As I mentioned this past weekend, I would blog on my own biblical interpretation as it relates to homosexuality. It’s important that these blog posts are connected to my heart which I expressed this past weekend. You can view my message at westsidelive.org.
So what does the Bible say about homosexuality? There are really only 8 verses that speak directly to this issue. The Genesis 19 and Judges 19 passages are really talking about sexual perversion. In my opinion these men would not be “homosexuals” but rather sexual predators that don’t care about gender. If that’s true then the passage in Jude also describes these same men in Genesis 19 and not what our culture deems homosexuals.
What about the other five verses? The Leviticus passages are difficult for me because the book of Leviticus is full of regulations that we don’t follow today. So to single out one or two that we might agree with is potentially bad biblical exegesis and I prefer to not build a theology around one book of the Bible that was written very specifically for the Israelites who were wandering in the wilderness and needed a strong set of guidelines to help them survive for 40 years in the desert.
So what about the remaining three written by the Apostle Paul?
Romans 1:26-27 – key phrase that I will come back to: “God gave them up to…” Now some Christians have used these verses and the phrase “receiving in themselves the penalty of their error” to describe AIDS as the judgment on the homosexual community. That is not what Paul was talking about. It had nothing to do with a physical illness but rather a spiritual and emotional disconnect from God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 – what’s astonishing about these verses is not that homosexuality is listed, but that it is listed with so many other things. So we must stop using these verses to condemn homosexuality while ignoring the rest of the rebuke. Paul is making a case that we are all in the same boat. We ‘were’ something but now we’re not. It’s our commonality that is highlighted not a particular sin in the list.
If you are tracking with me so far you can see why some pastors and denominations are moving away from the traditional view that homosexuality is a sin. Many of these men and women love God’s word and are trying to interpret it as best they can. I’m open to honest dialogue about why people interpret certain scriptures a certain way. So why do I still believe homosexuality is not God’s best for humanity nor the normative for any society seeking to live according to God’s will?
It really has very little to do with these eight scriptures, but has everything to do with two other scriptures: Genesis 1:26-28 and Genesis 2:18-24. I’ll blog on these Wednesday.
Action: How are you processing this so far? Are you frustrated, angry? Why or why not? Would love to hear your thoughts.
SCRIPTURES FROM ABOVE
And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally. ” (Genesis 19:5 NKJV)
As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally! ” (Judges 19:22 NKJV)
as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7 NKJV)
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22 NKJV)
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13 NKJV)
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Romans 1:26, 27 NKJV)
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV)
knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, (I Timothy 1:9, 10 NKJV)