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What does the Bible actually say about being gay?
BBC ^ | October 23, 2003 | BBC

Posted on 10/23/2003 3:53:51 AM PDT by ejdrapes

What does the Bible actually say about being gay?

Confused how two groups of church-goers can have such conflicting views about whether it's OK to be gay?

Both sides of the debate about homosexuality in the church, which threatens to split the worldwide Anglican church, hold their views sincerely and after much study. So how can their views be so contradictory?

The Bible makes very few mentions of homosexuality - lesbianism isn't mentioned at all in the Old Testament - and as the examples below show, interpretations of the verses that do exist differ hugely.

Following each of the verses below is a brief illustration of what a hardline pro- and anti-gay position might be. (Most Christians hold views somewhere in between these two stances.)

An illustration of the division can be seen by what either side might say about the friendship in the Old Testament between David and Jonathan. One verse reads: "I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; dear and delightful you were to me; your love for me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women."

PRO-GAY
A pro-gay position might be that this is a clear indication that King David had a gay relationship, and to pretend otherwise is naive.

ANTI-GAY
An anti-gay opinion might be that the friendship between the two men was exactly that - a very close and loyal allegiance.

Similarly, the tale of Sodom is often debated. In it, Lot has two angels staying in his house. The men of Sodom surrounded the house. "They called to Lot and asked him where the men were who had entered his house that night. 'Bring them out,' they shouted, 'so that we might have intercourse with them.'"

To protect his visitors from an act which Lot describes as "wicked", he offers the crowd his two virgin daughters instead. The crowd are not satisfied and break the door down - the angels then make the intruders blind and Sodom is eventually destroyed by "fire and brimstone".

ANTI-GAY
An anti-gay argument might say this story demonstrates the immorality of homosexuality, as has been accepted for generations, hence the term sodomy. Elsewhere in Genesis, God says of the men: "Their sin is very grave." It's an example of behaviour degenerating.

PRO-GAY
Of course the men's behaviour was wicked, but it was wicked because it's a tale of sexual assault and rape. When Jesus mentions Sodom, hundreds of years later, it appears to be in a context of a discussion of hospitality, rather than one of sexual morality.

There are several verses in the Bible which are similarly contested - there are however a much smaller number of seemingly clear statements. The most famous of them is probably from Leviticus: "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; that is an abomination."

ANTI-GAY
An anti-gay position would be that this line is unambiguous. It is also repeated elsewhere in the book. The speaker of the words is God, so this is an explicit indication that homosexuality is wrong in God's eyes. It was one of the sins that justified God in giving the land of Canaan to the Israelites

PRO-GAY
A pro-gay argument might say that other verses in the same book forbid a wide range of sexual activities, including having sex with a woman who is having her period. This is an indication that the passage embodies specific cultural values rather than God's law.

There is some debate about how relevant rules in the Old Testament are to Christians. Some would say they are binding, since Jesus said he did not come to abolish the old laws. Others would say that Jesus set Christians free from the old laws, highlighting instead that people should love God and their neighbour.

Jesus himself says nothing explicitly about homosexuality. There are though two statements by him which have been interpreted as having a bearing on the subject.

"[A] man shall leave his father and mother, and be made one with his wife; and the two shall become one flesh."

ANTI-GAY
This indicates Jesus saw heterosexual relations as the proper way of behaving.

PRO-GAY
Jesus is actually talking about the sanctity of heterosexual marriage

Later in the same conversation, after Jesus has spoken about divorce, the disciples say to him it is better not to marry at all. Jesus says: "That is something which not everyone can accept, but only those for whom God has appointed it. For while some are incapable of marriage because they were born so, or made so by men, there are others who have themselves renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven. Let those accept it who can."

PRO-GAY
This shows that Jesus is more concerned with people looking after their own relationship with God, than with enforcement of rules. The reference to being "born so" indicates that heterosexual marriage is fine for those who are heterosexual, but it's OK to be different. Again and again Jesus reaches out to those on the margins of society, like prostitutes and tax collectors, to include them.

ANTI-GAY
Jesus here is actually talking about people who were born incapable of having children, or people who were castrated - not about gays. He is actually saying that marriage and chastity are both within God's purpose. Jesus does appeal to the sinners, but once he has called them, he tells them to go and sin no more.

The letters of St Paul provide the other traditional support for the position that homosexuality is sinful. He writes: "God has given [people who worship false gods] up to shameful passions. Their women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and their men in turn, giving up natural relations with women burn with lust for one another; males behave indecently with males and paid in their own persons the fitting wage of such perversion."

Paul later writes: "Make no mistake: no fornicator or idolator, none who are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion, no thieves or grabbers of drunkards of slanderers or swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God."

PRO-GAY
A pro-gay position might be that the word Paul uses for homosexual here could alternatively be translated as "male prostitute". In any case, Paul's writings are clearly of his time, and there are plenty of other verses which people have no difficulty in ignoring - for instance: "a woman brings shame on her head if she prays or prophesies bare-headed; it is as bad as if her head were shaved." This should be viewed like that.

ANTI-GAY
Anti-gay argument might say this line is crystal clear in establishing that Christianity and homosexuality are incompatible. Paul is actually quite clearly referring to homosexual behaviour, and includes lesbianism. You can't just pretend that St Paul, who did so much to influence our understanding of Jesus, didn't know what he was talking about. He's clear that homosexuality is an offence against God and against people's own bodies.

Part of the reason the views diverge so much is because Christians think of the Bible differently. Some see it as literally the word of God, divine inspiration which humans should not question. Others see it rather as a book which is a witness to God's message, but one which was written by humans and thus has flaws.

Trying to find common ground between the two positions is no simple matter - one of the reasons that Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is having such a tricky job keeping everyone on board.

Quotations are taken from the New English Bible.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bible; homosexual; homosexualagenda; homosexuality; prisoners; scripture
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1 posted on 10/23/2003 3:53:51 AM PDT by ejdrapes
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To: ejdrapes
Intercourse can also mean to "join in conversation".
2 posted on 10/23/2003 3:56:29 AM PDT by Jumper
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To: ejdrapes
David wasn't a homo and morals are not bound to time. God stated that homosexuality is an abominiation - literally that it makes him want to puke. It is a sin so sick it warranted death under the law. Jesus' fulfillment of the law may mean that God rightly owns judgement of that sin; but, it makes it no less a sin.
3 posted on 10/23/2003 4:05:55 AM PDT by Havoc (If you can't be frank all the time are you lying the rest of the time?)
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To: ejdrapes
What the Bible says is that man is a created being, and that, in the realm of sex, that said being has two natures, male and female, which together are in the image of God.

It also says that the relationship between male humans and female humans proceeds according to a design, or plan.

It also says, by the way, that deviating from the plan is abominable-but in this context, it's not the characterization of the deviation that is important, but the fact that is not part of the Creator's design.

4 posted on 10/23/2003 4:07:21 AM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: Havoc
God stated that homosexuality is an abominiation - literally that it makes him want to puke.

He said the same about eating shrimp.

5 posted on 10/23/2003 4:07:37 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: ejdrapes
Others see it rather as a book which is a witness to God's message, but one which was written by humans and thus has flaws.

And how do we know that the portions of the Bible which discuss homesexuality are NOT flawed? Maybe the PC view is thawed...maybe? It is.

God said to be "fruitful and multiply" How do two men do that?

God said "a man will leave his mother and father" to be with his wife...not his gay partner.

This article is nuts. There is not two views. There is a correct view and a wrong view. The "gay" view is wrong. No grey area. Gays can justify their conduct as much as they want, and I hope it makes them feel good. They are wrong.

6 posted on 10/23/2003 4:10:33 AM PDT by milan
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To: Non-Sequitur
He said the same about eating shrimp.

Oh, brother!

7 posted on 10/23/2003 4:12:47 AM PDT by milan
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To: ejdrapes
This author is not up to speed. David's love for Jonathan was the love between two soldiers who had fought many battles together. Stu Webber has addressed this verse in his books. For those of you not familiar with Stu Webber, he was a special ops guy in Vietnam. He talks about the bond that grows between men in combat. I am sure there are many on this forum who have seen combat who can attest to the that. The quoted verse, however, is often cited by those with the homosexual agenda in an effort to paint David as a homosexual. Such a characterization is completely out of context and incorrect.
8 posted on 10/23/2003 4:13:07 AM PDT by Pete
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To: ejdrapes
I only had to quickly scan the article and even in that brief read I can see the author is hashing up old interpretations of scripture that have long ago been refuted as out of context or simply incorrect. If I have time, I will provide more information. (I am sure there are many others on FR who can do the same and will probably get to it before I get back.)
9 posted on 10/23/2003 4:16:51 AM PDT by Pete
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To: Jumper
Intercourse can also mean to "join in conversation".

But would make no sense in the context.

10 posted on 10/23/2003 4:17:59 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Non-Sequitur
Are you equating eating shrimp with being a homosexual? I know when I eat shrimp and drink beer I do some strange things.
11 posted on 10/23/2003 4:19:40 AM PDT by FLAUSA
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To: FLAUSA
Are you equating eating shrimp with being a homosexual? I know when I eat shrimp and drink beer I do some strange things.

You're half safe. So far as I know Leviticus had nothing to say about beer.

12 posted on 10/23/2003 4:22:30 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
He said the same about eating shrimp.
And the penalty, in the Bible, for eating shrimp is??
13 posted on 10/23/2003 4:23:13 AM PDT by invoman
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To: ejdrapes
This if ignoring that homosexuality and pedophilia were common in pagan societies, as were male and female prostitutes...and the ancient Hebrews were famous for their refusal of such activity..

Catholics would also point out that we rely on traditional interpretations, and that to the earliest times homosexual impurities and going to prostitutes and adultery and premarital sex was considered wrong...even in days before the rabbis and priests decided what should be in the bible...(which is why the Catholic bible has accepted books that the rabbis rejected, since the had been used im the early church).

As for homosexuality, the upright Romans frowned on it, and conisdered it wrong. And most non Christian societies also frown on it...homosexuals are not killed, but ridiculed and looked down upon in traditional Chinese, Hindu and African societies...and for all the rewriting of history about homosexual love in ancient Greece, the Greeks considered it different than marriage, and except for the elite, frowned on it...Aristophanes ridicules a crossdressing guy in one of his plays, for example, and in Lysistrada has women stop a war by refusing sex with men-- the humor behind the play would not be funny if all the guys were humping each other...
14 posted on 10/23/2003 4:25:17 AM PDT by LadyDoc (liberals only love politcially correct poor people.)
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To: ejdrapes
Well, as we have heard.

God created Adam and Eve.
Not Adam and Steve.
15 posted on 10/23/2003 4:28:37 AM PDT by djf
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To: milan; ejdrapes
"This article is nuts."

I thought the article was pretty good, actually. It lays out the two sides of the argument and doesn't champion either. I am not familiar with the Bible "chapter & verse" and have oftened wondered where the homsexual activists found support.

Now I can clearly see from the quotations here that their platform rests on some pretty flimsy boards.

I also see I better stop drinking, if you know what I mean. So I will say, good post!

16 posted on 10/23/2003 4:30:26 AM PDT by jocon307 (New tagline coming soon......)
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To: milan
Why don't we discuss fornicators,slanderers,thieves,adulterers,like we do homosexuals?
17 posted on 10/23/2003 4:31:55 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: Havoc
This article doesn not mention what Paul had to say about it. Of course, Paul was handpicked by Christ himself to bring the Gospel to the gentiles....Paul said that we should not be decieved; that no murderer, no liar, no homesexual would enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

He also said that "men gave up the natural affection for women, and burned within themselves for each other, and recieved within them the just recompence of their actions."
18 posted on 10/23/2003 4:34:29 AM PDT by Moby Grape
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To: MEG33
Why don't we discuss fornicators,slanderers,thieves,adulterers,like we do homosexuals?

We talk about Congress all the time!

19 posted on 10/23/2003 4:34:48 AM PDT by Jonah Hex (The Truth Shall Make You Free-p)
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To: ejdrapes
Anyonw who's been born again knows very well what He 'means' when they read the Bible. Our slimy attempts at justifying sin of any kind is common to us all, but it still doesn't change what He says.

Anyway, sex of any kind outside of marriage is prohibited. Doesn't matter if it's male/female or not. And you can only be married to someone of the opposite sex.
20 posted on 10/23/2003 4:36:35 AM PDT by ovrtaxt ( http://www.fairtax.org **** Forget ANWR. Drill Israel !)
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To: ejdrapes
So how can their views be so contradictory?

There are only contradictory because one view represents truth based on a regulative interpretation of the Bible and the other interpretation is base on lies intended to deceive.

Homosexuality has nearly universally been viewed as a perversion by societies. A perversion that has been tolerated and by the same societies.

21 posted on 10/23/2003 4:36:40 AM PDT by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: Jonah Hex
LOL..but notice we are still much tougher on homosexuals than the other things I listed.I would not want a priest or minister to be any of those things,however.
22 posted on 10/23/2003 4:38:50 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: Jonah Hex
Why don't we discuss fornicators,slanderers,thieves,adulterers,like we do homosexuals?

In fact, that's how I approach gay people with the Gospel. It's much more effective if you speak about deliverance from sin in general, common to all, than focusing in on the act of homosexuality.

23 posted on 10/23/2003 4:39:07 AM PDT by ovrtaxt ( http://www.fairtax.org **** Forget ANWR. Drill Israel !)
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To: ejdrapes
This shows that radical liberals will open anything to an interpretation that supports their agenda -- even the Bible.

Nothing has changed in 2000 years, we have a Supreme Court doing the same thing today with our Constitution.
24 posted on 10/23/2003 4:40:35 AM PDT by Noachian (Liberalism belongs to the Fool, the Fraud, and the Vacuous)
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To: Jumper
Intercourse

I think the phrase is 'that we might know them'. The word 'know' means to have carnal knowledge. This artilce just highlights some old and very shallow scholarship.

25 posted on 10/23/2003 4:41:14 AM PDT by tbpiper
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To: MEG33
Why don't we discuss fornicators,slanderers,thieves,adulterers,like we do homosexuals?

Because fornicators, slanderers, thieves, adulterers are not trying to convince the whole world that the bible says it's ok to fornicate slander, steal, commit adultery and convince everyone that the above is normal and acceptable behavior.

26 posted on 10/23/2003 4:41:17 AM PDT by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: Jumper
Intercourse can also mean to "join in conversation".

LOL! And BBC can also mean Broadcasting Bull Crap.

27 posted on 10/23/2003 4:45:05 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: MEG33
Agreed. I know I teach my kids those acts are sins and managed (so far) to set a good example.
28 posted on 10/23/2003 4:46:41 AM PDT by Jonah Hex (The Truth Shall Make You Free-p)
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To: ejdrapes
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Heb 13:8

If it was an abonination back then it still is today and always will be.

29 posted on 10/23/2003 4:49:18 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: ejdrapes
Seems pretty plain to me, and I'm not buying into those flimsy gay excuses.
30 posted on 10/23/2003 4:51:46 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn
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To: ejdrapes
"When Jesus mentions Sodom, hundreds of years later, it appears to be in a context of a discussion of hospitality, rather than one of sexual morality.

This was rich. I missed this. I don't remember a commandment, "Thou shall act like Martha Stewart." :O)

31 posted on 10/23/2003 4:52:19 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: MEG33
Well meg, those people are certainly considered sinners, although I admit the fornicators & adulterers have been getting a bit of a break lately. But I doubt the Episcopals would be nominating for Bishop some heterosexual lothario who had mutliple affairs or just catted around. And as for the drunks, the Baptists, at least, maybe others, certainly other individuals, consider drinking at all a sin. (Mormons, there are some others.)

Notice that none of these offenses are said to be equivalent to murder or rape or other violent acts. So I think these must be "sins" that many feel are not so sinful. Do any of us really think that human nature has changed much in two thousand, or six thousand, or ten thousand years? I believe it hasn't changed at all.
32 posted on 10/23/2003 4:53:59 AM PDT by jocon307 (New tagline coming soon......)
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To: ejdrapes
quite disgusting.
33 posted on 10/23/2003 4:59:04 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Fzob
Seen a movie,magazine or TV program lately?Remember the open marriage craze and "consenting adults" ,or sex education,passing out condoms in school?Our own Surgeon General's take on teen age sex?I don't think anyone has claimed it is Biblically approved of but certainly they bring up King David.

I simply think we can be hypocrites if we only concentrate on homosexuality.I find it thought provoking that slandering is listed with these things.Gives one pause when flame wars go over the line!
34 posted on 10/23/2003 4:59:51 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: Havoc
What complicates the arguement, are the passages in which Johnathan is queried by Saul as to the where abouts of David(The famous ARROW story in which David asks Jonathan to ascertain his father's intentions towards him). Saul out and out accuses Jonathan of having feelings for David "like a woman", for Saul suspects Jonathan is not telling him the truth. Nevertheless, Jonathan himself has had children(Nathan who never spawned kings but is suspected to be part of the lineage of Mary..who birthed the king of kings...Nathan was crippled as a child but I guess managed to get a wife and had kids). If David and Jonathan had had a homosexual relationship...the PROPHET NATHAN I'm sure would have come around to condemn it and pronounce God's curse!
35 posted on 10/23/2003 5:14:02 AM PDT by mdmathis6
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To: ejdrapes
There is something particularly disgusting when mo's and their apologists take perfectly good and straight[pun intended] words and twist them into a justification for depravity.
Admittedly, the story of Daniel and Jonathan could be read as a "love" story in the physical sense. But that ignores the host of other documents of a similar time where men profess their love for one another. In those it is used more in the sense of commeraderie, the love of a soldier for his fellow soldiers, for the deep friendships that develope, for the respect that men hold for one another in certain circumstances. Its trite but its like a sports team or fishing buddies, or just best friends.
The major religions all hold that mo-ism is wrong and is to be avoided. That just sticks in these people's craw so they make these unsubstantiated and unsupportable attacks. Unfortunately, too many are too willing to ignore what is right, what is TRUE, to be "welcoming" to the butt rangers. I believe it is Revalations that mentions something about evil being good and good, evil. Id est demonstratum.
36 posted on 10/23/2003 5:14:52 AM PDT by Adder (.)
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To: Non-Sequitur
He said the same about eating shrimp.

God set down dietary laws in the Law.

Jesus fulfilled the Law and thus, did away with the provisions of the Law (dietary restrictions, animal sacrifice, a human high priest, etc).

The dietary and sacrificial prescriptions of the Law are specifically removed in the New Testament books of Acts, Galatians, and Hebrews.

The New Testament continues to call homosexual relations a sin and an abomination.

37 posted on 10/23/2003 5:17:29 AM PDT by Skooz (All Hail the Mighty Kansas City Chiefs: 7-0 baby)
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To: MEG33
"Why don't we discuss fornicators,slanderers,thieves,adulterers,like we do homosexuals?"

Because they are not the same as the sin of homosexuality, which is a sin against both God and nature. Even more importantly, there are no organized groups out there proudly calling themselves "theives and adulterers", who go about trying to legitimize their sin by pushing for minority status and asking for public funding for their health care, and even promoting their filth amongst our children in public schools. Get it yet?

38 posted on 10/23/2003 5:22:49 AM PDT by TheCrusader
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To: ejdrapes
What do you think about your article?

If you believe homosexual acts are somehow rendered paradoxical, then you believe falsely. Homosexuality is disgusting to true Christians who exercise logical thinking. Of course one doesn't have to be a genius to understand that God, through His Word, considers homosexual acts an abomination deserving of a one-way ticket to hell.

39 posted on 10/23/2003 5:24:46 AM PDT by JesseHousman (Execute Mumia Abu-Jamal)
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To: ejdrapes
the hermeneutic is wrong-- to be fair to the Scripture one
must attempt to discern what a word meant to the audiance
in the Old Testament Hebrew via studies in time and culture. In New Testament Greek in similar terms. the interpretation in terms of anti-Gay-- or Gay is ethocentric and junk science in other words B.S.
40 posted on 10/23/2003 5:25:08 AM PDT by StonyBurk
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To: TheCrusader
#38 is dead on!
41 posted on 10/23/2003 5:25:37 AM PDT by JesseHousman (Execute Mumia Abu-Jamal)
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To: MEG33; milan
"Why don't we discuss fornicators,slanderers,thieves,adulterers,like we do homosexuals?

Could it be because only one of the above has an organized, political agenda to make their immoral behavior acceptable, even appreciated?

42 posted on 10/23/2003 5:32:54 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: ejdrapes
God pretty much spoke his mind on the subject at Sodom and Gomorahh

But you forget (the author that is) that Jesus

IS "God" the Son ..who became Jesus upon willingly assuming the human form of the Son of Mary in order to be sacrificed on sinnners behalf..

"God" the Son "God" the Father and "God" the Holy Spirit have always been together...have NEVER been apart

"If you have seen the Father you have seen the Son"

"I and my father are one"

"Come let us make man in OUR image"

"There was nothing not made by Him"

The notion that Jesus has some different ideas than the Father is absurd..and not biblical

Everything the Father has said is said by Jesus...yesterday today tomorrow...never changes..

The Old Testament was written by Jesus as well as the New...

God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are united on every issue in the entire bible...

God is 100% opposed to the Sodomite and Lesbian life style...

For that matter they are also opposed to any sexual activity outside of marriage

43 posted on 10/23/2003 5:33:05 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: MEG33
You seem to have missed my point

Fornicators, slanderers, thieves, adulterers et al are not trying to convince the world that the bible can be interpreted to mean these sins are not really sins. Neither are they attempting to inoculate society with the notion that fornicators, slanderers, thieves, and adulterers are normal behaviors.

44 posted on 10/23/2003 5:37:14 AM PDT by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: Jumper
The wording in the bible is not ambiguous and my version says "know" not intercourse.
45 posted on 10/23/2003 5:38:04 AM PDT by biblewonk (Spose to be a Chrisssssssstian)
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To: ejdrapes
"To protect his visitors from an act which Lot describes as "wicked", he offers the crowd his two virgin daughters instead."

It is interesting to note that Lot was offering to sell his two young daughters into prostitution, to placate the townspeople. It sure shows a bad attitude towards women, doesn't it?
46 posted on 10/23/2003 5:39:59 AM PDT by punster
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To: Non-Sequitur
He also says that about getting college degrees and promotions and raises and wealth but not quite as specifically.
47 posted on 10/23/2003 5:40:41 AM PDT by biblewonk (Spose to be a Chrisssssssstian)
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To: Fester Chugabrew
I asked the question and appreciate the feedback.I am opposed to the pushing this lifestyle in school or anywhere or for giving special privilege.
48 posted on 10/23/2003 5:42:57 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: invoman
And the penalty, in the Bible, for eating shrimp is??

You don't get to be a Jew anymore.

49 posted on 10/23/2003 5:43:00 AM PDT by biblewonk (Spose to be a Chrisssssssstian)
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To: TheCrusader
...there are no organized groups out there proudly calling themselves "theives and adulterers", who go about trying to legitimize their sin by pushing for minority status and asking for public funding for their health care, and even promoting their filth amongst our children in public schools.

Wait, you forgot about the Democratic Party.

But I do like your answer.

50 posted on 10/23/2003 5:44:19 AM PDT by Fudd
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