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Bible and homosexuality.

post #1 of 132
Thread Starter 
Ive heard a few times that the bible doesnt actually condemn homosexuality. Im wondering what scriptures are used to back that up? Or is it more of an extrapolation based on the loving nature of God?

The thought came up because of another thread where we talked about the bible not being crystal clear and how its meaning can differ by religion.

Oh, and I think we all know what scriptures are used to call it a sin so we dont really need a discussion on why it's wrong. Im looking for what may lead a bible based Christian say its ok.
post #2 of 132
what do you mean by 'to think its ok'? ok in what sense?
post #3 of 132
Thread Starter 
Think its ok as in it's not a sin which required repentence, forgivness
post #4 of 132
1littlebit-

I don't think she mean to imply anything other than saying that she wanted to have thoughts from Christians who do not believe it is a sin to live a homoesexual lifestyle. hence what one would "think was ok" would not be considered a sin to them. what one does think is a sin would they would not "think was ok"... in specifically the Christian/Biblical sense. (not any other philosphies of thought.)



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post #5 of 132
Many christians put the verses which condemn homosexuality in the category of "cultural issue" rather than flat-out command, and in that way reason that it does not apply today in the same way that the biblical injunctions for women to obey their husband, cover their hair, not speak in church and not be in a position of authority over a man are widely ignored as not applicable to today's women.

Since most of the denominations that I've seen loudly condemning homosexuality do NOT follow Paul's injunctions towards women (they don't cover etc etc) I think the question should be, why do you (general you, of course, I don't know your particular faith) think the command on homosexuality applies today whereas Paul's other commands do not?

If you do follow all of Paul's commands however, then this comment doesn't apply
post #6 of 132
I grew up Catholic and am currently undecided .. i suppose.. but one of my best friends is a very devout Catholic and this an issue she struggles with. we have very dear friend who is gay and she has an aunt who is gay.... she has a hard time reconciling her religious beliefs with her emotional response to her loved ones and their happiness.

we have talked about it quite a bit... and she has read the bible passages, prayed about it, and tried to forget about it hoping that the answer would come. thus far it hasn't. She sees our friend and her aunt in committed, loving relationships. she sees that her aunts make wonderful mothers to their beautiful boy. she also feels that the bible is clear that any sex outside of a marriage in the eyes of God is sinful. She doesn't really think it's ok per se.. but she does see that people she loves are extremely happy in same sex relationships and she absolutely wants them to be happy. so basically i think she has washed her hands of it... she trusts God ... he makes no mistakes, he created every person perfectly, he gave us free will... she loves God she lives her life for Him and she has left this in His hands she loves our friend and her aunt and she will just be happy that they are happy and trust that God knew what he was doing.

i don't know if that helps at all... i realize it's not really an answer as to why someone would think it is ok.... but it is a way that someone who believes homosexual acts are sinful but really wished they weren't made peace with her beliefs and her feelings.
post #7 of 132
Thread Starter 
Thanks HennyPenny - that is what I meant!

What Thao said about other commands being accepted as culturally void makes sense. Thanks. That seems like a pretty logical reasoning.

1littlebit - I can kind of relate to your friend in that I have pondere this off and on for a while, more intellectually than as a deep spiritual conflict, but still...

I was never close to a gay person until I married DH and his favorite uncle was gay. Most recently a great couple moved in down the street and I get along great with both of them. I can't imagine missing out on their company because they are a lesbian couple.

In the end Ive kinda decided that even the most holy and righteous person alive falls wayyyyy short of God's infinite holiness... so is there any point to assigning degrees of sin? Im less of a sinner because all I do is loosely interpret my tax deduction (lying, not submitting to governing authorities) than a gay couple? So what - Im still no where near God....

But then you have the whole, do you repent issue...

Sheesh, being Christian can really tie you up in knots!
post #8 of 132
one thing i think that is important to remember is that our logic doesn't equal out to God's commands. meaning that if we believe that God is in authority of all, we mustn't equal our own opinions or desires with His.

that isn't that say one should be blind to all things. not at all. but what I mean is that if it comes to use making a decisions on religious beliefs and we're not ure what to think we so instead of seeking God on it (and sometime answers do come slowly) we instead seek human logic. but... human logic is not perfect nor righteous.

(of course if you don't believe in God as authority then this wouldn't be an issue anyhow)

I think Thao made some good points! As a person who headcovers, and who has a household where the husband is the leader, I think I can safely say I do agree =) and I feel all commands given to us are of equal value b/c God gave them to us. if we start knit picking how important they are ... well... who would need God? that is a dangerous limb to be out on without much thought.

for instance: I don't head cover b/c it makes logical sense to me (truly it doesn't) but b/c I feel God's commands on feminine modesty and head covering important because He said so. sure I can see good that comes from it. and i can see reasons why I can find it a good and profitable thing... but really, when it's all said and done it isn't a command worth respecting on that point alone.

I mean to say that if you are looking for reasons to excuse what you feel is a sin, I wouldn be leery of going there b/c you WILL find reasons to justify it. but if you are looking to honestly seek God on an issue and not just take for granted that it is or is not a sin b/c that is what you have been taught, then I say go for it!! it's sad how often we think the Bible says one thing b/c we are taught his... and lo and behold it doesn't say that at all!
post #9 of 132
I don't really have anything valid to add to this but... the points made above are good ones. Also you mentioned in your response about 'degrees of sin'. The Bible says that no sin is worse than any other. Now that is hard to concept when you consider a white lie vs. murder (or such) but that is what the Bible says. I have to agree with what HennyPenny said about seeking God on the issue. (if you're religious) That is what I do. I just seek God on the issue. I read, study the scripture, and pray. God will lead me to the answer. There are some good points made above for why some would think its ok. I have a relative that is gay and although I don't feel its right religiously I don't condemn her for it either. She's family, I love her dearly and her personal life is her own. God will deal with us all for our own sins and transgressions regardless of what they are. I don't have the right to judge her relationship or life.
post #10 of 132
have ya'll seen this? http://perezhilton.com/2008-12-03-th...t-they-do-best
post #11 of 132
i just talked to my friend and she told me to add this. lol. she said that the thing that was for lack of a better term her 'ah ha!' moment was when she was thinking about marriage, sex, and pro creation. she said homosexual acts are a sin for the same reason masturbation, extra marital relations, pre marital relations, and any sexual act that is not intercourse is a sin. it is not more or less sinful then any of those things.

As strange as it seems this really helped her gain a great deal of understanding and perspective. It is a sin for the same reasons those other things are sins. Homosexual acts are viewed very differently then those sins despite that. Realizing and understanding that it is a sin for the same reasons the other things are sins lead to her believing that is should be dealt with in the same way as those other things. she does not do them, she does not recommend them, but in the end it is between that person and God. her only responsibility is to live a Godly life, lead by example, and offer love and kindness to all people she crosses paths with.

** She also said that she is strong and comfortable in her faith and the morals that come with it. she knows that having people in her life who have pre marital sex or homosexual sex does not cause her to question her commitment to chastity. if it did she would distance herself from them until she felt strong enough to keep her commitment.
post #12 of 132
The bible says nothing about lesbianism. I've always wondered what literalists think about this.
post #13 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
I grew up Catholic and am currently undecided .. i suppose.. but one of my best friends is a very devout Catholic and this an issue she struggles with. we have very dear friend who is gay and she has an aunt who is gay.... she has a hard time reconciling her religious beliefs with her emotional response to her loved ones and their happiness.
Pope John Paul II Theology of the Body is a good source for understanding the Church's understanding on this issue and why it teaches what it does.
post #14 of 132
for the bible tells me so is a great doc! you can catch parts of it on youtube. i think it'll answer your questions sufficiently. better then i could anyways!
post #15 of 132
Thread Starter 
Like I said before - I know whats the behind the "its a sin" side of the argument.

Im interested in what's behind the "it's not a sin" side.
post #16 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
Like I said before - I know whats the behind the "its a sin" side of the argument.

Im interested in what's behind the "it's not a sin" side.
I think you might find Ms.Qsmama link interesting then. "For the Bible Tell Me So" is by Bishop Gene Robinson, an openly gay Episcopal bishop. (I'm glad you found a link...and I'm hoping to read his book soon as well)
post #17 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
Like I said before - I know whats the behind the "its a sin" side of the argument.

Im interested in what's behind the "it's not a sin" side.
right, which is why i think this would be the perfect documentary for you to watch.
post #18 of 132
When I was a fundamentalist Christian I thought the idea behind the Bible not condemning homosexuality was absolutely ludicrous. Being an inerrantist and most importantly, a literalist, such interpretations were completely bankrupt and void of credibility.

This was the brand of theology and interpretation of text I had come to understand. I was indoctrinated with that brand of belief. Coming from primarily an Independent Fundamental Baptist background and having a minister father, it was ingrained in my head what constituted "sound" scripture.

Then I ditched fundamentalist theology and began studying various interpretations of scripture and text. Biblical hermeneutics became my focus and textual criticism. Learning to really read the context of various passages. Looking past literalism and not relying on eisegesis. I know mainstream theology's argument like the back of my hand. It's one I argued a lot myself.

With the handful of passages on the topic and the character "Paul's" writings being much of the force behind the condemnation of homosexual activity, it leads me to believe the root of the condemnation of it stems from "secular" cultures and their activities, sometimes related to pagan worship and activities. The common theme then was to be "in" the world but not "of" it. To break away from secular ways of life, in other words, pagan traditions. If the pagans did it, Christians or followers of Yahweh and Jesus shouldn't do it. That still applies now. Since homosexual activity was rampant in many cultures I have no doubt "Paul's" admonishment was more of a reflection of what he saw in these other cultures. Some of the homosexual activity said to have taken place doesn't translate over to what we know as homosexual orientation or the modern relationships we see today.

There's also much debate surrounding certain words used to refer to homosexual activity. Was the activity witnessed by "Paul" between men and young boys? Did he witness orgies and activities that "glorify" sexual carnality? I think what activity he witnessed is key, rather than assuming homosexual orientation is the root of the problem. Sexual orientation wasn't even a concept during that time and homosexual activity was commonplace in certain cultures.

Even though Gospel Jesus isn't attributed to saying anything about the matter, "Paul" is seen as the mouthpiece of Yahweh and Jesus. That his words are the inspired word of Yahweh and Jesus. This allows literalism to flourish.

I think an understanding of any social, cultural, and other underlying context is key when it comes to deciphering ancient text of any kind. Many folks put more analytical skills toward reading other material. One would think ancient text requires understanding the times and various cultures in which it is said to take place.

The condemnation of the activity in the Tanakh also has much to do with pre-scientific times and the culture. I don't see that it has anything to do with any deity condemning the orientation.
post #19 of 132
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms.QsMama View Post
right, which is why i think this would be the perfect documentary for you to watch.
Doh! the title had me thinking it was a bible thumper things... Never judge a doc by its title, eh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Semper Gumby View Post

There's also much debate surrounding certain words used to refer to homosexual activity. Was the activity witnessed by "Paul" between men and young boys? Did he witness orgies and activities that "glorify" sexual carnality? I think what activity he witnessed is key, rather than assuming homosexual orientation is the root of the problem. Sexual orientation wasn't even a concept during that time and homosexual activity was commonplace in certain cultures.
Wow, thanks for the info that was great. The part above got me thinking... So, it would seem that there is little to no argument available to construe scripture as condoning promiscuity (is there a nicer sounding word for that?). So though you might make the case that there is biblically nothing wrong with a committed gay relationship you cant really argue in favor of casual sex regardless of gender combos.
post #20 of 132
i think semper makes some great points.

this is *my* perspective... in the interest of full disclosure im not christian anymore.

the bible was written and then repeatedly translated many times by many different people in many different time periods and cultures. humans are fallible. they have their own biases based on the culture and time and their personal experiences. they also have their own agendas. these were written and translated in the context of the culture of the writers and translators.

God is our creator. he made each man in his image. Jesus, his son, he lead a life of kindness, generosity, care of the poor, the sick, the young etc. he did not (according to Christianity) get married or have children. he lead what was for that time quite the alternative lifestyle.

Jesus set an example of how to live. he loved and cared for those around him. he shared what he could, he forgave those who wronged him. he reached out to people that no one cared about. he valued all people regardless of their situation in life. to me these are the most important things to take from the bible.

IMO- God is far more able then we are to see the big picture.. it is his picture after all. I think who someone has sex with are human prejudices and concerns not godly ones. I think God created life and we should love and care for life in all of its many variations. i think treating all life with respect and dignity is important.. after all.. God created life. I don't think God makes mistakes. I do not think God would create homosexuals just so they can live their lives hiding and suppressing who they are.. never having the love that heterosexuals have. It is a fact of biology that humans crave touch, physical closeness, etc. God created us that way... why would he create a whole group of people and then deprive them of that very primal need? those are human prejudices, human ideas, and human judgements. God does not look at this world and see love between two people of the same sex as a problem. Love is good no matter what.

so basically i think any concerns outside of love, kindness, generosity, respect, etc. are more human then Godly. murder, lying, stealing, gluttony, selfishness, greed, adultery etc. can all be taken back to those things. they are not loving, kind, generous, respectful etc.
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