20 serious answers to 20 serious questions.
You want answers?
Col. Nathan Jessup
1. I didn’t fully understand your passages about eunuchs. The part that I do not understand is that you say they are same sex oriented while I have always read that they were castrated males who guarded women’s bed chambers. It sounds like a medical condition to me more than a sexual orientation. Are you saying that the term born eunuch widened its meaning to include homosexuals, meaning that they were merely lacking our modern terminology? I don't know whether or not there was a word for homosexuals in that time.
Answer - In ancient times, the term eunuch always included men and women who were same sex attracted.
That doesn't mean every eunuch was gay or lesbian. It means that our ancient ancestors classified those who were not opposite sex attracted but were same sex attracted, as part of the group called eunuchs. I provide quotes from ancient Jewish writings and from ancient Roman law to support my assertion, at these Links. That's my answer.
1. Do we see same sex attracted eunuchs in history?
3. Was the Ethiopian eunuch gay?
4. Did Jesus say anything about homosexual eunuchs?
2. I read what you wrote about the clobber passages. Do you think that the Bible has been incorrectly translated? Which translation do you use for your personal study?
Answer - In my opinion, the best English translation of the Bible is the King James Version, which I use, read, study, believe and memorize. The KJV is God's word in English. Any translation which inserts our English word homosexual into the Biblical text is incorrect. The KJV does not use the word homosexual because no equivalent word in Hebrew or Greek was used when the Bible was first written. That's my answer.
3. What do you think about people who do not do such in depth research but simply take the verses at face value? On the one hand I can understand them because most people don’t speak Greek and because people say the Word should not be confusing, but on the other hand I often find things in the Bible to be confusing and it seems to me that people who try to find the truth do more than pray for guidance, they go out and seek it.
Answer - It's perfectly fine to take the Bible at face value but some folks interpret that as being inflexible literalism, which is a false way of interpreting scripture.
We must always read the Bible in the context in which it was given. All scripture is given in a biblical, cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic and religious context.
People in the twenty first century tend to read a verse like Leviticus 18:22 and automatically assume that it prohibits all same sex partnerships. Many Christians would defend that false interpretation as simply taking the Bible at face value.
When we factor in the context, we discover that Leviticus 18:22 was written 3500 years ago, as instructions for the nation of Israel as they prepared to enter the Holy Land, where they would be living under the Old Testament Jewish Law.
In context, the particular problem Moses and God addressed was false worship of pagan gods, Leviticus 18:21. Molech and his fertility goddess consort, Ashtoreth, were worshiped by men and women who engaged in anal sex. The pagan worship of shrine prostitutes is what Moses intended to prohibit in Leviticus 18:22, not lesbianism and not male same sex relationships which are unrelated to pagan worship. That's my answer.
4. You say that those verses cannot mean now what they did not mean in the past. How can your average Christian know that? I felt in my heart that being gay could not possibly be a sin but I had no research to back it up (I am currently doing some now, but I felt that it was not a sin before I began to research, which is one of the reasons why I decided to research it).
Answer - The Bible encourages us to study and rightly divide the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15. To rightly divide the word of truth means to understand it in proper context. When we remove a verse from its context and insist it means something different than its context indicates, that is wrongly dividing the word of truth.
Beware of anyone who takes verses out of context because a verse out of context is a pretext for teaching something that is not true. We'll never get truthful answers to gay questions if we take verses out of context.
For example, the Old Testament commands that a blood sacrifice be offered for sins. Yet Christians today are not required to offer a blood sacrifice because Jesus was our blood sacrifice. That's my answer.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." -2 Timothy 2:15
Here are my suggestions for
Believing Bible Study
5. In your answer about rightly dividing the word of God how could the average Christian know how to? They would feel like reading what they see is rightly dividing it.
Answer - Most worthwhile knowledge requires study and thought. Rightly dividing the word of truth requires the following.
6. Do you feel that it is better for a homosexual to go to a positivity church where they can be openly gay or a traditional church where they have to be closeted or stay home?
Answer - That is a decision that may be different for some individuals, depending on your level of spiritual growth, whether at this point in your life you need Christian fellowship as much or more than Bible teaching and your ability to "pass" and fly below the gaydar of traditional anti-gay Christians.
Positivity churches are often little more than social clubs. Many positivity churches do not preach the Biblical Gospel. I attended one such church in my area where they would sometimes encourage people to trust Christ but in the year I went there, they never told anyone they were lost without Christ, they never told anyone why they are lost and why they need to get saved.
They preached a positive, I'm okay You're okay, kind of message which is completely foreign to what the Bible says. If they can't tell the truth on an issue as fundamental as salvation, how much can you trust anything else they tell you? That's my answer.
7. I need an answer unrelated to these topics but since you are a scholar of the Bible I wanted your opinion. I have a problem with the many wives and concubines in the Old Testament. As a woman I know that letting a man use you is one of the worst feelings in the world but it seems like God sanctioned this abuse. What do you think?
Answer - To understand the Bible, we must accept it on its own terms. The Bible describes the historical situation as it finds it, with no sugar-coating. Therefore, we read about polygamy and concubinage and many other strange practices which are not part of modern culture.
We don't live according to their cultural standards today and I think it's wrong to impose our cultural standards on them when they did not have the knowledge we have today. Finding a satisfactory answer requires us to consider how they lived back then.
Because an agrarian economy (where many people were required to work in the fields) and slavery were facts of life for most of the ancient world, and because women were viewed as an underclass, without the rights of property owning men, concubinage and polygamy often provided protections for women which they would not have enjoyed without those social institutions. That's my answer.
8. Along the same lines as my last question, what do you think about these seemingly misogynistic verses. The man has to pay a fine but the woman can be put to death. It seems wrong and against women.
Rules for Sexual Purity
13 “Suppose a man marries a woman, but after sleeping with her, he turns against her 14 and publicly accuses her of shameful conduct, saying, ‘When I married this woman, I discovered she was not a virgin.’ 15 Then the woman’s father and mother must bring the proof of her virginity to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. 16 Her father must say to them, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, and now he has turned against her. 17 He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying, “I discovered that your daughter was not a virgin.” But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.’ Then they must spread her bed sheet before the elders. 18 The elders must then take the man and punish him. 19 They must also fine him 100 pieces of silver, which he must pay to the woman’s father because he publicly accused a virgin of Israel of shameful conduct. The woman will then remain the man’s wife, and he may never divorce her.
20 “But suppose the man’s accusations are true, and he can show that she was not a virgin. 21 The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you. -Deuteronomy 22:13-21, New Living Translation
Answer - In discussing this passage, it will be helpful to read Deuteronomy 22:13-30. We discover that the Bible clearly distinguishes between consensual and non-consensual sex and gives different penalties for the individuals involved, depending on circumstances.
In the Old Testament scenario, if a woman resisted the sexual advances of a man or if she cried out for help but he forced her to have sex, she would be viewed as innocent.
If she willingly consented to sex with a man to whom she was not married, she was viewed as promiscuous and executed, Deu 22:21. This seems draconian to us in the twenty first century but remember the context.
In ancient times, God and Israel were vitally concerned with genealogy and bloodlines. The land of Israel was divided up between the tribes based on genealogy and bloodlines and they were expected to live there forever. Then too, part of the answer is that God needed a clear bloodline for Messiah, who would come as God had promised.
Messiah, the seed of the woman, promised in Genesis 3:15, was to come from one of the tribes of Israel. Inheritance in the family, inheritance of the actual land in Israel and being part of the line of Messiah required that bloodlines be kept pure. Therefore, God required purity from the women of Israel.
If a man raped a woman in the Old Testament, the penalty for the rapist was death, Deu 22:25. Our modern laws against rape are far less stringent and less protective of women's purity. In plainer words, the Bible went to greater lengths to protect women and punish their rapists than does modern law.
In a situation where the woman did not resist the man's sexual advances and did not call for help when she could have done so (she was in town where people could have heard her cry for help, Deu 22:23), the law of Moses treats that as consensual sex.
In Deu 22:28, the NIV unfortunately translates the Hebrew verb, shakab, as rape, when it should more accurately be translated as, lie with, without the implication of force or coercion.
Because v. 29 says that the man and the woman are "discovered,” the suggestion is that they were caught in the act of premarital consensual sex. In the corresponding passage in Exodus 22:16-17, we find the same situation. "And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife."
In summary, the Bible does not force women to marry their rapists. Jewish law carefully protected the purity of women. When a Jewish man seduced a woman, took her virginity and then didn't marry her, she was left in an awful situation.
Jewish law and culture prized purity and virginity. Yet a woman who was not a virgin when she married placed her husband's inheritance in jeopardy. If she was not a virgin when she married, who could know if her first child was her husband's or if she was with child by another man?
We're dealing with an agrarian (farm) economy. Land was important because it passed from father to son by inheritance. If the bloodline was in doubt, the inheritance was in doubt, thus the high value Israel placed on purity at marriage was just common sense.
Also remember the situation of the woman who was not a virgin because she had fooled around with other men prior to marriage. A husband and children to work the land were important. A woman normally didn't inherit land in ancient Israel. If she was not a virgin, she could not marry.
If she was not a virgin and no man would marry her, she had disgraced her father's house and might no longer be welcome there. She had few options as far as supporting herself at that point but was condemned to a life of poverty as a disgraced woman.
Jewish law essentially said to men: "If you want to fool around with a virgin, know this. When we find out (and we will, Deu 22:14-19), you will be responsible for her for as long as you live AND you cannot ever divorce her!"
Far from treating women unfairly, Jewish law was designed to protect the purity of women and keep the bloodlines pure so that their children's inheritance was protected and the bloodline which would eventually produce Messiah was kept pure. That's my answer.
9. Your interpretations about homosexuals in the Bible shocked me. I never, ever thought even for a moment that there would ever be any small mention of homosexuals in a positive light in the Bible. I think that you are very brave to have even allowed yourself to think that because for many people the thought could not even be fathomed. So, assuming that what you say is true and that David and Jonathan had an amorous relationship and that God celebrated it, would it not be considered adultery?
Answer - No, David and Jonathan's intimate partnership would not be considered adultery because when their partnership began, both were unmarried. David was a teenager, around 15 years old and Jonathan was about twelve years older, 1 Samuel 14:49, 1 Chronicles 8:33, 9:39, 2 Samuel 2:8-10.
According to the Biblical chronology, their intimate partnership lasted approximately 15 years, until Jonathan's untimely death in battle. At some point during their relationship, both Jonathan and David married wives. David's wives are listed on this page.
Did David have wives before or after his partnership with Jonathan? That's my answer.
10. If your assumption about David, Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi’s relationship is true, then why wouldn’t it be spoken about openly? Why would it all be so unclear? Issues like this make it seem like the Bible was written by men who maybe loved God but that were writing about their times and that this is not completely relevant to modern times. And, people who say that there is no confusion in the Bible, would say that if this were all true then it would not be so confusing.
In your website you said that Samuel recorded David and Jonathan’s loving partnership “unambiguously”, but it seems very ambiguous. If it is not ambiguous why do you think that almost no pastors preach that they were gay?
I also found this on Wikipedia. "The narrator’s willingness to speak of David’s vigorous heterosexual life (compare the relationship with Bathsheba) puts in stark relief his (their) complete silence about any sexual activity between David and Jonathan." I read your responses to my questions and then the parts about scripture on your website and took notes so all of this is not in order and I forgot to write which section I got certain quotes from but this was on your website and seems to contradict what you have said.
Answer - What we read in the Bible reflects the cultural situation of ancient times. As we answer gay questions about this issue, it helps to remember that in the Old Testament era, women were not considered equal to men and did not have all the rights of a property owning man.
In ancient times there were no lesbian couples and no gay couples as we know them today. In plainer words, lesbian or gay couples thousands of years ago tended to also be heterosexually married. An agrarian economy and a social structure based on families made it much more difficult for gays and lesbians to live in exclusive same sex partnerships. So the Bible reflects that situation and puts the focus on the 95% of humanity that is not gay.
Yet God does include the love story of Jonathan and David, giving more detail and more verses describing this romantically involved same sex couple than He devotes to any story of heterosexual love. Here's how I answer these questions.
I assert that the Bible is unambiguous about Jonathan and David (1) based, on the Hebrew words used to describe their loving partnership and (2) based on the fact that God intentionally included King Saul's assessment of their partnership in 1 Samuel 20:30.
Saul uses a vulgar Hebrew idiomatic expression referencing Crown Prince Jonathan's mother, Queen Ahinoam's private parts being uncovered ("thy mother's nakedness"), to describe the sexual relationship between Jonathan and David. The NIV Study Bible note on 1 Samuel 20:30 tells us: "The Hebrew idiom intends to characterize Jonathan, not his mother."
As far as the Wikipedia quote about David's vigorous sex life, we know David and Bathsheba had sex because she got pregnant but there is no description of their sex life as being vigorous. Again, we must factor in the context. David was a King, required by custom to produce male heirs.
After Jonathan, the love of his life dies, 1 Samuel 31:1-2, David does marry many women and produces many children. Yet as we are all aware, many lesbian women and many gay men have also produced biological children. It is simplistic to believe that if someone has biological children, they cannot possibly be lesbian or gay. That's my answer.
11. What do you think about the New Testament verses that say that women should be silent in church and should not be able to teach men? Do you feel that women can speak in church, be preachers and teachers? Why do you think that the Bible can seem misogynistic? Things like this as well also lead me to believe that the men of the time did want women to have equal rights, not God, so that everything in the Bible is not correct.
Answer - I have never viewed the Bible as misogynistic. Instead, some of the views of women in the Bible accurately reflect the culture and customs of those ancient times. In other words, the Bible is being honest in its portrait of life back then.
It is certainly possible that the verses about women being silent in church were given to address particular situations in the first century church and were not intended to apply to all women in every church for the next 2000 years.
God used women in the Old Testament, Deborah, the prophet of Israel comes to mind, Judges 4:4. And we also discover in the book of Acts, that God used men and women to prophesy, Acts 21:9-11. That's my answer.
12. You say that Jonathan and David’s relationship was committed and faithful but they had lots of wives and concubines. It seems like that makes them adulterers.
Answer - In our modern cultural context, Yes, we would tend to view them as adulterers. Yet in the Old Testament context, where polygamy was culturally accepted, the Bible does not view polygamists as adulterers.
We know that polygamy, a man having more than one wife, was affirmed and blessed in the Old Testament, according to Genesis 4:19, 16:3-4, 29:20-28, 30:4-9, Deuteronomy 21:15-17, 2 Samuel 12:7-8 (where God Himself affirms polygamy) and 2 Chronicles 24:2-3.
I know many ultra-conservative Christians who do not view Abraham, Jacob and King David as adulterers simply because they were polygamists with multiple spouses. That's my answer.
13. I don’t believe that fornication is the word that God meant for us to have about sexual sin because the Greek word, porneia means sexual immorality which does not include all that fornication does. (some translations have even stopped using fornication which came from Latin translations and went back to sexually immoral following the Greek translation).
But, in most Bibles that still use the word fornication, the word homosexual is also used, so looking at those translations and what many, if not most, Christians hold to be true – no homosexuality and no sex outside of marriage- then weren’t the gays in the Bible at least breaking the traditional fornication rule? I am not sure about your view on “fornication”. And if many translations have updated/gone back to the original sexually immoral instead of fornication, then why have they not also changed homosexual?
Answer - The King James Version does translate the Greek word porneia as fornication but never uses the word homosexual.
As far as the belief that no sex outside of marriage means no lesbian or gay intimate partnerships or marriage, I believe that view comes from an inadequate understanding of what constitutes a marriage in the Bible.
Marriage in the Bible, at its most basic level, is when flesh joins flesh, Genesis 2:24. That's why when Paul warns against fornication (porneia) in 1 Corinthians 6:15-16, he equates sex with a harlot (Greek word, porne) to marriage.
Because a marriage at its most basic level is when flesh joins flesh, we should "flee fornication (porneia)," 1 Cor 6:18. To "avoid fornication (porneia), let let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." -1 Cor 7:2.
The spiritual principle is that being in committed faithful relationship with an orientation compatible partner is God's answer to the question, How can I avoid fornication?
For folks who are heterosexual, that would be an opposite sex marriage. For folks who are homosexual, that would be a same sex marriage.
I provide more information on this page. Does 1 Cor 7:2 exclude gays and lesbians from marriage? That's my answer.
14. Ruth 1:16-17 sounds to me like wedding vows.
Answer - It's interesting that you mention that. I've always been fascinated by the way some Christians compartmentalize their thinking on the gay issue. Many anti-gay Christians are scandalized if we suggest the possibility that Ruth and Naomi were lesbian lovers.
Yet they never view it as weird or logically contradictory when an opposite sex couple uses Ruth's love-pledge to Naomi (one woman pledging her life-long love and devotion to another woman) to evoke their own opposite sex love.
If heterosexuals view Ruth's poignant pledge to Naomi as perfectly describing their own love as a heterosexual couple, why is it such a stretch to believe that Ruth was expressing the same loving commitment to Naomi? I've asked this question of some heterosexuals but have yet to receive a satisfactory answer.
The common answer is, Yes but Ruth later married a man that Naomi helped find for her, which "proves" Ruth and Naomi were not lesbians. That's an interesting answer but it might be helpful to reread the answer to Question 7 above. In an agrarian economy where widowed women were usually not land-owners, how else could a woman survive except to marry a man? That's my answer.
15. You posted under serious thoughts for serious Christians if we really think that God would advocate gay murder. I feel the same way about the murder of lying virgins or women who happen to not bleed their first time (and many, if not most, women do not bleed, especially if they have a gentle partner). Why do you think that Leviticus 20:13 seems so explicit.
I know that you say that homosexuality is not meant to be understood as we do today, but then why would that be the main way it is translated for centuries? Since so many people have been studying the Bible for so many centuries, why would it not be changed? This makes me go back to the Bible’s imperfection. Why do you think such a loving God would advocate murder at all?
Answer - Leviticus 18:22 is explicit because God hates idolatry and pagan worship of false gods. That is the sin God intends to punish with death, not lesbianism and not homosexuality.
The context of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 is shrine prostitution, see Leviticus 20:2 - Molech, 3 - Molech, 4 - Molech, 5 - Molech, and v. 23 -
"And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them."
As you so correctly stated, God is a loving God and He does NOT advocate murder. God did prescribe capital punishment while Israel was under the law of Moses, from about 1450 BC to AD 30, for offenses such as idolatry when it involved fertility goddess worship, Lev 20:13.
Scripture reminds us that "The wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23 and "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" Ezekiel 18:20. Capital punishment in the Bible was to be carried out at the command of God or under the authority of government. It was not casually exercised by private citizens.
Most twenty first century Christians have an entirely unbiblical view of God. They have created a false god who answers to their prejudices instead of the true and living God of the Bible.
You can always tell when someone has created a god in their own image because their god always hates everyone they hate. The God of the Bible is not someone you'd tell off-color jokes to while you get drunk together.
The God of the Bible is not a cross between Grandpa and Santa Claus, who loves everyone unconditionally. God's love for unsaved sinners is always conditioned on obedience - doing what God tells you to do. That means getting saved by trusting by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
The God of the Bible is a holy God, our Creator Who loves us and has expectations for His creation. In His great mercy, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect sinless life and kept all of God's law perfectly. Answers to gay questions help us understand.
On the Cross, Jesus was our substitutionary blood sacrifice, shedding His sinless blood to pay the penalty for our sins. God signaled us that the penalty Jesus paid was acceptable by raising Jesus from the dead, Romans 8:11.
Now through the death of Jesus, the whole world has been reconciled to God, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 and can get saved if they will believe in Jesus as their Savior. Yet that doesn't mean that the whole world is saved. Although the world was reconciled to God by Jesus' death, individuals are saved by His life.
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." -Romans 5:10
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." -Romans 5:17
God has committed unto Christians "the word of reconciliation," 2 Cor 5:19. It's our job to preach the gospel and tell the world about Jesus so they will receive the gift of God which is "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." -Romans 6:23. That's my answer.
16. Here is another quote from Kill Gays page of your website: “I've always marveled at the thought processes of some Christians. They seem to operate in a make-believe world almost entirely divorced from rational thought.”
I have felt this way too but in their defense, they are just taking the Word literally and a lot of churches say to read and believe so they read the words that they see and believe them. How are they wrong if this is the translation available to them? Rational thought would imply believing that the Bible is not perfect.
Answer - I disagree with your statement that, 'Rational thought would imply believing that the Bible is not perfect.' Rational thought requires us to read and believe the Bible in context. In context, the Bible never tells anyone to kill gays and lesbians.
The point I was making on the Kill Gays page is that some Christians are so lazy, they refuse to study the Bible. They read a verse which doesn't mention gays or lesbians, assume it means something Moses and the children of Israel never understood it to mean and based on their false assumption, decide that God has commanded Christians in the twenty first century to kill gays.
A bit of study would show them that Leviticus is addressed to the children of Israel about to enter the promised land. Leviticus is not addressed to Christians 3500 years later, when we are not Jewish, are not living in the land of Israel and are not under the law of Moses. We are not on the side of Calvary. We live on the grace side of Calvary where we are under grace, not law, Romans 6:14. That's my answer.
17. You say that malakoi simply means effeminate men, but isn’t that misogynist to say that being like a woman is negative. Men still say things like that today like your example, you throw like a girl, that is derogatory towards women.
Answer - In reality, I carefully define the Greek word, malakoi, demonstrating that it has much more meaning than simply indicating one who is effeminate. The word effeminate when used to describe a man, meant that a man was behaving more like a woman than a man. That did not necessarily mean he had feminine mannerisms.
When we define malakoi, in the first and second centuries, its meaning included men who would sometimes use hair coloring and makeup on the face. These men also wore expensive clothing, all with the goal of seducing a woman into a sexual relationship. That is the conduct Paul deplores in 1 Corinthians 6:9. That's my answer.
18. Something I found interesting was that you said that worshipers sacrificed their own children to their gods and this was negative but God sacrificed his son as well and Abraham almost sacrificed his.
Answer - There is a big difference between pagans sacrificing their children to the fire god Molech and God sacrificing Jesus as the payment for our sins. Jesus was God in the flesh, -1 Timothy 3:16. Christians believe in a Trinitarian God. As part of the Godhead or Trinity, Jesus as God the Son, willingly gave His life as payment for our sins. He was our sacrifice, knowing full well that God would raise Him from the dead.
Abraham's answer to God, willingly offering Isaac as a potential sacrifice in Genesis 22, is God's way of showing Old Testament saints and New Testament saints His plan of redemption before it actually happened.
According to Hebrews 11:19, Abraham was willing to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice, in obedience to God's explicit command, Genesis 22:2, because he believed God would raise him from the dead.
"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son...
Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. " -Hebrews 11:17-19
We do not offer up our children as sacrifices today because:
19. You say that arsenokoites does not mean homosexual but a whole host of other things but one of them is one who anally penetrates - since that is what gay men do, is that sinful?
Answer - When we define arsenokoites we must remember that the Greek word arsenokoites only occurs 77 times in extant Greek literature over about 2400 years. That indicates it is an extremely rare word. Most usages of the arsenokoit stem in Greek history are merely quoting 1 Cor 6:9 or 1 Tim 1:10, without defining the meaning.
In the few instances where there is enough information in the context to attempt a guess at its meaning, one of the meanings is, rape which involves anal penetration. It is incorrect to assert that arsenokoites ever had a stand alone meaning of anal penetration, apart from the context of forcible rape.
The slight confusion as to arsenokoites possibly having a stand alone meaning of anal penetration without rape being involved, is probably due to the imprecision of Dr. Ann Nyland's definition which I quoted, rather than to actual literary usage of the word arsenokoites or her intention to assert a definition that has no basis in actual historical usage of the arsenokoit stem. That's my answer.
20. This is a completely hypothetical question that one cannot truly answer but I’ll ask it as a part of a larger question: If you were not homosexual would you have done this research? I ask that because I feel that most people would not. I have been researching but I don’t think that I would’ve gone so far as to look up the words in Greek and find every instance that mentions homosexuals.
I would’ve just said that my heart a spirit of love moves me to feel that homosexuality cannot be a sin. But I feel that a lot of people read the Bible in a different way and just take what they see at face value when it comes to homosexuality. Whenever I ask a fellow Christian what they think of it they say it is clear that it is a sin.
Seeing as much work that you have put into this is not something I think the average Christian would do so I think it is hard for them to see the Bible for anything more than its English translation. This reminds me of Romans 14 (one of my favorite chapters) that speaks about the relativity of sin in my opinion. It says that if something is a sin for someone then it just is and they shouldn’t be convinced otherwise because if they do it then they would be sinning even though it is not a sin for you.
Now, you say that this is not a sin but because of a lifetime of being taught that it is, it is a sin for most Christians. Do you tell Christians who still believe homosexuality to be a sin that it is not? Do you tell heterosexual Christians and homosexual Christians your beliefs in the same way? If I told most people what I know about your website they would think that you were making all of this up because it is so far past the scope of most people’s realities. Do you think that churches should stop preaching the sinfulness of homosexuality even though people have thought of it as sin for generations? Or should those who know the truth keep it to themselves as Romans 14 seems to suggest?
Answer - My honest answer is No, I would probably not have done this research if I were not homosexual. My reason for going far beyond the amount of study on this subject that most Christians do is that I wanted to know for sure what God said.
Gays and lesbians make up 5% to 8% of the human population. In a gay mecca like San Francisco, gays and lesbians make up about 12% of the population. Think about that for a moment. In a congregation of 200 people, there are potentially 10 to 16 gays and lesbians.
Imagine if you were lesbian or gay and your preacher and parents and Sunday School teachers constantly told you, You're a terrible sinner and God hates you!
Imagine further that you had trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and knew you were saved. Imagine further that you loved God and your fellow Christians and did not fit the lesbian or gay stereotypes. Imagine further that your spirit was grieved and wounded by the constant attacks on who you are as a person, by those in positions of Christian leadership.
In that situation, it is normal to start studying, to see if the Bible really says the mean things you keep hearing or if perhaps, they've gone off the rails and are giving their opinion instead of what God actually says in the Bible.
I believe Christians should tell the truth and should always preach and teach the Bible, in context. That means they should stop taking the clobber verses out of context. That means they should stop using the clobber verses out of context, to spiritually assault and beat up on lesbians and gays. These are my answers to these interesting questions.
What is justification by faith?
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