Many Christians and non-Christians define marriage as between a man and a woman only. There are also several people, both Christian and non-Christian, who support same-sex marriage. Among the latter are those whom identify themselves as homosexual and Christian, seeking a way to resolve the scriptures which clearly say it is impossible to be both.
Before I continue let me say upfront that I am a human being who struggles with temptations and sin just as everyone else does. I have to ask forgiveness of sins just as others do. I do not hate homosexuals. You will definitely not see me joining in activities with members of a certain notorious church in Kansas. I've some extended family members and acquaintances of mine identify themselves as gay. There is no way would I advocate harm upon anyone. It is out of concern for the eternal soul of such that I am sharing that which the scriptures truly say on the subject.
Of late there have been “gay Christian” teachers who try to use the Bible to validate that which G-d has said is invalid. They dissect the Biblical Greek and Hebrew just enough to skew the meanings while setting aside the complete information. Of concern is that pastors as well as lay people are beginning to believe these teachings which use the Bible to teach that homosexuality is not sin. Homosexuality, however, is more than “just a sin”. In G-d’s eyes, it is an abomination. It is to’evah.
Out in the world of making meanings fit what we want them to, there are people who diminish the word “to’evah” without sharing the full definition. Not finding a website or link for The Encyclopedia of Judaism, I’ve shared its content on the word below:
The term "abomination" commonly using in biblical translations generally represents three distinct biblical words: to'evah, shekets, and piggul.
To'evah is the highest degree of abomination, and was originally used to indicate an action which offends the religious sensibilities of a people. Thus, when Joseph was in Egypt and his brothers came down to buy wheat, the brothers were forced to eat apart from the Egyptians, "as it was a to'evah for Egypt" to eat together with them (Gen. 43:32). To the Egyptians, the Hebrews were an inferior race. Furthermore (Gen. 46:34), the Egyptians considered cattle-raising to be a to'evah, and that was the occupation of the Hebrews at that time.
The same word is used in the Bible (Deut. 14:3) in regard to animals which are forbidden to be eaten: "You shall not eat any to'evah," for such animals are considered to be abominations. An even greater abomination is the practice of idolatry, with the idols themselves being referred to as to'evah: "You shall not bring a to'evah into your home" (Deut. 7:26).
Sexual offenses, in particular, are denounced as to'evah. This includes transvestism (Deut. 22:5) and male homosexual acts (Lev. 18:22; 20:13). Indeed, in summation of the different sexual offenses enumerated in Leviticus 18, it is stated (v. 26, 28), "... You shall not do any of these abominations ... lest the land vomit you out when you defile it ..." 1
Being vomited out is not a pleasant thought. Neither is being incinerated as what happened in the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the area around those cities. One of the “teachings” of “gay Christians” is that it wasn’t homosexuality that led to the destruction of S & G. The two main reasons given are: 1) that all the men of the city wanted to gang rape and humiliate Lot’s angelic visitors; and 2) the city was inhospitable. Threatening to be gang raped would definitely not make one feel welcome. However, the fact that the men refused the two daughters Lot offered them is telling in that it wasn’t just lust and a need to humiliate which these men sought. They wanted homosexual sex.
As we know the Lord warned Abraham of that which was to come to Lot’s home by these words: "The outcry against S'dom and 'Amora is so great and their sin so serious that I will now go down and see whether their deeds warrant the outcry that has reached me; if not, I will know."2 The word“outcry” there is tsa’aq, the same as “crying out” in the question G-d asked Cain about Abel in Genesis 4: "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground!” It wasn’t rumors of inhospitality that caused G-d to pay attention to what was happening in the twin Canaanite cities. The earth itself was bearing witness against the sin of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Upon meeting Lot at the city gates of Sodom – the angels from the Lord consented to visiting Lot in his home. It was during that time the men of the city began harassing Lot to hand over the “men” for sex. The city was so evil it did not even care to ask if the men wanted to participate – it was assumed this would be the case. The refusal to do so was not expected – and not well received.3 Expression of perverted lust was a common occurrence. It may have also been part of their “hospitality” - to show interest.
Another popular teaching among the Christians who support homosexuality as a lifestyle is that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was neglecting the needs of others. They point to Ezekiel 16:49, which reads: “The crimes of your sister S'dom were pride and gluttony; she and her daughters were careless and complacent, so that they did nothing to help the poor and needy.” In and of itself that indeed appears to be the sin for which the two towns and their surrounding were destroyed…until you read the whole chapter:
Ezekiel 16:46 “Moreover, your older sister is Shomron, who lives at your left, she and her daughters; and your younger sister, living at your right, is S'dom with her daughters. 47 You didn't merely live by their ways and act according to their disgusting practices, but in a very short time you acted more corruptly than they in all your ways. 48 "'As I live' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'your sister S'dom has not done, neither she nor her daughters, [as much evil] as you have done, you and your daughters. 49 The crimes of your sister S'dom were pride and gluttony; she and her daughters were careless and complacent, so that they did nothing to help the poor and needy. 50 They were arrogant and committed disgusting acts before me; so that when I saw it, I swept them away. 51 Shomron did not commit even half as many sins as you did. You committed many more disgusting acts than your sisters; in fact, in comparison with all the disgusting acts you have committed, they seem innocent!”
The word transcribed in Ezekiel 16 repeatedly as “disgusting” is in fact to’evah.
G-d wants more from us other than to just live like everyone else.4 This was clear in his instructions in Leviticus 18:3-5 where He says “‘You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. 'You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am the LORD your God. 'So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the LORD”.
G-d had good reason to warn the Hebrews away from the Canaanite lifestyle. Remember, He had previous experience with the Canaanites when Lot lived at Sodom.
We know the ancient Egyptians and Canaanites were involved in idol worship. Among the Canaanites such worship of idols such as Molech and Baal included human sacrifice. Children, some as old as six and as young as newborn were placed in the burning metal “hands” of the idol of Molech and burned alive.5 As well, temple prostitutes were a part of the idol worship of those in Canaan. Some were women, and some were men. Some of the “gay Christian” teaching alleges that G-d’s specific instructions against homosexual acts in Leviticus 18:22, is only against the act done in idol worship.
The flaw with that argument is that homosexuality, bestiality, incest, adultery, fornication, and the sacrificing of children were a part of everyday life in Canaan. It is this which G-d was addressing in His preamble in Leviticus 18:3-5. The rest of the chapter addresses the forbiddings of these sexual sins in detail. He re-addresses these sins in Leviticus 20, as if G-d were making sure the Hebrews (and us) clearly understood what He was saying. Throughout the Books of 1stand 2nd Kings we read of how the Hebrews fell into that which G-d warned them against.
Yet, another argument made by “gay Christians” that homosexuality is not sin comes from the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:12 "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men ; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it." (ASV) Their focus on eunuchs being born eunuchs, they say, is proof that homosexuals are born gay. Yet, a eunuch is not a homosexual. Being born incapable of sexual relation can happen “from birth” due to an endocrine disorder leading to low testosterone levels; or childhood illness (i.e. mumps orchitis), or other medical conditions. By saying there are some who are born eunuchs, Jesus was not endorsing homosexuality as a normal, scripturally acceptable lifestyle. They are two totally different situations.
Jude, the brother of Jesus, wrote of “certain individuals, the ones written about long ago as being meant for this condemnation, have wormed their way in - ungodly people who pervert God's grace into a license for debauchery and disown our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.” (vs 4) In describing such people, Jude wrote: “And S'dom, 'Amora and the surrounding cities, following a pattern like theirs, committing sexual sins and perversions, lie exposed as a warning of the everlasting fire awaiting those who must undergo punishment.”(vs 7)
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9 &10 “Don't you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't delude yourselves - people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality, who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob - none of them will share in the Kingdom of God.” In his first letter to Timothy first chapter, Paul goes a little farther: “We are aware that Torah is not for a person who is righteous, but for those who are heedless of Torah and rebellious, ungodly and sinful, wicked and worldly, for people who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral - both heterosexual and homosexual - slave dealers, liars, perjurers, and anyone who acts contrary to the sound teaching.”
Were it not for the Grace of G-d and salvation through Jesus many of us would be heading toward eternity apart from Him. Our part, after asking for forgiveness, is to repent – or teshuvah. Teshuvah means “turn or return” – asking forgiveness and resolving to never repeat that sin again. If it were not for turning away from our sins, we would be captive to them and unable to receive forgiveness of those sins. Acts 3:19 “reform ye, therefore, and turn back, for your sins being blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” (Youngs Literal Translation). Stopping the participation in the sin is important!
I think of the ill man at the Beit-Zata mikveh. After healing the man, Jesus “found him in the Temple court and said to him, "See, you are well! Now stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you!"6 Jesus also gave the same instructions to the woman accused of adultery in John 8:11 to “sin no more”. While we all struggle to not sin; we don’t have to live (or have) lifestyles as a sinner. Homosexuality is sin. It is living a life of abominable sin. It doesn’t have to be. Many struggle with sins that enslave our hearts and souls such as adultery or drug addiction or belief in reincarnation– a type of idol worship. The Lord, however, will meet people, no matter their sinful state, where they need Him to be. He sees our hearts and hears our cries and forgives us our sins as we turn away from them and toward Him.
As an example: having a dislocated arm/shoulder popped back into place is unpleasant. Listening to sound scriptural teaching (1 Tim 1:10) can be the same. However, we know that just as the shoulder must be placed back in it’s proper working position, the same is true for we humans. G-d designed us specifically so we can be as we need to be in order for His Body (people who follow Him) to live as He truly made us. The shoulder joint needs to be strong and solid for the arm to be popped into the socket so it can work. A sling helps to keep it stabilized until the healing is complete.
Those who are seeking healing and forgiveness (out of socket) need healthy Christians (socket/sling) to help as they heal. Staying in a church that teaches sin is not sin is unhealthy. A church that teaches no forgiveness is damaging. We cannot allow ourselves or others to be deceived by errant teachings.7 Instead we are to offer solid, compassionate support to those who need it. It’s up to believers in the Lord to not fall prey to twisted teachings.
Unless otherwise noted, all scriptures come from the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB).
1 Continuing from the Encyclopedia of Judaism: Shekets is a lesser degree of abomination and refers to unclean species of fish, seafood, birds, etc. (Lev. 11:10-13), but is also sometimes used, especially among the Prophets, in regard to idolatry. Thus it is written (Jer. 4:1), "... if you remove your abominations---shikutseha---from My presence ..."
Piggul is a term used specifically for sacrifices brought to the Temple, and denotes the flesh of a sacrifice which was not consumed within the specified biblical time frame and can therefore no longer be eaten, or even the flesh of a sacrifice which had been brought with the intention of eating it after the specified time. An improper intention renders the meat of the sacrifice piggul.2 Genesis 18:20-21
3 Genesis 19:20
4 Ex 19:5 1 Pet 2:9, Dt 14:2
5 John , 1989)Day, Molech: A God of Human Sacrifice in the Old Testament (Cambridge: Cambridge University6John 5:14