What scriptures are typically twisted to accept same sex attraction and justify the homosexual lifestyle

I believe the Bible is clear in rejecting homosexual activity. However, I’m on a collision course to discuss the Bible’s rejection/acceptance of that lifestyle with an openly gay man who has been raised in the church and is fluent is quoting scripture. I understand he used the ancient translations to justify his position and explain away the clear denounciation of the homosexual activities. Here’s my question: Besides praying for divine inspiration and honestly loving him for who he is, how do I prepare for a conversation with him? What scriptures could be twisted to support his actions? Are there a handful that often get used? I want to speak truth with him and don’t want to enter this conversation with eyes closed!

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Hi, Nate!
It’s great that you’re getting into these types of conversations with folks. If you’re thinking about these sorts of things, I would highly recommend listening to this conversation between David Bennett and Justin Lee. David is one of RZIM’s research fellows based in the UK and Justin is a pastor in Florida. The dialogue itself is very respectful, and the both of them address a couple of the Bible passages that perhaps you have in mind, particularly in Paul’s letters. It will give you an idea of how, perhaps, your friend may be approaching Scripture. But, really, as you’ve already mentioned, the best thing to do is to ask him questions, get his story, and try to understand how he approaches things. :slight_smile:

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@CanadianNate Thank you for sharing :slight_smile: May God grant you wisdom as you share God’s love and truth with this individual and may he experience the love and mercy of God through you as you share in all gentleness and respect. The two main arguments I have heard to support homosexuality are:

  1. The type of homosexual behavior described in Scripture was not faithful, monogamous homosexual marriage, but rather coercive / unhealthy sexual relationships; the claim is that the Bible authors were unaware of the kind of homosexual expression we see in our culture today and therefore never actually addressed it.

  2. The Bible contains a redemptive hermeneutic for both slaves and women. Throughout Scripture, God moves in such a way to better the lives and restore the dignity of both of these oppressed groups of people. The argument is that, by analogy, we should also apply a redemptive hermeneutic to homosexuality.

My response to both arguments is:

  1. As I believe David Bennett points out in the unbelievable episode below (a recent one that is not the same one @KMac mentioned) , monogamous homosexual partnerships were in fact present in the ancient world and the authors of Scripture would have been aware of them, so the foundation of this argument falls flat. But even more than that—the Scripture nowhere speaks positively about any type of physical relationship except that between one man and one woman for life. The entire narrative of Scripture is about God as husband and Israel / the Church as wife. This complimentarity is interwoven into the very narrative of the Bible.

  2. There is simply no redemptive hermeneutic for any type of sexual expression outside of heterosexual marriage anywhere in Scripture—it just is not there…

In the below video, Brandon Robertson also points out that he, as a practicing homosexual who is Christian, does not worship birds and idols and has not rejected God. He then goes on to say that he therefore would not match the type of sin condemned in Romans 1 because that chapter is a progression, but he has not rejected God or worshiped idols, so the prohibition doesn’t apply to his kind of lifestyle.

I think the mistake Brandon, who we should pray for and show respect to as someone made in God’s image, made is that Romans 1 is not describing sins committed by a single individual. Likewise, some of Paul’s sin list are so horrendous it seems impossible that any single individual could commit all of them. But that is not the point.

Romans 1 describes the degeneration of a culture that has rejected God; not a single individual. So it is not necessary for someone to have committed all of those sins to be suffering from the degeneration of a culture that has rejected God as Creator and is collapsing into moral autonomy without any basis for good or evil.

Article on Redemptive Hermeneutic

This article made the point that a redemptive hermeneutic is clear in Scripture for both slaves and women, but the same is not true for homosexual behavior. It also provides some additional resources for study.

The redemptive trajectory of the Bible on behalf of women and slaves is quite powerful. No such case can be made for homosexual behavior.

Let’s take slavery as an example. The Old Testament begins a long, redemptive process which ultimately overturns the institution of slavery. It begins with establishing a Sabbath day rest for slaves (Ex. 23:12), release of slaves in the seventh year (Lev. 25:39-43), provision for slaves upon release (Deut. 15:12-18) and capital punishment for slave traders (Deut. 24:7). This redemptive movement culminates in the New Testament where Paul pleads with Philemon to release Onesimus from slavery and relate to him on the basis of Christian brotherhood.

A similar case can be made for the role and status of women in church and society. In the ancient world women had few rights, were frequently exploited and were regarded as property or part of the spoils of war…By the New Testament, Jesus has female disciples (Matt. 27:55, 56; Luke 8:1-3); he protects and defends a woman from capital punishment (John 8:1-11) and grants dignity to many women throughout his ministry by engaging in serious conversations about major matters (John 4:1-30; Matthew 15:21-28; Luke 10:38-42). Despite the prevailing notion in the first century that a woman’s testimony was not to be trusted, they were, in fact, the very first to witness and proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:1-10, Luke 24:1-11).

However – and this is the crucial point – no such redemptive movement occurs around the issue of homosexuality. Homosexual behavior, along with a whole range of other sexual sins, is consistently condemned in the Bible.

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Ok…here goes! I’m diving in! Thanks for the response. I’ve got some studying to do.

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@KMac thanks for the response. I’ve started the study. I have lots of questions and look forward knowing the Truth!

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Enjoy :slight_smile: Look forward to hearing your thoughts as you dig deeper.

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Probably easy for me to say as I can understand the difficulty in Brandon’s life. I would be in the same situation if the Bible stated categorically that being “straight” was a sin against God. But I think he’s made his sexuality an idol and chosen that over the clear laws of God. That’s my opinion though. We will be praying for him and all those in his situation. The Holy Spirit will touch them and give them understanding.

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@eriakort8 I would not be quick to say you understand his situation. I had a friend in high school who opened up to me on this issue and the questions he asked me showed that he was really wrestling. Why would God make him this way if it meant he would have to be alone for the rest of his life? Why did Christians marginalize and make assumptions about him? He dealt those questions on a daily basis, whereas for me it was just a hypothetical question (except as it related to my friend).

We do a great disservice to others and to Christ when we make assumptions about other peoples’ motives. I disagree strongly with Brandon’s conclusions, but only God understands his story and his motives.

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I agree with you. I can definitely not understand completely. Thanks for the explanation.

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Evening Nate,

I’ve recently met up with someone who professes to be a follower of Christ, I can’t go into any detail as this is a public forum. I went to listen and gain their perspective and not argue, lecture them on what Scripture says, I came away disappointed as they didn’t have theological answers to their chosen lifestyle but I hope by spending time with them I showed that respect them for who they are even if I don’t agree with beliefs in sexuality.

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Relevant to this issue, I’ve recently been confronted with people saying that the verses in the Bible that we now read as addressing homosexuality were originally written to reference pederasty (man-boy relations) and not man-man or woman-woman relations. Their assertion was that this translation “error” applied to all of the Old and New Testament instances where current translations mention homosexuality. This seemed a bit hard to believe, but I’d like to know how to address this claim. Does anyone here have a good resource to address this?

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Just a quick thought as I read through this. In my experience it is not certain verses that are twisted, rather it is certain verses that are completely ignored.

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I think a better question is, do they have good resources to back up their claims?

Romans 1:26-27 is pretty clear:
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

A lot of these same people will use the argument that Jesus never taught about it. There is a famous quote from President Jimmy Carter “Jesus never said a word about Homosexuality”. Which is completely false.

Matthew 15:18-20
18 But awhat comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come bevil thoughts, cmurder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, dslander. 20 eThese are what defile a person. But fto eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Sexual Immorality in that statement was an umbrella statement that included all types of sexual immorality, including homosexuality. It is historical context.

I believe the context of the man-boy relationships you mentioned was more a part of Roman culture, not the Jewish culture. Just because that existed at that time and they viewed that as Sexually Immoral does not mean they viewed Monogamous Homosexual Relationships as moral. It is a stretch on their part to try to justify sin. Which we are all guilty of trying to do at some point in our life.

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Hi Nicholas, what you state is consistent with what I’ve learned also - and what I read in the Bible translation versions that I have. However, I’m trying to find out if anyone knows of a resource that addresses this specific objection that the original language of the manuscripts used words other than homosexuality – namely that all of these references use a word or words that should be translated as pederasty instead of homosexuality?

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Hello Rob been sort of following this for a while. Not sure I can help but Genesis 19 Sodom and Gomorah story is linked to men not adolescent boys. Gen. 4:1, Rom. 1:24-27 Jude verse 7 are cross references for this passage.

KJV men on the Strongs states
Hebrew: אנושׁ
Transliteration: ‘ĕnôsh
Pronunciation: en-oshe’
Definition: From H605 ; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H120 ); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English {Version} especially when used in apposition with another word: - {another} X [blood-] {thirsty} {certain} chap {[-man]} {divers} {fellow} X in the flower of their {age} {husband} ({certain} mortal) {man} {people} {person} {servant} some (X of {them}) + {stranger} {those} + their trade. It is often unexpressed in the Engl. {version} especially when used in apposition with another word. Compare H376 .
KJV Usage: man (520x), certain (10x), husbands (3x), some (3x), merchantmen (2x), persons (2x), misc (24x).
Occurs: 564
In verses: 530

The reference to men is a counter point to an adolescent boy in the Bible. The references to familiar scriptures in New Testament I mentioned that connect to Gen.19 show they are talking about men with men.
Additionally Pederasty in Wikipedia states
See link
[(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pederasty)]

Hope this sheds a different light on your subject.
Mike

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Just listened to this video. Exceptional. David Bennet’s comments in the last 20 minutes or so of the video were beautiful. Not only does this man have Jesus, but Jesus has him, too.

Thank you for your consistently sound, well written, and scripturally supported posts. It helps in the division process. :slight_smile:

mb

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@MaryBeth1 Glad you found it helpful :slight_smile: Christ be with you!

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Just found that Wikipedia actually has a pretty good discussion of the translation arguments here:

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It’s interesting to follow the logic of lack there of in some of these referenced articles. If you adhere to some of these modern opinions one can seem to “shop” for the opinion you want. Somewhere between Wikipedia and Paul lies the truth. However, one simple question seems to be overlooked. How can two people become one? It seems to be the end of the process of “ leaving and cleaving”.

The only way that I know for two people to become one. Quit simply it when a sperm and egg combine. It’s the culmination, the purpose and the fruit of love. There is much more that could be said here but I’d like to hear feedback on that idea.

Thanks eveyone for your input on this. I love hearing from each one of you and appreciate your thoughts.

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I once worked for a large worldwide corporation that hired hundreds of people living a lifestyle that was not heterosexual. Most were in high management positions. This period in my life was BC (before being born-again in Christ). I knew these people very well. We worked and socialized together. When I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior I joined a church that offered a 3-year Bible study class and it was in that class that I met a young woman who had been living a homosexual lifestyle for most of her life. I didn’t know about this until after we had formed a close friendship and sisterhood. My outlook on all this was pretty neutral. Their choice of living did not influence my friendship with them. However, there was always a very small voice in the background that caused me to be concerned for them. I always felt some discomfort but didn’t know what it was or why it was there. So I ignored it. I just didn’t know what it was or why it lingered. Strangely enough it wasn’t until I joined a church that I started hearing that little voice become louder and judgemental for the first time. Now, don’t get me wrong, I never blamed the church. Thanks to my very wise and godly Pastor who was also my Bible school teacher, I looked to God’s Word for clarity and understanding.I learned where to place the blame. We must always go back to the basics when we don’t understand something. This is no exception. I can only put what I learned into the simplest terms, no high-brow intellectualism here. Basically, the Holy Spirit led me to passages that reminded me of our origin - how and who God created us to be and for what purposes. He led me to Scripture that showed me how we can do whatever we want and live any which way, but we cannot choose the consequences - and EVERYTHING we think, say and do has consequences. God wants the very best for all of us. And His laws are for the sole purpose of protecting us. We tend to forget that He knows better than we do. He can see the good and bad that lies in front of us. Sin has no hierarchy. If we break one of God’s commands, we break them all. Remember my friend from Bible school? She still fights against the enemy who continues to tempt her. But as she could attest, she’s come a long, long way and the attacks have come fewer and farther r between. She has a peace she cannot describe. I was a sinner too. I lived a very destructive lifestyle. I was not a homosexual, but I was living an “alternative” lifestyle - alternative to what God had planned for me. God has taught me that my focus is first and foremost on Him. Jesus’ most important command is that we love one another. What that means to me is that I must let people know that yes, they are sinners (homosexual, liar, thief, adulterer, murderer, abuser, whatever) - but I must never forget to tell them how and why Jesus died for them. FOR GOD AND HIS GLORY, blessings, Alix

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