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The Biblical Approach to Homosexuality. Part 1 Presented by Dr. Carl Ruby and Dr. Chris Miller. Soulforce: A Quick Review.

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The Biblical Approach to Homosexuality

Part 1

Presented by

Dr. Carl Ruby and Dr. Chris Miller


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Soulforce: A Quick Review

“ The purpose of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.”

  • Founded by Mel White

  • This is the second year for Equality Ride.

  • Initially, Soulforce positioned itself as a “Christian” organization. It has evolved into something broader than that.


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Mel White’s Eight Premises

  • Most people have not carefully researched the biblical texts used to condemn homosexuality.

  • Historically, people’s misinterpretation of the Bible has left a trail of suffering and bloodshed.

  • We must be open to new truths from scripture.

  • The Bible is a book about God, not about human sexuality.

  • We miss what key passages say about God when we debate what they say about sex.

  • The Bible is silent about sexual orientation, neither approving it or condemning it.

  • The prophets, Jesus, and other biblical authors say nothing about homosexual orientation, but they do tell us to love one another as we seek truth.

  • We must not deny homosexuals their basic civil rights. To discriminate against them is unjust and un-American.


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“There are only two ways one can neutralize the biblical witness against homosexual behavior: by gross misinterpretation or by moving away from a high view of the scriptures.”

Stanton L. Jones, Provost, Wheaton College


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“The Bible does indeed condemn homosexual acts every time they are mentioned. But many Christians are unprepared for the revisionists’ arguments for rejecting all the major biblical texts as either irrelevant or misunderstood.”

Stanton L. Jones, Provost, Wheaton College


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Framing the Discussion they are mentioned. But

  • The Bible is overwhelmingly positive about the goodness of the heterosexual union between husband and wife.

  • The oneness of the two is the best reflection of the trinitarian God.

  • This is God’s good design, first described in Genesis 1-2 and held up as the model throughout the scriptures.

    • The importance of couples in the narrative of redemption: Abraham & Sarah, Ruth & Boaz, Joseph & Mary

    • The positive teachings of Wisdom Literature about the power, delight, and goodness of husband/wife relationship and offspring (Prov. 1-9, Psalm 127, Song of Solomon)


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Framing the Discussion they are mentioned. But

Because of its importance in God’s program, it is also the focus of the attack by the enemy.

Like all other beautiful parts of God’s creation, it has suffered because of the curse and is subjected to the “twisting” of the enemy (Gen. 3).

The goal of God’s holistic program of redemption is to reclaim and support the ideal in our daily lives (Eph. 5).


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Framing the Discussion they are mentioned. But

Gen. 1-2

Eph. 5

Gen. 3


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Responding to Specific Revisionist Arguments About the Bible:Four Primary Biblical Texts

Genesis 19:1-13 & Judges 19 – the Stories of Sodom & Gibeah

Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 – lists of sexual sins

Romans 1:18-32 – Paul’s description of the destructive power of sin

I Cor. 6:9-10 & I Tim. 1:8-11 – Pauline lists of sins


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Revisionist Arguments Promoting Homosexuality Bible:

Sodom account

wasn’t about homosexuality; it was about violation of ancient rules of hospitality.

Leviticus passages

are irrelevant because the context is an ancient holiness code that also forbids wearing mixed fabrics, eating shellfish, and touching the skin of a dead pig.

New Testament passages

are irrelevant because Paul knew nothing of homosexual orientation; all that he forbad was promiscuous homosexual sex.


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What About Sodom? Bible:

Gen. 13:13 “peopleof Sodom were extremely wicked rebels against the Lord” (NET Bible)

Gen. 19 Obvious depiction of homosexual sin (v. 5-11)

19:4 Before they could lie down to sleep, all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house.They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protectionof my roof.”


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What About Sodom? Bible:

Judges 19:22-23

They were having a good time, when suddenly some men of the city, some good-for-nothings, surrounded the house and kept beating on the door. They said to the old man who owned the house, “Send out the man who came to visit you so we can have sex with him.” The man who owned the house went outside and said to them, “No, my brothers! Don’t do this wicked thing! After all, this man is a guest in my house. Don’t do such a disgraceful thing!


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What About Sodom? Bible:

Ezekiel 16:48-50 States that Sodom also sinned by being arrogant and ignoring the poor

16:49 See here – this was the iniquityof your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had majesty, abundance of food, and enjoyed carefree ease, but they did not helpthe poor and needy. 16:50 They were haughty and practiced abominable deeds before me. Therefore when I saw it I removed them.



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What About Sodom? Bible:

2 Peter 2:6-8

he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction,having appointed them to serve as an exampleto future generations of the ungodly,and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawlessmen,

Jude 7 Refers to the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah as sexual immorality and unnatural desire.

Words used to describe Sodom’s sin include wicked, vile, grievous, and disgraceful.


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Revisionist Arguments Promoting Homosexuality Bible:

Sodom account

wasn’t about homosexuality; it was about violation of ancient rules of hospitality.

Leviticus passages

are irrelevant because the context is an ancient holiness code that also forbids wearing mixed fabrics, eating shellfish, and touching the skin of a dead pig.

New Testament passages

are irrelevant because Paul knew nothing of homosexual orientation; all that he forbad was promiscuous homosexual sex.


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What About Leviticus? Bible:

The Law of Israel was a complex covenant with various purposes:

some laws were designed to make Israel culturally distinct,

while others were designed to make her morally pure.

e.g., Leviticus 18:1-19:37

The government of Israel was a theocracy in which punishments were legitimately assigned for crimes against the state (Lev 20:9-16).

While today the Church would be foolish to enforce the penalties of Israel’s law code, we can still learn what behavior is pleasing to God.


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Revisionist Arguments Promoting Homosexuality Bible:

Sodom account

wasn’t about homosexuality; it was about violation of ancient rules of hospitality.

Leviticus passages

are irrelevant because the context is an ancient holiness code that also forbids wearing mixed fabrics, eating shellfish, and touching the skin of a dead pig.

New Testament passages

are irrelevant because Paul knew nothing of homosexual orientation; all that he forbad was promiscuous homosexual sex.


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What About Romans? Bible:

  • Romans 1:21-27 Description of the life-taking effects of sin

    • When God is not revered as God, then human identity breaks down.

    • These are not three successive steps toward depravity, but

    • Three examples of how denying the Creator will lead to the corruption and brokenness of humanity.

    • God's "giving them over" is not an extra "judgment" but is God allowing sinful humans to drink in the life-taking consequences of their sin.


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What About Romans? Bible:

  • Romans 1:21-27 Description of the life-taking effects of sin

    • One description (1:21-25)

      • When God is not worshiped, people are given over to the perversion of God's role for bodies, namely sexual immorality.

    • Another description (1:26-27)

      • They are given over to same-sex relationships.

      • Women with women: lesbianism

      • Men with men: homosexuality, gay sex

    • Another description (1:28-32)

      • They are given over to vices that are destructive to human relationships, such as gossip, slander, being disobedient to parents, murder, envy, and strife.


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What about the Pauline lists? Bible:

  • I Corinthians 6:9-10 Pauline List of Wicked Sins

    • Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.


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Does the NT Ignore Homosexuality? Bible:

  • I Timothy 1:9-10 Warning about lawless people

    • Realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers – in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching.


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Malakoi Bible:

Arsenokoitai

Greek Terms

NT Translations

Definition

Homosexual partners

I Cor. 6:9

Practicing homosexuals I Cor. 6:9; I Tim. 1:10

Soft to the touch. Effeminate males who assume the passive role in a homosexual relationship.

Man-lier or Male in a bed. Describes the active partner, or literally the one who penetrates.


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The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual conduct is… Bible:

…pervasive

...absolute

…severe



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Some Concluding Thoughts Bible:

  • A high view of the scriptures leads to a clear and consistent prohibition of all homosexual acts.

  • We’ve done a pretty good job hating the sin, but we’ve failed quite badly at loving the sinners.

  • If there are 100 men in your church, there are probably 2-10 who struggle with this sin at some level.

  • If CU represented the general population, we would have 45 people who were exclusively homosexual and up to 300 who wrestle with the temptation at some level.

  • God built the early church with people who had overcome this sin.

    • People who probably redirected their orientation and married

    • People who learned to live in celibacy

  • We must treat this sin more like we treat other sins so that people in our own colleges, churches, and families can seek help.


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Some Tough Questions Bible:

  • Are people born homosexual or do they choose to be homosexual?

  • How does a person become homosexual?

  • Can a homosexual person change?

  • As Christians, can we/should we defend a homosexual’s civil rights?

  • What is the difference between defending a person’s basic civil rights and promoting or allowing their lifestyle?

  • Can we recognize that we live in a pluralistic society without embracing or condoning relativism?

  • Does our real-life commitment to biblical marriage live up to our rhetoric?


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