“For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions…”

Romans 1:26-27 (New American Standard Bible):

 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing[b]indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

I’ve written about homosexuality in the church in the past, especially as it relates to Eddie Long and his evolving stance on the issue, and his subsequent non-admission admission of his own homosexual lifestyle. I’m not an expert on the subject of “gay Christianity” (my brother DL Foster over at Gay Christian Movement Watch does a masterful job of clearly, exhaustively, and soberly addressing the issue), but a friend recently sent over a video that I felt needed additional attention.

The Vision Church is the latest “affirming” church in the Metro-Atlanta area, led by Bishop O.C. Allen III.  Allen is openly gay, and he and his partner (a/k/a “The First Gentleman”…not “First Lady”, get it?) started the church in their living room – and it’s grown to “mega church” status in the last few years. Allen was recently interviewed on The Word Has Nothing To Do With It Network by Lexi (who seems to love interviewing every reprobate and theologically-challenged so-called Christian she can sink her acrylics into). I found myself at a loss for words after viewing Part 1 in it’s entirety (no need for me to find Part 2), and I ask that you review the entire episode before commenting as well:

Let me be explicitly clear: EVERY church should welcome homosexuals (and ALL other sinners) and expose them to the unadulterated Word of God in admonishing them to turn from their sins and follow Christ. NO church should alter and amend the Word of God to suite the lifestyles of parishioners, ESPECIALLY since those same lifestyles run counter to God’s Word. Here’s a reminder about the qualifications of church leadership – as expressed through God-breathed and divinely inspired scripture (my emphasis in bold):

1 Timothy 3:1-7 (New American Standard Bible):

 1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

I’ll leave you to the comment thread to get your thoughts, but please remember that there are lost and confused souls in the world who need access to the TRUE & LIVING GOD – not this malleable and contemporary heresy we see at this “church” and others.

Please pray for those who are (a) caught up in homosexuality and all other manner of sin, (b) deceived by this and other “churches” – affirming or not – who distort the Word of God, and (c) for this “bishop” and those who follow him – that their eyes be opened and they accept/turn to/return to the TRUE Gospel and Christ as their ONLY means of salvation (as the Lord wills).

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66 Responses to ““For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions…””


  1. 1 brothercork November 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Isaiah 8:20 -

    To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

    2 Timothy 4:3 -

    For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,

    • 2 Bea K. November 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      AMEN, AMEN AND AMEN!!!! GOD’S WORD IS STILL TRY NO MATTER WHAT ‘MAN’ HAS TO SAY ABOUT IT. AS THE SAYING GOES, “IF YOU DON’T STAND FOR AND WITH GOD/JESUS, YOU’LL FALL FOR ALMOST ANYTHING”.

      GOD HELP THE TO SEEK OUT THE TRUTH BEFORE OUR MESSIAH RETURNS.

  2. 3 Cathy November 24, 2011 at 6:28 am

    For me God said it and that settles it. Anything in opposition to the Lord needs prayers cause death is the fruit that they will harvest! Though hand may join in hand…..

  3. 4 Janet November 24, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Wow…so utterly disturbing, yet not at all surprising. Giving oneself titles that God would never give, elevating the man, supporting “his” work, “his” reputation, “his” finances, etc. Its an abomination according to scripture that he and his “partner in scriptural crime” are practicing sodomites/catomites. They’re blaspheming God’s word and leading the ignorant in doctrines of demons. So ,so very disturbing, but not surprising.

  4. 5 brothercork November 24, 2011 at 9:08 am

    John 16:8-9 -

    And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:

    About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me];

    In the video, they say the presence of the Holy Spirit is in their fellowship…That’s impossible…The function of the Holy Spirit is to “Convict” the world of “Sin”…

    verse 9 – “Because they do not believe in Me”…Jesus is the “Word” made flesh…the Word has not changed…culture changes, people change but the the Word of God is forever settled in Heaven…Psalm 119:89…

    This is a sign of the times….Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be”…Saints of God, don’t let this trouble you, it’s a sign of the end…the Bible says men will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived…the worst is yet to come…trust the Word and walk in Love to those without Light….

  5. 6 pierced November 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    What is this about “walking in THEIR vision”? What about God’s vision for their lives?

    The name of the church is very telling and I guess appropriate for its mission. They envision who and what they are and it is God’s job to walk them through it.

  6. 7 Bea K. November 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Also, I really wish I knew what ‘Godly and Biblical’ messages Lexi herself is trying to send to the ‘body of believers’ here? What about Christian tweens and teens who might be ‘questioning’ this and having some ‘doubts’ about their sexuality, how exactly does this help when the Lord Himself calls it an abomination??

    I don’t think that Lexi is helping matters, I think she might be winning more for the cause of satan than she realizes.

  7. 8 AT2W November 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Yes, we just wrote about this as well. Its astounding how she (Lexi) was open arms to this bishop and his church as far as questions go but nearly frowned upon and rebuked former gospel singer Tonex’. In our opinion, it was a very hypocritical interview as she has seemingly choose whom she will rebuke and whom she will not. Sad. Thanks for sharing.

  8. 9 Andrew J. Gephart November 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    It’s so lucky for me to find your blog! So great! Just one suggestion: It will be better and easier to follow if your blog can offer rrs subscription service.

  9. 10 Helen December 1, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Hello, I simply wanted to take time to make a comment and say I have really enjoyed reading your site.

  10. 11 Alex Haiken December 5, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Related: See new post — “Is There a Christian Case For Same Sex Marriage?”
    at: http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    -Alex Haiken

    • 12 speaking truth December 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      Alex,

      You’re far more theologically trained than I am – yet you will not be able to convince me that homosexuality is not a sin…just as I won’t be able to convince you that it is. You have a vested interest in affirming and espousing the former so I won’t debate it. I approved your comment because I wonder if my readers would be interested in seeing your perspective on the matter and offering their own commentary.

      • 13 Sez October 9, 2012 at 11:56 am

        This is the same arguement every other ‘educated’ Gay person says when trying to justify homosexuality…1st a scripture then THEIR interpretation of it. What they ‘think’ does not change the word of God. BTW, the New Testament (which even Jews for Jesus don’t really accept) has way more than 5 scriptures against sexual morality of EVERY king, including homosexuality.

  11. 14 Keith Tolbert December 6, 2011 at 2:01 am

    IST,

    I read Alex’ perspective(re: his blog, “Leviticus 18: What was the Abomination). Here’s my commentary . . .

    Alex,
    Your premise is wrong; “So if we refrain from ripping the passage from its context and instead read the passage in context, we begin to see that the Holiness Code of Leviticus prohibits these acts for RELIGIOUS reasons, not MORAL ones. The concern is to keep Israel distinct from their idolatrous neighbors. God’s covenant with his people required that the Israelites serve no other god but Yahweh.”
    The concern of the “Holiness code of Leviticus” as are ALL things in creation is the GLORY of GOD. The concern was NOT just to keep Israel distinct from their idolatrous neighbors (especially as they were commanded to make the vast majority of their idolatrous neighbors extinct). The concern was that their behavior would GLORIFY the true and living GOD, YAHWEH.
    Hence these abominable practices including and highlighting homosexuality detract and pervert the GLORY that all of HIS creation and its practices are supposed to render unto HIM. Be they religious or moral.
    True and Faithful Biblical exegesis begins and ends not with the historical background (as important as that is); it begins and ends with the glory of God. It is not enough to say, “it is not enough to say, ‘the Bible says’, without at the same time considering to whom the BIble says it; and under what circumstances” . . . without realize that it ALL must be read through the rubric of the GLORY of GOD!
    An Abomination is anything that contends against God’s glory and that includes a man lying with a man as a man lies with a woman. The purpose of which is to bring forth godly seed (which glorifies God) which homosexual intercourse simply is incapable of (does NOT glorify GOD).

  12. 15 Keith Tolbert December 6, 2011 at 2:03 am

    My last sentence was unclear. I meant to say, The primary purpose of sexual intercourse is to bring forth godly seed . . .

  13. 16 Alex Haiken December 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Since Keith sent these comments directly into my blog, I responded to his comments there. For those interested in seeing the exchange, you’ll find my reply to his posts in the comments section on the right side of the “home” page. (Sorry Keith, didn’t know you posted it here too!)

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  14. 17 cork742 December 9, 2011 at 1:43 am

    @Alex -

    There is only “One Absolute” in the earth we are to follow, the Absolute is “GOD” and HE is the WORD.

    Where the world gets into trouble is only taking portions of the Word. Jesus said we shall live by “Every Word” that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

    The Word of God is forever settled in Heaven.

    In order to approve or believe in gay marriage, people have to deny some of the teachings of Apostle Paul…

    Understand that Apostle Paul was moved by the Holy Spirit in his writings and therefore the Words spoken are the Words of God and the purpose of an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ is to lay the foundation of His Church.

    The error always comes after the truth. The original seed was man and woman, the error is man and man or woman and woman. The error was introduced after the fall in the Garden of Eden.

    In the Garden of Eden the Law of God was and still is, “Every Seed shall bear fruit of it’s kind”…man and man or woman and woman cannot produce a seed…

    The promise in the last days is many will not endure sound doctrine. Gay marriage is not sound doctrine…Ask Lot, his family and the Angels that came to deliver them…Amazingly, Jesus said in the last days, the world would again be in a Sodom condition, “As it was in the days of Lot”.

    Again, there is only “One Absolute” and the perfect Will of God is found within…

    There are over 34,000 denominations in the world today…in other words, you can make the Word of God say anything you want to, but on judgement day, all will be judged by “The Absolute”…our conscience bears witness to the truth….

    All things that pertain to “Life” and “Godliness” are within…2 Peter 1:3..

    Take Care……

  15. 19 Alex Haiken December 9, 2011 at 11:49 am

    @cork742,

    I fully agree with you that there is only “one absolute” in the earth we are to follow and that the Absolute is God. However, I believe you are very mistaken in your presupposition that in order to approve or believe in gay marriage, people have to deny some of the teachings of Apostle Paul. That is not true at all. Should you be interested, I actually addressed this matter in detail in the following three posts: (1) “Romans 1: What Was Paul Ranting About?” (2) “Romans 2: Paul’s Bait and Switch” and (3) “Why No One in the Biblical World Had a Word for Homosexuality.” Links to each of these posts can be found on the “Index” page of my blog, if you would like to read them. You may also especially appreciate the post: “Exegesis: Not for the Faint in Heart.”

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  16. 20 cork742 December 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Alex,
    The answer is in Genesis Chapter 1 -

    God’s Law is every seed will bring forth of it’s kind…man and man or woman and woman cannot bring forth of their kind…..therefore, the act of homosexuality is not from the original seed (God’s Word)….

  17. 21 Alex Haiken December 10, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Brothercork, in all due respect, we must be careful of what we read into Genesis that simply is not there. We cannot use the creation story to justify a personal aversion to homosexuality. To argue that the creation story privileges a heterosexual view of the relations between humankind is to make one of the weakest arguments possible: the argument from silence. The creation story is indeed about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, as critics of homosexuality like to admonish. But though heterosexuality may be the dominant form of sexuality, it does not follow from the text that it is the only form of appropriate sexuality.

    The authors of Genesis were intent on answering the question: Where do we come from? Then, as now, the only plausible answer is from the union of a man and a woman. This text celebrates God’s deliberate and equal creation of man and woman: God created both the males and the females. The creation story does not pretend to be a history of anthropology or of every social relationship. It does not mention friendship, for example, and yet we do not assume that friendship is condemned or abnormal. It does not mention the single state and yet we know that singleness is not condemned. The creation story is not a paradigm about marriage, but rather about the establishment of human society. The creation story is the basis, and not the end, of human relationship and thus to regard it as excluding everything it does not mention is to place much too great a burden on the text.

    Virtually all theologians and churches reject the notion that God created sex for procreation only. I know of no churches that teach the “lifestyle” of married couples who choose not to have children is condemned or abnormal despite the fact that the first man and woman were commanded to be fruitful and multiply. Undoubtedly, the male and female sex organs are designed to complement one another and are necessary to produce babies. But we all know sexuality means much more than reproduction.

    This insight is confirmed by the complementary account of creation provided in Genesis 2. We are told that God was strangely sympathetic to the loneliness of Adam, observing that within the universe he had so conspicuously pronounced “good” there was, nevertheless, a significant omission: “It was not good for the man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). Significantly, this was declared by God in paradise, before the Fall, and while man was still in unbroken fellowship with God. In the following verses, we’re given another account of the purpose of sexuality: not procreation this time, but companionship. In other words, a primary creation purpose of sex is inter-personal intimacy, not just procreation. Sex as a profound expression of love and mutuality is something most of us accept gratefully as a good part of God’s good world. It is a marvel, a mystery and a grace that babies can come from ecstasy, but the ecstasy does not require babies to justify it.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • 22 Sez October 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Regardless of your many degrees, not one of them change the fact you are a reprobate and should be regarded as such.

  18. 23 cork742 December 11, 2011 at 11:59 am

    @Alex,

    Alex, we can go round and round…as stated, there is “One Absolute” with over 34000 interpretations of it.

    God gave all life a “Seed” to reproduce or to replenish the earth and each seed brings forth of it’s kind.

    Bottom line – a man and a man cannot replenish nor can a woman and woman…

    The seed you have in your body is not designed for the purpose of pleasure, it’s designed to replenish….

    Have a mighty day….if you care to debate, let me say, you have won the debate……

  19. 24 cork742 December 12, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Alex, a passage from Genesis 19 – (New Living Translation)

    3 But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate. 4 But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

    6 So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”

    9 “Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.

    10 But the two angels[a] reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. 11 Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.

    There is no debate Alex, unless you have chosen like 34000 other leaders of denominations have done, to only believe what you want to believe and only live by a portion of the Word….Jesus said, “Man shall live by EVERY Word”….

    God did not judge Sodom for their error just to turn around and say, oh it’s ok today…the only thing that keeps this world from God’s judgement is GRACE.

    It is very clear by scripture God chose a man and a woman…That a man and a woman become one and the purpose from the beginning as far as sex is concerned is not for pleasure (even though there is pleasure in it) but for replenishing and multiplying…

    Look at the animal world, they don’t have sex for pleasure…they have sex to replenish…most animals once a year…why? Animals didn’t sin in the Garden, Man did…that’s where the perversion is even though the animal kingdom has been infected by man’s perversion…

    When God finished His work in the garden He said it was good….After the fall perversion was introduced to the world (the knowledge of good and evil), fornication, adultery, homosexuality, polygamy, sex with animals, masturbation…Yet Jesus said it wasn’t so from the beginning, Matthew 19..everything in the earth that is contrary to the Garden of Eden is due to the fall (original sin) and is passed to all creation (the knowledge of good and evil)….The original seed and covenant between God and Man is one man, one woman and the two become one….

    For a man to have sex with another man or a woman to have sex with another woman for pleasure? You might as well have sex with an animal….after all, we are all mammals…it’s all perversion of the original thought of God….

    That doesn’t mean God hate’s homosexuals…it’s sin, no worse than gossip. Sin is sin…man puts one sin over another.. It’s bondage and God wants to set his creation free….God is Love but God is also a judge and has given us His Word to live by (All of it)….and we will be judged by the Word, not by theories or man’s ideas about the Word…

    2 Peter 1:3 all that pertains to life and godliness are within……

  20. 25 Alex Haiken December 12, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Brothercork, this is not about who wins a debate. Rather it’s about responsibly and rightfully dividing the word of God (2 Tim 2:15). Remember exegesis is about drawing out from the text the true meaning of a Bible passage. It means getting out of the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading into it the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it. What too many do instead is what theologians refer to as “frontloading”, that is to say, they read their own personal, political or ideological beliefs back into the Bible, instead of reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying. This process of reading one’s own ideas into interpretation of the Bible is called “eisegesis”. Exegesis is reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying. Eisegesis is reading one’s own ideas or prejudices back into the Bible. If you have no idea what the text mean THEN, you are left to only guess at what it might mean for us NOW.

    Are you aware that during biblical times men (and the kings) of conquered tribes were often raped by the invading army as the ultimate symbol of defeat and humiliation. Male-to-male rape was a way for victors to accentuate the subjection of captive enemies and foes and a way of humiliating visitors and strangers. If we miss this, we not only miss what was going on in the Sodom and Gomorrah passage (Genesis 19), but we also miss the meaning in such passages as 1 Samuel 31:4 and 1 Chronicles 10:4 where Saul, gravely wounded by the Philistines, instructs his armor-bearer to “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me.”

    In Ezekiel 16 we read that the prophet declares the word of God saying that a self-righteously religious Jerusalem had not only imitated the vile deeds of the Sodomites but had become even more corrupt. And then the prophet spells out explicitly what God calls the sin of Sodom: “”As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord … this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Eze 16:48-50)

    Here we have the Bible commentating on the Bible. We can hardly get better Bible commentary than that. Here we have what the Bible says is God’s commentary on the story of Sodom and on Sodom’s sin. Note that contrary to what some Christians say, there is no mention of homosexuality in God’s commentary of Sodom’s sin.

    I would suggest you read my posts on “Why No One in the Biblical World Had a Word for Homosexuality” and “Exegesis: Not for the Faint in Heart,” both of which will shed additional light on this for you. You can find links to the posts on my “Index page.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  21. 26 djdesignz December 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Hello Alex, I pray all is well! Two things kinda got me… baffled for lack of a better term.

    1. In your exegesis of Genesis 2 you said, “The creation story is the basis, and not the end, of human relationship and thus to regard it as excluding everything it does not mention is to place much too great a burden on the text.”

    2. In your exegesis of Ezekiel 16 you said, “Here we have the Bible commentating on the Bible. We can hardly get better Bible commentary than that. Here we have what the Bible says is God’s commentary on the story of Sodom and on Sodom’s sin. Note that contrary to what some Christians say, there is no mention of homosexuality in God’s commentary of Sodom’s sin.”

    So in your exegesis of Genesis, are you saying it’s ok to include what the Bible doesn’t mention, but in your exegesis of Ezekiel, it’s ok to exclude what the Bible doesn’t mention?

    Thanks!

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  22. 27 Alex Haiken December 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    What I was saying is that we have to be careful to avoid reading things into the biblical text that simply are not there. Reading things into the text is called “eisegesis”. While we are all guilty of eisegesis to some degree because we all read the Bible with modern eyes, whatever we can do to leave our assumptions at the door before we approach the text will help to not color what we’re going to come out with. Rather, and as stated above, our starting point should always be, what did this text originally mean to the author and to the original intended audience? The Bible is vast, complex, and multi-layered. To apply it reliably we have to do our homework and we have to use our noggins.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  23. 28 cork742 December 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    The Word of God is not “Rocket Science”…

    4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them
    .”
    6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brethren, DO NOT DO SO WICKEDLY! 8 See now, I have two daughters WHO HAVE NOT KNOWN A MAN; please, let me bring them out to you, AND YOU MAY DO TO THEM AS YOU WISH; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

    1st – Lot said, “DO NOT DO SO WICKEDLY”.

    Lot told the men his daughters had never been with a man. Why would you tell someone this if all they wanted to do is talk?

    The sins of Sodom were so bad, the city was destroyed for them.

    ** THE FOLLOWING IS COPIED FROM ANOTHER SOURCE ** -

    What is a Sodomite?

    A sodomite is a person who practices sodomy–a homosexual. God’s word doesn’t use such terms as “homosexual,” “gay,” and “lesbian.” Some might argue that a sodomite is nothing more than an inhabitant of Sodom, but God uses the word “sodomite” in reference to homosexuals long after the ancient city of Sodom is destroyed (1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7).

    Isn’t it more proper to refer to sodomites as “homosexuals” and “gays?”

    No, because God refers to them as “sodomites.” “Homosexual” is a neutral technical term, while “gay” is a nice term that the sodomites have invented for themselves. Due to the constant brainwashing tactics of Hollywood and the Media, “gay” has been adapted by most everyone as the proper title for these people. To be “gay” is to be “merry” and “joyful.” To be a “sodomite” is to be wicked and sinful (Gen. 13:13). So “gay” is certainly NOT the proper title. We are warned in Isaiah 5:20 that God is very displeased with people who apply good words to evil things: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Drunkards are not “chronic alcoholics,” fornication is not “pre-marital sex,” and sodomites are not “gay.”

    How do we know for certain that sodomy is a sin?

    Because God’s word declares it to be a sin, over and over again. The very first time “Sodom” occurs in the Bible God sends us a sound warning: “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” (Gen. 13:13) In Genesis 18:20, we are told that the sin of Sodom is “very grievous.” Then in Genesis 19:4-7 we read of a case where the Sodomites seek sexual relations with a total stranger! Shortly after this incident, God destroys their entire city because He couldn’t find even ten righteous people dwelling there.

    Later, in the book of Leviticus, some very sharp warnings are given about sodomy. Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Then Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Webster defines an “abomination” as “extreme hatred” and “detestation.” That’s how God feels about sodomites.

    Hundreds of years later we read that sodomites are in the land and they are committing “abominations” (1 Kings 14:24). King Asa, a good king over Judah, did “that which was right in the eyes of the Lord” when he “took away the sodomites out of the land” (1 Kings 15:11-12). Several years later there were still some sodomites left in the land, so King Jehoshaphat, the son of King Asa, also did that which was RIGHT in the eyes of the Lord by taking the sodomites OUT of the land (1 Kings 22:43-46). We also read that King Josiah did the “right” thing when he “brake down the houses of the sodomites” (2 Kings 22:2; 23:7).

    In Isaiah 3:9, God makes reference to the boldness of the people who commit this grievous sin: “The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” Is this not a perfect description of the modern day sodomites who parade up and down the streets demanding their rights? Ezekiel 16:49 says that PRIDE is a chief sin of the sodomites. Perhaps this is why we read about “Gay Pride” parades. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

    Some say only the Old Testament speaks against sodomy but that the New Testament is silent about it. This is not true. The New Testament clearly condemns this sin. Romans 1:21-27 speaks about the sodomites. Paul says they are vain in their imaginations, they steal God’s glory, they are foolish, unclean, vile, and against nature. In II Peter 2:6, the word “ungodly” is used in connection with sodomy. Paul said in I Corinthians 6:9 that these people would not inherit the kingdom of God.

  24. 29 djdesignz December 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Hey Alex, I hear what you’re saying but, it appears that in your exegesis of Genesis 2 and Ezekiel 16 you’ve made assumptions that include and exclude somethings that the Scriptures fail to mention, and while the Bible is vast, complex and multi-layered, God is not the author of confusion. Meaning that His desire is for His children to know and understand what is Truth… And that desire is not complex, but rather simplistic!

    If through exegesis you come to the conclusion that you have to make assumptions about a particular text in general, or Genesis 2 and Ezekiel 16 in particular, couldn’t the assumptions you’ve concluded be wrong in the same sense that an individual contaminated by their own personal, political or ideological beliefs make assumptions about the text when they’re simply reading the Bible?

    Thanks!

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  25. 30 Alex Haiken December 16, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Clearly, the Word of God has both surface and depth. While we can all quote well, interpreting and understanding the Word or as the Apostle Paul said, “rightly dividing it” goes far deeper.

    For how many centuries have well-meaning Christians found “proofs” in the Bible that that the world is only 6,000 years old, that slavery is God-ordained, that women and blacks should not be allowed to vote, that interracial marriage is wrong, that women should neither preach nor wear lipstick, and on and on? The Bible verses that once footnoted these notions are all still in the Bible.

    As R. C. Sproul said,”If God speaks, he must use words to do so. Words express thoughts, commands, descriptions, and the like. The problem is that words and sentences must be interpreted if they are to be understood. It is far more than a matter of translation, for while translation gets at what God says, we are still left with the question of what God means.”

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • 31 djdesignz December 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Well Alex, after translating to get what God says, how does one understand what God means?

      Is the process of “rightly dividing” the Word through exegesis subject to the same “flaws” of interpretation that can be realized through eisegesis? If not, how then can two individuals start this process of “rightly dividing” the Word through exegesis and end up with totally opposite interpretations?

      Thanx!

      I Ain’t Nobody!

  26. 32 Alex Haiken December 16, 2011 at 5:16 am

    The above post did not “take” the two quotes of yours I included:

    “The Word of God is not “Rocket Science”…

    “God is not the author of confusion. Meaning that His desire is for His children to know and understand what is Truth… And that desire is not complex, but rather simplistic!”

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  27. 33 Alex Haiken December 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Great question! There are many reasons why people end up with totally different interpretations. I believe the biggest reason is when one starts with the question, “What does it mean?” One never arrives at truth by asking of the Bible, “What does it mean?” The reason is that’s the wrong starting point. You’re really asking, what does it mean to us today, individually?” And that’s why we end up with thousands of different answers. You can have 25 people with 25 different answers, every one of which may be wrong even though each sincerely believes their answer is the correct one. Exegesis always asks, “What DID it mean?” There’s a VAST difference in those questions as a starting points.

    Exegesis is not a perfect science. But it is a science, a gift from God, and often requires what we do our homework. It often matters in doing exegesis whether you have sufficient background to interpret a given passage. Most modern readers wouldn’t have a clue, for example, what passages involving the Canaanites were about, and neither would we, if ancient Ugarit hadn’t been recovered. Next to the Dead Sea Scrolls, “the Ras Shamra texts” (as they’re called) are considered by many to be the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century. Prior to this discovery, the only witness we had of the Canaanites, their culture, religion, way of life, etc. were the OT texts themselves.

    Exegesis will sometimes require that we look at the original languages, the theological background, the cultural background, the literary and editorial background of the passage and so forth. The purpose of all this is not to reduce the word of God to an ordinary text, but to determine the true, objective meaning of each passage, quite apart from the various traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it — and to avoid reading into the text (eisegesis) our own opinions.

    Apart from the language background, of course, we’d study historical background, theological and cultic background, the religion of the Jews in its various forms, the Greco-Roman religions and philosophies, etc. Much of the historical background has been reconstructed with far greater accuracy thanks to biblical archaeology. Of course, one aspect of the cultural background is the religious background.

    We sometimes simply do not have enough information in the Bible itself, since the authors have a much narrower focus and concern. They assume that since they are writing to the people of their own time that you/we know these things.

    It isn’t just the history per se that is important. It’s also of importance to understand the cultural interchange between Israel and her neighbors. And that study of culture is integrated to the study of the Biblical world in its various areas and time periods. Exegesis does not allow for tearing a passage from its context to replace it in another age for convenience.

    Even simply word studies can require homework. The primary dictionary definition of a word is its “denotative” meaning. But as words are used over time, they take on various additional shades of meaning, which we call “connotations”. Take the name “John” for instance. It comes from a Hebrew word meaning, denotatively, dove — and therefore with connotations of peace. But “john” in English can have other connotations too. It may mean nothing more than a toilet. Or it might mean the male partner of a prostitute who was caught by the police. And so forth. These various meanings constitute the “semantic range” of a word, and are essential for understanding crucial Bible passages.

    What we’re doing is trying to get back to basics by doing exegesis to sweep away centuries of opinions that have turned into traditions, to get back to what the Bible actually meant. We must be a discerning people. We cannot afford to be naïve and simply follow ideas and teachings for the sake of tradition. We must be aware that our fears of upsetting the status quo can equally lead to self-deception. “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment,” Jesus commanded (John 7:24).

    We cannot assume the ancient people to whom the Bible was written were just like us. In some ways they were, and in some ways their thinking was so foreign to us that the gulf is almost impassable. Can you begin to grasp why exegesis I say exegesis is not for the fainthearted?

    To have someone simply read a passage, ignore every one of the component I described above and imply the word of God is nothing more than “rather simplistic” is an insult to the author. It is respectful of God’s gift to us to go after the author’s intentions and meanings before arriving at our own.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • 34 djdesignz December 17, 2011 at 1:38 am

      What I really find interesting is this pervasive idea that it’s almost impossible to interpret Scripture without “adequate” training, linguistic and historical knowledge as if these alone ensure a “correct” interpretation of Scripture. Yet time and again we see how the “learned” in Scripture, scholars who understood the times, dialects and history of their period, have missed the mark in their interpretation or understanding of “what did/does it mean?” We see that in choosing His Disciples, Jesus didn’t choose many “learned” or the “best of the best” scholars, but instead chose the unlearned and common men as Disciples.

      Now I’m not against the scholarly, although my comments may not be interpreted as such, but we are challenged and commanded to be (scholarly) students of the Word.

      What I am against, is this haughty notion that I know that I know what I know and I understand that I know what I know because I put the time and effort in to know! I’ve studied Greek, Hebrew and ancient periodic history. The knowledge I’ve gained from what I’ve studied, I’m now showing myself approved by correct exegesis of the Holy Manuscripts and as such, there is NO was that my right dividing of the Divine Scriptures would end in a misinterpretation or misrepresentation of the Word of God… Amen! This is the pervading attitude in Christendom which is un-biblical and is rather… irritating.

      As a father wanting my children to understand life, would I make that information incomprehensible or would I make Truth accessible? Because I love my children, I make Truth accessible! Now how my children respond and what they do with the Truth, depends upon how believable I am and how much they want it.

      Our Heavenly Father’s desire is that we receive His Truth! His Word is not this incomprehensible manuscript in which Truth is ONLY accessible to the scholarly. But through His Spirit, He desires to reveal His intentions and His meanings in His Word to us, so that we don’t have to arrive at our own. For the greatest enemy of the Truth is truth!

      The true insult to the Author is when we trust more in what we know, because of what WE’VE invested to attain it, than we do in the One who warns us that knowledge puffs us up. Then we use this knowledge as a means to validate, affirm and justify ourselves, while at the same time dismissing thoughts and viewpoints of the “unlearned” because they are beneath us… Pharisees and Sadducees!

      Father forgive us.

      I Ain’t Nobody!

  28. 35 Alex Haiken December 17, 2011 at 11:49 am

    You used some powerful words and made some serious accusations. Your inference that I said or implied “that it’s almost impossible to interpret Scripture without adequate training, linguistic and historical knowledge” and/or that “these alone ensure a correct interpretation of Scripture” is not only misled, it is a gross misrepresentation of I did say.

    Fact is I’ve known “learned” men and women with all kinds of degrees and training who don’t know very much at all. And conversely, I’ve known people with no degrees or formal training who are among those whose walks with the Savior and whose wisdom I have the utmost respect for. So please do not attach such off-putting comments to me.

    What I DID say is that the Bible contains both surface and depth. And sometimes to get at the depth in the Bible we need to do our homework. Case in point: as a result of the many archeological discoveries of the 20th century, our ability to do sound exegesis has increased exponentially. In fact, today we know MORE about the Bible than any previous time in history, including even in later biblical times. To presume that Christians who take advantage of these valuable insights to better inform our reading and understanding of Scripture are “haughty” is not very nice.

    Yes, Jesus indeed did choose “unlearned and common men” to use your own phrase. But let’s be reminded that even these closest to him, who walked intimately with, sat with, and learned directly from the Master for the three years of his public ministry and witnessed the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies before their very eyes did not always comprehend what was taking place. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus and they had to be instructed about the significance of Jesus’ death, in the light of prophecy: “He said to them, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to understand all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he had to explain to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27).

    As for “knowing what I know” and presuming that is “haughty,” would you still consider it haughty if my position happened to be the same as yours? No, I suspect then you’d consider it “biblical.”

    Lord knows the presumptions of men can obscure the truth of Scripture. One of the most profound cases of this is that of Calvin and Luther, two of the most revered Christians of all time, who were unanimous with the Catholic Church (and later the Protestant church) in condemning the astronomer Copernicus (1473-1543) as a heretic. Copernicus’ crime was to assert that the earth rotates around the sun. However, “godly” people and the church believed that the Bible taught otherwise. The proposition that the earth rotates around the sun was unacceptable to the Christian theologians of that period because there were many biblical passages which seemed to indicate that the earth did not move.

    As far as they were concerned, the Bible words used to describe the sun rising and setting and moving across the sky could be interpreted to mean nothing other than that the sun, and not the earth, is the one that moves. Martin Luther, referring to Joshua 10:13, in his series of Table Talks in 1539 said:

    “People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon…. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”

    Luther’s disciple Melanchthon, in emphasizing Ecclesiastes 1:4-5 said:

    “The eyes are witnesses that the heavens revolve in the space of 24 hours. But certain men, either from the love of novelty, or to make a display of ingenuity, have concluded that the earth moves… Now, it is a want of honesty and decency to assert such notions publicly, and the example is pernicious. It is the part of a good mind to accept the truth as revealed by God and to acquiesce in it.”

    And John Calvin, citing Psalm 93:1 in his Commentary on Genesis said:

    “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit? ‘… the world also is established that it cannot be moved.’”

    Calvin, Luther, and all believers with them took their stand on what they believed to be the clear teaching of Scripture and went to their graves condemning Copernicus as a heretic. It was many, many years before the church recognized that the descriptions of the sun’s movement were what today any first-year Bible student knows. Copernicus is only one such case in which the consensus of opinion about how the Bible should be understood has changed over the years. There are many others. More recently it Christians having to learn that slavery is NOT God-ordained, that women and blacks SHOULD be allowed to vote, that interracial marriage is NOT wrong, etc. Need I remind you that all of these people were considered “haughty” too?

    So explain to me how your charge that those who disagree with you on this matter, who have joined the ranks of those who have come to believe that when these passages are looked at more closely and viewed in their context that traditional interpretation that you hold simply does not hold up to scrutiny, are “haughty?”

    Is this issue any different than all the others the church has had to muddle through? Throughout church history, most Christians who have used the Bible to condemn other Christians were acting in good faith. History has revealed, however, that what many were defending was their presumption of what the Bible teaches, not the truth of Scripture.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  29. 36 djdesignz December 17, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Alex, what exactly is my position? None of my comments/questions have been geared towards proving your position right or wrong. They have been an attempt to understand how your exegesis on Genesis 2 allows for adding “assumptions” about something not found in the text, while in your exegesis of Ezekiel 16 you’re critical of those making an “assumption” and adding something not found in the text, which I don’t believe you directly answered. And if the process of exegesis “guarantees” or “insures” that one will arrive at the “what did God mean” for any given portion of scripture. My position is that it does not.

    If I’ve offended you Alex, please forgive me. But I believe the ideas I’ve criticized are a real issue in Christendom and my desire is not to mislead or misrepresent what you say.

    The issue of “knowing what I know” has nothing to do with our positions per say, but it goes further than the understanding and knowledge that one attains through diligent study. In it’s simplest explanation, THIS is the idea and haughty notion I take issue with, it’s this idea that the knowledge I’ve attained can’t be challenged, because I’ve invested in and employed the necessary tools to exegete and rightly divide the Scriptures to arrive at the conclusion or interpretation at hand. Therefore, my knowledge and understanding is infallible and synonymous with what God meant! Again… That in a nutshell is the haughty notion I take issue with.

    As I look back over my life in Christ, I’ve been wrong about a myriad of biblical subjects and I take solace in the fact that I will be wrong again as I continue to move and grow in Him. I’m not infallible and neither is the knowledge I’ve attained through diligent study of the Scriptures. All that I have was given me through the grace of God and unlike men who place their trust in the knowledge they’ve attained, I place my trust in the Giver of knowledge and as such, I can accept being wrong! Do you understand how liberating that is? When I understood this, I was free to be a nobody!

    So Alex… what about your knowledge and all the time you’ve invested in it? The long hours studying religions, philosophies, theology, languages and their connections to the historical, traditional translations and interpretations. Surely all the diligent work you put in to uncover the essence of particular passages of scripture, in order to discover what did it mean couldn’t possibly lead you to an incorrect understanding or interpretation of Scripture… could it?

    Alex, contrary to your belief, I don’t believe that anyone having differing beliefs than me or who study harder or dig deeper into the Scriptures to gain greater understanding and knowledge of the Truth more than I do are haughty. But is that understanding and knowledge deemed true because of the time and effort put in to uncover it? That is the question!

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  30. 37 Alex Haiken December 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    You mentioned that as you look back over your life in Christ, you’ve been wrong about a myriad of biblical subjects and take solace in the fact that you will be wrong again as you continue to move and grow in Him. You’re not infallible and neither is the knowledge you’ve attained through diligent study of the Scriptures. I totally get that. That has certainly been my testimony as well. Over the years, I have learned to see theology as somewhat akin to a crossword puzzle, and I think it should be approached the same way we approach a crossword puzzle. That is to say, first off we should use a pencil for to use a pen would be arrogant. We begin with some knowledge and we write in our answers. But then later, we receive new information and then we sometimes/often have to go back and change our conclusion. Then, as also with a crossword puzzle, there are some questions or pieces of the puzzle to which we may never have the answer, at least on this side of heaven. So I am right with you on that score 100%.

    With regard to the specific issue of what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, that just happens to be one of the many issues of doctrine that I have been forced to change my mind about after seeing that what I had been taught about the passages that generally get appealed to in this debate, simply do not hold up to scrutiny when examined more closely and in context.

    You asked me:

    “What about your knowledge and all the time you’ve invested in it? The long hours studying religions, philosophies, theology, languages and their connections to the historical, traditional translations and interpretations. Surely all the diligent work you put in to uncover the essence of particular passages of scripture, in order to discover what did it mean couldn’t possibly lead you to an incorrect understanding or interpretation of Scripture… could it?”

    Of course, one can be led to an incorrect understanding on any issue of Scripture with or without diligent study. And seminary does not make one infallible (though some might think it does). Seminary gives you tools to work with. But it is also true that those who, like me, have changed their minds on this particular issue are similar in ways to those who have changed their mind on a host of other biblical issues the church has had to grapple with over the years — including, but not limited to, whether the sun moves (i.e., Copernicus), whether slavery is God ordained, whether interracial marriage is wrong, whether women and blacks should vote, etc. — the list, as you know, is endless. As you know, at one time in Christendom these issues were for most part not even under debate. In their own time, those who stood against these, were all quite certain in their respective positions that their stances were reflective of nothing less than the “clear teachings of scripture”. But how many of these people, who after seeing the light (so to speak) on these and other issues and changed their mind, then did a U-turn and went back their original position and to believing, “Oh, it is the sun that moves after all”, or “Oh, slavery is really God ordained after all”, or “Oh, interracial marriage is wrong after all”, or “Oh, women and blacks shouldn’t really vote after all”, etc? How many of these folks who after God showed them otherwise through various means said, “Oh gosh, what was I thinking??!! My original position was correct all along!” The answer is none of them. But not because they were haughty. And not because they were unwilling to consider that a doctrine they had come to embrace might be wrong. It was because the Sprit of God had convicted them so deeply down to the core of their souls and to such an extent that their original (and more popular and accepted) position had been dead wrong and many fought to their last dying breath for a position that at their time was utterly unpopular. The very last letter that John Wesley ever wrote was to urge William Wilberforce to, “Go in the name of God and in the power of his might till even American slavery, the vilest that ever saw the sun, shall vanish before it.” Jesus was not crucified for maintaining the religious status quo.

    Also, fact is I decided to go to seminary occurred years AFTER I changed my mind about this issue. I always had a hunger for God’s Word. But after I came to realize, as are ever-growing numbers of evangelicals and others, that when one applies the basic rules of exegesis to these passages (e.g., asking what did the text mean to the original author and to the original intended audience), one discovers they are not addressing homosexuality per se unless you actually read that into the text (eisegesis, which is precisely what we try our darnedest to avoid). As said earlier, I learned we cannot assume the ancient people to whom the Bible was written were just like us. In some ways they were, and in some ways their thinking was so foreign to us that the gulf is almost impassable. And if we know nothing about their world, we can miss a lot of what the Bible is addressing and our understanding came become misunderstanding.

    Well, seeing how important all of this was gave me an even greater hunger to learn how to study the Bible more responsibly. So I decided late in life to go to seminary and to be able to sit under some solid evangelical professors who have devoted their lives to the study of God’s word (not that they can’t be in error too), and to do so with other like-minded people who held that there are few things in life more worth devoting one’s time and energies to than going deeper with God through the study of His Word. Seminary and all the “training” stuff you keep citing did not make me change my mind about this issue. Rather learning more about how to study the Bible responsibly only served to confirm the conclusions I had already come to on this issue years earlier. Fact is the people who first challenged my positron on the issue of homosexuality had no formal training at all. And like many of the others who have voiced their opinions on this very blog, I didn’t believe them either.

    If I am wrong on this issue, as with any other, I would certainly want to know. I love the Bible. In my handling of Scripture, I think that I am as in most other areas of my life and outlook, very conservative. As a Christian, I consider myself both conservative and evangelical. If I were accused of twisting the Scriptures to justify sin, it would cut me very deeply. My love for God’s Word will not let me twist it or otherwise do it any harm. But (and this is not redirected toward you) anyone who wishes to show me “the error of my ways”, so to speak, better do a heck of a lot more than simply quote the passages and tell me their position is “the clear teaching of scripture” and only an idiot or unrepentant sinner would not get it. As we have already noted, throughout church history, Christians have found all kinds of “proofs” in their Bibles to condemn other Christians. And their “proofs”, which most of us now consider to be foolishness, are all still in the Bible. But they in their well-intentioned minds they thought they were defending against an enemy attack of what they believed to be the “clear teachings of Scripture.” But history has revealed, time and again, that what many of these folks were defending was their presumption of what the Bible teaches, not the truth of Scripture.

    Now to the meat: You also said that your comments and questions “have been an attempt to understand how [my] exegesis on Genesis 2 allows for adding ‘assumptions’ about something not found in the text, while in [my] exegesis of Ezekiel 16 [I'm] critical of those making an “assumption” and adding something not found in the text, which [you] don’t believe [I] directly answered.”

    I’m not clear on specifically what assumptions you think I’m making about the text. However, if you would clarify for me what these “assumptions” are, I would be happy to respond. But can we agree as we look to the Word that our goal should always be to use as our starting point the question: What did this text mean to the author and to the original intended audience? And that we should also always try our best to guard against reading things into the text that simply are not there?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  31. 38 djdesignz December 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Alex, while I don’t agree with your interpretations about what the Bible says or does not say about homosexuality, my comments were not an attempt to prove you wrong. I don’t believe (As the owner of this blog stated) we will be able to convince each other that our interpretations are in error.

    My only desire was that we could agree that Exegesis does not “guarantee” or “insure” that one will arrive at the “correct” what did it mean interpretation, just as simply reading scripture doesn’t. That isn’t to say that Exegesis is not the “recommended” process for understanding and interpreting the Word of God, it’s just that the process is not as infallible as many “scholars” would have us to believe.

    The reason I say this… We’re ALL products of our environments and as such, our interpreting and understanding of Scriptures is colored by that… There’s no escaping it! We lie to ourselves when we believe that we can TOTALLY disassociate our “self” from ourselves, for our “self” has a vested interest within us!

    “The science doesn’t lie” are terms that attach “infallibility” to science in this world, and that implies that there is nothing higher. Which works for man in this world that God allows men to govern. While I don’t disagree that science has provided tools and insight which allows for a greater understanding of the Word and the world around us, science is not without it’s flaws.

    I wonder if our Father looks at His children as we invest in and employ tools and science to reveal His Truth, and wonders why we don’t utilize the simplest of our God given tools to ask… Abba Father, what does this mean? If His child asks, would our Father deny them the Truth of Scripture? I know… I know… too much could be “front-loaded” through this process, but I contend that our prejudices and aversions eventually are a part of ANY process we follow.

    God knows that these issues are a part of us, and they reveal little nuances of differences in how we view the Word and how the Word impacts our life, because God has equipped us each with personality and individuality… We’re not robots! Unfortunately, science has become Man’s “replacement” for God, the justifier of Man’s knowledge and the basis for his understanding. So as we increase in our knowledge, we often lack the ONE thing that can temper our knowledge and help bring us into a correct understanding, and that ONE thing is wisdom… Godly Wisdom!

    The Word speaks often of how we need and God’s desire to give us His Wisdom. But most of the time, we’re simply employing a “worldly wisdom” to our knowledge which adversely affects our understanding… But I digress.

    Alex, I will post this and then try to clarify the assumptions in a new post so that they’re not so “irritatingly” long. :)

  32. 39 djdesignz December 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    The Meat… Chopped liver!
    In your comments about Genesis you stated:
    “The authors of Genesis were intent on answering the question: Where do we come from? Then, as now, the only plausible answer is from the union of a man and a woman. This text celebrates God’s deliberate and equal creation of man and woman: God created both the males and the females. The creation story does not pretend to be a history of anthropology or of every social relationship. It does not mention friendship, for example, and yet we do not assume that friendship is condemned or abnormal. It does not mention the single state and yet we know that singleness is not condemned. The creation story is not a paradigm about marriage, but rather about the establishment of human society. The creation story is the basis, and not the end, of human relationship and thus to regard it as excluding everything it does not mention is to place much too great a burden on the text.”

    The assumption or connection you appear to be making is that same gender relationships, though not explicitly stated can be looked at like friendships and singleness which are also not explicitly stated.

    Followed by:
    “In Genesis 2 we are told that God was strangely sympathetic to the loneliness of Adam, observing that within the universe he had so conspicuously pronounced “good” there was, nevertheless, a significant omission: “It was not good for the man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). Significantly, this was declared by God in paradise, before the Fall, and while man was still in unbroken fellowship with God. In the following verses, we’re given another account of the purpose of sexuality: not procreation this time, but companionship. In other words, a primary creation purpose of sex is inter-personal intimacy, not just procreation. Sex as a profound expression of love and mutuality is something most of us accept gratefully as a good part of God’s good world. It is a marvel, a mystery and a grace that babies can come from ecstasy, but the ecstasy does not require babies to justify it.”

    The assumption or connection you appear to be making is that sexuality outside the bounds of procreation, validates same gender relationships because they meet the God given criteria of companionship and inter-personal intimacy.

    In your comments about Ezekiel you stated:
    “In Ezekiel 16 we read that the prophet declares the word of God saying that a self-righteously religious Jerusalem had not only imitated the vile deeds of the Sodomites but had become even more corrupt. And then the prophet spells out explicitly what God calls the sin of Sodom: “”As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord … this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Eze 16:48-50)

    Here we have the Bible commentating on the Bible. We can hardly get better Bible commentary than that. Here we have what the Bible says is God’s commentary on the story of Sodom and on Sodom’s sin. Note that contrary to what some Christians say, there is no mention of homosexuality in God’s commentary of Sodom’s sin.”

    Here, you’re saying that since the term homosexuality is not explicitly stated, one can’t make the assumption that homosexual or same gender acts fall into the category of detestable things. My question has been how is it possible to make assumptions about terms not explicitly mentioned in Genesis 1 and 2, but the same is not applicable in Ezekiel 16?

    Alex, I may be misrepresenting what you said, but that’s how it reads to me.

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  33. 40 Alex Haiken December 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    “The meat … chopped liver,” huh? It strikes me as curious how quick you seem to be to hurl unwarranted, defensive and derogatory statements upon me. In all due respect, you have yet again misunderstood and misrepresented what I said.

    My reference to “the meat” was not a reference to any full, meaty substantial biblical exposition of any biblical passage. It was a reference to what I believed to be the “meat” of your last post in which you posed a specific question, accused me of making assumptions with the biblical text and said you asked me a question that you believe I did directly answer. So I was simply returning to your question to ask for some needed clarification lest you would think (heaven forbid) that I was avoiding it.

    While on the subject of unanswered questions, I believe you did not answer mine. My question was: Can we agree as we look to the Word that our goal should always be to (a) use as our starting point the question: What did the text in question mean to the author and to the original intended audience, and (b) that we should always try our best to guard against reading things into the text that simply are not there?

    Now to your charges of making assumptions:

    (1) As for your charge of my making assumptions with Genesis, you said: “The assumption or connection you appear to be making is that same gender relationships, though not explicitly stated can be looked at like friendships and singleness which are also not explicitly stated.”

    That is not correct. I was not making a connection between same gender relationships and friendship or singleness per se. The point that I was making, and simply using friendship and singleness as mere illustrations, is that the creation story in Genesis makes no mention whatsoever of as you phrase it “same gender relationships.” It simply is not there in the text and to place it there oneself because of your one’s personal aversion to “same gender relationships” or assume the creation story excludes everything that it does not mention as sinful and against God’s will is to be the one guilty of making assumptions.

    (2) You also said with regard to Genesis: “The assumption or connection you appear to be making is that sexuality outside the bounds of procreation, validates same gender relationships because they meet the God given criteria of companionship and inter-personal intimacy.

    Once again, that is not correct: I was not saying that anything “validates” anything. The point I was making is that to assume that any sexuality outside the bounds of procreation should be considered null, void, sinful, and outside of God’s will is to be guilty of making assumptions.

    As Carl Trueman, my Westminster professor of Historical Theology and Church History noted on his blog: “For people like myself, now in middle age, dislike of homosexuality came with the territory; our reasons for opposing it were more to do with our own cultural backgrounds rather than with any biblical argumentation.” Again, we have to be careful about reading things into the text that simply are not there (eisegesis).

    (3) With regard to Ezekiel, you said: “Here, you’re saying that since the term homosexuality is not explicitly stated, one can’t make the assumption that homosexual or same gender acts fall into the category of detestable things. My question has been, how is it possible to make assumptions about terms not explicitly mentioned in Genesis 1 and 2, but the same is not applicable in Ezekiel 16?

    Once again, that is not correct: I am not saying that anyone can make any “assumption”. What I am saying, however, is that if we are at all interested in knowing something about what the text meant to the author and the original intended audience (and we should be), you may not simply rip a passage from its context and replace it in another age for the sake of convenience. If one wants to have some sense of what acts fall into the category of “detestable things” that God specifically mentioned that He took them to task for in Ezekiel 16, then you need to first look at Ezekiel 16 and see what God specially said before you fill in the blank with your own personal interpretation.

    What did God say thru the prophet in Ezekiel 16 about these “detestable things?” For starters, God said, they included: pagan cult prostitution (16:15-17) and building “High Places”(16:15-17). The Canaanites, as we know, utilized cult prostitution as a way of promoting fertility. Sodom was a leading Canaanite city (see Gen 10:15-20) as was Jerusalem. Devotees would visit the shrines and use the services male and female cult prostitutes to give honor to the pagan gods and thereby ensure fertility and prosperity.

    The “High Places” was where worship by sacrifice was made to the pagan gods. God hated the High Places of the Canaanites and the Israelites were strictly ordered to destroy the “High Places” of the Canaanites lest they be tempted to worship the Canaanite false gods and partake in their immoral practices.

    They built “male idols”(16:20-21, 16:36), slaughtered their children and sacrificed them to the idols (16:20-21). They built “shines” to worship the Canaanite false gods (16:23-25, 16:31, 16:36, 16:39). Such detailed descriptions of the practices of the Sodomites, which were imitated by Jerusalem, are not just limited to Ezekiel 16 either. They are also spelled out in graphic detail repeatedly in Scripture. One begins to see there are themes that get repeated over and over again.

    All of this was cited in detail in my post “Leviticus 18: What Was the Abomination?” which you can find a link to on the “Archives” page of my blog. And all this was done in place of the worship of the One God who stood entirely outside of nature and made nature continue. That’s what made it idolatry!
    We are often unaware of how blinded we can be by our reifications and canonical interpretations. A reification, as you likely know, is when we use a concept or doctrine so often and for so long that it comes to be a distinct “thing” to us, something that’s really there, a piece of our mind’s furniture. Fact is we are often greatly unaware of how much of our mental furniture consists of reifications. A canonical interpretation, of course, is a way of looking at a biblical passage or doctrine that we’ve become so accustomed to that the interpretation has become indistinguishable in our minds from the text or the passages themselves.

    See how important it is to have some sense of what these texts meant at the time and not just read our own personal aversions into them? That is eisegesis, not exegesis, which is exactly what we’re supposed to try our best to avoid! It would therefore appear those who engage in the former (read things into the text that are not there) are the ones guilty of making assumptions.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  34. 41 djdesignz December 21, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Take it easy Alex… My chopped liver comment wasn’t meant to be derogatory, but more amusing! Gesh… I forget that sometimes trying to be a lil amusing doesn’t always translate well through text.

    Forgive me if I’ve offended you, I will answer your questions when I get to my computer.

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  35. 42 Alex Haiken December 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Had you not already thrown out “haughty” and a series of other other not so edifying terms, it might have been seen in a lighter vein. :-)

    I’ll look forward to your reply.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • 43 djdesignz December 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Alex those terms were used in a general sense and I understand how that could be misconstrued given the context, but allow me to clarify a few things.

      01. My comments are NEVER meant to be an intentional effort to demean, misrepresent and should NOT be considered as a derogatory attack towards you or ANY persons including those in the LGBT lifestyle. I have friends who struggle with their sexuality and close family members who are living their lives as gay individuals. They know my position on this lifestyle, and whenever we’re together I continue to show them the love of God as I do EVERY individual. Now you might take issue with this fact, but I don’t treat them with disdain or disgust, I extend the same grace towards them God has extended towards me. To present one face before them and another face before you and anyone having a differing view than I do on this matter would be hypocritical.

      02. Any comments I make that are generalized, I make inclusive (not in exclusion) of myself. I certainly have not “arrived” and certainly subject to act or participate in the very things I’m often critical of, but for the grace of God. I try not to speak as though my comments aren’t applicable to me when in reality they’re applicable to me FIRST before anyone else.

      03. I don’t pretend to be the “brightest” or even a well versed student of the Word. For many, many years I have stayed away from making comments on blogs and in forums. I used to mix it up quite a bit, but then I realized that while this medium could be used as a tool to build, it also can destroy. Anonymity provides a platform for people to spew ideas, positions, interpretations etc., without consequence and any regard for those less spiritually mature in the audience. On the internet that audience can be… Anyone!
      So I removed myself from all the what I call “Scripture sparring” with one side saying “I hear what you’re saying, but if you could only see what I’m saying!” while the other side responds with “I see what you’re saying, but if you could only hear what I’m saying!” that often goes back and forth, which can at times be perceived as confusion for many in the audience. With that said, this is NOT a personal attack at blog and forum owners, many of whom are making useful and necessary information accessible. I’m just giving my observations in some instances of what I’ve experienced.

      To answer your questions;

      “Can we agree as we look to the Word that our goal should always be to (a) use as our starting point the question: What did the text in question mean to the author and to the original intended audience, and (b) that we should always try our best to guard against reading things into the text that simply are not there?”

      (a) Yes and (b) Yes! I thought that my comments made those answers quite clear and I don’t believe that I’m suggesting that Exegesis shouldn’t be applied when studying.

      Thank you for your patience with me Alex, lI’ll say more later.

      I Ain’t Nobody!

  36. 44 Alex Haiken December 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I appreciate your observations. I’ll be candid and share a few of my own: As a Jewish guy who believes that Christ is the Jewish messiah, I’m no stranger to the notion that not everyone will see things as I do and that’s quite okay. As a Jewish believer I learned a long time ago that truth is never determined by a majority vote and my job is not to “fix” you nor is it your job to “fix” me. Our “jobs”, if I can even use that term, are to follow Christ faithfully and responsibly. And that may look different for you than it does for me.

    I also learned truth can be costly. As a Jewish believer, I’ve witnessed time and again rabbis and other Jewish leaders who have been unable to demonstrate any open-mindedness on the issue of Christ as the Jewish Messiah. Fact is if/when a rabbi accepts Christ as messiah, they won’t allow him be a rabbi any longer. He needs to find a new way to make a living, support his family, pay his mortgage, put his kids thru college, etc. He is keenly aware that acknowledgement would almost certainly mean his financial and social ruin, destroying not only his career but his perceived good standing in his faith community as well. That’s a pretty high price to pay.

    I’ve also observed how Christian leaders and others face similar losses in coming to terms with the notion that, as my professor phrased it, “our reasons for opposing homosexuality have more to do with our cultural backgrounds than with any biblical argumentation.” Truth is not always comfortable. Sometimes it’s costly and will put us at odds with our communities and with the people we most care about. I get that. I also get that personal agendas, ambitions and other pressures can sometimes cause us to be sparing with the truth when it comes to steering our Christian ministries, reputations, careers, income, and in other areas of life. As Upton Sinclair wisely noted, “It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.” Lord knows Christian ministries have been notorious prone to withdraw their support from any who show even the slightest open-mindedness on this issue.

    F.F. Bruce once candidly observed “a [Bible scholar] who always has to be looking over his shoulder, lest someone who is in a position to harm him [in terms of “personal comfort, income and the like”] may be breathing down his neck, has to mind his step.” This is quite true. Bruce said he was fortunate to always earn his living as a biblical scholar employed by a non-religiously affiliated university. Very few evangelical scholars are so fortunate. I too am fortunate (not that I consider myself a scholar) in that I make my living elsewhere so I am free to speak the truth as I see it.

    And since my passions include helping the Church better understand her rich Jewish roots, helping other Jewish people understand Christ as their Jewish Messiah and helping other gay people integrate a theologically-sound committed Christian faith with their sexuality, my blog was developed with these in mind. I’m not in this, as it were, to win any popularity contests. But, like the blog owner on the site we’re currently dialoguing on, I am compelled to speak the truth as I see it. If as brothers in Christ, we can have a respectful exchange on that score, then let iron sharpen iron, may we learn a bit more about where each other are coming from, and may God be glorified through it. If not, we’ll say our exchange has reached its limit. So far, so good.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  37. 45 djdesignz December 28, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Thank you Alex for your clarifications and for sharing some of your observations and passion. Sorry for taking so long to respond, but I was away for Christmas.

    The creation story presents a pattern of heterosexuality which is a continued and reinforced theme from Genesis to Revelation, correct? This pattern is equally continued and reinforced within the animal kingdom by mammals in particular and nature in general. While friendship and singleness are not mentioned in the creation story, the Bible speaks about these types of relationships continually reinforcing them and this pattern is also replicated in nature. We very rarely see animals engaging in same sex intimacy as a normal form of behavior.

    We don’t find this same pattern for homosexuality (as we do for friendships, singleness etc.) reinforced throughout the Bible. But, it’s probably because my aversions and reifications probably won’t allow me to clearly see this pattern regarding same sex relationships.

    If one believes that homosexuality is a sin and is proven wrong, it doesn’t “necessarily” (I use this very loosely) affect their relationship with God. But if homosexuality is indeed proven to be a sin, it has a definite impact on the relationship between God and those engaging and promoting this lifestyle as biblical.

    So where does that leave us? I think it leaves us right where the owner of this blog stated, two sides having differing beliefs/interpretations about the Bible’s position on homosexuality. From your perspective, because of our aversions towards homosexuality and our reifications and canonical interpretations, any attempt at exegesis is skewed and therefore resulting in eisegesis. Since I’m incapable of overcoming eisegesis, what’s the point?

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  38. 46 Alex Haiken December 31, 2011 at 4:59 am

    You argue above that since we don’t find a pattern for homosexuality reinforced throughout the Bible, it should therefore be considered sinful, outside of God’s will and unacceptable. A very interesting argument, indeed. I suppose I don’t need to remind you that this is the EXACT SAME ARGUMENT THAT THOSE IN SUPPORT OF SLAVERY USED FOR CENTURIES? (Not to mention the same argument well-meaning Christians like yourself used for numerous other ethical and doctrinal judgments the Church now considers as embarrassingly inappropriate and anachronistic as slavery does to us now).

    As for slavery, it is embarrassing to admit that no serious objection to slavery was even raised by Christians prior to the 18th century. True, the Manicheans in the 4th century had urged slaves to emancipate themselves. But they were heretics and their opinions on this score were contradicted by orthodox churchmen.

    The legitimacy of slavery was enshrined in canon law. In 1519 Bartholomew De Las Casas, a Dominican monk, dared to challenge it, at least in respect to the enslavement of American Indians. But he was scorned as an eccentric fool. The Papacy itself owned many hundreds of slaves and had done so for centuries. How could the practice possibly be wrong? Only two conditions were laid down to limit the acquisition of slaves. They had to be non-Christian (i.e. pagan or Muslim) and they had to be captured during “just” warfare (i.e. one fought by the armies of a “Christian” nation). In the late 17th century, the Roman Catholic theologian, Leander, could confidently declare:

    “It is certainly a matter of faith that this sort of slavery … is proved from Holy Scripture…. All theologians are unanimous on this.”

    The scriptural support to which Leander and others referred was two-fold. First, Moses in the OT law made provision for slavery as an institution within Israel. Second, neither Jesus nor the apostles raised any moral objection to slavery within the Roman Empire. In fact, both Paul and Peter advise Christian slaves to accept their servitude with meekness, obedience and dignity (Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22, I Peter 2:18-21).

    Richard Baxter, the Anglican puritan, was one of the few mainstream Protestants prior to 1700 to argue that slavery was wrong. Most of those who supported his view came from the radical wing of the Reformation (Anabaptists, Quakers, Unitarians). They were joined in the early 18th century by Wesleyan Methodists to form an increasingly outspoken abolitionist lobby both in Britain and America. But it was not they, but the SUPPORTERS of slavery, who quoted biblical texts most extensively. A good example is the treatise of Rev. Dr. Richard Furmer, received approvingly by the Governor of South Carolina in 1823, and expressing the convictions of the Baptist Convention. He said:

    “HAD THE HOLDING OF SLAVES BEEN A MORAL EVIL, IT CANNOT BE SUPPOSED, THAT THE INSPIRED APOSTLES … WOULD HAVE TOLERATED IT, FOR A MOMENT, IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH … THEY WOULD HAVE ENFORCED THE LAW OF CHRIST, AND REQUIRED, THAT THE MASTER SHOULD LIBERATE HIS SLAVE…. BUT, INSTEAD OF THIS, THEY LET THE RELATIONSHIP REMAIN UNTOUCHED, AS BEING LAWFUL AND RIGHT, AND INSIST ON THE RELATIVE DUTIES…. IN PROVING THIS SUBJECT JUSTIFIABLE BY SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY, ITS MORALITY IS ALSO PROVED; FOR THE DIVINE LAW NEVER SANCTIONS IMMORAL ACTIONS … THE HOLDING OF SLAVES IS JUSTIFIABLE BY THE DOCTRINE AND EXAMPLE CONTAINED IN HOLY WRIT; AND IS THEREFORE CONSISTENT WITH CHRISTIAN UPRIGHTNESS, BOTH IN SENTIMENT AND CONDUCT.”

    The eventual victory of the abolitionist cause in America was military rather than theological. And in England, though the rhetoric of William Wilberforce was indisputably fired by a passionate evangelical Christian faith, he rarely expounded specific Bible texts to prove his point. The success of his reforming zeal owed as much to the influence of secular-rationalist ideas about human liberty as it did to Jesus’ golden rule.

    Apart from a handful of reconstructionists who advocate the re-introduction of the law of Moses, all Christians today accept that slavery is morally wrong. IF THEY WISH TO RETAIN A HIGH VIEW OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION, HOWEVER, THEY MUST SOMEHOW EXPLAIN THE BIBLE’S EMBARRASSING FAILURE TO CONDEMN SLAVERY AND THE CONSEQUENT MORAL BLINDNESS OF THE CHURCH TO THE ISSUE FOR 18 CENTURIES.

    The way this has been achieved is by the addition of a fourth principle of interpretation to those used long ago by Athanasius of special relevance to the discussion of biblical ethics:

    (IV) ALLOWANCE MUST BE FOR THE WAY THE BIBLE ACCOMMODATES ITSELF TO ITS ORIGINAL CULTURAL SETTING

    Thus, most conservative theologians would argue now that Moses and the apostles were simply regulating slavery as an existing social institution. This must not be taken to imply that the practice was morally unobjectionable or that the Bible endorses it universally.

    For instance, Moses permitted divorce, while Jesus prohibited it (except perhaps on the grounds of adultery). Jesus doesn’t say that Moses was wrong, but rather that he was making a necessary concession to “the hardness of men’s hearts” in the ancient social context in which he was placed (see. Matthew 19:3-9). Paul seems to have allowed divorce in cases of desertion, no doubt for similarly pragmatic reasons (I Corinthians 7:15). This is not necessarily to deny the existence of absolute moral values, nor does it require a total surrender to the subjectivist fluidity of situation ethics. But it does mean that extreme caution must be exercised when extrapolating the application of moral rules and social institutions from the Bible to societies in the present day.

    A literalist enforcement of ancient texts may well generate errors in the area of ethics, just as it has done in the area of cosmology. Even such an unquestionably compelling statute as “thou shalt not kill” can give rise to a dangerous moral fanaticism if it is applied mindlessly to some of the tricky moral questions raised by modern medical science and biological research. Athanasius noted the importance of maintaining the coherence of the whole of the Bible in the interpretation of individual texts.

    WHEN IT COMES TO ETHICS THIS SURELY MEANS THAT TEXTS MUST BE UNDERSTOOD AND APPLIED IN A WAY THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE DIGNITY OF HUMANKIND AND THE PRIORITY OF LOVE WHICH JESUS HIMSELF DEFINED AS THE HERMENEUTIC KEY TO THE MORAL LAW.

    Acknowledging that cultural relativism must play a role in the way the Bible is interpreted, however, inevitably invites a question:

    ARE THERE OTHER MISTAKEN ETHICAL JUDGMENTS FOR WHICH CHRISTIANS LIKE YOURSELF CLAIM BIBLICAL WARRANT BUT WHICH WILL SEEM AS EMBARRASSINGLY INAPPROPRIATE AND ANACHRONISTIC TO LATER GENERATIONS AS THE CHURCH’S FORMER SUPPORT FOR SLAVERY DOES TO US NOW?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  39. 47 Alex Haiken January 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    May God richly bless everyone’s New Year!

    Further to”cork742,” “brothercork” and several other’s comments above regarding Genesis 19 and the legendary story of Sodom and Gomorrah, I thought some might especially appreciate this first new post for 2012 titled: “Genesis 19: What the Bible REALLY Says Were the Sins of Sodom.”

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  40. 48 djdesignz January 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Alex, for centuries man has used the Bible to see what he wanted to see in order to justify many ills of society.

    American slavery was fueled by it’s lucrative impact from the agricultural sections which were almost COMPLETELY reliant on slave labor. Slaves were considered a lifelong labor force and each plantation economy was part of a larger national and international political economy.

    As such, American slaves became important economic and political capital in the U.S. political economy. They were legally a form of property… a commodity individually and collectively that was frequently used as collateral in all kinds of business transactions, as well as traded for various goods and services.

    The value the slave owners held in their slaves, was often used to secure loans to purchase land or more slaves. Slaves were used to pay debts and when calculating the value of the slave owners estate, the estimated value of each slave was included, and this became the source of tax revenue for local and state governments. Taxes were also levied on slave transactions.

    Politically, the U.S. Constitution incorporated a feature that made slaves political capital which benefited the southern states. The three-fifths compromise allowed these states to count their slaves as three-fifths of a person for purposes of calculating states’ representation in the U.S. Congress.

    So the slavery system in America was a national system touching the very core of its economic and political life. One can begin to see why there was a need (though wrong) to morally try to justify this system with the Bible. Slaveholders as well as the nation had too much invested in the system and to say that your plight as a “same gender believer” is of equal substance is vastly inaccurate. Especially when the issue of slavery is not detached (As it so often is in same gender discussions) from the lucrative realities both economic and political.

    Though an “oversimplified” example, it is simply one example of why (Not only in America, but throughout the centuries as you’ve indicated) men attempt to use the Bible to morally justify slavery. One could say that you too fall in the category of seeing what you want in order to justify your beliefs. One could say that your beliefs make you predisposed to find what you want to see because of what you’ve invested in your lifestyle, just as you believe my aversions affect my beliefs.

    Alex, with so much falsehood and confusion rampant in the “Culture of the Church” and the fact that because of religious tolerance, Christ has now become “one of many” ways to God, I believe that God will ultimately intervene to vindicate His name, just as He has for the Children of Israel. For the Bride of Christ will be a Bride without spot, blemish or wrinkle.

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  41. 49 Tarre Stanley January 4, 2012 at 7:18 am

    I could be wrong, but I believe the slavery of scripture was a voluntary form of indentured servitude. Granted, I have not done research on this topic, but this is what I`ve been told….

    • 50 djdesignz January 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Hello Tarre, some slavery in scripture came about as a result of wars. In the early colonization of America, there were indentured servants and some of European descent.

  42. 51 Alex Haiken January 5, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Dearest brother “Ain’t”,

    Happy New Year! You rightly said: “I believe that God will ultimately intervene to vindicate His name, just as He has for the Children of Israel. For the Bride of Christ will be a Bride without spot, blemish or wrinkle.”

    Without a doubt, we are in full agreement on that score. However, though this surely be true, it does not release us from the responsibility of wrestling with how in the meantime we are to live together and love one another in spite of our differences. Yes, this means both gay and straight Christians. This means that if we’re doing something that is causing hurt to a group of God’s children, we need to look at that now.

    What concerns me and others is that the Church has driven from its doors literally millions of gay men and women who would have accepted Christ. They drove away people who would have entered the kingdom of heaven. I don’t think we can afford to wait until our Savior returns before we wrestle with what we’ve done and continue to do on this score.

    As we look back over our 2,000 years of Church history, we find that oppression of one sort or another against people who are “different” — whether by means of race, color, gender, class or sexual orientation — has always been endemic. And to our great shame, the oppression and injustices are always carried out in the name of someone’s Christianity. We must not forget that while it may seem evident to us that others did terrible things in the past, it isn’t always so easy to see that we ourselves may be doing terrible things today.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • 52 djdesignz January 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Oh my goodness that’s funny as heck… “Brother Ain’t!” I was dying in laughter when I read that!

      Happy New Year to you as well Alex!

      This thread has been an attempt to dialog about this issue and I don’t believe that anyone has taken the seriousness and implications of this issue lightly. I agree that oppression of one sort or another has been done in the name of Christianity throughout the church’s history and that’s unfortunate but, this is a trend that will continue until the Lord returns.

      There will ALWAYS be some group or person that will use the Bible in the cloak of “Christianity” as a means to oppress, control, discredit another or justify their beliefs and actions. In Christianity, the Bible as the final authority presents in “man’s” (speaking generally) mind the “right” for him to use it (in many cases wrongfully, and in some rightfully) to justify his beliefs. With that said, Believer’s should speak out against injustices done under the cloak of “Christianity” because ultimately it’s sin.

      To summarize our dialog;
      From your perspective, being gay is a biblically acceptable lifestyle that is born out through “correct” exegesis. Many, because of their aversions, reifications and canonical interpretations are incapable of a “correct” exegesis and therefore “wrongfully” interpret the what did it mean then as what does it mean now. Asking what does it mean (In today’s terms), one can never arrive at the “correct” what did it mean interpretation.

      From my perspective, there are those who through “correct” exegesis arrived at a differing interpretation about the Bible’s stance on the gay lifestyle. As such, exegesis does not “guarantee” or “insure” that one will arrive at the “correct” what did it mean interpretation, just as simply reading scripture doesn’t. While exegesis should be employed in our studies, we’re ALL products of our environments and as such, our interpreting and understanding of Scriptures is colored by that. There’s no escaping it!

      So what you see as a perfectly acceptable lifestyle, others see as a sin no different than fornication, adultery, murder etc. as I’m sure you already know.

      I’ve purposely stayed away from using any scripture beyond those I asked clarification about. For it is evident to me that when dialog about the “big brain” process of interpreting scriptures takes on this “air” of intellectualism, there is no overcoming it. That’s not to say that one can’t intellectually dialog, but it almost ALWAYS comes back to… “I’ve done what is necessary to arrive at the “correct” interpretation. Therefore, for you NOT to see this as the “correct” interpretation means you’re viewing it in the wrong “light”!”

      I think it’s rather obvious that you’re convinced in what you believe is a biblically acceptable lifestyle, while I’m convinced that a gay lifestyle is a sin. Again, since I’m incapable of overcoming my aversions and reifications the ultimate question becomes… what’s the point?

      There is but one Way, one Truth through one Life and that Life is Jesus Christ! In Christendom, there are a myriad of interpretations, viewpoints and opinions about the Bible that are argued, debated and wrestled with, and everyone involved believes they have the TRUTH!

      There is only one TRUTH, and God is not the Author of the confusion so often presented in Christendom, that we make Christ look schizophrenic! People have lost their faith and hope in the True and Living God, because of the many “professing believer’s” who claim they represent Him, but are in bondage to the doctrines of demons.

      I don’t pretend to know and can not begin to comprehend how God will free His children, but I do know that any earthly father worth their salt, desires his children to know the Truth! So to our Heavenly Father and He will remove any and every barrier that impedes His children from serving and worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth!

      In reality, I’m never going to be able to convince you that what you believe is in error. That was never my intention and I stated that early on. I was merely seeking clarification about the Scriptures in Genesis and Ezekiel.

      Even these discussions in the world that center on the varying viewpoints of eschatology, each position believes they’re right! But ultimately, the many “truths” will give way to the one TRUTH with regard to ALL these interpretations, viewpoints and opinions, as God’s plan continues to unfold on the real time stage of human history, and I’m alright with allowing God to vindicate His Name in the earth!

      The Truth doesn’t need our help, and it’s not the Truth because we believe it. As Believer’s, we are to simply speak the Truth in love! But then again, we must ask ourselves… am I a believable Believer?

      -Selah

      I Ain’t Nobody… but U can call me dj Alex :)

  43. 54 Tarre Stanley January 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Djdesignz, I realize that there was slavery that was brought about from war, but I was referencing the slavery mentioned in the biblical time, not the slavery that was instituted by sinful depraved men in recent centuries. Again, I have not researched this particular subject so I may stand corrected if need be.

  44. 55 Kenny January 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    God will be the judge. However, Christianity is more about denying self than gratifying self. Debating about God’s Word will never save a soul, but the life you live in love will cover a multitude of sin. Even Satan displayed his interpretation scripture. I would rather deny myself, than cause another to fall because of my own self pleasure. There are many who profess to love God’s Word and even God Himself, yet not enough to deny their fleshly desires.

  45. 56 Alex Haiken January 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

    DJ, you’re correct that exegesis does not guarantee that one will arrive at the correct interpretation — especially since it requires that the reader today must somehow try to enter the world of the biblical writer and seek to understand what the writer was saying. But that does not excuse us from the responsibility of using the established rules of exegesis and all available tools to do our best to properly interpret the Bible. As we’ve already noted, if we fail to pay attention to the world in which the Bible was written, our understanding will almost assuredly be misunderstanding.

    One might argue that a key reason that one, as you said “purposely stayed away from using any scripture” is because of the growing consensus that the only way to justify an “antigay” position through Scripture is to rip passages from their context and replace them in another age for the sake of convenience and/or read into the biblical passages things that simply is not there.

    As a reminder, I, just like you and millions of others, held the same position. We were the taught the same thing. But it never occurred to us that our reading of Scripture was so profoundly colored by our own cultural context and worldview. I get that you don’t get that. No worries. We’ve had a good dialog and where one man sows a seed, God will send another to water it.

    One thing in closing: I believe you do a great many people a terrible disservice by your use of your term “gay lifestyle” without putting an “s” at the end of it. We have to be cautious of talking about the “gay lifestyle” as if to imply that all gay people live the same way and have the same values. The “lifestyles”, if you will, of gay people — yup, even Christian gay people — are every bit as diverse the lifestyles of straight people are — yup, even Christian straight people . The term “lifestyle” is at the heart of a serious category confusion. Mother Theresa and Madonna, are both heterosexual women. But we hardly say their “lifestyles” or values are even remotely similar. We can’t use “lifestyle” and “sexual orientation” interchangeably.

    Once again, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I do believe it’s important that we had this dialog.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • 57 mektf January 21, 2012 at 5:15 am

      Alex, to say that Madonna and Mother Theresa are both heterosexuals is a very far stretch. The ‘gay lifestyle’ implies a lifestyle explicit of same sex daliances. Madonna, has implied and even stated that she has lived that lifestyle…just making a point. On another note, the sin of Sodom was pride, which is at the core of the ‘gay lifestyle.’ That word, ‘pride’ is a dangerous word, and is at the heart of self exaltation whether in terms of sexual sin or national affection. Pride is a scriptural crime in any sense. Does this prevent forgiveness? No. But, homosexuality is a sin, and is condemned as an abomination. Grace spreads a wide net, but to continue in any sin can lead to damnation, and that…eternal.

  46. 58 Alex Haiken January 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

    You said: “The ‘gay lifestyle’ implies a lifestyle explicit of same sex dalliances.”

    Me: Don’t you think that is a tad presumptuous? Fact is many gay people have a high view of Scripture and are prayerfully committed to ordering their lives in accordance with it. Many of them pray, study their Bibles and generally grow in godliness in a way any minister would be proud to observe in his flock. I won’t argue with you with you about some of the outlandish behavior and dress, for example, the media select to show us whenever there’s a gay pride parade. But if the straight pimps and prostitutes that line the streets of some of the seedier parts of our cities were to have a parade, would we conclude that is indicative of all heterosexual people or the “heterosexual lifestyle?” It would be one thing to say the above is indicative of some gay people, but to presume or imply it is indicative of all gay people is a bit grandiose.

    I would further suggest you do a in-depth study of the use of the Hebrew word for “abomination” (“to-evah”) in Scripture. You’ll be surprised to discover it functions in a very precise way.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

  47. 59 djdesignz January 25, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Peace and grace to you Alex!

    First, I want to thank you for such an engaging dialog. I also want to apologize and ask your forgiveness for any comments I’ve made that you’ve felt we’re inappropriate or inferences about you that I’ve miscommunicated.

    Second, I want to apologize to those in the LGBT community who have suffered because of the inconsistencies and hypocrisy present in much of Christendom. As I’ve stated previously, I have family members who are active in this lifestyle and I have friends who struggle with their sexuality who like me, disagree with your position and interpretation. That’s not a point I use to say I’m right you’re wrong Alex, for that was never my intention, but it is nonetheless the “reality” in which I live. Which I understand and acknowledge is quite different from the “reality” in which you live.

    Two realities, two differing interpretations that will ultimately lead to only one of two endings. I take solace in the fact that there is only One Way, One Truth, One Life and that from the many interpretations, opinions, etc., God will through His Spirit unite the many into the ONE way, Truth and Life that is Christ for He will not lose any that belong to Him!

    That does not absolve us from diligent study of the scriptures or dialog about it’s interpretations, but rather than individuals continuing to bang heads, I believe it’s wise to step back or away and be willing to (despite aversions or how our environments color what we see) seek God for wisdom and understanding about His interpretation. For man only presents interpretations of God’s interpretation!

    As always, my prayer is for wisdom and illumination while acknowledging my diligent study is not infallible and as such I can be wrong.

    May God sanctify us through His Truth!

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  48. 61 Tina April 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I couldn’t get pass the mother/daughter interview…just knew in my spirit I didn’t need to listen to anymore of this. Keeping all in prayer!

    • 62 Rev. Dr. Horace Griffin May 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Oh please. this is the same thing that concervative Christians said wehn they tried to maintain slavery and segregation by using the Bible. They did not want those things to change either. It is simply called using the Bible to maintain discrimination and negative thinking against groups of God’s people.

  49. 63 barry winfield August 6, 2012 at 2:08 am

    look Alex Haiken, lets be blunt being gay what really is a sodomite you just trying to justify your self. like a lawyer trying to find a loop hole. we all know what is right and what is wrong especially with the holy spirit, honestly do you think god thinks it OK for you to [*comment redacted by admin*] and kiss him (i don’t think so). you work for the devil bro because off you snake like debating, and [*comment redacted by admin*] not even the animal s do that and they don’t have a soul period

  50. 64 Alex Haiken August 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Barry, funny to hear you speak about “loopholes”. You know, W.C Fields was visited on his deathbed by a friend who caught him reading the Bible. “What are you reading that Bible for?”, the friend asked. Fields tersely replied, “I’m looking for loopholes!” But those of us with respect for Bible interpretation and biblical authority do not look for loopholes. What we seek is harder and infinitely more important to find than easy outs. We search for the intention of the original writers. Who was the writer and to whom was he writing? What was the cultural and historical setting of the writer? What was the meaning of the words in the writer’s day? What was the intended meaning of the author and why was he saying it? What should this mean to me in my situation today? To an extent, careful study can open those meanings to us if we are humble enough not to presume we already know. We try hard to get past what we think we already know to find out what we are looking at.

    When you’re ready to have an intelligent discussion about the biblical text let me know and I’d be happy to hear you try and exegetically defend your position.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    • 65 lookingfortruth October 16, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Interesting discussions. As Christians we are to give up our own identity and become born again in Christ. How can a “Gay Christian” maintain a homosexual identity and a Christian Identity?

      I find it offensive that one would even put (gay) or any identity in front of the name of our Lord. It is blasphemous.

      I want to be blunt here…We are to follow His example. Are you saying our Lord Christ would act in a homosexual way? (I even hate typing such a thing, but it must be asked.) Are we to assume that we can continue in our own ways and follow the ways of our Lord?

  51. 66 Alex Haiken November 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    You say, “As Christians we are to give up our own identity and become born again in Christ.” I’m not quite sure what you mean by “give up our own identity” but did becoming born again in Christ also mean that you gave up being a heterosexual? Well, as heterosexually-oriented people become born again in Christ and continue being homosexually-oriented people, so too do homosexually-oriented people become born again in Christ and continue being homosexually-oriented people. Why would you think it would different for one group than it is for the other?

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com


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