By George Guthrie
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
...according to Scripture, we as human beings are sinners (e.g. Romans 7:18-21). Yet, of course, that cannot be used as a basis for affirming sin.
...there exists a short step from affirming homosexuality on the basis of one's constitution, to affirming other forms of sexual expression, such as pedophilia....
...homosexual men in general experience an astronomically high rate of infidelity compared to heterosexuals, with strikingly low rates of monogamy or even semi-monogamy.
...if covenant monogamy was widely practiced among homosexuals, is a commitment to monogamy an appropriate basis for affirming a homosexual relationship? If so, why would it not be appropriate to use the same principle of "covenant monogamy" to affirm incest, for instance? ....
"The Scripture does not condemn monogamous, covenanted, homosexual relationships but rather other forms of homosexuality," and "Jesus never condemned homosexuality but welcomed the outcast." Both are arguments from silence. Monogamous, covenanted, homosexual relationships are not condemned in Scripture, because they were unknown (indeed, unthinkable) in Jewish or Christian contexts of the ancient world. It is true that in the Gospels Jesus doesn't say anything about homosexuality. (Remember, though, that he does strongly affirm marriage as a creation ordinance involving a man and woman — Matthew 19:4-6). But neither does Jesus address directly other forms of sexuality, such as incest, beastiality, pedophilia or sadomasochism. Arguments from silence weave a terribly thin hermeneutical thread from which to hang one's theological behemoth.
Jesus does refer directly to the sin of Sodom.
I wrote the following in my post: HOMOSEXUAL PERVERSION, HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH:
I Corinthians 6:9-10
Who are the fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, and abusers of themselves with mankind? Are homosexuals fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, and abusers of themselves with mankind? Homosexuality was never accepted marriage. Jesus said that those of Sodom would have repented had he done there the signs he did in Capernaum. What is the sin of Sodom? Well, we have the whole story of the Sodomites demanding to "know" the angels. It means have anal intercourse with them. Sodom of course suffered from other sinful behavior and attitudes as well, but homosexuality was clearly one of them and central enough that the story was handed down as a warning to future generations concerning one of the possible results of such practice.
Homosexuality is inherently fornication. If a homosexual is married or has been to a female whom he did not divorce for the cause of unfaithfulness on her part in an otherwise unbroken marriage, then that homosexual is also an adulterer. Also, in the act of homosexuality, one of the parties must take the role of female. That's effeminate. Lastly, the act of homosexuality is harmful. "Homosexuals: What they ignore." It is abusive. Homosexuals engaging in that behavior do in fact abuse themselves (each other) with each other.
In addition, Jesus did refer to pedophilia when he said that those who harm the children would be better off to have had millstones tied around their necks and thrown in the sea. Some may not take that to include pedophiles, but to do that is to consider pedophilia not harmful. Just look, however, at the great confusion, pain, and suffering pedophilia has brought to so many souls. It is clearly harmful to children. It is not harmful simply due to cultural differences. It is harmful regardless.
George Guthrie continued:
...Romans 1:26-27, Paul lays great stress on the "abandoning" of or "exchanging" natural sexuality (between a man and a woman) for sex with a person of one's own gender. This is the central point in those verses. The creation ordinance of God has been abandoned.
...is it a rightly applied compassion that affirms a lifestyle that too often compromises the physical and emotional well being of fellow human beings? The data seems to indicate that homosexual practice for both couples and individuals leads to a greatly reduced life expectancy (as much as three decades, and not just due to AIDS). Among homosexual men, for instance, there exists a much higher risk of rectal cancer and rectal trauma (which causes a much higher risk of a wide range of diseases). Is it compassionate to affirm such a lifestyle?
George Guthrie is the Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible at Union University
I don't rely upon Paul but on Jesus. I cite Paul to the Pauline churches. Relying solely on Jesus, I came to the same conclusion George did that homosexuality is not unChristian.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)