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Re: Jesus meeting and healing gays

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  • edwardxderwent
    Alex, i found this post interesting, but feel i must disagree (slightly) with the wording of your opening paragraph: as QUOTE homosexuality as an orientation
    Message 1 of 29 , Nov 30, 2004
      Alex, i found this post interesting, but feel i must disagree
      (slightly) with the wording of your opening paragraph:

      as QUOTE "homosexuality as an orientation or psychosexual phenomenon
      did not exist in Bible times." UNQUOTE

      i would believe that it is more accurate to say that it was not
      recognised as an orientation, in the way that we do at this time.

      but, i cannot believe that there were not people who felt the same as
      we did, that is, to have an innate attraction to people of the same
      sex.

      i think i know where you were going with the comment. because in
      those times there WERE people who did 'sex' with those you described
      as QUOTE " The proper targets of a citizen's sexual desire included,
      specifically, women, boys, foreigners, and slaves -- all of them
      persons who do not enjoy the same legal and political rights and
      privileges that he does. " UNQUOTE.

      so in the case of those people - there could be homosexual ACTS,
      motivated by a non-specific desire for sexual relief. but, to me, as
      i read about homosex in ancient times, there could still have been
      those who did similar homosexual acts, but motivated by a specific
      desire for sex with another person of the same sex. there are many
      stories of romantic love that bonded two people together in ancient
      times. not the least of which would be the currently controversial
      attraction between alexander (the great) and hephaiston.

      i think you will understand where i coming from also, that since, it
      is clear that people exist today who have this attraction (romantic
      and sexual) toward those of the same sex, then it would seem
      reasonable to believe that such people have always existed.






      edward

      ps: on lighter note, here is a story from classical cninese (ming
      dynassty actually) times (later than biblical). i feel in frivolous
      mood today - so cannot stop myself posting it..

      you'll note that quan, jin and liu are lovers, in a somewhat
      unconventional,polygamous relationship. their sexual activity may
      derive from their sense of attraction to other males. whereas, we can
      imagine yan shifan to be a sexual opportunist, but still
      finding "attraction" in and to, the beautiful young man named quan.


      The Revenge of Quan.

      In his book, 'The Twelve Structures' (shi er lou), one story
      is 'Ciuya Lou' (the House of Collected Refinements), the Ming
      writer, Li Yu, includes many characters who prefer sex with, or who
      love men.

      (this account is translated in bret hinsch's book, "Passions of the
      Cut Sleeve - the Male Homosexual Tradition in China"..... I take
      some liberties (well' OK, more than some) with hinsch's translation)

      The story concerns two young men who are already friends, Jin and
      Liu. These two friends take a young man from the south, Quan, as a
      lover.

      They open a shop selling the standard gay stuff.. flowers, incense
      and antiques. Jin and Liu are both married, but spend alternate
      nights at the shop where Quan sleeps, saying that they are helping
      Quan to guard the shop, but actually enjoying the flowers in Quan's
      rear courtyard..

      The shop is succesfull. All the gays in the area patronise it.

      But also eyeing the beautiful Quan is the villain. An evil and
      corrupt official, Yan ShiFan. Yan pressures Quan to sleep with him
      too, but Quan is faithful to Jin and Liu.

      Quan's refusal increases Yan's desire for Quan.. Quan wants to be
      faithful to Jin and Liu. More refusals by Quan leads Yan to plot
      revenge...

      Yan employs a powerful eunuch named Sha, to kidnap Quan. Sha serves
      Quan some spiked wine, and while he is unconscious, orders his
      servants to slice off his dick and balls and tosses them on the
      floor, where the dogs eat them.

      When quan wakes from a drugged sleep, he discovers his loss and vows
      revenge on yan. However, he feels he has no choice now, but to
      become the servant of Sha. ( I do not follow the logic in that
      decision, but others may)

      Not long after these events, Sha dies and Quan becomes a servant to
      the Wanli emperor. Since he now has the ear of the emperor, Quan
      tells the emperor of the evils committed by the wicked Yan Shifan.
      The emperor orders that Yan is to be beheaded.

      After the execution Quan retrieves the head of Yan and has the skull
      cleaned... why?

      He uses it as a urinal while saying (maybe it would be a great song
      in an opera based on this story), "you cut off my balls, i cut off
      your head - the high is exchanged for the low. "

      So Quan has his revenge every time he pisses in the skull.

      hoped you liked the story ?








      --- In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, "nyguy_1225" <nyguy_1225@y...> wrote:
      >
      > David, homosexuality as an orientation or psychosexual phenomenon
      > did not exist in Bible times. The Bible contains no such concept
      > as "orientation." In places the Bible refers to specific acts
      which
      > involve the genitals, not an orientation. So looking for gay
      people
      > in the Bible is a waste of your time. There are no homosexuals in
      > the Bible. The Bible is an empty closet. Although many modern
      > translations employ that word, it is not a Biblical concept. The
      > Bible contains no concept that corresponds to the modern word
      > homosexual. It was not until 1867 that the term homosexual was
      even
      > coined.
      >
      > Even "romantic love" as we know it did not exist in Bible times.
      > Romantic love as we know it did not come into being until the
      Middle
      > Ages, which is precisely why that period is referred to as
      > the "Romance Period." The concept of "falling in love" would have
      > been completely foreign to anyone in ancient times. Few Christian
      > theologians before the 12th century made any references to what is
      > today called "falling in love" and the phenomenon would have been
      > completely unknown to Jesus and his followers and to most of the
      > church until the rise of what is loosely termed "courtly love" in
      > the 12th century. The Greek work for romantic love does not occur
      > anywhere in the New Testament.
      >
      > Even marriage was very different. "Marriage" for us commonly
      refers
      > to an exchange of vows between bride and groom, symbolized by a
      > ring, in a church or government building, with a clerical or
      > governmental official presiding. In patriarchal biblical culture,
      > marriage commonly involved an arrangement in which the groom's
      > father literally purchased the bride from her father, perhaps,
      > accompanied by a banquet (Genesis 24; John 2). Marriage was about
      > ownership.
      >
      > In connection with this "adultery" in the patriarchal culture of
      the
      > Bible most commonly refers to a property offense against the
      > husband, not a betrayal of one's spouse. Since no vows were
      > exchanged, there was no "infidelity." And "divorce"
      > since "marriage" was not a concern of state or church, involved at
      > most a simple unilateral written statement (almost always from the
      > male), not our often complicated legal process involving both
      > parties, with lawyers and judges. In Hebrew law, adultery is
      > defined as a man's having intercourse with a woman married or
      > betrothed to another. The male who commits adultery does not
      violate
      > his own marriage, but that of the woman and her husband. Adultery
      > was a property-related matter.
      >
      > As scholars have been saying for decades, in the ancient world sex
      > was not intrinsically relational or collaborative in character. It
      > was a deeply polarizing experience. It served to divide, to
      > classify, and to distribute its participants into distinct and
      > radically dissimilar categories. Sex centered essentially on, and
      > defined itself around, the penetration of the body of one person by
      > the body, and, specifically, by the phallus of another. The proper
      > targets of a citizen's sexual desire included, specifically, women,
      > boys, foreigners, and slaves -- all of them persons who do not
      enjoy
      > the same legal and political rights and privileges that he does.
      > You must be very careful about reading contemporary concerns,
      > contemporary words, contemporary concepts and contemporary politics
      > into texts and artifacts removed from their social context. This,
      > of course, is a basic principle of biblical hermeneutics.
      >
      > Hope this helps!
      >
      > -Alex
      > Co-moderator ExExGayMinistry
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exexgayministry/
      >
      >
      > --- In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, Dave <centauri_guy@y...> wrote:
      > > Hello everyone, this is the first time for me.
      > > If I might be allowed to ask a question, as this
      > > subject touches on something that has always puzzled
      > > me. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus makes no comment on
      > > homosexuality. He met thousands of people during the
      > > time of his ministry - Jews, Greeks, Romans and many
      > > others.
      > > Surely some of them would have been gay. Homosexuality
      > > was common in that world, yet there is no comment on
      > > it.
      > > Has anyone some thoughts on this subject?
      > > David
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- dan c <danny_sf_ut@y...> wrote:
      > > > The authors of "The Children are Free" are Rev. Jeff
      > > > Miner and John Tyler Connoley. Miner is pastor of
      > > > Jesus Metropolitan Community Church in Indianapolis
      > > > http://www.jesusmcc.org/ Connoley has a
      > > > Masters in Biblical Studies. A free study guide to
      > > > the book can be downloaded at that web site.
      > > >
      > > > The book looks in detail at the various
      > > > interpretations of pais -- their conclusion is
      > > > that in this case,"male boy lover" is the most
      > > > likely meaning. So that means that those people to
      > > > whom the story was written in Greek would most
      > > > likely have assumed that was the case.
      > > >
      > > > JP <jprgws@y...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Thanks, Dan, for the answer. I must say that this
      > > > interpretaton never occured to me before reading the
      > > > column. How could it have because I don't know any
      > > > of
      > > > the languages that the Bible was written in.
      > > >
      > > > A counterargument that comes to mind is, of coure,
      > > > that Jesus knew what the relationship was (whatever
      > > > it
      > > > was). So we can't be quite sure what Jesus thought
      > > > of
      > > > gays and homosexuality but it is difficult to
      > > > imagine
      > > > that He would have said nothing of such a universal
      > > > phenomenon. Maybe it was too hot an issue for the
      > > > four
      > > > evangelists to write about. This is not my own idea,
      > > > a
      > > > priest once said so to me. Had Jesus condemned it,
      > > > the
      > > > evangelists would probably have included it. What do
      > > > you think of this?
      > > >
      > > > I haven't checked the book yet. Any information
      > > > about
      > > > the author?
      > > >
      > > > jp
      > > >
      > > > --- danny_sf_ut wrote:
      > > >
      > >
      > > Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.
      > > http://au.movies.yahoo.com
    • Calvin Tuininga
      I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner. I am still struggling with it, and have my ups and downs. IN part that is why i wrote to you. Iam in the US.Where
      Message 2 of 29 , Dec 3, 2004
         I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner. I am still struggling with it, and have my ups and downs. IN part that is why i wrote to you. Iam in the US.Where are you. Btw, how did you come to a greater acceptance of it.
        I would love to chat more, and will watch for your responses.
        james

        bruno fedele <brunofedele@...> wrote:

        Hi James,

        thanks for the email. Hope we can chat somemore soon ...

        so just out of curiousity, are you still struggling with your sexuality or have you managed to accept it and move on? I'm still having a hard time with it, but things are definately better these days, no longer feel like life not worth living!

        Please feel free to email from time to time. Btw, are you in Australia or in the US?

        Bruno (Boyjuice)

        >From: Calvin Tuininga <cjtuin@...>
        >Reply-To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
        >To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: Re: [Exex-gay] Re: Just what does the Bible say about gays?
        >Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 07:23:07 -0800 (PST)
        >
        >It makes sense to me, boy juice, since that is exactly how I was raised, and is one of the issues I struggle with too! james
        >
        >boyjuice2000 <brunofedele@...> wrote:
        >
        >Hey Yowee The Jew, I agree with you, in that God is Holy and
        >therefore hates sin! The problem for me is whether or not,
        >homosexuality is sin!! some say it is, others say its not! I have
        >always been led to beleive that homosexuality is sin! and
        >furthermore, as Christians we are commanded Not to obey (or give
        >into) the desires of our sinful nature. Which leads me to believe
        >that, if homosexualiy is really sin, then we as Christian ought not
        >to give into or obey our desires that lead us to practice
        >homosexuality. Is any of this making sense?
        >
        >In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, "Yowee The Jew" <hivyo@y...> wrote:
        > >
        > > This sounds very twisted to me, anyone can twist the words in the
        > > Bible and make it mean what they want it to mean. I don't believe
        > > that God the author of the Bible is anti-gay, I believe that God is
        > > Holy and a Holy God hates sin, He loves the sinner but hates the
        >sin.
        > >
        > > The way I see it is, if you were in love with a person you would
        >want
        > > to please that person and would make some changes, that's why I
        > > believe that as you get to know Jesus, you would want to make some
        > > changes to be like Him.
        > >
        > > Yes, I believe that God wrote the Bible, why? Its like if someone
        > > dictated a letter to me and I wrote it for them, it would still
        >make
        > > them the author, right? Well, I believe its like that, God told a
        >man
        > > what to write, he wrote it for God, it still is God's word.
        > >
        > > I don't profess to be a Bible scholar and haven't preached or
        >studied
        > > the Word like Anthony has done, but this is what I believe, if I'm
        > > right or wrong it doesn't matter, we are all on a journey finding
        >out
        > > for ourselves and none of us can point a finger and say "You're
        > > wrong", we have to have room to make mistakes and find out for
        > > ourselves. I'm a simple man so, please keep it simple if you agree
        >or
        > > disagree!
        > >
        > > --- In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, "Life Coach" <lifecoach@m...>
        >wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Just what does the Bible say about gays?
        > > >
        > > > November 1, 2004
        > > >
        > > > We can cherry-pick biblical references to homosexuality, ignoring
        > > the
        > > > message of love, writes Nicholas Kristof.
        > > > So when God made homosexuals who fall deeply, achingly in love
        >with
        > > each
        > > > other, did he goof? That seems implicit in US legislative efforts
        > > to oppose
        > > > gay marriage.
        > > > Over the past few months, I've been researching the question of
        >how
        > > the
        > > > Bible regards homosexuality. Social liberals tend to be
        > > uncomfortable with
        > > > religious arguments, but that is the ground on which political
        > > battles are
        > > > often decided.
        > > > I think it's presumptuous of conservatives to assume that God is
        >on
        > > their
        > > > side. But I also think it's stupid of liberals to forfeit the
        > > religious
        > > > field.
        > > > Some scholars, such as Daniel Helminiak, author of What the Bible
        > > Really
        > > > Says About Homosexuality, argue that the Bible is not anti-gay. I
        > > don't
        > > > really buy that.
        > > > It's true that the story of Sodom is treated by both modern
        > > scholars and by
        > > > ancient Ezekiel as about hospitality, rather than homosexuality.
        >In
        > > Sodom,
        > > > Lot puts up two male strangers for the night. When a lustful mob
        > > demands
        > > > they be handed over, Lot offers his two virgin daughters instead.
        > > After some
        > > > further unpleasantness, God destroys Sodom. As Mark Jordan notes
        >in
        > > The
        > > > Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology, it was only in the
        >11th
        > > century
        > > > that theologians began to condemn homosexuality as sodomy.
        > > > In fact, the most obvious lesson from Sodom is that when you're
        > > attacked by
        > > > an angry mob, the holy thing to do is to offer up your virgin
        > > daughters.
        > > > Still, the traditionalists seem to me basically correct that the
        >Old
        > > > Testament does condemn at least male anal sex (scholars disagree
        > > about
        > > > whether the Hebrew phrasing encompasses other sexual contact). A
        > > plain
        > > > reading of the Book of Leviticus is that male anal sex is every
        >bit
        > > as bad
        > > > as other practices that the text condemns, like wearing a
        > > > polyester-and-cotton shirt (Leviticus 19:19).
        > > > As for the New Testament, Jesus never said a word about gays,
        >while
        > > he
        > > > explicitly advised a wealthy man to give away all his assets and
        > > arguably
        > > > warned against bank accounts ("do not store up for yourselves
        > > treasures on
        > > > earth"). Likewise, Jesus praises those who make themselves
        >eunuchs
        > > for the
        > > > Kingdom of Heaven, but conservative Christians rarely lead the
        >way
        > > with
        > > > self-castration.
        > > > Theologians point out that that the Bible is big enough to
        > > encompass gay
        > > > relationships and tolerance - as well as episodic condemnations
        >of
        > > gays. For
        > > > example, 1 Samuel can be read as describing gay affairs between
        > > David and
        > > > Jonathan.
        > > > In the New Testament, Matthew and Luke describe how Jesus cured
        >the
        > > beloved
        > > > servant of a centurion - and some scholars argue that the wording
        > > suggests
        > > > that the pair were lovers, yet Jesus didn't blanch.
        > > > The religious right cites one part of the New Testament that
        > > clearly does
        > > > condemn male homosexuality - not in Jesus' words, but in Paul's.
        > > The right
        > > > has a tougher time explaining why lesbians shouldn't marry
        >because
        > > the Bible
        > > > has no unequivocal condemnation of lesbian sex.
        > > > A passage in Romans 1 objects to women engaging in "unnatural"
        >sex,
        > > and this
        > > > probably does mean lesbian sex, according to Bernadette Brooten,
        > > the author
        > > > of a fascinating study of early Christian attitudes toward
        > > lesbians. But
        > > > it's also possible that Paul was referring to sex during
        > > menstruation or to
        > > > women who are aggressive during sex.
        > > > In any case, do we really want to make Paul our lawgiver? Will we
        > > enforce
        > > > Paul's instruction that women veil themselves and keep their hair
        > > long?
        > > > (Note to President Bush: If you want to obey Paul, why don't you
        > > start by
        > > > veiling Laura and keeping her hair long, and only then bar gay
        > > marriages.)
        > > > Given these ambiguities, is there any solution? One would be to
        > > emphasise
        > > > the sentiment in Genesis that "it is not good for the human to be
        > > alone",
        > > > and allow gay lovers to marry.
        > > > Or there's another solution. Paul disapproves of marriage except
        > > for the
        > > > sex-obsessed, saying that it is best "to remain unmarried as I
        >am".
        > > > So if we're going to cherry-pick biblical phrases and ignore the
        > > central
        > > > message of love, then perhaps we should just ban marriage?
        > > > Pulitzer Prize-winner Nicholas Kristof is a columnist with The
        >New
        > > York
        > > > Times.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Anthony
        > > > Moderator and author of:
        > > > 'A Life of Unlearning -Coming Out of the Church - One Man's
        > > Struggle'
        > > > Winner of the Inaugural Literary Award 2004 Sydney Gay & Lesbian
        > > Business
        > > > Association
        > > > To download Chapter 1 'The Confession' FREE click here
        > > > <http://www.anthonyvennbrown.com/book.html> .
        > > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Exex-gay
        > > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Exex-gay/>
        > > > My sexual orientation is not a sickness to be healed or a sin to
        >be
        > > > forgiven. My sexual orientation is a gift from my Creator to be
        > > accepted,
        > > > celebrated, and lived with integrity.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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      • bruno fedele
        Hi James, no problems about the late reply! Oh, I m sorry to hear that you are still struggling with your sexuality. I am also, but not as much as I use too, I
        Message 3 of 29 , Dec 3, 2004

          Hi James,

          no problems about the late reply! Oh, I'm sorry to hear that you are still struggling with your sexuality. I am also, but not as much as I use too, I have come to accept it pretty much and although I still "fall into temptation" I know that God loves me and thats all that matters!

          How did I come to a greater acceptance? good question! LOL! well, I guess, it just came about through countless years of trying to change and being misserable in the process, Also, I have come to understand the Bible in a new light! and realise that it does not condemn homosexuality as we know it today! Besides, I know that Jesus loves me as I am, He answers my prayers and I have a stronger relationship with him these days. For years, I have felt guilty and unworthy because of my sexuality, but after 3 suicide attempts, I realise that God has other plans for me. The way I see it, if He hates fags! as some so called "Christains" would have us believe, then he would have left me to die! If he hated me and all over Homosexuals he never would have sent His son to die for me (us) :-)

          I am still "in the closet" in many respects, only out to a few select people, my parents aren't aware of my sexuality although, Im sure that deep down they know, they just refuse to accept it! They are both very religious and view homosexuality as sin, period! But I realise that I am not living for them! They are my parents and I love them, but if they refuse to accept me as being gay, thats their problem!

          I am in Sydney Australia. Have you ever been down under?

          Anway, I hope we will get a chance to chat again soon ... until then, take care and God bless,

          Bruno



           

          >From: Calvin Tuininga <cjtuin@...>
          >Reply-To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
          >To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: Re: [Exex-gay] Re: Just what does the Bible say about gays?
          >Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 07:59:45 -0800 (PST)
          >
          >  I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner. I am still struggling with it, and have my ups and downs. IN part that is why i wrote to you. Iam in the US.Where are you. Btw, how did you come to a greater acceptance of it.
          >I would love to chat more, and will watch for your responses.
          >james
          >
          >bruno fedele <brunofedele@...> wrote:
          >
          >Hi James,
          >
          >thanks for the email. Hope we can chat somemore soon ...
          >
          >so just out of curiousity, are you still struggling with your sexuality or have you managed to accept it and move on? I'm still having a hard time with it, but things are definately better these days, no longer feel like life not worth living!
          >
          >Please feel free to email from time to time. Btw, are you in Australia or in the US?
          >
          >Bruno (Boyjuice)
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > >From: Calvin Tuininga <cjtuin@...>
          > >Reply-To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
          > >To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
          > >Subject: Re: [Exex-gay] Re: Just what does the Bible say about gays?
          > >Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 07:23:07 -0800 (PST)
          > >
          > >It makes sense to me, boy juice, since that is exactly how I was raised, and is one of the issues I struggle with too! james
          > >
          > >boyjuice2000 <brunofedele@...> wrote:
          > >
          > >Hey Yowee The Jew, I agree with you, in that God is Holy and
          > >therefore hates sin! The problem for me is whether or not,
          > >homosexuality is sin!! some say it is, others say its not! I have
          > >always been led to beleive that homosexuality is sin! and
          > >furthermore, as Christians we are commanded Not to obey (or give
          > >into) the desires of our sinful nature. Which leads me to believe
          > >that, if homosexualiy is really sin, then we as Christian ought not
          > >to give into or obey our desires that lead us to practice
          > >homosexuality. Is any of this making sense?
          > >
          > >In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, "Yowee The Jew" <hivyo@y...> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > This sounds very twisted to me, anyone can twist the words in the
          > > > Bible and make it mean what they want it to mean. I don't believe
          > > > that God the author of the Bible is anti-gay, I believe that God is
          > > > Holy and a Holy God hates sin, He loves the sinner but hates the
          > >sin.
          > > >
          > > > The way I see it is, if you were in love with a person you would
          > >want
          > > > to please that person and would make some changes, that's why I
          > > > believe that as you get to know Jesus, you would want to make some
          > > > changes to be like Him.
          > > >
          > > > Yes, I believe that God wrote the Bible, why? Its like if someone
          > > > dictated a letter to me and I wrote it for them, it would still
          > >make
          > > > them the author, right? Well, I believe its like that, God told a
          > >man
          > > > what to write, he wrote it for God, it still is God's word.
          > > >
          > > > I don't profess to be a Bible scholar and haven't preached or
          > >studied
          > > > the Word like Anthony has done, but this is what I believe, if I'm
          > > > right or wrong it doesn't matter, we are all on a journey finding
          > >out
          > > > for ourselves and none of us can point a finger and say "You're
          > > > wrong", we have to have room to make mistakes and find out for
          > > > ourselves. I'm a simple man so, please keep it simple if you agree
          > >or
          > > > disagree!
          > > >
          > > > --- In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, "Life Coach" <lifecoach@m...>
          > >wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > Just what does the Bible say about gays?
          > > > >
          > > > > November 1, 2004
          > > > >
          > > > > We can cherry-pick biblical references to homosexuality, ignoring
          > > > the
          > > > > message of love, writes Nicholas Kristof.
          > > > > So when God made homosexuals who fall deeply, achingly in love
          > >with
          > > > each
          > > > > other, did he goof? That seems implicit in US legislative efforts
          > > > to oppose
          > > > > gay marriage.
          > > > > Over the past few months, I've been researching the question of
          > >how
          > > > the
          > > > > Bible regards homosexuality. Social liberals tend to be
          > > > uncomfortable with
          > > > > religious arguments, but that is the ground on which political
          > > > battles are
          > > > > often decided.
          > > > > I think it's presumptuous of conservatives to assume that God is
          > >on
          > > > their
          > > > > side. But I also think it's stupid of liberals to forfeit the
          > > > religious
          > > > > field.
          > > > > Some scholars, such as Daniel Helminiak, author of What the Bible
          > > > Really
          > > > > Says About Homosexuality, argue that the Bible is not anti-gay. I
          > > > don't
          > > > > really buy that.
          > > > > It's true that the story of Sodom is treated by both modern
          > > > scholars and by
          > > > > ancient Ezekiel as about hospitality, rather than homosexuality.
          > >In
          > > > Sodom,
          > > > > Lot puts up two male strangers for the night. When a lustful mob
          > > > demands
          > > > > they be handed over, Lot offers his two virgin daughters instead.
          > > > After some
          > > > > further unpleasantness, God destroys Sodom. As Mark Jordan notes
          > >in
          > > > The
          > > > > Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology, it was only in the
          > >11th
          > > > century
          > > > > that theologians began to condemn homosexuality as sodomy.
          > > > > In fact, the most obvious lesson from Sodom is that when you're
          > > > attacked by
          > > > > an angry mob, the holy thing to do is to offer up your virgin
          > > > daughters.
          > > > > Still, the traditionalists seem to me basically correct that the
          > >Old
          > > > > Testament does condemn at least male anal sex (scholars disagree
          > > > about
          > > > > whether the Hebrew phrasing encompasses other sexual contact). A
          > > > plain
          > > > > reading of the Book of Leviticus is that male anal sex is every
          > >bit
          > > > as bad
          > > > > as other practices that the text condemns, like wearing a
          > > > > polyester-and-cotton shirt (Leviticus 19:19).
          > > > > As for the New Testament, Jesus never said a word about gays,
          > >while
          > > > he
          > > > > explicitly advised a wealthy man to give away all his assets and
          > > > arguably
          > > > > warned against bank accounts ("do not store up for yourselves
          > > > treasures on
          > > > > earth"). Likewise, Jesus praises those who make themselves
          > >eunuchs
          > > > for the
          > > > > Kingdom of Heaven, but conservative Christians rarely lead the
          > >way
          > > > with
          > > > > self-castration.
          > > > > Theologians point out that that the Bible is big enough to
          > > > encompass gay
          > > > > relationships and tolerance - as well as episodic condemnations
          > >of
          > > > gays. For
          > > > > example, 1 Samuel can be read as describing gay affairs between
          > > > David and
          > > > > Jonathan.
          > > > > In the New Testament, Matthew and Luke describe how Jesus cured
          > >the
          > > > beloved
          > > > > servant of a centurion - and some scholars argue that the wording
          > > > suggests
          > > > > that the pair were lovers, yet Jesus didn't blanch.
          > > > > The religious right cites one part of the New Testament that
          > > > clearly does
          > > > > condemn male homosexuality - not in Jesus' words, but in Paul's.
          > > > The right
          > > > > has a tougher time explaining why lesbians shouldn't marry
          > >because
          > > > the Bible
          > > > > has no unequivocal condemnation of lesbian sex.
          > > > > A passage in Romans 1 objects to women engaging in "unnatural"
          > >sex,
          > > > and this
          > > > > probably does mean lesbian sex, according to Bernadette Brooten,
          > > > the author
          > > > > of a fascinating study of early Christian attitudes toward
          > > > lesbians. But
          > > > > it's also possible that Paul was referring to sex during
          > > > menstruation or to
          > > > > women who are aggressive during sex.
          > > > > In any case, do we really want to make Paul our lawgiver? Will we
          > > > enforce
          > > > > Paul's instruction that women veil themselves and keep their hair
          > > > long?
          > > > > (Note to President Bush: If you want to obey Paul, why don't you
          > > > start by
          > > > > veiling Laura and keeping her hair long, and only then bar gay
          > > > marriages.)
          > > > > Given these ambiguities, is there any solution? One would be to
          > > > emphasise
          > > > > the sentiment in Genesis that "it is not good for the human to be
          > > > alone",
          > > > > and allow gay lovers to marry.
          > > > > Or there's another solution. Paul disapproves of marriage except
          > > > for the
          > > > > sex-obsessed, saying that it is best "to remain unmarried as I
          > >am".
          > > > > So if we're going to cherry-pick biblical phrases and ignore the
          > > > central
          > > > > message of love, then perhaps we should just ban marriage?
          > > > > Pulitzer Prize-winner Nicholas Kristof is a columnist with The
          > >New
          > > > York
          > > > > Times.
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > Anthony
          > > > > Moderator and author of:
          > > > > 'A Life of Unlearning -Coming Out of the Church - One Man's
          > > > Struggle'
          > > > > Winner of the Inaugural Literary Award 2004 Sydney Gay & Lesbian
          > > > Business
          > > > > Association
          > > > > To download Chapter 1 'The Confession' FREE click here
          > > > > <http://www.anthonyvennbrown.com/book.html> .
          > > > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Exex-gay
          > > > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Exex-gay/>
          > > > > My sexual orientation is not a sickness to be healed or a sin to
          > >be
          > > > > forgiven. My sexual orientation is a gift from my Creator to be
          > > > accepted,
          > > > > celebrated, and lived with integrity.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
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