Thoughts from a Hurt and Confused Adventist

How do you interpret Leviticus 18:22? Leviticus 20:13? Romans 1:26-27?

I would be a happy person if you found a way to explain those verses in a way that suggests that God is not against homosexuality, as I’m fairly progressive in most other respects. But I cannot find an intellectually honest way to suggest that those verses are in favour of homosexuality within the Christian church, so the only other explanation left to me is that there must be something improper about homosexual relations that is either bad for our mental and physical health, rebellious against God, or both.

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Here is one for this text: Paul on Same-Sex Sexual Relationships in Romans

You might also check here. There are links to several good references: https://sdakinship.org/en/the-bible-says

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Thanks Carrol. In some parts of the world “A” is taken for allies and for asexuals, just as "I’ is taken for inquiring as well as intersex, and “Q” is taken for questioning as well as queer. I suspect there are regional differences in understanding. But Ted had the plus sign following, not a minus sign. So he can’t easily claim exclusions from the meanings of the acronyms that are out there. In my experience having family members makes a person either very supportive (like yourself) and very antagonistic (like Ted), but rarely anything inbetween.

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I appreciate the honesty, @RBuck.

In the Leviticus passages, the original Hebrew word for abomination used is the same word used in Leviticus (and at least some other parts of the Bible) in rules for food, clothing (e.g., the cloth of mixed fibers), jewelry, and items given as worship to other gods among other things. I.e., this is indicative that it’s not some rule of God’s creation or kingdom, but instead one of cultural import. All of these were ways God was setting the Israelites apart from other nations, not that they were necessarily against God’s plan/creation. And, as we’ve seen with the church’s picking and choosing of which among these rules to follow, we have further evidence of their cultural value.

This essay, What the Bible Says—And Doesn’t Say—About Homosexuality by Mel White (page 11, specifically), goes through the text in more depth, and Colby Martin’s Unclobber (a book) goes in even more depth for each of the six primary clobber texts in the Bible. These are both intellectually honest resources on the topic.

@bness, already added some sources for more information on the Romans verses. (Thanks!)

And I just want to address what you mention about health here. It seems fair to say it would be intellectually dishonest to discount the scientific consensus on this matter; i.e., there is nothing to suggest homosexuality is bad for a person’s mental or physical health. As I mentioned before—and it seems on which we can agree—what’s bad on their mental and physical health is the persistent bigotry and discrimination they face from family, (ex)friends, church, and government.

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Luke 14:26 is a very unfortunate text, especially for people who mindlessly and uncritically accept that every word of the King James Version bible is absolute truth.

Strangely though, none of these biblical literalists will take Mark 16:18 to heart. They’ll joyfully hate LGBT members of their family and community based on a “thus saith the KJV translators”, but they won’t drink poison based on a similar “thus saith the KJV translators” to prove themselves to be God’s disciples.

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But Jesus also stated clearly that what she had done was sin, for He told her to not do it.
God made it clear to Moses that these people who were perverted in their sexuality were to be cut off from the people. Lev. 18:29 He called it an abomination.

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If you say you was born “that way” you can be born again and if you are not, you will never see the kingdom of God un Heaven per John chapter 3.

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I respectfully suggest you do a little research on this topic. Just because something is called an abomination does not mean what you think it does. You also might want to consider that what we know about trans individuals now that was not known in OT times. Being trans has a biological basis. It is a perfectly normal. albeit not the most common, expression of gender simply not matching with biological sex. Why should someone born this way be in any way condemned by God. Being trans is not a choice.

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That is because there are no Bible texts specific to trans or other LGBTQ+ people as we understand them today. Such individuals are unknown in the Bible, unless you understand some of the language used, in context. There are Biblical principles that support treating trans people with dignity and full inclusion, but you can’t “key text” yourself through this topic.

The story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39 is a great example of a text that supports such inclusion. The term eunuch, as used in the NT, was a term that broadly applies to individuals that do not present sexually as the typical person, which would include gay, gender nonconforming and trans people (although, as I said, these terms and our modern understanding of such people is different today than then). The fact that Philip accepted the eunuch and baptized him indicates that such individuals are just as welcome in God’s kingdom as the rest of us who are not eunuchs. It is a great story and one that should give hope to LGBTQ+ individuals that God accepts them just as they are.

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [ 37 ] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:26-39

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I assume you are addressing me in this response. Looks like there is not much basis for a discussion if you are unwilling to consider that the way you have long interpreted certain texts may be wrong. Just because the Bible has been interpreted a certain way for a long time, is no guarantee the interpretations are correct. Applying a deeper cultural understanding and context to the Bible can often be very enlightening.

I just hope that if you ever have interactions with LGBTQ+ individuals that you will be compassionate and loving toward them, as Jesus was to all people, regardless of their perceived lack of worthiness by the leaders of His time on earth. I also hope that you will not project such a judgmental attitude toward them. They do not need any condemnation from you.

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The issue I had with the sources you provided and the sources provided in the other reply to me is that they start with the assumption that sexual orientation is something a person is born with, when science itself (biology, really) is much less settled on that topic. I had typed up a reply with sources, but it appears the moderation team blocked that reply (and indeed my initial comment was held for four days before being approved), so I’m not going to include sources again so as not to incur the wrath of the moderation team.

(At the same time, moderators: is it really a discussion if one party is not permitted to present their views? Is the discussion a fair “spectrum” of Adventism if some views are not permitted?
I understand the need to protect minorities from racism and bigotry, but when a discussion is closed before a society is ready to close that discussion, then that leaves people not part of the initial discussion out in the cold, and eventually they become the opposition. Sometimes it can be infuriating to explain to someone for the 500th time that masks protect other people from the mask-wearer, not the mask-wearer from other people, but it’s little discussions like that which produce progress, because not everyone has had the privilege of having someone explain that basic truth to them patiently. The truth stands up and is strengthened under close scrutiny; if scrutiny is refused, then that implies that those who refuse scrutiny are afraid that the orthodoxy is not true.)

If science has indeed concluded that sexual orientation is something a person is born with, then the rest of the discussion can proceed. I am prepared to examine sources honestly. But as far as I can see, that point is not settled science.