Friday, August 1, 2014

The Bible does not condemn Homosexuality: Introduction

I'm giving this dissertation as a Fundamentalist Christian who takes the Bible literally, who once held the common assumption that it condemns homosexuality. I don’t change my views to appease anyone, but I always try to be polite towards and tolerant of people with different views, including those who may disagree with me on this. My views on this matter changed as a result of my carefully studying (with the guidance of the Holy Spirit) all of the passages of Scripture relevant to this issue.

Before I explain everything in detail, here is the gist of it. Most of the passages are dealing with Pagan Goddess worship rituals involving Anal intercourse. And the Sin of Sodom was in-hospitality.

Now, I also want to make clear, that even when I did hold the common assumption, I was still very different from your typical Fundamentalist on the issue. I never obsessed over it as though it was the main spiritual problem facing the nation; in my view, that’s always been Darwinism. And I’ve never liked homophobes. Nothing is more offensive or blasphemous to me than to accuse God of hating anyone. “God is Love”- 1 John 4:8; and Jesus said to “love your enemies”. As Chuck Missler often says, “there is no sin God doesn’t hate but no sinner God doesn’t love“. He gave his only begotten Son to die for us, hatred is not in his vocabulary. It is of course only a loud minority of Christians who make the offensive statement that he hates homosexuals. But the majority of “conservative” Christians are also under the common misconception that the Bible condemns homosexuality, which is why I’m doing this.

Details matter.

Some will say I’m twisting things around to try and change what to them is the clear plain reading of the text. Many of these same Christians however will be unlikely to defend the out of context plain reading of many other verses in the KJV and other modern English translations as they're frequently cited by unbelievers to allege contradictions or make God look cruel. I believe that the design of God’s Word is perfect and precise, and every detail both of what it does and does not say is important.

Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The Jot/Yot/Yod is the smallest and most frequently used letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It would look to us like an apostrophe. A tittle is a small decorative hook on many letters. One doesn’t really need a brief Hebrew lesson to understand this, the point being that every detail of God’s Word matters, even the little ones, because seemingly insignificant details can make a world of difference, as any good detective would tell you.

Independent Baptists who are KJV-Only are the Christians most likely to be hostile to this interpretation. This is what makes my holding this view even more surprising, because I do basically consider myself an Independent Baptist. But being Independent means I don‘t just blindly follow what a Pastor tells me the Bible says, but rather I look it up for myself. I’m also basically KJV-Only, since I absolutely consider the King James Authorized Version to be the best English translation; it’s always the one I default to using. And I absolutely reject the changes made in modern translations based on the Alexandrian Manuscripts and the textual criticisms of Wescott and Hort, such as removing many critical occurrences of the word 'Blood'. Unlike some KJV-Only believers however, I do acknowledge certain imperfections of the KJV. It is in fact impossible to perfectly translate either Hebrew or Greek into English. NONE of those imperfections effect the Gospel, but some will be relevant to passages I will discuses on this issue. Unlike many KVJ-Onliers I do not discourage studying the original Hebrew and Greek; in fact I encourage it. I believe the Masorectic should be used for the Hebrew, and the Textus Receptus for the Greek (the sources for the KJV) are what should be relied upon.

Thing is though I do also believe even the KJV renderings are not blanket condemnations of all homosexual or even all male homosexual affection. And in some cases it's simply a matter of understanding the context of what those words meant in 1611 rather then what man has changed them to mean today.

In fact in some cases the modern versions are more blatantly anti Homosexual then the KJV.  Which tells me the perception that The Bible condemns Homosexuality is something Satan really wants to promote.  There is a popular meme out there that a "Lesbian goddess worshiper" helped write the NIV and that's why it removed Sodomite.  Regardless of if such a person was involved however the NIV does blatantly condemn Homosexuality in the New Testament.  In verses where the KJV is more ambiguous.

The point is, the common understanding of the relevant verses is based on just casually reciting the way they're usually rendered in modern English without putting much thought into them. What I have done is put a lot of thought and study into it - always under the starting premise that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inherent Word of God, using Scripture to interpret Scripture and doing so logically and consistently.

I've written other articles about sex and marriage in the Bible, and in general, which would be useful to cross reference here.

Part 2: The Sin of Sodom
Part 3: Leviticus 18 and 20
Part 4: Romans 1
Part 5: Corinthians and Timothy
Part 6: Condoned Homosexual Affection
 I also have this Dissertation on MyTumblr. So if you have a Tumblr account, feel free to Re-blog parts of it to spread the word.  Also to view them all together on one label on this Blog.

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