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The Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality. Why Does Franklin Graham Not Get This?

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The word "homosexuality" didn't even show up in English translations of the Bible until 1946, so why do we say the Bible condemns it?

Billy Graham's son is terrified that President Obama and a whole host of us have chucked out our Bibles in order to support marriage equality. This week he was at it again on Facebook, railing against "the assault on biblical marriage," referencing California lawmakers who want to amend federal law by striking gendered language pertaining to two partners in a legal marriage. Franklin, son of Billy, even goes on to make the Biblically inaccurate comment that "The One who created marriage defined it as between a man and a woman." I wish he would read my post on this and then re-read the Bible.

Brother Franklin, even thinks that President Obama should invest in more lightning rods in case God strikes the White House in fiery wrath.

This is laughable if it weren't so powerfully sad. Here's the thing, Franklin: You need to read your Bible better. The sooner you do, the more and better work you can do in Africa and elsewhere with Samaritan's Purse. We need your time focused not only on poverty but in addressing America's original sin of racism. We need all you got for those fights. It's time to end the culture wars and fully focus on the war against poverty, racism and injustice in our world.

Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a mentor in the faith, talks about the early days of gathering his new community, coming out as Evangelicals during the Vietnam crisis, going back to the Bible for help and guidance.

One of our first activities was finding every verse of scripture about the poor, wealth and poverty, and social justice. We found more than 2,000 texts that we then cut out of an old Bible. We were left with a "Bible full of holes," which I used to take out with me to preach.

Over 2000 Bible verses on poverty. On money. On the rich and poor.

And those 2000-plus verses give us some basic instructions for life on earth, that could be summed up in the ancient wisdom of a prophet 700 years before Jesus of Nazareth:

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? -- Micah 6:8

And yet, all anyone wants to talk about these days are six Bible verses that "condemn homosexuality." Here's the thing  --  they don't.

And we need to accept that so we can get back to the more important things.

Six Bullets in the Chamber?

There are six Bible verses used to defend a "traditional" view on homosexuality. However well intentioned, these verses are known as the "trouble verses" that condemn same-sex behavior. Some call them clobber verses. I like how my friend Steve Chalke in the UK describes them as "the six bullets in the gun."

What do we do with these Bible verses? We must read them in context. And take the bullets out of the chamber. It's time for a cease-fire.

Genesis 19:5

And they called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them.'

This is the fabled Sodom & Gomorrah passage. Sodom and Gomorrah were sister cities. It's pretty clear in Genesis 13:13 that "... the people of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord."

What was their sin? They were ruthless in their acquisition of wealth, power and territory -- and they oppressed the poor and took advantage of the weak and were terrible at hospitality.

That's clear in the Bible, too.

The ancient Jewish Prophet Ezekiel remembered the sin of Sodom as such:

This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.  --  Ezekiel 16:49,50

The sins of Sodom, Gomorrah and their sister cities was so bad, they were frequently used as examples of people not to emulate.

One of Ezekiel's colleagues, the Prophet Jeremiah, simply put it:

As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the Lord, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her. -- Jeremiah 50:40

When Jesus would run into conflict in cities he was ministering in, unfolding his work and vision amongst the poor, he even used Sodom as an example when he would declare "it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." (Matthew 11:24)

Here's the deal: the so-called "Sodomites" in Genesis are beating down the door of a man named Lot who was entertaining two messengers of God (we often hear them described as "angels" in the Scriptures.) The men of Sodom want to have sexual intercourse with them. Fair enough, you might say. But in the end, Lot offers up his two virgin daughters for the so-called Sodomites to gang rape. It's brutal, horrendous stuff. And it has nothing to do with homosexuality. So why do we continue to think it does?

Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

The "Levitical laws" are important, foundational commandments for a people looking to survive. For a people on the move. For a people looking to make a way out of no way.

They're literally on the run  --  an exodus  --  out of Egypt. And these passages have nothing to do with homosexuality either.

Jeff Chu, in his incredible book Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America, shares a series of Twitter and email exchanges with a fellow traveller on the way, a man named Gideon Eads. In one email Gideon shares about talking with a counselor who tried to convince him of the sins of homosexuality. Gideon writes:

We moved on to the verses in Leviticus that state "lying with a man as with a woman is an abomination" (Leviticus 18: 22- 24 and Leviticus 20: 13). He began to talk about how holy and perfect the union between one man and one woman was. I agreed, but said, "This is not a verse about homosexual love, or being gay. This command is there with all kinds of connotations of adultery, promiscuity, and idol worship from the surrounding nations."

Yep, that'll preach.

And if we want to get all Levitical about it, the same laws dictate that shellfish cannot be eaten (there goes Boston clam chowder and Willapa Bay oysters), mixed fabric garments cannot be worn (I guess I need to burn my Portland Timbers jersey), and sex with animals is strictly forbidden (yep, I totally agree).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-nicholas-phillips/the-bible-does-not-condemn-homosexuality_b_7807342.html

This article is super long. You have to click the link to read the rest.

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I never knew a Queen James Bible existed! It appears the word homosexual was not invented till long after the verses were originally written. They had other words for homosexuals back then such as Sodomite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminology_of_homosexuality


http://askjohnmackay.com/no-reference-homosexuality-in-bible-prior-to-1946-rsv-why-oppose/

https://carm.org/queen-james-bible


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The Bible says that same sex sex is wrong, just as adultery, fornication, drunkeness, etc are. It doesn't condemn homosexuality, it refers to the sex act itself, just as shagging sheep is a sin.

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JuSt googled Phillip Adams-I only knew of the academic, was worried about his level of writing in this article ! Found out there is a pastor by this name. Needless to say he appears to be a self-promoter etc. as well as an idiot.

Edited by Jacque67

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JuSt googled Phillip Adams-I only knew of the academic, was worried about his level of writing in this article ! Found out there is a pastor by this name. Needless to say he appears to be a self-promoter etc. Appears to be an idiot.

i was seriously stumped by the entire breakdown of sodom and gomorrah while completely skirting over lot offering up his daughters to be raped..

the so-called "Sodomites" in Genesis are beating down the door of a man named Lot who was entertaining two messengers of God (we often hear them described as "angels" in the Scriptures.) The men of Sodom want to have sexual intercourse with them. Fair enough, you might say. But in the end, Lot offers up his two virgin daughters for the so-called Sodomites to gang rape. It's brutal, horrendous stuff. And it has nothing to do with homosexuality.

fair enough?

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As someone with a background in Biblical theology, this person's thoughts on what those Bible verses say, the historical context, and how they are written is completely wrong. That does not mean, however that I agree with how the 'Church' or 'Christians' or people in politics today treat people who are gay. There are many in this world that try to use the Bible in an attempt to prove a certain point of view... this person is no exception. They should at least try to make sense while doing so.


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Why do people use a book featuring a talking bush to justify their personal belief for or against homosexuality anyway?


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The problem I have with that is that more often than not it's those who claim to believe in the bible and thump it vigorously that tend to be closeted homosexuals.

For those who don't follow the bible - or any other work of fiction for that matter - homosexuality seems not to be a problem.

The Bible says that same sex sex is wrong, just as adultery, fornication, drunkeness, etc are. It doesn't condemn homosexuality, it refers to the sex act itself, just as shagging sheep is a sin.


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God will have MERCY on those who believe, practice and promote homosexuality and other abominable acts making them candidates of hell. The god of this world has blinded their eyes and darkened their understanding.

LORD HAVE MERCY

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God will have MERCY on those who believe, practice and promote homosexuality and other abominable acts making them candidates of hell. [snip]

Uhm, no, She Won't. Please stop making stuff up, m'kay?


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