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    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,167, Reputation: 174
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    #1

    Sep 19, 2016, 10:21 AM
    The Gay Christian
    Here's my question: if you are anti-LGBT, what are your biblical justifications for it? What are the "clobber passages" that you use, and why?

    On the other side: if you're pro-equality, how do you deal with those "clobber passages"? How do you read them?

    Open season. I'd like to hear from as many viewpoints as possible.
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    #2

    Sep 19, 2016, 01:50 PM
    Christianity is generally not "anti-gay" but teaches against extra-marital sexual relations. I am Catholic, and in order for sexual relations to be considered acceptable in my faith, the doctrine of the church teaches that such relations must be both for the purposes of bringing the two people together in unity, and must also be open to procreation (so no birth control is to be used, though avoiding sex during fertile times is permitted), and must be within the context of marriage between one man and one woman. Because the church defines marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman, and sex is only to take place between married couples, gay couples would not qualify for marriage, and as they are not married, would be taught not to have sex. The church does not condemn people for being gay in their sexual orientation, but teaches not to have sex if one is gay. This is the same reasoning for priests having to remain chaste. They are required to remain celibate in the Roman Catholic rite, which means "unmarried", and given they are not married, they are taught that they do not meet the requirements for having sexual relations.

    So that's the teaching and reasoning of the church. It is based upon the natural law - or how things work in nature - which is that one man and one woman can create a baby naturally, and then ideally should remain together to raise that child as a family. Adoption is permitted - even encouraged and until recent years, the church offered adoption services. People may marry in the church even if they know they are infertile if they otherwise meet the church criteria for marriage. However, one has to be physically able to consummate a marriage, so impotence would be a disqualifying factor (nobody checks, but if they report they are permanently impotent, the church cannot marry the couple).

    So then we look at what people actually think of all of this. Most Catholics do not fully honor the church rules on sex. Many have premarital sex. Many gay Catholics have sex. Many people divorce and remarry (outside of the church) without getting their first marriages annulled. Nobody polices these things. There is no punishment - it's largely self-regulated. But devout Catholics honor the teachings, and most Catholics honor them to some degree. Even among the priesthood, chastity is a lot to ask and a great many are imperfect and have sexual relations whether straight or gay.

    I personally think the church teaching should not change because it remains the ideal scenario that marriage remain for the purpose of forming a traditional family. That said, I am divorced with an adopted child, so I did not myself have the ideal Catholic family structure. Nothing in my family is considered unacceptable though. My marriage was annulled, my son was baptized in the church. I can remarry if I so desire in the future even though I am both unable to have children generally and too old to do so in any event.

    Some consider Catholicism oppressive but nobody is forced to join the church, and even within the church, the priests don't monitor people or come to their homes or otherwise pay much attention to personal choices. The most they might do if they learned a person was living in a sinful manner would be to refuse to offer that person communion (the host and wine served at mass) but the person would still be welcome to attend mass and be a member of the church. I don't consider it oppressive at all given that everything is up to the free will of the individual Catholic.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,132, Reputation: 1307
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    #3

    Sep 19, 2016, 02:01 PM
    The bible says nothing about homosexuality as an innate part of a person's personality. Sexual orientation was not understood in biblical times - the term "homosexuality" wasn't even invented until the late 1800's, so there is no way the Bible could have addressed the topic. Yes, there are passages regarding same-sex behavior that are quite negative, but what is condemned are the acts of violence, idolatry, orgiastic behavior, and exploitation being performed, not specifically the same-gender nature of it. In a similar way there are passages where negative behavior occurs in heterosexual relationships that are just as terrible, but it would be wrong to conclude that God condemns heterosexuality because of it. There are no passages regarding homosexuals in loving, committed, and nurturing relationships. And it is also obvious that there is nothing regarding transsexuals (the "T" in "LGBT").
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,167, Reputation: 174
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    #4

    Sep 20, 2016, 07:37 AM
    Thanks for the replies so far, but I'm looking for specific comments on specific passages. Anybody got some?
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 511, Reputation: 55
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    #5

    Sep 20, 2016, 10:02 AM
    To dontknownuthin ---

    This is an excellent presentation of the position of the Catholic Church but it has nothing to do with the question.
    classyT's Avatar
    classyT Posts: 1,559, Reputation: 214
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    #6

    Sep 20, 2016, 12:48 PM
    Dave,

    First of all I really resent the "clobber passages" remark. In NO way do I run around clobbering or even judging people who are gay. I have my own issues, my own pet sins. I believe fornication is a sin, but I don't tap someone in a relationship having sex on the shoulder and tell them that. However the bible teaches it is wrong. I also believe the bible condemns the practice of homosexuality and there are several passages in the NT that leads me to this conclusion. Having said that, it is the goodness of God that leads a man to repent. The Lord Jesus died for ALL of us, and instead of condemning people we need to show them the Lord Jesus and his love and grace. My biggest complaint with Christianity is we teach from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and not from the tree of life. Show people the Lord Jesus, His love, His grace, His mercy and let God be God in their lives. We are changed by beholding the glory of the Lord Jesus NOT by beholding our sin. OK? Now, I will answer your question.

    Romans 1 18- 27 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God neither were thankful but became vain in their imagination and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lust of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodes between themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affection for even their woman did change the natural use into that which is against nature. 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.

    I know the argument, for gay people they are doing what is natural for them. But I don't believe that is what Paul is talking about. I believe he is saying that they exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural. In other words, he isn't talking about what someone naturally desires sexually but rather how our bodies our built to function naturally. On top of that, if all who have a desire for the same sex do so "naturally" then who is Paul talking about? Is he talking to people who are not aroused by their own gender but do it anyway? And how does that work for a man? If Paul was addressing only people who violated their personal sexual orientation wouldn't he also have said women burned unnaturally toward men and vise versa?

    I know my view is unpopular and outdated. I still believe it is what the bible teaches. There are other passages as well. Having said what I believe, I wouldn't clobber anyone. 1 Timothy 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of who I am the worst!
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,910, Reputation: 5430
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    #7

    Sep 20, 2016, 03:04 PM
    The verses I keep tripping over on Q&A sites are these:

    Leviticus 18:22
    "Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin." (NLT)

    Leviticus 20:13
    "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." (NLT)

    Plus Paul's famous word, arsensokoites.
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    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #8

    Sep 20, 2016, 03:47 PM
    So must Christians take all passages from the Old Testament literally? And apply them to their lives today?
    classyT's Avatar
    classyT Posts: 1,559, Reputation: 214
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    #9

    Sep 20, 2016, 04:21 PM
    NeedKarma,

    All scripture is written for our learning, but no we don't. According to the NT we are no longer under the law, Jesus fulfilled it.
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    #10

    Sep 20, 2016, 04:33 PM
    Understood. So why are people using OT verses to guide them? And then pick only a few?
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    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #11

    Sep 20, 2016, 09:21 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    To dontknownuthin ---

    This is an excellent presentation of the position of the Catholic Church but it has nothing to do with the question.
    It actually does answer the question but answers aren't always exactly what we fished for. The Catholic church began all Chritianity and the teachings are based on doctrine. Doctrine are rules, not Bible passages but beliefs based on the Bible as a whole.
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,167, Reputation: 174
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    #12

    Sep 21, 2016, 08:44 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by classyT View Post
    Dave,

    First of all I really resent the "clobber passages" remark.
    That's the common term for them in popular discussion these days. I didn't make it up.

    The question isn't what any of us believe, it's about what the text says, and what it means in its linguistic, historical, and cultural context. The Romans 1 passage is one of the famous ones, but I don't see anybody on the anti- side trying to break it down and understand it by those criteria. Simply quoting it out of its wider context doesn't prove anything, we have to wrestle with it and understand that this is a completely different culture, a lot of things we don't understand were SOP and accepted, they knew nothing of actual sexual orientation (as opposed to behavior) - again, this isn't me. This is what better experts than me say, and I really don't see anybody from the other side trying to engage the text in such depth. It leaves me wondering why.
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,167, Reputation: 174
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    #13

    Sep 21, 2016, 08:53 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    The verses I keep tripping over on Q&A sites are these:

    Leviticus 18:22
    "Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin." (NLT)

    Leviticus 20:13
    "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." (NLT)

    Plus Paul's famous word, arsensokoites.
    Yes, Leviticus says the same thing about wearing mixed fabrics - cotton/polyester blend, anyone? - and eating shellfish - no way in the world am I giving up shrimp - and boiling a goat in its mother's milk (huh? ). But we're supposed to take those two passages and no others as absolute commands for today, and not the others. Nobody has explained that to me yet.

    And Paul's famous word is one of those things that the eggheads call a hapax legomenon, which means this the only place in the whole New Testament where it's found. Even worse, it's the only place in all of Greek literature where it appears. Best I have been able to find, it's a word that Paul made up himself. And we have no idea what it means. Our translations go with "homosexuals" because that's tradition. No other reason. There is no reason to translate it that way, especially since there was no such thing in Paul's time.

    It seems to be a word that Paul created specifically to address something in Corinth. He told them what he meant by it; unfortunately, he didn't tell ​us.

    Quote Originally Posted by dontknownuthin View Post
    It actually does answer the question but answers aren't always exactly what we fished for. The Catholic church began all Chritianity and the teachings are based on doctrine. Doctrine are rules, not Bible passages but beliefs based on the Bible as a whole.
    I understand where you're coming from. The problem is that not everybody accepts the authority of Catholic Church tradition or doctrine. My goal here is to go more with the "common denominator" of the Bible that most all Christians acknowledge.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,910, Reputation: 5430
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    #14

    Sep 21, 2016, 09:05 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by dwashbur View Post
    it's a word that Paul made up himself. And we have no idea what it means. Our translations go with "homosexuals" because that's tradition.
    I read somewhere that it was first translated as "homosexuals" during the 1800s. Do you know more about that, Dave?

    Also, I found this:

    "Malakoi", (as used in 1 Cor 6:9 just prior to "arsenokoites") means literally "squishy." Linguists generally understand this word to be a form of showy effeminism; it may also indicate cowardice. Malakos is used in Matthew to describe the unnecessarily fine and showy clothing of the King. Unlike "arsenokoites," malakos is word is seen in other writers of the time, indeed as an indictment of cowardice, or sometimes vanity, or other "feminine" vices; the sexual sense of effeminate is typically referred to not by this word, but "kinaidia."

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Arsenokoites
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 511, Reputation: 55
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    #15

    Sep 21, 2016, 09:18 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by dontknownuthin View Post
    It actually does answer the question but answers aren't always exactly what we fished for. The Catholic church began all Chritianity and the teachings are based on doctrine. Doctrine are rules, not Bible passages but beliefs based on the Bible as a whole.
    If I understand your reply, you are saying that your beliefs (Catholic/Christian beliefs) are based on the Bible as a whole and NOT on Bible passages. That is all well and good but that is NOT what the poster asked.

    He asked about SPECIFIC Bible passages (“clobber” passages) that are used by supporters of LGBT and by those opposed. “How do you read them”, the poster asks. He really couldn’t have been more clear.

    Yet, you chose to disregard his question and reply in a way not asked. Better not to reply at all than to reply with a non-reply.
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    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #16

    Sep 21, 2016, 09:33 AM
    I found dontknownuthin's first post to be an interesting read. I have no problems with it.
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 511, Reputation: 55
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    #17

    Sep 21, 2016, 10:05 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by dwashbur View Post
    Best I have been able to find, it's a word that Paul made up himself. And we have no idea what it means. Our translations go with "homosexuals" because that's tradition. No other reason. There is no reason to translate it that way, especially since there was no such thing in Paul's time.
    dwashbur is being a bit disingenuous here. Certainly scholars for centuries have associated the word (a portmanteau) with homosexuality or some other form of forbidden sexual activity. It's true there is not universal agreement on what it means since Paul seems to have coined the word, but it is more than mere tradition in translation - which implies a sort of mindless copying.

    Furthermore, to say that "...there was no such thing in Paul's time" (referring to homosexuality) is misleading. Maybe the word itself is being referred to, not the activity.

    There's much more on the word and its origins at Wondergirl's link which I will link again here.

    Arsenokoites - RationalWiki

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedKarma View Post
    I found dontknownuthin's first post to be an interesting read. I have no problems with it.
    So did I. In fact, I called it an excellent presentation. Please read my previous posts in this thread.
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    #18

    Sep 21, 2016, 10:35 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Athos
    So did I. In fact, I called it an excellent presentation. Please read my previous posts in this thread.
    Well of course I read your posts :-)

    This site has so few active users that I wouldn't like to see any others run off because the discussion gets stifled. I was trying to keep things positive.
    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,167, Reputation: 174
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    #19

    Sep 21, 2016, 10:57 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    dwashbur is being a bit disingenuous here. Certainly scholars for centuries have associated the word (a portmanteau) with homosexuality or some other form of forbidden sexual activity. It's true there is not universal agreement on what it means since Paul seems to have coined the word, but it is more than mere tradition in translation - which implies a sort of mindless copying.
    Such an implication is not without precedent in the history of Bible translation. A good example in 1 Samuel 12:31. It reads, in the KJV:

    "Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads."

    Ignoring the archaic terms, our interest is in the word "file." The Hebrew word is PIM. Until recently, we had no clue what this word means. In early English translations, somebody speculated "file" and it stuck. Nobody questioned it.

    Then archaeologists found a scale weight with the word inscribed on it. So now we know that it actually means "the charge was a pim to sharpen these items." Nothing at all about a file.

    Another example: Micah 6:8. "Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." Except that "humbly" is somebody's best guess. It's yet another hapax legomenon (don't you love $10 words? Use them to dazzle your friends!) that we have to try and sort out from the context. It sort of looks somewhat vaguely similar to a word that means "humble" but not really, so somebody came up with "humbly." But the Septuagint says "be prepared to walk..." a translation that seems to fit the context much better. And since those translators were much closer to the actual time than we are, it seems to me we should consider what they came up with. So, "mindless copying" isn't too far off, when we get right down to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    Furthermore, to say that "...there was no such thing in Paul's time" (referring to homosexuality) is misleading. Maybe the word itself is being referred to, not the activity.
    What I refer to is orientation, not activity. Nobody had a clue that people are born with certain orientations. That's all. In this sense, the translation "homosexual" is anachronistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    There's much more on the word and its origins at Wondergirl's link which I will link again here.

    Arsenokoites - RationalWiki
    Agreed. It's a useful article, and serves to show how vague our understanding of the word is. Basing a doctrine on this is, as my dad used to call it, leaning on a broken reed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    So did I. In fact, I called it an excellent presentation. Please read my previous posts in this thread.
    I quite agree. dontknownuthin's post about RC doctrine was very informative, well expressed, and thoroughly respectful. I had no problem with it other than, as you mentioned, it was a touch off the topic. I would really like to see them expand on it, perhaps describing how the RCC came to its conclusions and how the powers that be at the time understood the Bible on the subject.

    Thanks, all. This is fascinating.
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    #20

    Sep 21, 2016, 08:48 PM
    Generally, over the years I have participated in AMHD, People have used some latitude to the extent that we sometimes answer a little differently than expected. As a frequent example, a woman will provide countless dates and symptoms asking how probable it is that she might be pregnant. Most of us answer with what she must do to find out if she is pregnant, and give no probability and do not attempt analysis of her symptoms, because doing so is a better Answer.

    and so with this question. The idea of "clobber passages" presumes a force, militance, and bullying pressure to toe the line which is absent from the church I was speaking of. So I presented what the actual position is. It is a better answer than to fish for some misleading alternative explanation meeting a "Clobber passage" definition.

    Any rate, I will let it go at this point.

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