You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

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How should we feel about a megachurch pastor’s comment regarding same-sex “marriage” that “his church has a stance about love and has a conversation about everything else”? What did Jesus mean when He cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” How do we respond who claim that biblical morality cannot be taken seriously today, since it included laws like the stoning of adulterers? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

     

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: As we bow down to worship a soveriegn God let us remember that He makes His own nature and character clear throughout Scripture. There’s no ambiguity in Him.

 

Hour 2: 

 

 Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: We would do well to look at the condition of a dying world rather than fighting over minor issues, and give ourselves to bring health and healing and salvation to the lost.

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123 Comments
  1. Bo, do you really believe that the woman caught in adultery would have been stoned to death in the presence of Christ, if there would have been more witnesses present who would have testified against her concerning her adultery?

    I find that kind of a doctrine about as appetizing
    as a bad tomato with moldy purple spots.

  2. Ray,

    You obviously have not read my posts closely or you are seeking to insult and discredit me by misinformation. That is called slander. Go back and read my posts above.

    All punishment in every society and in every age has been carried out in YHWH’s presence and He expressly commanded some of it. What does your question have to do with reality?

    I have said nothing about more witnesses. There were no witnesses that testified against her. When it came time to testify, they refused…because the would have been found to be false witnesses and therefor they would have been the ones worthy to be stoned and not the woman.

    The men that brought the woman was a mob trying to trick Messiah so that they could accuse Him. The mob is not a court of law and Messiah was not in the office of being a judge in Israel. And Israel was not in a position to enact the death penalty.

    If you are looking for something appetizing as far as revelation from YHWH is concerned, you will probably find it bitter in your stomach. I cannot help it that you do not like the results of the truth that I have shown you.

    Re 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

    I am sorry that you cannot stomach any flavor that you are not accustomed to. Your taste buds have been numbed by soured wine.

    Lu 5:39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

    I have a better analogy for you:

    I have it on good testimony, from a man who used to work in a ketchup factory, how it is made. Maybe a moldy tomato (and I am not agreeing that the case that I have presented is one) would seem much different to you if you were not conditioned to eating ketchup. You think it is wonderful to eat a moldy tomato if it has been pureed along with the green tomato worms and had sugar added and the enzymes killed so that it won’t rot further. The church has been spoon fed this kind of doctrine for years. It is not alive…it is sugar coated…it tastes good, but it is quite unclean and unhealthy and it is the sin of mixture, being that YHWH’s word is being mixed with the doctrine, traditions and commandments of men that turn from the truth.

    It is time to grow up. If there really are a couple of soft spots on the tomato, cut them out and enjoy the live fruit…for it is not rotten as you suspect…it just looks that way because of the great distance that you have inspected it from.

  3. Ray,

    Did you read post 102 carefully? You might find your answer in the first 4 paragraphs there…or in the myriads of other posts I have presented. I am wondering if you are now trying to trap me.

  4. Bo, your response is so typical of people of your type. Instead of addressing the horrible comments you made in which you effectively condoned the death of gay people (along with adulterers, teen gang members etc), you instead try to turn conversation about me.

    You know NOTHING ABOUT ME! All you know is that I’m gay, and that’s it. You do not know what my “lifestyle” is, and you do not know if I’m “practicing” homosexuality. For all you know I could have never committed a homosexual act in my life, so please don’t presume to know me. You don’t!!

    People like you are so obsessed with homosexuality that the minute you get the opportunity you just must go out of your way to proclaim loud and clear your condemnation of it and of gay people. Why don’t you focus on your own flaws, because you CLEARLY have some, and some big ones to.

    And you can quote the Bible all you want, but the Bible calls a whole lot more things an abomination than just the act of lying with another man. But of course, as is typical of people like you, highly selective and convenient reading never seems to escape you.

  5. James,

    I am not allowed to discuss my views of the death penalty. You are not allowed to discuss it either as per Dr. Browns instructions. I was not turning the topic. I was submitting to the owner of this site.

    And you are so wrong about me being obsessed with homosexuality. I comment on it when some brings it up. It is that simple.

    That said, it looks like the pot is calling the kettle black. You know nothing about me except what I have posted. Much, if not all, of what you accuse me of is just stereotyping. You are judging me as wrong for judging you to be wrong. Hmmmm?!! It is better if you do not condemn in someone else the thing that you participate in.

    I fully believe that every thing called an abomination in scripture is abomination…not just homosexuality. You have seen me speak on one topic. You do not know much more about me. And honestly, your response to me is just as stereotypical as mine was to you…I think more so. You can ask anyone that follows my posts how untypical I am concerning what the Bible teaches.

    But we are not here to fight, accuse and call names.

    So get real. Do you engage in homosexual acts? Do you think that you are a christian?

    Shalom

  6. James,

    And furthermore, I didn’t make this discussion about you. You did when you offered the information that you were a homosexual and about how you are personally “disturbed” by my comments. You brought your personal life into the discussion. And you are the one that actually did all of the stereotyping. Look at your posts.

    You wrote:
    “It’s been a while since I’ve commented here, but after reading what Bo said (which affects me very personally) I just felt I had to say something.”

    “As someone who happens to be gay, I find it extremely disturbing…This is exactly the sort of thing that gives your religion a bad name.”

    “Talk about being delusional”

    “I really hope you come to realize just how wrong you were in saying what you did.”

    “Bo, your response is so typical of people of your type.”

    “But of course, as is typical of people like you, highly selective and convenient reading never seems to escape you.”

    So who really did the judging? Who elevated the situation from a discussion to an attack? A mirror is a good thing to own and use from time to time.

    Shalom

  7. I hadn’t read Dr. Brown’s second comment on this page so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt concerning why you didn’t further address your remarks vis-à-vis the death penalty.

    As far as your views are concerned, I’ve actually read quite a few of your comments in passing when visiting this site (which I do every now and then) so I know more about you and your views than you think, and not just on the issue of homosexuality but on others as well. From what I’ve seen, your views and attitudes on homosexuality seem fairly typical of the common perception that people have of fundamentalist Christians who focus more on the “sin” of homosexuality at the expense of others. If I’m wrong on that then great, but I’m not holding my breath.

    And if you “fully believe” that everything that is called an abomination in scripture is precisely that then again, great. Somehow though I’m very skeptical of that given my experience. I doubt you hold the eating of shellfish to be an actual abomination. Even if you do, I would bet my life on it that you don’t treat the divine crime of eating shrimp as nearly as seriously as you do for those who commit homosexual acts.

    And my sex life is, with all due respect, none of your business. I don’t inquire into what you do sexually with other people so why do so in my case? It’s this kind of thinking that I was referring to when I mentioned the “obsession” with homosexuality. You guys seem to make our lives only about sex, sex and more sex. It’s such a reductionist picture of the lives of gay people to think in this fashion. In reality there is so much more to the lives of gay people than simply the sexual acts they might do. And quite honestly, what does “homosexual acts” mean on your view? One of the problems I have in discussions on this subject is that it’s never clearly defined on what exactly counts as the thing that God views as an abomination. Is it simply intercourse, as implied in Leviticus 18:22, 20:13. What about all the other expressions of romantic affection, like for example kissing someone of the same-sex? Is that considered a “homosexual act”? What about holding hands? What about cooking a nice dinner for someone you like or spending many hours at the beach enjoying the company of someone you have a crush on? Are all these considered “homosexual acts” if they happen to be done in the context of a romantic involvement with someone of the same-sex?

  8. Bo, you said:

    “And furthermore, I didn’t make this discussion about you. You did when you offered the information that you were a homosexual and about how you are personally “disturbed” by my comments. You brought your personal life into the discussion”

    I never mentioned how I was living my life, so for you to mention aspects of my life as “an abomination” is in effect making the conversation about me based, not the other way around. The ONLY information I gave out about myself was that I was gay (referring to my natural sexual orientation towards people of the same-sex). From that you apparently gleaned my whole “lifestyle” and how I’m “practicing” homosexuality and how this is an abomination to God. The thing is Bo, you just don’t know how I’m living my life. You made an enormous assumption and judgement about me based off of only my sexual orientation that I revealed. Again, when I made judgments about you it was based on things you’ve said already here, and on other threads.

    That said, I come to be mistaken in my own assumptions about you based in what I’ve seen you write, then I’ll quickly apologize. So far, I haven’t seen much to make me reconsider.

  9. Edit: There were some mistakes in the last post. Here’s the edited, corrected version:

    Bo, you said:

    “And furthermore, I didn’t make this discussion about you. You did when you offered the information that you were a homosexual and about how you are personally “disturbed” by my comments. You brought your personal life into the discussion”

    I never mentioned how I was living my life, so for you to mention aspects of my life as “an abomination” is in effect you making the conversation about me, not me making it about myself. The ONLY information I gave out about myself was that I was gay (referring to my natural sexual orientation towards people of the same-sex). From that you apparently gleaned my whole “lifestyle” and how I’m “practicing” homosexuality and how this is an abomination to God. The thing is Bo, you just don’t know how I’m living my life. You made an enormous assumption and judgement about me based off of only my sexual orientation that I revealed. Again, when I made judgments about you it was based off of things you’ve said already here, and on other threads.

    That said, if I come to be mistaken in my own assumptions about you (which are based in what I’ve seen you write), then I’ll quickly apologize. So far, I haven’t seen much to make me reconsider.

  10. A couple of comments.

    Bo, the problem with taking those laws in the way that you are is that we are talking about legal literature here. Remember that whenever you do exegesis, you have to consider the literature you are talking about. When legal literature gives penalties, it is not meant to make those penalties universal. In fact, what is interesting is that there are a few laws which the Bible says cannot be lessened in severity. That leaves open the possibility that what we are talking about in these penalties are *maximum* penalties, and not penalties which must be administered any time an offense is done.

    Second, James,

    “Somehow though I’m very skeptical of that given my experience. I doubt you hold the eating of shellfish to be an actual abomination. Even if you do, I would bet my life on it that you don’t treat the divine crime of eating shrimp as nearly as seriously as you do for those who commit homosexual acts.”

    That is terrible hermeneutics. Do you see the word “beat” in the context of domestic abuse, and the word “beat” in the context of one basketball team beating another basketball team, and automatically conclude that some physical violence took place on the basketball court? The problem is that the context of the law concerning shellfish specifically is in the context of the laws concerning the separateness of Israel in Deuteronomy 14. Here is how the first two verses begin:

    Deuteronomy 14:1-2 “You are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave your forehead for the sake of the dead. 2 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

    Notice the distribution of the pronouns here. Notice how the text says that the Lord has chosen *you* from *all* the peoples on the land. With the distribution of the pronouns and the “all” here, the text is a setting up of a dichotomy between the people of God and the rest of the nations. It is in this context that you have the continued repetition of “to you” after all of the prohibitions against eating certain meats:

    Deuteronomy 14:7-10 “Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these among those which chew the cud, or among those that divide the hoof in two: the camel and the rabbit and the shaphan, for though they chew the cud, they do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. 8 “The pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses. 9 “These you may eat of all that are in water: anything that has fins and scales you may eat, 10 but anything that does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.

    Notice the repetition of the “for you.” “For you” in distinction to whom? In distinction to the rest of the nations. In fact, the Israelites are called “holy” in verse 2. While the Hebrew concept of holiness certainly does entail moral purity, it also entails the concept of separateness. Everything in this discourse indicates a separation between Israel and the rest of the nations. The point would then be that these foods are to be unclean for God’s people, to remind them that they are to be a people separate from the rest of the nations. A person who looks at Deuteronomy 14:10 and sees a command against the eating of shellfish is missing the point of the law itself. The point of the law had nothing to do with the inherent immorality of eating shellfish, but it had to do, instead, with the reminding of Israel that they were not like the other nations. They were called to be different and set apart for the Lord.

    That actually argues strongly *against* the notion that homosexuality is okay! We are called to come out from among the nations and be separate. While there are many vegetarian nations today who do not eat shellfish, and hence, not eating shellfish would not serve the same purpose, the whole point of these laws, as Jesus mentions in Mark 7:14-19, is to remind us of a need for a pure heart, and to be separate in purity and holiness from the world. Hence, ironically the law is a powerful witness against homosexual practice.

    However, Leviticus 18 is in a totally different context. In that context, God judges the *foreign* nations for their homosexual practice:

    Leviticus 18:24-30 ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. 26 ‘But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you 27 (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); 28 so that the land may not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. 29 ‘For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. 30 ‘Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the LORD your God.’”

    Notice how God says that he is treating his people as well as the nations surrounding them by the exact same standard when it comes to homosexuality. Unlike the dietary laws in which there is a clear separation between the practices of Israel and the other nations, God does not put up with homosexuality from either Israel or their neighbors. Both will be punished for doing these things. As Jesus said, sexual sin is an issue of the heart, and the whole point of the dietary laws was to remind Israel that they were to be different in their heart.

    “And my sex life is, with all due respect, none of your business. I don’t inquire into what you do sexually with other people so why do so in my case?”

    Actually, people’s sex lives *are* other people’s business-especially if they involve immoral sexual actions that could hurt themselves or others. That’s the problem. By your logic, we should not inquire about the sex lives of pedophiles, or beastials, or any other sexually immoral behavior. Given your logic, no one should ever be able to be concerned that an adult or a child are having sexual relations, or that an adult is having sexual relations with a dog. We just have to shut up, and not care. No, sexual ethics are a matter of the community-especially dangerous things that can harm people like sodomy, pedophilia, or bestiality.

    Also, yes, you are right that the law in Leviticus 18 and 20 would not apply if one did not “lie with a man as one lies with a woman,” but it still would be immoral, as Paul speaks of men and men burning in their lust for one another as wrong in Romans 1. I think that is a good distinction.

    Finally, you say that you are “gay (referring to my natural sexual orientation towards people of the same-sex).” How do you know that? What are you relying upon to say that you are gay, and that it is “natural?” If you reject what the Bible has to say that God only created male and female, then what do you use to get this idea of a third category called “gay?”

  11. James,

    OK, we gotten past all of that.

    I honestly do not want to know about your sex life.

    In case you have not kept up with the various posts on past topics:

    I do not eat shellfish or pork or vulture or skunk or rattle snake. I think that lying carnally with ones lawful wife during her cycle is fornication. I believe that most remarriage is adultery. (And I am not equating the first statement with the latter ones.)

    I do not celebrate xmas or easter. I keep Sabbath and the Biblical feasts as far as my part of them is concerned. There is no functioning temple of Levitical priesthood to offer sacrifices…and that would change nothing to speak of in my life except 3 trips to Israel every year. Of course that will change during the 1000 year reign of Messiah when He returns.

    I believe that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit are for believers today. My wife wears a head covering and I zitzits. We do not go swimming…unless fully covered. My beard is long, my hair is short. I do not mar or round the corners thereof respectively. We do not believe in birth control and we home school our children. Our children do not date. The married ones were never alone with their spouses before marriage and they were betrothed and in covenant instead of engaged before marriage. These were not arranged marriages, but both sets of parents were involved in the betrothal process.

    I do not think that works save us. Faith in Y’shua’s blood atonement does. But believers are created unto good works that YHWH specified before in His word and His grace empowers us to live according to His words.

    I went to a christian college for 2.5 semesters and then quit because I could not see why they wanted ministerial students to take hours and hours of philosophy in contradiction to what Paul penned. At that collage there was another male student that had a crush on me. I was engaged to be married at this time and had no interest in anything homosexual. I did not and do not hate him or any other homosexual. I was uncomfortable when he hugged me goodbye for the last time, to be sure, but it did not cause me to reject him as a person or even a friend. The same is true of a homosexual friend that I had in middle school. (And honestly, I did not exactly catch on to his advances at the time.) I was sexually assaulted by an adolescent female relative when I was 4. (I do not know why that matters, but it just seems that I should write it.)

    All my statements above are just to show that I am not your standard christian or fundamentalist and that I have no personal bones to pick with homosexual people even though I think that homosexual practice is sin. I am friends with adulterous married couples. Most of them know my sentiments about such things. My mother and father and 2 of my 4 brothers are adulterers by remarriage. I have spoken to both about this and still have loving relationships with them.

    I believe that the whole of scripture is applicable to those that claim to be believers and that being inconsistent about any of it harms ones case that it is the actual word of YHWH. It also causes blind spots and contradictions in ones faith and practice.

    That said, I know that I fail to live up perfectly to the requirements of scripture. But I cannot deny that it is righteous, just and good. I think that to live a lifestyle that consistently goes against what the Bible actually preaches, especially concerning anything that is blasphemous, idolatrous or Biblically immoral puts a believer in peril of loosing their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.

    Those that have heard the gospel and reject it are condemned because they believe not on the only Son of YHWH. Their sins are an obvious indication of their spiritual state. (Sinners are supposed to sin. Believers are supposed to resist sin.) Both believers and unbelievers will be judged according to what they have done in their bodies.

    I do not know if that covers everything, but as you can see my stance on Biblical matters is consistent as far as I know how to compile it. My stance has nothing to do with hating people. It is just the only way that I know how to be faithful to what I believe is the revelation from heaven to mankind.

    As you have seen I am pretty straight forward in my declaration of what I think is true. I have no animosity toward you. I would want you to know the forgiveness of YHWH and the love, peace and power of His Spirit living inside of you. The problem is that you must confess and forsake any homosexual practice, past or present, along with all other sin in your life and place your life in YHWH’s hands and give up on what you think life is all about and become His disciple to be saved from sin and spiritual death.

    Maybe you are content and at peace with yourself and my words do not mean anything to you. But on the outside chance that you have unresolved feelings and are not spiritually content, I would recommend seeking YHWH with your whole heart…looking into scripture and praying to “God,” that you may not even think exists or that He cares, for Him to reveal Himself to you.

    I was amazed when I did that 34 years ago. The weight of sin and guilt and conflicted feelings were miraculously removed from my longing heart in an instant. I smiled so much that it hurt and I begged YHWH to help me stop. I was finally free and who I was meant to be. I found real love and real peace.

    I was almost 17 when this happened to me. The smile has moderated a little since then. I know my responsibility to live for YHWH now and I take it seriously, but the peace and spiritual contentment are still there. So at 51 with 9 children and a wife of 31 years, I can say that the road has been rough, but it has been worth it.

    Some of this or other posts of mine may have hurt your feelings. That was not my intent. I know this though…you would probably want me to warn you that your house was burning down even though you were finally feeling warm enough and snug in your bed and almost asleep. I am beating at your door, yelling and hoping that you will hear me and jump into the waiting arms of Messiah.

    Shalom

  12. Adam,

    2 Timothy 3
    15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    The holy scriptures that Paul told us to get our idea about righteousness and good works to walk in is the Tanakh. They are able to make us that are saved wise unto salvation…able to work it out with fear and trembling.

    You are so right. The law is for Israel. You miss a very important piece of information. We are grafted into Israel and no longer gentiles.

    Romans 11
    24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

    Ephesians 2
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
    11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
    12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
    13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ…
    19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

    So the covenants, plural, are ours now. We are created to do the good works that YHWH before ordained that we should walk in. Those good works are contained in the scriptures that YHWH gave to Israel.

    There is only one law for the stranger that comes into Israel and the homeborn Israelite. There is no double standard. There is grace while we learn YHWH’s word, but we are part of them now…called to be saints…just like He called them to be saints…set apart to Him to be the light and salt to the world. It was Israel that Messiah was speaking to when He said that they were the light and salt.

    Leviticus 24
    22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

    YHWH gave commandments (Good works that we should walk in) to Israel long ago.

    He grafted us into Israel.

    There is one law for the stranger and the homeborn.

    We do not get the benefits without the
    responsibilities.

    Romans 9
    4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
    5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

    Notice that the above responsibilities and promises go together. They all belong to Israel. We do not get grafted into Israel just to partake of promises without the responsibility. The promises are ours, but only if the covenants are. The adoption is ours, but only if we honor the fathers. The glory goes with the service. The Messiah comes with the law.

    Revelation 14
    12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

    Shalom

  13. Adam,

    In order for your analogy to hold concerning the divergent uses of the word “beat”, you must show that the equivalent Hebrew words for abomination are equally divergent in their uses as well. I will precisely maintain that they are not divergent in such a manner, and hence your analogy simply holds no weight against my own point.

    With regards to the whole issue of the “separateness” of Israel from other nations, I don’t see how this is relevant to the problem I’m addressing, which concerns how the word “abomination” is used. It’s not the strict command against eating shellfish that I’m referring to here. It’s specifically the use of the word “abomination” selectively and hypocritically against homosexuality and/or gay people. Shedding light on what it means to be separate from other nations doesn’t shed any new light on the meaning and uses of the word, thus your discussion along these lines is a distraction from the issue at hand.

    Moreover, I would argue that your provided assessment and view on the separateness of the Israelites among the neighboring nations is partially inadequate and not well supported by the Biblical text. In reality, the theme of “separateness” is a common feature of both the ritual commands and the commands concerning the mainly sexual vices found in Leviticus 18 and 20. God calls the Israelites to be separate from the nations in both regards, and both ritually unclean acts (such as the eating of unclean animals) as well as certain sexual vices (including male-male intercourse) have prohibitions very likely rooted in pagan cultic settings, a point argued by many old testament scholars.

    Further, I don’t know why you went to the Deuteronomic text to spell out your view on separateness. We are in Leviticus, so why not stay in Leviticus? Deuteronomy 14:1-21 is very probably a later insertion anyway based on the priestly source from which Leviticus 11 is based.

    Finally, your claim that “God judges the *foreign* nations for their homosexual practice” totally singles out homosexuality for condemnation while completely ignoring all the other offenses in Leviticus 18 and 20. Why ignore the passages about incest, or the passage about having sex with a woman during her menstrual period (Leviticus 18:19, cf Leviticus 20:18)? Did God also “judge” the foreign nations for having sex with menstruating women? Is he still judging people today for that practice? Very few Christians have this in mind when they think back to these passages. Homosexuality is once again selectively singled out for unique condemnation.

    And it’s quite ironic that you quote Leviticus 18:24-30 concerning defilement yet conveniently ignore how Leviticus 20:25 says one is also defiled by eating unclean animals. In summary then, your whole view and assessment of the situation seems simplistic, if somewhat convenient. It’s your own hermeneutics that is problematic and strained, not mine.

    Moving on to some of your final comments, you said:

    “Actually, people’s sex lives *are* other people’s business-especially if they involve immoral sexual actions that could hurt themselves or others. That’s the problem. By your logic, we should not inquire about the sex lives of pedophiles, or beastials, or any other sexually immoral behavior. Given your logic, no one should ever be able to be concerned that an adult or a child are having sexual relations, or that an adult is having sexual relations with a dog. We just have to shut up, and not care. No, sexual ethics are a matter of the community-especially dangerous things that can harm people like sodomy, pedophilia, or bestiality.”

    What a bizarre response. Of course if you make a ridiculous qualifier about someones sex life that involves pedophilia, bestiality etc then yes, it obviously does become someone else’s business. But that’s such an absurd comparison to the kind of sex I’m thinking about, which involves consensual, adult sex with someone of the same sex. That kind of sexual activity just doesn’t meet the level of harm you’re talking about, and therefore your desire to inquire into the sex lives of gay people isn’t justified. It just isn’t any of your business. It would be like me inquiring into the private worship that you might perform in your home and attempting to make it my business by adding in a ridiculous qualifier that the worship you might possibly perform involves torturing your child against their will in order to please a divine being. Well duh, if that’s the qualifier you’re going to make then yes, it’s everyone’s business. But you can make such qualifiers for literally anything a person might do in a private setting. All things being equal a person’s sex life just isn’t anyone’s business and the same is true for gay people. And if you seriously and genuinely think that “sodomy” necessitates gay people informing you of their sex lives then it is up to you to articulate and defend such a case. It’s not enough to just draw up egregious hypothetical situations and call it a day.

    Lastly, you said:

    “Finally, you say that you are “gay…” . How do you know that? What are you relying upon to say that you are gay, and that it is “natural?” If you reject what the Bible has to say that God only created male and female, then what do you use to get this idea of a third category called “gay?””

    I’m gay in the same way that you’re probably straight (which I will assume unless you tell me otherwise). I’m attracted sexually to other guys in general. You’re sexually attracted to women in general. You’re able to form emotional, romantic connections to other women. The same is true for me, except it’s oriented toward men, not women. Just as you might be tempted by a particularly attractive woman walking down the street or appearing in a magazine, or on TV, or on the internet, the same thing happens to me, but for men in general, not women. All the sexual thoughts, feelings and emotions you might have for women I also have them too, but again it’s oriented toward men in general, not women. That’s what I mean when I say that I’m gay. It’s my sexual orientation. It’s not a third category of biological sex. Sexual orientation is considered distinct from one’s gender or sex. It refers to the underlying attractions people have toward one sex or the other. The word gay is mostly used in our current culture to identify the kind of sexual orientation a person has.

  14. Adam and James,

    From Ezekiel we know that there are greater and lesser abominations/disgusting deeds…if only in a poetic sense. I am guessing that greater abominations have worse consequences, but a lesser abomination is still an abomination. It is still disgusting to YHWH…especially if we do it on purpose and knowing better.

    Anything that is an idol, whether physically or in a spiritual/of the heart sense is abomination. Covetousness is idolatry. Lusting after a woman is adultery. Having anything in ones life that relegates YHWH and His words to us to less than 1st place is covetousness and Idolatry. The list of abominations is a long one and it doesn’t really matter which one we refuse to repent of, because it still shows that our hearts are not perfect before YHWH…that He is not really first place in our lives. When we give ourselves to doing something against what YHWH has commanded, we are guilty of idolators.

    The physical act of adultery or homosex is secondary to the condition of the heart, but it is also usually indicative of our heart condition. If we are ignorant of what YHWH has asked us to do or we do not fully understand His will, there is grace. If we should be teachers by now, but are still in need of milk because of our laziness and apathy toward the word of YHWH, we are in danger of failing of the grace of YHWH.

    What we eat, how we dress, how we do business, who we sleep with, whether we help the poor and fatherless, and whether we have obeyed YHWH’s statutes and judgments in things like His feast days and sabbaths are all on the table for the discussion. Ezekiel does not list everything, but he sums it up pretty well.

    Ezekiel 18
    4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
    5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,
    6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,
    7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;
    8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,
    9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.
    10 ¶ If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,
    11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife,
    12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,
    13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.
    14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,
    15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife,
    16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,
    17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.
    18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.
    19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.
    20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
    21 ¶ But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
    23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
    24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
    25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
    26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
    22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
    23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
    24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
    25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
    26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
    27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
    28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
    30 ¶ Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
    31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
    32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

    Messiah said a few things along these lines.

    Matthew 5
    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Luke 12
    47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
    48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

    Mark 7
    20 And he said that defileth a man which cometh out of a man.
    21 For from within even out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts: advoutry, fornication, murder,
    22 theft, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, uncleanness, and a wicked eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
    23 All these evil things, come from within, and defile a man.

    What we have read plainly in scripture, we are accountable for. If we continue to participate in things that are abominations, no matter how small, they show where our heart really is. If things, even least of the commandments things, come out of us on a continuous basis, we are disgusting to YHWH and we can know that we are in danger of damnation. The things that we do on the outside prove what is on the inside.

    Fornication, whether it is homosex of heterosex, whether it is with our true wife or in an adulterous subsequent marriage, or in a supposed homosexual marriage is abomination to YHWH.

    Shalom

  15. Thanks Bo for explaining and articulating your views. I see the genuine heartfelt sincerity in your comments. In hindsight it does now appear to me that I did in fact go too far in presuming to know what you think and believe. I thus prematurely stereotyped and judged your views too quickly. For that then I do apologize. I guess that goes to show you that you can’t just read a few comments from a person and form a judgement so quickly. Just to be clear on where I got my impression of you, it was mostly from comments you made in a discussion with Greg about homosexuality (I believe it was on the comments page for Dr. Brown’s show from India). I think I felt that you were too dismissive of his stance when using the Bible. Additionally, I was probably drawing on my own experience in having these types of conversations as well. Usually when I have this discussion with other Christians on this topic the conversation almost always seems to go in a certain predicted direction (an unproductive direction), and the attitudes and judgments that accompany them seem to be the same as well. I guess I assumed you were the same and therefore unjustly piled on you the beliefs of others I normally encounter. Again, I apologize for that.

    Concerning what you specifically said you believe and practice, if what you said is truly the case then you are undoubtedly the most Jewish Christian I’ve ever talked to (and I don’t intend anything negative by saying that). Certainly you’re views and practices are rare among Christians generally. While I can see how your views might run contrary to some theological Christian doctrines and certain NT passages, I must admit that I do admire your consistency in your views. I would much rather have you quote Leviticus 18:22/20:13 to me than another Christian who selectively highlights the abomination of homosexuality while ignoring the numerous other abominable practices described in Leviticus and elsewhere.

    Also, given what you’ve explained in your post about your views, I can honestly say that I think I understand your views on the death penalty better. Yes, I know we can’t really discuss the issue further but I’ll just point out that your position now makes a bit more sense to me than it did previously. Don’t get me wrong, I still have huge problems with such a stance, but I do get where you’re coming from given your strict adherence to the Torah.

    There’s a part of your post that really resonated with me. It was the part about your experience in College with another person who was gay (presumably given what you described). Your experience here resonates with me because I can relate to the difficulty of having male friends and occasionally being attracted to one of them. Such experiences for me have often been the most depressing experiences in my life. It’s a very difficult thing to have romantic feelings for someone and yet know at the same time that they will never share the same feelings and emotions you have for them. Moreover if you feel like you can never act on such feelings in any context, regardless of whether the person is “available” to you or not, it makes the situation all the more depressing and hopeless. On top of that there is the fear of telling people about being gay or homosexual. I can understand how you might be uncomfortable hugging a gay person Bo, but it’s something I have feared greatly when considering whether or not to tell people. It’s not so much the fear that someone you know may outright reject you that is the problem (although that is certainly present at times), it’s more the fear that they might be uncomfortable around you and therefore treat you differently as a result that is the problem. Most people still do not know I’m gay. I’m not out to my family yet or even most of my friends. The first friend I told was in College. I told him I was gay because I was at the time going through a difficult time trying to deal with my sexuality, and knew that he of all people would be very supportive of me (he was the type of person who would quite literally wear his support of gay rights on his clothes). I made him promise not to tell anyone about it. I felt confident that he never would given how vulnerable I was in the moment, and how seriously I expressed to him about never revealing this secret of mine to anyone. But not too long after that day, however, he actually did go and reveal it. He told one of my other really good friends about it, and how I was struggling with it. He of course had the best of intentions when he told this other person. He thought that this other person might be able to better help and be supportive of me given how close we were as friends. I was completely unaware at the time that he had told this other friend about it since he had never mentioned it to me until about a year later. What happened in the meantime though I will never forget. My friendship with the person he told went downhill. It wasn’t that he completely rejected me all at once. It was that he seemed less and less interested in our friendship as time went on. I didn’t get any more invitations to come to his house or hang out with him. He would hardly ever call me or text me on my phone. He wouldn’t send anymore Facebook messages containing the newest, and hilarious YouTube video, etc. Basically, I felt ignored. As time went on he took more of an active interest in other friends, almost completely relegating our friendship to the side. I could clearly see from the side how he was taking greater interest in other people, while only attempting to go out of his way to talk to me. It got to the point where I was questioning myself, trying to figure out if I did anything or if he was just mad about some old argument we had had a while ago. I didn’t know. I wasn’t sure. What I was sure about was that I had told someone else for the first time that I was gay. It was the one fear that I had always had about being gay: What would people think about me if they knew? How would they treat me? How would they treat me differently from other friends? It then dawned on me that maybe my friend did know. It seemed like a really good explanation of the present circumstances. It was the only explanation that made sense of everything. I then asked the friend who I first told about being gay if he had in fact told this other person. But he denied saying anything. Confused I then decided to directly ask my other friend to see what exactly was the problem. Maybe I had done or said something to him that might explain why he was so uninterested in our friendship and seemingly ignoring me. When I talked to him, however, he just tried to brush it off and reassure me that he wasn’t mad about anything and that he wasn’t trying to deliberately ignore me. He basically said that I was making too much of the situation. But things were definitely different, and I knew this well before I came to suspect that he might know. In short, I later found out from my other friend that he did tell him. It then immediately became apparent what had happened. He was simply uncomfortable around me. And that became very clear to me when I found out he had expressed views to my supportive friend about being uncomfortable with homosexuality and having problems with it.

    I’m glad Bo that you didn’t reject your friend. But I also hope though that you didn’t treat your friend any less because he was gay, because that’s what it honestly felt like had happened to me with that one friend. The thing is, I’ve heard many stories from gay people coming out and having similar experiences of feeling ignored and essentially rejected by some of their friends. Sometimes it’s outright rejection. Sometimes it is in less subtle ways, over a period of time, as was the case with me. Other times it’s direct bullying or even violence. The stigma that is still associated with homosexuality undoubtedly leads to these unfortunate experiences. There are many challenges that gay people face (especially gay Christians). The personal experiences I just wrote about are only a small sample of the challenges we face. There are other challenges which I won’t write about now, but when I reflect on them from time to time it seems to me that much of the push for gay rights in the United States and around the world is built on the underlying injustice that so many people see in such experiences. Increasingly, people are standing up for those in such situations and affirming their place in society.

    With respect to some of the other things you said, let me be clear in saying that I can appreciate your stance on wanting to affirm Biblical morality as you see it. I don’t want to come across as being against you simply because you might hold to the traditional view on sexual ethics or other matters. My issue is more often in the way people tend to hypocritically and uncritically use the arguments, and the framing of the culture war that drives both sides further apart. I’m actually looking forward to further dialogue with you Bo, because I believe we can discuss things now more productively than before.

    Shalom

  16. James,

    Thank you for the kind words and more info about yourself. I am still having tears run down my cheeks…into my long beard. 🙂

    I have been responding to Greg again on Hyper-grace thread. You will probably not be too thrilled with my posting there, but you might want to read them anyway.

    I do not know if you grew up in a christian family of if you had a drastic conversion/born again experience like I did. Sometimes I am concerned that my children that have grown up believing in Messiah are missing something. My wife grew up in a baptist, christian home, but still made a life decision to follow Messiah when she was about 13…I think. She is a very steady believer. She was baptized in the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues while we were in college. That was a dramatic spiritual experience for her. It was for me too even though it was only a couple of weeks after my conversion. I had to beg for the smile to ease up again.

    I can say that the power of a clean conscience and the assurance of salvation along with the having been baptized in water and the Holy Spirit is crucial for you to walk fearless in power, in love and in a sound mind. I am inerested…what is your experience in these spiritual matters?

    Shalom

  17. James,

    You can’t discuss lexical semantics without recourse to compositional semantics and pragmatics. Word meaning is only one element of linguistic meaning. The point is that, if someone says homosexuality is an abomination, they are meaning it in the same sense that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 use the term. You can’t rip them out of context, and ignore the compositional semantic and pragmatic distinctions between these texts and Deuteronomy 14, and just leap off to Deuteronomy 14 as if it has some relevance to what is found in Leviticus 18 and 20. Meaning in language is *far* more complicated than that!

    “Moreover, I would argue that your provided assessment and view on the separateness of the Israelites among the neighboring nations is partially inadequate and not well supported by the Biblical text. In reality, the theme of “separateness” is a common feature of both the ritual commands and the commands concerning the mainly sexual vices found in Leviticus 18 and 20. God calls the Israelites to be separate from the nations in both regards, and both ritually unclean acts (such as the eating of unclean animals) as well as certain sexual vices (including male-male intercourse) have prohibitions very likely rooted in pagan cultic settings, a point argued by many old testament scholars.”

    You are right that there is an intimate connection between the dietary laws and the behavior of God’s people, and I even said as much in my last post. The difference is that God specifically says that he will judge these other nations by this same standard of sexual ethics in Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20 as he does his own people. Hence, although the Israelites are to be separate from the pagan nations in their behavior, it is not something which God uniquely binds to the consciences of his people as he did with the laws of Deuteronomy 14, as can be seen by the fact that God judges the pagan nations because they practice these things and also judges his own people when they start to practice these things. There is no distinction in who the law applies to in the laws of Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20, but there is a distinction the dietary laws. The laws of Deuteronomy 14 are put in a specific context which will not allow for the extension to other nations since the entire context *is* the separateness of his people with no extension to the unbelieving nations in sight. That is why I said that you are mixing contexts.

    “Further, I don’t know why you went to the Deuteronomic text to spell out your view on separateness. We are in Leviticus, so why not stay in Leviticus? Deuteronomy 14:1-21 is very probably a later insertion anyway based on the priestly source from which Leviticus 11 is based.”

    I went there because you brought it up. You were the one who brought up shellfish, and that is where that issue is discussed using the same Hebrew term that is found in Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20 for homosexuality. And, worst of all, if you want to stay in Leviticus, it is only the condemnation of sexual actions, of which homosexuality is a part, in which that Hebrew term is found! Hence, it destroys your own position. Secondly, the hermeneutics of the whole JEDP theory are simply fallacious. The development of discourse linguistics has demonstrated that differences in discourse can be affected by things such as differences in topic and audience as well as differences in author. For example, this is the largest discourse of clean and unclean animals in the book of Deuteronomy. You can expect that differences in vocabulary and even differences in this such as syntax are going to be used. When you change the topic, you change the discourse structure. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that you see differences between this text and the rest of Deuteronomy. It would also account for why it is so similar to Leviticus 11, because those two texts are addressing the same topic in extended discourse.

    “Finally, your claim that “God judges the *foreign* nations for their homosexual practice” totally singles out homosexuality for condemnation while completely ignoring all the other offenses in Leviticus 18 and 20. Why ignore the passages about incest, or the passage about having sex with a woman during her menstrual period (Leviticus 18:19, cf Leviticus 20:18)? Did God also “judge” the foreign nations for having sex with menstruating women? Is he still judging people today for that practice? Very few Christians have this in mind when they think back to these passages. Homosexuality is once again selectively singled out for unique condemnation.”

    That is because no one is trying to push incest as an alternative lifestyle, or promoting having sex with women in their menstrual cycle in the Rose Bowl parade. We must distinguish between the meaning of the text and its significance to our modern culture. Most people today [for whatever reason, given that the Biblical foundation has been removed] believe that incest is wrong, and, although you might get an argument from some Christians, I do think you can make an argument that we should not be having sexual relations with women during their menstrual cycle, because it goes back to the life-giving nature of blood itself. However, in each of those instances, people will be willing to submit to the proper exegesis of the text. When it comes to homosexuality, they seem to run from what the text says, or run off to other passages that are not parallel to Leviticus 18 and 20. I would ask you, why is that?

    Does God still judge for sins such as incest? Yes, absolutely. However, many times I believe God’s judgment comes in the form of the moral and rational breakdown of a society which comes from taking these views to its logical conclusion.

    “And it’s quite ironic that you quote Leviticus 18:24-30 concerning defilement yet conveniently ignore how Leviticus 20:25 says one is also defiled by eating unclean animals. In summary then, your whole view and assessment of the situation seems simplistic, if somewhat convenient. It’s your own hermeneutics that is problematic and strained, not mine.”

    Again, context. Notice who the notion of separation comes up after God says that he will punish these nations for their sexual debauchery:

    Leviticus 20:24-26 ‘Hence I have said to you, “You are to possess their land, and I Myself will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25 ‘You are therefore to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean; and you shall not make yourselves detestable by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean. 26 ‘Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.

    Again, notice the phrases “separated,” “set apart,” and “distinction” with no mention of the pagan nations being punished for eating these foods at all. Again, what you would have to do is to show that the penalties for these dietary restrictions were relevant to nations outside of the nation of Israel. That you cannot do, because the text never goes there. That is because God is not prohibiting the eating of these foods because there is something inherently morally wrong with them. However, if he is punishing both Jew and Gentile for certain behaviors, one should be ready to consider the possibility that God is intending to lay down moral absolutes.

    In sum, your view is exegetically fallacious, because it assumes that, although one set of laws is in a context of both separateness and the binding nature of the law to both Jew and Gentile, that necessarily means that if you see separateness anywhere else using the same word, it must be binding to both Jew and Gentile as well. The problem is that, in the Torah, the laws concerning things like shellfish are deeply Jewish. They do not go beyond the border of Israel, and thus, are meant for the purposes of separation with no moral obligation to the other nations at all.

    “What a bizarre response. Of course if you make a ridiculous qualifier about someones sex life that involves pedophilia, bestiality etc then yes, it obviously does become someone else’s business. But that’s such an absurd comparison to the kind of sex I’m thinking about, which involves consensual, adult sex with someone of the same sex. That kind of sexual activity just doesn’t meet the level of harm you’re talking about, and therefore your desire to inquire into the sex lives of gay people isn’t justified. It just isn’t any of your business. It would be like me inquiring into the private worship that you might perform in your home and attempting to make it my business by adding in a ridiculous qualifier that the worship you might possibly perform involves torturing your child against their will in order to please a divine being. Well duh, if that’s the qualifier you’re going to make then yes, it’s everyone’s business. But you can make such qualifiers for literally anything a person might do in a private setting. All things being equal a person’s sex life just isn’t anyone’s business and the same is true for gay people. And if you seriously and genuinely think that “sodomy” necessitates gay people informing you of their sex lives then it is up to you to articulate and defend such a case. It’s not enough to just draw up egregious hypothetical situations and call it a day.”

    Well, does that mean that if a virgin agrees to be sacrificed in a satanic ritual that we should turn a blind moral eye, because it is between two consenting adults? Does that mean that, if a man wants to sell his future dead body to a cannibal to eat after he is dead that we should turn a blind moral eye because it is between two consenting adults? The notion that it is no one’s business because it is between two consenting adults is absurd, as there are many things that are ethically and morally wrong that are between two consenting adults.

    Secondly, it is very hard to discuss the dangers of sodomy here on a Christian forum because they are so horrifying and shocking, and I want to keep this forum as clean as possible, while still getting across how abusive and harmful sodomy is. If Dr. Brown wishes to edit my post, he is certainly free to do so if he feels I have not kept within the rules of this forum of discussion, even though I am trying to. I have seen what is done in sodomy with my own eyes multiple times, and the other person was bawling and crying in pain. I have seen blood involved. It involves the breaking down of this particular area of the body slowly over time, to the point where the person can no longer protect against things like infection and even things like very serious STD’s, and even death. More than that, if that were all homosexuals do, it would be enough. However, here is an article from Hank Hannegraff’s website, the Christian Research Institute, which details other practices, and the specific section addressing these issues cites a proctologist by the name of Dr. Bernard J. Klamecki. I can’t even post the specific section here, but, for those who think they have the stomach to handle it, here is the link:

    http://www.equip.org/articles/is-homosexuality-a-healthy-lifestyle/

    The reality is, sodomy hurts other people-not just because it is painful, but because it destroys the body, and kills the person slowly over time. Anyone who works in the emergency rooms out in San Francisco could tell you that. Should it then be a concern to the public? Yes. When you go tearing apart another person’s body, that is a concern to the public-every bit as much as it is when you have sex with children or animals.

    “I’m gay in the same way that you’re probably straight (which I will assume unless you tell me otherwise). I’m attracted sexually to other guys in general. You’re sexually attracted to women in general. You’re able to form emotional, romantic connections to other women. The same is true for me, except it’s oriented toward men, not women. Just as you might be tempted by a particularly attractive woman walking down the street or appearing in a magazine, or on TV, or on the internet, the same thing happens to me, but for men in general, not women. All the sexual thoughts, feelings and emotions you might have for women I also have them too, but again it’s oriented toward men in general, not women. That’s what I mean when I say that I’m gay. It’s my sexual orientation. It’s not a third category of biological sex. Sexual orientation is considered distinct from one’s gender or sex. It refers to the underlying attractions people have toward one sex or the other. The word gay is mostly used in our current culture to identify the kind of sexual orientation a person has.”

    How would you respond to someone who rewrote your paragraph this way:

    I’m pedophilic in the same way that you’re probably gay (which I will assume unless you tell me otherwise). I’m attracted sexually to children in general. You’re sexually attracted to guys in general. You’re able to form emotional, romantic connections to other guys. The same is true for me, except it’s oriented toward children, not men or women. Just as you might be tempted by a particularly attractive man walking down the street or appearing in a magazine, or on TV, or on the internet, the same thing happens to me, but for children in general, not men. All the sexual thoughts, feelings and emotions you might have for men I also have them too, but again it’s oriented toward children in general, not women. That’s what I mean when I say that I’m pedophilic. It’s my sexual orientation. It’s not a third category of biological sex. Sexual orientation is considered distinct from one’s gender or sex. It refers to the underlying attractions people have toward one person or the other.

    Now, obviously, you would disagree with such a rewriting of this paragraph, but why? Because culture doesn’t agree that pedophilia is another sexual orientation? What if culture *did* end up agreeing that pedophilia is just another sexual orientation? Would you then have to acknowledge it as a sexual orientation? You might respond that sexual orientation must be limited to gender only. But how is this not arbitrary? Why shouldn’t sexual orientation include, not only gender, but age as well?

    The problem here is what is known as the is/ought fallacy. You can’t say that just because something *is* a certain way that it therefore *must* be a certain way, or that it is naturally a certain way. The mere fact that you are attracted to men says *nothing* about your inherent nature, any more than a pedophile being attracted to children says something about their inherent nature. You simply cannot move from the way things are to the way they should be. That is logically fallacious.

    Again, I am just asking, if you reject the Christian worldview which says that God only creates male and female [not homosexual, bisexual, or something else], and that those two are supposed to come together [Genesis 1:27-28], then how do you decide that you are homosexual, heterosexual, or anything else as to your inherent nature, without committing fallacies such as the is/ought fallacy?

  18. James,

    It could be a matter of semantics, but I am not a Jewish Christian. I do not go for Judaism or what is called Christianity for the most part. People in the USA usually ask me when they see me and my family if we are Amish. People in Israel usually say something like, “Are you Jewish…You have zitziot…where is your Kippah?” My answer here is that I am Pajamish…Pentecostal-Jewish-Amish. My answer in Israel is that I believe in keeping all of Elohim’s commandments and believe in Y’shua Ha Mashiach. Then they say, “So you are Christian.” And I explain that I do not like that term because it does not have the proper connotation anymore and that I love the Jewish people and that I do not want to be thought of one that persecuted them…of course, when we were there, we were helping the Jewish settlers in the west bank harvest their grapes without pay. Maybe it will help them see that we are not the same as Hitler and Luther, etc.

    My dad was an alcoholic and was physically and verbally abusive for quite some time. My brother died at 40 of alcoholism. I know what a strong inclination to sin is from this perspective and from my own drug addiction as a teen and of course heterosexual attraction/lust. All lust/addiction is to be fought against. A lust/covetousness is wanting something that is forbidden to us. Only one woman has been allowed to me. I can talk to another woman, but am disallowed to become more than a brother to her. Drunkenness is not allowed to me. I can have a glass of wine to start Shabbat, but I am disallowed to drink the whole bottle.

    I see Homosexual attraction as the same. I may be no more than a brother to another man. Just because I happen to have more weakness in regard to any certain sin, does not excuse my sin. It makes it more understandable, but it is still wrong. I think that YHWH forbids me to eat clam chowder. I like clam chowder a lot…or at least I used to. I do not know, because I have not had it in quite a long time. I could say the same about bacon. YHWH has not forbidden me to eat, though. There is a minimum of one day a year, on Yom Kippur, that I must fast.

    The amount of my earthly life that I must not eat is small. The amount of time that I may not eat certain things is my whole life long. YHWH has not restricted pleasure, but has moderated it. Homosex is one of the pleasures that He has denied us for our entire life. That is very difficult, but the reward for subjecting ourselves to YHWH’s word is eternal. When my small children are in the middle of Yom Kippur, they think that it is extreme suffering for way too long, but shortly it is over. Our life is a vapor. All the things that we have such strong desires for only last a very short time compared to eternity.

    One thing that helps is people to help us through the hard times…especially if they are in the same boat that we are. I could wish that I didn’t have desires contrary to what YHWH has commanded, but that doesn’t help. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Keeping myself busy doing what I am allowed to do with others by my side instead of dwelling on or bemoaning my tragedy and my unfair disadvantages in life.

    I had a severely handicapped son. He died when he was 20…about 7 years ago. We had to do everything for him. He could not walk or talk or feed himself, or really even chew, or control his bowels. I am a pretty good diaper changer. I never wanted to be this good at it, but I am what I am by the grace of YHWH. Our last child was a late term stillborn girl. Caleb and Leah are buried side by side. Their grave stone says, “They taught us so much though they never spoke a word.”

    There were times, sometimes long stretches of time and intense times, in that 20 years that I thought that our misfortune was unbearable. I handled well on occasion and not so well on others. Temptations that I thought that I was immune to presented themselves at the worst of times. I know the pain of having a child, a son, that would never really be great according to the world’s standards. I know the pain. I know the hopelessness. I know the shame. My family suffered for Caleb’s sake. Our lives were limited and burdened.

    We have a heavenly Father that has every child but one that can never accomplish what they were meant to in this life because sin entered this world. He only has one Son that lived up to His calling. That son had to suffer for all of His other sons. His life was limited and burdened. Our heavenly Father knows that we are all just handicapped little children.

    His plan was that we would be weak so that we could learn to be humble and gracious and thankful for those that have to come to our rescue. So that we could grow up to be like our strong and perfect brother. Your weakness is no different than mine in the grand scheme of things. Your need of a savior is no greater than mine. We did not get to chose our weaknesses. He chose them for us for a purpose…that sometimes we can never wrap our minds around. Our Messiah and older brother, chose to become weak and despised and the servant of all. He was tempted in every way that we are, only without giving in to the temptation and resisted sin unto death for our sakes.

    He was tempted both heteosexually and homosexually. His strength is available to us. YHWH’s grace is sufficient for us. Our weaknesses are supposed to be transformed into something that gives us the ability to help others, just like His were. But we do not get to chose our own weaknesses, probably because we would chose one that we thought was an easier one, which would ultimately be our inevitable demise. Messiah chose to take on every mans weakness and prevailed for us. When our life is in Him we can prevail against any weakness. When it is not we are all drowning too far from land for hope.

    You will not make it to land on your own. I didn’t. No one does. And even though He comes to our rescue, He lets us do as much swimming as we can so that we will become better and stronger swimmers…because He wants us to join Him in rescuing others.

    What ever we give up for Messiah and the gospel, we will receive many times more blessings in return and eternal life as a bonus. Most have to give up more than we think that we can possibly bare. I do not want to downplay the loss that you will experience. I want you to know that it will be worth it.

    My son was named Caleb Gabriel. His name means “bold Elohim is my strength.” He was fine when he was born, but I had a revelation that he needed a strong name. We never knew why until he came down with meningitis at 3 months old. By all rights he should have died. Virtually all babies do if they get sick with what he did before 6 months. Another 3 month old died of meningitis in the hospital while he was there.

    His strength was for us, so that we could learn and know more of what YHWH suffers because of us. It was for us to learn that people are not valuable because of what they can do, but because they are special in YHWH’s eyes that made them in His image. That image is never realized until eternity. This short earthly testing ground for the believer is for us to prove ourselves. It is basic training…for ruling and reigning with Messiah. If we are faithful with this small portion of time with its difficulties, we will be honored with much forever. More than that, we will know that YHWH is pleased with us. We will have made our Father smile.

    So all our present sufferings will produce something very good in the end if we will come to YHWH and agree that we are weak sinners in need of a savior and commit our lives to Him forever…if we will trust Him to forgive us and make us into what He wants. If we give up our own version of what life should be and let Him show us what living really is, we will be very glad we did.

    Shalom

  19. Bo,

    I didn’t explain my spiritual background before, but I’ll be happy to share some of it now.

    I grew up in an evangelical, born again Christian household. I accepted Jesus into my life at around the age of 15. Saying the sinner’s prayer and asking Jesus to come into your life is what I was told was required of me in order to be saved. Baptism with water was always seen as important but not necessary for salvation. My church growing up was usually non-denominational, but closest to Pentecostalism or what the Baptists believe. Things like speaking in tongues, giving a word of knowledge, believing in divine miracles and the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome a person were widely accepted. Indeed, there were many times when our church leaders prayed over people and the power of the Holy Spirit was claimed to have come over them and fill them with a supernatural feeling. Some people would even be knocked down to the floor as a result of such experiences. I never really understood such experiences though since nothing similar ever happened to me. Looking back, I realize that all these incredible things were part and parcel of everyday church life, and yet so incredibly distant in my own life. I never once had any of things effect my religious experience in any tangible or spiritual fashion. They just weren’t a part of my life.

    My current situation with my faith is one where I live on the edges. Intellectual debates over science and religion, Biblical inerrancy, and philosophical concepts concerning God have already lead me to question and ultimately evolve many of my former beliefs about God, the Bible, and Christianity in general. And of course, the coming to terms with my own sexual orientation has had an significant impact further on my beliefs, and continues to do so as I research this area.

    I hope that answers your questions about me from posts 107 and 118. Yes, I do consider myself a Christian, but only loosely so. If I were to find out right now with 100% certainty that God didn’t exist or that most of our concepts of Christianity weren’t true, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Such are the nature of things when you constantly live on the edges.

    P.S. Adam, I’ve seen your post and will respond to it sometime tomorrow.

  20. Dr. Brown,

    Would you consider asking Greg to actually answer the arguments against his position. Could it come with an ultimatum…that he cannot post hit and run comments if he doesn’t. Seems like you held my feet to the fire on more than one occasion. His attack on your book and you and his agreement to answer any logic or fact against his position is on the “attack against hyper-grace” thread.

    Shalom

  21. Adam,

    You wrote:


    “You can’t discuss lexical semantics without recourse to compositional semantics and pragmatics. Word meaning is only one element of linguistic meaning. The point is that, if someone says homosexuality is an abomination, they are meaning it in the same sense that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 use the term…”

    My point was precisely that “compositional semantics” doesn’t shed any new light on the meaning of the Hebrew words for “abomination”, regardless of where it is used. The notion of “separateness” for the sake of being separate vs forbidden immoral practices is a valid Biblical distinction (though your assessment was I think too simplistic). It’s just not one that is relevant to the use and understanding of the Hebrew words for abomination. If I say that “having same-sex intercourse at a garbage dump is disgusting” and then say that “eating feces, maggots and cockroaches at a resort is disgusting”, I can assure you that not one person would attempt to argue a meaningful distinction on the uses of the word “disgusting” by appealing to some sort of contextual difference in theme. What you’re doing though is pretty much the same thing when you try to bring in the theme of “separateness”.


    “The laws of Deuteronomy 14 are put in a specific context which will not allow for the extension to other nations since the entire context *is* the separateness of his people with no extension to the unbelieving nations in sight. That is why I said that you are mixing contexts.”

    I’m not mixing the context of anything. The contextual differences that you speak of are just not relevant to the meaning of the word “abomination”.

    Back to Leviticus

    “I went there because you brought it up. You were the one who brought up shellfish, and that is where that issue is discussed using the same Hebrew term that is found in Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20 for homosexuality. And, worst of all, if you want to stay in Leviticus, it is only the condemnation of sexual actions, of which homosexuality is a part, in which that Hebrew term is found! Hence, it destroys your own position.”

    The whole issue of “separateness” is better placed in Leviticus with the sexual vices, since that is where you were attempting to draw a meaningful distinction between the immoral practices in Leviticus 18 and 20 and that of ritual separateness. That’s why I questioned why you went to Deuteronomy 14 only to make a connection back to Leviticus 18/20.

    If the only reason you went there was due to me bringing up the the whole abominable shellfish issue then again I simply repeat what I’ve stated already, which is that the Hebrew terms for abomination (there is more than one) are not affected by the contextual situation in Deuteronomy 14 or elsewhere. Thus your discussion along these lines still doesn’t address my primary concern. When I had shellfish specifically in mind I wasn’t thinking about the precise Hebrew word for abomination in Leviticus 18:22/20:13 (tow’ebah) and the exact same Hebrew word found in Deuteronomy 14:3. What I was referring to was the equivalent Hebrew word for abomination used in Leviticus 11:10-13 for shellfish(sheqets). Both tow’ebah and sheqets mean the same thing. They refer to something that is detestable or abhorrent to God (or simply abominable). That meaning does not change when they are used in one setting or another. You can check a concordance to verify this. This can also be easily seen in translations of the Bible. For example, the New King James version translates both tow’ebah found in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and also sheqets in Leviticus 11:10 as abomination. The same is true for its predecessor, the King James Version. Young’s Literal Translation does the same thing. Same is also true for the Revised Standard Version. The New Revised Standard Version, while translating the words differently, still nonetheless uses an equivalent meaning. For example, it uses “detestable” in Leviticus 11:10 and the word “abomination” in Leviticus 18:22/20:13. Strangely enough, in Deuteronomy 14:3 the NRSV translates the same tow’ebah used in Leviticus 18 and 20 as “abhorrent” there (perhaps showing the prejudice of the translators?). The NASB is all over the map. It translates tow’ebah in Leviticus 18:22 as “abomination” but replaces the exact same tow’ebah in the other Leviticus 20:13 passage for “abhorrent” . Even more, in Deuteronomy 14:3 it uses the word “detestable” for tow’ebah there and also too for the sheqets in Leviticus 11. This just goes to show you how interchangeable these Hebrew words are in the English. The bottom line is that they all end up meaning the same thing: something detestable, abhorrent or abominable. The only popular translation I have a problem with is the NIV, which uses the word detestable for “tow’ebah” in Leviticus 18, 20 and Deuteronomy 14, but uses the word “unclean” for sheqets, which fails to capture the detestable or abhorrent notions of the Hebrew term. Suppose though I’m wrong about sheqets above. What would that prove? It wouldn’t fundamentally alter my point. Even if the Hebrew word for sheqets were somehow substantially different from tow’ebah it would still not affect my point since, as you already pointed out, the exact Hebrew tow’ebah found in Leviticus 18 and 20 is also found in Deuteronomy 14. My point would thus stand on that alone.


    “Secondly, the hermeneutics of the whole JEDP theory are simply fallacious. The development of discourse linguistics has demonstrated that differences in discourse can be affected by things such as differences in topic and audience as well as differences in author. For example, this is the largest discourse of clean and unclean animals in the book of Deuteronomy. You can expect that differences in vocabulary and even differences in this such as syntax are going to be used. When you change the topic, you change the discourse structure. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that you see differences between this text and the rest of Deuteronomy. It would also account for why it is so similar to Leviticus 11, because those two texts are addressing the same topic in extended discourse.”

    First of all, the JEDP theory is not irrelevant to the discussion. If different authors from different times have in fact edited or redacted various parts of the Biblical text then this will obviously have a huge impact on the way we understand the text today, since we would effectively be looking at the prejudicial corrections and insertions of such authors. Secondly, JEDP assumes precisely that differences in discourse WILL be affected by the differences in the authors, again showing how the theory is very relevant. Thirdly, the passages in Deuteronomy 14 are very similar in structure and content to what is found in Leviticus 11 and are also in general older than much of the content found elsewhere in Deuteronomy. This has lead many scholars to suggest that it is a later insertion drawing on Leviticus 11 or the source that it uses. Trying to appeal to differences in audiences or similarity in topics doesn’t at all address these compositional concerns.


    “That is because no one is trying to push incest as an alternative lifestyle, or promoting having sex with women in their menstrual cycle in the Rose Bowl parade.”

    No, it’s probably because people don’t care one-whit whether someone has sex with a woman during her menstrual period, just as anti-gay activists in general don’t seem to care whether heterosexuals engage in sodomy, which happens all the time. Moreover, people that have sex with women during their menstrual cycle aren’t being denied marriage rights. It’s not as if the government has legislation that prohibits heterosexual couples from getting married if they proclaim their intent to only have sex during the woman’s monthly period. Nor am I aware of any bullying or discrimination that takes place as result having sex under such circumstances. Besides, even if we ignore this particular issue entirely there are still yet other practices listed in Leviticus 20 that are clearly ignored in comparison to homosexuality. What about mediums and spirits as described in Leviticus 20:6,27? There’s plenty of these types of people around, and they’re very popular in western culture today. I don’t hear nearly as many people condemning them and their practices as is done for homosexuality. In short, there does seem to me to be a double standard here that is applied uniquely against homosexuality.

    As for incest matter, while it’s true that people aren’t generally pushing for it (despite the fact that many cultures around the world accept it to a limited degree) I don’t think it’s a good comparison to what gay people have to face. I don’t know of a single person that has a sexual orientation that is only directed towards family members and no one else. The prohibition of incest is thus only restricting people from having intimate relations with a very small number of people they might, but are unlikely to be attracted to. With prohibitions or discouragement of homosexual behavior, however, you are in effect restricting gay people from ever being able to engage in intimate relations with the kind of people they are able to be intimate with. If a society is going to go down that road then it would seem you would need a pretty strong argument for why the society should place such a heavy burden on gay people.


    “When it comes to homosexuality, they seem to run from what the text says, or run off to other passages that are not parallel to Leviticus 18 and 20. I would ask you, why is that?”

    I don’t know, but I’m guessing it has to do with the same type of reasons that Christians have in running off to other texts in order to defend a woman’s right to speak in church (1 Corinthians 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:11), or teach (1 Timothy 2:12) or to not have to wear a veil when praying (1 Corinthians 11:5-6).

    Adam, is it really so shocking that people tend to look elsewhere in the Bible when confronted with difficult texts? I think you fail to appreciate the difficulty of people in my situation. Try to think of it from the other perspective. You have the luxury of being able to sit back and not having to really care and agonize about what the Bible says about this subject. It just doesn’t affect your life in the way that it does for a gay person, especially one who is longing for companionship and intimacy with another person, but only finds they can get those things with someone of the same-sex. When you’re naturally heterosexual it’s a lot more easier to simply accept the traditional view of the Bible. You lose virtually nothing by taking such a stance. For other people, however, it’s not simple. It’s not enough no longer to just go with what’s traditional. When you consider the fact that Jews and Christians have already evolved on many Biblical positions it shouldn’t really be all that surprising that the conversation today on this issue looks the way it does.


    “Does God still judge for sins such as incest? Yes, absolutely. However, many times I believe God’s judgment comes in the form of the moral and rational breakdown of a society which comes from taking these views to its logical conclusion.”

    I’m curious as to your thoughts here. Do you think God also judged Abraham for having incestual relations with his half-sister? Do you think God judged Lot’s daughters for having sexual relations with him in order to carry on his seed? Did God judge the children of Adam and Eve for having incestual relations? Did God judge the children of Noah’s sons after the flood for apparently doing the same thing? I’m not at all defending incest here but I think it’s very telling that so many Christians insist on the immorality of incest while ignoring the reality that the Bible doesn’t present an altogether consistent picture on the matter.


    “Again, notice the phrases “separated,” “set apart,” and “distinction” with no mention of the pagan nations being punished for eating these foods at all.”

    You missed my point here, which was to show that your apparent attempt to use the word “defilement” in connection with God’s judgment in Leviticus 18:24-30 also had application to animals as well. If you only wanted to make the point about “separation” or “distinction” (a valid argument that I would accept to a degree), you probably should have quoted more relevant passages to that effect. What you instead did, however, was claim that God was judging people for homosexual practice and then proceeded to quote verses which largely refer to God’s judgement based on defilement. Please be more specific on the intent on your remarks.


    “In sum, your view is exegetically fallacious, because it assumes that, although one set of laws is in a context of both separateness and the binding nature of the law to both Jew and Gentile, that necessarily means that if you see separateness anywhere else using the same word, it must be binding to both Jew and Gentile as well. The problem is that, in the Torah, the laws concerning things like shellfish are deeply Jewish. They do not go beyond the border of Israel, and thus, are meant for the purposes of separation with no moral obligation to the other nations at all.”

    This is not at all what my view is or what I was attempting to argue. I’ll try to spell out my view even more clearly. I’m not arguing that because the word for abomination is used elsewhere for shellfish that therefore Jew and Gentile alike are obligated to equally hold to such prohibitions. Nor am I even disagreeing with you on the fundamental concept of separateness that you articulated earlier. Believe it or not, I already accept such distinctions by and large. The only thing I took issue with was the rather somewhat simplistic way you had laid it out, which I already addressed. Other than that I think you presented a fairly accurate Biblical picture of the difference between ritual impurity and immoral impurity.

    My problem specifically was concerning the word abomination. Many times in discussions with other Christians on this topic I’m often frequently told that “homosexuality is wrong because God calls it an abomination”, as if the only factor in the wrongness of the practice is God simply calling it that word. Do you see my problem here? It’s the whole issue of consistency that I’m raising. It’s like someone saying “Don’t do X because God calls X stupid” while at the same time practicing and ignoring all the other things that God calls “stupid”. Again, consistency is the issue. I actually happen to think there are some good Biblical arguments against homosexuality. My problem is mostly in the way that so many Christians uncritically and inconsistently use bad arguments against homosexual behavior or homosexuality generally. This doesn’t even have to be a point of contention between us. My remarks here should be fairly unobjectionable if you understand what my issue is. My position doesn’t entail abandoning the traditional view on the Bible about this subject. Even Bo appears to agree with me when he says in post 116 that “I am guessing that greater abominations have worse consequences, but a lesser abomination is still an abomination. It is still disgusting to YHWH…”. Of course, as Bo rightly pointed out, this isn’t to say that all abominations carry the same equal weight. I never would argue that. The point was only ever on the consistency of using that word against one thing but not another. Hopefully we can now move on from this issue to some other, more important issues concerning the Bible and homosexuality.


    “Well, does that mean that if a virgin agrees to be sacrificed in a satanic ritual that we should turn a blind moral eye, because it is between two consenting adults? Does that mean that, if a man wants to sell his future dead body to a cannibal to eat after he is dead that we should turn a blind moral eye because it is between two consenting adults? The notion that it is no one’s business because it is between two consenting adults is absurd, as there are many things that are ethically and morally wrong that are between two consenting adults.”

    If someone is being harmed unnecessarily by a certain practice then no, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye, even if both parties consent. The cannibal issue seems rather trivial to me. Big deal! Even if it’s a grave moral wrong my previous point still stands: you have to add in special qualifiers in order to make these things your business.
    But as I said previously, you can do that for literally everything Adam.


    “Secondly, it is very hard to discuss the dangers of sodomy here on a Christian forum because they are so horrifying and shocking, and I want to keep this forum as clean as possible, while still getting across how abusive and harmful sodomy is…I have seen what is done in sodomy with my own eyes multiple times, and the other person was bawling and crying in pain. I have seen blood involved. It involves the breaking down of this particular area of the body slowly over time, to the point where the person can no longer protect against things like infection and even things like very serious STD’s, and even death.”

    I have a few things to say here. First, you seem to assume that sodomy is only anal sex. Oral sex is also considered sodomy, and it’s one of the least harmful sexual behaviors to engage in. Secondly, you’re overgeneralizing what homosexuals do. I honestly hate these kind of stereotypes the most. That a person is gay does not mean they’re engaging in anal sex. There are many forms of homosexual activity, and many of them are not any more unsafe than commonly practiced heterosexual behaviors. In fact, a very large percentage of gay men don’t engage in anal sex at all. Thirdly, just because you can identify a harm involved doesn’t automatically make it wrong or even your business. There are many practices that involve harm. For example, driving a car, climbing a mountain, playing football, sky diving, picking up snakes, swimming, being a police officer, etc etc. All these things can and often do involve harm, but people take risks and do these activities anyway because they judge the reward to be greater than the risks.
    In the exact same way, people take risks with regard to sexual behaviors as well. That there might be some harm involved doesn’t therefore mean that the behavior must be wrong. Even procreative vaginal intercourse can lead to bleeding and other complications. Is that enough to make the practice unacceptable? Clearly no one would argue that. People have to assess the trade-offs of doing one behavior over another. The same applies to what gay people do. Fifthly, some of your concerns can be addressed through other means. For example, the spread of STDs can be addressed by encouraging safe-sex practices (use of condoms, replacing risky sexual behaviors with less risky sexual behaviors), encouraging monogamy rather than promiscuity, and providing sex education to better educate individuals on preventing and mitigating the spread of these harms. Your solution is, with all due respect, the intellectually lazy way out. It sees homosexuality as the problem and stops there (no doubt because it’s religiously convenient), yet doesn’t do the same in the case of heterosexual activity that causes harm or spreads infectious diseases as well. It’s thus once more a double standard being used against homosexual behavior.

    The article that you linked to isn’t any better on substance. It just repeats the common claims that gay people are promiscuous and that they perform unhealthy sexual practices while ignoring the fact that virtually every problem raised can be addressed through other means. Moreover, using an article on a Christian based website is highly suspect anyway. In my experience, it’s usually the religiously or conservatively based sources that tend to be the least trustworthy material out there on this subject. While some of the statistics in the article may in fact be true, you won’t find any established mainstream professional association (medical or psychological) recommending the conclusions reached in that article.


    “How would you respond to someone who rewrote your paragraph this way:

    I’m pedophilic in the same way that you’re probably gay (which I will assume unless you tell me otherwise). I’m attracted sexually to children in general. You’re sexually attracted to guys in general. You’re able to form emotional, romantic connections to other guys. The same is true for me, except it’s oriented toward children, not men or women. Just as you might be tempted by a particularly attractive man walking down the street or appearing in a magazine, or on TV, or on the internet, the same thing happens to me, but for children in general, not men. All the sexual thoughts, feelings and emotions you might have for men I also have them too, but again it’s oriented toward children in general, not women. That’s what I mean when I say that I’m pedophilic. It’s my sexual orientation. It’s not a third category of biological sex. Sexual orientation is considered distinct from one’s gender or sex. It refers to the underlying attractions people have toward one person or the other.

    Now, obviously, you would disagree with such a rewriting of this paragraph, but why? Because culture doesn’t agree that pedophilia is another sexual orientation? What if culture *did* end up agreeing that pedophilia is just another sexual orientation? Would you then have to acknowledge it as a sexual orientation? You might respond that sexual orientation must be limited to gender only. But how is this not arbitrary? Why shouldn’t sexual orientation include, not only gender, but age as well?”

    Well include it then. The statement about me being gay was simply a statement of fact about myself. It wasn’t a claim to the morality of homosexual behavior. You once again simply missed the intent of my remarks. I could care less whether pedophilia is a sexual orientation or not. If in fact “pedophilic” happens to adequately describe someone’s sexual orientation then it would simply be a statement of fact about them, not a claim to the morality of acting on those desires.


    “The problem here is what is known as the is/ought fallacy.”

    The problem of the “is/ought” fallacy is in your head. I never made the claim that because I’m gay I’m therefore justified in engaging in homosexual behavior.


    “Again, I am just asking, if you reject the Christian worldview which says that God only creates male and female [not homosexual, bisexual, or something else], and that those two are supposed to come together [Genesis 1:27-28], then how do you decide that you are homosexual, heterosexual, or anything else as to your inherent nature, without committing fallacies such as the is/ought fallacy?”

    You write as if you’ve never heard of sexual orientation before. I’m not deciding whether I’m homosexual or not. It’s simply a statement of fact about what I feel. I know this to be true based on the sexual and emotional attractions I have toward other men. I’ve never in my life been attracted to other women before. In fact I find the idea of sexual relations with a woman very repulsive. It’s not something I asked for or chose, it’s just again the way it is for me. Heterosexuals likewise can know their sexual orientation by reflecting on their own sexual and emotional attractions they have for other women. Being gay or straight is basically a description of how you are oriented.

    I hope I’m not wrong here, but it seems as if you’re almost denying that people with homosexual orientations exist, as if they couldn’t possibly exist because it somehow goes against God’s creation in Genesis. If that’s what you think then I don’t know what else to say on the matter. Such a view would completely be in conflict with how the world really is.

    Lastly, I’m not rejecting the two primary sexes view as described in Genesis 1 and 2. It’s just not something that is relevant to the sexual orientation aspect of a person. If you see things differently then please elaborate and explain it to me. Thanks

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