I came across this website by accident and am shocked...
Rick Brentlinger Answers -
I offer this email exchange because it is typical of the hundreds of emails I get from Christians who take me to task for defending gays and lesbians.Lisa writes:
"I came across this website by accident and am shocked that anyone reading the Bible can condone any form of sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman.
The three forms that would encompass would be fornication (sex before marriage), adultery (sex outside of marriage) and homosexulaity (sex between people of the same sex). The Bible teaches that God can change all struggles people face and that includes homosexuality.
It also warns those living an unrepentant homosexual life (different from someone struggling and looking for a way out) will not inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor 6v9). "Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals nor sodomites will inherit the kingdom of God.
Did you tear that section out of the Bible? I advise you to repent and know both God's love and transforming power. As a Christian you are supposed to submit to God's Word and agree with his views on standards for living. He will help you.
I would never want to stand before God and pick and choose which Scriptures I liked /disliked: it is all God's Word. God loves homosexuals but as with the case of Mary Magdalene he wants to change hearts -he had compassion on her but also said' go away and sin no more'.
Sexual sin of any kind is very serious. May the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ cause you to find your identity in Him in His Word and not in struggles of the flesh. However difficult - God can change a person's heart."Rick Responds:
Thanks for taking time to write to me. Your comments are appreciated even if we do not agree. I believe you have the wrong idea about marriage in the Bible. This Link explains my position. http://www.gaychristian101.com/Marriage-in-the-Bible.html
Modern marriages do NOT resemble Adam and Eve's marriage
- Adam and Eve were naked before, during and after their marriage "ceremony," Genesis 2:24, 3:7.
- Adam and Eve did not have an ordained minister officiate at the ceremony because they were the only two people on earth at that time.
- Adam and Eve did not have any guests, caterers, photographers or family members at the "ceremony."
- Adam and Eve did not exchange wedding rings.
- Adam and Eve did not recite wedding vows to each other.
- Adam and Eve did not have a church wedding in a church building.
- Adam and Eve did not pray for God's blessing on their marriage.
- No city, county, state or federal office gave Adam and Eve a wedding certificate.
- No church or religion gave Adam and Eve a wedding certificate.
How do we know these facts about Adam and Eve's marriage? The same way anti-gay Christians allege that they know there are no gay marriages in the Bible, because none of the listed items are explicitly mentioned in the Bible concerning the marriage of Adam and Eve.
Ancient marriage was based on the partners committing to each other
Marriage in Bible times consisted of the partners leaving father and mother and committing to each other in a way they were not committed to anyone else.
Things hadn't changed much four thousand years after Adam and Eve, in the first century AD, when Jesus walked the earth. In Palestine, a Jewish wedding usually involved the consent of the bride's family and the groom's family. Often there were no papers attesting to the marriage.
The wedding ceremony in New Testament times was a family affair, involving feasting and a party, sometimes lasting a week, if the parents were wealthy enough to afford that, John 2:1-11.
The point is, marriage in the Bible can only be accurately understood in the context of ancient cultures and customs, many of which are obsolete today.
Is there any evidence of an actual gay marriage in the bible?
IF by marriage, you mean a union sanctioned in writing by civil and/or religious authorities, then the answer is NO, there probably were no gay marriages in the Bible.
Of course, if we're only accepting as valid, marriages which were sanctioned in writing by religious or civil authorities who lived at the same time as the Biblical married couple, then MOST heterosexual marriages in the Bible are NOT marriages by that standard.
Did same sex couples in Bible times partner together as a committed couple in some way? I think the answer to that is Yes, although their partnership probably looked different and functioned differently than same sex partnerships today.
Since approximately 5% of the human population is same sex oriented, certainly for as long as there have been human beings, there have been partnered couples in one form or another.
Did those partnered couples enjoy the same kind of partnership we think of today, jointly owning a house and possibly a business, living together as a vital part of the community, with their partnership recognized by the community? Probably not in most cases.
Is there any evidence of an actual gay marriage in the bible?
IF by marriage, you are NOT referring to a union recognized in writing (with a wedding certificate) by civil authorities and religious authorities but instead, you're referring to the kinds of marriages affirmed in the Bible, like Adam and Eve, Isaac and Rebekah, David and Jonathan or the Centurion and his beloved partner then YES, there probably are several gay marriages in the Bible.
Gay marriages in the Bible include the marriage partnership of Jonathan and David, which was recognized as a sexual partnership by King Saul himself, 1 Samuel 18:21, 20:30, and the marriage partnership of the centurion and his beloved servant, Matthew 8:5-10 and Luke 7:1-10.
May God bless you abundantly as you walk the path of His purpose for your life.
Your brother in Christ, Rick Brentlinger Lisa Responds:
Hi Rick, thank you for your reply. I have read your link and recognise that at times the truest meaning of Scripture is best understood by historical distance. For example, in Revelation Ch3: 15 Jesus rebukes the Church of Laodicea for being lukewarm - neither hot nor cold.
Laodicea was a prosperous banking city that met at the intersection of both a warm body of water and a cooler body of water. God is very careful in His use of words and it certainly adds richness to the initial reading today. But historical distance can never contradict such an explicit verse as I gave in 1Cor 6:9.
Jonathon and David had a special friendship but nowhere does it say they were sexually involved with each other. If God thought homosexuality was permissible wouldn't there be an example for us in Scripture that is tangible.
The Bible speaks of fleeing all forms of sexual immorality - again 1Cor 6:9 is there - how do you ignore it?
I regard all sexual sin as being wrong - sometimes homosexuality is highlighted as being the most grave which it isn't scripturally speaking - yet all sin is sin when one reads God's Word. You rely heavily on cultural influences - yet God's moral truth is surely unchangeable and not effected by culture.
May the Lord speak to you and again how do you get round 1Cor 6:9 - it is in now way impacted by any cultural influence - it is God's Word and means exactly what he says. In Christian love, LisaRick Responds:
Thanks for your interesting questions. Would it surprise you to learn that most of the professing church for the last 2000 years has not understood the meaning of 1 Cor 6:9 the way you understand it?http://www.gaychristian101.com/Malakoi.html
Would it surprise you to learn that most Christians for 2000 years did not understand the Greek words malakoi and arsenokoitai in 1 Cor 6:9 as a reference to homosexuals?http://www.gaychristian101.com/Define-Arsenokoites.html
As far as all homosexual unions being sinful, I think you're missing the point God makes in the Bible. In the Bible, a marriage is not the civil or religious ceremony.
In the Bible, a marriage is when flesh joins flesh, when two people unite their lives and bodies together and keep themselves unto each other, till death do them part.
This principle is clearly stated by God in 1 Cor 7:1-9. To avoid fornication, people should be partnered. If you're among the 95% of heterosexuals on planet earth, then men find a wife and women find a husband.
Yet the same principle applies to the 5% of homosexuals. To avoid the fornication and spiritual chaos caused by folks who have sex outside a committed relationship, the Biblical principle is that same sex attracted men should partner with a man and same sex attracted women should partner with a woman.http://www.gaychristian101.com/does-1-cor-72-exclude-gays-and-lesbians-from-marriage.html
I wonder if you are aware of the sexual licentiousness of many single, conservative Protestant Christians, many of whom view gays and lesbians as having sinful lifestyles?http://www.gaychristian101.com/isnt-it-all-about-sex-for-you-gays-and-lesbians.html
I hope this makes my position on 1 Cor 6:9 more clear.
Your brother in Christ, Rick Brentlinger