Burning Questions

It seems to keep coming up recently, and both sides seem to know all the answers. Having not studied this in any detail, and owing to my impatience of wanting an answer now, I turned to a friend to ask his well-studied theological opinion on several subjects covered by biblical Old Testament, but in particular homosexuality.

At one of the Universities here recently there was a showing of a documentary, I believe, regarding Christian families with homosexual children and one reviewer caught a lot of insult for arguing that it was against the bible. What she got seems to be not so much because she disagreed, but the way in which she did so – citing about 10 passages of scripture (of which 4 mentioned sexual immorality, several referring to prostitution, only 3 mentioned homosexuality directly), and also making claims with no sources regarding how homosexual behavior leads to other things (increased AIDs chances, other STI/STD’s, other behavioral issues such as lust and violence).

My wife and I talked about it, and her question was similar to mine – yes, it says in Leviticus that homosexuality is wrong, but it also says we shouldn’t drink blood (IE, don’t get a medium/rare steak.)

For me, the jury is still out until I’ve had a chance to fully consider the passages that are referred to, however I’m still strongly leaning towards the “it’s a sin” side.

Nov 17 23:54:53 <zEkE> i have a theological question, lol
Nov 17 23:55:13 <intricatic> lol
Nov 17 23:55:14 <intricatic> ok
Nov 17 23:55:15 <intricatic> shoot
Nov 17 23:55:19 <zEkE> Leviticus.
Nov 17 23:55:24 <zEkE> and the rest of those
Nov 17 23:55:28 <intricatic> mmhmm
Nov 17 23:55:31 <zEkE> do they still apply, and why?
Nov 17 23:55:53 <intricatic> the Law still applies, because it’s a statement of God’s requirements for man (how man can reach salvation on his own)
Nov 17 23:56:57 <zEkE> because people quote it all the time as why Homosexuality is wrong, and others quote other parts that aren’t followed as why it is invalid and no longer needs to be followed
Nov 17 23:57:03 <intricatic> sacrificial and dietary laws were meant for two purposes: the sacrificial laws were to atone for any breach of the moral law, and the dietary laws were meant to keep Israel refined outside of the cultures that surrounded them – the moral law shows the external indications of sin, which the law represents (do not lie, do not kill, do not etc…)
Nov 17 23:57:27 <intricatic> when a person says they’re saved, what does that statement mean?
Nov 17 23:57:56 <intricatic> i like asking questions to answer questions, lol
Nov 17 23:58:00 <zEkE> lol
Nov 17 23:58:50 <zEkE> my answer….would be that someone has asked forgiveness and turned from their sinful ways, and continues to do so
Nov 17 23:59:20 <zEkE> I guess that in turn generates the question, of what is defined as sinful
Nov 17 23:59:25 <intricatic> that’d be a good answer – man’s inability to keep the moral law of God prevents man from finding salvation on their own, and you can also say that the entire OT is pointing definitely towards Christ
Nov 18 00:00:09 <intricatic> the sacrificial laws, even the dietary laws, point to Christ – the moral laws point to how Christ lived, the Exodus is the perfect image of the process of salvation
Nov 18 00:00:25 <zEkE> hmmmm
Nov 18 00:01:14 <intricatic> and when you talk about the Exodus, you talk about people being burned alive by the consuming fire of God, people eating poisoned pheasant that God sent them as a punishment for desiring to go back to Egypt, and other things that might not be fun to apply today
Nov 18 00:01:39 <zEkE> indeed
Nov 18 00:01:55 <intricatic> but you also talk about the Promised Land, and the manna from Heaven given to the people wandering around the desert, and the miracles performed for them
Nov 18 00:02:25 <intricatic> but the Law is the basis for salvation – we’re saved because we’re not good enough on our own to make it to the Promised Land
Nov 18 00:02:37 <intricatic> we need manna 😛
Nov 18 00:03:06 <zEkE> hmmmm
Nov 18 00:03:07 <intricatic> our bread from Heaven – Communion represents Christ’s body and Christ’s blood, which also points back to the manna from Heaven
Nov 18 00:03:14 <zEkE> ooo
Nov 18 00:03:22 <intricatic> which sustained Israel in the desert for 40 years
Nov 18 00:03:59 <intricatic> the water of life – the water drawn from the rock, the rock is Christ, the water is His blood
Nov 18 00:04:38 <zEkE> mmhmm
Nov 18 00:04:51 <intricatic> but when people say homosexuality is wrong, they’re saying much the same as the idea that stealing or murder is wrong…. it is, but it’s no worse than any other sin
Nov 18 00:05:01 <zEkE> yeah
Nov 18 00:05:11 <intricatic> and everybody sins
Nov 18 00:05:19 <intricatic> that’s why we need manna, lol
Nov 18 00:05:39 <intricatic> we’d probably die without some kind of sustenance for faith
Nov 18 00:06:00 <zEkE> the difference in many ways is whether the sinner is choosing to avoid the ‘fact’ that what they do is wrong, or if they accept it as sin, ask forgiveness and turn from it
Nov 18 00:06:04 <zEkE> to me at least
Nov 18 00:06:12 <intricatic> yeah, that’s basically it
Nov 18 00:06:26 <intricatic> but Jesus addressed the very issue when He talked about eunuchs
Nov 18 00:06:44 <intricatic> he said that some eunuchs chose to be that way, some were made that way by men, and others did so for the Kingdom of God
Nov 18 00:07:41 <intricatic> His disciples said it’d be better not to marry because of how intensely He taught about marriage, so He told them that some people don’t get married because they chose not to, others because they were castrated, and still others for God’s Kingdom
Nov 18 00:08:04 <intricatic> and that’s just as true today as it was then
Nov 18 00:09:14 <intricatic> but the sinner who choses to avoid his sin, and the one who acknowledges it and asks for forgiveness is the difference from the men who relied on the manna in the desert, and the ones who wanted pheasant
Nov 18 00:09:47 <zEkE> mmmm
Nov 18 00:10:20 <zEkE> what messed up my view (slighly at least) was when i picked up the bible in church the other day, and we opened it to a random page, and pointed to a random point on the page
Nov 18 00:10:25 <zEkE> happened to be luke 17
Nov 18 00:10:39 <zEkE> southern baptist church…KJV..
Nov 18 00:10:47 <zEkE> vs 34: I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Nov 18 00:10:49 <intricatic> lol that’s always fun
Nov 18 00:10:51 <zEkE> thought nothing of it
Nov 18 00:11:03 <zEkE> two men, they were sexist, they meant two people
Nov 18 00:11:28 <zEkE> but 35 refers to females: Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Nov 18 00:11:40 <intricatic> lol
Nov 18 00:11:50 <intricatic> that is interesting
Nov 18 00:12:03 <intricatic> i’ll have to run through the language to get a good context – i never noticed that before
Nov 18 00:12:27 <zEkE> lead me back to wondering as to whether a practicing homosexual, by King James Version no less…
Nov 18 00:12:43 <zEkE> thats mostly why i’m asking you about it, because I know you can look at it at that level
Nov 18 00:13:08 <intricatic> it might have been something about how the Jewish people lived back then – it was a lot different than it is now, but i’m not sure
Nov 18 00:13:34 <zEkE> like the ‘women must not speak in church’ and the whole covering when praying, not covering when praying etc?
Nov 18 00:14:00 <intricatic> well, that, but the Jewish people were living in the near East and it was a totally different world than what we’d be used to
Nov 18 00:14:06 <zEkE> it’s true
Nov 18 00:15:17 <intricatic> i usually take stuff like that with a grain of salt until i know more about what the Greek says, or what the specifics are – it’s pretty clear what the passage as a whole is getting at, but that is an oddity
Nov 18 00:15:29 <zEkE> yeah
Nov 18 00:16:20 <intricatic> people like to point to David and Jonathan to prove homosexuality, and that one always makes me laugh… the people in Israel weren’t afraid to have two men show eachother affection like we are in the west
Nov 18 00:16:45 <intricatic> we have this weird connotation to it because of the whole homosexual culture, lol
Nov 18 00:16:57 <zEkE> indeed! just because they kissed doesn’t mean much more beyond them being friends
Nov 18 00:17:17 <zEkE> for us it’s normal for girls to hug when greeting, doesn’t make them lesbians
Nov 18 00:17:27 <intricatic> well, it was also because Jonathan seems to have undressed in front of David LOL
Nov 18 00:17:32 <zEkE> ahahaha
Nov 18 00:18:07 <intricatic> but that was actually kind of a normal thing, to show you were following someone (like a disciple, sort of) — Elijah took off his belt and threw it at Elisha to signal he’d be the next prophet
Nov 18 00:18:19 <zEkE> hmmm
Nov 18 00:19:00 <intricatic> totally different world – you can usually figure out what’s going on from the context, but there will always be specifics that cause a double-take, lol
Nov 18 00:19:26 <zEkE> lol yeah
Nov 18 00:20:47 <intricatic> i’ll pass it by my pastor friend, he can basically speak Greek fluently, lol.. he’ll probably be able to offer some insight
Nov 18 00:22:07 <zEkE> cool
Nov 18 00:23:06 <intricatic> might be talking about servants, too – they often slept in the same room, and shared beds
Nov 18 00:23:25 <zEkE> ooo
Nov 18 00:23:43 <zEkE> further symbolism, perhaps… or maybe i’m reading too much into it
Nov 18 00:24:52 <intricatic> i dunno, it might actually be prophetic and tie into end-time prophecy, but i’m not inclined to speculate, lol
Nov 18 00:24:57 <zEkE> lol
Nov 18 00:24:59 <zEkE> fair enough
Nov 18 00:25:03 <intricatic> like: http://apocalyptician.blogtownhall.com/?tag=Lepalma%20Island
Nov 18 00:25:15 <intricatic> now that’s just off the wall
Nov 18 00:25:16 <intricatic> lol
Nov 18 00:25:34 <intricatic> “Two women grinding = earthquakes!” uuhhh…
Nov 18 00:26:29 <zEkE> lol
Nov 18 00:32:42 <intricatic> there are a lot of interesting little quirks like that in scripture – i love the OT though, lol
Nov 18 00:33:09 <zEkE> lol yeah
Nov 18 00:34:27 <zEkE> found a page on stumble the other day, that has a bunch of quick links to various stories, old and new testament
Nov 18 00:34:39 <intricatic> cool 😀
Nov 18 00:34:50 <intricatic> i usually just use biblegateway.com, lol.. i’m old fashioned
Nov 18 00:34:57 <zEkE> yeah, me too
Nov 18 00:35:03 <zEkE> it links to BGW pages
Nov 18 00:35:10 <intricatic> well, not old old fashioned, but you know what i mean – they didn’t have no biblegateway.com 20 years ago
Nov 18 00:35:16 <zEkE> lol nope
Nov 18 00:35:28 <intricatic> BGW?
Nov 18 00:35:33 <zEkE> biblegateway, sorry
Nov 18 00:35:34 <zEkE> lol
Nov 18 00:35:42 <intricatic> ohh, lol right
Nov 18 00:36:06 <intricatic> you want an interesting one, the story of Jacob is probably the only story in the entire OT that makes no sense at all, imho
Nov 18 00:36:14 <zEkE> haha yeah
Nov 18 00:36:29 <intricatic> i mean, you have this spoiled jerk who’s rude and manipulative, and he gets God’s favor? o.O
Nov 18 00:36:43 <intricatic> yeah, that makes sense…
Nov 18 00:37:07 <zEkE> and Job is the opposite…..he did everything right and loses everything
Nov 18 00:37:12 <intricatic> yeah
Nov 18 00:37:32 <intricatic> Job is one thing – God likes to test people’s faith, but Jacob is like the absolute opposite of all the characters in the OT
Nov 18 00:38:22 <zEkE> yeah
Nov 18 00:38:25 <intricatic> it’s like God was looking at Jacob and Essau and thought “Which one would baffle the most people, hmm…”
Nov 18 00:39:00 <zEkE> lol yep
Nov 18 00:39:30 <intricatic> but it does make a good picture of Grace, lol
Nov 18 00:39:53 <intricatic> “God loves you, even when you wrestle with Him demanding your birthright” O.O yikes
Nov 18 00:40:20 <zEkE> hahaha yep