Bible/canon/homosexuality

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Overview

This page is about how the Bible views homosexuality. It is widely believed that the Bible supports the view that God condemns homosexuality, but this is far from unambiguous.

Quotes

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision.

— Lynn Lavner

Notes

It is widely believed that "The Sin of Sodom" was homosexuality; this is not the case. Sodom's sin was actually being "arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." (Ezekiel 16:49, NIV translation)

See The Bible and homosexuality for many more points to consider.

to be investigated

Matthew 12:31 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men." would seem to indicate that regardless of how God feels about homosexuality, he's not going to hold it against you.

From here, comment #52:

I Samuel 18:1, in the Authorized King James Version, tells us that: "... the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him [David] as his own soul."

...I Samuel 18:3,4, in the Byington Translation, says that they: "pledged themselves to each other, in the love that he had for him ..." and "Jonathan stripped off the robe he had on and gave it to David..." This ritualistically represented the establishment of a love covenant relationship between the two men: What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine. From this point on there is no question about their relationship being platonic. This sharing of garments, covering the other, shows it was more than that in context of their culture.

ibid., comment #100:

1 samuel 18:1-5

  • 1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
  • 2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.
  • 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
  • 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

1 samuel 20:3-5

  • 3 And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.
  • 4 Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee.
  • 5 And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.

1 samuel 20:41-42

  • 41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.
  • 42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

Sounds as much like homosexuality as anything the Bible condemns... (and also very sweet)

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:

  • "24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
  • "25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
  • "26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
  • "27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."
  • ...
  • "32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Emphasis mine. This guy really had his hate-on for anything he considered wrong.

from here:

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.