Homosex: Thus Saith The Mosaic Law

A general scriptural arguments against pro-homosex would go like this:

  1. We are all obligated to do God’s will.
  2. God’s will is expressed in the Bible.
  3. The Bible forbids homosexual behavior.
  4. Therefore, homosexual behavior is against God’s will, or is wrong.

In these series I would try to show that (3) is true, thus if (1) and (2) are also true, then it does follows necessarily that homosexual behavior is sinful (as stealing, adultery, e.t.c).

If you have not read Christian Perspective On Homosexual Conduct Introduction and Definiton, and Pausing Homosexual Behavior Ethical Problem, I would wisely recommend you to do so before reading this part of the series.

In the Laws of Moses we commence:

There are two passages in Leviticus that explicitly condemn homosexual behavior. The first is “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination (Le. 18:22) and the second “ If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them (Le. 20:13)

Summarized Context of Leviticus 18

The book of Leviticus, the third book in Torah, chapter 18 predominantly records unlawful sexual relationship. Verse(s):

  • 1-18 for the most part forbids sexual practice(“uncovering ones nakedness”) within family(incest),
  • 19 forbids sexual practice with a woman in her menstrual uncleanness,
  • 20 forbids sexual practices with ones neighbor’s wife(adultery),
  • 21 forbids infant sacrifice to Molech,
  • 22 forbids sexual practices between a man and a man(male homosex) and
  • 23 forbids sexual practices with an animal(bestiality)

Verses 24-30 explains the Holiness of God, that ought to be reflected by his chosen nation. Thus “For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people(v.29 ESV)

Summarized Context of Leviticus 20:1-21

This chapter by and large records the punishment for unlawful sexual relationship. Verse(s):

  • 1-5 infant sacrifice to Molech, capital punishment(death by stoning)
  • 6 seeking/whoring mediums and necromancers, cut off from God’s people
  • 9 cursing of ones parents, capital punishment(death)
  • 10 adultery, both male and female, capital punishment
  • 11-12 man sexual practices with “his father’s wife” or “daughter-in-law, both parties, capital punishment
  • 13 male homosex( man sexual practice with male as with a woman), capital punishment
  • 14 man who took a woman and her mother, death by fire.
  • 15-16 bestiality, man/woman and an animal, death both man/woman and the animal
  • 17 incest(man and his sister), death
  • 18 sexual practice between a man and woman during her menstrual period, cut off from God’s people
  • 19-21 sexual practice with close family, bears iniquity

It is unambiguous that 18:22 and 20:13 prohibit male homosexual behavior and according to Leviticus 20:23, male homosexual behavior is so abhorrent to the holiness of God, that it was punishable by death.

Pro-homosexʼs Commentators Objections: It is Just A Ritual Law

A pro-homosex apologists mostly do rise two objections.

(1) These are just ritual law (Holiness codes e.g. Myers and Scanzoni) and
(2) Homosex is listed with other Mosaic laws in the same book, that do not apply in the New Convent(the Law of Christ). For example,  capital punishment of priest’s daughter who engaged herself in prostitution (Le. 21:9), excommunicating spouse for having sexual practices during menstrual period, et cetera are no longer binding to those in Christ.

Example, Boswell argued that “The Hebrew word “toebah,” here translated “abomination,” does not usually signify something intrinsically evil, like rape or theft…, but something which is ritually unclean for Jews, like eating pork or engaging in intercourse during menstruation, both of which are prohibited in these same chapters”(Boswell:1980:100).

These objections do not stand because they fail to distinguish between ritual law(holiness code) from moral laws. Eating of pork, or intercourse during menstruation, or behavior of priests daughter falls under ritual laws which indeed are no longer valid in the New Covenant, but the moral laws, which are universally bidding, such as these outline in Leviticus 20; adultery (v. 10-11), male homosex (v. 13), bestiality (v. 15-16) and incest (v. 17) transcends covenants thus applies “yesterday, today and tomorrow“.

Dennis Prager, one of America’s most respected thinkers and radio host captures this idea brilliantly: “It is one thing not to put a Torah punishment into practice and quite another to declare that a Torah sin is no longer a sin.”[Emphasis in the original] (Prager: 1997: n.p)

Next: What Was The Sin Of Sodom And Gomorrah?

Sources:

John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980)

Dennis Prager, “Homosexuality, Judaism and Gay Rabbis,” The Prager Perspective, 3/1/97

[Update: Response to Alex Haiken’s Homosex and Fertility Cult Rituals]

“People may not be responsible for what they feel but they are responsible for what they do with what they feel.”

– Robert Gagnon

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71 thoughts on “Homosex: Thus Saith The Mosaic Law

  1. I agree with #1 (presuming one is a believer, as I am)
    I agree with #2 (because I am believer)
    #3 is your own presupposition, not a fact
    Therefore, your conclusion #4 is invalid — simply your own presupposition.

    As to responding to a post on my blog, again, you have removed my words from their context (which you seem to like doing). If you want me to reply to something that I have written on my blog, you’ll need to respectfully make your comments there, where the post resides — not strip my words from their context and place them elsewhere.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  2. We did not MOVE, we simply returned to your premises to see if they are valid premises in the first place — because if they are not valid premises you are wasting everyone’s time and misleading people. Your premises are: (1) that the God and the Bible condemns homosexuality and (2) that since God and the Bible condemns homosexuality, it is also true that God changes people who are homosexually-oriented to being heterosexually-oriented because God hates homosexuality.

    It just happens that one of the ways in which you’re supporting these premises or one of the evidences you are using to support your premises is passages such as Leviticus 18 and 20.

    I think your premises are invalid from the get-go and to illustrate, I have made the point that one of the ways in which “ex-gays” play fast and loose with semantics is their delight in using terms “homosex” and “same sex attraction” in place of the term “homosexuality” as if to imply that as long as someone is not having sexual relations with someone of the same sex they are not homosexual.

    This is a point that you yourself has made repeatedly. You maintain that: “All gays are homosexuals but not all homosexuals are gays.” I am simply trying to make the point that this is playing fast and loose with semantics, is an invalid argument as it obviously proves completely invalid when used with heterosexuality. Let’s be clear: a homosexual is a homosexual whether or not he or she is having same-sex relations, in the same way a heterosexual is a heterosexual whether or not he she is having opposite-sex relations. Most heterosexuals I know would be extremely offended if you were to accuse them of not being heterosexual simply because they were, for example, celibate. People who are heterosexual are heterosexual 24/7, not just when they are sexually active. Why is it that you think the rules are somehow different when it’s the other way around unless you are simply playing fast and loose with semantics?

    If you agree that my point above is a valid one, we can let this go and move on. However, if you do not believe it is valid one then I think you need to indicate why. It is so very germane to what we are discussing here because as a former “ex-gay” ministry leader I’ve known literally hundreds of “ex-gays” who have bought into this fast and loose game with semantics only to wake up decades later, with most of their life gone, to sadly realize the argument was completely invalid and that God is not in the business of making gay people straight. Case in point: Last week John Smid, for 22 years the executive director of “Love in Action”, the longest-running and most well know ex-gay program came forward to publically say that in all his 22 as executive director of the program he has never seen one single person who was homosexual change to being heterosexual. I repeat: Never! Not one! In 22 years leading the program and elsewhere! He also said despite being heterosexually-married for all these years, he is not iota more heterosexual than he was the day he became a Christian. Now you can continue to try and sweep this under the table if you like, but if your premise and argument are invalid, then it is critical that we establish that so you are not selling your snake oil to a whole new generation of young people to have them wake up in a decade or two to discover that you lie! To live the lie yourself is one thing. To sell it to others is another entirely!

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Thank Alex,

      I am sadden you misrepresented my argument: I did not argue “(1) that the God and the Bible condemns homosexuality” but homosexual behavior. Here is the argument:

      1. We are all obligated to do God’s will.
      2. God’s will is expressed in the Bible.
      3. The Bible forbids homosexual behavior.
      4. Therefore, homosexual behavior is against God’s will, or is wrong.

      I am sorry you find the definition of the terms a puzzle. But I am going to pray and hope you would agree that it does matter most is not our definition of homosexually orientation or homosexual behavior but what God’s will express in the Bible.

      May we go back to what is at heart: Response to Alex Haiken’s Homosex and Fertility Cult Rituals. May we focus on Leviticus 18 and 20.

      Be blessed,
      Prayson

  3. And please do not simply post links to other people’s articles and make us read pages and pages of other people’s stuff without your own reflection on and/or interaction with what you’re posting. Specifically, kindly summarize for us why you selected the article that you did, and why it is you believe the author has made a credible argument and helps to illustrate your point(s). This is a blog, not a public library in which your readers should be forced to read your own research.

    Remember: You said that YOU are going to prove or illustrate why the few verses of Scripture that generally get appealed to in this debate and are frequently used to clobber or bash gay people today, are verses that taken in their proper context actually prove or illustrate that that the Bible truly condemns homosexuality.

    I, on the other hand, maintain that the only way you can do this is to rip passages of Scripture out of their context and make them say things that the author(s) never intended to say.

    In all fairness to your readers, the links may be helpful to SUPPORT your case, but they should not be used to MAKE your case. Again, either you know what you believe, why you believe it, and can make a sound biblical case for it or you cannot.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  4. I disagree with you, Prayson. We have not gone further and further from what is at hand. What has happened is that we have called you on what we believe to be your errors, your inconsistencies, your playing fast and loose with semantics and your ripping passages of Scripture from their context and trying to make them say things that the author never intended to say.

    If anyone is wasting time here, you are the one! As I’ve said a couple of times: either you know WHAT you believe, WHY you believe it, and can make a SOUND biblical case for it or you cannot. If you can, then put it out there and stop whining. If you cannot, then stop wasting everyone’s time by telling everyone again and again about what you’re going to post without posting it. Do or do not.

    But as I also said: please be forearmed. If you do not apply sound and basic principles of biblical exegesis and rather continue to simply rip passages from their context to try and make them say things that the author never intended to say, then those who read your wiles, and are familiar with the basic principles of sound exegesis, are going to poke more holes in your arguments than Swiss cheese.

    Also while we’re on the subject of wasting time: One of the things I have accused you of, as stated above, is playing fast and loose with semantics. To illustrate the point, I’ve asked you the same question about a dozen times and you still have not answered it. Despite the fact that YOU seem to get displeased when someone here does not answer one of your questions, you keep avoiding this one like the plaque. But the more you avoid it, the more you lead your readers to believe that you cannot answer it. Here it is yet again. It is an important one as it is one of the premises that you base many of your arguments on. I would appreciate an answer so I don’t have to keep asking it:

    Based on your own words (I repeat these are your words in quotes, not mine);

    “Homosexuality and homosexual behavior are two non-synonymous terms” and “a homosexual is a person whom experiences predominating sexual attraction toward another person of the same gender, while a gay is an individual who practices sexual intercourse between with another person of same gender. Thus all gays are homosexuals but not all homosexuals are gays.”

    If, as you claim, the above is true, does the same reasoning apply in reverse? Specifically, is a heterosexual a person who experiences predominating sexual attraction toward another person of the opposite gender, while a straight is an individual who practices sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite gender? So that therefore we may similarly conclude that all straight people are heterosexuals, but not all heterosexuals are straight people?

    Why or why not?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Dear Alex,

      How did we move from Leviticus 18 and 20 to definition 🙂 I believe we moving further to unnecessary topic.

      I am sorry that I define it that way. I was trying to avoid grouping those who have accepted and practice same gender intercourse with those who have feeling but choice not to accept them and practice same gender intercourse, in one group.

      Should we go back to what is at hand Leviticus 18 and 20? Could we also give our case with respect for one another that show that we are in Christ.

      Be blessed,
      Prayson

  5. also prayson, id like to say this: in holland we had a person named Jos Brink, who was a devout religious person, and gay. this person died a while ago, but is remembered for his exceptionally high moral and religious standards ,and for the devotion and love he gave to his fellow humans. hes revered by many Dutch christians and non christians.
    im not questioning how strong you believe, i just question your sources. put the books down and go out to talk to gays, and see for yourself who they are. they are people like all the rest. their sexuality isnt a big subject in their life, just like heteros they dont start a conversation saying Hi im mike and im gay. in fact, just like heteros they will mostly tell you its none of your business. and theyre right: its between them and God.

    the thing is: if you are wrong, you will have judged wrongly on your fellow man, caused them grief and pain for no good reason, AND for misinterpreting the bible which you say contains gods word. and youll have to answer for it, even when you thought you were just following his will; whereas when alex is wrong, hell just be judged by his maker about being gay, i.e. what god made him to be. but he wont be judged for hurting his fellow man by who he is. and thats how it should be. he doesnt seem too worried, more like trusting in how god judges his creation. i should also add that i may wrongly assume alex is gay, which might show you how little difference it makes to me. since being gay isnt dangerous and you cant catch it like a cold, and not weird for that matter,im interested in who he is to me, not what he does with his partner and what sexuality that person is. why would that make any difference? over 450 species in nature practice homosexuality. which according to Christians is created by God. theres just one species that that kills ,shuns or discriminates against its own when they are gay. thats us, humans. we humand killed millions in the name of God. also many gays, and blacks. many whites, like me. many jews. many muslims. doesnt that make you think?

  6. prayson: no, im not saying youre a bad person for what you write hahaha. im just wondering if you are aware of what you are actually doing by writing a piece like this. thats all. i guess you dont, eventho i dont doubt your good intensions. people are born gay. they dont become gay, or choose to be. all they can do is accept who they are, like a person has to accept his skincolour, eventho society and clergy say hes inferior, or a sinner, or of the mudraces. its society and the clergy who are wrong i think, even following christian reasoning. why would god create gays or blacks if they were such an abomination, when we know theres no choice in those things? to me, that wouldnt make sense. in fact id consider that morally wrong.

  7. And while we’re on the subject of semantics: You wrote to Prezzy above that you are “defending the Christian ethical position whether gay-life is right”. Firstly, it is a misnomer to say you are “defending the Christian ethical position” on homosexuality when people with high regard for Scripture and who are prayerfully committed to ordering their lives in accordance with it are honestly divided on this issue. What you are defending rather is YOUR interpretation of the Christian ethical position. There is a vast different between the two.

    Secondly on the topic of semantics: Kindly refrain from using terms like “gay-life and “gay-lifestyle” as if to suggest all gay people think, feel and live the same way and have the same values and “life-styles”. As we’ve already noted, Madonna and Mother Theresa are both heterosexual women. But one can hardly conclude that their values and “life-styles” are even remotely similar. The “life-styles” of gay people are every bit as diverse as the “life-styles” of straight people. Case in point: If the pimps and prostitutes from some of the seedier parts of our cities got together and had a parade, would you conclude that all heterosexuals are bad or immoral? Kindly chose your words carefully.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  8. And when you’ve answered my question above which I have now asked you about 11 times without getting an answer, I would suggest you stop wasting everything’s time here. Specifically, either you know what you believe, why you believe it and can articulate a biblical case for it, or you are wasting everybody’s time.

    But I warn you, if you do not apply basic principles of sound exegesis and continue to simply rip passages from their context to try and make them say things that the author never intended, those who read your wiles, and are familiar with the basic principles of sound exegesis, are going to poke more holes in your arguments than Swiss cheese.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  9. I did answer your question. I specifically told you that John’s story reminded me of yours because (a) like John, you too block out anyone’s life story or biblical teaching that doesn’t match up with what you believe. And (b) like John, he had to finally realize after all of these years that the only way one can get the passages to say what YOU maintain they say is to rip them from their context.

    And while we’re on the subject of unanswered questions, I’m going to re-ask the one I’ve already asked you 10 times in 10 different ways and you STILL avoid answering. I suspect the reason you avoid answering is because you’re playing fast and loose with semantics. But here’s the question for the 11th time:

    Based on your own words (I repeat these are your words, not mine);

    “Homosexuality and homosexual behavior are two non-synonymous terms” and “a homosexual is a person whom experiences predominating sexual attraction toward another person of the same gender, while a gay is an individual who practices sexual intercourse between with another person of same gender. Thus all gays are homosexuals but not all homosexuals are gays.”

    If the above is your argument and above is true as per your assessment, does the same reasoning apply in reverse? Specifically, is a heterosexual a person who experiences predominating sexual attraction toward another person of the opposite gender, while a straight is an individual who practices sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite gender? So that therefore we may similarly conclude that all straight people are heterosexuals but not all heterosexuals are straight people?

    Why or why not?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  10. — Are you and others going to deicde you were wrong, change your mind and revert back to believing that the Bible really does support slavery after all?
    — Are you and others going to deicde you were wrong, change your mind and revert back to believing that the Bible really is against interracial marriage after all?
    — Are you and others going to deicde you were wrong, change your mind and revert back to believing that the Bible really does indicate that neither blacks nor women should be allowed to vote after all?
    — Are you and others going to deicde you were wrong, change your mind and revert back to believing that the Bible really does indicate that women should not preach, teach, or wear lipstick?

    How likely do you suppose all of the above are?

    The Bible verses that footnoted all these notions and a whole lot more are all still in the Bible. And most of the people who were absolutely convinced that the Bible clearly supported each of these notions went to their graves digging their heels into the sand preaching their foolishness. Are you going to do the same? Or are you going to learn to do sound exegesis on the passages you so violate. It’s one thing to be ignorant. That is excusable. It’s a whole other matter entirely to doggedly refuse to consider that you’re wrong.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  11. As to your suggestion that I give serious thought to the matter that my view of what the Bible says, and does not say, about homosexuality (as opposed to what you have chosen to read into these passages) may be wrong, kindly be reminded that I have gave the matter very serious, thought and prayer for 17 years. I used to be EXACTLY where you are. However, when the evidence before me that (a) I had been ignoring doing sound exegesis on these passages, and (b) as John Smid confessed, I had blocked out anyone’s life story or biblical teaching that didn’t match up with what I believed, I had no choice but to fess up to fact that I was wrong, dead wrong. And in my wrongness, I was causing harm to others.

    It is for this reason that the number of evangelicals, biblical scholars, theologians, religious leaders and others who are changing their minds on this issue as they discover that when examined closely and in their historical and social contexts, the standard canonical interpretations of the few passages that generally get appealed to in this debate do not survive close scrutiny, are steadily increasingly. Let’s remember: We don’t have evangelicals, biblical scholars, theologians, religious leaders and others moving from my position to yours. We have them moving from your position to mine. Perhaps its way time that you wake up and smell the coffee — especially as it pertains to your causing other people to stumble because of your errors.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  12. Former Ex-Gay Program Director Admits: I Never Met a Man Who Changed From Homosexual to Heterosexual

    In a blog article published this week, John Smid, former executive director of the longest-running and most well-known ex-gay program ‘Love in Action’ admits that after 22 years as executive director of the program, “I’ve never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual.” Pertaining to his own ‘change’, he says, “Nothing I did seemed to change me into a heterosexual even though I was in a marriage that included heterosexual behavior.” He says, “This is a very tough issue” and admits, “I am trudging through some very deep waters trying to better understand God’s heart on this matter… This is so different than I always thought in my small world of ex-gay ministry. And yes, it was a small world because I made it small. I was completely unwilling to hear anything that didn’t fit my paradigm. I blocked out anyone’s life story or biblical teaching that didn’t match up with what I believed.”

    Link: here

    John’s story reminded me of yours: He “blocked out anyone’s life story or biblical teaching that didn’t match up with what I believed.”

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  13. I would only add to the above, that perhaps the Holy Spirit just might be speaking to you through your own blog. But like the white supremists and the Klansmen before you who blindly and doggedly insisted on digging their heels in the sand, and were unwilling to see that though they believed they were defending against what they truly thought was an attack on the truth of Scripture, could not see that what they actually defending was their presumption of what the Bible teaches, not the truth of Scripture.

    As has already been noted, we must not forget that while it may seem evident to us that others did terrible things in the past, it isn’t always so easy to see that we ourselves may be doing terrible things today.

    If you are gay, and bought into the notion that homosexuality in any way, shape, form or expression is sin, I understand how difficult it can be to have to come to terms with the fact that something that you were taught, thought was so basic to the faith and embraced for years was actually wrong. If you are not gay, and bought into the notion that homosexuality in any way, shape, form or expression is sin, better a millstone should be tied around your neck than you cause one of God’s little ones to stumble, if you are wrong on this.

    I would strongly suggest that you give this matter some serious thought and prayer before you continue to rip more passages of Scripture from their content to try and make them say things that the author never intended.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Thanks Alex,

      Thank you for your wisdom. I would also strongly suggest that you give this matter some serous thought and prayer before you continue reading more of the articles. Consider if there could be a possibility that your view of ” same gender sexual practice” aligning with Scripture is wrong. Consider the cost, if you turn to be wrong, of you assuring and encouraging other God fearing, desperately seeking homosexuals that want they are do is not abhorrent to the Holiness of God.

      May the Holy Spirit speak to both of us as we go through this series of article on Homosexual practice. May love, joy, grace and mercy in Christ fill us anew each day.

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

  14. well prayson, that 19th century definition is awesome: its from about the same period as the great binge when they thought heroine and cocaine were non addictive , eugenics theory, racial purity theory, and a bunch of other things we have proven to be wrong in the time between then and now. a very poor argument with a very shaky historical basis. in that time, you would still be discriminated against, for your skins colour. why would that be wrong, but doing the same to gays be right to you? weren`t blacks called the mongrel races back then? people learned that that was wrong. im hoping some day youll realise that what you do is no different.
    im definitely bowing out here, as you have nothing relevant to support your article. unfortunately you proved just one thing: christians who judge others like you do are intolerant and judgmental, and dont even realise it. and thats really sad. i hope you wake up soon.

    • Prayson, Prezzy actually makes an excellent point here! While Prizzy and I disagree on the matter of the trustworthiness of the Bible, as I do believe the Bible is trustworthy (when one does not rip the passages from their context to try and make them say things the author never intended). But his point about racism and slavery are quite true.

      It is not only on questions of doctrine, science and moral issues that Christians have blundered. Ethical positions have sometimes needed to be drastically revised too. One of the clearest examples of such moral blindness within Church history has to be the issue of racism.

      The way the Bible was used to support Apartheid in South Africa that in many ways is the most glaring recent example of Christian racism. Theologians of the Dutch Reformed Church sought to defend the South African government’s policy of separate development for different races. They argued that ever since the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) God had ordained that different ethnic groups should retain their distinctive cultural identities and territorial locations. Paul’s assertion to the philosophers of Athens that God had “determined the exact places” which the various nations of earth should occupy (Acts 17:26) was also frequently quoted in support of this idea.

      They had a more dubious additional biblical defense for this too: “Cursed be Canaan. The lowest of slaves will he be to his brother” (Genesis 9:25)

      It was not only in Africa that such exegesis proved influential among colonialists either. Before the American Civil War, plantation owners looked to the same kinds of biblical arguments to rationalize their economic exploitation of blacks. It was by capitalizing on such traditions that the Ku Klux Klan later managed to present itself to many as a Christian movement too. But all this, of course, raises the specter of yet another mistake that the Church has made during most of the last two millennia.

      As to slavery, it is embarrassing to admit that no serious objection to slavery was raised by Christians prior to the 18th century. The legitimacy of slavery was enshrined in canon law. In 1519 Bartholomew De Las Casas, a Dominican monk, dared to challenge it, at least in respect to the enslavement of American Indians. But he was scorned as an eccentric fool. The Papacy itself owned many hundreds of slaves and had done so for centuries. How could the practice possibly be wrong? In the late 17th century the Roman Catholic theologian, Leander, could confidently declare:

      “It is certainly a matter of faith that this sort of slavery … is proved from Holy Scripture…. All theologians are unanimous on this.”

      The scriptural support to which Leander and others referred was two-fold. First, Moses in the Old Testament law made provision for slavery as an institution within Israel. Second, neither Jesus nor the apostles raised any moral objection to slavery within the Roman Empire. In fact, both Paul and Peter advise Christian slaves to accept their servitude with meekness, obedience and dignity (Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22, I Peter 2:18-21).

      We could go on and on, as you well know. But inevitably this invites a question: Are there other mistaken judgments for which Christians, like yourself, claim biblical warrant but which will seem as embarrassingly inappropriate and anachronistic to later generations as the Church’s former support for slavery does to us now? I submit there are.

      -Alex Haiken
      http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Dear Alex,

        This question you are pausing is a double edge sword that cuts both side. Could Christian, like myself claim Biblical warrant against homosexual practice be wrong, Yes. Could gay, like you claim Biblical warrant for homosexual practicing same-gender sex be wrong? Yes. But all that is irrelevant. We should focus on the arguments.

        Maranatha,
        Prayson

        N.B: On Slavery- Make sure you are not projecting our modern slavery(colonial) view to the ancient -Jewish form of slavery.

  15. no you haven`t, and im beginning to understand you never will Prayson. all you do is rip pieces out of scriptures to explain away a lot of stuff that does not fit into your theory. there are no eyewitnesses left to ask if its true. the scriptures have been extensively edited since its inception so long ago, many a time to fit an at that time predominant political or social purpose. there may be an individual truth, for a person himself in the bible, but so have many other books, religious or not. it does not mean it is historically true, in part or as a whole.
    furthermore, you also seem to think were interested in your personal sexuality, which, believe me, i`m not. but since you brought it up yourself, if you are straight, for the sake of argument, why do you judge gays on whether they sleep with each-other or not? so its the sex thing that constitutes sin, but not being in love with another man? how do you know? from a book, from other so-called enlightened christians, authorities.not by yourself, or by talking to gays i guess ….you stopped thinking for yourself a long time ago it seems. gods not going to be pissed if your gay, or stop judging others who are. its his job to judge, not yours.
    you haven`t answered anything properly here. your answers are see my reply to , etc. when i ask you a question,and i think its pretty disrespectful to say you answered it, by answering someone else`s question, and not doing even that properly. since you wont do the effort, ill stop too. i will however say this: other peoples sexuality does not concern you, even when you use the blatant Neo-Christian lie of trying to save their souls. you judge them as being wrong, and that is not your place. you ignore your own actions here, and therefore, your`e even a bigger sinner like the rest of us. if you don`t get that even the fact that you wrote this article in this way is a sign you think you`re better than gays, (which you don`t know, you haven`t met your maker yet and heard his opinion, you just quote a book written by man, alledged to be gods word) then you have a lot of self-reflection ahead of you.

    • Dear Prezzy,

      Thank you for your question I will try to answer them here:

      1. [W]hy do you judge gays on whether they sleep with each-other or not?

      In this series of articles I am defending the Christian ethical position whether gay-life is right. I judge because I love them.

      2. [S]o its the sex thing that constitutes sin, but not being in love with another man?
      Yes, it is the practicing of desire for another man(lust or sexual intercourse) that is sinful.

      3. [H]ow do you know?
      From what God has revealed(the Book) and general understand of our natural biological design.

      4. [D]o I know by talking to gays?
      Yes, I talk to my friends who are ex-gays, gays and homosexual who have desire for other man but do not act on it.

      5. [I]t God’s job to judge, not yours

      Yes, it is God’s job to judge. But its wrong to assume we can not pass judgment. Just by writing your comment, you pass judgment on me that I can not judge.

      6. [B]y answering someone else`s question, and not doing even that properly. since you wont do the effort is disrespectful
      I am sorry you view it that way. Brap and Alex asked the same question and it easier to direct one to an already answered question. I am sorry and I will be answering your question direct to you.

      7. [O]ther peoples sexuality does not concern you.
      It does because it touches the Church and the society I live.

      8. [Y]our`e even a bigger sinner like the rest of us.

      Yes, I am. I believe I am 7 times 7 a sinner than you. A greater wicked sinner. But I know Christ Jesus is my great Savior.

      9. [T]he fact that you wrote this article in this way is a sign you think you`re better than gays

      I am sorry my writing, in your view, signed that way. I am no better than gays.

      Thank you for your questions and comments.

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

  16. prayson, there is no reply above. you just state youll answer me in a while, more or less. my reasoning is simple and sound. a gay man who loves another gay man and sleeps with him does not hurt anyone with that, so its logically not anyones business to judge them as being wrong, sinners,depraved or whatever label you want to use. and alex really has a point on the homosex thing too, im really interested in your view on being homosexual or a celibate gay. like he says: one can be celibate and gay, or celibate and straight. or practice either form. personally ive always assumed it had to do with falling in love with someone of your own gender that made you gay, not whether you want to sleep with them alone.
    i think you failed in your mission stated in this article. on all counts. you didnt prove anything.

    • Hej Prezzy,

      Sorry, Alex comment come in and the above reply was not the one I was pointing you too. My mistake, sorry.

      I have answered your concerns already. see my replies to Brap and to Alex.

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

  17. brap, thnx for this. exactly my point. first theres the scribes recording his words, and then theres their interpretation. then theres the translators interpretation, and following that comes graysons interpretation. too many factors there.
    Muslims use the same kind of logic with the Koran. its the youngest and most authentic of all books according to them, but the same rules apply: the first few hundred years they only wrote stuff down on stones, leaves and other stuff, then they collected them (all of them? how do we know?) and made them in a closed format (by human intervention, not divine), so who can actually prove the authenticity of the texts? no-one.

  18. “For example if the queen of Denmark is speaking and I am wrote down her speech. When I present, her speech in The New York Times, it would be according to me, but its her words.”

    Assuming you don’t write down her speech with 100% accuracy (which I believe is very difficult to do without an audio recording to listen to repeatedly), is it possible some of what you present in The New York Times are not the words of the queen?

    Assuming the answer is “yes,” and assuming Jesus wasn’t followed around by scribes for most of his life, then what are the chances that the words of Jesus are accurately documented in the New Testament? Even if we ignore the issues with translating into other languages, what are the chances the words of Jesus were ever accurately documented in his native language, given how long after his death Biblical scholars believe the first books of the New Testament were written?

    I always find it interesting when people use “Jesus said this” and “Jesus said that” in their arguments, since I don’t think they would have a satisfactory answer to the question, “How do you know Jesus said that?”

    • Dear Prezzy and Brap,

      I would like defend the authenticity of the Gosple, and “Jesus say-this-that” but that would veer off from this series of articles. In this series of articles I am trying to make a general scriptural arguments against homosex.

      Prezzy, I would also give a purely secular arguments against homosex, later in this series, which I would show that, one does not have to use the Bible to argue against homosex(not homosexuality).

      Recommend: New Evidences That The Gospels Were Based By EyeWitness

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

      • Prayson, since you’re changing your tune a bit by proclaiming you’re now going to “give purely secular arguments against [homosexuality]”, I presume you’re finally realizing that you cannot make a sound argument that “the Bible says” pro or con against homosexuality without first completely removing the passages that you so violate from their contexts.

        Also, while you seem to delight in your usage of the term “homosex” in place of the term “homosexuality” (a very common practice one notes from those who deal with what they generically refer to as “same sex attraction”), let’s be clear: a homosexual is a homosexual whether or not he or she is having same-sex relations, in the same way a heterosexual is a heterosexual whether or not he she is having opposite-sex relations. Most heterosexuals I know would be extremely offended if you were to accuse them of not being heterosexual simply because they were, for example, celibate. People who are heterosexual are heterosexual 24/7, not just when they are sexually active. Why is it that you think the rules are somehow different when it’s the other way around?

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Dear Alex,

        Thank you for your comment. I believe you misread what I wrote: ” I would[will] also give a purely secular arguments against homosex”.

        I have 4 more passages that I believe show that homosex(sexual practice between same gender) is sinful.

        You in other hand, have failed to show that Leviticus 18 and 20 does not condemn male-male sexual practice. You still have not answer my question. How do you deal with:

        (5)Bestiality done not in association to pagan fertility cult ritual is not forbidden
        (6)Infant sacrifice done not in association to pagan fertility cult ritual is not forbidden

        If its true that (4)Homosex done not in association to pagan fertility cult ritual is not forbidden.

        Moreover, you cherry picked your extra-biblical material, brushing away the testimonies of Second temple literature, Josephus’ and Philo’s records of Jewish traditional understanding of the Mosaic law against homosex(sexual practice between same gender).

        Maranatha,
        Prayson

      • Jesus provided a very important hermeneutic tool to help his followers negotiate their way through moral debates about Old Testament law. He identified one Levitical command as the key to understanding the rationale behind all the others. Quoting Leviticus 19:18 He said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This suggests that, when trying to determine why an Old Testament law was given and what its relevance is to a modern Christian, two vital questions must be asked:

        (1) What HARM to neighbor was this command intended to PREVENT?
        (2) What GOOD to neighbor was this command intended to PROMOTE?

        And though Leviticus 19:18 was not all that popular in the days of the Old Testament, it is THE verse from the Torah, or first five books of the Bible, that is the most frequently cited in the New Testament. It’s a summary and a fulfilling of the Law that was repeatedly referred to by Jesus, Paul and James. If that doesn’t address why bestiality and infant sacrifice “done not in association to pagan fertility cult ritual”, as you put it, would be considered wrong under any circumstances, then I don’t know what does.

        As to your second accusation, I do not cherry pick. But I am aware that some sources have provided much more and accurate insight into some of the questions we’re debating here than others. Case in point: I am aware archaeological discoveries of the 20th century have profoundly effected biblical studies and greatly informed our understanding of biblical text. Fact is today we know more about the Bible than at any previous time in history, including even in later biblical times. The Ras Shamra texts, for example, have produced voluminous quantities of writings showing how ancient Canaanite city-life worked and revealing a wealth of information that has been invaluable in our understanding of Canaanite religion and culture. The rabbinical writings that you’re suggesting are authoritive on this topic are anything but.

        I’m not the one who set out to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality, you are! My argument is that you have failed to do so because the only way you can make such a case is to completely remove the passages you so violate from their contexts. Exegesis does not allow for tearing a passage from its context to replace it in another age for the sake of convenience. Nor does exegesis also does not allow for removing a passage from its textual context to make it say something the author never intended to say. The burden of proof, my friend, is on you!

        As I keep saying, and you keep ignoring, is that sound exegesis requires that we seek to draw out from the text what it meant to the original author and to the original intended audience without reading into the text the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it. If you have no idea what it meant THEN, you are left to only blindly guess at what it might mean for us NOW. Then you peddle it off to your audience as “biblical truth”. That is heresy.

        Now where are these other texts you keep talking about being able to make a sound biblical case for? You’ve mentioned them four times already. But when are we going to see them?

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

        • Hej Alex,

          Thank you once again for your comments. I used your (1) and (2) to give a secular argument against homosex(same-gender sexual practice). I would love to comment on it, but again, I would be going ahead of myself.

          This series is divided into: Introduction and Definition, Ethical Issue, OT: Laws of Moses, Sodom and Gomorrah, NT: Paul and Unnatural Argument(Roman), Corinthians and Timothy, Historical Position(Jewish tradition, and the 1st 200 years of the Church), Secular Arguments against Homosex(practice), and last Welcoming But Not Endorsing(Loving but not affirming gay)

          I do pray for your patience, love and gentleness. I would let you know when a new article in this series is out, just like I did before.

          Maranatha,
          Prayson

      • And while we’re on the subject of unanswered questions, please answer the one I posted above: Why is it that gay people who have bought into the notion that homosexuality in any way, shape, form or expression is a sin, avoid the term homosexuality and use instead terms like “homosex” and “same-sex attraction”? A homosexual is a homosexual whether or not he or she is having same-sex relations, just as a heterosexual is a heterosexual whether or not he or she is having opposite-sex relations. Most heterosexuals I know would be very offended if they were accused of not being heterosexual simply because they were, for example, celibate. People who are heterosexual are heterosexual 24/7, not just when they are sexually active. Explain to me why it is that you think the rules are somehow different when it’s the other way around?

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

        • Dear Alex,

          Thank you for your insight. I believe you have error in your reasoning. I would put your reasoning in argumentative form:

          1. A gay person bought into the notion that homosexuality is sin avoid the term homosexuality and use terms like homosex.(From Alex)
          2. Prayson avoids the term homosexuality and use terms like homosex.
          3. Therefore Prayson is a gay person bought into the notion that homosexuality is sin.

          In sound reasoning, this error is called affirming the consequent

          4. If X is the case, then Y is the case
          5. Y is the case
          6. Therefore X is the case

          Y being that case, does not entail X also being the case.(example: I, by the mercy and grace of God, have always been attracted to opposite sex. )

          My explanation on why I not using the term homosexuality is clear in Christian Perspective On Homosexual Conduct: Introduction and Definition. I use homosex(sexual practice with same gender) instead because I believe that the Bible does not forbid homosexual orientation(being attracted to the same gender) but it does forbid acting on this desires, being lust(sexual fantasying) or homosex(sexual practice).

          Maranatha,
          Prayson

      • Actually, I never mentioned you specifically, Prayson. But it would appear from your response that we have hit a sensitive nerve here. Me does thinks thou dost protest too much. But whether you are gay or not gay is irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is that you keep avoiding the question. My question was not whether or not the Bible forbids it. That question is being addressed in this debate elsewhere and thus far, I don’t think anyone here thinks you have proved anything except that you can take passages of Scripture out of their context and make them say anything you want them to say. But that is not news.

        The question still stands. I’ll repeat it for the third time: People who are gay and who have bought into the notion that homosexuality in any way, shape, form or expression is a sin, avoid the term homosexuality and instead use terms like “homosex” and “same-sex attraction”. However, a homosexual is a homosexual whether or not he or she is having same-sex relations, just as a heterosexual is a heterosexual whether or not he or she is having opposite-sex relations. Most heterosexuals I know would be very offended if they were accused of not being heterosexual simply because they were, for example, celibate. People who are heterosexual are heterosexual 24/7, not just when they are sexually active. Explain to me why it is that you think the rules are somehow different when it’s the other way around?

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

      • Dear Alex,

        I know you did not mention “Prayson” specifically,. I used myself to show the error in your reasoning(viz. fallacy of affirming the consequent).

        Repeating a fallacy for the third time does not make it correct 🙂 . I did not answer your objection, because it is based on incorrect reasoning.

        Maranatha,
        Prayson

      • Wherein lays the fallacy? You seemed to be trying to prove through an invalid argument above that you are not gay. That is not what I asked. In fact that has absolutely nothing to do with what I asked. Are you going to keep tip toeing around this question? Do I have to ask the question for the fourth time? Do you need for me to rephrase it for you so you can better understand it? Let’s try again:

        The fact is gay people who have bought into the notion that homosexuality in any way, shape, form or expression is a sin, avoid the term homosexuality and use instead terms like “homosex” and “same-sex attraction”. This is a fact. It is not conjecture. It is not assumption. It is not some rabbit that I decided to pull out of my hat. Why do they do this? I will tell why they do it as I’ve heard it from their own mouths dozens and dozens of times. Many people who claim to be “ex-gay” believe that simply labeling themselves as heterosexual constitutes progress in the right direction whether their sexual orientation has actually changed or not.

        However, a homosexual is a homosexual whether or not he or she is having same-sex relations, just as a heterosexual is a heterosexual whether or not he or she is having opposite-sex relations. Most heterosexuals I know would be very offended if they were accused of not being heterosexual simply because they were, for example, celibate. People who are heterosexual are heterosexual 24/7, not just when they are sexually active. HERE IS THE QUESTION FOR THE FOURTH TIME: Explain to me why it is that you think the rules are somehow different when it’s the other way around?

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

        • Dear Alex,
          Herein lays the fallacy:

          1. A gay person bought into the notion that homosexuality is sin avoid the term homosexuality and use terms like homosex.(From Alex)
          2. Person X avoids the term homosexuality and use terms like homosex.
          3. Therefore Person X is a gay person bought into the notion that homosexuality is sin.

          I used myself(“Prayson”) in place of Person X to show the error in your reasoning(viz. fallacy of affirming the consequent).

          Example:

          1. If it’s raining then the streets are wet.
          2. The streets are wet.
          3. Therefore, it’s raining.

          The streets could be wet because of other causes than rain, for-instant from snow, water damage e.t.c. In the same way, you set your case based on incorrect reasoning . Person X does not have to be bought into the notion that homosexuality is sin to avoid the term homosexuality.

          Repeating a fallacy for the fourth time does not make it correct. I will not answer your objection, because it is based on incorrect reasoning.

          Maranatha,
          
Prayson

          NB: Affirming the consequent Inferring that P is true solely because Q is true and it is also true that if P is true, Q is true.(See Common Fallacies)

      • Let me see if I understand your reasoning correctly. Is it your reasoning that: A heterosexual is a heterosexual whether or not he or she is having opposite-sex relations — even if he or she is celibate, they are still heterosexual? But a homosexual who is not having same-sex relations is not a homosexual? Perhaps the better way to get at the heart of what it is that you actually believe is to ask you this: Who is a “heterosexual” and who is a “homosexual” based on your definition? Is a heterosexual defined by their opposite-sex attraction whether or not they are sexually active. But the homosexual is defined by their behavior and not their same-sex attraction. It would seem there is a major inconsistency in your belief that you keep dancing around. Can you help to clarify this for me?

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

        • Dear Alex,

          Now you are in completely different topic. From “avoiding the use of homosexual” to definitions.

          Defining Terms From Christian Perspective On Homosexual Practice: Introduction and Definitions:


          Distinguishing Homosexuality and Homosexual Behavior

          Homosexuality and homosexual behavior are two non-synonymous terms often confused when discussing the Christian’s perspective on same sexual conduct.

          In these series of articles, I will hold to a presumption that homosexuality could be a result of nurture and/or nature, thus one’s sexual predisposition is not normally something a person freely chooses but finds himself or herself with. Thus a person may find himself or herself attracted to the same sex but refuse to act out on it, knowing to do so would be going against God’s words.

          A person who is tagged homosexual, a 19th century’s psychological term, is a person whom experiences predominating sexual attraction toward another person of the same gender, while a gay is and individual who practices sexual intercourse between with another person of same gender. Thus all gays are homosexuals but not all homosexuals are gays.

          Maranatha,
          Prayson

      • OK, now we’re getting at some meat here. So based on you definitions:

        “Homosexuality and homosexual behavior are two non-synonymous terms” and “a homosexual is a person whom experiences predominating sexual attraction toward another person of the same gender, while a gay is an individual who practices sexual intercourse between with another person of same gender. Thus all gays are homosexuals but not all homosexuals are gays.”

        (These are your words from above, not mine.)

        Now if the above is true as per your assessment, does the same reasoning apply in reverse? Specifically, is a heterosexual a person who experiences predominately sexual attraction toward another person of the opposite gender, while a straight is an individual who practices sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite gender? So that therefore we may also conclude that all straight people are heterosexuals but not all heterosexuals are straight people?

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  19. just one last minor remark: to me the fact that its not called the gospel, but The gospel according to Peter, Mark, etc. is a dead giveaway that its not actually gods word, but gods word according to several men. to me at least.

    • Thanks Prezzy,

      Gospel(“good news”) are accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus, the Nazarene of Galilee. One gospel, one accounts told+recorded according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

      I believe this one Gospel was told by many of Jesus’ followers. Luke put it this way

      “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.(Luke 1:1-4 ESV)

      Jesus promised his followers that ” the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”(John 14:26 ESV). If this is true, then this one Gospel according to different author is “God’s word”.

      For example if the queen of Denmark is speaking and I am wrote down her speech. When I present, her speech in The New York Times, it would be according to me, but its her words.

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

      • sorry but thats just factually untrue: there are several gospels. not just one, and you KNOW this. there are a lot of differences between those gospels two, so it cant be just one, or they would be identical. the fact that you quote Jesus according to Luke is really funny, because again, its not proof of authenticity, if anything its proof of fallacy. you cant authenticate a book on reading its text like this. as in: you cant prove the bible is the word of God by quoting out of that same bible. thats called circular reasoning.
        if the queen of Denmark is speaking and you LITERALLY copy that in an article in the NY times, you `d be right. if you would translate it to english, you `d have to understand danish really well, and have to interpret als little as possible, but translate as much as possible, and thats where the problem starts 😉 and the queen would have to be able to check if you understood her correctly and then translated it correctly. ie, the source would have to be still available to check if it was done right. same for gods words: since god cannot be asked if those were his exact words, you prove yourself you are wrong. there is no proof that it is actually gods word. we cant ask god if that is the true text. we can only trust those who say it is. and we all know that is not proof.

  20. ok alex, no harm no foul , i thought it was kind of odd, so my apologies back to you 😉 my point is that its fine that people believe it is the word of god, but its not ok for them to make assumptions based on that about other peoples choices and preferences, thats all.

    “In these series I would try to show that (3,The Bible forbids homosexual behavior ) is true, thus if (1, We are all obligated to do God’s will) and (2, God’s will is expressed in the Bible) are also true, then it does follows necessarily that homosexual behavior is sinful (as stealing, adultery, e.t.c)”

    the error in this statement is the use of the word truth. since 1 and 2 are a matter of faith/belief, which is different than being an independent fact or truth, and 3 is highly debatable, the conclusion that homosexual acts have to be placed on the same level as stealing etc holds no logical ground. that was the point i wanted to make.

    im bowing out of this discussion here since exegesis/bible study isn`t my thing anyway. a long, healthy and happy life to both of you 🙂

  21. Prezzy, don’t say “you guys”. I never said it was a sin to be gay. Quite the contrary, I have been saying the very opposite here. The “peddling” reference was directed to Prayson, who I believe is peddling an unwarranted assumption in his own unfounded belief that it is a sin.

    Further, I don’t think anyone here is trying to “prove” to you or anyone else that the Bible is the word of God. We simply happen to believe that it is and therefore were debating from that position. But I don’t think anyone here is saying, “Now everyone else needs to believe it too.” Or perhaps I should only speak for myself and say, that I am not.

    Again, I thought it was Prayson’s reply. My apologies for the confusion. I respect your right to be a non-believer.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  22. seriously, you guys crack me up. im not peddling anything, believe what you want. just stop judging over your fellow men. its not a sin to be gay, and if it is, its not my place to say or judge over it. i wonder where you get that im peddling anything about other peoples sexual preferences. its that kind of judgement that i was talking about, and i assume you know this. yet, you choose word-games and gliding meaning as your tools. how mature 😉
    you cannot prove that what is written in the bible is the word of god. no one can. and if you can, id love to see it. the fact you believe it is, doesnt mean it actually is. that makes your reasoning that “according to the gospel im a sinner” rather shaky, since no one can prove it is the actual and unchanged message of god. if you think youre a sinner, thats your right. it is however not my right to call you a sinner. all you guys do is beat other people over the head with a book thats close to 2000 years old. for what, i wonder? didnt missionaries go into africa and central america to bring the word of god to the heathens? why did they assume these had to be saved? because they reason like you guys: were right, so everyone who dissagrees or thinks different is wrong since they dont adhere to gods word. well how do you know? they just differ in their interpretation of gods word compared to your interpretation.
    and the absolute clinker are these: “Do you believe that black people should be accorded the same rights as white people?” yes i do. according to me, thats the right path. its not a judgement, but an opinion. it would be useful if you could discern between the two. you can call me names, like heretic, sinner, but im not gonna react to it by stooping to your level. making a personal judgement is one thing, making public judgements about people who happen to think different isnt very useful, or smart. when you deem being gay a sin, according to gods word, you sit in judgement of others. thats different from having an opinion, you know. you may not agree with their way of life but it ends there.
    there used to be a time when so-called good Christians discriminated against blacks, on the grounds of the white man being responsible for taking care of gods creation, and blacks were thought of as inferior. remember segregation, and apartheid? thankfully people are wiser than that now, we know we are all human, all equal and all of the same immeasurable value. because we are alive. how come we need to redo the whole discussion again with gays?

  23. Prayson, after re-reading your last post, I must add that if you are actually suggesting that what you listed immediately under your words: “let’s take a look at your reasoning here”, is indeed indicative of my reasoning, then you (a) have not heard a word I have said, (b) are knowingly and willfully twisting my words to make them things that I never did, or (c) innocently yet completely misunderstand my position.

    Fact is: I do believe we are all obligated to do God’s will. And I firmly believe God’s will is expressed in the Bible. However, the notion that the Bible forbids homosexuality is your own unwarranted assumption. As indicated in great detail above with about a half dozen specific examples to illustrate the point, you are guilty of committing the fallacy of unwarranted assumption when your conclusions are based on false, unjustified or baseless premises, such as: “The Scriptures condemn male-on-male rape and male shrine prostitution; therefore God condemns all same-sex contact everywhere for all of time.” Or “In the Bible male-on-male rapists and male shrine prostitutes engage in same-sex contact and do not serve the true God; therefore people who engage in same-sex contact also do not serve the true God.” Such arguments hold no water, my friend. Rule #1: Stick to sound exegesis if you want to interpret the Bible responsibly.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  24. Once again, what you are peddling is not true. Of course, I’m a sinner. The central message of the gospel is that (a) we are more guilty than we can ever imagine, but (b) at the same time we are also more forgiven than we can ever imagine. Anyone who does not hold to both is preaching a false gospel. Of course, I’m a sinner, saved by awesome and marvelous grace of God!

    And of course, I make judgments. And so do you and everyone else — every single day. We need to make judgmentsand are admonished to make judgments. Do you believe that black people should be accorded the same rights as white people? That is a judgment. Do you believe it’s wrong to hit little old ladies over the head and steal their purses? That is a judgment. Did Jesus not command, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (John 7:24)? Do the scriptures not say that we are to beware of WOLVES coming into the fold, throwing what’s good to DOGS and casting our pearls before SWINE? These all require judgments. Are we not told we’ll know a man by his fruits? That too requires a judgment. Don’t be ridiculous. We all make judgments every day and we could not live without them.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to argue in your last paragraph but it makes no sense whatsoever and is downright scary. Statements like the Bible does not “express God’s will”, and that it is only “a book written by other humans in a distant past claiming but not being … actually God’s word ” are downright frightening coming from someone who is trying to peddle your heresy about homosexuality being a sin — which of course, you can only peddle if you completely divorce the passages that you so violate from their contexts.

    There is a sensitive and holy balance between the divine and human elements of the Bible. It is a divinely inspired book and we must be careful to reverence the divine character of Scripture. But at the same time, the Bible also has a genuinely human element since God used ordinary people to write the Scriptures. To miss the human element is as much a mistake as to miss the divine element.

    A sound understanding of this balance was voiced by revered Dutch theologian Dr. Herman Bavinck when he said, “the scriptures are the product wholly and entirely of the Spirit of God … and at the same time are wholly and entirely the product of the activity of the writers.”

    Just as heretics have failed to see that Christ was both a human being and God in the flesh, we are in danger of failing to see the Bible is both a book of human words and the Word of God. Early heretics tried to blow away the dusty footprints of Jesus just as later heretics would try to wipe away the inky fingerprints of the writers.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  25. my friend: first of all righteous judgment means to have the right to judge, which is preserved for god alone. so it is you who is taking this out of its context.

    second: im not judging you, im just asking you if you realise what you are saying in your posts is (and im just following the books you use yourself here) beyond your reach, since its only god that is allowed to judge man.

    third, by stating you want to prove homosexuality as wrong:

    “In these series I would try to show that (3) is true, thus if (1) and (2) are also true, then it does follows necessarily that homosexual behavior is sinful….”

    you judge your fellow man, and i still wonder why you think you have the right to do that, or even think youre capable of that, since you yourself state that you are a sinner too…dont you think the greatest sin of all is assuming gods throne to judge your fellow men?

    lets take a look at your reasoning here:

    A general scriptural arguments against pro-homosex would go like this:

    -We are all obligated to do God’s will. – no were not: he gave us free will.
    -God’s will is expressed in the Bible. – no its not: thats what the writers tell/told us.
    -The Bible forbids homosexual behavior. – no, thats according to the writers; still plenty of clergymen abuse male kids in boarding-schools all over the world….
    -Therefore, homosexual behavior is against God’s will, or is wrong. -no, its not. judging other people, however, is against gods will. according to this same book.

    there is no irrefutable proof for your assumption that the bible expresses gods will; logically it would have to be “……expressing gods will according to the men who wrote it down”, which makes it a rather doubtful case of being actually gods will. also, dont you think its kind of rude to judge a person, human like yourself with arguments coming from a book written by other humans in a distant past, claiming but not being able to prove that its actually gods word, on a practice that isnt even your concern? its not the gays telling everyone we should be gay, its you christians telling all of the others that if they arent christians theyre sinners.

  26. What astounds me most about this exchange is that while I keep focusing on and returning to sound exegesis — that is to say, seeking to draw out from the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading into the text the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it — you, on the other hand, keep avoiding that like the plague. But I suppose this is because exegesis keeps pointing to the fact that the passages that you keep referencing as your “homosex” passages are in actuality not addressing homosexuality per se, but rather other things altogether.

    Sorry if you think I dodged your question. You’re trying to make the point that bestiality, to cite one example you used, is a bad thing and would be forbidden by God even if the ritual was not specifically practiced, as it is in this case, by the pagans to entice their false gods to grant them fertility. This is true. Sexually abusing an animal is never acceptable, any more than sexually abusing another person is ever acceptable.

    What is not true, however, is what you’ve attempted to deduce from this. You try to deduce from this premise that what we know of as homosexuality — which in this specific instance is actually male-to-male shrine prostitution — which was also practiced by the pagans to entice their false gods to grant them fertility is also wrong, and therefore, like bestiality, homosexuality in any way, shape, form or expression is also wrong in all instances everywhere for all of time.

    That is a completely invalid argument. What you’re doing here, and what you’ve continued to do, is resort to the logical fallacy known as the unwarranted assumption. You are guilty of committing the fallacy of unwarranted assumption when your conclusions are based on false, unjustified or baseless premises. Assumptions are unwarranted when it may be true, but does not apply in the given context. The unwarranted assumption fallacy is made up of almost a dozen smaller logical errors. Here are a few examples we can be clear:

    GENERAL RULE: to presuppose that what is true in general, under normal conditions, is true under all circumstances without exception. To apply a general rule to situations for which it was never intended is a serious source of error.
    EXAMPLE: The Scriptures condemn male-on-male rape and male shrine prostitution; therefore God condemns all same-sex contact.

    HASTY GENERALIZATION: to formulate a general rule or a universal principle on the basis of evidence that warrants a particular conclusion; to assume that what is relatively true under certain conditions is true under all conditions.
    EXAMPLE: The Bible condemns male-on-male rapists and male shrine prostitutes as they existed in the ancient Middle East; therefore all same-sex contact is condemned everywhere and for all time.

    FALSE ANALOGY: to conclude that since two objects or situations are known to resemble each other by sharing some common attribute, they necessarily share a second property, although there is no known connection between them.
    EXAMPLE: In the Bible male-on-male rapists and male shrine prostitutes engage in same-sex contact and do not serve the true God; therefore people who engage in same-sex contact also do not serve the true God.

    POISONING-OF-THE-WELLS: to preclude in advance the possibility of any evidence to the contrary by assuming a position in such a way that nothing can count as evidence against it.
    EXAMPLE: Antigay writers assume that the antigay position is the only valid Biblical position; therefore anyone who says anything that is contrary to their assumption about what the Scriptures teach is not holding a valid Biblical position and should be ignored.

    REDUCTION FALLACY: assumes uncritically that the various examples of experience are reducible to each other.
    EXAMPLE: Male-on-male rape and male shrine prostitution involve same-sex genital contact and is wrong; therefore same-sex genital contact is always wrong.

    You cannot continue to make arguments like this and expect to be taken seriously. You cannot presume that because God forbids specific behaviors in specific situations that He therefore forbids them in all situations for all of time. (See the illustration of the “tax collectors” we used yesterday.)

    EXEGESIS DOES NOT ALLOW FOR TEARING A PASSAGE FROM ITS CONTEXT TO REPLACE IT IN ANOTHER AGE FOR CONVENIENCE.

    EXEGESIS ALSO DOES NOT ALLOW FOR REMOVING A PASSAGE FROM ITS TEXTUAL CONTEXT TO MAKE IT SAY SOMETHING THE AUTHOR NEVER INTENDED TO SAY.

    If we’re going to look at the Leviticus passage in context rather than rip it from its context — and we must remember that as the #1 rule in real estate is location-location-location, the #1 rule in biblical interpretation is context-context-context — then we must consider the context. We established that chapter 17 through 26 of Leviticus is referred to as “The Holiness Code” and is designed to provide a standard of behavior and way of living that will distinguish the Israelites from the Canaanites whose land they have now been given by God. It is for this precise reason that the chapter in question (Leviticus 18) begins with a strict caution to the Israelites to avoid retaining the idolatries of Egypt, from where the Israelites had just come, and of receiving the idolatries of Canaan, to where they were now going. This statement sums up the whole chapter of Leviticus 18. Read the beginning of the chapter. Ignore this and you remove the passage from its context and replace it in another age for convenience and strain to make the text say something the author never intended.

    THE RABBINICAL WRITINGS:

    It would be reckless to rely on the rabbinical writings (the Talmud and others) to get at the heart and truth of this matter. The fact that the rabbis — or anyone else for that matter — “studied Torah”, as you put it, does not necessarily mean that what they’ve deduced from their study is credible. As a Jew, I am familiar with the rabbinical writings and aware that what they is often in OPPOSITION to what Scripture teaches. I would not rely on the rabbinical writings to get at the heart and truth of this matter any more than I would rely on them to get at the heart and truth of whether or not Jesus was the Jewish messiah promised and foretold by the Hebrew prophets.

    Moreover, Howard Hendricks, former professor at Dallas Seminary, was fond of saying to his students, “They should charge admission to this place so that visitors can see how people used to live 50 years ago!” He was he fond of saying this because it generally takes the Church a very long time to get up to speed on their errors. The Church is slower to recognize their wrongs than just about any another group. Lord knows over the course of history the Church has found their biblical “proofs” for notions that slavery was God-ordained, interracial marriage was wrong, blacks and women should not be allowed to vote, women should not preach teach or wear lipstick, etc. The passages that footnoted all of these notions are still in the Bible. As you are a black man, I certainly don’t have to remind you that even now in the 21st century, there are still many churches that use Bible verses to support the insidious notion that light-skinned people are superior to dark-skinned people.

    One of the lessons we can learn from these experiences is that reading and interpreting Scripture is not quite as simple as some would like to believe. A text does not simply “say what it says” despite the rational good intentions of some readers. For reading Scripture is not only a matter of what is written there, but also what we expect to find there, what we bring to the text, and what we take away from it. Reading Scripture then is by no means a clinical or a neutral affair. And we must not forget that while it may seem evident to us that others did terrible things in the past, it isn’t always so easy to see that we ourselves may be doing terrible things today.

    It is one thing to take advantage of archeological discoveries like the “Ras Shamra” texts, considered by many second only to the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in the profound effect they have had on biblical studies. It’s a whole other matter altogether to consider your rabbinical writings as comparable which have never been considered authoritative documents on this topic. The two sources are hardly analogous.

    What we think the Bible teaches, and what it actually teaches can sometimes be at odds with one another. Writing in their book “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth,” the evangelical scholars Gordon D. Fee, professor of New Testament at Regent College and Douglas Stuart, professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, say, “We tend to think that our understanding is the same thing as the Holy Spirit’s or human author’s intent. However, we invariably bring to the text all that we are, with all of our experiences, culture, and prior understandings of words and ideas. Sometimes, what we bring to the text, unintentionally to be sure, leads us astray, or else causes us to read all kinds of foreign ideas into the text.”

    Fee and Stuart continue that, “On this one thing, however, there must surely be agreement. A text cannot mean what it never meant. Or to put that in a positive way, the true meaning of the biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken.” Once again, he brings us back to exegesis, while you continue to dance around it.

    RITUAL, CEREMONIAL, MORAL LAWS

    You also keep trying to squeeze this passage — a condemnation of the male-to-male shrine prostitution that the Israelites adopted from the Canaanites — into a bucket that you have conveniently labeled “moral law”. Using this false premise you make the unwarranted assumption that since male-to-male shrine prostitution was condemned in this passage and is by your assessment a MORAL law, you conclude therefore homosexuality in any way, shape, form or expression is also wrong in all instances everywhere for all of time. The sin here was their PAGAN IDOLATRY. Yet despite the fact that exegesis reveals that male-to-male shrine prostitution was condemned for RELIGIOUS reasons, and not MORAL or SEXUAL ones, you insist on pushing your unwarranted assumption based on a false premise.

    As biblical scholars and theologians will tell you, ideas and understandings of sexuality have changed greatly over the centuries. People in biblical times did not share our knowledge or customs of sexuality; we do not share their experience. In studies of sex in history, Stanford classics professor John J. Winkler warns against “reading contemporary concerns and politics into texts and artifacts removed from their social context.” This, of course, is a basic principle of biblical exegesis and hermeneutics. Yet this is precisely what you continually insist on doing. Case in point: One form of polygamy in Bible times was the levirate marriage. When a married man in Israel died childless, his widow was to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bore him a male heir. Lest you think this was strictly “Old Testament”, Jesus mentions this custom without criticism (Mark 12:18-27 par.). I am not aware of any Christians who still obey this unambiguous commandment of Scripture.

    At the start of this discussion I maintained that whatever be said must be anchored by a focus on responsible, sound exegesis — which means we seek to draw out from the text what the passage meant to the original author and to the original intended audience without reading into it the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it. That means you can’t keep tearing passages from their context to replace it in another age for your convenience. If you have no idea what the passage meant THEN, you are left to only guess at what it might mean to us NOW.

    You’ll note I have centered my analysis of these passages on sound exegesis, always retuning to ask what did the text originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience. You have avoided that like the plague. Instead, you rely on unwarranted assumptions with construct arguments based on false or baseless premises. You’ve continually read your own personal, ideological and prejudicial beliefs back into the Bible, instead of reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying.

    Therefore, I believe this dialog has ceased to be fruitful. I do understand your reluctance to speak about how your own background connects to the subject matter (and your insistence that we “focus on the arguments presented and not who we are, or were we came from”). But fact is you can’t sweep who we are or where we came from under the table as they have a profound influence on what we bring to the text, and what we take away from it. As stated, a text does not simply “say what it says” despite the rational good intentions of some readers. Reading Scripture is not only a matter of what is written there, but also what we expect to find there. Reading Scripture then is by no means a clinical or a neutral affair.

    I believe it is crucial that beliefs that inform our conscious be indentified and challenged by serious study, wisdom and earnest prayer, so that — if need be — unfounded beliefs can be changed. But I can also see that the prospect of changing your mind on this issue would prove far too costly for you — despite any evidence presented to the contrary — and it would put you at odds with your community and with some of the people you most care about. So you seemingly dig their heels into the sand and desperately try to cling to what is inescapably and assuredly passing away, like a drowning person clinging with his/her fingers to the last remnants of a sinking boat. In Martin Luther King’s day, it was the white supremacists and Klansmen clinking to their insidious notions; in our day, it’s the people who refuse to see these passages in their contents. As we look back over our 2,000 years of history, we find that oppression of one sort or another against people who are “different” — whether by means of race, color, gender, class or sexual orientation — has always been endemic. And to our great shame, the oppression and injustices are always carried out in the name of someone’s Christianity. I’ve made my points using sound exegetical methods. It’s time to shake the dust off, let the readers read the exchanges and assess for themselves.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Todah Raba(תודה רבה) Alex,

      Grace be upon you. I would so much like to answer the new objections you rose, but I would be getting ahead of myself. I will answer them when I post Paul And Homosex: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:8-11.

      I am looking forward for your comments on my next series: What Was The Sin Of Sodom And Gomorrah?

      Maranatha
      Prayson

  27. Prayson, as long we’re doing this, I’d like to ask you: I’ve been very open about who I am, about my background and where I’m coming from throughout this whole process. On my blog, my life is a completely open book for all who read my posts. Are you willing to reveal a bit about yourself? I’m curious as to why you seem to be so desperately determined to make all these “ex-gay”, “homosexuality is an abomination to God” and “God changes gay people to straight people” pieces fit, when clearly they do not unless one throws sound exegesis, logic and reason right out the window. Where are you coming from? Are you an “ex-gay”? Are you a gay man who somewhere along the line bought into the “ex-gay” rhetoric because of what you were taught and are now trying to make all that stuff fit? Why are you seemingly so desperately determined to build this house of cards? For most “ex-gays” (and as a former “ex-gay” ministry leader I’ve known literally hundreds of “ex-gays” personally; they’re now almost all ex-ex-gays) it was a way of saying, “Now I’m more acceptable to myself and to the people around me”. But as they can tell you, they don’t usually feel that way in the long run. Where is the connection between all of this stuff and your own life? And perhaps more importantly, if you were to find out, like the rest of us, that you were wrong on this issue (the operative word being “if”), would you be willing to accept that truth even though it could put you at odds with your community and with some of the people you most care about? See my blog post “When Truth is Too Costly“.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Dear Alex,

      I have update my blog with All About, were I wrote about myself. I do hope though we will focus on the arguments presented and not who we are, or were we came from.(Lets avoid ad hominem as possible)

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

  28. Prayson, I will use your 3 categories to answer your 3 questions:

    1. Fertility Cult Ritual: Prayson, how do you come to compare “adultery” with the likes of “pagan cult prostitution” and “infant sacrifice”, as you did? Answer: Read on and you’ll see. But you’ll be surprised.

    2. Rabbi Understanding of Mosaic prohibitions: We are debating the Bible here, i.e., Scripture, the word of God — not the Talmud or other rabbinical literature, which as you and I both know, are all over the place and often in opposition to what the Scripture teaches. Stay on topic.

    3. Abomination

    Now we get to the meat! Look closer, my friend. As I stated before, “toevah” (i.e., abomination) ALWAYS means a practice that is unacceptable because it is associated with one of the cult practices of the pagan religions surrounding God’s people.

    As for your Ezekiel references, read the context. It is an allegory of unfaithful Jerusalem. SODOM was a leading Canaanite city. JERUSALEM was a Canaanite city. What does God say to them through the prophet Ezekiel? Why is God pissed at them? Read the context. We read that the prophet Ezekiel declares the word of God saying that a self-righteously religious Jerusalem had not only IMITATED the vile deeds of the Sodomites (a Canaanite city!) but had become even MORE corrupt. And then the prophet spends page after page spelling out explicitly what those vile deeds were that God was taking them to task for. Examples from the text:

    They made “gaudy high places” where they would perform these pagan cult practices that we’re talking about; he says “you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them”. (Ezekiel 16:15-17)

    “And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols.” (Ezekiel 16:20-21)

    “… you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine in every public square… you built your lofty shrines…” (Ezekiel 16:23-25)

    “… you built your mounds at the head of every street and made your lofty shrines in every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment.” (Ezekiel 16:31)

    “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you poured out your wealth and exposed your nakedness in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood” (Ezekiel 16:36)

    “Then I will hand you over to your lovers, and they will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. They will strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry and leave you naked and bare.” (Ezekiel 16:39)

    The above is only a small sampling of God’s charges to them for their adulterous behavior. Yes, adulterous. But not adulterous in the sense you think in 21st century America when someone simply sleeps with another person’s spouse. If Israel is thought to be bound to God in an exclusive covenant relationship, then Israel can be said to commit adultery (or “play the harlot”) whenever they look to powers other than Yahweh for sustenance, comfort or protection. “Playing the harlot”, as the English translations tend to put it, became a common idiom for their worshipping other gods. And, of course, throughout the Hebrew Scriptures we find time and again that Israel frequented places of idol-worship: “On every high hill and under every green tree you sprawled and played the harlot.” Over and over, we see that the Israelites did not only borrow from the Canaanite pagan ways of worshipping idols and false gods, but constantly relapsed into them.

    As for your 21 references of “toevah” (i.e., abomination) in the book of Proverbs: As you should know, the Wisdom Literature is part of the Royal Theology of Judah. The opening part of the book is clearly said to be a manual for the devout young man who believes in the Lord to learn how to act at the court, and thus advance himself, his family, and the Lord’s work. The ostensible collector of such wisdom is Solomon, though that is doubtless a cipher. Later we see that King Hezekiah had significant additions made to the book. In other words, the Wisdom Literature is comparatively late, and inherits much of the traditions of Yahwism without needing to go into elaborate theology. Hence, it deals with the practical and everywhere assumes that the reader is not a FOOL, and does not need further elaborate instruction in the theology of the true faith. Hence, when you get a powerful term, already set in its meaning for many centuries, you find its use in Proverbs very interesting.

    Do you actually think such a theologically-laden buzzword could ever, in later years, be divorced from its primary meaning? In every one of these verses in Proverbs, the wise young man, who listens to Lady Wisdom knows that certain kinds of things are for the devout young man who believes in Yahweh, and listens to the instruction of the wise wisdom teachers. There are certain kinds of things that he should figure out are as if he were a pagan utterly mired in some bloodlust infant burning! A wise Hebrew youth, ready to advance in wisdom, knows that arrogance before God is “toevah”. You might as well try to advance your cause by burning your firstborn alive. An arrogant demeanor, a character that typically lies, a murderer who sheds innocent blood to advance himself, someone who devises evil plans — again to advance himself — someone who lies in testimony for the same reason, these and many other things are accounted by God to the young man who has been trained in God’s will as “toevah”! He will be mown down by God’s wrath as surely as if he were the last survivor of the seven Canaanite nations! And so forth. You don’t get the power of these texts until you apply the meaning of “toevah” to the situation being scrutinized.

    Do you really believe for a moment that these vile cultic practices are applicable to your gay brothers and sisters in the church? To infer that they are, or to insist that your gay brothers and sisters in the church are conspicuously ungrateful to God, foolish, futile, impure or debased, or that they are uniquely prone to the other sins that Paul describes in Romans 1, for example, would indicate that you have simply not even bothered to get to know your fellow Christians. That’s lazy on two counts: exegetical and communal. It’s a claim that barely deserves a hearing.

    Again Prayson, responsible exegesis means looking to draw out what the text meant to the original author and to the original intended audience. You are not doing either. You’re frontloading, i.e., reading your own personal, political, ideological beliefs and prejudcices back into the Bible, instead of reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Thanks Alex,

      Thank you again your comments. I believe there are better things you could be doing. So I am grateful for your continuous visit.

      On Fertility Cult Ritual:

      I sadly believe you dodged the question by throwing a question back to me. I would try to formulate it again in a way that your re-back question would not affect:

      (1)If it is the case that homosex is just fertility cult ritual, then it is the case that bestiality is just fertility cult ritual
      (2)It is not the case that bestiality is just fertility cult ritual
      (3)Therefore it is not the case that homosex is just fertility cult ritual

      What I am trying to show is that God did not just forbid and condemn this practices just for Israelites only because He wanted them to be separate from the Egyptians and Canaanites. These practices are diabolical in God sight, not only because they are connected to pagan cultic ritual but they are abhorrent to the holiness of God.

      Example infant sacrifice would be wrong and evil even if it did not have any relation to cultic ritual in itself(i.e. fertility). This practices are strongly morally disapproved.(N.B: We should keep in mind the difference ceremonial, ritual, legal and moral law)

      Moreover, the logic behind clenching to fertility cult ritual does not hold. And here is why:

      (4)Homosex done not in association to pagan fertility cult ritual is not forbidden.
      (5)Bestiality done not in association to pagan fertility cult ritual is not forbidden
      (6)Infant sacrifice done not in association to pagan fertility cult ritual is not forbidden

      You are holding to (4), my question is, how do you deal with (5) and (6)?

      On Rabbi Understanding Of Mosaic Prohibitions

      My dear Alex, you brought “Ras Shamra” texts to get to understand the Canaanite religion and culture. I thought I could bring Jewish rabbis( who studied and taught Torah) to get to understand what they Jewish traditional understanding was of these laws.

      We can learn a lot from their knowledge of the laws which are in their native language. So I believe they do have a testimony that need our ears.

      Word Study Abomination:

      I have attached a PDF of my word study, thanks to Logos Bible Software 4, to every place to’ebhah occurred. It shows that you were wrong claiming that “abomination = a pagan cult practice often to seek fertility.” N.B: To a layman: I would encourage you to read the context in each passages

      Loaded question

      For a layperson: A loaded/complex question is a question posed in such a way that a person, no matter what answer he/she gives to the question, will inevitably commit him/herself to some other claim, which should not be presupposed in the context in question.

      Alex you asked “Do you really believe for a moment that these vile cultic practices are applicable to your gay brothers and sisters in the church?”

      I would divide the question so that I may not fall into committing myself to a claim which should not be presupposed.

      (1)Leviticus 18 and 20 to be just cultic practice
      (2)A Christian can be practicing homosex
      (3)If may answer is in (1) yes, then should I say yes to (2) also

      I disagree with (1) and (2). Sadly this is not a place to discuss (2) but (1).

      I am looking forward for your reply.

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

  29. Your premise is “the Bible forbids homosexual behavior” and you argue that it is specifically prohibited in Leviticus. First, it should be noted that your argument is based on the unwarranted assumption that what you and I know of as “homosexuality” is the same as that which was being prohibited in Leviticus. Case in point #1: You will not find any positive statements about “tax collectors” anywhere in the Bible. But we realize that when the Bible speaks negatively of tax collectors, it’s not speaking about modern IRS agents. Tax collectors in the days of the Bible were often corrupt and cheated people out of more money than they owed. So when the Bible talks about tax collectors, we know it’s not condemning all tax collectors for all time. It’s condemning the specific behaviors of the tax collectors at that time.

    Secondly, thanks to the many archeological discoveries of the 20th century, our ability to do sound exegesis has increased exponentially. This is because today we actually know more about the Bible than at any previous time in history, including even in later biblical times. Case in point #2: Up until the early 20th century, we knew very little about the Canaanites. We knew little about their religion, their culture or their way of life. For the most part, our only witness to the Canaanites was the texts in the Old Testament. But in 1929 all of that that changed substantially with the discovery of what is called the “Ras Shamra” texts. (Ras Shamra is a place on the northern coast of Syria, where the remains of the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit have been unearthed.) From 1929 to the present, literally thousands of texts and materials have been found. The real treasure was not the buildings or jewelry, but large quantities of writings showing how ancient Canaanite city-life worked and revealing a wealth of information that has been invaluable in our understanding of Canaanite religion and culture. The discovery of these texts is considered by many second only to the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls and they have had a profound effect on biblical studies. How do these discoveries help us to responsibly interpret the biblical texts?

    As already established, we are often profoundly unaware of how our reading of Scripture is colored by our own cultural context and worldview. Case in point #3: One of the most prominent and pervasive themes weaving its way through almost every book of the Bible is that of paganism and the constant call to turn away from it. We find a continuous call to turn from the worshiping of false or pagan gods and to turn instead to the one true living God, Yahweh. In connection with the call to turn from worshiping pagan gods is the admonition to turn from participating in a myriad of pagan rituals or practices. Both OT and NT spend page after page condemning these pagan cult practices. But most of us have no idea what these practices were. They’re now extinct and therefore totally foreign to our contemporary thinking. As a result, statements like those found, for example, in Lev 18:22 may appear clear on the surface, but their application and context are anything but.

    Chapter 17 through 26 of Leviticus is referred to as “The Holiness Code”. It is designed to provide a standard of behavior and way of living that will distinguish the Israelites from the Canaanites whose land they have now been given by God. It is for this very reason that Leviticus 18 begins with a strict caution to avoid retaining the idolatries of Egypt, from where the Israelites had come, and of receiving the idolatries of Canaan, to where they were now going. This statement, according to the Matthew Henry Commentary, sums up the whole chapter of Leviticus 18.

    What were these idolatries? What kind of strange practices did they include? For starters, we discover in the OT that the Canaanites burned their children in honor to their pagan gods, they practiced snake worship, performed sexual intercourse with animals, and a host of other gross and detestable practices.

    Why did they do these bizarre things? What was the motivation behind them? FERTILITY! Fertility was highly prized in Ancient times in ways that are completely foreign to our modern thinking. In many ways, their lives literally depended on it. As a result of the great value placed on fertility, Canaanite religion was replete with practices believed to appease the fertility gods of the day and thereby win them the blessing of fertility: fertility of the land in the form of rains to boost crop production, fertility for the reproduction of their livestock, fertility so their women would have lots of children, and so on. Israel’s survival hinged on fertility and Baal was a god of fertility. This meant that Baal was the power behind the rain and the dew. And with rainfall levels unreliable, famine was always a real possibility.

    As any reputable Bible commentary would tell you, Canaanite culture also utilized cult prostitution as a way of promoting fertility. According to the IVP Bible Background Commentary, “The Canaanite culture utilized cult prostitution as a way of promoting fertility. Devotees … would visit the shrine and use the services of the [male and female] cult prostitutes prior to planting their fields or during other important seasons … In this way they gave honor to the gods … in an attempt to ensure fertility and prosperity for their fields and herds.”

    Similarly, authors Harris, Brown and Moore about Canaanite culture in their book, New International Biblical Commentary: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, say “… in order to ensure fertility of people, animals and crops, a person would engage in sexual intercourse with a cult prostitute, male or female, at the local Baal shrine. The purpose was to inspire [the Canaanite god] Baal to act likewise on the person’s behalf and thus to ensure fertility in all areas of life.”

    Now having a bit of background on the text, let’s look at the passage from Leviticus in context:

    Leviticus 18:21-23

    21 Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.
    22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
    23 Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

    We notice the prohibition here in Leviticus 18:22, against engaging in sex with a cult prostitute, is sandwiched right between two other forbidden pagan cult rituals: one in verse 21 against child sacrifice to the Canaanite god Molech, and another in verse 23 against women having sexual relations with animals. Both of these, as already sated, were practiced by the Canaanites and the Egyptians in fertility worship.

    Why did women have sex with animals? This too was believed to increase their fertility. In the New Bible Commentary, scholar Christopher Wright says the following with reference to Lev 18: “Genital-anal intercourse between men, and both male and female intercourse with animals, are all known to have been part of pagan worship in Egypt, Canaan and elsewhere.”

    So if one reads the passage in context we see that the Holiness Code of Leviticus prohibits these acts for RELIGIOUS reasons, not SEXUAL ones. The concern is to keep Israel distinct from the Gentiles. God’s covenant with his people required that the Israelites not partake in any of these pagan religious practices. Yet sadly, as we read through the Hebrew Scriptures, we discover that time and again the Israelites did not only borrow from the Canaanite ways of worship, but constantly relapsed into them.

    If we don’t catch the fact that male-to-male pagan rite prostitution was a common practice in Bible times for the purpose of promoting fertility, we will completely miss the point of the biblical condemnation and misconstrue verses like Lev 18:22 to forbid any and all same-sex behavior. As professor of biblical exegesis, F.F. Bruce aptly put it: “It is not enough to say, ‘the Bible says’ without at the same time considering to whom the Bible says it, and in what circumstances.”

    As to your claim that “homosexuality” is an “abomination”, it should be noted that the term “abomination” is abominably misunderstood. The Hebrew word “toevah” (translated in the English as “abomination”) functions in a very precise way in priestly literature. It ALWAYS means a practice that is unacceptable because it is one of the cult practices of the pagan religions surrounding God’s people. The thing may be innocuous in itself, but in order for Israel’s faithful to be safeguarded, even otherwise innocent practices were forbidden. Or, it may be something that is intrinsically evil. The key is that it is part and parcel of the cult practice of the pagan religions. Remember that the next time someone tells you that this or that is an abomination to God! An abomination = a pagan cult practice often to seek fertility.

    Remember! Responsible exegesis means we’re looking to draw out what the text meant to the original author and to the original intended audience. I don’t think you did either. And if you don’t do that, what you are doing instead is frontloading, that is to say, you read your own personal, political or ideological beliefs back into the Bible, instead of reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • Thanks Alex,

      Charis humin. I do appreciation the tune and the gentleness of your comment above. Thank you for raising this objection that I did not cover.

      Your objection echoes John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago, 1980), pp. 100-2, Robert Goss, Jesus Acted Up: A Gay and Lesbian Manifesto (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1993), p. 92, and Samuel Terrien, Till the Heart Sings: A Biblical Theology of Manhood & Womanhood (Philadelphia: Fortress, l9B5), p. XXX

      For a layman, this objection by and large could be fairly represented by Samuel Terrien:

      Leviticus prohibitions of homosexual acts were promulgated within the context of idolatrous practices, together with those on intercourse at times of menstruation, the sacrifices of children by fire to Moloch, as well as the mixing of cattle breed, garden seed, and garment cloth. All these prohibitions were matters not of morality but of cult…. The use of the word “abomination,” to’ebah, which justified the brutal severity of the prohibition against homosexuality (Lev18:22;20:13), shows beyond doubt that this concerned not social ethics but ritual impurity.

      Back To Alex:

      If you are correct, that homosex was just a cultic ritual practice then I do believe you have a strong ground to dismiss Leviticus 18 and 20 as not binding to all God’s chosen people.

      I believe you are not correct. An attempt to clench on idolatry(seen homosex as a cultic ritual) to dissipate the universality of moral laws does not hold. These are my reasons:

      1. Argument Against Just fertility Cultic Ritual:

      (1)If it the case that homosex was just fertility cultic ritual,(thus not binding) then its the case that adultery, incest, infant sacrifice and bestiality, (to which homosex is sandwiched), are also not binding.
      (2)It is not the case that adultery, incest, infant sacrifice and bestiality are not binding
      (3)Therefore, its not the case that homosex was just fertility cultic ritual.

      How do we square with other moral laws that are universally binding that are listed together with male homosex? Remember the difference between ceremonial, ritual and moral law. The last is universally binding.

      2. Rabbi Understanding of Mosaic Homosex Prohibition

      Psuedo-Phocylides, second temple Jewish literature records ‘Do not transgress with unlawful sex the limits set by nature. For even animals are not pleased by intercourse of male with male. And let women not imitate the sexual role of men’ (Psuedo- Phocylides 190–92; cf. 3, 210–14) and both Josephus, (Antiq. 1.200–201; Ag.Ap. 2.199;) and Philo (Spec. Laws 1.325; 2.50; 3.37–42; Abr. 135–37; Cont. Life 59–62.) held to this prohibition. This shows that they understood homosex to be unlawful.Thus we cannot just brush them under “fertility cultic practice” rag.

      You are also wrong claiming that “abomination = a pagan cult practice often to seek fertility.” The reason you are wrong is that abomination (to’ebhah -which occurs over 116 times) is used in OT to express strong moral disapproval.

      Example: stealing, murder, perjury, (Jeremiah 7:9-10), insincere worship(Isaiah 1:13),incest (Ezekiel 22:11), dishonest( Deuteronomy 25:16), in Proverbs(21 times) shed innocent blood, false witness e.t.c

      Thank you for the objections, I am looking forth for your reply.

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

  30. you are one funny guy, prayson…..didnt you read the part in the bible where it states you as a human have no right to sit on gods throne and judge your fellow men? also, just to make sure youve been told about this: the way you read your scriptures and construct your reasoning is quite fundamentalist. and i dont mean this as an insult, i just hope you know what you are actually saying in your posts. to use your own reasoning: the texts you use should be put in their proper timeline. times have changed my friend. the human race has developed beyond those ideas. also, i wonder why you feel the need to proclaim your truth so loudly? if the gays will get punished for being gay, youll be punished for judging your fellow men. what is the use of judging others, especially since you cant even judge yourself properly it seems? youre breaking your own religions rules to bash others?
    theres a reason why christian science isnt taken seriously by any real scientists: its because its biased and based on the unverifiable rumour that its gods law handed down to mankind, eventho theres no actual way to verify this, or to debunk the theory that its a just a powerpyramide, devised by humans to gain power and wealth. its funny to see you verify gods law with the bible, and verify the bible with middle ages reasoning. it resembles very much how fundamentalist muslims interpret their koran. judge not, lest you be judged yourself.

    • Thanks Prezzy1971,

      Thank you for commenting. In deed the Bible in Matthew 7:1-5 speaks of judging. But I do believe you took it out of context.

      Not all judging are forbidden, Example “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)

      This follows that the forbidden judgment is that which is unrighteous. Am I judging you for judging me judging you? Yes, we cannot help but judge. I am a sinner and I do believe many time I have judged unrighteous. The reason I believe I am not going to be punished is because I am strongly sorrowful when I discover I have sinned, I repent and turn to the one who took all my sins and nailed them at the cross.

      You are right that the Bible should be put in its proper timeline. But their are truth that are timeless. Example moral codes.

      I these series of articles, I am not bashing homosex, but defending what the Bible record about homosex practice. I do love, respect and care for them that are practicing homosex.

      Maranatha,
      Prayson

  31. Here is a place for comments, and objections on Leviticus 18:22 and 20:23. I do hope and pray that our comments will reflect that we are in Christ Jesus.

    May we engage in this sensitive discussion with love, gentleness and respect to each others position.

    N.B: I do care, love and welcome gays with all i am even though I do not share there position on the Bible and Homosex.

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