Why do we welcome and affirm those in same-sex relationships?
SHORT ANSWER: Because God loves them and the Bible does not condemn them.
A Few Myths and Simple Facts Regarding the Bible & Same-Sex Relationships
by Mark Elias
The following is not meant to present an exhaustive dissertation on same-gender relationships and the Bible. It is meant only to pique one’s interest in learning the facts. If you are one whose faith has been shaken by misrepresentation of the Scriptures, you are encouraged to do your own research. In dealing with his own religious oppressors, Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Ignorant, self-righteous religious leaders may have succeeded in placing you in spiritual and emotional turmoil; but Jesus Christ wants you to be free! It is not God’s will for you to have mental anguish about your salvation or your sexuality. He said, “I have come that they may life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). But in order to experience the abundant life that Jesus offers, we must first be willing to distinguish Jesus Christ from many of His followers. We do not stop eating in restaurants because we’ve had bad experiences in a few. Neither should we stop feasting on the life-giving Word of God because it has been put into a strange recipe and brought to the table by unfriendly servers. May God richly bless you as you continue to read on.
The Bible condemns same-gender relationships.
There is not a single condemnation of homosexuality as one’s innate sexual constitution in the Scriptures. In none of the original manuscripts of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, did the word “homosexual,” or any viable translation of the word, exist. Each and every seeming reference to homosexuality has nothing to do with same-gender attraction and love.
The Old Testament teaches that God destroyed an entire city because of homosexuality in Genesis chapter 19.
This story was about gang rape! What’s more, The “men” that all the people of Sodom wanted to gang rape were not humans, but angels! (Genesis 19:1) Furthermore, in over 40 references to Sodom in the Scriptures, not one of these makes reference to homosexuality. God inspired the Prophet Ezekiel to make clear what was the sin of Sodom. Ezekiel 16:49,50 says, “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” (NIV). If homosexuality was the reason God destroyed Sodom, this was the prophet’s perfect opportunity to declare that fact and he missed it!
In Leviticus 18:22, the Bible calls homosexuality an abomination.
The word translated “abomination,” and wrongly applied to homosexuality, is also used in reference to dietary laws which prohibited shrimp, clams, and lobster (See Leviticus 11:10,12). So the next time someone tells you that being in a loving, intimate relationship with a person of the same gender is an “abomination,” remind them that according to Old Testament Law, so is eating a bowl of clam chowder!
The New Testament condemns homosexuality.
As already pointed out, the words “homosexual” or “homosexuality” did not exist in the original Greek and Aramaic languages of the New Testament. There are four N.T. passages used against GLBT people:
Romans 1. Here, we have a very specific list of characteristics describing those in question: He describes them as those who once knew God, but who chose not to honor God as God. Instead, they worshiped material images of human beings, birds, animals, and reptiles as objects of worship rather than the One True Living God. We are told that they were filled with EVERY kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice. They were full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, gossip, slander, rudeness, haughtiness, and boastfulness. They were inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. (NRSV) These murderous, malicious people, who worshiped idols and hated God after once knowing Him, have NOTHING to do with people who have a sincere desire to love and worship the Lord Jesus Christ and who happen to be homosexual. Today, there are multitudes of homosexual people who are yearning to be a part of the Church so that they can WORSHIP the One True Living God and profess Jesus as their Savior. Anyone who can possibly equate the hateful, murderous people of Romans 1 to modern-day gay and lesbian people – ones who reach out to humanity, love and respect their parents, and who have been expelled from the church they love, just for being homosexual, is choosing to believe a lie. Like those religious leaders who scorned Jesus, they have chosen to believe lies founded on their traditions. (Mark 7:6-9)
1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, use two Greek words, malakoi and arsenokoitai. There are many good dissertations on the translations of these words, which are available in bookstores and libraries. For the purpose of this pamphlet, suffice it to say that over the centuries, malakoi has been translated and interpreted in every possible way, from “morally weak,” to the general term “pervert” to the more specific term, “sexual pervert” to the very specific term, “male prostitute,” etc, etc, etc. The Greek Interlinear Bible translates this word “voluptuous person.” In Matthew 11:8, Jesus uses this same Greek word, malakoi, in reference to soft clothing! Only since 1940 has the term been translated “homosexual,” which is a serious violation of Biblical exegesis.
The final New Testament Bible passage used against LGBT people is found in Jude verses 5-7. This passage is so ambiguous that even the ancient manuscripts differ, where some make reference to “strange flesh” (e.g. KJV, NKJV) and others do not. This reference to “strange flesh” most likely refers to humans having sex with angelic beings. (Cf. Gen. 6:2-4) The inference is that the sexual immorality and perversion that took place in Sodom and Gomorrah was deemed as such because the men attempted to have nonconsensual sex with the angelic beings who came to rescue Lot’s family. (Gen. 19:1)
A FEW MORE FACTS
FACT: No one is in the position to judge you or call you a sinner. Romans 3:23: “ALL have sinned (missed the mark) and come short of the glory of God.”
FACT: The only Biblical mandate for any person – homosexual or heterosexual – to have a relationship with God is to have faith in the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1: “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
FACT: The person who condemns you based on your sexual constitution exposes his or her ignorance of the Biblical means of salvation. Ephesians 2:8,9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Titus 3:5: “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…”
FACT: Your sexual constitution has nothing to do with salvation. Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Jesus Christ offers you freedom from religious oppression. The very first step in realizing your new freedom is to develop a personal relationship with Him. We hope you will join us in learning more about the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. We look forward to your visit!
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
- “The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart” (2002) by Peter J. Gomes
- “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality” (2000) by Daniel A. Helminiak
- “The Church and the Homosexual” (1993) by John J. McNeill
- “The New Testament and Homosexuality” (1983) by Robin Scroggs
- “The Bible and Homosexuality” (5th Edition) by Michael England
- “Freedom, Glorious Freedom” (2009) by John J. McNeill
© 1993 – 2020 by Mark Elias