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An Evangelical Homosexual's Apologetic

Bishop Spong’s position is rather unusual in that he doesn’t even have to actually deal with the Scriptures themselves. However, there are a number of homosexuals who happen to be classical theists, believe Scripture is the inspired Word of God, and consider themselves evangelicals. How would they address the passages that Christians use to defend conservative views of homosexuality? What kind of smokescreens and barriers are put up to confuse the issue and justify their actions?

Romans 1:18-32 is the full context, but for brevity, the crux of the conservative argument is in these two verses: “… 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 …” [Rom 1:26-27 ESV].

The homosexual’s interpretation of this passage attempts to narrow the scope of application such that they convince their opponent that it’s not talking about them at all.

They do not suppress the truth [v. 18].
They do honor God [v. 21].
They do give thanks to God [v. 21].
They don’t claim to be wise [v. 22].
They don’t worship images [v. 23].
They don’t serve a creature [v. 25].

And without these reasons, how can God be giving them up to something dishonorable? Besides, the Christian must assume that homosexuality is *unnatural* when clearly, for a homosexual these are natural; it is only unnatural for a heterosexual to engage in homosexual acts and essentially “play around” with homosexuality.

Carry this idea through the rest of the passage, though. Is it consistent to insert one’s own idea of what is natural into the passage? Certainly, if it is okay to be homosexual, then it follows that it is okay to also be a covetous person. It’s certainly natural for most people. How about an envious person, or a gossip? Perhaps the haughty and the disobedient to parents also get a pass, since they are only doing what is natural to them, as long as neither they suppressing the truth or bow down to idols. No, these are all descriptions of sinful people, and denying this is suppression of the truth. “Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” [Rom 1:32 ESV]

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” [Lev 20:13]

Surely the Old Testament law no longer applies to anyone. Here in Leviticus we have all kinds of laws that aren’t obeyed. Is a menstruating woman still unclean for seven days [Lev 15:19]? Is it still illegal for men to shave their beards [Lev 21:5]?

The problem with such arguments is that many Christians have little understanding of the relationship of Old Testament law to New Testament believers. They are unable to make distinctions between moral, civil, and ceremonial, nor fully understand what Jesus meant when he said: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” [Mat 5:17 ESV].

Lev 19:34 – Love your neighbor as yourself
The moral law reflects God’s holiness and God’s holiness is immutable. It did not change between the previous dispensation and the present one. The objections raised in the other Levitical quotations I presented are both instances of ceremonial law. If all the OT law were to be inapplicable, so too would other parts of the holiness code, such as the command to love your neighbor as yourself [Lev 19:34], which Christ himself quoted to summarize the moral law.

The command not to sleep with other men and not trim a beard are a bit more than a "moral" law and a "ceremonial" law. So, it's not just a question of the type of law, but what is lying behind these two injunctions.

Lying behind the injunction against beard trimming is the pagan funerial tradition, so this command is also indexed to the first table of the Law, viz. the first and second commandments.

Likewise, Paul in Romans indexes homosexuality to idolatry, for the exchange the worship of the Creator with the creator. Ergo, lying behind the moral law in Leviticus we also have the first table of the Law. Homosexuality is a direct ethical attack on the Imago Dei, particularly the Trinity, because the three persons of the family unit (male, female, child) directly reflect the plurality of the Trinity and the economy of the Trinity, so lying behind every injunction vs. homosexuality is the first table of the Law.

I want to thank brigand, mariep, and Chef_Cis for sharing the conference with me. I've been DOWN for several days and I'm pleased you guys have posted for us! Thanx again. ~nolo~

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