I like what you have to say in your Genesis and Leviticus sections. As a gay author I have undertaken a journey reading the Bible for the first time and documenting my thoughts on my blog: BibleProjectBlog.com. If you have a chance, check it out. I would curious to hear what someone more learned in this area has to say about my content.
Hi Mark,Hi Mark,
I’m sure you’ve thought of this but you didn’t mention it in your article. If you read what the Old Testament has to say on sexuality and marriage, you will find that every single instruction or prohibition had the same ultimate goal: the continued existence and growth of an ethnically pure Israelite nation, in a world where ethnicity was inextricably tied to culture and RELIGION.
The rule that a child of an Israelite woman was an Israelite regardless of the father’s ethnicity, while the child of an Israelite father and foreign mother was not: you can be absolutely sure who the mommy is, but you can’t guarantee who is the daddy. The child of an Israelite mother is at least half Israelite.
Marrying the childless widow off to her brother-in-law: doesn’t just provide her dead husband with an heir and give her a child to care for her in her old age. It also prevents a fertile female from going to waste since a non-virgin was unlikely to be desired in marriage otherwise.
Prohibition on rhythm method: birth control prevents babies. Babies continue to increase the population.
Prohibition on homosexual relationships: pretty unlikely to result in a baby.
Each of these examples can have other justifications as well, such as those you discuss above. I just think it’s interesting that each regulation of sexual behavior will result in population growth if it is adhered to. In a world where famine and war were common and entire cultures could be wiped out because of them, it seems that rules which encourage population growth are useful. Especially when you consider that they were the only nation which worshipped their one God and they were constantly battling infiltration of other-god worship from their neighbors, a set of regulations encouraging the continued growth of an ethnically pure population seems astute.
Today Christians have discarded biblical rules about haircuts and selling our daughters because we recognize them as irrelevant. In a world where we face overpopulation rather than extinction, and our religion is based on choice rather than ethnicity, doesn’t it make sense that we can also discard rules designed to increase the population of those who obey them?
And this no more makes us bad Christians than wearing clothing made from mixed fibers (and I know we are ALL missing out on heaven if that’s a sin).
I was with you up until theI was with you up until the end, Heather. The rules that are given in the Bible are meant for more than just a simple goal like population growth. Adultery and fornication are sin, but one could argue that allowing people to “sow their wild oats” would promote population growth. This is an inaccurate logic to follow. It would be better to look at the instructions in the reverse order and see some of the benefits of following God’s laws as secondary. Some of the things prohibited are meant to protect us (like homosexuality, adultery, fornication, etc.) There were things at the time, like food laws or rules for mold, which were also meant to keep us healthy in a world without advanced medicine. We no longer have to fulfill the mold regulations, not because we have become enlightened, but simply because we have better sanitation. Some laws were meant as reminders, to prevent people from sinning and forgetting the God who saved them. Regarding sexual sins, the Bible tells us that these are exceptionally harmful because we are committing a crime against our bodies. I would agree that homosexuality is wrong because it does not produce offspring, but that is only one of the many reasons why it is wrong, not the sole reason. Overall the law was meant to teach human beings that we are not good enough on our own to save ourselves; if we break any part of the law we break the entire law. Only Jesus is capable of washing our sins from us.
Thank you for this thoughtThank you for this thought-provoking article. Thank you for taking the time to put this out there.
Speaking as someone who hasSpeaking as someone who has been on the gay side of this preferable fence since I was 7 yrs old, I think I have the right to speak my peace. I was saved about 8 yrs ago and without anyone telling me I knew in my heart having sex with another man was a sin. I find it heartbreaking that people have started saying things like, “Let’s go back and take another look at the Scripture again because it doesn’t say what we want it to say. Oh and it was written by regular men and they made mistakes in their writings and put their own belief system in there!” The Scripture is clear that it was written by Holy men moved on by the Holy Ghost! I find it astounding that people actually believe the lies that the Bible is flawed. Do you believe that God wanted the Bible written? Do you believe that that same God made the entire universe? Do you believe that His only Son Jesus the Christ died and was resurrected and is sitting at the right hand of God? If you do then please explain to me how an All Powerful Almighty God was too weak not to make sure that the Bible was not perfect? The book He wanted for us to have learn how to live a Christian life. Do you really think that this God could not make the men writing it put in it just what He wanted said? Would you want to serve a God who wasn’t in complete control of what was put in His most precious book (His own words and teachings) and He was powerless to stop these men from just ignoring Him and writing what they wanted? If that is what happened then that would mean that men were more powerful than God, and that is a sobering thought! Praise God that is not true and He is still the Almighty! His word is perfect and needs no changes.
You stated that we have learned how to better understand Greek. The men that wrote in Greek lived in the time when Greek was a commonly spoken language. They had a better grasp of it than we can ever have!
Wow. I don’t think God likesWow. I don’t think God likes the haters that much. I feel bad for you.
Interesting that you say “sexInteresting that you say “sex with another man was a sin”. You do realize the concept of “sin” is purely a religious one, right? People are not born with religion… it is learned. Consequently, this invalidates your claim that no one had to tell you it was a “sin”. You clearly learned it somewhere and that somewhere is the religion that surrounded you as a child. Everything you say in your comment speaks volumes regarding where your beliefs come from. It is wholly disingenuous of you to claim you arrived at your beliefs that homosexuality is a “sin” on your own as a child.
You realize that lying is a “sin” too, right?
We’re not saying God is the
We’re not saying God is the one who messed up The Bible, I’m simply thinking that maybe it got translated wrong, like the “Man shall not lie with a male as he does a woman”, MANY think that’s a mistranslation, as in male supposingly meaning boy.
I don’t know what bible youI don’t know what bible you are reading out of but this is all wrong. This article will lead people astray. Homosexuality is in fact a sin, It says so in the old testament. God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. Opposites attract, man and woman were made to pro-create, you can’t make a baby with two of the same sex for a reason. That’s not part of gods plan, that’s not what god wants, and that’s not what God intended. You can’t find one verse in the bible at all that so much as hints at homosexuality being okay, not one. But you can find one that says God is against it. You really need to study the word more before you start filling the minds of people who look for guidance and instruction in others who have studied the word and are sent to preach what God has shown them. This is in no way spiritual or biblical. You are meant to hate sin and not the sinner that’s what is in the bible. But you sir are twisting it to your own ends. If you were to look up sin and sinner you would clearly see that yes there is a huge difference between the two words. A sinner is the person who is committing the act of sin as for sin is the act in itself. We are to hate the act but love the the person committing the act because that person is obviously led astray be the devils lies and deceit and therefore doesn’t know better. When you are sinning it becomes a habit. Its like a drug, the more you do it the harder it is to stop.
Adam and Eve had sex to giveAdam and Eve had sex to give offspring… Wait they were married right? because as we know, premarital sex is a sin! OH WAIT. THEY WEREN’T.
Hmmm. “Homosexuality is inHmmm. “Homosexuality is in fact a sin, It says so in the old testament.”
To make such a claim, you need to prove that words in the old testament are facts. Bet you can’t.
Hebrews 8:13 The oldHebrews 8:13 The old testament has passed away; we are under a different, spiritual, covenant.
People need to startPeople need to start including Deuteronomy 22:5. Why don’t they? It’s quite frequently leveled against we who are transgender. We get clobbered by the bible too, and we need to be empowered with counterarguments. I’ve not seen it listed as a clobber verse yet. Let’s change that.
You go to great lengths toYou go to great lengths to pervert the true meaning of Romans 1:26-28, yet your efforts were in vain. The Greek (Textus Receptus) rendition of those verses are virtually identical with the King James rendition of them. There’s no confusing the fact that by “natural” and “nature” Paul meant exactly what those words imply, viz. against one’s normal, heterosexual nature. You can expostulate on the meaning of the word “φυσικήν” (natural) all you wish but you still haven’t explained away Paul’s clear warning against men lusting after mean and women lusting after women. In the original Greek, the male homosexual act mentioned in Romans 1:27 was described as “ασχημοσυνη” or “shame[ful].” There is no getting around the fact that homosexuality is expressly condemned in the book of Romans.
Here is the thing. People whoHere is the thing. People who are gay or bi are sinners in God’s eye. He made us to be with the opposite sex. Men are to be with Women only and vice versa. This what God intended from the beginning. God doesn’t make mistakes so that whole deal with genetics is a wash out. When a child is born male/female they are meant to be with the opposite sex. I have yet to see in nature a male try procreate with another male. The Bible clearly states that God hates all sin. Men being with men and women being with women is a sin, plain and simple. There is no middle ground nor mistranslation.
there ya go.. your theory debunked.
I love how those arguingI love how those arguing against the author are simply saying, “Nuh uh! God said it’s wrong!” and refusing to actually debate on his intellectual level. Typical though for Christians – uneducated and ignorant.
Clobber passagesClobber passages
Conclusion: this bloggerConclusion: this blogger knows nothing about the sin/sinner connection! The Bible seems a foreign language. He can’t be blamed, what with humanity’s heritage of vehemently defending and nurturing its sin and all. This is a blatantly human argument, no understanding of scripture at all.
Wow. This was one articleWow. This was one article based soley on one persons thoughts and ideas on what a few bible verses meant. You really took your time on this one as I am sure if 10 other people would try to twist and decifer the word there would be completely different thoughts on it as well. You cannot change and twist the word just to make it what you wish it were. I am curious does BelieveOutLoud know and accept that homosexuality is a sin and that gays will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven? Is your mission just to get acceptance to not be discriminated against (which I agree with) but ultimately understanding that you are living in sin. Or is your mission to twist the bible and Gods word to make you feel like you are not living in sin?? Thanks
On LeviticusOn Leviticus
I love how he just bullshits through this simple short and to the point verse that clearly condems men sleeping with men and spends an hour blabbering about not eating shrimp. Sorry to break it to you but yes homosexuality is indeed a “biblical sin” other wise we wouldnt have these stupid little “clobber” verses or the need to waste hours to write an article to explain said verse. And since you are dismissing Corinthians as a means to feel better about your sexual orientation and lie about homosexuality not being a sin im assuming you are also dismissing adultery, drunkeness and stealing as being a sin as well?? Cool! So we can just do whatever the hell we want and its not a sin this is great! Notice the sarcasm… Before wasting your time sitting on your computer typing up junk to feed weak minds that will read this and actually believe it why dont you try to decifer and twist more important verses like Genesis 2:22-24, Proverbs 18:22, Ephesians 5:22-33, Matthew 19:4-6, 1 Corinthians 7: 1-16, Colossians 3: 18-19 verses on marriage CLEARLY stating Husband and wife a.k.a male and female. And the numerous other verses that are written on marriage where again only mention male and female i am super curious to see your take on changing all those passages and make them what you want them to be just to justify marriage between same sex couples. Im sure God was just stupid and forgot to mention same sex marriage right? ……
We love the whole pizza myWe love the whole pizza my friend….many can even love the anchovies! But we do hate pizza with arsenic and so out it goes….Paul in Corinthians spoke against ACTING OUT immoral impulses, including men with men – not of HAVING immoral impulses as we all do. Every single one of us have a cross to bear!! Because mine is homosexuality doesn’t make me bad…but acting on my impulses disqualifies me for heaven. Paul was perceptive and prophetic by prefacing his censorship with BE NOT DECEIVED. You are “nice” to take the easy way in this life and call it “love,” but that doesn’t help anyone in the end – and is not, therefore, love.
Thank you Mark for a wellThank you Mark for a well thought out piece. I am not a religious person and I know even less about translations from one century to another,or one language to another. I am aware however of the massive damage the church has inflicted on gay people and continues to. The good news is slowly even religious people are coming around to support gay love even if they dont understand it. There will always be those that continue to condemn and this much I know for sure. If there is a God, I am certain he made me the way I am, having no intention to make me suffer an entire lifetime having no close human contact, no one to share my hopes and dreams with, no one whose shoulder I could cry on in tough times, and not least of all no one to enjoy laughter and joy with, a kindred spirit that makes life frankly one of the few true things worth living for. Anyone of you stick in the mud pick and choosers from the bible that Mark’s article is mainly about, not the words that get twisted in translation, he debates them only to show how easily misunderstood words can be, I feel sorry for you that your that mean and nasty that you would rather try to deny me a lifetime of happiness with a partner I’ve been with for many years, whose brought me the greatest joy in my life. If you could ask yourself instead, is that something i’d be ok with someone else who doesn’t know me, never would take the time to even try to get to know me or my beautiful soul-mate, how would you feel if others were judging you and the love of your life in this regard. I dont think you’d like it one bit. Regardless of what the “book” meant to say or not it was written by men who are not infallible, who have biases, who like all of us sometimes make mistakes. All of you who judge me but so casually throw out anything in the “book” that is a little closer to your own worlds are nothing but hypocrites. Now thats Gods truth. And I posit to you that the main reason your’ homosexual sins hate ritual’ that has cost so many needless lives of some of the most wonderful people you’ll never meet, still is flung out like meat to the wolves is for a very simple reason. Gay people are a small percentage of the population, wheras aldultery, stoning the children, divorce and all the other sins listed are all things that abound in spades right in your very churches heck even in your own homes. So yeh lets get rid of those sins from the book cause well if we didnt the whole church would be full of sinners now wouldnt it and we cant have that cause were the moral ones. But we cant get rid of all the rules in the book so what are we gonna keep, hey i know, the homo rules, nobody in my family i know thats a homo, how about you Fred, no…Emily well maybe a cousin is gay but hey they live over on the east coast they wont mind if i slam them for decades, and denounce the most important thing in someones life….the right to love who you fall in love with….just a minor issue for me to not grant that right to you….i barely know you at all, just as long as i can cut up whatever rules i want to have ditched cause i’m the moral one. No what you are is a hypocrite……stop it’ it’s literally costing people their lives…..shame on you morons. And if i were to follow to the “T” how you stick in the muds want me to live, it would go like this? I spend my entire life miserable and lonely never knowing the joy of intimacy and connection with another human that doesn’t interfere with your life one iota, and then what, all for the privilidge of a possible ticket to the pearly gates…i say possible because you know there is what 4000 + religions on this planet and has nobody mentioned that your religion if there is a God quite probably based on just the common sense math of it all suggests you have a 1 in 4000+ chance that your the choosen ones….and thats if…if …if there is a higher power….a lot of mighty big assumptions for a group that believes in their superiority isn’t it. And then even if you hit the jackpot, the winning religion, your going to have a lot of explaining to do to convince him why you would throw out most of the rules of the book because those were your sins and you didnt feel like acknowleging them, but were quite happy slandering good people who you’d never met to make you feel well, smug and superior. Well good luck to you, you’ll need it friends. Think before you judge, i’m sick to death of the haters in this world….how can you hate love. And one more question for you to ponder. What percentage of your life (time wise) do you think your sex life entails.Well the dirty pervert that you think I am, i’ll tell you mine, it’s about 1/2 hour a week for me, out of 168 hours, whats that like point 3 percent of my life…..is that what your all so fixated on. Have you considered the other 167.5 hours a week that my life actually is. Or do flashes of homosexual love making control your thoughts on who I am, or perhaps the flashes of the nastiest dressed gay guy in the gay parade you saw on TV this week, does that fill your head. Get a grip, flash this thru your mind. I wake up put my pants on one leg at a time, hit the can….and you get the idea….i’m no different than you 99+% of my life….why cant you see that and stop pretending i’m evil reincarnate, your sick not me, i’m just trying to get by in this life like you are, respectfully and honestly and have a few good times while i’m here. Please i implore you find something worthwhile to make your cause…..there are so many real problems in this world that need your attention more than worrying about what i do less than 1% of my life. Get over your silly biased pick and choose mentality and listen to your sky master…….TREAT ALL PEOPLE EQUALLLLLLLLLYYY….thats God talking from the sky hook. Over and out.
Excellent resource, manyExcellent resource, many thanks.
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