviticus 18 is an exposition of what was considered to be universal laws against sexual immorality. The key then in understanding that Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination, has universal application to all nations is what follows in Lev. 18:24-30

24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: 25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. 26Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: 27(For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) 28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. 29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.

It is clear from the verses that follow those in Lev. 18, regarding sexual relations that God held accountable other nations that were not subject to the law of the covenant. It is clear God continues to hold the nation of Israel and all other nations accountable for “these practices”. These sexual practices share the same prohibition and consequence to all nations, with or without the Mosaic Covenant.

Once it is understood that the law didn’t start with Moses or Abraham but with Noah and Adam, that Leviticus builds on this law, it is easier to understand the outcome of Acts 15:5-6

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

This was a major question. Did the Law of Moses apply anymore to gentiles? For the homosexual, the answer to this question is critical. The answer is given by Peter in Acts 15:2 0

20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

These are 4 of the seven Noahide laws. We can speculate why they reduced the list but for whatever reason, the importance is to recognize that they are not arbitrary and that they have their source in a well known body of law which goes back to Noah. The reason this is important is because one is then faced with the many ways homosexuals will go about disassembling the meaning of “fornication”. The revisionist has two tools at his disposal. He can either make the word so narrow that it is meaningless. For example, they claim it means a passive male having sex. The flip side is to make the meaning so broad it is meaningless. For example, by claiming it includes anything and everything like any unclean thought it is so broad it is meaningless.

The antidote to this deconstruction is to understand the history of biblical law. Starting with Noah, the Hebrews understood that the law for all nations included bans on sexual immorality. Leviticus provides a reinforcement of this law by detailing the specific acts included as sexual immorality and restates that it applies to all nations and not to just Israel as part of the Law of Moses. When faced with the question about what laws must remain for gentiles to follow, the Church, led by Peter, made up of other apostles, pared down the law to include 4 out of 7 laws that go back to Noah. The law regarding fornication can be traced to its roots by passing through Leviticus back to Noah. It is clear to me that the prohibitions in Leviticus 18 detailed what sexual acts constitute “fornication” and further that the prohibition of those acts applied to all nations as well as Israel. It is also clear that Jewish interpretations of the law recognized that certain laws applied to gentiles as can be seen by the Hebrew understanding of the Noahide Laws and by their reaffirmation by the apostles and elders of the original Church. Acts 15 sets out clearly that the acts listed in Leviticus 18, which include homosexual relations, continue to be applicable to Christians.

We have no record why the apostles and the elders of the Church, led by Peter, declared that these four Noahide Laws remain and can only speculate. My belief is the answer is contained within all three synoptic gospels as told by Matthew 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

I believe that when Jesus restated Deuteronomy 6:5-6,

5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

his answer shows by loving the Lord and our neighbor and by putting these commandments in our heart, we replace the need for some of the Noahide laws. It appears to me that the new Commandment that is written in our hearts negates the need for at least 3 of the Noahide laws and those that it doesn’t obviously replace are those that remain in Acts 15. Again, this is merely my guess. It has been said many times by the pro homosexual theologians that Jesus never condemned homosexuality. And this is usually countered by traditionalists that Jesus never would have had to address homosexuality because as discussed above about the law, it was considered a given that such practices were obviously wrong. It is also discussed that Jesus did address marriage and by implication, shows that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Matthew 19

2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. 3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

As I am sure you have heard often, that the above verses makes it clear that marriage is only between one man and one woman and that this is has been true since creation. The homosexual arguments about this very clear statement are similar to the strategies mentioned above. Make the definition, in this case the definition of marriage, so narrow its meaningless or so broad its meaningless. The broad approach is imply that Jesus is speaking metaphorically and that the principals of marriage can be applied to any committed relationship. Never mind that the text is impossibly specific to a man and a woman. The narrow approach is that of course God isn’t addressing homosexuals because the people of that time were not ready to hear this message of inclusiveness. Again, never mind that Jesus would certainly be aware of the practice of homosexual relations stated in the bible as well as having the prophetic gifts to know what is in the heart of each man he meets.

We should note that Jesus didn’t respond in Mat 19:4 by referring to the Law of Moses, nor the Seven Laws of Noah. No, he went all the way back to Adam. Marriage and its obligations are the earliest laws and have their beginnings in Genesis. This response by Jesus reinforces the statement by Peter in Acts 15 that laws regarding fornication are intended to apply to gentiles because these laws precede the Law of Moses.

The traditionalist at this point usually ignores the rest of the text on marriage, while at the same time the revisionist who continues to grasp at straws, finds an imaginary straw to grab in the remaining text. Lets follow the dialog further because it points out some additional points about marriage, homosexuality and the law.

7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

We see that the Pharisees recognized that Jesus appealed to the laws before Moses instead of the authority of the Law of Moses and called him on it in verse 7. Jesus rejects the exceptions that Moses allowed and essentially pointed them back to the beginning. A point when the law regarding sexual relations had fewer exceptions. From this exchange, its impossible to discern that Jesus preached a loosening of the Law of Moses. In fact, he points to the beginning, the laws in effect before Moses. The Pharisees are apparently gone and the disciples have a question for Jesus, Mat 19:

10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

Can’t you feel they are disturbed about the answer? This question makes it obvious that Jesus just made the rules tougher by appealing to pre-Moses authority. To my ears, I hear strong defiant tone in the question. For me it reads, “If its going to be that tough to get divorced then the heck with getting married, we’ll just shack up”.

11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

This dialog about eunuchs is one that provides some homosexual readers who are grasping at straws, an imaginary straw to grasp. To me this dialog provides the answer to ALL people who don’t get married. Jesus responds to the statement “it is not good to marry” by bringing up eunuchs whose pure definition is a castrated man. It is also widely accepted that a eunuch is a term that applies to any man who does not have sexual relations.

By any definition, this is a strong response to “it is not good to marry”. It reads to me that Jesus is saying in the strongest terms possible if you don’t want to marry, then remain celibate. Not all men can be celibate, all men cannot receive this saying. There are those who are born without desire, there are those made by men to have no desire and those who chose to have no desire or chose to remain celibate for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. Jesus leaves no wiggle room. Either be celibate or be married.

The statement about eunuchs means to me that a homosexual should not marry until he regains his desire for a woman and in the meantime he stays celibate. One can argue his lack of desire is from birth, or that man made him celibate. Whatever the cause, Jesus doesn’t change the stand on marriage. Instead he provides that such a choice is done for “the kingdom of heaven’s sake”.

The straw that some homosexual see in this exchange about eunuchs requires some bending of logic. The argument is made that Jesus recognized that some eunuchs are born that way. If they are born as eunuchs then the law restricting sexual relations by a man and a woman to marriage doesn’t apply to them. This conclusion is so amazingly illogical to me I don’t even see the need to refute it other than letting it fall on its own weight. Apparently Jesus slips some special law that exempts homosexuals from any restrictions on sexual relations by the idea that a homosexual is a eunuch who was born that way. How, it true, they reconcile this with the idea that a man can make himself a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven is not explained. How, if true, Jesus negates all previous laws regarding sexual morality from the Law of Moses just minutes after establishing that Moses was a push over on marriage and divorce.

Now lets examine the Greek words for eunuch. Two forms of the word (2134 and 2135) are used in the KJV.

2135 (Some eunuchs) Transliteration: eunouchos {yoo-noo'-khos} Word Origin: from eune (a bed) and 2192 TDNT: 2:765,277 Part of Speech: noun masculine Usage in the KJV: eunuch 8 Total: 8 Definition: 1. a bed keeper, bed guard, superintendent of the bedchamber, chamberlain 1. in the palace of oriental monarchs who support numerous wives the superintendent of the women's apartment or harem, an office held by eunuchs 1. an emasculated man, a eunuch 1. eunuchs in oriental courts held by other offices of greater, held by the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in Ac. 8:27-39. 1. one naturally incapacitated 1. for marriage 1. begetting children 1. one who voluntarily abstains from marriage

2134 Transliteration: eunouchizo {yoo-noo-khid'-zo} Word Origin: from 2135 TDNT: 2:765,277 Part of Speech: verb Usage in the KJV: make eunuchs 2 Total: 2 Definition: 1. to castrate, to neuter a man 1. metaph. to make one's self a eunuch i.e. by abstaining (like a eunuch from marriage)

TDNT - Theological Dictionary of the New Testament TWOT - Theological Word Book of the Old Testament

In order to get a better understanding of the use of the word eunuch, the original Greek uses two different words that are translated above. The text starts with the broader definition and says “some eunuchs” and ends with “made eunuchs”. It goes from the general to the specific. Its clear that the original Greek and that the context of these verses that eunuch doesn’t refer to a castrated man but to any celibate man. Many traditionalists desire to avoid the homosexuals arguments above by avoiding the subject altogether by insisting that the translation be literally a castrated man.

I have covered what I think Jesus and what Peter and the apostles say on the subject which leaves Paul. As you know, Paul relies heavily on the spirit as stated in Galatians 5:

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

It should be noted that Paul mentions adultery and fornication separately. Some revisionists want to desire to make the claim that fornication is really just another word for adultery. This verse shows that there is a distinction. For me, Paul is saying that even if we are not bound by any law and we make the argument that Jesus fulfilled the law, our flesh is still acting against the Spirit and that the works of the flesh include fornication.

This brings us to the strongest and clearest condemnation of homosexual behavior in the new testament. From Romans 1:

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

One would think this is pretty clear language and after examining the Noahide laws, the teaching of Jesus regarding marriage and celibacy, and the examples of the works of the flesh, that the meaning of this language clearly condemns homosexual behaviors and is consistent with the rest of the bible. Unfortunately, the revisionists have an answer. They explain that Paul could not have known what are modern psychologists know about homosexuality and its supposedly genetic causes. In other words, if God made them this way then homosexual behavior cannot be wrong.

Further, to strengthen their case they examine the changing attitudes toward slavery. In the past many Christians found biblical support for keeping slaves. The analogy is drawn that homosexuality will follow the same track, namely in time the bible will catch up with culture and modern science and we will all wonder how we ever thought homosexuality was condemned by the bible.

This is one of the weakest arguments because the analogy fails miserably. The bible clearly speaks against homosexual behavior. Making the comparison that the bible instructs slaves to be obedient to their master isn’t the same as saying the bible endorsed slavery. We can still agree that being free is superior to being a slave and still understand that slaves (or employees for that matter) should still obey their masters. Even though we have changed our attitudes toward slave holding we do not need to rewrite the bible passages related to slavery. In the event someone holds slaves or someone is a slave, the scripture related to slaves would still be applicable.

On the other hand, the revisionist wants to argue that because we no longer allow slaves in our culture, the scripture verses regarding slaves are no longer relevant, therefore we should make the scripture verses regarding homosexuality irrelevant. The point is lost that we can stop slavery without changing scripture but we have to change or eliminate scripture in order to make homosexual behavior acceptable.

Another general line of argument by the revisionist is the idea of continuing revelation. This takes two forms. One is the idea that is called open theology. Open theology assumes that God is learning and winging it as he goes along. God tries things and if it doesn’t work, he tries something else. God listens to man’s arguments and can be persuaded to change his mind. This is not a new heresy and is beyond the scope of this letter. Let me just point out that you cannot argue scripture with someone who holds this view because their can be no common ground with someone who sees God is changing constantly.

The second form is what I call continuing revelation. The verse in John 16:12 is used as follows:

12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

This verse says to the revisionist that Jesus continues his dialog with his Church and he continues to reveal his truth to us. As a recent convert to a Pentecostal Church, this appeals to me and I believe it is true up to a degree. I part ways with this continuing revelation when the revelation contradicts the central part of scripture. In order to accept that God is continuing his revelation regarding sexuality we have to assume God was wrong or allowed grievous errors of doctrine to be taught by Moses, the Gospel writers and Paul. Further, if its true its like pulling a string from a woven fabric. Once you start pulling the thread there is no stopping until the whole thing is just one big ball of string.

We have also heard that Jesus fulfilled the law and that we are therefore released from the law because it has been written in our hearts. Luke 24:

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Again, as mentioned above. It is clear that Jesus is speaking of fulfilling the Law of Moses. The fulfillment releases Christian’s from those laws, but its not consistent to believe that Jesus releases us from those laws that originate since Noah. If so, it would negate Jesus’ teaching on divorce and marriage as well as negate the commandment to love God and our neighbor. No, the fulfilling that was done was Jesus fulfilled the promise made by the people of Israel at Mt. Sinai.

So, where does this leave the homosexual? Well, for starters they must remain celibate if and until God heals them from their desire for the same sex. If they remain celibate, it means they “have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake.” I believe that Jesus was pointing to the words of the prophet Isaiah 56:

4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

I believe that the homosexual is called to repent, seek healing and stay celibate. I also believe that God has recognized this special suffering and will reward their celibacy through the covenant specified by the prophet Isaiah. He will give them an everlasting name, hat shall no be cut off.

I feel strongly that we do not help the homosexual by letting scripture be rewritten and deconstructed to affirm a lifestyle that is contrary to God’s will. I feel strongly that the law has many uses. Its primary use is to show we need a savior and that by allowing it to be rewritten so that homosexual behavior is okay, we rob the homosexual from the primary purpose of the law. One of the secondary uses of the law is to provide us a roadmap to learn the goodness of God by conforming our behavior to the law. In this respect, the law is not meant to hurt, it is not meant to penalize, it is not a thorn, it is the way toward living a life fulfilled and content.

God has placed you in a special place where you are in contact with gay couples. It is inevitable that your understanding of scripture will be challenged by this revisionist theology. It is also possible you will have the opportunity to help begin to change some hearts and minds. I have written this letter to document my own study and my thoughts and feelings about the subject. I hope this is helpful for you.

Ray Serra,


TOPICS: Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Eastern Religions; Evangelical Christian; Judaism; Mainline Protestant; Orthodox Christian; Other Christian; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: gay; gaycouple; gaymarriage; homosexual; homosexualagenda; marriage; scripture
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-71 next last
I present the above in hopes of both teaching and learning
1 posted on 04/21/2005 6:05:57 PM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
If we are going to say that we are no longer under the Mosaic Law, that would be correct. However, the Apostle Paul summed up our position regarding the law in Romans 3:31. Christ fulfilled the Law. Our faith in His finished work validates and establishes the Law.


2 posted on 04/21/2005 6:29:09 PM PDT by rdb3 (To the world, you're one person. To one person, you may be the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1388643/posts


3 posted on 04/21/2005 6:38:36 PM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rdb3

The problem is which laws. Do we worry about the fabrics we wear? Do we claim that our hearts tell us no laws are applicable? How do we draw the line. I believe Acts 15 continues the laws established before Moses.


4 posted on 04/21/2005 6:44:32 PM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

Source for Noahide laws

http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/noahide.html


5 posted on 04/21/2005 6:47:47 PM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Raycpa
Dennis Prager, Why Judaism Rejected Homsexuality
7 posted on 04/21/2005 7:47:02 PM PDT by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: onedoug

Good article, thank you.

I am in agreement with the author except to add that the death penalty for a homosexual was in the context of a voluntary agreement by the Jews to be bound by these laws.


8 posted on 04/21/2005 7:58:54 PM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

Jesus said it, I intend to believe/obey it, that settles it.

"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY him." Heb. 5:9

And what did HE say? Many things. Here's an important command of his (yes, all his commands are important): "Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye MUST be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou HEAREST THE SOUND thereof, but CANST NOT TELL whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is EVERY ONE that is born of the Spirit." John 3:7,8. Repentance is very important, but people will repent, feel different, and decide that that is when they received the Spirit (because a blind leader of the blind said so). The above words of Jesus and the examples in Acts chapters 2,10, and 19, make it clear that one hears something when the Spirit is given to a believer.

Paul emphasized the change in 2 Cor. 5:17. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS are become new." Notice the use of 'are'(not 'were') and 'are become'(not 'became'). The Holy Ghost gives one the power to lay down the sinful life that displeases God (see Romans 6:17-23 and 8:1-8). It may take some longer than others to grow in the Lord, and grow they will, but only if they are willing. (The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak).

What do the seven churches in Revelation have in common? The phrase, "..HE THAT OVERCOMETH..".

God cures liars, adulterers, robbers, murderers (that included Paul), fornicators, idolators, etc. BELIEVE IT!!


9 posted on 04/21/2005 9:02:43 PM PDT by Zuriel (Acts 2:38,39....nearly 2,000 years and still working today!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ahadams2; Peanut Gallery; tellw; nanetteclaret; Saint Reagan; Marauder; stan_sipple; SuzyQue; ...

Per request, a "for discussion" ping.


10 posted on 04/21/2005 10:55:12 PM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: scripter

I couldn't read all of this, too long and too late, but I thought it might interest you.

Maybe I can read it next week...


11 posted on 04/21/2005 10:57:46 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Resisting evil is our duty or we are as responsible as those promoting it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
A favorite argument is to ask if you wear fabric woven with different materials. In today’s garments the answer is yes.

I still try to observe this, although I don't consider it part of the moral law. It is not hard to find 100% wool suits, 100% cotton shirts, underwear and pants, and 100% synthetic socks. So when a liberal asks me this question, I say no, I don't wear fabrics woven with different materials. Since they tend to not be able to think for themselves, it quickly ends the discussion.

It's worth the slight additional cost for the ability to occasionally gig a liberal.

12 posted on 04/21/2005 11:56:13 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sionnsar
Another favorite argument to disarm Leviticus is to ask if we should still put homosexuals, witches, and other breakers of the law to death.

I made it about halfway through, but now need to leave for work. However, in thinking about Leviticus's supposedly archaic instructions, it is important that we consider the desired effect that at least many homosexuals and (and I would presume) witches would have on a Christian society. Even a cursory examination of "gay activist" literature shows that they wish to undermine (or change) our society. In that context, Leviticus's perscription is no more harsh or archaic than a similar penalty for treason or espioniage.

13 posted on 04/22/2005 3:06:53 AM PDT by Huber (Conservatism - It's not just for breakfast anymore!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: rdb3

"Christ fulfilled the Law. Our faith in His finished work validates and establishes the Law."

Could you explain more in detail how our faith establishes the Law? I don't understand what you mean by that.

Thanks, brother


14 posted on 04/22/2005 5:21:29 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
On the other hand, the revisionist wants to argue that because we no longer allow slaves in our culture, the scripture verses regarding slaves are no longer relevant, therefore we should make the scripture verses regarding homosexuality irrelevant.

How typical of the liberal mindset. Because 'we' no longer do something in 'our' culture, the verses must no longer apply. Well I have news for them, it's not all about us.

God doesn't forbid slavery but he never commands it either, instead he gives specific rules as to how it is to be pursued. God does condemn homosexuality in the New Testament. Case closed.

15 posted on 04/22/2005 6:00:09 AM PDT by asformeandformyhouse (Former Embryo - Former Fetus - Recovering Sinner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
I believe Acts 15 continues the laws established before Moses

The Hebrew writer spent 3 chapters explaining such.

Hebrews 7:11  If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

16 posted on 04/22/2005 6:04:59 AM PDT by asformeandformyhouse (Former Embryo - Former Fetus - Recovering Sinner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: asformeandformyhouse
God doesn't forbid slavery but he never commands it either, instead he gives specific rules as to how it is to be pursued. God does condemn homosexuality in the New Testament. Case closed.

Yes, the bible needs to be rewritten in order for homosexuality to be okay but it doesn't need to be rewritten for slavery to be banned.

17 posted on 04/22/2005 6:08:21 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: asformeandformyhouse
The Hebrew writer spent 3 chapters explaining such.

Thank you. I will incorporate those thoughts in my next revision (The above is pretty sloppy in form, grammar and spelling)

I think I need to explain further why I place so much emphasis on Acts. The Episcopal church placed much emphasis on the fact that their new revelation for ordaining a gay bishop was based on the coming together of many Christians who prayed for guidance by the Holy Spirit. Acts 15 is about the same and the Christians that gathered there included Peter. This was the original Church and the decree from the orginal church is that bans on fornication is a minimum requirement in the law.

18 posted on 04/22/2005 6:16:04 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: jo kus
Could you explain more in detail how our faith establishes the Law? I don't understand what you mean by that.

Sure. Faith establishes the Law because the righteousness of God was made manifest without the Law. The flesh could never, ever be justified by the works of the Law.

Let's go back to Abraham, who lived before the Law was given. How was Abraham justified as righteous? Through his faith. This fact is witnessed to by the Law and the Prophets.

Our faith establishes the Law because it testfied to the fact that by the Law was the knowledge of sin, and under that Law, no man could have righteousness in himself whereby he could justify himself.

Therefore, having a believing faith in Christ, we can now be justified before God without the works of the Law because Christ bore the penalty on Himself. And like Abraham, our righteousness is imputed to us by the same faith that Abraham had through the work of Christ and His Blood.


19 posted on 04/22/2005 6:34:20 AM PDT by rdb3 (To the world, you're one person. To one person, you may be the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: asformeandformyhouse
God does condemn homosexuality in the New Testament. Case closed.

Yep. It sure does.

Romans 1:26, 27 tells us:

26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

If this isn't a condemnation of homosexuality, I don't know what is.


20 posted on 04/22/2005 6:40:59 AM PDT by rdb3 (To the world, you're one person. To one person, you may be the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: rdb3
...and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error...

Not only is the entire statement a condemnation, as you point out, but I've alway believed this part of it to be prophecy as well.

21 posted on 04/22/2005 8:17:58 AM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
A good article. A couple of extras you may want to consider.

First, there's a very common argument about the supposed difficulty of discerning "proper" sexuality. That's a red herring, and easily disposed of: God clearly made man and woman sexually compatible. If you look at the physiology of sex, it is blindingly obvious what He intended. (This is something to which 1 Romans 19 could be applied.)

The common counter-argument is that people have sex in lots of ways, so we "can't rely" on that obvious fact. However, despite the fact that various techniques of genital stimulationare used by both hetero- and homosexuals, we simply cannot ignore the fact that "normal" is quite easy to spot.

Second, the Leviticus passages are usually disposed of by calling it a "cleanliness law," which is disposed of by pointing out that, by the same logic child sacrifice, bestiality, and incest should be OK as well. Which is to say: it's not OK.

Another common tactic is to dismiss this particular Levitical law because there are other Levitical laws that we dismiss (the one about "mixing of fabrics" seems to be a general favorite). Of course, by that logic, we would be forced to dismiss the concept of sin entirely, which is so obviously counter to Scripture that only the totally irredeemable would attempt to defend the position.

22 posted on 04/22/2005 8:34:51 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rdb3

That is fine for Christians and Jews, but does God have a law for nonbelievers? In other words, is there any universal laws applicable for all peoples?


23 posted on 04/22/2005 8:56:25 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
That is fine for Christians and Jews, but does God have a law for nonbelievers? In other words, is there any universal laws applicable for all peoples?

What's contained in the Bible, both New and Old Testaments, are applicable to all humans.

I hate to sound like I'm beating a dead horse, but, again I turn to Romans, chapter one, verses 18-22.

Man is without excuse.


24 posted on 04/22/2005 9:08:14 AM PDT by rdb3 (To the world, you're one person. To one person, you may be the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
First, there's a very common argument about the supposed difficulty of discerning "proper" sexuality.

I'm not familiar with this one. Can you expand? I'd like to tackle it as well but I need to understand it more.

Second, the Leviticus passages are usually disposed of by calling it a "cleanliness law," which is disposed of by pointing out that, by the same logic child sacrifice, bestiality, and incest should be OK as well. Which is to say: it's not OK.

I need to work on making my arguments clear enough if you didn't catch what I attempted to do. I intended to demonstrate that 1) laws against fornication preceded Leviticus, 2) Leviticus confirmed the specific acts as well as the fact they applied to all nations and 3) It was recognized by the early Church in Acts that the laws against fornication continue to be minimum requirements for non-Jews.

25 posted on 04/22/2005 9:10:04 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: rdb3
What's contained in the Bible, both New and Old Testaments, are applicable to all humans.

The 600+ Leviticus laws are applicable to all humans?

26 posted on 04/22/2005 9:11:52 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: FormerLib
but I've alway believed this part of it to be prophecy as well.

Do you mean its a universal result? What are its roots?

27 posted on 04/22/2005 9:13:43 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: rdb3

"Faith establishes the Law because the righteousness of God was made manifest without the Law..."

OK. When I first read "faith establishes the Law", it seemed to imply that our faith, independent from God, establishes the Law! It seems we have the same understanding of Romans and Galatians here. God transcended the Law, surpassing it by raising Jesus, who had been condemned by the Law.

"Therefore, having a believing faith in Christ, we can now be justified before God without the works of the Law because Christ bore the penalty on Himself. And like Abraham, our righteousness is imputed to us by the same faith that Abraham had through the work of Christ and His Blood."

Again, agree with most of this - Protestants and Catholics are not as far apart as some would believe. NOTHING we can do, with the attitude that God owes us, can offer one iota of merit. This includes obedience to the Decalogue with the attitude that we are due wages (Rom 4:4 is key, for me, to understand Paul here). The only disagreement here is with "imputed", since Paul clearly says we are to be transformed by the Spirit on many occasions, not "declared" justified, yet unchanged.

Thanks for the clarification, brother


28 posted on 04/22/2005 9:13:53 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
The 600+ Leviticus laws are applicable to all humans?

Well, I don't know. Is there one who is sinless?


29 posted on 04/22/2005 9:18:11 AM PDT by rdb3 (To the world, you're one person. To one person, you may be the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa; rdb3

"That is fine for Christians and Jews, but does God have a law for nonbelievers? In other words, is there any universal laws applicable for all peoples?"

Paul in Romans 2 does talk about a law imprinted on the Gentiles, a law that they are bound to, as well, and that they will be judged by how they follow it. Catholics call this natural law, which is expounded upon in the Decalogue. Basically, love God and your neighbor. Of course, all will "fail" to live up to even this law, strictly speaking. No one can work their way to salvation, and it is only through Jesus, directly or indirectly, (meaning whether they know about Jesus or not) that we graciously receive salvation. If one thinks that God owes someone, pagan, Christian, or Jew, a pass into heaven because of what they did, they will be disappointed. We are to trust in God's mercy and righteousness that He will reward us for following the "law", not ask for payment.

The Jewish Law is not applicable to the Gentiles.

Regards


30 posted on 04/22/2005 9:26:05 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

There's really no debate as to the biblical perspective on sodomy. That being the case I have to wonder why anyone who is a bible believing Christian would set foot in a church that wasn't very clear on this issue.


31 posted on 04/22/2005 9:29:13 AM PDT by biblewonk (John 2:4 "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jo kus
The only disagreement here is with "imputed", since Paul clearly says we are to be transformed by the Spirit on many occasions, not "declared" justified, yet unchanged.

Side note: I'm glad you posted "with the attitude that God owes us" because that attitude is prevalent in many Christian discussions, both online and in real life. He was under no obligation to save just one of us, and the fact that he endured the cat o'nine tails and the crucifix for even one human being is a gift of immeasurable value.

Now for the minor disagreement. I don't know if we disagree or not. Our righteousness in Christ is indeed imputed to us, because Christ's being punished for our sins removes the penalty from us in its entirety.

Or am I misinterpreting what you say?


32 posted on 04/22/2005 9:29:31 AM PDT by rdb3 (To the world, you're one person. To one person, you may be the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: jo kus
The Jewish Law is not applicable to the Gentiles.

Not any of it? Not one?

33 posted on 04/22/2005 9:42:42 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: rdb3

"Side note: I'm glad you posted "with the attitude that God owes us" because that attitude is prevalent in many Christian discussions, both online and in real life."

Yes, this line of thought is prevalent in our culture today: everyone has the right to everything...which, I suppose has seeped into some people's idea of salvation.

"Now for the minor disagreement. I don't know if we disagree or not. Our righteousness in Christ is indeed imputed to us, because Christ's being punished for our sins removes the penalty from us in its entirety.

OK, again, I guess it is the definitions that seem to get in the way! To me, when I hear "imputed", I recall the classical Lutheran definition that one is covered over, although remaining a pile of manure. This goes against Paul's insistence that we are actually being transformed into the image of Christ, which was lost after Adam. What you say above is true, if you are not implying we are not transformed. And without getting into other subjects along this theme, such as once saved - always saved, etc.

Thanks again, brother


34 posted on 04/22/2005 9:43:52 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: biblewonk
That being the case I have to wonder why anyone who is a bible believing Christian would set foot in a church that wasn't very clear on this issue.

My wife and I stayed for a time because we believed we were called to be missionaries of a sort. When ECUSA rejected the bible, we knew it had gone to far and that the atmosphere was too dangerous for our children to be raised in.

35 posted on 04/22/2005 9:44:57 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

""The Jewish Law is not applicable to the Gentiles.""

"Not any of it? Not one?"

By association, I suppose. But the natural law placed in everyone's heart is the law of the Gentiles. There are times when they coincide, such as not killing anyone. They are to follow that law, as they weren't given the Mosaic Law.

Regards


36 posted on 04/22/2005 9:47:54 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: jo kus
But the natural law placed in everyone's heart is the law of the Gentiles.

What if our hearts say fornication is okay? It seems to me that Acts 15 is needed to cause us to refrain from certain acts that the heart may not object to.

37 posted on 04/22/2005 9:50:10 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

Yes the ECUSA is an absolute mess. I hope you found a nice non-denominational bible church.


38 posted on 04/22/2005 9:50:18 AM PDT by biblewonk (John 2:4 "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: jo kus
They are to follow that law, as they weren't given the Mosaic Law.

Sorry to make this two posts. The idea that laws exited prior to Moses and that these laws included prohibitions on fornication would seem to me to make the case that Noah and his desendants were given minimal laws which were later codified within the holyness laws. Peter seems to acknowledge this as well in Acts 15.

This indicates to me that fornication isn't just a matter of natural law, its a commandment of God revealed to everyone through Noah.

39 posted on 04/22/2005 9:55:11 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: biblewonk
We felt called to visit all the Churches in our immediate vicinity despite the fact "we knew" we would end up at the Evangelical Free Church that we thought of as our home away from home.

God had other plans. Our new Church home has Pentecostal roots. Talk about culture shock and talk about the Spirit working in surprising ways.

40 posted on 04/22/2005 9:58:28 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

"What if our hearts say fornication is okay?"

I wonder if one ever really believes that, deep down? If so, why the guilt when caught? Why the need to try to have others in society condone it, as if society was the determinant of what is a good act. Food for thought, I suppose.

Regards


41 posted on 04/22/2005 9:59:31 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

"...fornication isn't just a matter of natural law, its a commandment of God revealed to everyone through Noah."

I think we can go back to Genesis and the creation story to see how God made man and woman for each other, to become one flesh. We are anatomically made for each other, as well. If we are to be fruitful and multiply, we need to be heterosexual in nature. I would say that how we are created can be called a natural law, not dependent on Noah.

Regards


42 posted on 04/22/2005 10:02:57 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
but I've alway believed this part of it to be prophecy as well.

Do you mean its a universal result? What are its roots?

Sorry, but I don't understand what you are asking here.

43 posted on 04/22/2005 10:04:16 AM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: jo kus
I wonder if one ever really believes that, deep down? If so, why the guilt when caught?

I think the argument is that the guilt is because of 4,000 years of hate by society (especially religion) toward homosexuals.

But a few things popped in my head. Are slaves guilty about being slaves?

44 posted on 04/22/2005 10:04:59 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: jo kus
I would say that how we are created can be called a natural law, not dependent on Noah.

Indeed, I believe this was the concept underlying the Dali Lama condemning homosexuality.

45 posted on 04/22/2005 10:05:32 AM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

"I think the argument is that the guilt is because of 4,000 years of hate by society (especially religion) toward homosexuals"

That is a poor argument made by them, as people consider the ACT an abomination, not the person. This is an attempt to link up their sinful desires with racial or gender hatred. There is a difference between racial hatred and hatred of sodomy. People hate murder, too. Are we to give murders a pass to do what they want in the name of society's "hatred" of it? A ridiculous argument.

Regards


46 posted on 04/22/2005 10:10:30 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

"Are slaves guilty about being slaves?"

That is different, as being a slave is not a sin, but an involuntary placement in society.

I suppose owning another person is against the natural law, however, as man has a particular dignity that is above being owned as property. However, as we both know, society has a way of overshadowing what God puts into our conscience.

Regards


47 posted on 04/22/2005 10:14:13 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: jo kus

Yes, it does go back to Adam, expected of Noah and confirmed by Jesus

http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/7lawcomm.html


The Encyclopedia Britannica says this about the Noahide laws:

"Noahide Laws, also called NOACHIAN LAWS, a Jewish Talmudic designation for seven biblical laws given to Adam and to Noah before the revelation to Moses on Mt. Sinai and consequently binding on all mankind.

Beginning with Genesis 2:16, the Babylonian Talmud listed the first six commandments as prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, and robbery and the positive command to establish courts of justice (with all that this implies). After the Flood a seventh commandment, given to Noah, forbade the eating of flesh cut from a living animal (Gen. 9:4). Though the number of laws was later increased to 30 with the addition of prohibitions against castration, sorcery, and other practices, the "seven laws," with minor variations, retained their original status as authoritative commandments and as the source of other laws. As basic statutes safeguarding monotheism and guaranteeing proper ethical conduct in society, these laws provided a legal framework for alien residents in Jewish territory. Maimonides thus regarded anyone who observed these laws as one "assured of a portion in the world to come." Throughout the ages scholars have viewed the Noahide Laws as a link between Judaism and Christianity, as universal norms of ethical conduct, as a basic concept in international law, or as a guarantee of fundamental human rights for all."


48 posted on 04/22/2005 10:14:50 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

"...it does go back to Adam, expected of Noah and confirmed by Jesus..."

I can agree with that. I would say this natural law is seen in other ancient societies that existed separately from the Hebrews. (I am not an active proponent of a world-wide flood, although the writers of the later OT and NT probably believed as such.)


49 posted on 04/22/2005 10:21:56 AM PDT by jo kus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: jo kus

The answer is right in the bible which says not to trust our hearts.


50 posted on 04/22/2005 10:28:05 AM PDT by biblewonk (John 2:4 "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-71 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson