Rethinking Homosexuality

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by MarciontheModerateBaptist, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Baptists have been avoiding the issue of homosexuality and the church for far too long. I say "avoiding" because a pat answer does not work with such a complicated issue. We cannot honestly say "because the Bible says so" in response to homosexuality because the Bible does not just say so. It is wrapped in historical and cultural nuances which we must understand to get to the bottom of the issue. If you've seen my posts in other threads, then you probably already know I lean a bit towards to the left in my interpretation of Scripture. I want this thread to be one of civility and attempted objectivity (as much as is possible). I want both sides to be presented, and I want us to realize that unity is of upmost importance. In my opinion, the Christian church is rejecting a significant number of people based on who they are attracted to. This is heart-breaking to me. I hope this thread will get both sides thinking about the issue in earnest.

    In Christ,
    Daniel Payne
     
  2. Chick Daniels

    Chick Daniels
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    Since when does history and culture determine what is absolute truth? Absolute truth should be the standard for culture, not the other way around. Your post is fully post-modernistic in its approach. You are on a hermeneutical road that reduces the Scriptures to nice stories that stir the emotion, but have no absolute authority.

    Clearly, the Bible condemns homosexuality as sin. Period. Absolutely. These people need re-generation. It is our task to give them the gospel in the hopes that God will save them from their sins. There are many examples of homosexuals who have come to Christ, repented of their sin (gone straight) and are now Christian leaders.

    The problem in your post is not the issue of homosexuality, but rather allowing post-modernism to guide your hermeneutics. The issue of Homosexuality is simply a symptom of your hermeneutical problem.

    Chick

    [ January 10, 2002: Message edited by: Chick Daniels ]
     
  3. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Daniel, baptists in particular have an opportunity for fellowship and diversity on this issue. Since local congregations are autonomous, it is conceivable that pro-gay churches and anti-gay churches can work cooperatively (as they do in the CBF in though CBF will no longer hire open gay and lesbian Christians). Unfortunately, and for reasons I don't understand, this issue has become the test of orthodoxy for very conservative Christians.

    As Chick has pointed out, there is a hermeneutic that claims that all moral rules are absolute ones. In my experience, they have to do some cognitive gymnastics around the Old Testament, but that generally doesn't stop them. Nevertheless, historically Jews and Christians have been somewhat flexible on understanding which actions reflect sinful intent or behavior.

    Joshua
     
  4. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    Chick,

    You obviously do not understand what postmodernism and relativity are. I am advocating an honest look at Scripture. I am not saying homosexuality was one wrong and now is right because culture has changed. I am saying that the authors that address homosexuality are not addressing the same type of sexuality we know today. Romans 1 obviously deals with pagan religious practices in which men and women engaged in homosexual behavior. The problem is paganism - not homosexuality. The only homosexuality Paul knew of was based on (1) pagan religion or (2) pedophilia. If Paul encountered a committed homosexual Christian today, I am quite sure he would be surprised that some people try to apply what he wrote 2000 years ago to their present situation. I am not saying truth has changed, but understandings of homosexuality have changed.

    Daniel Payne
     
  5. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    Daniel,

    You'll find we've gone down the road of interpreting the biblical passages that deal with same-sex behavior several times. I'm sure the threads are still out there if you want to find them. I don't want to rehash the arguments on a new thread, but I am interested in talking about how baptist churches and cooperative bodies should respond to the ministry opportunities available to them and how they should look at issues of cooperation.

    Joshua
    (Who thinks that homosexuality is not a sin, but does get tired of people saying his ministerial credentials should be revoked :cool: )
     
  6. TheVeryBapistChild

    TheVeryBapistChild
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    The thought of "Adam and Steve" scares me. Modern culture accepts homosexuallity as well as other sins to be normal in our lives. This is the same modern culture that has no integrety nor laws that restrict sin. Being gay is not OK. Scipture tells us that earthly desires are not Godly desires (stick that in your ear.)

    Think about it.
     
  7. Don

    Don
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The only homosexuality Paul knew of was based on (1) pagan religion or (2) pedophilia.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I humbly disagree. And no, I haven't read any of your posts in other threads.

    To imply that these are the ONLY examples of homosexuality in Paul's time is similar to saying that the only homosexuality we know of today is based on extreme cults or pedophilia.

    The timelessness of the Bible is in question here; and the fact that a collection of writings that I believe we all agree was God-breathed dealt with most, if not all, of the same issues 4,000 years ago that we're dealing with today, emphasizes that fact.

    Gentlemen, there is no such thing as a Christian adulterer, nor a Christian fornicator. But the man who resists committing adultery, and the woman who resists committing fornication--those God loves, and the devil flees from.

    I believe that engaging in homosexuality is biblically wrong, and sinful. I believe we can preach the Gospel to homosexuals, and I believe they can be redeemed by God's love and His shed blood. But I also believe that those that say they can continue in homosexual activities and still call themselves Christians, are no different than those who continue in fornication and/or adultery and call themselves "Christians."
     
  8. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    Homosexuality is biblically wrong, plain and simple. Scripture could not be clearer. It is one of the few sins God calls an abomination.

    The charge that Baptists have "avoided" the issue doesn't stick, as many a commentator and exegete has addressed the issue, whch in reality, is a non-issue. There is no debate.

    I am moving this thread to the Baptist theology board.

    [ January 10, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  9. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Thanks for the move, Chris. I'd like to move it to the garbage heap. Promoting sodomy is like promoting other heinous sins and has no place on this Board.

    God said (and you can whine about it being "cultural" or only "religious", but you know, GOD DOESN'T WHINE OR MINCE WORDS. He says <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Although they claimed to be WISE, they became FOOLS and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>And then <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Because of this, God gave them over to SHAMEFUL LUSTS. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their PERVERSION.

    Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Now, can a sodomite be "saved" and reject this filthy perverted lifestyle? Evidently that was the case in Corinth: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    And such WERE some of you: but ye ARE washed, but ye ARE sanctified, but ye ARE justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  10. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I have taken more than a few beatings on this very board for my anti-sodomite position. But thank you Dr. Bob, & Don, & Chris.

    I do believe homosexuals can be saved. But to go with this practice would be like the saved drug addict who still uses. It is not O.K. to turn your back on God's word. It is not O.K. to justify azpostate thinking with what the world is doing.

    AFAIC, nothing to re-think about, only re-pent from.
     
  11. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner
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    Romans 1 says several things about sodomy (not paganism):


    1. It dishonors the body. Ro 1:24 (KJV)

    2. It is a vile affection. Ro 1:26 (KJV)

    3. It is against nature. Ro 1:27 (KJV)

    4. It is an error that brings God's judgment. Ro 1:27 (KJV)

    5. It is unseemly. Ro 1:27 (KJV)


    Homosexuality is a sin!

    Sincerely,
    RR
     
  12. John Wells

    John Wells
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    Leviticus 18:22 (ESV)
    22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

    Numbers 23:19a (ESV)
    19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

    Any answers, Joshua? Daniel?

    A better title for this thread would be "Let's change God's mind to suite ours concerning homosexuality!" I agree with Dr. Bob, arguing the ligitimacy of homosexuality belongs on the trash heap!
    :eek:

    [ January 11, 2002: Message edited by: John Wells ]
     
  13. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    The word abomination is also used to refer to sowing two or more kinds of thread together in Leviticus. That's because it was a cult practice, as homosexual behavior was to the Canaanite cults. I am pretty sure those who wear multi-colored clothing and accept Christ are saved.
     
  14. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John Wells:
    Any answers, Joshua?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Regarding abominations: Leviticus 11 also makes it clear that eating shrimp is an abomination.

    Regarding changing minds: Genesis 32:14 "And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planeed to bring on his people." (NRSV) I'm pretty sure the verb there is /nacham/ for those who wish to challenge that translation.

    Joshua
     
  15. swaimj

    swaimj
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    Joshua,
    I am puzzled by the hermeneutic you are using to say that homosexuality is no longer an abomination. I understand that there are ceremonial and cultural regulations in the OT law (like eating shrimp and mixing materials in clothing) which are not binding on us today. However, the way you argue for your position on homosexuality confuses me. If I say I believe that murder is a sin, or stealing, will you say,"Yeah, and I bet you think that eating shrimp is a sin too!"? Surely you are not saying that the OT has no moral instruction for us at all?
     
  16. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam
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    Joshua- The Old Testament law says that we are not to go to bed with our sister or mother. And it says we are not to have relations with animals. Since we live in a whole new covenant- would you say it is okay to do these things?

    UNP
    Adam
     
  17. MarciontheModerateBaptist

    MarciontheModerateBaptist
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    I cannot speak for Joshua, but the point I am trying to make is this: by what authority do you not abide by one law and enforce another? Fundamentalists (and some Moderates) use a pick and choose hermeneutic that is not at all useful in serious discussions. Moderates and liberals are not saying, "I like this passage, but I don't like this one." We are attempting to be honest with all of Scripture and interpret in faithfully as it applies today.

    Daniel
     
  18. Bob Alkire

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    Daniel, I think where we come to different points is how we take the Bible.
    Look at Romans I take it to be an inspired interpretation of our faith as christians. Lets take from reading Jude I think that the Holy Spirit knew what was going to happen, He knew that men claiming to be christian teachers and preachers would come to undermine the teaching of the Epistles by taking us back to the gospel where they would have freedom to interpret loosely the teaching without difinite limations.
    I believe that each book of the bible,OT and NT are the words of God. I think in a way the Bible is Christ's mind on earth.
    Bob

    [ January 11, 2002: Message edited by: Bob Alkire ]
     
  19. Chick Daniels

    Chick Daniels
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    Daniel, If you were trying to be honest with Scripture, then you will obey the Scriptures as quoted by Dr. Bob and others. My original statement on this thread sticks. Your politically-correct, post-modernistic, warm and fuzzy hermeneutic is an attempt to explain away what God has clearly stated. If our culture made it politically correct for all of us to run around without any clothing--and anyone who objected became labelled as an insensitive fanatic--you and Joshua would probably come along and say, "you fundamentalists need take another look at this clothing issue--the Scriptures really need to be taken into cultural and historical context. Why Paul would be astonished if he were here today to see believers taking a stand requiring clothing."

    In truth, the OT condemns homosexuality, as does the NT. The evidence from Church History is also consistent. Only now in the politically correct, enlightened 20/21 century do people stand up and inform God that in all our wisdom, we have determined that God's clear statements must be made relative to accomodate the sensitivities of sinners around us. Please read D.A. Carson's Gagging of God.

    Chick
     
  20. FaithRemains

    FaithRemains
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by paynedaniel:
    Moderates and liberals are not saying, "I like this passage, but I don't like this one." We are attempting to be honest with all of Scripture and interpret in faithfully as it applies today.

    Daniel
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Moderates and liberals like to interpret the bible for today, and tomorrow they will interpret it differently to fit whatever they want. Fundamentalists interpret the Bible not to fit today, but to fit all of time. You can find scripture to back up any idea that you have if you go looking for it. The bible must be read with an open mind and you must be willing to change to it, not make it change to you!

    As for homosexuality, it is wrong. pure and simple. The term 'sodomy' comes from Sodom, which was destroyed due partly to rampant homosexuality. Sexual perversion has always had a serious consequence. This sin, like any other, can and is overcome by Godly, agape, love. But you can not serve God while openly and unashamedly living in sin.
     

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