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Discussion on Homosexuality
With Gary F. Zeolla
Going through some old emails, I come across an interesting discussion I had on homosexuality a while back. The e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My replies are in red.
I saw your email on a Christian site that also mentioned things on homosexuality and wondered if you consider all things same sex a sin, even same sex romantic love?
I specifically state that it is the homosexual behavior, as in sexual behavior, that is a sin, not the orientation. You cannot control your feelings, but you can control your actions.
>Subject: RE: HOMOSEXUALITY
At least you see the difference in being gay and acting on it.....however my question is same sex romantic love, if 2 men or 2 women in committed loving relationships of love are wrong where does the Bible talk against these same sex loving relationships?
The answer here probably can be seen in the relationship of David and Jonathan. There is no indication that they ever engaged in homosexual sex, despite homosexual claims to the contrary. And it is clear that David was not a homosexual given his lusting after Bathsheba.
However, David and Jonathan did have "love" for each other that is said to be stronger than the love for a woman. But David's love for Jonathan did not prevent him from getting married. So it was not an exclusive love.
So to answer your question, yes there can be an intense loving relationship between two men, provided there is no sexual activity and the relationship does not close either man to the possibility of a love relationship with a woman.
>Subject: RE: HOMOSEXUALITY
Actually the original Hebrew tells us there was a sexual love to David and Jonathan. In Hebrew their love is 'ahab which can mean sexual love. Put this with they hug and kiss, have love above women and use romantic words of love actually shows they were not heterosexuals. And God still went and blessed their love. Does this not make you think?
The key work here is "can." The sexual idea is a possible but very rare usage of the word. Much more often it refers to non-sexual love, such as the love of a father for his son (Gen 22:2; 25:28), of love for food (Gen 27:4,9), of romantic but non sexual love (Gen 29:19), of God's love for people (Exod 20:6), of love for wife, master, and children (Exod 21:5), of love for neighbor (Lev 19:18), of our love for God (Deut 10:12). So the use of the word in no ways proves sexual activity between David and Jonathan.
As for kissing, this was a common between men of the time (e.g., 2Sam 20:9, Gen 33:4; 45:15; Exod 18:7; 1Sam 10:1). So it was a common show of affection for someone with no sexual implications.
As such, I stand by my original comments.
>Subject: RE: HOMOSEXUALITY
But you MUST look at the rest of the story to see 'ahab DOES mean sexual love in this case. The 2 men are not related and are people. 'Ahab so can be used here already. Then there is the kiss as we know and the rest. (All
are 1 Sam) In 18;1-3 we see love several times already. And loved him as himself...their love is equal! 19;2 very fond in Hebrew means to take delight in, be pleased with and to have affection for in Strongs. 20;3 he finds favour in him which in Strongs means finds him charming, loveliness and preciousness. 20;17, more words of love. 20;41 is the same sex kiss, and 2 Sam 1;26 is the ice on the cake. Too many romantic words for 2 red blooded heterosexuals really.
Sorry, but I have to stand by what I wrote previously. The issue here is the inability to see how two people can have a deep love for each other without being sexually involved. Maybe that's a part of our culture. On TV, the movies, etc, if two people fall in love, it is just assumed they will immediately go to bed together. But that is not a Biblical attitude. Biblically, you can have intense love for someone without being sexually involved with them.
For instance, in the early Church, the Christians were often accused of being incestuous. The reason was, when the Romans saw the intense love within Christian families, such as a father's love for his daughter, they just assumed they were sexually involved. The Romans just couldn't conceive how a father could so love his daughter without being sexually involved with her.
It is this kind of non-sexual, intense love that occurred between David and Jonathan. When their love is described as "surpassing the love of women" (2Sam 1:26), it is because that kind of love is "just" romantic/ sexual whereas what David and Jonathan had was even greater.
Moreover, there is the following:
[Lev 18:22] ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
[1Ki 15:5] because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
If David had been involved in homosexual sex, it would have been a sin, and he would have been rebuked for it, as he was after his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah, but he was not.
>Subject: RE: HOMOSEXUALITY
Actually no, the old law of Leviticus said NOTHING against same sex romantic love; it said for a man to lie with another was to'evah which meant idolatry. The law only forbid male same sex acts in cults so it did not and would not have covered David and Jonathan's love at all in that way. If we can assume they did not have a romantic love we can do this on all the other biblical couples as well. What's wrong with me saying Jacob in Genesis never really had sex with any of his wives since marriage is really 1 man and 1 woman and all his sons were virgin births or just raw sex with no love? I can't, just as you can't assume David and Jonathan did not have a sexual love as 'ahab suggests they did that God blessed.
The verse I quoted was Lev 18:22. The rest of that chapter deals with sexual sins: incest, bestiality, and homosexuality. There is one verse (v. 21) that seems to be referring to a cultic ritual. However, Lev 20:8-21 repeats the same list of sexual sins: incest, bestiality, homosexuality, along with adultery. But in that passage, there is no mention of any type of cultic ritual. It is clearly sexual sins in their own right that are being condemned.
So sorry, but the Bible clearly and unambiguously condemns homosexual sex, just as it does, adultery, incest, and bestiality. This is then reinforced by the Paul in the NT. I exegete 1Cor 6:9 in depth on the Web site, so I will not repeat that here [see "Homosexuals" in 1Corinthians 6:9].
As for Jacob, he had children, so obviously he had sex. Mentioning "virgin births" is just plain silly. And we know he truly loved Rachel since he worked seven years to be with her (Gen 29:20). But as for his Leah and their handmaids, that's another issue, but also irrelevant.
I will close this discussion by saying I stand by what I have been saying all along, homosexual behavior is a sin. You can try to evade this, but the Bible is too clear on the subject.
>Subject: RE: HOMOSEXUALITY
Bu it does not matter since old law is dead to Christians anyway so even if you assume Levitical law on same sex acts (it does NOT condemn homosexuality by the way) it matters not as the old laws are gone now anyway as the New
Testament tells us clearly mostly in Acts 15. Why do you want Levitical law to stand today? It was made by Moses through God for ancient Jews who had no Messiah we do, so these old laws died on the cross, we now live in a new covenant in Jesus and not in old laws. Do you then agree we should KILL all who have male gay sex and not lesbians though?
You also state "homosexual behaviour is a sin". That's a nice muddy thought. What is homosexual behaviour? 2 gay men shopping could be homosexual behaviour, as could 2 homosexual women washing up. If you mean same sex acts then you should say so as otherwise misusing these terms; its no wonder you get a new version of the Bible. If you think arsenokotie is homosexual in 1Cor you don't know ancient Greek, who had no word for homosexual so it CAN'T be this.
By "homosexual behavior" I am referring to sexual acts, as I stated in my first email. You're just being silly again in not knowing that. And the Law against homosexual sex in the OT still stands because it is repeated in the NT. And no, I do not believe homosexuals should be executed, any more than adulterers and the other dozens of capital crimes in the OT. We no longer live in a theocracy. But the moral injunctions still stand.
As for 1Cor 6:9 and arsenokotie, as I already stated, I deal with that verse and word in detail on my site. And yes, it is referring to homosexual sex.
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments clearly teaches homosexual sex is wrong. You can keep trying to evade this, but the Scriptures are clear on the subject. You just do not want to accept it. So I see no point in continuing this discussion.
After the above six email exchanges, "Brian" continued to pester me with an email every few weeks, repeating the same claims and asking the same questions. I simply ignored his emails for the next four years. But then in one of them last year (summer of 2010) he said something like "since you're not responding to my emails, that must mean you now agree with me and see nothing wrong with homosexuality."
That email I responded to, telling him that I had already responded to his claims and questions. He didn't accept my responses, so I saw no reason to continue the discussion. That is why I had not responded to his many emails. But I did mention that I was hoping to write a book on the subject of the Bible and sex in general, including homosexuality. But due to my health situation I had no idea if or when I would get that book written.
He then responded with some snide comment that HE would never let health problems keep him from doing ministry, and that I must not really be a Christian if I was. I responded that I couldn't believe he responded in such an uncouth and uncaring manner. As such, I was now placing his email address in my "kill file" so his emails would be automatically deleted.
As it turned out, I did eventually write that book a few months later and it is now available. It is titled The Bible and Sexual Relationships Issues. It deals in depth with the subjects and verses addressed in the above discussion, along with many other sexual related subjects and verses.
Books and eBooks by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light
The above email exchange first appeared in
Darkness to Light newsletter.
It was posted on this site July 3, 2011.
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