English Article:Arise to discern Biblical Perspective of LGBTQ Community | Gibin Varghese
Homosexuality is a controversial issue in our society. For some it has become an equal rights issue to legalize same-sex marriage. For others it is also a religious and moral issue because it is addressed within the Bible. I know that at the first sight of this article heading, you will make a prediction of Homosexuality as sin. So the question rises about what type of sin. According to doctrine of sin there are many types of sin like: Venial, mortal, eternal.
A venial sin is a lesser sin that does not result in a complete separation from God and eternal damnation in Hell. A mortal sin, which can lead to damnation if a person does not repent of the sin before death. A sin is considered to be “mortal” when its quality is such that it leads to a separation of that person from God’s saving grace. An eternal sins, unforgivable sins, or unpardonable sins are sins which will not be forgiven by God (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit).
Definition of LGBTQ:
Lesbians are women who identify as women and are primarily romantically and sexually interested in other women who identify as women. Gay men are men who identify as men and are primarily romantically and sexually interested in other men who identify as men. Bisexual people are people who are romantically and sexually interested in both men and women. Transgender people are people who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Some people choose to medically transition to another gender though hormones and/or surgery. Some do not. Queer is an umbrella term. It used to be an insult. People have decided to reclaim it. Anyone in the lgbt umbrella can call themselves queer. Some people choose to do this. Some do not.
“Bible claims nothing about Homosexuality”, says LGBTQ community
When the LGBTQ community claims that the Bible says nothing about “homosexuality” as an innate dimension of personality. And sexual orientation was not understood in biblical times. The homosexual community has raised the argument that the word homosexual never occurred in the Bible until 1946, thereby trying to demonstrate that homosexuality is not wrong; that instead, Christians have translated the Bible to make it suit their needs. “In English the word homosexual was first used in 1892 in the English translation of Krafft-Ebing’s “Psychopathia sexualis” which was a reference work, in German, on sexual perversions. So that explains when the word entered our vocabulary. Since 1892 it would take some time, in a less technologically advanced society than today, for the word to be disseminated throughout the population and appear in various forms of literature. That would explain why the English term “homosexual” did not appear in the Bible until 1946. But, the Bible teaches against the concept of homosexuality from the ancient ages.
Old Testament Perspective of “Same sex Attraction”
The basis of the prohibition against homosexual acts derives from two Old Testament biblical verses in Leviticus: “Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is abhorrence” (Leviticus 18:22). This straightforward law prohibits all homosexual acts. It makes no distinctions as to whether or not they were consensual. It comes in the midst of a section of laws related to sexual relationships. No consequence is given here in each verse for the individual laws, but rather they are all listed as things that must not be done. All of the items in this chapter’s list are said to “defile” (Lev. 18:24) and are called “abominations” (Lev. 18:27, 30). In balance, homosexuality here is not singled out from among the rest of the sexual sins (which themselves are being highlighted), but is included with the rest. Likewise, those who break any of these laws are to be “cut off from the midst of their people” (Lev. 18:29).
“If a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, the two of them have done an abhorrent thing; they shall be put to death—their bloodguilt is upon them” (Leviticus 20:13). The Torah considers a homosexual act between two men to be an abhorrent thing (to’evah), punishable by death — a strong prohibition. This straightforward law gives the consequences for homosexual acts as they were to be carried out under Israel’s theocratic government.
Root of Prohibition
Various rabbis have tried to come up with reasons for the biblical prohibition of mishkav zakhar is that a Torah prohibition always stands on its own even if no cogent rationale can be found for it. Some rabbis have argued that homosexuality is forbidden because procreation is impossible. Others have defined the homosexual act as intrinsically unnatural and therefore opposed to the purposes of creation. A more likely explanation for the ban against homosexual behavior is given in the Talmud by Bar Kapparah, who makes a play on the word to’evah (“abomination”), claiming that it means to’eh atah ba (“you go astray because of it”). The reason for the prohibitions seems to be that such behavior undermines the Jewish family ideal of marriage and children as set out in the Torah.
New Testament Perspective of Homosexuality
In the New Testament many passages generally prohibit “sexual immoral” activity (cf. Acts 15:20; 15:29, 1 Thess. 4:3, Heb. 13:4, Rev. 21:8; 22:15). These commands would include homosexuality.
Romans 1:18-32: Paul’s aim in these early chapters is to demonstrate that the whole world is unrighteous in God’s sight, and therefore in need of salvation. Gentile society faces God’s wrath because it has suppressed the truth that God has revealed about himself in creation (verses 18-20). In the verses that follow, Paul illustrates how this has happened, giving three examples of how what has been known about God has been exchanged for something else: they exchange the glory of God for images of creatures (verse 23); the truth of God for a lie, leading to full-blown idolatry, worshipping created things (verse 25); and reject the knowledge of God (verse 28), exchanging “natural” relations for “unnatural” ones:
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26-27). Homosexual desire is not what God originally intended. All of our desires have been distorted by sin. Our distorted desires are a sign that we have turned away from God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: Paul writes: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Paul says the active and unrepentant homosexual, as with all active, unrepentant sinners, will not enter God’s kingdom. The first of the two terms relating to homosexuality is malakoi, the second term he Paul uses. is arsenokoitai. In 1 Corinthians 6 malakoi comes in a list describing general forms of sexual sin. “arsenokoitai”, this is a compound of “male” (arsen) and “intercourse” (koites, literally “bed”). These are the two words used in the Greek translation of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, suggesting that Paul is linking back to those two passages. For Paul, the sexual sins which Leviticus prohibits remain forbidden for New Testament Christians. Arsenokoitai, then, is a general term for male same-sex sex, and its pairing with malakoi indicates that Paul is addressing both the active and passive partners in homosexual sex.
Paul is clear: homosexual conduct leads people to destruction. This is a serious issue. Homosexual sin is not unique. Paul’s list includes other forms of sexual sin (sexual immorality and adultery), and it includes non-sexual forms of sin (drunkenness and theft, for example). Homosexual sin is incredibly serious, but it is not alone in being so. Homosexual sin is not inescapable. Paul continues in verse 11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). These forms of behaviour are not appropriate for the Corinthian church precisely because it is not who they are any more. Some of them clearly had been active homosexuals. They did once live in these ways. But no more. They have been washed, sanctified and justified; forgiven, cleansed from their sins, and set apart for God. They have a new standing and identity before him.
LGBTQ community says that “homosexual desires feel natural”, they are actually unnatural, because God says they are. He also calls all sexual involvement outside of marriage immoral. (There are 44 references to fornication sexual immorality in the Bible.) Therefore, any form of homosexual activity, whether a one-night stand or a long-term monogamous relationship, is by definition immoral just as any abuse of heterosexuality outside of marriage is immoral. Homosexuality is indeed sin. It is not okay. It is not moral. It, along with all other sins, reaps the judgment of God. The Biblical and Christian view of homosexuality is that it is wrong, but God’s grace just like it did for us offers freedom from sin to all people. God’s grace can bring new life and help every step of the way.