Is homosexuality wrong? Are these verses talking about a gay marriage or a committed faithful non-cultic same sex partnership or are these verses talking about pagan worship of the fertility goddess? What is the historical and religious context?
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination [towebah].” Leviticus 18:22
“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination [towebah]: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:13
Don't Get Confused. “In the twenty first century many Christians confuse modern homosexuality, non-cultic same sex attraction, with the ancient world’s sexual abuse of slaves, rape of foreigners, pederasty and pagan fertility rites. None of those ancient practices are analogs to modern homosexuality.” -Rick Brentlinger, Author of eBook Gay Christian 101.
Constitutional attorneys sometimes discuss the idea of "original intent." In answering this question about homosexuality, understanding original intent in scripture is vitally important. If we rip verses out of context and use the out of context verses to condemn our gay brothers and lesbian sisters, we sin against God and His truth in scripture.
Was God talking about modern, twenty first century gay marriage or committed faithful non-cultic same sex partnerships or was He talking about pagan sexual rituals in worship of the Canaanite fertility goddess? Context is important.
There is no evidence in the Bible that God or OT Jews or Jesus Christ Himself understood Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 as prohibiting committed faithful non-cultic same sex partnerships. The homosexuality wrong idea comes from taking verses out of context.
We know that because, although Sodom is mentioned 48 times in the Bible, not once in 48 verses of scripture in the Old and New Testaments does God ever reference homosexuality when He speaks of Sodom.
Although anti-gay Christians wish the Bible talked about homosexuality whenever Sodom is mentioned, God just doesn’t make that connection in the Bible in any of the 48 verses which mention Sodom. Since God doesn't make that connection, why are you making that connection? Think about that for a while before you assume homosexuality is wrong.
Jesus spoke of Sodom but He never linked Sodom to homosexuality.
Jesus mentioned Sodom - in Matthew 10:15 and 11:23, Mark 6:11, Luke 10:12 and 17:29 - but Jesus never mentioned homosexuality in connection with Sodom. I know many Christians think He should have mentioned how bad homosexuality is but Jesus never said anything like that. Homosexuality wrong? Not according to Jesus.
If Jesus agreed with the anti-gay viewpoint, don't you think He would have said so when He spoke of Sodom?
Did you know that in the Bible, the term eunuch sometimes describes a gay man? Do you remember reading what Jesus said about eunuchs in Matthew 19:3-12?
“But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Matthew 19:11-12.
Jesus said there are three kinds of eunuchs and the first class of eunuchs He mentions are those eunuchs who "were so born from their mother's womb." Matthew 19:12.
Do you understand
what Jesus said?
When referring to eunuchs, Jesus said, in Matthew 19:11 that eunuchs cannot receive His teaching about the Adam and Eve marriage paradigm in Matthew 19:5 - in plainer words, Jesus said eunuchs shouldn't marry a woman.
And Jesus pointed out to all of us that some eunuchs never made a choice to be eunuchs - they were born that way. Jesus specifically excluded "born eunuchs" from the heterosexual Adam and Eve marriage paradigm, Matthew 19:4-6. That's interesting in light of the, Is homosexuality wrong? question.
What on earth is a born eunuch?
When we define what it means to be a born eunuch, honesty requires that we be historically accurate. What did Jesus mean by the term “born eunuch.”
If one is born a eunuch, then being a eunuch was NOT the result of personal choice or too much or too little estrogen or testosterone in the womb or nurture by parents or influence by society, right? Which possibility below is most historically accurate and which option best fits what Jesus said?
Dr. Robert Gagnon, the world's leading anti-gay evangelical scholar affirms that born eunuchs probably were homosexual and that same sex cult prostitutes existed in ancient Israel.
Keep in mind that the best anti-homosexual book available today is, The Bible And Homosexual Practice by Dr. Gagnon, Associate Professor of Greek and New Testament (with tenure) at Pittsburg Theological Seminary. He believes as so many anti-gay Christians believe, that any and all homosexual practice is sinful and against God's intention for humankind. Is homosexuality wrong?
But Dr. Gagnon is honest enough to admit that the Old Testament context of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 is Molech worship and shrine prostitution. He deals with this issue in a section of his book headed "Homosexual Cult Prostitution in Israel," pp. 100-110.
3. "There is good evidence of homosexual cult prostitution in Israel during the period of the divided monarchy.” p. 100.
4. The [Hebrew] term [qedesim/qades] denotes “men at cult sites who engaged in homosexual prostitution: male temple (or cult, shrine, sacred) prostitutes.” p. 101.
5. Qedesim “...one of whose cultic functions was to offer their bodies to other men for same-sex intercourse.” p. 102.
6. “two other occurances of qedesa in the Bible (Gen 38:21-22; Hos 4:14) also link it with the term zona, “prostitute, harlot.” p. 103. Homosexuality wrong?
7. “The remark in I Kgs 14:24 that the people of Judah “conformed their behavior to all the abominations (toebot) of the nations which Yahweh dispossessed” sounds remarkably like the summary in Lev 18:24-30, which followed a listing of sexual offenses that singled out in particular same-sex male intercourse as an “abomination.”” p. 103.
8. “the same-sex role of the assinu, kugarru, and kuluu (who, owing to castration, were certainly unsuitable partners for heterosexual intercourse and impregnation) does provide good evidence for homosexual cult prostitution.” p. 104.
9. “The harsh descriptions of the qedesim in I-2 Kings (I Kgs 14:24: “even qades were in the land”) and Job 36:14, along with the epithet of “dog” in Deu 23:18, suggests a degree of revulsion more suited to same-sex male cult prostitution.” p. 104.
10. “That means Josiah’s action against the qedesim in the temple precincts was likely taken as a direct result of laws in Deut 23:17-18 regarding the qedesim or “dogs.”” p. 106.
11. “It can hardly be denied that... (the author of Job 36:14) regarded the qedesim as homosexual cult prostitutes.” p. 108.
12. “Cult association is established by the name “holy/consecrated ones” and by the connection to Asherah. The element of prostitution is clear from Deut 23:17-18 (fees for services rendered) and the connection to qedesot, who elsewhere are identified as harlots.” p. 108. Homosexuality wrong?
13. “The same-sex dimension is suggested by the label “dogs,” by history of religion parallels, and by the unlikelihood of male heterosexual prostitution.” p. 108.
14. “The existence of homosexual shrine prostitutes in Judah was a recurring problem.” Dr. Robert Gagnon, p. 110.
Thank you Dr. Gagnon! When the leading anti-gay author and evangelical scholar alive today, is so adamantly convinced that the recurrent theme in the Hebrew Old Testament is same sex temple prostitution which worships the fertility goddess, it is clear that the temple prostitution angle is not just a bunch of gay people trying to alibi our sin. Homosexuality wrong? Same sex cult shrine temple prostitution and God’s wrath against it as revealed in the Old Testament, is an undeniable fact of history.
This page updated January 26, 2017
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Gay Christian 101 - Presenting accurate biblical and historical info defending LGBT Christians from those who rip verses out of context to condemn.
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Romans 1, in historical context, is about ancient Roman fertility goddess worshipers who engaged in shrine prostitution to worship Cybele, not gays and lesbians.