Scripturewiki is an Issuepedia project to document religious writings using the same analytical tools Issuepedia applies to everything else in its regular pages. It was originally on a separate wiki (scripture.issuepedia.org), but I have now moved it to a namespace within Issuepedia.
|Biblical bits about homosexuality, from here (there are probably more thorough sources, but didn't want to lose track of this one):|
IIRC most of it actually comes from Paul's various letters (Corinthians and such). The guy was a crank, and had a big problem with sex. He's really the source of most of the "sex is for procreation, pleasure is a sin" concepts in Christianity. Specifically in Romans he goes into:
Emphasis mine. This guy really had his hate-on for anything he considered wrong.
The raucous condemnations of homosexual behavior in Leviticus form part of the Mosaic law (along with admonitions against eating shellfish and wearing clothes of mixed fabrics). The New Testament makes clear that Christians do not have to follow the Mosaic law, and that salvation is not gained through doing so. (A relevant passage is Acts chapter 10). The Gospels themselves say nothing whatsoever about homosexuality, and there is no reason to suppose that Jesus wished to condemn it. Thus, both the conservative Christian view (of homosexuality as a sin) and the liberal Christian view (of homosexuality as acceptable) are scripturally sustainable.
On the other hand, core concepts, such as the divinity of Jesus and the Resurrection, are central to the identity of Christianity. (I won't go into the Trinity here, since Mormons and JWs, inter alia, would dispute that, and they're as Christian as anyone else. The nature of the triune God is not something which the Bible makes very clear.)
Thus, liberal Christianity is not a matter of "picking and choosing" which bits to believe. Rather, the core doctrine - Jesus dying for the sins of humanity - is common to all Christians, while other parts are negotiable and open to interpretation.
|and later on the same page:|
Ultimately, most of the commandments which seem pointless or barbaric today - condemnation of homosexuality, circumcision, detailed dietary laws, needlessly harsh punishments - are contained within the 613 mitzvot (commandments) of the Torah, and constitute the Mosaic law. Bear in mind, these commands were laid down for a primitive Bronze Age tribal society in a generally brutal age; if you compare them to other Near Eastern legal codes of the period, they don't come out too badly. Orthodox Jews today still try to live by these laws (as well as the commands of the Talmud and rabbinic tradition), hence why they do many things which appear strange in the context of mainstream society.
But it is specifically made clear to Christians in the New Testament that they do not have to follow the Mosaic law, because the "old covenant" (based on obedience to the law) is replaced with the "new covenant" (based on faith in Jesus). Thus, ignoring the commands about homosexuality - or shellfish, or circumcision, or wearing mixed fabrics - is not simply a matter of convenience for Christians in modern society. It is actually scripturally justifiable.