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November 4, 2008

Homosexual Hermeneutics

Given the extent of discussion surrounding California’s Prop 8, I wanted to address the issue of Homosexuality and Scripture. Lucky for me, Sam already has. Take a look at his 10-part series on Homosexual Hermeneutics. I’ve linked to all ten parts here with highlighted text to help understand the topic of each. i would encourage you to comment on any of the posts as the author is very responsive and not one for “attacking” is detractors.

Homosexual Hermeneutics Have Deadly Implications (Part 1)

In the past homosexuality has been regarded as a sin and a moral evil. It has been held in disgust and any homosexual or even homosexual tendency was driven from the church. But whether the church is ready to confront homosexuality or not, homosexual issues are already impacting the church in ways it cannot deny. Can Christians then continue to ignore homosexuality in and outside of the church, simply because they find it to be distasteful?

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 2): What Is Sin?

?Sin? as a characteristic of human beings is manifested in the committing of ?sins,? individual acts of rebellion against God and against expressions of his intentions for humanity?Sin is not to be identified simply with violation of the moral standards of society, though individual sins as violations of the divine intention for human interactions, are violations of human moral standards as well. Rather, sin in its basic sense is always ultimately against God Himself rather than against mankind or any human person. (Allen C. Myers, ed., Eerdman?s Bible Dictionary, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 951)

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 3): The Imago Dei (Image of God)

Following sin, the image of God had gone through a devastating disfigurement. Before the Fall humanity was encased with the sheer image and likeness of God (The two terms, ?likeness? and ?image? are synonymous and not two separate entities. See Hoekema, 13f.). But sin has invaded all of humanity and the net result has been the perversion of the once glorious image of God.

Ultimately for the Christian, Scripture is the final arbiter on the issue of homosexuality and sin. The homosexual agenda has recently caused theological maelstroms that have affected virtually every mainline denomination.

The question then becomes whether homosexual advocated interpretations of Scripture are within the bounds of Scriptural truth, or whether they stretch the truth to dangerous tensions. The following are the major texts in Scripture that deal with the homosexuality issue.

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 4): What Does the Bible Say? Genesis 19:4-11

Genesis 19:4-11 “But before they lay down, the men of the city…”

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 5): What Does the Bible Say? Leviticus 18:22; 20:13

Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination?”

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 6): What Does the Bible Say? Romans 1:26-27

Romans 1:26-27 “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions…”

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 7): What Does the Bible Say? 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 1 Timothy 1:10

1 Corinthians 6:9 & 1 Timothy 1:10 “…Do not be deceived…” & “And immoral men and homosexuals…”

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 8): Dismissing Biblical Authority and Inerrancy

Interestingly, in spite of the nature of this debate (based on biblical evidence), homosexual theologians have taken the view that Scripture is ultimately not too critical in assuming the validity of homosexuality in the Christian Church.

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 9): The Moral-Social Controversies

Other arguments for gay acceptance come from the famed (or infamous) Kinsey Study in 1948. Kinsey concluded that at least ten percent of the American population (or approximately 25 million people) is gay. If this were true, most homosexuals would argue that something regularly practiced by so many people could not be morally wrong. But the Kinsey report was anything but objective and scientific.

Homosexual Hermeneutics (Part 10): Is Homosexuality a Sin?: A Personal Perspective, Conclusion and An Approach

I would conclude that homosexuality is a sin for two obvious reasons. First, it continues to damage an already perverted image of God by neglecting the male-female nature of the imago dei. When a man has intercourse with another man, it goes against the very ?nature? (cf. Romans 1:26-27) of God?s intended plan. But not only does homosexuality do this on a functional level, but also on the ontological level. The makeup of the Trinity is relational, the perfect relationship. When God created man in His image, ?He created him; male and female He created them? (Genesis 1:26-27). Man and woman together, in their relationship to each other, now reflects the perfect relationship of the Trinity. Thus, when there is an aberration to that relationship, like homosexuality or bestiality, there is no longer a reflection of that perfect relationship.

Second, biblical evidence clearly condemns homosexuality. Many scholars have attempted to exegete the passages to favor their position. But the end-result is either a misinterpretation of Scripture or a rejection of Scripture?s infallibility, or both. Circumvention of the passages through personal biases and forced presuppositions allows much room for contextual and exegetical mayhem. The burden of proof lies heavily with the homosexual advocates who are left with a Bible that unequivocally condemns homosexuality at all levels. The avenue of denying Scripture?s reliability, inerrancy, and validity would seem to be the only route to follow.

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3 comments

  • At 7:38 am on November 4, 2008, R. Sherman commented:

    I’m going to pop over and read the series, but it appears you distill it quite well.

    It seems to me the fundamental issue/problem is that people desperately wish to avoid calling something “sin,” because that seems so “judgmental.” Yet, once one gives ground on the existence of sin, the game is lost.

    Cheers.

  • At 8:37 am on November 4, 2008, archshrk commented:

    True. You mostly hear arguments “that its not fair” and “discriminates” but then to be fair, shouldn’t we allow pedophiles to marry children, drug users to get high, and businesses to cheat their customers?

  • At 12:43 pm on November 6, 2008, Paul commented:

    The bible withstanding, the real arguement against homosexuality is that even in the secular view, sexual activity was designed to create new life. If it was natural to engage in same same sex activity, it would cause us to be bisexual or asexual as is in other creatures in the world.

    Because same sex activities does not result in such events in the human species, it is unnatural and therefore not normal to engage in such activity.

    The underlining reasons for homosexual activity may be diverse, mental, physical or cultural but they are not norman for the human creature.

    As Christians, we call this unnatureal activity “sin” but that is not the only reson to be apposed to it. We were not designed for same sex activity, we are not to engage in it and it is unhealthy for us to attempt to involve ourselves in it.

    It is no more “normal” than is beastery, child molestation or incest. If fact it is more abnormal than these.

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