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The Bible Does NOT Condemn Homosexuality
Homosexuality, The Bible, The Truth
I wanted to start this article right off with that loud statement - “The Bible Does NOT Condemn Homosexuality” - because for those who wonder what they are reading here, that statement should say it all. I prayerfully ask people to read the book, “Homosexuality, The Bible, The Truth - The Bible Does NOT Condemn Homosexuality." This book represents forty years of intense scholarly research, and it proves with irrefutable and verifiable fact what the title of the book states. With this book filled with proven research materials, we finally have all of the facts about what the Bible actually does say in each and every passage that has ever been misconstrued to seemingly read that anti-gay bigotry is condoned.
There are several types of people who will come here to read this article. The one I find the most important will be the person who has been struggling with their sexuality for such a long time, struggling because they were taught that the person they are is damaged goods, unworthy of the love of God. And that hurts. Their pain is immeasurable. If I counted only the suicides, the unnecessary tragedies should stun us all. Those who have been tormented because of their sexual orientation have come for hope. For that person, I will say, “Wait no longer. Know that you are loved by God, that He made you the way you were born for a reason known only to Him, and He loves you just the way He made you. You are a child of God, and no one can take that away from you anymore.”
Of course, there is another type of person who is going to come here to read this, and that, unfortunately, will be the one who does so with the bigotry, hatred and anger that years of “taught” prejudices engender. “How dare you say that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality!” they will shout. They won't take the time to read a thing I have written, nor will they take the time to first read the book before beginning their predictable diatribes. Instead, they will only read the title of this piece, scroll right down to the comments section, and thereupon will begin the litany of scripture verses, as if I have never read them, the same ones that have been trotted out each and every time, verses and passages that “seem” to condemn gays. For that person, I will say, “You do not speak for God, but instead, you speak for all the bigotry that has been handed down from bigot to bigot. You were not born a bigot, you were made a bigot, and being a bigot is a choice, a lifestyle. Time for the anti-homosexual lie to end, time for the pain you have created to end, and time for you to have a real and genuine talk with God about why you cannot let the hatred go.”
People ask me, "How can you say this?" Because, it is quite simple. An error is an error, and we who profess to be following the teacher of Truth owe the world our due diligence when we teach our beliefs. An error is an error, and if we are shown that something we have held as truth turns out to be error, we are required by our faith in God to seek the genuine truth, even when we find that the genuine truth points out our errors. Then, we have to take it one step further - we have to undo the error and strive to repent of the damage that error has caused. It is easy when a prejudice does not affect you to allow it to simply continue undeterred by anything you might do, but that is unjust. Every pain and sorrow inflicted on gay people has been brought on by not caring enough to right the wrongs of hate. People like to cloak their hatred of homosexuals with such phrases as "love the sinner, hate the sin," but this is falsification of the true agenda of those who use such phrases. Prejudices are taught, and they are not of God. Those who accept an error that brings so much pain to others, all while arrogantly refusing to look at evidence that exposes that error, these people live a lie, not true love and compassion. The Bible does NOT condemn homosexuality, and the lie to the contrary, no matter how enjoyable to bigots, cannot be permitted to continue.
Once you have read the book, "Homosexuality, The Bible, The Truth - The Bible Does NOT Condemn Homosexuality," you will definitely come to see that the Bible definitely does NOT condemn homosexuality...not anywhere, not at any time. Shocking? Well, yes, if you were raised like I was, a Fundamentalist Christian who was taught that all homosexuals were going to Hell. I heard sermon after fire-and-brimstone sermon about the “sins of Sodom” and the plain statement of Leviticus 18:22 (Man shall not lie with man...). So, how, you ask, can I say that the Bible does NOT condemn homosexuality? Because it absolutely does not. Read on.
In the just-released book, “Homosexuality, The Bible, The Truth - The Bible Does NOT Condemn Homosexuality,” there is so much evidence contained therein, that it would be impossible to put it all here in this article. The book is over three-hundred pages and took forty years of scholarly research to produce. If you read the book, you will come away knowing that what I am writing here in this short article is absolutely true, so, for further study and a deeper confirmation of what I am stating here, read this book. Of course, bigotry is more comfortable than study. Why study to learn anything if your mind is so closed that even God's truth cannot enter? If this book is false, then read and prove such, but if this book is truth, then why would you cling to a hateful prejudice that brings so much harm and division? The truth can stand to be questioned. Study is what destroys lies.
One of the puzzles for me is how people would rather condemn gays than to ask themselves a simple set of questions, “Am I correct? How do I know I am correct? Who taught me this anti-gay belief?” Well, do you ever ask yourself where your prejudices come from? Funny how we think our prejudices are inborn, or placed in our hearts by God, but this just is not the correct answer. Prejudice is born out of ignorance. Since God is the author of Truth, then ignorance is not a product of listening to God, rather, it is a product of not listening to God. Let’s look at a few of the prejudices that have been proven wrong in just the past century.
Women at the beginning of the 1900s were still considered inferior to men, and that inferiority was blamed on passages contained in the Bible. Few people truly knew their history, or they would have known that the passages used to subjugate women were passages that were written in the Middle East at a time in history when male chauvinism was law. In fact, this male chauvinism is still the law of the land in the Middle East. I've seen Christian men and women of the 21st century become extremely agitated when confronted with photos of women in the Middle East today who are required to completely cover themselves from head to foot with the burqa, yet these same Christians seem to forget that women were essentially treated the same way right here in America not too long ago. What changed? Did God change? Did God make women inferior to men at one time in history, and now He makes them equal? The same God yesterday, today and tomorrow made us all children who are equally loved by Him. He put none above the others, even though He made us all different for His personal joy. We have come a long way in America, and I think it is safe to say that few people in this country would say that women are inferior human beings.
The race issue is still causing us problems in this country. Why? Some still see difference as a reason to hate, not a reason to rejoice. Sound too simple? Apparently God likes variety, because that is how He made us. If it pleases God to see so many races, who are we do kick dust up at God? Who are we to deface His gift? If He finds joy in all of us being the way He made us, why can we not find that same joy? The answer is, we can, especially if you claim the promise of Jesus Christ and learn to love others the way He loved us. There is no excuse for prejudice. And when prejudice tries to justify itself by misinterpreting the Bible, the person who does so fights against God.
Prejudice is not inborn, it is taught and learned. Put a bunch of babies in the same room together, and they are going to play with each other with total disregard to how the other baby looks. When does that all change? It changes when adults pass on their “likes” and “dislikes.” Generation after generation passes the prejudice forward until someone somewhere rejects what was taught them and begins to study to find the truth. And that is what I did. I remember hearing my father preach that homosexuals were going to Hell, all while my visiting gay uncle sat in the pew next to me. I wondered to myself, why would my father insult my uncle like this? I was too young to understand back then, but I still remember the hurt my uncle must have felt sitting there being singled out by my father who preached this sermon straight from the pulpit... and coming from the pulpit made it hurt that much more. The pulpit, well, that was God’s holy turf, and anything that came from the pulpit had the weight of a battering ram. If you really wanted to make your point, have your statement carry unquestionable force, then having it stated forcefully from the pulpit in any church gave it sanctity, the seal of God’s approval. Doesn’t get any stronger than that. But I tell you this as a fact, preachers don’t make truth. They either report it, or they distort it. God makes truth, and life all around us reports it. If your eyes and ears are truly open, truth will be no mystery to you.
Sitting there in that church that night, listening to my father make the point that homosexuals were going to hell, I wondered why my uncle didn't just get up and walk out the door. But he didn’t. Like the gentleman he was, he stayed and endured the indignity, but he never came back. For many years after that night, I have thought about what happened back then, and I have asked myself why this had to be. Sadly, my father was preaching ignorance, and the effects were far-reaching. What comes from the pulpit has to be weighed against the reality of God, and as I often say, “If your Theology does not square with God’s reality, then you need to revisit your Theology.”
The facts of what the Bible genuinely says about homosexuality are contained in the book “Homosexuality, The Bible, The Truth - The Bible Does NOT Condemn Homosexuality” by Wayne Gray, and while this book came about too late to help my late uncle learn that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, there are millions of gays in the world who are still being tortured by the general public, and this book will go a long ways in eradicating the ignorance that has been at the root of this inhumanity. The most often quoted passage in the Bible is Leviticus 18:22.
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.”
Such a small, short verse, yet the misinterpretation of this one line has divided more families, caused more sorrow, and led to more unnecessary deaths than any other passage in the Bible. What is even more strange is the fact that those who often quote this passage in defense of their bigotry cannot quote any other passage in the entire book of Leviticus! Wonder why this is? Further, since Christians are supposed to believe that Jesus brought an end to living under the old laws of the Old Testament, many will sputter and stammer when you ask them why they cannot quote any other passage from Leviticus and why they still want to observe only this one rule from that book. After all, the book of Leviticus is one ruling after another for the ancient Israelites. It is not one book with one seemingly anti-gay passage in it. Leviticus was a code of ethics and laws written for the Jews who had just returned to Israel from Babylonian captivity. It is not one rule, but hundreds, yet, strangely enough, most Christians ignore all of those other rules, all of them...but one. Without excuse.
Translating the famous Leviticus 18:22 passage is not simple, even with training in the original language, because this is a fractured line, that is, one that has some key words that were omitted. Still, because we have the passages before and after, with proper study, we can put together what the writers of this passage were trying to say to the Israelites so long ago. The Israelites had returned to Jerusalem from seventy years of Babylonian captivity, and those who had returned had been sent by Cyrus of Persia to rebuild the temple to the god of Israel, since Cyrus believed that all the gods of all the nations he possessed should be honored with their own temples. The Israelites in Jerusalem were living in the midst of Canaanites, and the Canaanites worshiped, among other gods, Molech. Leviticus 18:22 is merely one passage among several that admonish the Jews to leave the worship of Molech and separate themselves from any practices that make them like the Canaanites. In the fertility rituals of the temple of Molech, sex was considered one of the sacred elements. Thus, to place the passage in context, notice that the verses before and after 18:22 all deal with various practices in use within the sexual activities in the temple of Molech.
Men had sex on the temple altars with women who were not their own wives; thus, verse 20 begins with the admonition not to have sex with another man’s wife—
“. . . thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbor’s wife . . .”
It then, in verse 21, moves on to sacrificing one’s children to Molech—
“. . . thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech . . .”
Now, the famous verse 22—
“. . . thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind . . .”
Then verse 23, “. . . neither shalt thou lie with any beast . . . neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto . . .”
In the temple worship of Molech, as well as many of the other gods, people would have sex to emulate the gods, because they felt that fertile lands were a product of the copulation of the gods. Therefore, imitating this pleasurable act of the gods would catch the attention of the gods, and their admiration of the acts of these mortals would confer that same guarantee of fertile lands and abundant harvests. Any sex act was considered normal, so men with wives, men with other men’s wives, men with men, women with animals, it was all considered sacred and useful for this ritual. But, the Israelites who returned from Babylon had a new religion that they were going to create, and in order to make the temple that they were rebuilding become the power center that they needed it to be, edicts were established that would begin a nation that was unique and separate in all things. Leviticus lays down laws on how they were to dress, how they were to act, how they were to live, how they were to wear their hair and much more. Anything that could possibly make them appear as similar to the Canaanites was forbidden. Thus, the Israelites who had been worshiping in the temple of Molech were now told that they would no longer be permitted to do this. Such dual citizenship was out. If you worshiped in the temple of Molech and then tried to come to the temple of Israel and worship, you would be considered “toevah,” "ritually unclean," (the word that is improperly inserted in the English here is "an abomination"), and you would have to cleanse yourself in the mikvah, or ritual cleansing pool in front of the temple, before you would be permitted to enter.
Note here that the word “abomination” has been used over the centuries to proclaim homosexuality a sin before God, and this is not at all what is being said here. The word “abomination” is erroneously inserted to translate the word “toevah” which only means ritually unclean. One who was ritually unclean was not permitted to enter the temple proper until such uncleanness had been ritually washed away by bathing in the mikvah. So many people incorrectly think that this word translates "abomination" and means that anyone who is called an “abomination” is an outcast of God and doomed for Hell. Such is absolutely NOT the case. The word is "toevah," it only refers to an ancient temple dictate that has absolutely nothing to do with modern day civilization, and it most certainly does not apply to sexual orientation. It did not apply to sexual orientation back then, and it still does not today. If the writers of Leviticus had wanted to say something was very wrong, they would have used the strongly condemning word “zimah.” They did not! Do not overlook this important point! And it is clearly evident from studying this passage further that there would be no need to classify these temple practices as anything more than toevah. Remember this, the ritual sexual practices conducted in the temple of Molech would cause the modern-day conservative Christian to blush and yell "Sin!" But, the Israelites of that time and place only considered them practices that would render the particpating Israelite as unclean and in need of a visit to the ritual bathing pool....NOT Hell.
Further proof that Leviticus 18:22 does not say that man shall not lie with man, in other words, man shall not have sex with man, comes from the proper translation of the words in the original language. Here they are: “Vet zachar, lo tishkav mishkvey ishah; toevah hee.” This reads, literally, “And with a zachar, you will not lie in the beds of women; it is a ritual uncleanness.” So, what is a “zachar?” A zachar was an image of a male penis, and these were made out of every element known, from wooden ones to solid gold ones, and they came in all sizes. You might think of them today as a modern sex toy, but in the days of Leviticus, these were even made into amulets that were carried in pockets or worn around the necks of men. Further, this tradition became a regular item of society right on through the time of Christ and the disciples. From historical research, we find that the zachar was used in temple sexual rituals with the temple prostitutes, often men who dressed up like the goddess so that the male who was offering sex on the temple altar could copulate with one of the gods (thus, the “beds of women”), and Israel was not exempt from observing this practice. Note, for example, this passage in Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 16:17 “You took your beautiful things, made of the gold and silver that I had given you, and you made yourself images of men and fornicated with them.”
Here, the words “images of men” is “tsalmey zachar,” which translates properly as “phallic images.” By now, it should be clear what these are, and their use was fully and totally understood by the Israelites, even if such knowledge is lost on modern era people. Even if such knowledge is not commonplace today, we have no excuse for the ignorance that results when we do not go back in history and study the culture of that time so that we can fully understand what the writers of these passages literally meant.
So, the passage in Leviticus 18:22 is not a stand-alone passage, but an item in a list of edicts declared by the new leaders that arose in Israel at that time thousands of years ago. The fact that we can simply read the chapter and see that it begins with a list should suffice, but for those who need further proof, simply read verse 24:
Verse 24 “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things; for in all these things the nations are defiled which I cast out before you.”
Makes it kind of obvious, don’t you think? "These things" - Plural? How much clearer does it have to get? The verse in the same discussion in chapter 18 says “these things,” not “this thing.” Leviticus 18:22 is one item in a list of items that the new leaders in Israel were listing as changes to be made in the national identity of all Jews. For a further and deeper discussion of all the proofs, read the book, “Homosexuality, The Bible, The Truth - The Bible Does NOT Condemn Homosexuality” by Wayne Gray. This book demonstrates with irrefutable and verifiable fact what the truth is regarding Sodom and Gomorrah (they were not destroyed for homosexuality), and also opens the doors to a deeper understanding of the relationship between Jonathan and David, the true life of Daniel, the writings and true meanings of the apostle Paul, and even gives a chapter on how the sexual mores of today were arrived at, showing as well, that the anti-gay bias of today did not exist in the days of Jesus Christ, but began centuries later as a political movement in Rome. There is just too much detail to contain in one simple article, but the damage from mis-translating the Bible has gone on for far too long. It is time we learned the truth, then take that truth to set people free from the bondage of ignorance. We’ll never learn to truly love like Jesus taught us to until we do just this, study and apply the truth. The Bible does not condemn homosexuality. Let’s not be afraid to expose the myths and, in so doing as Jesus would have us do, to issue in an era of peace and love.
This book represents forty years of scholarly research and thoroughly examines every scriptural passage ever misinterpreted to be anti-homosexual. I recommend
Bigotry And Prejudice Are Born Out Of Ignorance
Bigotry and prejudice are born out of ignorance. These aspects of life are taught, handed down from one person to the next generation. These prejudices are not inborn, and just as they are taught, they can be repudiated and unlearned. Prejudices are not based in fact, but based, instead, in lies and misinformation designed to hurt and harm others. The cure for ignorance is education. When the anti-gay myth has been taught long enough, people forget its origins, but as the book "Homosexuality, The Bible, The Truth - The Bible Does NOT Condemn Homosexuality" fully details, anti-homosexual prejudice and bigotry did not exist at the time of Christ, nor was it taught in the Early Church. It was not until the 4th Century under the Roman Emperor Constantine that this ignorance began, and that was as a political movement in a war between the Nicenes and the Arians. Ending this painful and sorrowful ignorance is long overdue, and I strongly urge everyone who reads my article to purchase this book, form a study group, and have everyone delve into the details offered therein. Then, take the knowledge out there and spread the word. Stamping out this horrible and destructive myth should be the responsibility of all of us who care about a just society and a more peaceful world. Take the pledge, promise to do something to help end the effects of centuries of false propaganda that has infected the Church and our world. Get this book, study it well, and spread the word. You will help to make this world a better place because you are in it.