I came across this article in ZENIT last week. Something that I heard last Saturday made me decide to put this bit here.
More on Homosexuality in the Bible (Part 1)
Interview With Father Jean-Baptiste Edart
ROME, MARCH 15, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Bible clearly teaches that homosexual practices are wrong, says an exegete from the John Paul II Institute in Rome.
Father Jean-Baptiste Edart, is co-author of “Clarifications sur l’Homosexualité dans la Bible” (Clarifications on Homosexuality in the Bible), published by Editions du Cerf.
ZENIT interviewed the authors in February. In this follow-up interview, Father Edart of the Emmanuel Community, discusses more in-depth the biblical teachings on homosexuality.
Q: What are the references to homosexuality in the Bible?
Father Edart: This subject is given very little coverage in the Bible. This is linked to the absence of the visibility of this phenomenon, and that is a logical consequence of the prohibition of this behavior.
The biblical texts which address the question of homosexuality directly or indirectly are:
In the Old Testament
Genesis 19:7-8: “I beg you, my brothers, not to do this wicked thing. I have two daughters who have never had intercourse with men. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please. But don’t do anything to these men.”
Judges 19:23-24: “No, my brothers; do not be so wicked. Since this man is my guest, do not commit this crime. Rather let me bring out my maiden daughter or his concubine. Ravish them, or do whatever you want with them; but against the man you must not commit this wanton crime.”
Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.”
In the New Testament
1 Corinthians 6:9: “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexuals nor sodomites … will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Timothy 1:10: “… law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly … the unchaste, practicing homosexuals, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching.”
Romans 1:26-27: “Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.”
Q: You quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. How should these texts be understood?
- Part 1 of the interview is found here: http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=104622
- Part 2 of the interview is found here: http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=104693
It should be especially noted that both these articles speak of the homosexual act, not the person. It is the act that is condemned, not the person.
Now I mentioned above that something I heard made me put this article up. What I heard was that in a certain church in Singapore that is gay-affirming, pastors tell their congregation that what Paul writes in his letters are not to be taken literally, and that the situation in Paul’s time was different from it is now. So his words must be interpreted accordingly, and that Paul doesn’t really mean that homosexual acts are immoral.
This is dangerous teaching because it is an offence against the Truth; it is an offence against the spirit of Truth, which is the Holy Spirit. It is classic Protestant teaching which allows any person to interpret scripture according to how he wants to.
It is true that compassion is needed when pastoring homosexual persons, but it must be done with truth, otherwise more damage rather than good is done. We must always tell the truth, rather than to lie. We are disciples of Jesus Christ, who is the truth, not disciples of the prince of lies.
Below is an excerpt from one of Christopher West’s articles on a phenomenon he calls “truthophobia”:
Why are so many people afraid of “the truth”? Somehow we have the idea that the truth is against us, that it’s out to get us. So, the most typical response? Deny it.
“There is no truth,” they say. But, in response, one feels compelled to ask, “Is that true?” Many will retort, “Well, if truth exists, you can’t know it.” Again, it begs the question, “How do you know?” “Well, you can’t be sure,” they’ll say. “Are you sure?”
Truth is one of those things from which you can hide, but you can’t run. In our attempts to deny truth, we find ourselves cornered into admitting that it exists. At a minimum we find ourselves longing, perhaps unwittingly, for some truth on which to stand, even if that truth is that “there is no truth.” If it’s true that there is no truth then it’s not true that there is no truth. In other words, there is truth.
- the full article is found here.
Real compassion does not promote lies. Real love rejoices in the truth, even if it is hard to bear. Compassion comes not in lying, but in helping others to bear the truth and to live it in their lives.
You Should Also Check Out This Post:
- Sunday, July 1 - Are you free to say ‘No’?
- Saturday, June 30 - Hospitality
- Friday, June 29 - Keeping the faith
- Wednesday, June 27 - The golden rule of truth
- Question: What’s the connection between pre-marital sex and adultery?