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REASON >> Regarding the Bible

 
 
 
Although there already exist many pro-gay scriptural arguments and that this site is not meant to be apologetic, I have some unique views on Scripture that I would like to share. For simplicity sake, they are in paragraphs.

Regarding Sodom (Gen.19)
This is obviously a story condemning sexual aggression and violence. The usual defense of inhospitality is correct but a bit of an undertone. Whenever a group of aggressive men shows hostility by asking strangers to participate in a violent sexual orgy, it is a very serious sin. It is a deliberate attack that is fuel by pure lust, hatred, and destructive attitude. But this story is NOT specifically about homosexuality for two reasons:
1. If the story happened in a heterosexual context (e.g. the messengers are women), one would never say it is a condemnation of heterosexuality. The usual conclusion of homosexual condemnation is a result of bias. A sex crime has happened, but the logical leap to saying it is against gays and lesbian is unfound.
2. There are multiple mentionings of Sodom all over the Bible -- none of which said anything about homosexuality. Sexual sin in general was referred (e.g. Jude 1:7). Most of the referrals are about the severity of the city’s destruction (e.g. Matthew 11:23, Luke 17:29, Luke 17:32-33, Matt 11: 24, Genesis 18:20), but nothing specifically about the kind of crime/sin in the city. The most revealing passages regarding Sodom, which includes Jesus’ own words, all point to the hostility and violence of the city (e.g.Matthew 10:14-15, Mark 6:11, Luke 10:10-12).
Simply put, Sodom is not about homosexuality because neither did the text itself nor any of the other referrals in the Bible points to this assumption.

The "Morality code" in Lev 18:19-23, 20:13
Three points here:
1. The wording suggests the verses are not refering homosexual relationships. The verses are consistently and specifically worded as "lie with mankind, as with woman". Considering the term "sexual relation" was used many times in the same passage (NIV), it seems questionable why this term isn't used in these verses if they were meant to reject homosexuals (sexual relations between men). The phrase "also lie with mankind" in 20:13(KJV) further suggests the verse is referring to a man having multiple partners or sexual interest in both sexes at the same time, but not generally about homosexual relations. The wording of the sentence was meant for promiscuity, not sexuality, otherwise the strangely consistent, and specific wording cannot be explained.
2. There are other condemnations that are invalid in Leviticus. The word abomination was used else where in condemning the eating of various animals and shell-fish (Lev 11:10-13,20,23,41,42). The used of mixed fabric(Lev.19:19) and the eating of blood (Lev.17:10). In the same chapter, acceptance of multiple wives (18:18) and sex during period (18:19) were mentioned; in Ch.20, animals are seriously separated into clean and unclean (vrs 25). Christians no longer accept the validity of these rules mentioned above because of common sense, therefore, the homosexual related verses must also be allowed to be re-examine if one is being reasonable.
3. Related to point #2, our understanding of the Bible has always been, and will always be selective. We often base our judgment on our knowledge and understanding of reality and God's intention. Current academic and scientific studied have failed to prove homosexuality as being harmful. Basing on these facts, the "Morality code" of Lev. cannot be solely authoritative.

"Condemnations" in the New Testament
1.
Since the Old Testaments doesn't conclusively condemn homosexuality, and Jesus never commented on the issue, the disciples' authority comes solely from their own opinions. These writings were letters with a practical purpose in its time under specific context, the ideas in these letters are not always universal. Since the notion of inspiration in Scripture is highly disputed in theological studies, so even assuming every ideas in the NT was intended by God, we must also account for human expression and contextual needs of the writings.
2. In every case, the mentioning of homosexual is under the context of idolatry along side with all kinds of other sins. Sexual terms in Roman’s time are highly descriptive and specific. The original language of the word "homosexual" used by Paul were meant as male temple prostitute in all of such passages. This meaning of the term have been agreed by all sound theologians, both pro and anti gays scholars. This particular notion of homosexual used often implies pedophilia, prostitution, religious ritual, and sexual slavery. It is not the same as the "gay issue" (marriage, love, and family between free adults) that people are currently discussing now.
3. Related to the paragraph about, although anti-homosexual scholar agreed that homosexual issue back in Paul's time is not the same as the "gay issue" today, they insist that one cannot justify homosexuality as being approved by God. It is true that there is a large logical leap between “Bible not condemning” and “Bible approving”, but the attempt to disqualify homosexual love is just as big of a logical leap. The absence of approval is not automatically a negative judgment. For example, the Bible never talked about technologically related moral issues, this doesn't mean technology is evil. Truly, technology has been challenged in the past. Something as simple as a light bulb was opposed as an act of playing God (e.g. altering day light) in the very early days. When something is beyond the Biblical text, we need to make judgments ourselves basing on our God-given rationale and principles of Christian love and responsibility.
4. Paul was oddly reserved toward sexual matters in general. He seem to have bias on sex related issues. For example, in 1 Cor.7:1,9 Paul suggested that marriage should be avoided at best, and we are to marry to avoid being burnt by desire. I do not believe any common Christian these day would take this opinion of his seriously.
5. Again, multiple wrong ideas were justified using the Bible in the past, for example, slavery (Isa:11:12, M't:10:24,22:24, Eph:6:5, Col:3:22) was upheld because it was a model after the relation of human and God (as comparable to servant and master). Women were also considered secondary and a cause of sin by verses such as: I Tim 3:1-4,11, I Cor 14:34,35, Gen 3:16, Eph 5:22. Now we all understand these verses to be culturally and semantically limited. They were products of its time, and should not be blindly accepted for there is no acceptable reason to do so. The homosexual issue is on similar ground, the general approval of the "secular academic world" of gays and lesbians is not simply a rebellious statement, but a conclusion based on years of studies and examinations. The practice of Christian living should be rational and factually honest. The Scripture's interpretation should not be exempted from factual consistency. There are reality in the world that even God cannot refute, for He made the world in his faithful will. And God is part of reality, all truth is God's truth. Scripture, however significant for our faith, has its limits of scope. Again, the principle of unbias Christian love is called for when examining the gay issue.
 

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