I came across your website when looking for articles on Edgar Cayce. I then noticed your feelings towards homosexuals and me being a homosexual took insult to that. Now you state the bible is in fact the holy word, meaning it's the word of God. God is perfect therefore, the bible is without errors or fault. Now I am not going to able to quote verse from verse, but I do know some things about the bible. In fact I went to parochial school for thirteen years. I know that in the bible there is a verse which states, man shouldn't lie with other men, that is immoral. But I also know, that in the bible the very same statements we use in heterosexual marriage today, to love one another through sickness and health until death due us part, is also, used between two women in the bible. I believe it was Ruth and someone else, if you want I could research the specific verse and names.
I also know, there is a paragraph in Samuel 2 I believe, regarding the love held between David and Saul's son Paul? I don't know the name. I do remember the verse stating, how David stripped in front of Paul, David kissing Paul and how the love David held for Paul was greater than any other love he could hold for a woman. Now you're going to probably respond to these statements by saying, it's all how we interpret what God is telling us. How nothing can be specified towards condoning homosexuality. You're also probably going to say that those acts were the acts of David and Paul not of God himself. When God made the bible, don't you think he made it so that generations could understand his underlying meaning that no matter who or what his words came into contact with, his underlying meaning would stand out bold over anything else and that no matter what corruption or falsification may have occurred throughout the time, during the creation of the printing press, in translations of verses to different languages and etc.
Don't you feel that God himself being so against homosexuality as you say, would not include promoting verses in the bible of homosexuality? And if this sin was so immoral, don't you think God would have condemned it in more than one or two verses? That considering possibly ten percent of the population of the world is homosexual and probably more due to society's prejudices. Wouldn't he have driven a stronger message than just one or two vague paragraphs condemning it? One or two paragraphs that could have been misinterpreted or mistranslated. I was wondering what you feel about those two stories?
I'm so glad you wrote; I hope I can clear up some misconceptions you might have about what the Bible actually says about homosexuality and same-sex love.
But I also know, that in the bible the very same statements we use in heterosexual marriage today, to love one another through sickness and health until death due us part, is also, used between two women in the bible. I believe it was Ruth and someone else, if you want I could research the specific verse and names.
Apparently, you've been listening at some weddings you've been to! <smile> You're right, there is a verse from the book of Ruth that is often quoted at weddings, Ruth 1:16--"But Ruth said, 'Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.'"
This is unfortunately a good example of people wrenching a great-sounding verse out of context and using it despite what it meant when Ruth said it. Probably not too many brides know that these words are the promise of a young widow to her mother-in-law! :)
But as you can see, this woman's pledge of loyalty is not the same as the "for better or for worse" wedding vows we hear at weddings. The fact that it's heard at weddings doesn't mean that Ruth and her mother-in-law had a lesbian relationship. In fact, the book is about a love story between Ruth and her future husband Boaz. (Their son was Obed, whose son was Jesse, whose son was David, which brings us to your next question.)
I also know, there is a paragraph in Samuel 2 I believe. Regarding the love held between David and Saul's son Paul? I don't know the name. I do remember the verse stating, how David stripped in front of Paul, David kissing Paul and how the love David held for Paul was greater than any other love he could hold for a woman.
Good call on the location of the Samuel 2 passage; you're very close. There are actually three passages you're thinking of here.
In 2 Samuel 1:26, David is lamenting over the death of his best friend Jonathan: "I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women." I am familiar with the assessment of this marvelous statement of inspiringly loyal friendship and love as a homosexual relationship, but the text doesn't support it. There is nothing in the stories of David and Jonathan's friendship that even hints at a homosexual relationship. But the friendships of men who have shared intense experiences can indeed be in a very different, very wonderful category than husband-wife relationships. Men who have fought together in battle, for example, often report a type of closeness with each other that some never experienced with their wives because it was a different kind of love and relationship.
In 1 Samuel 18:4, "Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt." This was not a sexual disrobing; this was Jonathan's (the king's son) way of honoring his dear friend David by giving him his royal robe, his armor, his sword, his bow and his belt to show him that he believed David to be a greater warrior than he was. He probably also knew that David had been anointed the future king of Israel, and this was his way of saying "I'm on your side, David!"
Also, in 1 Samuel 20:41, it says, "When the lad was gone, David rose from the south side and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, but David wept the more." This is a very emotional farewell scene where Jonathan is sending David away because he found out that his father, King Saul, has determined to kill him. The fact that the men kissed each other is not indicative of an erotic kiss, but the way that men greeted each other and said goodbye in that eastern culture. It is still the same way today. Surely you have seen some of the recent video footage of Middle Eastern men greeting each other by kissing on the cheeks (or sometimes an "air kiss").
If you read the story of David and Jonathan from start to finish, I think you will find that it is the story of a godly, warm friendship between two men, not a homosexual relationship. There just isn't anything there in the text to warrant such a reading.
When God made the bible, don't you think he made it so that generations could understand his underlying meaning that no matter who or what his words came into contact with, his underlying meaning would stand out bold over anything else and that no matter what corruption or falsification may have occurred throughout the time, during the creation of the printing press, in translations of verses to different languages and etc.
Well said, and yes I do believe that. However, to quote Paul Simon in "The Sound of Silence," "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." This is particularly true of the Bible, I believe. It's not that hard to figure out what God means; the Bible is not written in difficult, mystical language. When it's poetry, it's poetic, but the important doctrinal statements and commands are written in very clear terms.
Don't you feel that God himself being so against homosexuality as you say, would not include promoting verses in the bible of homosexuality.
Yes, I do, and thus the burden is on those looking for verses condoning homosexuality to find them without twisting certain words out of context. Including cultural context, such as the eastern custom of men kissing.
And if this sin was so immoral, don't you think God would have condemned it in more than one or two verses.
Well, actually, as a parent, when I told my children something was wrong, I meant it the first time. How many times does God have to say something to make it true? Just once, I would suggest.
However, He does condemn homosexual behavior in more than one or two verses:
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them' (Gen. 19:4-5).
Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable (Lev. 18:22).
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads (Lev. 20:13).
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. . . . For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. . . . Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. . . . Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 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 (Ro. 1:18-19, 21, 24, 26-27).
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral not idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9-10).
... just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)
... realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching... (1 Tim. 1:9-10)
One or two paragraphs that could have been misinterpreted or mistranslated.
I'm afraid the burden of proof would be on you to come up with the correct interpretation or translation. Hebrew and Greek are not extinct languages that make it difficult or impossible to check what the original was. The Bible is very internally consistent about homosexuality, in both Old and New Testaments. It is not God's intent, which is holy heterosexuality. Jesus Himself even said in Matthew 19:5 that going back to the creation account, God's intent was that "a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
I am familiar with the argument that the passages against homosexuality have been misinterpreted or mistranslated, but it's interesting that the proponents of this view don't have any trouble accepting "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not steal." Only the passages that they don't like. Which is why I think we should keep in mind the insight of Paul Mooris who wrote in Shadow of Sodom, "But if I were a Christian homosexual, I think this one question would disturb me most: am I trying to interpret Scripture in the light of my proclivity, or should I interpret my proclivity in the light of Scripture?"
That considering possibly ten percent of the population of the world is homosexual and probably more due to society's prejudices.
Population statistics are revealing that it's more like 2-3 percent. Alfred Kinsey's statistics are not reliable, but the 10% statistic has been repeated so often people believe it's true. I would also suggest that someone's self-identification as homosexual is not dependent on society's prejudices. No one CHOOSES to be homosexual; erotic same-sex attraction is something they discover.
I'm glad you wrote, ______. I hope this gives you some food for thought. You might not be familiar with the fact that homosexuality is a condition that can be changed. Thousands of people are now former homosexuals. For a difference perspective, may I suggest you read my article "Can Homosexuals Change?"
The Lord Jesus loves you very much, and He accepts you just as you are. But He loves us too much to leave us there. He loves to change us into who He created us to be.
Warm blessings to you,
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
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