Loveday Alexander helpfully clarifies the difference it makes when we regard homosexual practice as social phenomenon (as we tend to do nowadays) compared with seeing it as a moral issue (as is the case in the Bible).
Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
These verses are important in the debate about homosexual practices. The discussion turns, to a considerable extent, on what Paul means by ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ in this context.…
Lev 18:22 – “You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act.”
Lev 20:13 – “If a man has sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves.”
It has been argued that these texts are not relevant to homosexual practice today.…
What was the sin of the Sodomites, as recorded in Genesis 19?
Three main views have been taken.
In 1955 Sherwin Bailey published Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, in which he argued that the phrase in question refers to a desire on the part of the Sodomites to ‘get to know’ the strangers. In other words, it is to do with the issue of hospitality. This view is also taken by J.…
Some argue for homosexual relations on the basis of justice. John Stott examines this argument:
‘The justice argument runs like this: “Just as we may not discriminate between persons on account of their gender, colour, ethnicity or class, so we may not discriminate between persons on account of their sexual preference. For the God of the Bible is the God of justice, who is described as loving justice and hating injustice. Therefore the quest for justice must be a paramount obligation of the people of God.…
Ian Paul notes that, in the recent past, two responses to same-sex relationships have been prevalent:
- In the wider society, same-sex marriage has provided gay relationships with the respectability and status that many desired;
- In the UK church, questions have been asked about whether the New Testament writers understood sexuality in the way that we understand it today, and, consequently, whether their negative assessments are well-founded.
Today (Ian Paul is writing in 2019), another response has come to the fore:
- Is the teaching of Scripture (and of Paul in particular) sufficiently clear and coherent for us to be able to follow its teaching on same-sex relationships?
It just is. Martin Davie writes:
‘This is a point that is well made by the American writer Michael Brown in his book Can you be Gay and Christian? He asks the question why there are only a tiny number of biblical verses that directly address the issue of same-sex sexual relationships. His answer to this question is to draw an analogy with a book of recipes for sugar free puddings that has an introduction that explains why sugar should be avoided.…
In 2 Samuel 1:26 David laments:
I grieve over you, my brother Jonathan!
You were very dear to me.
Your love was more special to me than the love of women.
Their relationship has been introduced in 1 Samuel 18 –
18:1 When David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan and David became bound together in close friendship. Jonathan loved David as much as he did his own life. 18:2 Saul retained David on that day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house.…
Luke 7:2-3 A centurion there had a slave who was highly regarded, but who was sick and at the point of death. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave.
There are two elements in this account that have suggested to some that the person healed by Jesus was the centurion’s male lover. One concerns the word ‘pais‘, which is variously translated ‘servant’, ‘child’, or ‘boy’, and which is understood sometimes to refer to a young boy in a pederastic same-sex relationship with and older male. …
In the eyes of many, the idea that churches can take a ‘welcoming but not affirming’ attitude towards LGBT people is absurd. It inevitably leads to treating people as second class Christians, tolerated but not fully integrated into the life of the church.
The perceived absurdity is compounded by the myth that only two possibilities exist: either that of full and unconditional acceptance and affirmation, or that of rejection. Any kind of middle ground is rarely explored.…