Homosexuality in the Old Testament Pt. 1
By: Rev. Charles Burnett-Morrow
(Extensively relying upon, "Openly Gay, Openly Christian - How The Bible Really Is Gay Friendly" By: Rev. Samuel Kader)
There really are relatively few places in Scripture where homosexuality is even alluded to, at least according to more modern English translations dating as far back as the King James Version. It is imperative when researching the Word of God that we also have some grasp of what the times and circumstances were like surrounding the writing of any particular passage. To ignore the customs, traditions, and circumstances of the times is to do the message of God’s Word a huge disservice! Sure, we can easily pull various passages out of context and then try to make them say whatever we wish, but if the writer was clearly trying to say one thing and we are clearly and purposely making it say something else, we become a liar and false prophet. Many false prophets exist today who run about trying to condemn hopelessly to a devil’s Hell all members of the human family who are homosexual in their sexual orientation. There condemnation is based upon misrepresentation of God’s holy book, and many have exchanged their place in the kingdom and family of God for decadent and godless lifestyle, simply because they have been convinced that they are hopelessly lost anyway.
Before we get too involved in the complicated specifics of the few passages in the Old Testament most often used to condemn Gay-Lesbian people, let us look carefully at the whole nature and purpose of the law.
GALATIANS 3:1-3 (NIV)
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he upbraids them for suddenly allowing themselves to be convinced that even though they have believed and obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ, now they must uphold and embrace every letter of the Old Testament Mosaic Law. He asks them, “having begun in the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal (redemption) by human effort?”
Paul later goes on in this chapter to point out that while the law was established as a school-teacher, helping us to recognize our need for the Savior, after that the Savior is come, there is no longer any need of a school teacher. In other words, the law is no longer valid, not since faith and obedience to the gospel came to humanity in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, it is by faith and God’s grace ALONE that we are saved, and not by stringent adherence to the rules and regulations of the law.
GALATIANS 3:22-25 (KJV)
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
The truth is, as James points out in James 2:10, if we are to even attempt to be saved by adhering to the Old Testament law, then it is essential that we embrace EVERY SINGLE rule and regulation presented in the law, because to fail in one point of the law is to be guilty of having broken ALL the law.
James 2:10 (KJV)
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
The severity of the law is so unimaginable that it is not even funny. Let’s look at some of the rules God established for His people. And remember, to break even one of these is to become guilty of having broken all of them!
Deuteronomy 23:20 (NIV)
20 You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.
YOU MAY CHARGE SOMEONE INTEREST TO WHOM YOU LOAN MONEY, EXCEPT ANYONE OF THE SAME NATIONALITY AS YOURSELF!
Deuteronomy 24:5 (NIV)
5 If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.
RECENTLY MARRIED MEN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WORK OR GO TO WAR FOR ONE FULL YEAR AFTER THEY HAVE MARRIED. COULD YOUR HOUSEHOLD BUDGET WITHSTAND THIS RULE?
LEVITICUS 19:14 (NIV)
14 " 'Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD.
YOU ARE NEVER TO CURSE A NON-HEARING PERSON, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY MAY DO TO YOU!
Leviticus 19:17 (NIV)
"Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt."
NOW WE ARE TOLD THAT WE CANNOT HAVE ILL FEELINGS TOWARD OUR SIBLINGS, NOT EVEN IN OUR HEART. AND IF WE DO, WE HAVE BECOME GUILTY OF ALL THE LAW BEFORE THE LORD.
Leviticus 19:19 (NIV)
"Keep my decrees."
"Do not mate different kinds of animals."
"Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed."
"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material."
YOU MAY NOT CROSS BREED ANIMALS. NO TRYING TO BREED SPECIAL OR UNUSUAL KINDS OF DOGS OR CATS, ETC. YOU MAY NOT PLANT MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF CROP IN YOUR FIELDS. IT MUST BE ALL CORN, ALL GRAIN, OR ALL PEAS… ETC. NO BLENDED FABRICS. YOU MUST WEAR CLOTHING THAT IS ALL MADE OF 100% PURE WOOL, PURE COTTON, ETC.
Leviticus 19 (NIV)
27 " 'Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”
YOU CANNOT SHAVE OR CUT YOUR SIDEBURNS!
Deuteronomy 23:1-2 (NIV)
1 No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD .
2 No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD , even down to the tenth generation.
NO MAN WHO HAS BEEN EMASCULATED OR INJURED IN HIS GENITAL AREA IS PERMITTED IN THE HOUSE OF GOD. THIS WOULD EXCLUDE ALL HERMAPHRODITES, EUNOCHS, CASTRATA, AND ANY OTHERS WHO EVER EXPERIENCED ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE TO HIS PRIVATE PARTS. ANY PERSON BORN A BASTARD, OUT OF WEDLOCK, OR BORN TO PARENTS OF MIXED NATIONALITY ARE PROHIBITED FROM GOD’S HOUSE FOR TEN GENERATIONS!
Leviticus 20:9-10 (NIV)
9 " 'If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.
10 " 'If a man commits adultery with another man's wife-with the wife of his neighbor-both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
THE PENALTY FOR CURSING AT YOUR PARENTS IS DEATH! AND SO IS THE PENALTY FOR ADULTERY.
I am only pointing to these examples as a means of helping us to realize just how impossible the law was to keep. But that was the point. God wanted His people to see by the law that they could not possibly be good or holy enough in and of themselves. Unfortunately, many within the Jewish faith took it upon themselves to actually try to live up to every single ordinance and commandment, and then when Jesus came, they criticized Him for not doing so.
The biggest problem facing the church today is a legalistic approach to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is no different today than it was in the Lord’s day. Many are trying to be righteous by their actions and deeds in accordance with the Law of Moses. But the truth is, we must learn to NOT rely upon any form of righteousness of our own making and learn to lean wholly and entirely on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. By embracing and obeying His gospel, we wrap ourselves in His righteousness so that God looks upon us not as we are today, sinful and imperfect creatures, but rather as the perfected and glorified creatures we shall be once the Lord has redeemed His people from this sinful world and taken us, new and changed, to His perfect world! Paul writes…
Romans 3:10-12; 19-23 (NIV)
10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 8:22-24 (NIV)
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
II CORINTHIANS 15:50-57
50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--
52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
55 Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, having come to a better understanding of the law and the role it is meant to play in our lives, let us look at the passages most commonly used to condemn homosexuality. CONTINUE TO NEXT PAGE