The Bible and Homosexuality
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
We had a class for adults this weekend (10/19 and 10/20) entitled, “What the Bible says about Homosexuality.” Here are ten highlights:
There are 6 passages in the Bible which are purported to be about homosexuality. That is not much in a book with more than 31,000 verses. By way of comparison there are hundreds of references to killing, murder, refugees and divorce. There are 70 references to the color purple. There are 12 references to giants and sea monsters. The Bible doesn’t say much about homosexual activities.
Genesis 19 (Sodom & Gomorrah) is about extreme violence (gang rape). The gender of the intended victims does not matter.
Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) was written for a community of refugees living thousands of years ago half-way around the world about a temple and its religious ceremonies, offerings and sacrifices. It was not written for us, here and now. (Read chapters 1-17 and see for yourself.) The issues described in chapters 18 and 20 are about ‘clean’ versus ‘unclean.’ Jesus said we’re not doing ‘clean and unclean’ anymore!
The passages in 1 Corinthians (6:9ff) and 1 Timothy (1:8ff) use 2 words that no one knows exactly how to translate. One of the words literally means “soft.” The other word seems to have been invented by Paul. Smart money says the 1 Corinthians passage is about pederasty (sexual abuse of children). Smart money says the passage in 1 Timothy is about pagan worship practices (idolatry).
The passage is Romans (1:26-27) is part of Paul’s build up to chapter 2:1ff, ‘You’re all sinners so stop judging each other.’ Paul goes on to remind them that ‘we’re not doing that clean and unclean business anymore.’
So... the Bible says nothing about loving monogamous relationships between two consenting adults of the same gender. Nothing.
There are no references to homosexuality anywhere near the 10 Commandments (Exodus and Deuteronomy).
There are no references to homosexuality by Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
The Bible is, however, very clear on love, hospitality, not judging, forgiving, inclusion, humility and grace.
This is a good book if you want to explore the issue more fully: What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality by Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D., Alamo Square Press, New Mexico, © 2000.
I would be glad to visit about any this over a cup of coffee.
PS – You can read more about our proposed Welcome Statement here: https://www.stjamesjohnston.org/post/all-are-welcome
Copyright © 2019 Pastor Bill Bernau. All rights reserved.