Without doubt, people who fall within the rainbow family often appear to search for some spiritual reasoning or explanation that fully justifies the fact that they are not ‘freaks’. A greater percentage of the LGBT community, mostly youths, seem unhappy or unsatisfied in being themselves, not only because of the failed acceptance from their families and friends, but also by the perceived rejection from the Divine, as preached for centuries by their religious leaders. In all religions that believe in Abraham as their father by faith, there is one thing they have in common: the condemnation of homosexuality, all because of the misconception of the five books of Moses.
I cannot fully convince the general public that one can be both religious and gay, but I will point out the fact that the Divine isn’t homophobic and that the ideology of heterosexual union as the sole form of union was manmade.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostril the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
“And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helpmate for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.” Genesis 7:18, 21
It is important to note that the above passages had the Divine fully involved; in Genesis 7:18, Adam was alone, he needed a helpmate, a companion and a friend, not a wife. The Divine did not put marriage in His plan but a platonic relationship, that same one that can exist between flat mates.
Many would however argue that Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 2:24 does institute marriage:
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth…” Genesis 1:28
The whole Bible makes us understand that God is love. If that is so, then love should have been in His command to the heterosexual union, but instead He uses words ‘like’, ‘fruitful’, ‘multiply’ and ‘replenish’. It is simple; the primary duty of the heterosexual union is child-bearing, not to serve as an agent of homophobia. The bible leads us to understand that companion and love can be found in opposite-sex relationships as in the case of Adam and Eve, Mary and Joseph as well as same-sex relationship as in the case of Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, and Jesus and the beloved apostle John.
It baffles me that no Christian seems to talk about 2 Samuel 1:26, where David professed that his love for Jonathan was more than that for a woman. When the issue comes up, many Christian scholars argue that their love was a “brotherly-love”, but this passage points otherwise:
“And it came to pass, when he made an end of speaking unto Saul that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the rope that was upon him, and gave it to David and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow and to his girdle.” 1 Samuel 18:1-4
Now imagine that David was replaced with Martha, and on their first meeting, Jonathan gave her his armor and garment (an important symbol of his power and status as a prince). With this supposition, theologians all over would be talking about this story as the greatest love story ever and it would probably become the basis for lot of Hollywood movies. But the relationship was between two men, one which riles our bias, causing us to see it as just deep friendship regardless of the biblical evidence. The books of Samuel should be regarded as the greatest record of same love and theologians ought to accept Jonathan and David’s relationship for what it was.
Saul’s words to Jonathan were even more explicit, if theologians were to read them without perjury:
“You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen (David) the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established.” 1 Samuel 20:30-31
The greatest perceived homophobic part of the Bible, Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, has been used over time to push homophobia in churches. However, we need to fully understand why those verses had to be included, hence the importance to treat them both contextually and historically. We need to grasp the concept of Leviticus 18: 1-3. God instructed the children of Israel not to behave like the Egyptians or the Canaanites, in whose land they dwell. Historians hold it that these nations hold fertility rites that were sexual in nature. These rituals were thought to bring blessings from the gods. During the rituals, whole families including husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, would have sex to draw favor from these gods. Also included was sex with temple prostitutes, in fact, there abounded every form of sexual intercourse. This was what was going on in Egypt and Canaan at the time the Levitical rules were announced. Chapter 20 is more specific, beginning with an injunction against the pagan practices associated with a god named Molech.
“And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people because he hath given of his seed unto Molech and kill him no.” Leviticus 20:3
Both chapters 18 and 20 of Leviticus included a long list of sexual practices common in the cultic rituals of both the Egyptians and Canaanites. However, neither spoke to the question of whether two people of the same sex can live in a loving relationship with the Divine’s blessing. Historically, our model of loving and long-term homosexual relationships did not meaningfully exist in the Canaanite culture. Offspring was essential to survival in the primitive agricultural economy and the rigid distinction between men’s work and that of women. It is therefore not reasonable to believe that the author of Leviticus intended to prohibit a form of homosexual relationship that wasn’t in existence at that time.
But some might argue that we take the words in Leviticus as they are i.e. out of context, but they seem to forget that theologians and the highest power of Christian authority, the Pope per se, inform individuals that the Bible is not black and white.
Another passage of the Scripture sometimes used against gay people is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which reads as follows in the King James Version:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
In this passage, there are two key phrases. First, the reference to “effeminate” persons, which is often viewed as a reference to the nelly, the gay man. In truth however, the Greek word from whence the word “effeminate” in verse 9 is translated is quite broad. The word is malakoi, and it literally means “soft.” So Paul is possibly saying that “soft people” will not inherit the kingdom of God. Since we know Paul was not talking about the flamers, we have to ask what he meant. This common Greek word had different connotations, depending on the context in which it was used. In terms of morality, it generally referred to attributes like laziness, degeneracy, decadence, or lack of courage. The connotation was of being “soft like a woman” or like the delicate expensive fabrics worn by rich men. In the patriarchal culture of the time, women were thought to be weaker than men, more fearful, more vulnerable, and vainer. Thus, men who ate too much or liked expensive things were lazy, men who liked to dress well were considered “soft like a woman.” Although this type of misogynistic thinking is intolerable in our modern society, it was common in ancient times and explains why the King James Version translated malakoi to “effeminate.”
In recent years, some have suggested that in the context in which it appears in 1 Corinthians 6, malakoi may refer specifically to male prostitutes, who would have served as the receptive partner (i.e., soft, “woman-like”) in sexual intercourse. This translation is reflected in two of the most widely used modern English translations of the Bible, the New International Version and the New Revised Standard Version. Since malakoi was used to refer to men who exhibited the negative traits associated with women in first-century culture, it’s not hard to see how the term might also be used to refer to male prostitutes. They would be viewed as sexually indulgent (a trait associated with women) and as the ones who played a receptive role in intercourse (again, associated with women).
One translation technique is to look at the root words alone. Arsenokoitai is a combination of two existing words, one meaning “bed” and referring to sex, and another meaning “male.” Thus, some scholars surmise the term has something to do with male sexual expression — perhaps exclusive male sexual expression, since no woman is mentioned.
Unfortunately, this method of translation often leads people astray. For example, imagine a future translator coming across the word “lady-killer” two thousand years from now and wanting to know what it means. It’s clear the phrase is made from two words, ‘lady’ and ‘killer’. So, it must mean a woman who kills, right? Or is it a person who kills ladies? The difficulty in obtaining a good translation is clear — particularly when we know lady-killer was a term used in the 1970s to refer to men whom women supposedly found irresistible.
The nature of man is filled with flaws as we are meant to understand through the bible, hence the relevance to ask ourselves two important questions:
How many times did Jesus (the Divine) talk about sexual offences?
How often did he define the Divine’s wishes?
When we have answered the above questions, then we would realise that if neither Christ nor his eleven apostles condemned homosexuality, it is not in anyone’s position to do so. To individuals who identify themselves as GAY, if Christ did not, in His three decades on earth, condemn you, then surely you can follow Him. Simply put, you can fully identify yourselves as Christians if you wish.
In conclusion, I’d like to leave you with this passage from the bible that we as Christians and non-Christians alike hasten to overlook in our quest to persecute others:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
Written by Lexus