Homosexuality and Christianity

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The issue of homosexuality and New Testament Christianity has historically been that of two incompatible doctrines and practices. However, with the rise of Biblical revisionism as well as sexual immorality, liberal writers and activists have sought to sanction homosexuality within Christianity. While exegetical efforts to contradict the traditional position regarding homosexuality and biblical interpretation are shown to be spurious, a number of formerly conservative Christian churches now tolerate or promote homosexuality, with some sanctioning same sex marriage. This has resulted in a necessary division between those who hold to traditional biblical exegesis as regards homosexuality, versus those who subscribe to the revisionist rendering of the issue (see also: Homosexuality and the Bible)

Contents

Terminology

Christian

The term Christian was first given to believers in Jesus Christ in Antioch, (Acts 11:26) and as such it denotes born again souls who believed in the plenary inspiration of Scripture (2Tim. 2:16) and the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in the sinless, crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ, (Acts 10:34-43) God manifest in the flesh.[1](1Tim. 3:16) And which souls were taught to uphold the moral laws of the Bible, which would include those regarding homosexuality. It is also evidenced that these believers were taught an overall literalistic interpretation of Scripture, (Mt. 12:4o; 2Pt. 2:15; Jude 1:11; Rev. 2:14) when such is the literary form. Today those who doctrinally affirm this faith are most typically termed Evangelical Christians, while liberal churches and those in them usually deny or foster doubt in least one of the aforementioned areas, especially as regards homosexuality.

Homosexual

This denotes those who sexually seek those of their same sex over the opposite gender. While the term homosexual ("a barbarously hybrid word" [2][2]) is of modern origin, the condition is not, (Rm. 1:26,27) and in the Bible the inclination or motivation is not a determining factor in laws prohibiting sexual relations with illicit partners.

Primary texts

See also Homosexuality and biblical interpretation

The traditional Jewish and Christian position is that homosexual relations are sinful. As the Scriptures are the only written source to which assurance is given of full inspiration (2Tim. 3:16) (though not revelation all is written: Jn. 21:25; Rev. 10:4) they provide the highest authority on homosexual relations for those who oppose such,[3][4] and are attacked the most by those who do not.[5][6]

  • (Gen 1:26-27) "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: .... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
  • (Gen 2:24) "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
  • (1 Cor 11:9) "Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."
  • (Mat 19:4-6) "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, {5} And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? {6} Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

The uniquely compatible and complimentary union of the male and female, with the latter being distinctly made for the former, after others creations failed (Gn. 2:18-20), and which joining of opposite genders Jesus affirmed as the "what" of "what therefore God hath joined together", has historically been understood by Christians as being that which God sanctified by marriage. In contrast, in no place is marriage seen being established for homosexuals, rather it is only condemned wherever it is explicitly dealt with. Liberal Christianity typically responds to this problem by relegating this exclusivity to being caused by the need for procreation, and by reading sex into relations between heterosexuals (or by denying it when it is in a bad light). In countering this, it is shown that the union of opposite genders was for more than procreation, (Song; Prv. 5:18,19; 1Cor. 7:2-5; 11:1-11) and that the radically new marriage pro homosexual writers seek lacks the necessary Biblical warrant, which even their best efforts cannot find. [7]

  • (Gen 19:5-8) "And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. {6} And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, {7} And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. {8} Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof."

This text has generally being understood by Christians and certain first century Jews as manifesting attempted homosexual rape, with the homosexual intentions of the inhabitants of Sodom adding, in the words of Gordon Wenham, "a special piquancy to their crime. In the eyes of the writer of Genesis and his readers it showed that they fully deserve to be described as 'wicked, great sinners before the LORD' (13:13) and that the consequent total overthrow of their city was quite to be expected."[8] Jewish Ethics and Halakhah For Our Time (2002), comments, “The paradigmatic instance of such aberrant behavior is found in the demand of the men of Sodom to “know” the men visiting Lot, the nephew of Abraham, thus lending their name to the practice of “sodomy” (homosexuality)[9] Most pro homosexuals in liberal Christianity seek to disallow a sexual meaning in Gn. 19 based upon the relative rare use of the Hebrew word "know" for sex, though the offer of Lot's virgin daughters as well as the parallel story in Judges 19 best indicates a sexual meaning, while Jude 1:7 states fornication was an ongoing regional iniquity, including that of a perverse kind, culminating in catastrophic judgment.[10]

  • (Lev 18:22) "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."
  • (Lev 20:13) "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."

Historically these texts have been held as universal condemnations of homosexual relations, in distinction to being restricted to a religious context (Dt. 23:17,18) or as part of ceremonial law, while certain revisionists in liberal Christianity seek to relegate them to one of the latter two contexts, with traditionalists refuting such attempts.[11][12] [13].[14][15][16][17] See Leviticus 18

  • (Rom 1:26-27) "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: {27} And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."

Romans 1 was written to both Jewish and Gentile Christians, and the apostle Paul appeals to both natural revelation, that of their Creator being manifest by what He made (cf. Ps. 19:1-6), as well as the account of creation in His word, which is a two fold approach he uses elsewhere. (Acts 13:16-41; 14:6-18; 17:2,22-31) In Roman 1 Paul reveals that as men exchanged the the true and living God for one made after their own desires, so God delivered them up to unclean desires, by which they exchanged their natural (as related to God's design and sanctification) sexual partner for that which is against nature, and received in their own bodies the just reward for what they did with them. The various theories which pro homosexual polemicists contend for range from asserting that Paul was ignorant of homosexuality as an orientation, and thus was only condemning heterosexuals acting as homosexuals, to supposing that Paul was only condemning pederasty, the of man/boy sex, which was common at both Greek and Roman cultures, to more complicated attempts that have Paul justifying homoeroticism to get back at the Jews.[18]

Traditionalists respond by pointing out that "nature" best pertains to creation, not the aberrant desires of fallen man, and that Divine inspiration transcends human limitations. In addition, Paul was most likely quite aware of what was going on in contemporary Greek culture as well as Roman, and Greek homosexuality evidenced that it was aware of homosexual "orientation." The history of homosexuality also manifests that homosexual affections and conduct was not limited to man/boy relations in ancient idolatrous cultures.[19][20][21][22][23] [24]

  • (1 Cor 6:9) "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,"

(1 Tim 1:9-10) "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, {10} For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;"

As this is the obscure term in the Greek, homosexual writers labor much on this in order in the hope of disallowing it from universally applying to homosexuals, and and which attempts and their nature can be best seen in traditionalist responses which counter them.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31].

Historical teaching

New Testament church

While making a distinction for ceremonial laws, (Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 9:10ff; cf. Rm. 14; Gal. 4:10) consistent with its Jewish foundation, the New Testament church was instructed to uphold the moral laws of the Old Testament, with abundant reinforcement of injunctions against illicit sexual partners. (Rm. 1:29; 2:22; 13:9, 1Co. 5:1; 6:13, 8; 7:2, 2Co. 12:21, Gal. 5:19, Eph. 5:3, Col. 3:5, 1Th. 4:3, Jam. 2:11; Rev. 2:22 21:25; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2,4; 18:3; 19:2)

As Gagnon notes, not only in Scripture but every extant "piece of evidence that we have about Jewish views of same-sex intercourse in the Second Temple period and beyond is unremittingly hostile to such behavior.[32][33] And that rather than lessening moral restrictions, Jesus instituted stricter requirements for marriage, based upon its original establishment.[34] And in so doing, the man and the women are specified as the "what" that God uniquely joined together (Mt. 19:4-6; cf. Gn. 1:26,27; 2:18-24).[35] [36]

That Judaism held homosexual relations to be sinful is seen by Jewish commentary.

Regarding the Genesis 19 account of the sexual intent of the Sodomites, the first century Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo (20 BC - 50 AD) described the inhabitants of Sodom,

"As men, being unable to bear discreetly a satiety of these things, get restive like cattle, and become stiff-necked, and discard the laws of nature, pursuing a great and intemperate indulgence of gluttony, and drinking, and unlawful connections; for not only did they go mad after other women, and defile the marriage bed of others, but also those who were men lusted after one another, doing unseemly things, and not regarding or respecting their common nature, and though eager for children, they were convicted by having only an abortive offspring; but the conviction produced no advantage, since they were overcome by violent desire; and so by degrees, the men became accustomed to be treated like women, and in this way engendered among themselves the disease of females, and intolerable evil; for they not only, as to effeminacy and delicacy, became like women in their persons, but they also made their souls most ignoble, corrupting in this way the whole race of men, as far as depended on them." (133-34; ET Jonge 422-23)[37]

Likewise, the first century Jewish historian Josephus stated:

About this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of their riches and great wealth; they became unjust towards men, and impious towards God, in so much that they did not call to mind the advantages they received from him: they hated strangers, and abused themselves with Sodomitical practices” “Now when the Sodomites saw the young men to be of beautiful countenances, and this to an extraordinary degree, and that they took up their lodgings with Lot, they resolved themselves to enjoy these beautiful boys by force and violence (Antiquities 1.11.1 — circa A.D. 96).

Ancient church testimony

Statements from ancient churchmen from after the death of the apostles[38] continue to uphold the Biblical prohibition of homosexual relations.

  • 151 AD Justin Martyr: [W]e have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do anyone harm and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution. And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation. And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm. And any one who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother. And there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy; and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods. (First Apology 27).
  • 181 AD Theophilus of Antioch: Give studious attention to the prophetic writings [the Bible] and they will lead you on a clearer path to escape the eternal punishments and to obtain the eternal good things of God.. [God] will examine everything and will judge justly, granting recompense to each according to merit. To those who seek immortality by the patient exercise of good works, he will give everlasting life, joy, peace, rest, and all good things.. For the unbelievers and for the contemptuous, and for those who do not submit to the truth but assent to iniquity, when they have been involved in adulteries, and fornications, and homosexualities, and avarice, and in lawless idolatries, there will be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish; and in the end, such men as these will be detained in everlasting fire. (To Autolycus 1:14).
  • 190 AD Clement of Alexandria: All honor to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the mother of the gods . . . condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Scythians" … [According to Greek myth] Baubo [a female native of Elusis] having received [the goddess] Demeter hospitably, reached to her a refreshing draught; and on her refusing it, not having any inclination to drink (for she was very sad), and Baubo having become annoyed, thinking herself slighted, uncovered her shame, and exhibited her nudity to the goddess. Demeter is delighted with the sight--pleased, I repeat, at the spectacle. These are the secret mysteries of the Athenians; these Orpheus records" … "It is not, then, without reason that the poets call him [Hercules] a cruel wretch and a nefarious scoundrel. It were tedious to recount his adulteries of all sorts, and debauching of boys. For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymede. Let such gods as these be worshipped by your wives, and let them pray that their husbands be such as these--so temperate; that, emulating them in the same practices, they may be like the gods. Such gods let your boys be trained to worship, that they may grow up to be men with the accursed likeness of fornication on them received from the gods" (Exhortation to the Greeks 2).
  • 220AD Tertullian: [A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities" (Modesty 4).
  • 250 AD Novatian: [God forbid the Jews to eat certain foods for symbolic reasons:] For that in fishes the roughness of scales is regarded as constituting their cleanness; rough, and rugged, and unpolished, and substantial, and grave manners are approved in men; while those that are without scales are unclean, because trifling, and fickle, and faithless, and effeminate manners are disapproved. Moreover, what does the Law mean when it . . . forbids the swine to be taken for food? It assuredly reproves a life filthy and dirty, and delighting in the garbage of vice . . . Or when it forbids the hare? It rebukes men deformed into women" (The Jewish Foods 3).
  • 253 AD Cyprian of Carthage: [T]urn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle . . . Men are emasculated, and all the pride and vigor of their sex is effeminated in the disgrace of their enervated body; and he is more pleasing there who has most completely broken down the man into the woman. He grows into praise by virtue of his crime; and the more he is degraded, the more skillful he is considered to be. Such a one is looked upon--oh shame!--and looked upon with pleasure. . . . nor is there wanting authority for the enticing abomination . . . that Jupiter of theirs [is] not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own thunders . . . now breaking forth by the help of birds to violate the purity of boys. And now put the question: Can he who looks upon such things be healthy-minded or modest? Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion. (Letters 1:8).
  • Methodius, bishop of Olympus and Patara (AD 260-312); Commentary on the sin of Sodom: But we do not say so of that mixture that is contrary to nature, or of any unlawful practice; for such are enmity to God. For the sin of Sodom is contrary to nature, as is also that with brute beasts. But adultery and fornication are against the law; the one whereof is impiety, the other injustice, and, in a word, no other than a great sin. But neither sort of them is without its punishment in its own proper nature. For the practicers of one sort attempt the dissolution of the world, and endeavor to make the natural course of things to change for one that is unnatural; but those of the second son — the adulterers — are unjust by corrupting others’ marriages, and dividing into two what God hath made one, rendering the children suspected, and exposing the true husband to the snares of others. And fornication is the destruction of one’s own flesh, not being made use of for the procreation of children, but entirely for the sake of pleasure, which is a mark of incontinency, and not a sign of virtue. All these things are forbidden by the laws; for thus say the oracles: Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. For such a one is accursed, and ye shall stone them with stones: they have wrought abomination.
  • 305 AD Arnobius: [T]he mother of the gods loved [the boy Attis] exceedingly, because he was of most surpassing beauty; and Acdestis [the son of Jupiter] who was his companion, as he grew up fondling him, and bound to him by wicked compliance with his lust . . . Afterwards, under the influence of wine, he [Attis] admits that he is . . . loved by Acdestis . . . Then Midas, king of Pessinus, wishing to withdraw the youth from so disgraceful an intimacy, resolves to give him his own daughter in marriage . . . Acdestis, bursting with rage because of the boy's being torn from himself and brought to seek a wife, fills all the guests with frenzied madness; the Phrygians shriek, panic-stricken at the appearance of the gods . . . [Attis] too, now filled with furious passion, raving frantically and tossed about, throws himself down at last, and under a pine tree mutilates himself, saying, "Take these, Acdestis, for which you have stirred up so great and terribly perilous commotions." (Against the Pagans 5:6-7).
  • 319 AD Eusebius of Caesarea: [H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, he [God] adds: `Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it.' [Lev. 18:24-25]" (Proof of the Gospel 4:10).
  • 367 AD Basil the Great: He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers" (Letters 217:62).
  • 373 AD Basil the Great: If you [O, monk] are young in either body or mind, shun the companionship of other young men and avoid them as you would a flame. For through them the enemy has kindled the desires of many and then handed them over to eternal fire, hurling them into the vile pit of the five cities under the pretense of spiritual love.. At meals take a seat far from other young men. In lying down to sleep let not their clothes be near yours, but rather have an old man between you. When a young man converses with you, or sings psalms facing you, answer him with eyes cast down, lest perhaps by gazing at his face you receive a seed of desire sown by the enemy and reap sheaves of corruption and ruin. Whether in the house or in a place where there is no one to see your actions, be not found in his company under the pretense either of studying the divine oracles or of any other business whatsoever, however necessary" (The Renunciation of the World).
  • 390 AD John Chrysostom: [The pagans] were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that pederasty . . . should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing; and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them. . . . As for their passion for boys, whom they called their 'paedica,' it is not fit to be named. (Homilies on Titus 5).
  • 391 AD John Chrysostom: [Certain men in church] come in gazing about at the beauty of women; others curious about the blooming youth of boys. After this, do you not marvel that [lightning] bolts are not launched [from heaven], and all these things are not plucked up from their foundations? For worthy both of thunderbolts and hell are the things that are done; but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile his wrath, calling you to repentance and amendment. (Homilies on Matthew 3:3).
  • 391 AD John Chrysostom: All of these affections [in Rom. 1:26-27] . . . were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored than the body in diseases" … "[The men] have done an insult to nature itself. And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more shame than men" … "And sundry other books of the philosophers one may see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature; but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this would be worse than any punishment. (Homilies on Romans 4).
  • 400AD Augustine: [T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way. (Confessions 3:8:15).
  • 400 AD The Apostolic Constitutions: [Christians] abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practiced by some contrary to nature, as wicked and impious" (Apostolic Constitutions 6:11).

Several texts in the Jewish Midrashic literature written in the early Christian centuries, such as Beresheth Rabbah 26:5 commenting on Genesis 6:2, also asserted that God is patient with all sins except fornication, and which included homoeroticism:

  • “He Who commits sodomy with a male or a beast, and a woman that commits bestiality are stoned. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 54a Soncino 1961 Edition, page 367)

The rise of liberal views on homosexuality

It has become apparent that many churches which were once committed to Scripture and overall held to biblical positions on homosexuality have increasingly yielded to the influence of liberalism on this issues. The Dr. A. L. Barry, President of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod states that two reasons for these changes in some churches is that 'First, homosexual groups within these churches often engage in "lobbying" efforts and gain considerable influence. Second and more important, attitudes toward homosexuality have changed as a result of changing attitudes toward the authority and reliability of the Holy Scriptures."[39]

As concerns the second aspect, evidence is seen which indicates that the degree of fidelity to the historic teaching on homosexual relations among denominations and believers usually corresponds to their view of the Bible. Fundamental, evangelical type churches hold to the historic position of plenary Divine inspiration, along with a basic literalistic approach to Biblical exegesis, so that while interpretations are understood within the context of their respective literary genres, a wide range of metaphorical meanings of the historical narratives are disallowed. This position basically understands that God, as the author of Holy Scripture, made His will for man evident and to be obeyed, and that His basic doctrines and laws on attitude and behavior, including as regards sexual partners, transcend time and culture. They affirm as critical such doctrines as the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His literal vicarious death and resurrection, and second coming. In contrast, the revisionism of liberal Christianity typically denies the full Divine inspiration of the Bible, and also can easily allow denial of the immutability and universality of basic moral commands, such as regards sexual partners. This movement of liberalism began during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which was helped by the rise of evolution, as both share a common motivation. (cf. Is. 30:9-11; Rm. 8:7; 1Cor. 2:14) [40] Louis Cassels, the religion editor for many years for United Press International, [41] states that such,

refused to accord any special authority to the Scriptures. They increasingly came to look upon the Bible simply as an ancient book which might, if subjected to proper critical study, yield some reliable data about the life of Jesus and the history of Israel. This attitude was reflected in the vogue of "higher criticism" which swept through German theological schools in the nineteenth century....

The most radical expressions of Liberalism jettisoned the concept of a personal God in favor of what Professor Daniel B. Stevick has aptly described as "the worship of abstractions spelled with capital letters." [42]

This god the product of human reason, and is consistent with what Paul describes in Romans 1:25, which is idolatry, and those who worship at that altar typically sanction homosexual relations.

Less extreme liberals, who may be termed Modern Orthodox, continue to uphold the Deity of Christ and other primary doctrines, and some officially hold the Bible to be wholly inspired, but render many historical miraculous accounts to be fables, designed to teach a lesson, but not historical fact, and also overall do not emphasis the authority of the Bible in practical application. These tend to subscribe to the "historical-critical method," which tends to disallow the miraculous in favor of natural explanations.[43], contrary to conservatives, [44] Such also hold to the liberal revisionist "Documentary Source Hypothesis", which renders the Bible to be the work of editors who edited it over long periods of time, rather than what the text states.[45] Many in this camp, in contrast to New Testament Christianity, are likely to doctrinally compromise on popular moral issues, or allow such in their denomination, and their doctrinal statements regarding the Bible tend to lack doctrinal depth and firmness.

Evangelical Christianity (which, as defined by Barna research, makes up approx. 6-7 percent of the United States [46][47] is more distinctive in that it holds to sola scriptura, that the Bible is the final, but not the only, authority, wholly inspired by God and inerrant, although most hold that this refers to the original manuscripts. Their scholars hold to the historical contextual and grammatical method, which understands Scripture in the light of its immediate and larger contexts, as well as linguistically aspects , and affirms its statements as accurate and true, within their respective literary genres, in contrast to revisionist theories designed to negate its authority.[48] Such also hold to salvation by grace through faith in the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ and His sinless shed blood, by which the contrite and repentant soul is justified before God, not on the basis of merit gained by their own works. [49]

Positions on homosexuality by religious type

Presently, research polls indicate a slim majority (58%) of self identified Catholics and mainline Protestants (56%) favor of acceptance of homosexuality, with 26 percent of evangelical Protestants concurring.[50] Similarly, a different poll shows 39 percent of Roman Catholics and 79 percent of evangelical Americans affirm that homosexual behavior is sinful.[51][52]

Denominational positions on the Bible, and homosexuality

Alliance of Baptists

The Alliance of Baptists--representing a small minority of Baptists--expresses that the Bible is an inadequate basis of authority, with human experience and science being able to sanction homosexuality, and homosexual marriage, as wells as to sanction "committed" sexual relationships outside marriage.[53][54][55]

Anglican/Episcopal

The Anglican Communion's North American provinces allow a more subjective basis for interpreting the Bible, provoking vigorous opposition from the majority of the Communion's provinces elsewhere. Anglican authorities such as Archbishop Alan Harper, Anglican Primate of Ireland, and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, have argued against the Biblical injunctions on homosexuality. These are refuted by Robert A. J. Gagnon and other conservatives.[56] [57] A theology committee for the House of Bishops for the Episcopal Church rejected same-sex rites after 18 months of study. In 1998, the world's Anglican prelates voted that sex between homosexuals is ‘incompatible with Scripture’ at the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops in Canterbury, England.” [58]

The attitude of the Episcopal Church toward homosexuality is partly seen in its reaction to the election of an openly gay, non-celibate priest, Gene Robinson, the father of two grown daughters who had lived openly with another man for 13 years, as Bishop. On June 7 2003, the New Hampshire diocese of the Episcopal Church elected Robinson as its Bishop. The national church approved this, with 62 of 107 bishops convening at the General Convention in Minneapolis, Minn. on Aug. 5, voting to support the canon. Robinson met his current partner in 1988, and their house was blessed by Bishop Douglas Theuner. In 2008 they were legally "married" under the laws of the State of New Hampshire, with Robinson claiming to be a June "bride." Robinson later revealed that he struggled with alcoholism for years. [59][60][61] In April, 2005, Robinson promoted Planned Parenthood targeting "people of faith" to promote abortion rights and comprehensive sex education. He also attacked traditional interpretations regarding homosexuality and the Bible, and exhorted, "The story of freedom in Exodus is our story. ... That's my story, and they can't have it."[62] Robinson's ordination and his positions here are seen to manifest a "different Jesus" and Spirit (2Cor. 11:4; Jude 1:4,11,12).

In 2009, the Episcopal Church's triennial national convention in Anaheim, Calif., passed a resolution allowing for the ordination of sodomite bishops. Though officials did not created liturgical rites to bless same-sex unions, they approved a compromise measure that allows bishops, especially in states where same-sex unions are legal, to bless the relationships.[63]

On May 15, 2010, the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles ordained lesbian Mary Glasspool, of Baltimore, before 3,000 people, who burst into applause at the end.[64] [65] This is the first time a lesbian ha been ordained in any church calling itself Christian, it being contrary to the source of the term, the Bible, (Acts 11:26) which condemns homosexuality, and which also upholds the headship of the man.[66]

The Episcopal Church, the U.S. affiliate of the Anglican Communion, is divided over homosexuality and same-sex marriages. This is expressed in the Report of the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church. This also states that "The Church vigorously denounces discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, [4.5] An example of this was seen in 2005, when six priests faced being defrocked by the Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut because of their refusal to abide by the ECUSA's practice of ordaining homosexuals and conducting same-sex blessing ceremonies. One of the six, Christopher Leighton of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Darien, confirmed there was a deep chasm between conservative priests and leaders of the diocese over biblical authority. "The Bible's very clear," he stated, "that the only acceptable expression of intimacy, in human beings, is between a man and a woman for life, and we call it holy wedlock. And the recent decisions of the Episcopal Church fly in the face of the scriptures and of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and world Christianity."[67]

In America, Episcopal conservatives have formed dozens of rival churches, the Anglican Church in North America being the largest of them with a claimed membership of 100,000. In April, 2010, some 130 Anglicans from 20 in Australia endorsed a document encouraging each another to reconsider their relationships with The Episcopal Church, and condemning the western church body for pursuing "an agenda of their own desire in opposition to historic norms of faith, teaching and practice." [68] However, most opposition to the revisionist movement comes from outside the West. "Anglican groups in North America, Central America, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and Southern Africa tend to lean toward an inclusive view of homosexuality. In contrast, a majority of Anglican churches in Africa (where a major number of Anglican churches are located) and the West Indies hold that the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin, and they are threatening to leave the Anglican Church if the church continues to condone homosexual behavior."[69] Peter Karanja, of the All Saints Cathedral Church in Nairobi, Kenya, may be seen as summing up the opposition in stating, "We cannot be in fellowship with them when they violate the explicit Scripture that the Anglican Church subscribes to. It's outrageous and uncalled for."[70]

Assemblies of God

The Assemblies of God is clear and detailed in stating that it holds the Bible to be wholly inspired and inerrant (in the original).[71][72] Its position on homosexuality states, in part,

Homosexual behavior is sin because it is disobedient to scriptural teachings. Writers sympathetic to the homosexual community have advanced revisionist interpretations of relevant biblical texts that are based upon biased exegesis and mistranslation. In effect, they seek to set aside almost 2,000 years of Christian Biblical interpretation and ethical teachings. We believe these efforts are reflective of the conditions described in 2Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” It should be noted at the outset that there is absolutely no affirmation of homosexual activity found anywhere in Scripture. [73]

The Christian and Missionary Alliance

The Christian and Missionary Alliance, also referred to as the Fellowship Alliance church, upholds the view that the

The Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and are a complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice.[74]

A provided statement on homosexuality is clear and unambiguous, part of which states,

The Old Testament reveals God’s original design to make human beings in His image, male and female. Each person’s completeness is realized in relationship to one who is alike in nature but opposite sexually (Genesis 2:10-24), unless a person is given the gift of celibate singleness (1 Corinthians 7:1, 7-8).
In the New Testament, Jesus confirms the heterosexual creation of human beings: God made them male and female (Matthew 19:4). Throughout Scripture heterosexual families consisting of a father, mother, and their children (unless they are unable to bear children) are the norm of society. The New Testament reinforces the teaching of heterosexual love and sexual relations within marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33, Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5).
Alongside this clear biblical teaching on God’s design for heterosexual marriage are found specific instructions that prohibit homosexual conduct, for example: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). Homosexual conduct is detestable because it is out of harmony with the purpose for which God created human beings.
But the same passage of Scripture strongly affirms the liberating power of the Christian gospel from all former sinful patterns of life, including homosexual behavior and inclinations: And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11-12).[75][76]

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) officially holds to a liberal and subjective view regarding Scripture. It states that "God inspired the Bible’s many writers, editors and compilers", the mention of the latter entities indicating that it hold to the revisionary Documentary Source Hypothesis. It also seeks to "interpret Scripture by listening to the living Jesus in the context of the Church". As expressed, this holds that that the writer’s culture or personal experience or bias may have have resulted in "his missing what God was saying or doing, or that God now is saying or doing something new."[77]

As regards homosexuality, the ELCA affirms "... that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America." Nevertheless it stated, "The ELCA has no policy on the blessing of same-sex unions".

Previously, it was the policy of the ELCA that "all single rostered people, including those who are homosexual in their self-understanding," were "expected to abstain from sexual relationships." [78] However, on August 21, 2009, the ELCA voted 559 to 451 at its convention in Minneapolis, Minn., to allow sexually active gays in a "committed relationship" to be ordained.[79] In 2010, several dozen ELCA congregations opposed to the church's stance on homosexuality issues began the process of forming a rival church body, the North American Lutheran Church.

The other Lutheran bodies in the United States have continued to defend and maintain the tradition view of sexuality and marriage.

Evangelical Presbyterian Church

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a relatively new denomination formed mainly by souls resisting increasing liberalism among churches of the Presbyterian Church (USA), provides a rather extensive explanation of its beliefs and positions, with both the Westminster Confession of Faith and Essentials of Our Faith documenting such.

As regards the Bible, it holds that,

The infallible Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God's redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks. On this sure foundation we affirm these additional Essentials of our faith...set forth in greater detail in the Westminster Confession of Faith.[80]

As regards homosexual practices, its Position Paper on Homosexuality states (compiled),

...the conviction of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is that 1) homosexuality is a sin; and 2) God forgives repentant sinners.

...homosexual practice is a distortion of the image of God as it is still reflected in fallen man, and a perversion of the sexual relationship as God intended it to be.

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the infallible Word of God, the final authority on all issues to which it speaks. Therefore sexual attitudes and behaviors are to be judged in the light of the Bible, rather than the Bible being reinterpreted, modified or overturned by current cultural trends in thought and behavior.

Even some Christian churches and their leaders are granting moral legitimacy to homosexuality. The prevailing ethic in the minds of many has become a “genetically-based morality.”...The EPC finds such moral logic to be significantly flawed....The EPC asserts that God’s law alone as revealed in the holy Scriptures is to be our basis for morality. We reject attempts to base morality on scientific study. The Bible teaches that since the fall of man, mankind has been born with a sinful nature. The Bible teaches that greed, lust, envy strife, etc., are characteristic of fallen man, and in that sense are our orientation from birth. But while they may be our natural orientation, they are still sin. Simply put, the Old and New Testaments consistently condemn homosexual practice and repeatedly affirm that God forgives the repentant sinner.[81]

Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod (LCMS) holds that the Bible is inspired and inerrant, and only the source of doctrine. It "Rule of faith" is judged by it.

The "Holy Scriptures are the Word of God...they are in all their parts and words the infallible truth, also in those parts which treat of historical, geographical, and other secular matters, John 10:35.[82]

On homosexuality, in a detailed and consistent teaching it states that,

The Lord teaches us through His Word that homosexuality is a sinful distortion of His desire that one man and one woman live together in marriage as husband and wife.God categorically prohibits homosexuality. Our church, The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod,has declared that homo- sexual behavior is "intrinsically sinful."

And in addition,

While clearly affirming the sinfulness of homosexuality, we will also want clearly to affirm God's promise of forgiveness in Christ Jesus.Often families of homosexuals are embarrassed and ashamed. If Christian friends and relatives treat them in ways that increase this shame, it is little wonder that they will attempt to rationalize or otherwise explain away a son's or daughter's sinful lifestyle.[83]

Mennonite Church

The Mennonite Church issues a fairly strong statement on its belief in the Bible, which reads (in part):

We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness. We also acknowledge the Scripture as the fully reliable and trustworthy Word of God written in human language. We acknowledge the Scripture as the authoritative source and standard for preaching and teaching about faith and life, for distinguishing truth from error, for discerning between good and evil, and for guiding prayer and worship. Other claims on our understanding of Christian faith and life, such as tradition, culture, experience, reason, and political powers, need to be tested and corrected by the light of Holy Scripture.[84]

On homosexuality, the current understanding of God's will regarding human sexuality by the General Conference Mennonite Church (1986) and the Mennonite Church (1987) is expressed in its "Resolution on Human Sexuality" (adopted at the 1986 triennial session at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, by the General Conference Mennonite Church). As regards homosexuality it states,

We understand the Bible to teach that sexual intercourse is reserved for a man and woman united in marriage and that violation of this teaching is a sin.[85]

This was affirmed in 1998 by the Conference of Mennonites in Canada.[86]

Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)

The PCUSA denomination, in a carefully nuanced and liberal explanation of "What do Presbyterians believe about the Bible?", states, "We believe that through it God speaks to us--that it is inspired. For some, that means the Bible is inerrant. For others, it means that even though the Bible is culturally conditioned and not necessarily factual or even always true, it breathes with the life of God."[87] the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God's Word to [them]."[88] The Scriptures, given under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are nevertheless the words of men, conditioned by the language, thought forms, and literary fashions of the places and times at which they were written. They reflect views of life, history, and the cosmos that were then current.[89]

Similar to the United Methodists, its position on homosexuality appears to be in a state of flux. In Jun. 28 2008, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s highest governing body voted Friday in favor of a proposal that would allow for the ordination of non-celibate gays and lesbians. In addition it was proposed that the requirement in the Book of Order, section G-6.0106bbe, be deleted which required clergy to live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness". Question 87 of the catechism states, "Can those who do not turn to God from their ungrateful, impenitent life be saved?" "Certainly not! Scripture says, 'Surely you know that the unjust will never come into possession of the kingdom of God. Make no mistake: no fornicator or idolater, none who are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion, no thieves or grabbers or drunkards or swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God.'" [90] More recently (March 2009) the Charlotte Presbytery also recommenced ending their denomination's longstanding ban on gays and lesbians becoming pastors and elders.[91] However, on April 27, 2009, a slim majority of the presbyteries voted against the proposed amendment, 89 to 69. Terry Schlossberg, of the conservative Presbyterian Coalition, said ``those who wish to change the biblically rooted standard have continually pressed the matter and required repeated votes that have had the same impact each time." This is the fourth time in the past twelve years that the proposal to amend the Presbyterian Church's constitution has been defeated in official presbyterial voting.[92]

Nevertheless, in certain doctrinal matters, many conservatives see a manifest discrepancy between officially taught and is often allowed. States Dr. D. Dean Weaver, senior pastor of Memorial Park Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh and co-moderator of the New Wineskins Association of Churches (a network of dissident Presbyterians), "We think there is an unfortunate but clear distinction between what is on paper and what is the working theology of the denomination."[93] Adds Michael Neubert of the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois, "The written standards of the denomination are precisely correct, but they are largely ignored." "And so, quoting the standard is pointless."[94]

Roman Catholic Church

Roman Catholicism holds that God is the author of sacred Scripture, which is wholly inspired, but it is not all revelation of truth, nor in effect, the supreme authority. While the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is held to be entrusted to her, the Church "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence." (80). The Pope and the Church's living Magisterium are also held to provide infallible truth, when declared in accordance with infallibly defined criteria. (891) Also, "The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him. (100) By such the above doctrines are derived, and 'by a "supernatural sense of faith" the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith.' (889) [95]

In an apparent departure from the past,[96] the official (for America) New American Bible commentary considers historical narratives such as the creation and temptation story Gn. 2-3; Cain and Able (Gn. 4:16; the flood of Noah 6-8; the tower of Babel (Gn. 11); the story of Balaam and his donkey (Numbers 22 cf. 1Pet. 2:16; Jude 1:11; Rev. 2:14) etc., to be allegorical "folk tales to teach a lesson." It also considers the core of such narratives as Joseph (Gn. 37-50), Samson (Judges 13-16) David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17) and those of Abraham, Issac and Jacob (Gn. 13-36) to be historical, while otherwise being novels, using traditions to teach religious lessons.[97][98]

As regards homosexuality, Roman Catholic Catechism (1992), teaches that,

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. 2357

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

In the Catholic Encyclopedia (Broderick) it states, based upon the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1990)

In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society....no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For, according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the consequence of rejecting God."[99]

In "Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care" (2006), American bishops stated, in part,

the Catholic Church has consistently taught that homosexual acts “are contrary to the natural law. . . . Under no circumstances can they be approved.

In the book of Genesis we learn that God created humanity as male and female and that according to God’s plan a man and a woman come together and “the two of them become one body.” Whenever homosexual acts are mentioned in the Old Testament, it is clear that they are disapproved of, as contrary to the will of God. In the New Testament, St. Paul teaches that homosexual acts are not in keeping with our being created in God’s image and so degrade and undermine our authentic dignity as human beings.

Homosexuals have also been banned from becoming priests. Estimates on the number of homosexual priests range from less than 4% to over 50%.[100] Of the 6% reported to have been sexually invloded with children, 4% were homosexual.

Is spite of official Roman Catholic teaching, a number of pr homosexual Catholic groups continue to seek to change this teaching.

Homosexual researcher John Boswell (1947-1994) in an effort many see as a case of homosexual historical revisionism, tendentiously worked to claim that the Roman Catholicism came to sanction a degree of homosexual bonding till the 13th century. However, his research and conclusions have been much disputed by liberal and conservative scholars alike.[101][102][103]

Southern Baptist Convention

The largest Protestant denomination within the United States, the Southern Baptist Convention, clearly and concisely states that the Bible is inspired and inerrant, that

It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter."[104] "Baptists also make statements of belief, but all of them are revisable in light of Scripture. The Bible is the final word."<ref<[http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/pscreeds.asp Position Statements[105] Baptists have accepted the Bible as the sole authority for matters of faith and practice.[106]

Regarding homosexuality:

We affirm God's plan for marriage and sexual intimacy – one man, and one woman, for life. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. Homosexuality is not a "valid alternative lifestyle." The Bible condemns it as sin. It is not, however, unforgivable sin. The same redemption available to all sinners is available to homosexuals. They, too, may become new creations in Christ.[107] See also Resolutions.[3]

United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ provides little in the way of official position on the Bible. The Constitution and Bylaws of the United Church of Christ mentions the scriptures/Bible once, stating that "It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world."

Its overarching goal is unity, and as such "The UCC has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or structures."[108] The United Church of Christ publishes The New Century Hymnal, which is the only hymnal released by a Christian church that honors in equal measure both male and female images of God.[109]

Far more is expressed in its Constitution and Bylaws as regards homosexuality, which it promotes more than any other major liberal denomination, sanctioning the United Church of Christ Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, which

is composed of members and friends of the United Church of Christ who affirm the good news that all persons of all sexual orientations are loved and empowered by God. The Coalition actively works to combat prejudice and seeks justice for, and the full inclusion and involvement of, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Christians in all expressions of the United Church of Christ...

On July 4, 2005, the UCC General Synod overwhelming backed a same-sex marriage resolution, "affirming the civil rights of gay - of same-gender - couples to have their relationships recognized as marriages by the state, and encouraging our local churches to celebrate those marriages." This made the UCC the first among major U.S. Christian denominations to promote same-sex marriage rights. [110]

Some dissident groups within the UCC made moves to separate themselves from this decision, such as The Biblical Witness Fellowship.[111]

United Methodist Church

Official United Methodist statements on the Bible lack depth and detail. It holds that the Bible is inspired by God and contains all things necessary to salvation.[112] It overall manifests that it allows subjective sources to alter basic moral teaching. [113]

Homosexuals are allowed to be members, but "self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as [ministerial]] candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church." "Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches." However, it has yet to firmly resolve the issue (to stand with the Bible), and considers this a debatable subject.[114] It yet supports traditional marriage, though not distinctive gender roles as being normative in such,[115] and strongly supports ordaining women as pastors over men.[116] It opposes homophobia as well as heterosexism, such as provides "a privileged status for people who identify as culturally defined heterosexuals" (which the Bible promotes), and supports equal civil rights for homosexuals[117][118] (the sexual practice of said persons the Bible criminalizes). Liberal activists within the church continue to promote acceptance of homosexuality, with conservatives opposing.[119]

External links

References

  1. The Divinity of "the Christ, the Son of the Living God"
  2. H. Havelock Ellis, "Studies in Psychology," 1897]
  3. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080606/survey-americans-divided-on-homosexuality-as-sin.htm
  4. http://www.gallup.com/poll/117154/Catholics-Similar-Mainstream-Abortion-Stem-Cells.aspx
  5. Pastor Joseph P. Gudel, Homosexuality in Society, the Church, and Scripture, The Authority of Scripture, Christian Research Institute Journal
  6. Alex D. Montoya, The Master's Seminary Journal (TMSJ), 11/2 (Fall 2000), Homosexuality and the church
  7. Genesis: the Unique Union of Man and Women, also Eunuchs and Exegesis
  8. Gordon Wenham, In addition, from it the term "sodomy" was derived. The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality Expository Times 102 (1991): 259-363
  9. (Cf. Genesis Rabbah 50:5, on Gen. 9:22 ff. More generally see M.Kasher, Torah Shlemah, vol. 3 to Gen 19:5.)
  10. http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/Homosex_versus_the_Bible.html #19 Homosex versus the Bible, Genesis 19; Jude 1:7]
  11. Daniel Helminiak, What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, pp. 46 - 47
  12. A Reformed Response to Daniel Helminiak's Gay Theology
  13. Gagnon, "God and Sex" or "Pants on Fire"? The "Irrelevance of Levitical Prohibitions" Argument
  14. Homosexuality, Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law, pp. 65-69
  15. The Condemnation of Homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9 David E. Malick
  16. (“Homosexuals or Prostitutes? The Meaning of ARSENOKOITAI (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10),” Vigiliae Christianae 38 [1984] 125-53)
  17. THE MALAKOI AND ARSENOKOITAI (I COR 6:9): WHAT IS REALLY MEANT BY THESE TERMS?
  18. Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality, p. 14; Heliminiak, What the Bible really says homosexuality (pro gay), p. 76; Hanks, Thomas D.; A Gay Apostle’s Queer Epistle for a Peculiar People: Romans 1:16-2:16; (compilation); Countrymen, Dirt, Greed and Sex, pp. 98-123; Edwards, "Gay/Leban Liberation, pp. 85-102; Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality, pp. 115-18; Boswell, ibid. pp. 108-113
  19. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, pp. 256-67; Richard B. Hays, "Awaiting the redemption of our bodies." pp. 6, 7-21; Hays, "Natural and unnatural: A response to John Boswell's exegesis of Romans 1." Journal of Religious Ethics 14 (1986), pp. 184-215); Greg L. Bahnsen, Homosexuality" A Biblical View, pp. 47-61; The Bible Knowledge Commentary, by John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck, Louis A. Barbieri Jr., Dallas; The Bible and Sexual Boundaries, by Craig R. Koester; David E. Malick, "The Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27," Bibliotheca Sacra 150: 599 (1993): 327-340.
  20. [http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/10/32003b.asp One Flesh Why Sodomy Can Never Depict the Relationship Between Christ and His Church]
  21. Gagnon, How Bad Is Homosexual Practice According to Scripture
  22. [ http://www.ovrlnd.com/FalseDoctrine/Gay_Christians.html A Response to the 'Gay Christian' Movement, Vincent McCann, Spotlight Ministries]
  23. Guenther Haas, Hermeneutical issues in the use of the Bible to justify the acceptance of homosexual practice
  24. Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Apostle Paul on Sexuality: A Response
  25. THE SOURCE AND NT MEANING OF ARSENOKOITAI, WITH IMPLICATIONS OR CHRISTIAN ETHICS AND MINISTRY, James B. De Young
  26. [ http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/homosexuality_corinthians6.pdf The Condemnation of Homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9 David E. Malick
  27. PAUL, HOMOSEXUALITY, AND 1 CORINTHIANS 6:9-11
  28. Homosexuality Revisited in Light of the Current Climate 1by Calvin Smith
  29. Linguistic Grounds for Translating Arsenokoitai as “Homosexuals” De Young, J. B. (2000). Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications
  30. THE MALAKOI AND ARSENOKOITAI (I COR 6:9): WHAT IS REALLY MEANT BY THESE TERMS?
  31. http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homoBalchHBTReview2.pdf
  32. The Bible and Homosexual Practice, pp. 159-83
  33. Gagnon, Notes to Gagnon’s Essay in the Gagnon-Via Two Views Book
  34. http://www.robgagnon.net/homoAuthorityScripture.htm
  35. The Bible and Homosexuality; Mark 7:7: Did Jesus include homosexuality in “fornication?
  36. Gagnon, why the disagreement over the biblical witness on homosexual practice? A Response to Myers and Scanzoni, What God Has Joined Together?
  37. The Sodom tradition in Romans Biblical Theology Bulletin, Spring, 2004 by Philip F. Esler
  38. What did early Christians believe about...?. Bible.ca
  39. What about homosexuality
  40. Julian Huxley And The Idolatry Of Evolution, The American Thinker, September 16, 2007
  41. Informational, and overall fair analysis, though the missionary effects are an effect of the evangelical gospel, not the cause of its growth
  42. What’s the Difference? A Comparison of the Faiths Men Live By, by Louis Cassels, 1995
  43. The Bible’s Deadly Enemy, BRF Witness
  44. [http://www.abu.nb.ca/Courses/NTIntro/LifeJ/HistCrit.htm The historical-critical method, by Barry D. Smith
  45. Does Anyone Still Believe the 'Documentary Hypothesis'?
  46. Survey Explores Who Qualifies As an Evangelical, The Barna Group, Ltd.
  47. [1]
  48. Why the Historical-Critical Method of Interpreting Scripture is Incompatible with Confessional Lutheranism. by John F. Brug
  49. Ibid. Barna.org
  50. Religious landscape survey The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
  51. LifeWay Research study, June 2008
  52. Revealing Statistics: differences among denominations
  53. 1999 "Report on the Task Force on Human Sexuality"
  54. The Alliance of Baptists Affirms Same-Sex Marriage
  55. [ http://www.baptist2baptist.org/b2barticle.asp?ID=266 For the Bible tells me so. by Russell D. Moore November 2000]
  56. The Faulty Orientation Argument of Anglican Archbishop Harper of Ireland, by Robert A J Gagnon
  57. Rowan Williams’ Wrong Reading of Romans, Gagnon
  58. Saunders and Duin, "Church Elects Its First Gay Bishop", The Washington Times
  59. Robinson's speech: Divisive, as expected
  60. http://lifeanddoctrine.blogspot.com/2009/01/bishop-gene-robinson-rick-warren-barak.html
  61. Gay Episcopal Bishop Prepares for June Wedding, U/Miami News Service, December 4, 2007
  62. Gay bishop backs Planned Parenthood, The Washington Times, April 15, 2005
  63. Washingtonpost.com, July 18, 2009; "Episcopal Bishops Can Bless Gay Unions"
  64. Associated Press, May 15, 2010
  65. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100514/episcopal-church-set-to-ordain-lesbian-bishop/print.html
  66. http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/WOMENPASTORS.html
  67. http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/5/52005c.asp
  68. Episcopal Church Set to Ordain Lesbian Bishop, The Christian Post, May. 14 2010
  69. http://christianteens.about.com/od/homosexuality/f/EpisAngHomosexu.htm (liberal)
  70. Time magazine, Aug. 11, 2003
  71. Our 16 Fundamental Truths The Scriptures Inspired
  72. The inerrancy of Scripture
  73. Homosexuality
  74. http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/doctrine
  75. Homosexuality
  76. STATEMENT ON HOMOSEXUALITY
  77. What do Lutherans believe about the Bible?
  78. http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Homosexuality-and-the-ELCA.aspx
  79. Sara Shookman Lutherans to allow gay clergy, Gray Television, Inc (Aug 23, 2009)
  80. Westminster Confession of Faith
  81. Position Paper on Homosexuality
  82. Of the Holy Scriptures
  83. What about Homosexuality?
  84. http://www.mennolink.org/doc/cof/art.4.html
  85. http://www.ambs.edu/LJohns/Resolutions.htm
  86. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/R48721.html
  87. What Presbyterians Believe, by David Robert Ord
  88. Book of Order G-14.0405b.2
  89. Confession of 1967 (9.30)
  90. A Date with Disaster -- Presbyterians Approve Homosexual Clergy
  91. http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2009/03/the-pcusa-inches-closer-to-ord.php
  92. http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2009/04/presbyterians-defeat-move-to-a.php
  93. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070626/conservative-presbyterians-pc-usa-not-walking-the-talk/index.html
  94. Rev. Michael Neubert of the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois, according to Presbyweb
  95. Catechism of the Catholic church
  96. Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane, no. 11; Pope Benedict XV, Spiritus Paraclitus, no. 13; Pope Pius XII, Divino Afflante Spiritu, no. 3; Pius XII, Humani Generis, no. 22
  97. How to Read your Bible, Literary genres forms; The New American Bible, Catholic Book Publishing Company. NHIL OBSTAT Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M. S.S.I.; IMPRIMATUR Patrick Cardinal O/Boyle, D.D. Archbishop of Washington
  98. http://www.saveourchurch.org/thenewamericanbibleherisies.pdf
  99. Robert Broderick, Ed., "Catholic Encyclopedia: Revised and updated edition," Nelson, (1987), Page 272a
  100. Bill Blakemore, "Crisis in the Church: Is celibacy to blame?," ABC News; "Gay Priests," Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, 2002-MAY-10, sociologist James G. Wolfe The Silence of Sodom, by Mark D. Jordan p. 102; James G. Wolf, "Gay Priests," Harper and Row, 1989, Pages 59-60.; "Report: Priests hit hard by hidden AIDS epidemic," Associated Press, 2000-Jan-31; Judy L. Thomas, "Catholic priests are dying of AIDS, often in silence," Kansas City Star, 2000-JAN-29, at: http://www.kcstar.com. Sources compiled by the misnamed, pro homosexual "Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance"
  101. David Wright, "Do you take this man ... --- Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by John Boswell", National Review Aug 29, 1994; 59-60
  102. Robin Darling Young, , Gay Marriage: Reimagining Church History, First Things, 47 ( Nov 1 1994), 43-
  103. On Boswell and “Men who lie with a male” in 1 Corinthians 6:9: A Response to Harwood and Porter
  104. The Baptist Faith and Message
  105. Creeds and Confessions]
  106. Resolution On The Bible June 1978
  107. Position Statements/Sexuality
  108. www.ucc.org, "What we believe"
  109. UCC 'Firsts'
  110. N.Y. Times, July 5, 2005; United Church of Christ Backs Same-Sex Marriage By SHAILA DEWAN
  111. http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/United_Church_of_Christ/id/2037154
  112. The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church, V-VIII
  113. Commentary: Do United Methodist Bishops Really Value Christian Unity? By John Lomperis
  114. Leader Resources, What is the denomination’s position on homosexuality? Book of Resolutions. See also Judicial Council Decisions 984, 985
  115. The Nurturing Community
  116. Are women pastors Biblical?
  117. Book of Resolutions, Opposition to Homophobia and Heterosexism
  118. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2008
  119. The Dallas Morning News, May 3, 2008: Hundreds protest Methodist church's stance on homosexuality at Fort Worth conference
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