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Mods Please move this to RELIGION forum--Homosexuality is NOT a sin!

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posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:32 AM
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(Taken from the last place anyone would look, a site I used when I was younger---remembered this thread and decided to share! From Gaia Online, all credit to liniloki)

Welcome, all! Loki, here, to try to teach everyone a thing or two about a little religion I ascribe to. People think they know about it, and yet they fail to know even the most basic knowledge from this religions holy texts. I am, of course, talking about Christianity. It’s a religion that, in America, 83% of people claimed in 2004. Yet, out of that 83%, maybe only 40% can name the 10 Commandments. Shameful, isn’t it? Therefore, I’m going to try to give a little view of what Christianity at it’s most naked is. I won’t tell you that your denomination is wrong and mine is right. Rather, I will refer to the Bible, not denominational beliefs. Also, I will tend to only include books from the standard protestant Bible, NIV edition. If you have a problem with that, www.biblegateway.com has all the Bibles you could never read. It is to now be noted that this thread will be long. We’re going to cover a lot of subjects, including definitions of some terms, certain misconceptions popularly permeated through the Christian world, as well as defend Catholicism from those that would claim it is not Christianity. The posts will go as follows.

Post 1: Introduction
Post 2: Definitions
Post 3: Misconceptions About Homosexuality
Post 4: Big Misconceptions: About Hell and Abortion
Post 5: Misconceptions About the Literal Infallibility of the Modern Bible
Post 6: Misconceptions About Catholicism
Post 7: Other Misconceptions
edit on 25-6-2011 by DigitalControl because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:33 AM
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Misconceptions on Homosexuality – It Is NOT A Sin


This post is dedicated to proving the popular passages as not anti-homosexual. For now, I only have the most common arguments, but more may appear. Here they are:

"Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." - Insinuating Adam and Eve as the only humans on the Earth in the beginning, and all humans are children of Adam and Eve.

"Leviticus says:" - Insinuating that all of Leviticus is still to be used by Christians.

"God burnt down Sodom for homosexuality!" - Insinuating that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexual sex.

"The New Testament says:" - Insinuating that the New Testament specifically says that homosexuality is a sin.

"Gays marrying is against God!" - Insinuating that marriage is a Christian rite and that homosexuality is a sin.

These arguments are all quite wrong. Let me show you why.



Topic 1, Adam and Eve: The Only Humans?

NOTA BENE: The following idea that Adam was not necessarily created on day six, and that perhaps more than one human was created by God, is currently not supported by any research into the original language and is therefore very flimsy, and the order I have placed it in for easier understand seems to confuse certain people. However, it is something to consider. All in all, the argument that God's creation of Adam and Eve somehow should dictate what God intended as a sexuality for everyone is similar to a part to whole fallacy and has several flaws in it. It makes the argument that God intended every man to be with a woman, which we can see in the example of the Apostle Paul is simply untrue. Sometimes, man would be better alone. Adam, as a sole being, was not one of those men. It would also insinuate that Adam and Eve were examples in every way for we humans, as no way is specified, which would insinuate God's intention for a single race, single hair color, et cetera. As we can probably guess, this argument is fallacious and weak and need not be used in intelligent theological discourse.

Note: The NIV translation does, in fact, use some tenses of words that make my theory somewhat difficult to follow chronologically. Other translations support my theory more fluidly. However, said translation(s) are not on Biblegateway, so let's just move on, shall we? (For those that wish to find it, look up the verse in a New Century Version)

Genesis 2:4-6, NIV
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens- and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.


Genesis 1:9-13, NIV
And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.


As Adam was made before vegetation was on the Earth, he was made during the third day: After the water, but before the veggies. However:

Genesis 1:26-30, NIV
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.


More humans were created on the sixth day.

But some don't seem convinced by the plant argument. Okay. Let's say, just for fun, that Adam WAS created after the plants. Let's say that you really really can't follow the way this was set up, and need a tad more proof. Here. This section should help affirm things.

Genesis 1:21-26, 31, NIV
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
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God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.


Animals. Animals were created prior to man on the sixth day. Well, if we visit chapter 2...

Genesis 2:18-19, NIV
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.


Adam was around prior to the animals. And yet, the Chapter 1 account says animals were created prior to man. This shows, yet again, that Adam was created prior to the "man" of the Day Six account.

Also:

Genesis 4:13-16, NIV
Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."

But the LORD said to him, "Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.


Cain was worried that others may find and kill him. If his parents were the only others on the earth, who would he have had to worry about? Also, the land of Nod was known as the land of wanderers. Who was wandering for it to be named so? Cain, of course, is one... But note the plural. These verses only strengthen the suggestion that Adam, Eve, and their family were not alone.

For those that are still unconvinced... That believe Adam was created after the plants and animals, that believe Cain feared the rest of his family, that believe Cain slept with his sister, that believe there were at least 5 accounts of incest to create the human race... I ask you this:

Genesis 4:17, NIV
Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.


Why on earth was Cain building a city? And how was he doing it by himself?

Y'know, I find it amazing that the more people argue against me, the more stuff I find to support my argument.

I direct everyone to Genesis 6:1-2.

Genesis 6:1-2, NIV
When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.


Where did the daughters of men come from? It is simple to assume that sons of God were those of God's chosen race of peoples, those from the lineage of Adam and Eve. However, it makes a distinction between these and the daughters of men. If there were those that God had chosen special and those that God hadn't... Who were the ones God hadn't chosen special?



Topic 2, Leviticus: Christian Law?

WARNING: Sarcasm follows through much of this. If you can't see it, then I'm sorry.

To read arguments against the current translations of Leviticus verses used in condemnation of homosexuality, visit post 5.

Leviticus 19:27, NIV
Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.


So. Those that shave are sinning.

Leviticus 19:19, NIV
Keep my decrees.
Do not mate different kinds of animals.
Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.
Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.


So. Those that crop in cycles, wear polyester cotton mixes, or breed mules are sinning.

Leviticus 15, NIV
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When any man has a bodily discharge, the discharge is unclean. Whether it continues flowing from his body or is blocked, it will make him unclean. This is how his discharge will bring about uncleanness:

" 'Any bed the man with a discharge lies on will be unclean, and anything he sits on will be unclean. Anyone who touches his bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whoever sits on anything that the man with a discharge sat on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

" 'Whoever touches the man who has a discharge must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

" 'If the man with the discharge spits on someone who is clean, that person must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

" 'Everything the man sits on when riding will be unclean, and whoever touches any of the things that were under him will be unclean till evening; whoever picks up those things must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

" 'Anyone the man with a discharge touches without rinsing his hands with water must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

" 'A clay pot that the man touches must be broken, and any wooden article is to be rinsed with water.

" 'When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing; he must wash his clothes and bathe himself with fresh water, and he will be clean. On the eighth day he must take two doves or two young pigeons and come before the LORD to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and give them to the priest. The priest is to sacrifice them, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement before the LORD for the man because of his discharge.

" 'When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. When a man lies with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

" 'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

" 'Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Whoever touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening.

" 'If a man lies with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean.

" 'When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. Whoever touches them will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

" 'When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the LORD for the uncleanness of her discharge.

" 'You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.' "

These are the regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who lies with a woman who is ceremonially unclean.


So. Semen is "unclean". Women on periods must be cast out due to their uncleanliness.

Leviticus 11, NIV
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the Israelites: 'Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: You may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud.

" 'There are some that only chew the cud or only have a split hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. The coney, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

" 'Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales. But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales-whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water-you are to detest. And since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat and you must detest their carcasses. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you.

" 'These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.

" 'All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest.

" 'You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening.

" 'Every animal that has a split hoof not completely divided or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them will be unclean. Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. They are unclean for you.

" 'Of the animals that move about on the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening. When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth. Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean. If one of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must break the pot. Any food that could be eaten but has water on it from such a pot is unclean, and any liquid that could be drunk from it is unclean. Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean. A spring, however, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these carcasses is unclean. If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean. But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.

" 'If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies, anyone who touches the carcass will be unclean till evening. Anyone who eats some of the carcass must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening.

" 'Every creature that moves about on the ground is detestable; it is not to be eaten. You are not to eat any creature that moves about on the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is detestable. Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them. I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

" 'These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves in the water and every creature that moves about on the ground. You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.' "


So. You can't eat lobster or crawfish. Or pork.

So why just pick at the verses against homosexuals? Oh, by the way. Christians do not have to follow Levitican Law.

Acts 10:10-16, NIV
He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of fourfooted animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

“Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.


Suddenly the animals aren't unclean. But, some people don't seem to appreciate the double meaning behind this dream. So, straight from Christ's mouth is this:

Mark 7:14-19, NIV
Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.' "

After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean."


That's right. Christ said it. All the foods are officially clean.

Oh, and here.

Acts 15:24-29, NIV
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul– men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.


If you are Christian, you are not to follow the Levitican laws, as mentioned in Acts 15. If you are Jewish, either follow all the laws, or just realize that you're not doing so hot as a Jew and don't follow any.

Let us not forget the verses Collosians 2:14 and Hebrews 7:18 either.

Collosians 2:14, NIV
having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.


Hebrews 7:18, NIV
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless


Who are we to negate the sacrifice of Christ?



Topic 3, Sodom: Burned For Homosexual Sex?

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is as such: Lot, the nephew of Abraham, was living in the city of Sodom. Abraham had pleaded to God to spare the city under the condition that 10 righteous men were found there.

Genesis 18:32-33, NIV
Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"
He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."

When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.


Unfortunately, that condition was failed to be met. However, God felt compassion towards Lot, and sent two angels to warn him of the impending doom of the city before its destruction. When they arrived, however, they were accosted by citizens of Sodom.

Genesis 19:4-30, NIV
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."


With these verses, a couple of key things are to be noted. First, note that Lot mentioned the men were protected. Second, note that he offered his daughters. The protection is to be noted because inhospitality was a grievous offense. Just as in the Roman myth of Jupiter and Mercury visiting Baucis and Philemon, hospitality was rewarded as you never knew who would be in your house. Lot offering his daughters shows that, as he was their father and thus their consent, that he was offering them consenting sex as opposed to rape. Also:

Genesis 18:20-21, NIV
Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."


God mentions an outcry that reached him. Would men consenting to homosexual sex cry out to God? No. Would people being raped repeatedly cry out to God? The answer is yes. Also, why would the sin of homosexuality be so grievous back then that it was worthy of razing an entire city, but is today not worthy enough for anything? The reason is that homosexuality was not the sin mentioned. The sin is rape and, slightly lesser, inhospitality. Note:

Ezekiel 16:48-50, NIV
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.


Arrogance, gluttony, and apathy. Not helping the poor and needy, or being inhospitable. Haughty: Above the law. And detestable things? Rape. Case 2:

Luke 10:10-12, NIV
But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.


If you are not welcomed into a town, it says... If they are not hospitable to you, then they will suffer pains worse than that of Sodom.

I'd say that about clinches the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, wouldn't you? Don't assume that since we have this word sodomy to refer to a**l sex that Sodom's sin was sodomy.



Topic 4, New Testament: Condemning Gays?

Some will say that homosexuality falls under the category of sexual immorality, as mentioned in Acts 15:29. But commonly mistranslated for homosexuality is a section in Romans:

Romans 1:24-27, NIV
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.


In these passages, it blatantly states that lust was the cause behind their sin. Not only is lust a sexual immorality, but so is sleeping around.

1 Corinthians 6:12-18, NIV
"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.


This verse says to "flee sexual immorality", but it only mentions whoring yourself. Further, to prove that God condones ALL forms of love, including homosexual love:

1 John 4:7-12, NIV
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.


These verses, properly interpreted and read, not misquote or drug out of context, show that God is behind all forms of love, and that lust and prostitutional fornication are the sexual sins mentioned. The verses from 1 John specifically refer to unconditional love. It states that any love that is unconditional is from God. Homosexuals can love their partners unconditionally, therefore, can have unions blessed by God.



Topic 5, Gay Marriage: UnChristian?

I don't even need Bible verses for this. As I've already proven that homosexuality is not a sin in accordance with the Bible, there should be nothing wrong. However, if that isn't enough, picture this:

Christianity was formed approximately 2000 years ago. Jesus has been judged to die at around 28 AD (Born in 5 BC). Marriage has been a concept since ancient Sumeria. Which is much older than two thousand years. Or, even better: The Roman Empire, founded 57 BC I believe. Before Jesus. Marriage happened. Better than that: Judaism, the religion that Christianity started upon? Marriages occurred.

Obviously, marriage is not a Christian concept. Holy matrimony was made into a Catholic rite long ago, but America is not a Christian nation. Therefore, Christianity would have no control over the marraiges in America anyways. Since homosexuality is not a sin, marriage is not a sin, and Christians have no control over marriage, it can be drawn, then, that homosexual marriage is not a sin, or unChristian.

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The following excerpt is an analysis of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, done by Gaian Saltski Circe

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NASB)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.


Saltski Circe
Paul does not explicitly say here that this "love" is in any way limited to "a man or a woman." He gives no gender restrictions whatsoever.

Taking off Loki's analysis, therefore, a homosexual would only be lying to himself and torturing himself were he to deny his feelings or, even worse, trying to love women, and lying is one of the sins prohibited by the Ten Commandments. For example: One could easily take “Thou shalt not commit adultery” as a statement referring to any sort of sexual perversion and, thus, making homosexuality sinful.

However, according to Wikipedia….

Wikipedia
“Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a man and a married woman who is not his wife.”


There are no other mentions of sexual perversion in the Ten Commandments, including ones that condemn homosexuality. Again, take into account that the Commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” though it references lying about one’s neighbor, clearly could condemn lying of any kind—especially to oneself.

Referring to Paul’s line about homosexuality and "unnatural lusts," it is to be noted this "love" he speaks of is not "kind and gentle." It is not a giving love; it is a love based off selfish needs, curiosity, and sexual gratification. It is an all-consuming, uncontrollable desire simply based off of taking and satisfying one's own pleasure. It is not “rejoicing in the truth.” You can easily say that this inflammation of lust is most certainly envious, boastful and proud.

What could be said of it, therefore, is that it is "unnatural," because there is an imbalance of compromise. Take a look at any stable, committed couple--they're not in a relationship just to copulate, but rather to be there for one another and support one another through thick and thin. Any purely sexual relationship would not do such a thing. Judging by the fact that Paul, once again, offers no gender-specifics, it cannot be assumed it applies to only heterosexual relationships, and it's more logical to conclude it means any sexually gratifying relationship.

Now take into account the fact that, in reality, most homosexuals are not promiscuous, do not have sex with ten thousand men, have AIDS, and can raise children in a perfectly stable, loving home. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule--but humans have a tendency to focus on the most negative parts of themselves, especially in terms of religion.

I myself know two lesbians who live together and they are the happiest, most giving, most caring of each other. They are no more or less hormone ridden than the next two straight people. They are not perverts. They are there for one another. The love they share is no more or less valid than a heterosexual relationship and seems to meet with all the tenants that Paul outlines here. I go to an all-girls school, and lesbian relationships are not uncommon. And from what I have seen, it is their devotion towards one another that defines what Paul says what love is all about; something that “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”

Thus, this line could very well apply to both homosexuals AND heterosexuals in that, if the beauty, intimacy and trust needed in any romantic relationship is there, then theirs is a love that will “never fail.”


Need we say more?

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EDIT: 4/5/07

It would seem we DO need to say more! Welcome to the 6th Topic!

"But Paul specifically condemns homosexuals!" - Insinuating that arsenokoitai and malakos translate into sodomites, effeminate, or homosexuals.



Topic 6, Paul: The Ever-Hateful Christian?

Paul has been described as a man who looks down on women and also as the soul source of anti-homosexual sentiment in the New Testament. People constantly forget two things, however. The first is the fact that, before Christ laid the Holy Smackdown of Conversion on Saul of Tarsus, Saul/Paul was a hugely devout Jew. A Pharisee with the most a**l retentiveness to the law as was possible. At times, he allowed personal opinion on how the Church should be run to enter his Epistles. He has even specifically said such things. For example:

1 Corinthians 7:10,12, NIV
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.

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To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.


He specifically states that his own opinion is being inserted. On to the second thing too many people forget about Paul and his Epistles: Many, if not most, of the things he wrote about were specific to the time, culture, and region he was writing to. To bring up the Romans quote again:

Romans 1:24-25, NIV
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.


Take note of what I have bolded there. It is a key verse, a key note that must be remembered to understand what Paul is talking of in the next part.

Romans 1:26-27, NIV
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.


Now. We have some key words in this part. Shameful, lusts, natural relations, indecent acts, perversion. These key words, when added to the verses above as well as a knowledge of Roman society, tell us something. We know that homosexuality is natural as it occurs in nature, yes? But even if it wasn't, what could Paul be talking about? What could he have knowledge of just by walking through the streets of Rome?

The Roman god Bacchus was a god of wine and pleasure. He, as well as other members of the pantheon, was celebrated with festivals that appropriately resembled or reenacted some aspect or story of the deity. When celebrating Minerva, goddess of crafts, they would weave a large blanket to drape over her statue. To celebrate Bacchus, god of wine and pleasure, they would get into a state of public drunkenness and have extremely large orgies that would last for days.

Such a public event is something Paul most likely had the "honor" of viewing when taking his trip through Rome. Remember that key verse that mentioned serving and worshiping things that weren't God? These festivals were definitely signs of worship to other gods. Still, people will say, "Well, Paul condemns homosexuals later in his Epistles, so it must've still been about gays."

Firstly, one must ask how Paul would've known about any homosexual acts the Romans did unless they were in public. Secondly, and most importantly, one must look to see if Paul actually condemns homosexuals. There are two verses that use the word homosexuals in the Modern English versions of the Bible, or at least many of the popular ones. Let's look at them in English, shall we?

1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NIV
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.


The next verse isn't commonly translated as homosexual, so we will temporarily depart from our use of the NIV.

1 Timothy 1:10, NASB
and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,


Now. That's what they say in English. Homosexuals, homosexual offenders, effeminate, or sodomites. Let's look at them in Greek.

Homosexual, in Greek, is now: ομοφυλοφιλικός, or omophulophilikos as best as my translating abilities carry me. Now, we'll play spot the word.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Greek
ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε: οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται, οὐ μέθυσοι, οὐ λοίδοροι, οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν.


That section that I've bolded is where the words translated to homosexual and company are. Let's look at them closely.

μαλακοὶ, or malakoi, and ἀρσενοκοῖται, or arsenokoitai. Do those look like ομοφυλοφιλικός, or omophulophilikos? On to Timothy.

1 Timothy 1:10, Greek
πόρνοις, ἀρσενοκοίταις, ἀνδραποδισταῖς, ψεύσταις, ἐπιόρκοις, καὶ εἴ τι ἕτερον τῇ ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀντίκειται,


See ομοφυλοφιλικός? Doubtful. ἀρσενοκοίταις is what shows up. It says arsenokoitais, which I'm told is the same as arsenokoitai. Still isn't omophulophilikos.

To continue with this, I will quote a man who has done much more research on the subject than I could at my age.

Reverend Mel White from www.soulforce.org
Now what do the writings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 say, first, about God, and then about homosexuality? These are the last two places in the Bible that seem to refer to same-sex behavior. We can combine them because they are so similar.

Paul is exasperated. The Christians in Ephesus and Corinth are fighting among themselves. (Sound familiar?) In Corinth they're even suing one another in secular courts. Paul shouts across the distance, "You are breaking God's heart by the way you are treating one another."

Like any good writer, Paul anticipates their first question: "Well, how are we supposed to treat one another?" Paul answers, "You know very well how to treat one another from the Jewish law written on tablets of stone."

The Jewish law was created by God to help regulate human behavior. To remind the churches in Corinth and Ephesus how God wants us to treat one another, Paul recites examples from the Jewish law first. Don't kill one another. Don't sleep with a person who is married to someone else. Don't lie or cheat or steal. The list goes on to include admonitions against fornication, idolatry, whoremongering, perjury, drunkenness, revelry, and extortion. He also includes "malokois" and "arsenokoitai."

Here's where the confusion begins. What's a malokois? What's an arsenokoitai? Actually, those two Greek words have confused scholars to this very day. We'll say more about them later, when we ask what the texts say about sex. But first let's see what the texts say about God.

After quoting from the Jewish law, Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth that they are under a new law: the law of Jesus, a law of love that requires us to do more than just avoid murder, adultery, lying, cheating, and stealing. Paul tells them what God wants is not strict adherence to a list of laws, but a pure heart, a good conscience, and a faith that isn't phony.

That's the lesson we all need to learn from these texts. God doesn't want us squabbling over who is "in" and who is "out." God wants us to love one another. It's God's task to judge us. It is NOT our task to judge one another.

So what do these two texts say about homosexuality? Are gays and lesbians on that list of sinners in the Jewish law that Paul quotes to make an entirely different point?

Greek scholars say that in first century the Greek word malaokois probably meant "effeminate call boys." The New Revised Standard Version says "male prostitutes."

As for arsenokoitai, Greek scholars don't know exactly what it means -- and the fact that we don't know is a big part of this tragic debate. Some scholars believe Paul was coining a name to refer to the customers of "the effeminate call boys." We might call them "dirty old men." Others translate the word as "sodomites," but never explain what that means.

In 1958, for the first time in history, a person translating that mysterious Greek word into English decided it meant homosexuals, even though there is, in fact, no such word in Greek or Hebrew. But that translator made the decision for all of us that placed the word homosexual in the English-language Bible for the very first time.

In the past, people used Paul's writings to support slavery, segregation, and apartheid. People still use Paul's writings to oppress women and limit their role in the home, in church, and in society.

Now we have to ask ourselves, "Is it happening again?" Is a word in Greek that has no clear definition being used to reflect society's prejudice and condemn God's gay children?

We all need to look more closely at that mysterious Greek word arsenokoitai in its original context. I find most convincing the argument from history that Paul is condemning the married men who hired hairless young boys (malakois) for sexual pleasure just as they hired smooth-skinned young girls for that purpose.

Responsible homosexuals would join Paul in condemning anyone who uses children for sex, just as we would join anyone else in condemning the threatened gang rape in Sodom or the behavior of the sex-crazed priests and priestesses in Rome. So, once again, I am convinced that this passage says a lot about God, but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today.


A big question to ask is this: "If Paul didn't condemn homosexuals before these two verses... And Christ didn't condemn them... and the Old Testament didn't condemn them... But everything else Paul condemned was condemned by the Old Testament or Christ... Where'd he get it from?"

Paul does not condemn homosexuals. Bad translators do.

Another chunk I wrote on Paul's passage in Romans:

There are numerous clues to understanding that passage. First, "They knew the truth of the Creator, but exchanged it for a lie." (I'm paraphrasing from memory, btw.) In that bit, it says that they knew about God but decided to ignore Him. Second, "They worshiped other gods." There's mentions of animals and such, as I recall. So, they knew about God, ignored Him, and started to worship other gods. Idolatry. Third, "So, God gave them to shameful lusts." Now, there's actually two things in that. First, "God gave them [...]" This wording is reminiscent of God turning the heart of the Pharaoh, or even better, removing His Spirit from King Solomon. If we recall the story of Solomon, Solomon was loved and blessed by God. However, Solomon began worshiping other gods. The gods of his wives. God, angered and saddened, removed His Spirit and allowed Solomon to fall into a degenerative path. The second bit, tied in with the Solomon story, is the word lusts. Shameful lusts, at that. Now, Solomon had tons of wives. He gave into their religious ways to please them because of their beauty. Lust. Which we already know is a sin. If Paul's "they" is indeed the Romans, there is a distinct possibility that Paul is referring to orgies. Idolatrous orgies. (Which is something Solomon could've done with his wives, btw...) In the Roman religion, there were many different sexual festivals and feasts. One that I like to liken this verse grouping to is the feast of Bacchus. Bacchus, as some may know, is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Dionysus. He is the god of debauchery and hedonism and, more importantly, alcohol. Wine. Bacchus had a group of women that followed him around the world, the Maenids. Crazy crazy sexual women. Like, by crazy, I mean insane. Anyways, one of the ways the Romans celebrated Bacchus was by getting piss-a** drunk and having raunchy, orgiastic sex. With everything and everyone. In public. I'd personally think that a public drunken orgy is rather shameful, wouldn't you? And it's definitely unnatural.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:34 AM
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Big Misconceptions:
On Hell - NOT A Fiery Domain Of Satan


First thing we’re going to do is tell you exactly what Popular Christianity makes people think hell is.

To PC, hell is a fiery little place of eternal torment immediately arrived at after death if you’re not saved. It’s ruled over by Satan, and has tons of demons in it.

That sound right? Well, it’s wrong. The word hell was stolen from the Norse Hel. In Norse Mythos, Hel was the goddess of the underworld of torment, a place of eternal frozen over-ness, known as Hel or Helheim.

The following excerpt on the topic of hell was written by Gaian Elf Lord Cheiwn.

Elf Lord Cheiwn
No, you are not going to hell. Assuming Christianity to be valid, hell is not a valid concept, the word itself having been borrowed (read:stolen) from Hel, the Norse goddess of the underworld and not, as is popularly claimed, so much as appearing in the Hebrew and Greek text of the bible. The concept of a fiery eternal torment is a wink and a nod to Dante's The Divine Comedy (more specifically, Inferno), a fictional story that is, for all ostensible purposes, a marvelously-woven political commentary.

What usually translates as hell is Sheol, the Judaic grave or netherworld intermediary; Gehenna, named after a trash heap outside Jerusalem, Hades, a direct bite from Greek mythology; and Tartarus, another direct bite from Greek mythology, but taken to mean the abode of certain non-human creatures.

Sheol is relatively nondescript, Gehenna is specifically mentioned as a destination for trash (and some snakes, according to Yeshua ben Yosef), Hades is effectively undefined, though since the New Testament was written in Greek, it was likely used as a blanket reference to the afterlife or underworld. Note that Hades is the only destination for the dead in Greek mythology, and encompasses paradise and eternal torment. Tartarus, located below Hades, is home to the mythological creatures which have special punishment, such as Sisyphus, who, according to legend, is and will be rolling a big rock around for all eternity.

In short, every popular English biblical translation is a mistranslation. The worst that may reasonably be expected within the Christian system is a trip to Sheol, which everyone visits. The lake of fire, which spells death for those cast into it, may be a quick demise for false prophets as well, but it is meant for serious non-human offenders, such as angels, and is a fiery means to non-existence: that is, true death.

Moreover, it is my sincere doubt that Hel would care to manufacture a fiery torment if – expecting eternal flames – one did somehow manage to wind up in Helheim, the Norse abode of oath-breakers, people who died in their beds, and people who met their demise in ridiculous fashion. Too bad it’s eternal, however, and escape is not an option.


And now, for my own bit. As Elf Lord has said, there are four words translated as the word Hell in the Bible. Their original words are, in the OT, Sheol and Gehenna, and in the NT, Hades and Tartarus.

Now. Does this mean that there’s no place of eternal punishment? No afterlife separation from God? Quite wrong, actually. You see, in the Book of Revelations is described a fiery lake.

Revelation 20:10-15, NIV
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


Note: Hades, a word that is also translated as hell, is mentioned in these scriptures. A sort of personified keeper of the dead. The common image of hell, however, is not quite that personification. So, what we have is Sheol, a Jewish place known as the grave, Gehenna, a burning trash pile near Israel, Hades, a personified carrier of the dead, and Tartarus, the mythological place of special torment in the Underworld. None of these, with exception of Gehenna, deal with flames. And if we look in Jude...

Jude 6, NIV
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.


God kept the fallen angels in a place of darkness to be judged on the Great Day. This Great Day was described in Revelation. On that day, those not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be tossed into the fiery lake. Jude’s passage, as well as the passage in Revelation, suggests that there is a holding place for the dead before the Judgment Day. That one would not immediately go to heaven or the fiery lake. Remember, there is a place for the “lost souls” in the afterlife, but it isn’t the way everyone thinks it is.

To recap and elucidate: The Jews had two forms of afterlife. They were Sheol and Gehenna. Sheol is "the grave", and was merely thought of as a holding cell for souls. No punishment, no pain, just sitting around and waiting. Gehenna, a real place nearby, was a hated place of uncleanliness for Jews. An eternally burning trash pit, it was the threat for the Jews. You had to screw up badly enough that they believed even God wouldn't want you to be tossed into Gehenna. For the most part, however, they didn't feel too many souls would have gotten tossed into the Gehenna equivalent. Now, in the New Testament, when we start writing things in Greek, we notice two new "hells". They are Tartarus and Hades. Tartarus is rarely mentioned, but seems to be the equivalent of Gehenna. In Greek Mythos, one had to screw up insanely bad to be tossed into Tartarus. It was also a place of constant pain, but in this case, there is no fire. Hades is an interesting case, as it is left untranslated to "hell" in the Book of Revelation. It suggests that Hades is a personified holding area for the dead souls that will eventually be destroyed and done away with. Add the fact that the Book of Jude specifically mentions a holding area for the angels, we can derive that when one dies, one is given to a holding cell for one's afterlife. Unless you screwed up so insanely that you get tossed into instant punishment, such as the angels bound by chains. You wait in this cell until Judgment Day. Then, you get into a big line, and if you're not in the Lamb's Book of Life, you are tossed into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is a place of eternal punishment, the "second death". It is NOT ruled by Satan. Satan's punished too. If you ARE in the Book, you get to go to "heaven" which, as Revelation describes is actually the New Jerusalem, and will be on earth. Special cases were allowed to go straight to God's side, just as special cases were also allowed to go straight to punishment.

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Big Misconceptions:
On Abortion - Is God Actually "Pro-Life"?


The answer to that question is most likely a no as we'll see.

What may very well be a possibly overwhelming majority of Christians stand by the idea that abortion is a sin. Many go much further than that, calling it murder and a crime against God. However, no theological argument is really very good without some grounds in the Holy Texts being argued within. Therefore, pro-lifers have strenuously searched for verses to be construed as anti-abortion. Here are some of the more popular ones:

1)
Genesis 9:5-7, NIV
And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made man.
As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.


2)
Exodus 20:13, KJV
Thou shalt not kill.


3)
Psalms 139:13-14, NIV
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.


There are a number of other, less used verses, such as “Blood is life”, and similar verses to the ones in Psalms that say, "You knew me in the womb" and the like. However, all of these verses can be debunked by taking a quick look at these major verses in context of the Bible and debunking them.

1) The first verse quoted has two arguments in it. First is the “don’t shed a man’s blood, or by man shall your blood be shed” argument. This can be easily debunked by looking at the laws created by God in the books of Deuteronomy, Exodus, or Leviticus. In verses such as Exodus 21:22-25, we can clearly see that not only is a fetus not considered “man”, but the punishment for accidental miscarriage is merely a fine. A fetus is property!

Exodus 21:22-25, NIV
If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.


The second argument in those verses is that we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and abortion doesn’t do that. However, that was directed at Noah and his family after the flood. We can see in the New Testament that, as Paul says, virginity is okay, despite the fact that staying a virgin is not being fruitful and multiplying.

2) The verse “Thou shall not kill” was quoted from the KJV for a reason. Most other modern translations don’t have that error. The correct translation, as seen in the NIV, is “Thou shall not murder” (emphasis added). As we can see, again referring to the Jewish law, the punishment for murder is always death. However, the punishment for killing a fetus is a fine. Those two punishments aren’t quite the same.

3) The knitting verses, both in Psalms and similar ones in Job, are an extremely popular Biblical ammunition for pro-lifers. However, they fail to take into account something: the soul. It is obvious through natural miscarriages as well as several Bible verses that the fetus does not have a soul. Adam’s creation was not complete until God breathed into him and gave him a soul. In Ezekiel, the same thing occurs in a vision he has.

Ezekiel 37:9, NIV
Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’"


The bones needed breath to live. There are a number of verses that show God using miscarriage as punishment, and allowing the Jews to kill infants in wars. Also, Jewish law stated that a baby was not even considered a person until at least 30 days of survival.

Rabbi Balfour Brickner, National Director of the Commission on Interfaith Activities
Jewish law is quite clear in its statement that an embryo is not reckoned a viable living thing (in Hebrew, bar kayama) until thirty days after its birth. One is not allowed to observe the Laws of Mourning for an expelled fetus. As a matter of fact, these Laws are not applicable for a child who does not survive until his thirtieth day.


Knowing these things, that God consistently does not consider a fetus a person throughout the entirety of the Old Testament (which is to be noted the only place pro-lifers tend to get their verses), and that breath is required for the soul, we can safely say that being pro-choice is not a grievous sin in the eyes of God.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:34 AM
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Misconceptions on the Bible – NOT 100% Infallible.


This first segment deals with the translations in Leviticus, specifically of the verses supposedly condemning homosexuality and others.

ty_ping and Philisophical_Paradox
Leviticus has to do with homosexuality as a general construct.
To start with: Leviticus is part of the old law, as one should know, and is non-binding to Gentiles and modern converts to Christianity, as we are given grace and the new covenant via Galatians, Acts 15, and Colossians 2 (particularly verse 14). Thus to apply this to Christian homosexuals slavishly, is quite frankly a poor use of scripture.

While we are requested to abstain from sexual immorality one must ask what is sexually immoral, since the OT doesn't distinguish between Moral and Cerimonal law we only have what Paul and Jesus say on the subject. Paul on the one hand is VERY clear when he wants to include a Levidical Law into the "Moral Christian Code" but still in his letters emphasises non judgement and Christian Liberty. Homosexuality is one of those things he was never clear on and considering in most of his letters he is writing to a group of new converts who are NOT familiar with Levidical law for him to vaugly say "Sexual Immorality" won't make them thing "Ahh Levidicus 18, RIGHT"
Sexual Immorality is not code word for Homosexual Sex.

Secondly: The Hebrew for the verse is as follows:
Quote:
Va'th zakar lo thi shakab mishkaby inshah, toeb'eh hava
וְאֶ֨ת־זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה תֹּועֵבָ֖ה הִֽוא׃


Of the verse, the two bolded words are the ones I will address in this response.

First there is zakar זָכָ֔ר,
Zakar is not a commonly used word for man. It's a complex word since it can mean a male, or to remember (in a sacred sense to record to make a memorial of)
Zakar could refer to only the first born son of a family (Since he is the one who will continue the family line) or a man of distinction (A preist either of the Jewish religion or another religion) or even specifically an old wise man.

The definition of it says:
"Zakar A Male as being he through whom the memorial of his parents is continued"
(It gives a few exceptions of this rule but thats the basic choice of the word and these exceptions refer to animals)
Basically Zakar, if being used to denote "All men" is a really strange word choice. like trying to use Chairman to refer to all men or Preist to refer to all men. All Chairmen and Preists are men, but not all men are Chairmen or Preists. This word for man is usually used to refer to someone or some men of distinction.
(It is used to refer to Adam the *First* man, occasionally it is used when for men who are circumcized ((Or will be circumcized because they will become men of distinction an example here is Gen 17:23 it says "Every Male (Zakar) among Men (enowsh)" Enowish is a more common word for man or mankind as is the word 'iysh and adam ('iysh being the MOST commonly used word for anything male))

Just to illistrate:
Iyish is used almost 100 times in referance to men in Levidicus alone, Zakar is used 18 times in levidicus It is used to refer to a perfect male animal to be used in sacrifice, To the temple priests, to first born sons, and to men who are... Sactifying their possesions? I'm not quite sure whats going on in Levidicus 27 where Zakar is used the most. (3, 5, 6 and 7 the word MAN is Zakar every other one is Iyish) Adam and Enowsh are not used.

Next there is toeb'eh תֹּועֵבָ֖ה, which is abhorrently translated as "abomination" or "Detestibel Sin."
Its usage elsewhere suggests quite clearly a closer tie with this word to ritual uncleanliness (which while being an abhorrent practice to God, is NOT a disgraceful act due to the act itself)
((Basically it's ritually unclean but not immoral, examples of other acts of Toeb'eh?
Seeing any of your family members Naked (the rest of Levidicus 18 )
Looking at or being in the presents of the statues of other Gods or taking the silver or gold of these statues for any other use. Deu 7:25
Eating Unclean food Deu 14:3
Cunsulting someone who can speak to the dead or see the future (ever read your horoscope) Deu 18:11-12
Women wearing pants and men wearing makeup (No more stage acting for you boys Orlando Bloom and Jhonny Depp are just as bad off as them Gays) Deu 22:5))

When translating into the Greek, the authors chose the word bdeglyma, which is closer to the latter, not the former's meaning. Grave sins in Hebrew were termed Zimmah, something the author did not apply to Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13.

Finally, looking at the scriptural and cultural context of the verse, a strange thing is noted. Whlie the beginning of chapter 18 certainly deals with sexual sins (incest, prostitution, adultry etc.), a change occurs in verse 21, preceding the verse in question. It references the Mesopotamian fire god, Molech, and denounces those who sacrifice children, or quite literally give their seed to this god. This is not your run-of-the-mill sex sin...but a quite specific subset of idolatry related sex sins. This vice list is enhanced by the verse following 22, relating to women's sexual concurrance with beasts (beastiality was common mainly in fertility cults). Thus, all the pieces are in place for verses 21-23 to be a new vice list completely...as vice lists in Hebrew are very carefully constructed and do not break/meander without cause. So given it addresses ritual uncleanliness with men of note/worth, it seems far more likely that the verse in question deals with a much more specific condemnation than homosexuality as a general construct. Best option? Gender transcendence in terms of Mesopotamian fertility cults, particularly the cult of Innana/Ishtar...and later on Isis in Roman times. I'd suggest reading Will Roscoe's Priests of the Goddess, as it is quite the informative article about the practice of gender transcendence in this time and how it might relate to the passage at hand. Briefly- a priest would dress up in feminine garbs, and take the guise of the goddess to whom he was devoted. Local farmers would be well aware of these priests, as they and they alone seemed to have the power to bless the crops through intercession with the goddess (like Innana/Ishtar, since she has direct access to the Wheat God). Being the intercessor, the priest would demand sexual services in exchange for the goddess' blessing on the crop. This would be idolatry to God, as it placed another being before Him and detracted from worshipping Him...in short, a ritually unclean practice not to be done, with a person of esteem in the culture...fitting the bill of the Hebrew in verse 22.
As well Jewish Law is very specific, looking into the chapter you can see how within the other sexual laws it outline that male AND female are not to partake in certain acts. Except this one which only seems to pertain to men, why would God make a law against homosexuals, but only have the law apply to men? And how could a Christian use this as blanket condement when it does not at any point refer to women?

In short, arguably does it have anything to do with a general condemnation of homosexuality as a whole, but rather a specific subset of it...though it is moot as per the taking away of the Old Law by the verses already mentioned, and non-binding resolution by one of the early Councils of Jerusalem as strictures against Gentiles and modern converts.


Now, this is an excerpt given to me by Gaian Ome9a, the original source being unknown. It’s quite long, so if you just wanna hear what I’ve got to say, find the really long line of dashes. I will probably come through at a later date and edit this in favor of a smaller, simpler post.

Quote:
To my fellow Gaians, especially those who find homosexuals and homosexuality in the wrong:

All over the Extended Discussion and Chatterbox, a wave of pro- and anti-homosexual sentiment has hit. I can understand that the moderators have had it with idiotic threads and "repeats." However, yours truly has something to say of this.

I wish to restate my theory for the error of homophobia, which is as follows:

Homophobic arguments of all sorts - including scientific and psychological - are among the fruits of religious homophobia, which in itself has been caused by, among other things, biblical mistranslation.

Allow me to clarify. This said "biblical mistranslation" is both of willful ignorance and blatant misunderstanding. The Bible and certain passages are loaded with possibilities for mistranslation.

I'd like to elucidate my statements.

1) The "evidence" used by homophobic religious zealots is, in general, a rather unfortunate mistranslation or misinterpretation.
2) There cannot be such a thing as "scientific" homophobia. Such statements reek of religious backing.

Now, I am for gay marriage and all, but that is NOT the point of my paper. If you come into my dissertation thinking that, you are completely in the wrong, my dear friend.

My being Catholic may or may not restrict room for intellectual debate with Catholic doctrine, but being human allows for me, as a human with free thought and free will, to be able to debate with his faith's theological arguments.


"Evidence" vs. Evidence


First off, THE BIBLE WAS NOT ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN ENGLISH.

In fact, the languages used in the Old and New Testament are, in respect to time written, Hebrew, Aramaic, and a dialect of Greek called "koine." Note that the Latin translation by St. Jerome was written in the time period between 300 and 550 CE (please excuse my erroneous dating of the event).

People tend to read through the Bible with prejudiced learning (in this case, "I know what it says and means" sort of thinking). However, this sort of doctrinaire prejudice (coined by someone whose name I cannot recall) is wrong in and of itself. We place our own thinking onto something that was not created by our own thinking, but another's. We place modern learning/prejudice onto previous cultures and writings, and use this "interpretation"

In this section, I'll be going through the most often cited verses of the Bible when it comes to homophobic arguments as is noted in the New American Bible. Translations are from various sources, but I will dutifully cite each quote as I can.

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Now, I need to get this out of my system, but I've heard the phrase "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" so many times that, if it were oil, Iraq wouldn't have needed to invade Kuwait in the early 1990s.

There is SUCH a great deal of illogicality in the assumption that, since the "first" couple on Earth happened to be heterosexual, so should the rest of us. That is about as erroneous as saying all Africans, Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics, and so forth are doomed to eternal damnation simply because they don't lack melanin.

Now, Rev. William H Carey encounters a major problem. Quoting:

God said that it was not good for the adam to be alone (Gen. 2:18 ) and went on to say "I will make a help meet for him." (King James Version) But what the Hebrew says here, and the manner in which God made this "help," tell us volumes about the creature He was about to present to the man. The words translated as "help meet" are E-zer k'NEG-do. The word "ezer" means "helper." But there is more to it than that. You see, Hebrew has no neuter gender; every word is either masculine or feminine. Most nouns referring to people have both a masculine form and a feminine form, like "actor" and "actress" in English. Ezer is masculine. The feminine form would be ezrah. But God didn't say He would make an ezrah. He used the masculine form, ezer. The second half of this, k'negdo, means "as opposite him," that is, as a mirror image.

In this case, "the adam" refers to the first man - "Adam," or as this man-creature calls himself more properly, "enosh."

In fact, the creation of "Adam's" companion is significant in itself.

Instead, we find that He took a rib from the man and made the woman from it. This is very significant. From what we now know about genetics, we can understand what God did: Although it sounds frightening to say it, the plain fact is, God cloned another "adam" from the rib. Because the new "adam" was made from the first adam's DNA, she was genetically identical to him in every way. (Was Eve also called Adam? In Genesis 1:27, the Hebrew tells us that "adam" was made both male and female. Genesis 5:1-2 tells us the same thing, and that their name was called "adam." When God made this new person, the Hebrew text of Gen. 2:23 tells us that Adam called her "inshah," which is simply the feminine form of enosh. It means "woman."

In fact, the name which is bestowed upon the woman is merely a statement that she is the mother of all humanity - Chavah, or Eve.

In all honesty, it is more likely that "Adam" and "Eve" had no true sexual knowledge until they gained their mortality by eating of the Forbidden Fruit. They were just created, and very likely were curious about the things around them and each other. The "differences" between these two people were bound to show up, but they likely had no idea how to use these "differences" until after the Fall.

---

Certain words for certain phrases, events, people, or emotions are ultimately lost in translation. For instance, there are multiple Hebrew words for "know." Take the example of Sodom and Gomorrah.

This WILL sound ridiculous, but the verse in Genesis (forgive my paraphrasing) basically says, "Let us get to know your visitors." The exact verse is found in Genesis 19. Now some Christians, take this to mean "Let us have sex with your lovely male friends."

However, note that there are MULTIPLE words for "know" in Hebrew - yada happens to be one of them, and is in fact the one used in the said verse.

A form of yada is used here and hundreds of other times in scripture. Only about ten of those times refer to sex, and in each case, the sexual meaning is clear by the context. (Example: Adam knew his wife and she conceived.) To try to make this word mean sex everywhere will get us in a lot of trouble, because the scripture tells us that God knew David, and uses a form of this word.

Like I said, it sounds ridiculous, but transference of that meaning upon other usages of the word(s) for "know" shows how equally ridiculous such a translation of the verse would appear.

As for a better historical reference,

www.apostolicrestorationmission.4t.com...

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Leviticus 18:22 states: "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination." The term abomination (to'ebah) is a religious term, usually reserved for use against idolatry; it does not mean a moral evil. The verse seems to refer to temple prostitution, which was a common practice in the rest of the Middle East at that time. Qadesh referred to male religious prostitutes.

Leviticus 20:13 states: "If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be put to death....". The passage is surrounded by prohibitions against incest, bestiality, adultery and intercourse during a woman's period. But this verse is the only one in the series which uses the religious term abomination; it seems also to be directed against temple prostitution. (whosoever.org)

Now, I have heard PLENTY of counterarguments talking about how tattoos, eating shellfish, eating rare (the cooking state) meat, sowing fields with multiple varieties of seed, and so forth. I've even read the letter to Dr. Laura Schlessinger that has circulated over the internet. However, these statements aren't the point of my argument here. It is the verses' being used alone that is wrong in this case. The whole of Leviticus concerns the Jewish Holiness Code, a code which, though the basis of Christian moral canon, is basically null and void. See the Acts of the Apostles (10:1 - 11:18, 15:1-21).

As to lying with another man as with a woman ... now there's a bit of a problem here. It is likely that the prohibition thou shall not lie with a male as with a woman came about for one of the following reasons:
> Only sexual acts which could lead to procreation were valued as the tribes needed to grow in numbers in order to survive.
> Male homosexual sex may have been connected in the Hebrew mind with idolatry. Notice that Lev. 18:2 deals with idolatry. In fact many of the prohibitions in the Holiness Code were probably connected with idolatrous practices, see 19:26-29.
> Women were second class citizens in the Hebrew culture and were generally treated as property. If a man was penetrated in sexual intercourse he was being treated like a woman and so was degraded in the Hebrew mind. The offense was not that this was a homosexual act, the offense was that a MAN was treated like a WOMAN. If this line of thinking is correct it would serve to explain why there is no prohibition against female homosexual acts in the Old Testament. Women could not be degraded by such an act as they were already not held in high esteem. there is a theory that the Hebrew people believed in a perfect order of creation and anything that violated that order was considered unclean or an abomination. A probable example would be that fish were considered the perfect sea animal, hence anything in the sea that did not have scales and fins was unclean. (Lev. 11:9-10) Cattle were the perfect cud chewing animal, hence anything that chewed cud, but didn't have hooves was unclean. (Lev. 11:6). If this theory is correct then the prohibition against male sex acts would be violating the role of the perfect ideal human: man. It would seem to mix the sex role of the imperfect woman with the ideal role of the man.

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Deuteronomy 23:17 states (in the King James Version) "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel . This is an "error" by the authors of the KJV. The word qadesh in the original text was mistranslated as sodomite. Quadesh means "holy one" and is here used to refer to a man who engages in ritual prostitution in the temple. There is little evidence that the prostitutes engaged in sexual activities with men. Other Bible translations use accurate terms such as shrine prostitute, temple prostitute, prostitute and cult prostitute.[ www.religioustolerance.org... ]

In this passage, the actual word that is being translated is "qadesh" which means "holy one" or "someone set apart for a holy purpose." In this case the word is referring to people who commit ritual acts of prostitution in order to honor their deity. The clearest translation of this concept would simply be "temple or ritual prostitute". For example, Deuteronomy 23:17 should be translated thusly: "There shall be no ritual prostitute of the daughters of Israel, or a ritual prostitute of the sons of Israel". Any translation which translates qadesh as pervert or sodomite is blatantly mistranslating. An example which shows this clearly is found in the New King James version which translates qadesh in its male form as 'perverted one' but translates qadesh in its female form as 'ritual harlot', both should be 'ritual harlot or prostitute!' [ members.cox.net... ]

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St. Paul's letter to the Romans, specifically chapter 1, verses 26 and 27.

Now, according to the King James Version (one of the first "modern" translations), the verses read as follows:

(26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

However, this is a MAJOR mistranslation from the Greek. The following is a straight-from-Greek translation:

(26) For this cause God gave them up unto disgraceful passions: for their women exchanged the instinctive use (sexual intercourse) into that which is contrary to native disposition. (27) And likewise also the men, laying aside their instinctive use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

These verses, in a somewhat clearer translation, does not mention "true homosexuality," much less condemn it. Excuse me - when I mention "true homosexuality," I am really pointing out Paul's phrase "native disposition." The apostle to the Gentiles is stating that it is a sin to go against the nature (in this case, sexual) that God instilled upon us. In truth, it was of the Roman heterosexuals that Paul spoke. The sort of behavior which Paul is concerned with is similar to the 19th century Boston marriages - which two heterosexual women are "married" - only the difference in the former is more carnal than social.

The bottom line is, God created each of us with a sexual orientation. To attempt to change it is, in effect, telling God that He created us wrong. The creation (us) does not have the right to "re-create" itself.

Some may think it unlikely that heterosexuals in the first century would force themselves to engage in homosexual relations simply because society expected them to. And yet, today, in many parts of the world, homosexuals are forcing themselves to engage in heterosexual relations for the very same reason: Society expects it. But if it was wrong for heterosexuals in the first century to tamper with their sexual orientation, then it is equally wrong for homosexuals today to tamper with theirs. (Lighthouse Ministries)

It must be remembered also that Paul was referring to homosexual ACTS, not homosexuals. AND NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HOMOSEXUAL ACTS PAUL WAS TALKING ABOUT... NO ONE KNOWS THE BACKGROUND... We must ask ourselves "what type of homosexual acts was Paul talking about?" Was he talking exclusively about homosexual acts connected with idolatry? (Perhaps that was the only kind of homosexual activity he was familiar with.) Was he talking about pederasty? Was he talking about homosexual acts committed with slaves? Was he talking about people of heterosexual orientation committing homosexual acts? Just exactly what type of homosexual acts was he concerned with? Do people have the Right to just ASSUME that these verses were a blanket condemnation of homosexual sex in every context? (Whosoever)

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1 Corinthians 6:9 -- "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor soft ones, nor those who have sex with men."

Please pay attention. Why "soft ones" are separate from "those who have sex with men" is a very simple explanation. THEY AREN'T THE SAME THING!!!

"Soft ones" refer to those of who really don't give a rat's ###### for other people - in other words, the rich who'd rather bathe in acid than give money to charity with full sincerity or don't do what Jesus Christ spelled out in Matthew 25 - the parable of the Goats and the Sheep, to be specific. If you have a Christian Bible on you, read it.

For the rest of you who aren't familiar with what I'm saying, The King of Heaven (God) spelled out that whatever we do to others "lower" than us, we do to the King. This would include visiting the sick, welcoming the visitor, giving food and drink to those in need, and doing acts of kindness in total sincerity.

As for "those who have sex with men," no one is really sure WHAT group Paul is directing this towards, but many scholars are very sure that it refers SOLELY to sexual relations outside of marriage, heterosexual or not.

It is amazing the number of times that you will see the word "sodomite" or "homosexual" or "pervert" in different translations concerning this text. It is amazing because no one knows exactly what the words of the original text mean! The layperson, unfortunately, has no way of knowing that interpreters are guessing as to the exact meaning of these words. Pastors and laypersons often have to rely upon the authority of those who have written lexicons (dictionaries explaining the meaning of words) of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic words. The authors of scriptural lexicons search for the meaning of the word within the scriptures themselves and also go outside of scripture and research literature written around the same time the scriptures were written. If the interpreter is already prejudiced against homosexuality they can translate these words as condemning homosexual sex even based upon little usage of that word in the Scriptures and little if any contemporaneous usage of that word.

The truth is that the word some translators "transform" into "sodomite/homosexual/pervert" in I Corinthians 6:9-10 is actually TWO words. Some translators combine them because they "think" they go together but they DO NOT KNOW. This uncertainty is reflected in the fact that other translators keep the words separate and translate them "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind".

The two words in the original Greek are "malakoi" and "arsenokoitai". Malakoi is a very common Greek word. It literally means "soft". It is used in Matthew 11:7-18 and Luke 7:24-25 in reference to soft clothing. Scholars have to look at material outside of the Bible in order to try and figure out just what this means. The early church Fathers used the word to mean someone who was "weak" or "soft" in their morals and from the time of the reformation to the 20th century it was usually interpreted as masturbation. In Greek this word never is applied to gay people or homosexual acts in general. "No new textual data effected the twentieth-century change in translation of this word: only a shift in popular morality. Since few people any longer regard masturbation as the sort of activity which would preclude entrance to heaven, the condemnation has simply been transferred to a group still so widely despised that their exclusion does not trouble translators or theologians." (See Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, John Boswell, University of Chicago Press, 1980, page 105-107). (Whosoever)

There were a number of Greek words to describe homosexual sex acts and the two words "malakois" and "arsenokoitai" do not appear among them (on "arsenokoitai" see Boswell, pp 345-346.) [members.cox.net...]


Argument

Biblical translations and interpretations do indeed happen. However, a COMMON and VERY DANGEROUS "sin" of interpretation, as coined by Peter J. Gomes, is that of culturism - the worship of the culture, in which the Bible is FORCED to conform to the norms of the prevailing culture (Gomes p. 36, emphasis added)

Gomes points out that a prevailing theme in the Old Testament is the intolerance of, in the words of the said author, cultic idolatry, which we take to represent in part a moral impatience and a desire to possess as one's very own the word and works of God (38 ).

Culturism ... is the notion ... that we read scripture not only in the light of our own culture but as a means of defining and defending that very culture over and against which scripture by its very nature is meant to stand. In other words, scripture is invariably used to support the status quo, no matter what the status quo, and despite the revolutionary origins and implications of scripture itself. (47)

In basic and unfortunate truth, "followers" of culturism use scripture to justify current conditions and events - of what has been, is, and "should" be. The danger of culturistic reading of the Bible is the great temptations ... to use it as the moral sanction for our own culture (48 ).

Culturists do not worship God, nor do they idolize the Bible; rather, they force the scripture into servitude under the master Culture - a neo-Mammon of sorts. The Bible itself had been used to support Apartheid in South Africa, a Christian country.

It should be carefully noted that the scripture used to maintain status quo will eventually destroy that same status quo and forward a new era. This can be said for the end of American slavery, the fight against Communist Russia, the Civil Rights movement, the Apartheid era, and so forth.

On to the scientific/psychological attacks.

Stating that homosexual beings are unnatural is about as asinine as the following experiment performed in the late 19th century. A scientist, whose name eludes me, had compared the cranial space of the skulls of a white person and a Negro person. To measure the volume of the Caucasian specimen's space, fine sand was used so to get an accurate measure. As for the Negro specimen, pebbles, considerably more voluminous than sand, were used, and such usage allowed for space to be in between these pebbles, as opposed to the usage of sand.

The results?

The scientist concluded that Negro peoples have smaller cranial spaces than Caucasians, and thus were naturally inferior to whites.

The same is applied to homosexuals, but not by usage of skulls.

Reasons for the unnatural existence and behavior are numerous, but in a good deal of "research," homosexual behavior is deemed "unnatural" due to its non-procreative nature.

Please do note, readers, that this is NOT a scientific statement, but rather is rooted in a theological statement.

By St. Augustine of Hippo, a former Manichaean, and other Church Fathers.

Now, going back to Gomes' work, he points out that when it comes down to cases, homosexuality is not about the Bible or texts. It's all about the sex. (Gomes p. 166) However, the early Christians were raised under the notion that the primary function of sex was procreation. However, when the writers of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) commanded the human race to multiply, the writers meant that from "Adam's" descendents would the Messiah spring out from. Any child could be the Messiah, in this logic, and thus any wasting of the seed - masturbation, coitus interruptus, and "homosexual" activity - was considered sinful.

Mind you, St. Paul did not pick up this notion and run with it. Rather, he preached celibacy, given that he believed that the Christ would return within the era of the Apostles - why make more kids when the end times are near?

The emphasis on procreation was made by the Church Fathers, who, seeing that the end of the world was not yet at hand and that the church needed to be replenished, grudgingly gave the mandate of sex for procreation. ... they, like Paul, held celibacy to be a higher vocation than marriage ... by keen observation [of the pagan pleasures of sex] ... they wished to separate "Christian sex" from "pagan sex" by imposing a strictly moral purpose on it.(168 )

It was St. Augustine of Hippo who used the theology of shame on sexual behavior. He himself, who was once a wild child, changed up the Eden story to make the disobedience sin into one of "discovery of sexual shame" (ibid), thus making sex itself the cause of the Fall. In this logic, Augustine made marriage itself a sign of weakness of the persons involved.

What the homosexual did was different, and hence the homosexual was different, and in a religious world that increasingly prized conformity in all things, but particularly sexual manners, the difference branded the homosexual a threat to the moral order, the equivalent of a heretic in the church or a traitor to the state. (169)

The Bible itself was used to enforce the moral strictures on sex; however, it was also used as evidence for the same system. A homosexual, in this belief system, was considered with masturbation and other non-procreative sexual activity to be deviant and were all the more in the state of sinful lust.

What is illogical about this argument is the source for counter arguments - what of infertile couples? Andrew Sullivan points out in the March 1996 issue of The New Republic that, "if homosexuality is an objective disorder, then what is infertility?" (Gomes p. 170)

According to Sigmund Freud, in "Letter to an American Mother" (1935, documented on page 128 of Pim Pronk's work), he stated that it is certainly no advantage to be homosexual, but neither is it anything to be ashamed of; it is not a vice, nor degeneracy, let alone a crime; and "it cannot be classified as an illness; we [psychologists and sexologists of the era] consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development." It is even stated by Freud in his "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" that "A person's final sexual attitude is not decided until puberty." It is "the result of a number of factors, not all of which are yet known; some are of a constitutional nature," but others are social in character. Freud does not deny than qualitative differences in the end products exist but "the differences between their determinants are only quantitative"(Pronk 128 ). Freud even states in these essays that humans are psychically bisexual, "as apparent in childhood" (ibid.)

It is a very interesting "coincidence" to point out that Pope John Paul II has many NON-Catholics agreeing with his stance against homosexual behavior.

However, this should be pointed out.
"Naturalness" in a moral sense depends on the prior acceptance of a normative view of man in which reproduction is regarded as the purpose of sexuality. It is this view of man, not the naturalness of it, that makes the intention to reproduce oneself a moral obligation. Now, if naturalness in a moral sense is not applicable to heterosexual because of reproduction, then the counter-notion of "unnaturalness" is not applicable to homosexuality because of non-reproduction. Therefore, the concepts "natural"/"unnatural" have no discriminating value and we cannot do anything with them in our ethical reflection. (244)

A final question of this logic of unnatural behavior.

Are we able to get beyond this notion of "procreation only" sex?

The answer is yes. In fact, the 1958 resolution of the Ninth Lambeth Conference - the decennial meeting of Anglican bishops - stated that sexual intercourse is "not by any means the ONLY language of earthly love, but it is, in its full and right use, the most revealing" (171, emphasis added). In this logic, we would be wrong to say that the only purpose of sex is a willing conception of offspring.

To conclude this section, not only is the "scientific" argument of "procreation only" heavily on the UN-scientific side, it is also a wrongful assumption to make, when God gave us the gift of love so we can share it with others and our partner.

This is not a very good closing thesis, but in short, most, if not all, homophobic arguments are essentially flawed, thanks to mistranslation, misinterpretation, and misapplication of the Scripture.


Works Cited

Peter J. Gomes. The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart. New York: HarperCollins, 1996

Pim Pronk. Against Nature? Types of Moral Argumentation regarding Homosexuality. Grand Rapids (Michigan): Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993

Lighthouse Ministries < www.apostolicrestorationmission.4t.com... >

Whosoever < www.whosoever.org... >


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Now, that post takes the Biblical homosexuality issue on a slant of mistranslation, or poor translation. Let’s face it. When things are translated from one language to another, ideas and meanings are lost. Watch Pirates of the Caribbean with Spanish subtitles and you’ll see what I mean. But aside from that tangent, there are other problems with literal infallibility of the Bible. If one were to read the Book of Revelations literally, one would be doing something comparable to shooting oneself in the foot. Also, you’ll note that modern Bibles use the word homosexual, a word not even coined until the late 1800s. Greeks did not have a word for what we call homosexuals. Finally… The story of Noah and the Ark. Passed down orally through generations, as everything until around Deuteronomy was, this story claims that everyone in the world died, with exception of Noah, his sons, and their wives. Now, if one were to rewind a bit and look at the story of the Tower of Babel, one would note that man was scattered across the earth. Historically, we know that there were humans in other places than the Middle East around the time of the flood. In fact, the flood story is the only story shared by almost every single ancient culture. The Iroquois have one, derived from an Aztec one. The Chinese have one, the Japanese, and many others. It can be guessed that through oral tradition and English translation, some things were lost. Such as the possibility that the “World” as they knew it was merely the Middle East.

At any rate, looking into the New Testament at the writings of Paul, you are not to take his words as God sent or perfect. In fact, he often mentions that things are of his own opinion, not God’s. The Holy Spirit can guide, but it can be mistranslated. Paul’s strict Jewish upbringing definitely had influence in his writings… See his passages on women.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:34 AM
link   
Misconceptions on the Bible – NOT 100% Infallible.


This first segment deals with the translations in Leviticus, specifically of the verses supposedly condemning homosexuality and others.

ty_ping and Philisophical_Paradox
Leviticus has to do with homosexuality as a general construct.
To start with: Leviticus is part of the old law, as one should know, and is non-binding to Gentiles and modern converts to Christianity, as we are given grace and the new covenant via Galatians, Acts 15, and Colossians 2 (particularly verse 14). Thus to apply this to Christian homosexuals slavishly, is quite frankly a poor use of scripture.

While we are requested to abstain from sexual immorality one must ask what is sexually immoral, since the OT doesn't distinguish between Moral and Cerimonal law we only have what Paul and Jesus say on the subject. Paul on the one hand is VERY clear when he wants to include a Levidical Law into the "Moral Christian Code" but still in his letters emphasises non judgement and Christian Liberty. Homosexuality is one of those things he was never clear on and considering in most of his letters he is writing to a group of new converts who are NOT familiar with Levidical law for him to vaugly say "Sexual Immorality" won't make them thing "Ahh Levidicus 18, RIGHT"
Sexual Immorality is not code word for Homosexual Sex.

Secondly: The Hebrew for the verse is as follows:
Quote:
Va'th zakar lo thi shakab mishkaby inshah, toeb'eh hava
וְאֶ֨ת־זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה תֹּועֵבָ֖ה הִֽוא׃


Of the verse, the two bolded words are the ones I will address in this response.

First there is zakar זָכָ֔ר,
Zakar is not a commonly used word for man. It's a complex word since it can mean a male, or to remember (in a sacred sense to record to make a memorial of)
Zakar could refer to only the first born son of a family (Since he is the one who will continue the family line) or a man of distinction (A preist either of the Jewish religion or another religion) or even specifically an old wise man.

The definition of it says:
"Zakar A Male as being he through whom the memorial of his parents is continued"
(It gives a few exceptions of this rule but thats the basic choice of the word and these exceptions refer to animals)
Basically Zakar, if being used to denote "All men" is a really strange word choice. like trying to use Chairman to refer to all men or Preist to refer to all men. All Chairmen and Preists are men, but not all men are Chairmen or Preists. This word for man is usually used to refer to someone or some men of distinction.
(It is used to refer to Adam the *First* man, occasionally it is used when for men who are circumcized ((Or will be circumcized because they will become men of distinction an example here is Gen 17:23 it says "Every Male (Zakar) among Men (enowsh)" Enowish is a more common word for man or mankind as is the word 'iysh and adam ('iysh being the MOST commonly used word for anything male))

Just to illistrate:
Iyish is used almost 100 times in referance to men in Levidicus alone, Zakar is used 18 times in levidicus It is used to refer to a perfect male animal to be used in sacrifice, To the temple priests, to first born sons, and to men who are... Sactifying their possesions? I'm not quite sure whats going on in Levidicus 27 where Zakar is used the most. (3, 5, 6 and 7 the word MAN is Zakar every other one is Iyish) Adam and Enowsh are not used.

Next there is toeb'eh תֹּועֵבָ֖ה, which is abhorrently translated as "abomination" or "Detestibel Sin."
Its usage elsewhere suggests quite clearly a closer tie with this word to ritual uncleanliness (which while being an abhorrent practice to God, is NOT a disgraceful act due to the act itself)
((Basically it's ritually unclean but not immoral, examples of other acts of Toeb'eh?
Seeing any of your family members Naked (the rest of Levidicus 18 )
Looking at or being in the presents of the statues of other Gods or taking the silver or gold of these statues for any other use. Deu 7:25
Eating Unclean food Deu 14:3
Cunsulting someone who can speak to the dead or see the future (ever read your horoscope) Deu 18:11-12
Women wearing pants and men wearing makeup (No more stage acting for you boys Orlando Bloom and Jhonny Depp are just as bad off as them Gays) Deu 22:5))

When translating into the Greek, the authors chose the word bdeglyma, which is closer to the latter, not the former's meaning. Grave sins in Hebrew were termed Zimmah, something the author did not apply to Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13.

Finally, looking at the scriptural and cultural context of the verse, a strange thing is noted. Whlie the beginning of chapter 18 certainly deals with sexual sins (incest, prostitution, adultry etc.), a change occurs in verse 21, preceding the verse in question. It references the Mesopotamian fire god, Molech, and denounces those who sacrifice children, or quite literally give their seed to this god. This is not your run-of-the-mill sex sin...but a quite specific subset of idolatry related sex sins. This vice list is enhanced by the verse following 22, relating to women's sexual concurrance with beasts (beastiality was common mainly in fertility cults). Thus, all the pieces are in place for verses 21-23 to be a new vice list completely...as vice lists in Hebrew are very carefully constructed and do not break/meander without cause. So given it addresses ritual uncleanliness with men of note/worth, it seems far more likely that the verse in question deals with a much more specific condemnation than homosexuality as a general construct. Best option? Gender transcendence in terms of Mesopotamian fertility cults, particularly the cult of Innana/Ishtar...and later on Isis in Roman times. I'd suggest reading Will Roscoe's Priests of the Goddess, as it is quite the informative article about the practice of gender transcendence in this time and how it might relate to the passage at hand. Briefly- a priest would dress up in feminine garbs, and take the guise of the goddess to whom he was devoted. Local farmers would be well aware of these priests, as they and they alone seemed to have the power to bless the crops through intercession with the goddess (like Innana/Ishtar, since she has direct access to the Wheat God). Being the intercessor, the priest would demand sexual services in exchange for the goddess' blessing on the crop. This would be idolatry to God, as it placed another being before Him and detracted from worshipping Him...in short, a ritually unclean practice not to be done, with a person of esteem in the culture...fitting the bill of the Hebrew in verse 22.
As well Jewish Law is very specific, looking into the chapter you can see how within the other sexual laws it outline that male AND female are not to partake in certain acts. Except this one which only seems to pertain to men, why would God make a law against homosexuals, but only have the law apply to men? And how could a Christian use this as blanket condement when it does not at any point refer to women?

In short, arguably does it have anything to do with a general condemnation of homosexuality as a whole, but rather a specific subset of it...though it is moot as per the taking away of the Old Law by the verses already mentioned, and non-binding resolution by one of the early Councils of Jerusalem as strictures against Gentiles and modern converts.


Now, this is an excerpt given to me by Gaian Ome9a, the original source being unknown. It’s quite long, so if you just wanna hear what I’ve got to say, find the really long line of dashes. I will probably come through at a later date and edit this in favor of a smaller, simpler post.

Quote:
To my fellow Gaians, especially those who find homosexuals and homosexuality in the wrong:

All over the Extended Discussion and Chatterbox, a wave of pro- and anti-homosexual sentiment has hit. I can understand that the moderators have had it with idiotic threads and "repeats." However, yours truly has something to say of this.

I wish to restate my theory for the error of homophobia, which is as follows:

Homophobic arguments of all sorts - including scientific and psychological - are among the fruits of religious homophobia, which in itself has been caused by, among other things, biblical mistranslation.

Allow me to clarify. This said "biblical mistranslation" is both of willful ignorance and blatant misunderstanding. The Bible and certain passages are loaded with possibilities for mistranslation.

I'd like to elucidate my statements.

1) The "evidence" used by homophobic religious zealots is, in general, a rather unfortunate mistranslation or misinterpretation.
2) There cannot be such a thing as "scientific" homophobia. Such statements reek of religious backing.

Now, I am for gay marriage and all, but that is NOT the point of my paper. If you come into my dissertation thinking that, you are completely in the wrong, my dear friend.

My being Catholic may or may not restrict room for intellectual debate with Catholic doctrine, but being human allows for me, as a human with free thought and free will, to be able to debate with his faith's theological arguments.


"Evidence" vs. Evidence


First off, THE BIBLE WAS NOT ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN ENGLISH.

In fact, the languages used in the Old and New Testament are, in respect to time written, Hebrew, Aramaic, and a dialect of Greek called "koine." Note that the Latin translation by St. Jerome was written in the time period between 300 and 550 CE (please excuse my erroneous dating of the event).

People tend to read through the Bible with prejudiced learning (in this case, "I know what it says and means" sort of thinking). However, this sort of doctrinaire prejudice (coined by someone whose name I cannot recall) is wrong in and of itself. We place our own thinking onto something that was not created by our own thinking, but another's. We place modern learning/prejudice onto previous cultures and writings, and use this "interpretation"

In this section, I'll be going through the most often cited verses of the Bible when it comes to homophobic arguments as is noted in the New American Bible. Translations are from various sources, but I will dutifully cite each quote as I can.

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Now, I need to get this out of my system, but I've heard the phrase "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" so many times that, if it were oil, Iraq wouldn't have needed to invade Kuwait in the early 1990s.

There is SUCH a great deal of illogicality in the assumption that, since the "first" couple on Earth happened to be heterosexual, so should the rest of us. That is about as erroneous as saying all Africans, Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics, and so forth are doomed to eternal damnation simply because they don't lack melanin.

Now, Rev. William H Carey encounters a major problem. Quoting:

God said that it was not good for the adam to be alone (Gen. 2:18 ) and went on to say "I will make a help meet for him." (King James Version) But what the Hebrew says here, and the manner in which God made this "help," tell us volumes about the creature He was about to present to the man. The words translated as "help meet" are E-zer k'NEG-do. The word "ezer" means "helper." But there is more to it than that. You see, Hebrew has no neuter gender; every word is either masculine or feminine. Most nouns referring to people have both a masculine form and a feminine form, like "actor" and "actress" in English. Ezer is masculine. The feminine form would be ezrah. But God didn't say He would make an ezrah. He used the masculine form, ezer. The second half of this, k'negdo, means "as opposite him," that is, as a mirror image.

In this case, "the adam" refers to the first man - "Adam," or as this man-creature calls himself more properly, "enosh."

In fact, the creation of "Adam's" companion is significant in itself.

Instead, we find that He took a rib from the man and made the woman from it. This is very significant. From what we now know about genetics, we can understand what God did: Although it sounds frightening to say it, the plain fact is, God cloned another "adam" from the rib. Because the new "adam" was made from the first adam's DNA, she was genetically identical to him in every way. (Was Eve also called Adam? In Genesis 1:27, the Hebrew tells us that "adam" was made both male and female. Genesis 5:1-2 tells us the same thing, and that their name was called "adam." When God made this new person, the Hebrew text of Gen. 2:23 tells us that Adam called her "inshah," which is simply the feminine form of enosh. It means "woman."

In fact, the name which is bestowed upon the woman is merely a statement that she is the mother of all humanity - Chavah, or Eve.

In all honesty, it is more likely that "Adam" and "Eve" had no true sexual knowledge until they gained their mortality by eating of the Forbidden Fruit. They were just created, and very likely were curious about the things around them and each other. The "differences" between these two people were bound to show up, but they likely had no idea how to use these "differences" until after the Fall.

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Certain words for certain phrases, events, people, or emotions are ultimately lost in translation. For instance, there are multiple Hebrew words for "know." Take the example of Sodom and Gomorrah.

This WILL sound ridiculous, but the verse in Genesis (forgive my paraphrasing) basically says, "Let us get to know your visitors." The exact verse is found in Genesis 19. Now some Christians, take this to mean "Let us have sex with your lovely male friends."

However, note that there are MULTIPLE words for "know" in Hebrew - yada happens to be one of them, and is in fact the one used in the said verse.

A form of yada is used here and hundreds of other times in scripture. Only about ten of those times refer to sex, and in each case, the sexual meaning is clear by the context. (Example: Adam knew his wife and she conceived.) To try to make this word mean sex everywhere will get us in a lot of trouble, because the scripture tells us that God knew David, and uses a form of this word.

Like I said, it sounds ridiculous, but transference of that meaning upon other usages of the word(s) for "know" shows how equally ridiculous such a translation of the verse would appear.

As for a better historical reference,

www.apostolicrestorationmission.4t.com...

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Leviticus 18:22 states: "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination." The term abomination (to'ebah) is a religious term, usually reserved for use against idolatry; it does not mean a moral evil. The verse seems to refer to temple prostitution, which was a common practice in the rest of the Middle East at that time. Qadesh referred to male religious prostitutes.

Leviticus 20:13 states: "If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be put to death....". The passage is surrounded by prohibitions against incest, bestiality, adultery and intercourse during a woman's period. But this verse is the only one in the series which uses the religious term abomination; it seems also to be directed against temple prostitution. (whosoever.org)

Now, I have heard PLENTY of counterarguments talking about how tattoos, eating shellfish, eating rare (the cooking state) meat, sowing fields with multiple varieties of seed, and so forth. I've even read the letter to Dr. Laura Schlessinger that has circulated over the internet. However, these statements aren't the point of my argument here. It is the verses' being used alone that is wrong in this case. The whole of Leviticus concerns the Jewish Holiness Code, a code which, though the basis of Christian moral canon, is basically null and void. See the Acts of the Apostles (10:1 - 11:18, 15:1-21).

As to lying with another man as with a woman ... now there's a bit of a problem here. It is likely that the prohibition thou shall not lie with a male as with a woman came about for one of the following reasons:
> Only sexual acts which could lead to procreation were valued as the tribes needed to grow in numbers in order to survive.
> Male homosexual sex may have been connected in the Hebrew mind with idolatry. Notice that Lev. 18:2 deals with idolatry. In fact many of the prohibitions in the Holiness Code were probably connected with idolatrous practices, see 19:26-29.
> Women were second class citizens in the Hebrew culture and were generally treated as property. If a man was penetrated in sexual intercourse he was being treated like a woman and so was degraded in the Hebrew mind. The offense was not that this was a homosexual act, the offense was that a MAN was treated like a WOMAN. If this line of thinking is correct it would serve to explain why there is no prohibition against female homosexual acts in the Old Testament. Women could not be degraded by such an act as they were already not held in high esteem. there is a theory that the Hebrew people believed in a perfect order of creation and anything that violated that order was considered unclean or an abomination. A probable example would be that fish were considered the perfect sea animal, hence anything in the sea that did not have scales and fins was unclean. (Lev. 11:9-10) Cattle were the perfect cud chewing animal, hence anything that chewed cud, but didn't have hooves was unclean. (Lev. 11:6). If this theory is correct then the prohibition against male sex acts would be violating the role of the perfect ideal human: man. It would seem to mix the sex role of the imperfect woman with the ideal role of the man.

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Deuteronomy 23:17 states (in the King James Version) "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel . This is an "error" by the authors of the KJV. The word qadesh in the original text was mistranslated as sodomite. Quadesh means "holy one" and is here used to refer to a man who engages in ritual prostitution in the temple. There is little evidence that the prostitutes engaged in sexual activities with men. Other Bible translations use accurate terms such as shrine prostitute, temple prostitute, prostitute and cult prostitute.[ www.religioustolerance.org... ]

In this passage, the actual word that is being translated is "qadesh" which means "holy one" or "someone set apart for a holy purpose." In this case the word is referring to people who commit ritual acts of prostitution in order to honor their deity. The clearest translation of this concept would simply be "temple or ritual prostitute". For example, Deuteronomy 23:17 should be translated thusly: "There shall be no ritual prostitute of the daughters of Israel, or a ritual prostitute of the sons of Israel". Any translation which translates qadesh as pervert or sodomite is blatantly mistranslating. An example which shows this clearly is found in the New King James version which translates qadesh in its male form as 'perverted one' but translates qadesh in its female form as 'ritual harlot', both should be 'ritual harlot or prostitute!' [ members.cox.net... ]

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St. Paul's letter to the Romans, specifically chapter 1, verses 26 and 27.

Now, according to the King James Version (one of the first "modern" translations), the verses read as follows:

(26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

However, this is a MAJOR mistranslation from the Greek. The following is a straight-from-Greek translation:

(26) For this cause God gave them up unto disgraceful passions: for their women exchanged the instinctive use (sexual intercourse) into that which is contrary to native disposition. (27) And likewise also the men, laying aside their instinctive use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

These verses, in a somewhat clearer translation, does not mention "true homosexuality," much less condemn it. Excuse me - when I mention "true homosexuality," I am really pointing out Paul's phrase "native disposition." The apostle to the Gentiles is stating that it is a sin to go against the nature (in this case, sexual) that God instilled upon us. In truth, it was of the Roman heterosexuals that Paul spoke. The sort of behavior which Paul is concerned with is similar to the 19th century Boston marriages - which two heterosexual women are "married" - only the difference in the former is more carnal than social.

The bottom line is, God created each of us with a sexual orientation. To attempt to change it is, in effect, telling God that He created us wrong. The creation (us) does not have the right to "re-create" itself.

Some may think it unlikely that heterosexuals in the first century would force themselves to engage in homosexual relations simply because society expected them to. And yet, today, in many parts of the world, homosexuals are forcing themselves to engage in heterosexual relations for the very same reason: Society expects it. But if it was wrong for heterosexuals in the first century to tamper with their sexual orientation, then it is equally wrong for homosexuals today to tamper with theirs. (Lighthouse Ministries)

It must be remembered also that Paul was referring to homosexual ACTS, not homosexuals. AND NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HOMOSEXUAL ACTS PAUL WAS TALKING ABOUT... NO ONE KNOWS THE BACKGROUND... We must ask ourselves "what type of homosexual acts was Paul talking about?" Was he talking exclusively about homosexual acts connected with idolatry? (Perhaps that was the only kind of homosexual activity he was familiar with.) Was he talking about pederasty? Was he talking about homosexual acts committed with slaves? Was he talking about people of heterosexual orientation committing homosexual acts? Just exactly what type of homosexual acts was he concerned with? Do people have the Right to just ASSUME that these verses were a blanket condemnation of homosexual sex in every context? (Whosoever)

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1 Corinthians 6:9 -- "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor soft ones, nor those who have sex with men."

Please pay attention. Why "soft ones" are separate from "those who have sex with men" is a very simple explanation. THEY AREN'T THE SAME THING!!!

"Soft ones" refer to those of who really don't give a rat's ###### for other people - in other words, the rich who'd rather bathe in acid than give money to charity with full sincerity or don't do what Jesus Christ spelled out in Matthew 25 - the parable of the Goats and the Sheep, to be specific. If you have a Christian Bible on you, read it.

For the rest of you who aren't familiar with what I'm saying, The King of Heaven (God) spelled out that whatever we do to others "lower" than us, we do to the King. This would include visiting the sick, welcoming the visitor, giving food and drink to those in need, and doing acts of kindness in total sincerity.

As for "those who have sex with men," no one is really sure WHAT group Paul is directing this towards, but many scholars are very sure that it refers SOLELY to sexual relations outside of marriage, heterosexual or not.

It is amazing the number of times that you will see the word "sodomite" or "homosexual" or "pervert" in different translations concerning this text. It is amazing because no one knows exactly what the words of the original text mean! The layperson, unfortunately, has no way of knowing that interpreters are guessing as to the exact meaning of these words. Pastors and laypersons often have to rely upon the authority of those who have written lexicons (dictionaries explaining the meaning of words) of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic words. The authors of scriptural lexicons search for the meaning of the word within the scriptures themselves and also go outside of scripture and research literature written around the same time the scriptures were written. If the interpreter is already prejudiced against homosexuality they can translate these words as condemning homosexual sex even based upon little usage of that word in the Scriptures and little if any contemporaneous usage of that word.

The truth is that the word some translators "transform" into "sodomite/homosexual/pervert" in I Corinthians 6:9-10 is actually TWO words. Some translators combine them because they "think" they go together but they DO NOT KNOW. This uncertainty is reflected in the fact that other translators keep the words separate and translate them "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind".

The two words in the original Greek are "malakoi" and "arsenokoitai". Malakoi is a very common Greek word. It literally means "soft". It is used in Matthew 11:7-18 and Luke 7:24-25 in reference to soft clothing. Scholars have to look at material outside of the Bible in order to try and figure out just what this means. The early church Fathers used the word to mean someone who was "weak" or "soft" in their morals and from the time of the reformation to the 20th century it was usually interpreted as masturbation. In Greek this word never is applied to gay people or homosexual acts in general. "No new textual data effected the twentieth-century change in translation of this word: only a shift in popular morality. Since few people any longer regard masturbation as the sort of activity which would preclude entrance to heaven, the condemnation has simply been transferred to a group still so widely despised that their exclusion does not trouble translators or theologians." (See Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, John Boswell, University of Chicago Press, 1980, page 105-107). (Whosoever)

There were a number of Greek words to describe homosexual sex acts and the two words "malakois" and "arsenokoitai" do not appear among them (on "arsenokoitai" see Boswell, pp 345-346.) [members.cox.net...]


Argument

Biblical translations and interpretations do indeed happen. However, a COMMON and VERY DANGEROUS "sin" of interpretation, as coined by Peter J. Gomes, is that of culturism - the worship of the culture, in which the Bible is FORCED to conform to the norms of the prevailing culture (Gomes p. 36, emphasis added)

Gomes points out that a prevailing theme in the Old Testament is the intolerance of, in the words of the said author, cultic idolatry, which we take to represent in part a moral impatience and a desire to possess as one's very own the word and works of God (38 ).

Culturism ... is the notion ... that we read scripture not only in the light of our own culture but as a means of defining and defending that very culture over and against which scripture by its very nature is meant to stand. In other words, scripture is invariably used to support the status quo, no matter what the status quo, and despite the revolutionary origins and implications of scripture itself. (47)

In basic and unfortunate truth, "followers" of culturism use scripture to justify current conditions and events - of what has been, is, and "should" be. The danger of culturistic reading of the Bible is the great temptations ... to use it as the moral sanction for our own culture (48 ).

Culturists do not worship God, nor do they idolize the Bible; rather, they force the scripture into servitude under the master Culture - a neo-Mammon of sorts. The Bible itself had been used to support Apartheid in South Africa, a Christian country.

It should be carefully noted that the scripture used to maintain status quo will eventually destroy that same status quo and forward a new era. This can be said for the end of American slavery, the fight against Communist Russia, the Civil Rights movement, the Apartheid era, and so forth.

On to the scientific/psychological attacks.

Stating that homosexual beings are unnatural is about as asinine as the following experiment performed in the late 19th century. A scientist, whose name eludes me, had compared the cranial space of the skulls of a white person and a Negro person. To measure the volume of the Caucasian specimen's space, fine sand was used so to get an accurate measure. As for the Negro specimen, pebbles, considerably more voluminous than sand, were used, and such usage allowed for space to be in between these pebbles, as opposed to the usage of sand.

The results?

The scientist concluded that Negro peoples have smaller cranial spaces than Caucasians, and thus were naturally inferior to whites.

The same is applied to homosexuals, but not by usage of skulls.

Reasons for the unnatural existence and behavior are numerous, but in a good deal of "research," homosexual behavior is deemed "unnatural" due to its non-procreative nature.

Please do note, readers, that this is NOT a scientific statement, but rather is rooted in a theological statement.

By St. Augustine of Hippo, a former Manichaean, and other Church Fathers.

Now, going back to Gomes' work, he points out that when it comes down to cases, homosexuality is not about the Bible or texts. It's all about the sex. (Gomes p. 166) However, the early Christians were raised under the notion that the primary function of sex was procreation. However, when the writers of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) commanded the human race to multiply, the writers meant that from "Adam's" descendents would the Messiah spring out from. Any child could be the Messiah, in this logic, and thus any wasting of the seed - masturbation, coitus interruptus, and "homosexual" activity - was considered sinful.

Mind you, St. Paul did not pick up this notion and run with it. Rather, he preached celibacy, given that he believed that the Christ would return within the era of the Apostles - why make more kids when the end times are near?

The emphasis on procreation was made by the Church Fathers, who, seeing that the end of the world was not yet at hand and that the church needed to be replenished, grudgingly gave the mandate of sex for procreation. ... they, like Paul, held celibacy to be a higher vocation than marriage ... by keen observation [of the pagan pleasures of sex] ... they wished to separate "Christian sex" from "pagan sex" by imposing a strictly moral purpose on it.(168 )

It was St. Augustine of Hippo who used the theology of shame on sexual behavior. He himself, who was once a wild child, changed up the Eden story to make the disobedience sin into one of "discovery of sexual shame" (ibid), thus making sex itself the cause of the Fall. In this logic, Augustine made marriage itself a sign of weakness of the persons involved.

What the homosexual did was different, and hence the homosexual was different, and in a religious world that increasingly prized conformity in all things, but particularly sexual manners, the difference branded the homosexual a threat to the moral order, the equivalent of a heretic in the church or a traitor to the state. (169)

The Bible itself was used to enforce the moral strictures on sex; however, it was also used as evidence for the same system. A homosexual, in this belief system, was considered with masturbation and other non-procreative sexual activity to be deviant and were all the more in the state of sinful lust.

What is illogical about this argument is the source for counter arguments - what of infertile couples? Andrew Sullivan points out in the March 1996 issue of The New Republic that, "if homosexuality is an objective disorder, then what is infertility?" (Gomes p. 170)

According to Sigmund Freud, in "Letter to an American Mother" (1935, documented on page 128 of Pim Pronk's work), he stated that it is certainly no advantage to be homosexual, but neither is it anything to be ashamed of; it is not a vice, nor degeneracy, let alone a crime; and "it cannot be classified as an illness; we [psychologists and sexologists of the era] consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development." It is even stated by Freud in his "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" that "A person's final sexual attitude is not decided until puberty." It is "the result of a number of factors, not all of which are yet known; some are of a constitutional nature," but others are social in character. Freud does not deny than qualitative differences in the end products exist but "the differences between their determinants are only quantitative"(Pronk 128 ). Freud even states in these essays that humans are psychically bisexual, "as apparent in childhood" (ibid.)

It is a very interesting "coincidence" to point out that Pope John Paul II has many NON-Catholics agreeing with his stance against homosexual behavior.

However, this should be pointed out.
"Naturalness" in a moral sense depends on the prior acceptance of a normative view of man in which reproduction is regarded as the purpose of sexuality. It is this view of man, not the naturalness of it, that makes the intention to reproduce oneself a moral obligation. Now, if naturalness in a moral sense is not applicable to heterosexual because of reproduction, then the counter-notion of "unnaturalness" is not applicable to homosexuality because of non-reproduction. Therefore, the concepts "natural"/"unnatural" have no discriminating value and we cannot do anything with them in our ethical reflection. (244)

A final question of this logic of unnatural behavior.

Are we able to get beyond this notion of "procreation only" sex?

The answer is yes. In fact, the 1958 resolution of the Ninth Lambeth Conference - the decennial meeting of Anglican bishops - stated that sexual intercourse is "not by any means the ONLY language of earthly love, but it is, in its full and right use, the most revealing" (171, emphasis added). In this logic, we would be wrong to say that the only purpose of sex is a willing conception of offspring.

To conclude this section, not only is the "scientific" argument of "procreation only" heavily on the UN-scientific side, it is also a wrongful assumption to make, when God gave us the gift of love so we can share it with others and our partner.

This is not a very good closing thesis, but in short, most, if not all, homophobic arguments are essentially flawed, thanks to mistranslation, misinterpretation, and misapplication of the Scripture.


Works Cited

Peter J. Gomes. The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart. New York: HarperCollins, 1996

Pim Pronk. Against Nature? Types of Moral Argumentation regarding Homosexuality. Grand Rapids (Michigan): Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993

Lighthouse Ministries < www.apostolicrestorationmission.4t.com... >

Whosoever < www.whosoever.org... >


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Now, that post takes the Biblical homosexuality issue on a slant of mistranslation, or poor translation. Let’s face it. When things are translated from one language to another, ideas and meanings are lost. Watch Pirates of the Caribbean with Spanish subtitles and you’ll see what I mean. But aside from that tangent, there are other problems with literal infallibility of the Bible. If one were to read the Book of Revelations literally, one would be doing something comparable to shooting oneself in the foot. Also, you’ll note that modern Bibles use the word homosexual, a word not even coined until the late 1800s. Greeks did not have a word for what we call homosexuals. Finally… The story of Noah and the Ark. Passed down orally through generations, as everything until around Deuteronomy was, this story claims that everyone in the world died, with exception of Noah, his sons, and their wives. Now, if one were to rewind a bit and look at the story of the Tower of Babel, one would note that man was scattered across the earth. Historically, we know that there were humans in other places than the Middle East around the time of the flood. In fact, the flood story is the only story shared by almost every single ancient culture. The Iroquois have one, derived from an Aztec one. The Chinese have one, the Japanese, and many others. It can be guessed that through oral tradition and English translation, some things were lost. Such as the possibility that the “World” as they knew it was merely the Middle East.

At any rate, looking into the New Testament at the writings of Paul, you are not to take his words as God sent or perfect. In fact, he often mentions that things are of his own opinion, not God’s. The Holy Spirit can guide, but it can be mistranslated. Paul’s strict Jewish upbringing definitely had influence in his writings… See his passages on women.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:34 AM
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Misconceptions on Catholicism: It IS A Christian Faith


As you might remember, we defined Christianity before. It is a belief in the teachings of Christ, and that Jesus is the Messiah. Though each denomination has its own beliefs on certain subjects such as baptism, Catholicism has always stood out to many Protestants. The misconceptions of Catholicism include, but are not limited to:

“They worship idols.”

“They worship Mary and the Saints.”

“They’re odd.”

Well, I was raised Catholic for 14 years. I know a thing or two about them. No, I no longer ascribe to Catholicism. I myself do not necessarily agree with some of the things they do or say, but that’s a different topic entirely. The fact of the matter is that they ARE Christian. They are the original Church, capital 'C' to show national recognition, with exception of Gnostics. Instituted by Constantine, the Catholic Church has been around for quite some time. In Peter’s time, the church was catholic, meaning universal. Note the lower case ‘c’. It got it's capital 'C' when it became a national institution. Now, sure, the Church has been corrupt, violent, and other things. Protestants have had their own share of violence and corruption, however. To the claim that they worship idols, Mary, or the Saints, I tell you that this simply isn’t true. Sure, they have statues that they kneel at. These are merely earthly portrayals of Spiritual figures. Much like Protestants kneeling at the altar. It’s only a way to help remind people to be reverent in the House of God. And when they pray to Mary and the Saints, they aren’t worshiping them. Rather, they are following a tradition from the Jews that most, myself included, believe to be unnecessary. It’s known as intercession. In Judaic times pre-Jesus, only the priests could enter the Holy of Holies. Those of the tribe of Levi. The priests would intercede for the people, bringing God their sacrifices since they were not worthy to do it themselves. The prayers to Mary and the Saints are asking for them to intercede on behalf of the person that is praying. They are asking for those closer to God and more worthy to speak to Him to go and offer their prayers to Him. That’s all.

As to the last claim of Catholicism being odd… That’s another thread entirely, which I will be writing soon. As I said, I do not agree with much of Catholicism, but it is, in fact, a Christian faith, and the first state-recognized organized one.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:35 AM
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Other Misconceptions of Christianity


This post is dedicated to the more minor misconceptions Christians have. Here are some of them.

Misconception: Jesus was born on Christmas Day.

Response: Incorrect. Historians tend to put Jesus’ birth closer to March. Christmas used to be the time of the feast day Saturnalia, a pagan holiday taken over by the Catholic Church during their stamp outs of paganism. The Catholics have so many holidays because there was a lot of paganism to stamp out. ^_^

Misconception: There were 3 magi present at Jesus’ birth.

Response: Again, this is incorrect. There were zero magi present at the birth of Christ. Christ was born in a manger, and the Bible states that, when the magi appeared, Jesus was living in a house. Historians again like to place him at approximately six years of age. The other problem with this statement is that no one knows how many magi there were. The only thing we know is that there was more than one. People tend to assume there were three due to the three gifts given.

Misconception: Mary died a virgin, and Jesus had no brothers.

Response: This is a bone I hafta pick with Catholicism, though many others believe the same thing. The thing is, Mary WAS married to Joseph. Do you think that, just because Jesus was born, they wouldn’t consummate their marriage? Jewish tradition was all about having children and consummation of marriage for two to become one before God. Those verses about the flesh becoming one are more than just references to marriage, they're references to sex. Further, Luke 8:19-21 talks of Christ's "Mother and brothers." Some may argue that the word for "brothers" there is the same word used for cousins. However, there are times in the Epistles where someone specific is called a "brother of Christ," and context would suggest they do not mean cousin or non-blood related brother.

Misconception: Some sins are more grievous than others, and some are unforgivable.

Response: This Christian myth was widely spread by the literary piece Dante's Inferno. Nice story, not so Biblical though. In the story, certain sins gained certain punishments. Fact of the matter is that all sins are created equal in the eyes of God, with exception to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This sin is the only Biblically listed unforgivable sin. While we on earth may see certain sins as worse than others, God says He will forgive ALL sins, with blasphemy exception. Therefore, since God mentions nothing in His Word of needing to do more for any one sin, it can be determined that all sins are equal. Things like the Deadly Sins and the Mortal Sins are non-Biblical Church dogma.

EDITED 7/2/09 With hopefully more to come soon.

Misconception: Christians are forbidden from dating non-believers.

Response: This false belief originates, unfortunately, from this verse:

2 Corinthians 6:14, NIV
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?


This verse does NOT deal with dating or marriage. If one reads the entire passage, one notes that there is a severely large amount of references to temples and gods.

2 Corinthians 6:15-16, NIV
What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."


This verse talks about not mixing pagan rituals with Christianity, which the Corinthians were almost certainly doing. Now, some will say that it lends itself the other way. To defend this point, I direct you here:

1 Corinthians 7:12-14, NIV
To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.


Through Christ, we can bring a non-believer we are wed to, or even dating, to him. Clearly, there isn't a ban on dating non-believers, so long as we are strong enough to not pull a Solomon.

This section of the thread will grow as I think of more misconceptions, or see them used.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little Bible School lesson. Perhaps it will at least inspire you to read the Bible for yourself, and not accept hearsay as truth. Doing that gets people like Fred Phelps into power.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:36 AM
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((Original Gaia Thread, out of respect--- www.gaiaonline.com... ))



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:42 AM
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edit on 25-6-2011 by Naptown317 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:43 AM
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reply to post by Naptown317
 


Read the thread. Your question is answered in full.

edit on 25-6-2011 by DigitalControl because: Naptown edited his post



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:45 AM
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You need help.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:46 AM
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reply to post by joyride0187
 


I do---I can't find my pants to go buy another pack of cigs >:



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:47 AM
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Flood.


Did you ever consider writing a book instead of pasting a load of text on a forum for discussion?

If you really have something to say, maybe you should employ some marketing techniques.

For starters ...... "know you target audience" and commune in a manner that will invoke the desired response.


You may find you alienate less people this way.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:47 AM
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Originally posted by joyride0187
You need help.


agreed.

over think much?



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:48 AM
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reply to post by OccamAssassin
 


I wish the original posted would have, but having been posted originally on a childish forum, it is not easy to find him to ask for publishing rights.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:49 AM
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Originally posted by DigitalControl
reply to post by joyride0187
 


I do---I can't find my pants to go buy another pack of cigs >:


hate when that happens,

bout to do that myself.



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:49 AM
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reply to post by fooks
 


Because under-thinking is the answer.

"Homosexuality is evil!"
"But...it's not. Look here..."
"Wow, you need help, you think too much"

People are being discriminated against across the entire country based on a belief that isn't even correct to their religion.
---
And I'll grab you a pack of smoked once I find my pants, I'll email them to you!
edit on 25-6-2011 by DigitalControl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:51 AM
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"Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin." Lev 18:22

“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense." Lev 18:33

"The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching." 1 Tim 1:10




posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:51 AM
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I didn't read OP but just stopped by and wanted to say, I agree with you. Homosexuality is not a sin. If you like penis, more power to you. I just take it as less competetion for us folks that like vaginas...



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 02:52 AM
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reply to post by Plan2exist18
 


Again, all answered in the thread. The Leviticus argument is the most ridiculous one, in my opinion.
And for all the TL;DR responses----you have to READ to learn things!

Just search (ctrl-F) for Leviticus if you don't want to read the whole thing...
edit on 25-6-2011 by DigitalControl because: (no reason given)




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