PURPOSE: This information is here gathered to assist any person who is trying to respond to the usual "statements" that are attributed to the Bible concerning the topic of homosexuality. These "responses" are designed for dialogue with persons who hold a negative point of view and to convey a truly Christian, and at the same time a thoroughly LITERAL Biblical proof that constitutional, mutually consenting homosexuality is NOT condemned mentioned in the Holy Bible.
The writer of this paper, Br. Shawn Francis Benedict, Pastor of Ray Of Hope Church, starts from the point of view that the Holy Bible is the inerrant (contains no errors), inspired Word of God, and is the ONLY infallible (unerring, certain) authority on which the Christian can base his or her Salvation. To be frank, this is just about the most Conservative Hermeneutical (science of interpretation) approach one can take to the Bible today. When this Literal method of Biblical Interpretation is correctly applied to the subject of Homosexuality the conclusion is astonishingly the opposite of the teaching that is often proclaimed by "Conservative Christians" or the "Christian Right." "Conservative Christians" claim to be interpreting the Bible "literally" when studying Homosexuality. In fact, it will be shown here that their own method of Biblical Interpretation (the Literal Method) proves the Bible in no citation of chapter or verse ever condemns true Homosexuals or their mutual expressions of Love.
At the same time, we do not abandon the Holy Scriptures for a "Liberal Left" point of Theology. To abandon the Literal interpretation is spiritual suicide for the GLBTQS Christian. The Holy Scriptures are our ONLY sure defense to show God's position in this matter. Sometimes I summarize the problem this way: the Christian Right believes they are SO RIGHT that they end up totally WRONG, and the Christian Liberal Left has gone so far to the "left" that there is nothing LEFT in their theology or belief system. Both positions are not Biblical. The Bible actually defends us against both the "left" and the "right." To assist the reader with further inquiry the sources used herein are listed on the last page. Sources will be referenced in this paper by listing the author's last name and citing the page of the source where the ideas and information are confirmed by that author. For example, (see Boswell page 1).
WHAT THE BIBLE DOES CONDEMN THAT IS MISREPRESENTED AS HOMOSEXUALITY:
The Bible clearly mentions SAME - SEX ACTS and unconditionally condemns them when they are in the context of ritual cult prostitution, idolatry, engaged in by married heterosexual men, AND general 'free sex' usually referred to as "fornication" by most denominational dogmatic systems.
SPECIFIC PASSAGES SUPPOSED TO CONDEMN HOMOSEXUALITY:
THE STORY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH Genesis 19:1-26
Statement: "Surely the word "SODOMY" comes from this story."
Response: Actually, the name Sodom was not attached to Homosexual relations until the Middle Ages. The closest word for "homosexual" in Latin or any vernacular was "SODOMITA". (see Boswell, page 93)
The etymology (origin and development) of the word "SODOMY" has rendered it to mean many things throughout history including ordinary heterosexual intercourse in an atypical position, even oral sexual contact with animals, exclusively male homosexuality, and even almost exclusively heterosexual excess. (see Boswell, page 93)
Even in some States "Sodomy" can mean sexual contact between married Heterosexual persons.
Statement: "Surely the sin of Sodom was that the men of Sodom tried to rape the Angels of God."
Response: There is absolutely no indication that the men even entertained the thought of doing such an act. Would this mean that all the men of Sodom were Homosexual? That is absurd in and of itself. This wrong interpretation is based on the phrase : "Bring them [Lot's visitor's - angels in some traditions, men in others] unto us, that we may KNOW them." (Genesis 19:5) To "KNOW them" is supposed to mean "to have them sexually, to rape them".
Statement: Of course it meant sexually!! After all, in Genesis 4:1 Adam KNEW Eve....
Response: True enough with Adam and Eve; however, the same word is in verse 3:7 "They knew they were naked.". Surely this same word did not mean sexually... To clarify the issue we have to be LITERAL here and look at the Hebrew (original as we have it) word and see what word was used in Genesis 19:5. The Hebrew word is yadha. In the Strong's Concordance numbering system it is word #3045.
According to Biblical word scholars F. Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, the word yadha appears in the Hebrew Bible 943 times. D.S. Bailey (1955) argues it is used only 10 times, excluding Gen 19 and its derivative Judges chapter 19, to denote any sense of sexual intercourse (sexual coitus). (See Bailey, page 2)
The 931 times the word yadha , to know, appears in the Hebrew Bible, it means simply to be acquainted with, or be informed about just as plainly as it does in English. McNeill asserts the very few times it might be used used to denote sexual coitus, it is always heterosexual intercourse . McNeill explains the word normally used in the Old Testament for both homosexual and heterosexual coitus and bestiality is shakhabh (word #7902).
(See McNeill, page 42 & Boswell, page 94F)
Statement: If this is true why did the men of Sodom demand to be informed of who was in Lot's house? And, why were they blinded by the visitors??
Response: The men of the City demanded to know who was in the house because Lot was violating the city rules. He was not a citizen by birth right. He was only a 'sojourner' and therefore had only limited rights.
Genesis 19:9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to sojourn, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.
Exodus 22:21 "You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Exodus23:9 "Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:33 'And if a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.
Leviticus 19:34 'But the stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Matthew 10:11-14: Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. and when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive yo nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and gomorrah in that day of judgement than for that city!
and Luke 10:8-12: Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 'the very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you. But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.
"Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement, than for that city."(Matt. 10:14-15, CF Luke 10:10-12)
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