Essay, Research Paper: Homosexuality Sin


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“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is
detestable”(Leviticus 7:22). This is the quote that most often justifies
Christian homophobia. This essay will show that everyone, is this is what they
believe, is welcome into the kingdom of God no matter what their sexual
preferences are. The Gay and Lesbian community should be welcomed into the house
of God instead of being turned away for being openly homosexual. This subject is
the cause of some conterversy between the church and the Gay and Lesbian
community. The Church seems to think that being homosexual is a choice the
individual makes in order to directly defy Gods wishes, “The Christian
homosexual position when carefully examined can be exposed for what it is at
it’s very core: an attack upon the integrity, sufficiency, and authority of
scripture, which for the Christian church is an attack upon the very nature of
our Holy God!” (P3 Scroggs). Others think that it is just a phase that
everyone goes through, and once you fulfill your homosexual desires you can
truly be heterosexual again (Moberly). Some people have evidence that the words
in the Bible were translated wrong from Hebrew to Greek and then to English.
They believe that this should be made known and made right. The Christian Church
is ruled by patriarchy, it was men who wrote the bible and interpret the words
of God. This goes to show how men have been telling us what to think say and
feel since the beginning of time. They convey their own prejudgices into the
bible and tell Christens that this is what they should believe or it is a sin
against God. These are some of the main points that will be the foundation of
this essay. Patriarchy is the foundation of the Christian Church. The Church was
founded by men, ran by men, and ruled by male ideologies. Until recently men
were the only ones who were allowed by the church to be Ordained Priests. It was
not until the mid to late 1960’s that women were permitted to attend divinity
school and studied seminary classes that prepared them for ordination. “Years
after Vatican II, theologians, canon lawyers, and biblical critics all
interrogated the tradition and found no persuasive reason why woman should not
be ordained…women enrolled in divinity schools and studied at seminaries in
astonishingly large numbers…and so were prepared intellectually and
psychologically for ordination…Catholic women…had vocations to be
priests-intersected with a crises in the priesthood itself: with fewer men being
ordained and many leaving the priesthood to marry, there seemed to be a real
need to consider women’s ordination” (p680 ). But eventually they decided
against the ordination of women with no real explanation except that it has been
the tradition of the church since the beginning. Men want to continue to rule
the church with their ideas of patriarchy such as no ordained women priests, and
no homosexuals are sons or daughters of God. The Christian church believes that
homosexuality is a choice that people make in order to defy the word of God.
Although some people have other ideas about what homosexuality really is.
Elizabeth R. Moberly, author of Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, says that
she doesn’t think that homosexuality is wrong. She says that homosexuality is
just a phase that everyone goes through and you have to act out all of your
homosexual desires before you can truly be heterosexual. Therefore she believes
that you cannot condemn someone for being homosexual because everyone has
homosexual desires, some are just stronger desires than others (Molberly).
Others have proof that you cannot choose your sexual preference; it would be
like choosing your skin color. It is natural; you have no choice in the matter.
“Something neither chosen nor changeable; heterosexuals who have made their
peace with homosexuals have often done so by accepting that premise. The very
term ‘sexual orientation’…implies biology”(p117 Skier). Some people have
come to terms with the fact that homosexuality is not a choice or a preference,
it a biologically made certainty. To ask homosexuals to hide or change their
sexual orientation would be asking them to hide who they really are in order to
please the church. Coming back to the phrase “Do not lie with a man as one
lies with a woman; that is detestable” (Leviticus 18:22), and “If a man lies
with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.
They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads” (Leviticus
20:13). According to these verses the act of homosexuality is punishable by
death, this seems to be a very serious offence. Other offences punishable by
death, according to the bible are sins such as “cursing one’s
parents…adultery, incest and intercourse with a menstruating woman” (p 44
Helminiak). In this the 20th century how can we conceder these serious offences?
If the Christian community would see such a thing as cursing one’s parents as
they see homosexuality there would be no Christian community. Also, the list in
1 Corinthians includes adulterers, thieves, and the greedy. 1 Timothy includes
that of liars and perjurers. Then why is the sin of homosexuality seen in
today’s society as so terrible they cannot be ordained and a sin such as greed
is not given a second thought when they are considered for ordination. There are
also some people who believe that the bible does not oppose homosexuality; this
point will be shown throughout this essay. The book The New Testament and
Homosexuality by Robin Scroggs suggests that the bible does not oppose
homosexuality. In the case of Leviticus he says that the bible isn’t dealing
with homosexuality in general. He suggests that the answer to the condemnation
objection is to the wasting of male semen. “The condemnation of male
homosexuality acts must be seen in the context of the procreative ethic which it
served…. since today wasting of semen may not considered sin at all, the
contemporary relevance of the law in nullified” (p13 Scroggs). Daniel A.
Helminiak, Ph.D., author of What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality says
that the translation of the words “man-lying-with-man” was translated from
Hebrew to Greek wrong. The Hebrews had no word for homogenital behavior
therefore it was translated as “the man who lies with a male the lying of a
woman” this phrase could have been translated one of two ways. The first being
“lying of a male” and the second “lying with a male.” One is interpreted
as any homosexual act and the other as an act of male prostitution. This author
believes that the sin is not the act of homosexuality but is the act of male
prostitution. These are some ways of interpreting this bible verse. The story of
Adam and Eve is often used to defend homophobia among Christians. The saying
that is most often used for this purpose is that God created Adam and Eve, not
Adam and Steve. They conclude from this story that man and woman were made in
Gods image together and this is the way that God intended. But nowhere in this
story does it condemn same-sex relations. The point of this story is often
overlooked, it was to paint a picture of a sad and sinful state and to insist
that this was not God’s doing. God created the good in the world but people
misuse creation, so life becomes hard. Genesis is a lesson about religion,
God’s way and our sin, not a lesson about sexual orientation. Nothing in those
two chapters suggests that heterosexuality, in contrast to homosexuality, was a
concern in the author’s mind. People may argue that it is not what the Bible
says, but what it doesn’t say. Since the Bible does not actively support
homosexuality, it must be that the Bible condemns it. But this conclusion is not
very logical. It is simply that we do not know the actual opinion on the
subject. Some scholars actually point out positive instances of homosexuality in
the Bible. 1 Samuel 18:1-4 shows the affection on the part of the prince,
Jonathan, toward the Shepherd boy, David: “The soul of Jonathan was bound to
the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul…Jonathan made a
covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped
himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor,
and even his sword and his bow and his belt.” The story goes on to say that
King Saul finds out about the relationship between Jonathan and David and calls
it perverse and refers to Jonathan a bastard. King Saul says that Jonathan has
brought him shame with his nakedness, which implies to sex in biblical times.
When Jonathan and David part it demonstrates intense sorrow: David rose from
beside the stone heap and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He
bowed three times, and they kissed each other and wept with each other; David
wept more. Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since both of us have
sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you,
and between my descendants and your descendants forever.’” He got up and
left; and Jonathan went into the city. (1 Samuel 20:41-42) Finally at
Jonathan’s death David concludes his grieve with his words: I am distressed
for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me
was wonderful, passing the love of a woman” (1 Samuel 20:41-42) This suggest
that the relationship between Jonathan and David was more than a friendship and
it leaves you feeling sorry for the boys that King Saul did not respect their
relationship. Other examples of positive instances of homosexuality in the Bible
is in the book of Ruth 1:16-17 and Daniel 1:9. There is no historical evidence
in the bible to defend the homophobia of people today. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
states, ”Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral…nor homosexual
offenders…will inherit the kingdom of God.” The Hebrews words that are
translated into ‘homosexual’ in this text are ‘arsenokoita’ and ‘malokoi’.
The translations of these vary but we know the general meanings of the words.
‘Malokoi’ has no specific reference to honogenitality. Various
interpretations of this word are effeminate, boy prostitute, or sissy. The word
’arsenokoita’ on the other hand, makes reference to male same-sex acts. It
is often interpreted as homosexual, sodomite, child molester, pervert, or person
with infamous habits. The translators of this combined the two words
‘malokoi’ and ‘arsenokoita’ into one and came up with ‘homosexual.
Although in a later (1977) edition of the bible the words were changed to read
“sexual pervert” and then once again in the 1989 New Revised standard
version translated the two words separately as “male prostitutes and
sodomites.” As the author of What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality
says, it seems that as prejudices changed, so have the translations of the
bible”(Helminiak). The church is run by patriarchy and whatever they interpret
to be evil is, therefore they view homosexuality as evil and everybody believes
it. The parable written in Genesis 19:1-11 and in Judges 19:22-25 is the story
of “The Sin of Sodom.” The parable is that of an old man who welcomes two
angels into his house to stay the night in safety. Soon after the angels settled
in, all of the men of the town of Sodom came to the old man’s house and
demanded that he turn over the two strangers to them so that they could have sex
with the two strange men. The old man told the men no and that this was a wicked
thing that they wanted to do. Instead, he offered the men of the town his two
young virgin daughters, and said that they could do whatever they wanted with
them if they left the two young men alone. That night the daughters were raped
by the men of the town and left on the porch to stay there until sunrise. The
next day the angels left the city of Sodom with The old man and his family and
the Lord destroyed the city of Sodom. This parable is one that is very famous
for justifying homophobia among Christians. The very word sodomite was taken to
refer to someone who engages in anal sex, and the sin of Sodom was taken to be
male homogenital acts. The old man claims that what the men of the town is a sin
against God and is even willing to give up his daughters virginity to stop them
from committing such an evil deed. The word for ‘sex’ was originally
interpreted as “to know.” In the days that this story took place “to
know” did, sometimes, have sexual implications associated with it. Whether
this story was one of those cases or not is disputable. It could have meant that
the men of the town simply wanted to find out who these men were because they
didn’t like the fact that the old man was inviting strangers into their town.
Another way of looking at the phrase “to know” is that it refers to not only
male-male sex, but also male-male abuse and rape (Helminiak). The author of The
New Testament and Homosexuality thinks that the sin this parable is referring to
is not that of natural homosexuality but rather that of homosexual acts by
people who are not homosexual “a pervert is said to be a person who engages in
acts contrary to his or her orientation. Thus a heterosexual person who engages
in homosexual activity is a pervert, just as a homosexual person would be who
engages in heterosexual acts” (p14 Scroggs). Although, some insist that this
sin in this parable is nothing to do with homosexuality at all. They say that it
refers to the sin of inhospitality. There was a cardinal rule in Sodom that said
citizens of Sodom were to offer hospitality to travelers because the nights in
the deserts were so cold the results of spending the night in the desert could
be fatal to the traveler. This rule was so strict that people couldn’t even
harm an enemy who had sought refuge for the night. So, The old man believed that
he was upholding the law of hospitality by not exposing his guests to the abuse
of the men of Sodom (Helminiak). There are many passages from the bible itself
that proves that the sin in this parable was that of inhospitality. “The
prophet Ezekiel (16:48-49) states the case baldly: ‘this was the guilt of you
sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food and prosperous
ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.’ The sin of the Sodomites was that
they refused to take in the needy travelers” (p40 Helminiak). Jesus himself
makes reference to Sodom, and the issues is rejection of God’s messengers in
Matthew 10:5-15: “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:
’…Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay
there until you leave…If any one will not welcome you or listen to your words,
shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell
you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of
judgment than of that town.’” In this reading there is absolutely no
reference to sex but a direct reference to the rejection of God’s messengers.
There are other less direct biblical references to Sodom: Isaiah 1:10-17 and
3:9, Jeremiah 23:14 and Zephaniah 2:8-11. The sins listed in those places are
injustice, oppression, partiality, adultery, lies and encouraging evildoers.
“The Bible often uses Sodom as an example of the worst sinfulness, but the
concern is never simply sexual acts. Least of all is the concern homogenital
acts” (p41 Helminiak). The irony with this parable and how it is interpreted
by today’s society is that now the gay and lesbian community is not welcomed
into society as God wants all people to be instead they are shunned and made
outsiders. They are disowned by their families, separated from their children,
fired from their jobs, and beaten and killed in the streets. All this is done in
the name of religion and supposed Christian morality. This is the behavior that
the bible truly condemns. “So those who oppress homosexuals because of the
supposed ‘sin of Sodom’ may themselves be the real ‘sodomites,’ as the
Bible understands it” (p41 Helminiak). Thorough this essay the question of
whether or not the Bible really opposes homosexuality has been asked and
answered with the belief that the Bible does not oppose homosexuality. With
careful examination of the texts in the Bible that is used by Christians to
attack homosexuals for being what they are it has been proven that homosexuality
is not a sin but is merely used by homophobics as a justification for their
homophobia. The belief that Gays and Lesbians choose their sexual orientation to
defy the word of God is wrong because they have no choice whether to be
homosexual or heterosexual, we are the way we are because that is what God
intended. “God doesn’t make Junk” is a famous Christian saying, it’s
time that Christians paid attention to what it is saying. Numerous people have
analyzed the quotes taken from the bible that was stated throughout this essay
and they agree that there is no reference to homosexuality being a sin. If these
points are not enough to convince fellow homophobic Christians that their
homophobia is coming from the wrong place then it is asked of them, did the
bible not say that God loves EVERYONE? Well which one will it be: God screwed up
when he made homosexuals and they are evil, or God loves everybody? The choice
is yours to make.

BibliographyHekminiak,Daniel A., Ph.D. What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality.
Episcopal Bishop of Newark NJ. 1994 Moberly, Elizabeth R.. Homosexuality: A New
Christian Ethic. James Clarke & Co. Ltd.. 1982 Siker, Jeffery S.
Homosexuality in the Church: Both Sides of the Debate. Westminster John Knox
Press Louisville, Kentucky. 1994 Scroggs, Robbin. The New Testament and
Homosexuality. Fortress Press Philadelphia. 1983 International Bible Society.
The Holy Bible., Zondervan Publishing House. 1984
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