Inclusivity of Paul
It is really bothersome when people misuse bible verses. Or when they use a verse with its true meaning, yet they ignore the wider scope and context. Obama's outing of gay marriage has numerous Christians asserting once again that homosexuality is a sin. Now, I agree with this, but I have the absolute certainty that modern Pharisees have spouted bible verses for their own hateful purposes rather than to save souls. Therefore, I will discuss each bible verse condemning gay sex along with its larger context. Although people cite Paul of Tarsus most often against homosexuals, Paul actually considered them equally.
When gays and lesbians hear hate, they feel repulsed and turn away from the hatred. When Pharisees isolate bible verses and shout them without their larger context, all they hear is the hatred of the Pharisees. Because they heard bible verses used in a wrong manner, they think of the bible as wrong and they flee from Christianity.
Paul of Tarsus wrote:
"For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful." (Romans 1:26-27)Yes, this is a condemnation of gay sex, the strongest condemnation ever found in scripture. Some people use these verses as a way to sneer at the wickedness of gay sex. Although they know these verses, they do not know the larger scope of the scripture. Paul says a lot more. Much more. If they knew all that Paul said, they would neither gloat nor sneer.
In fact, Paul began this section with:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." (Romans 1:18)The wrath of God is upon everyone! Everyone! Not just the homosexuals. When Pharisees fling out Romans 1:26-27 to gloat and sneer, they give the misleading impression that God hates homosexuals while all other sinners somehow get a free pass to Heaven.
Yes, that verse does have its purpose. It does assert that gay sex is a sin. Yet, a verse used improperly repels people away from scripture. The verse is not there to gloat or to spout hatred. The verse is there merely to assert what is a sin.
And yet, after this condemnation of gay sex, Paul continues to say:
"being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality..." (Romans 1:29)So, this passage is not about homosexuals. This passage is all about people who turn away from God. Gay sex is a very small part of it, and adultery is also a sexual sin.
"being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who knowing the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:29-32)After condemning gay sex, Paul gives a list of sins that have nothing to do with sexuality. Paul never isolates homosexuals. Instead, he includes gay sex with a list of sins committed by heterosexuals. Paul of Tarsus was very intentional in his inclusion. Why should one sinner consider himself superior to another sinner when both are condemned? Paul might as well have said, "gay sex is an atrocity!" (Romans 1:26-27), followed by "and they are the same as everyone else." (Romans 1:29-32)
Another comprehensive list is in 1 Corinthians Old King James
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)Notice that Paul included both the heterosexuals and homosexuals in his condemnation. Paul began first with the heterosexuals - fornicators and adulterers - and then with the homosexuals. In some letters, lewdness and uncleanness can refer to gay sex, especially in consideration of how Paul phrased the list in 1 Corinthians and in Romans. Here, we also have an example of how Paul includes both heterosexuals and homosexuals.
Ephesians 5:5 "For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man who is an idolater has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." Heterosexual and then homosexual. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that you should abstain from" Old King James version states fornication while New King James states sexual immorality.How many people will mourn for the gays and lesbians, or will they merely gloat?
2 Corinthians 12:21 "I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced."
Another popular thing among Pharisees is to cite the Sodom and Gomorrah story, yet they forget that the tribe of Benjamin almost went extinct due to a heterosexual gang rape (Judges 20 and 21). If anything, the two stories side-to-side illustrate how both heterosexuality and homosexuality are equally sinful.
Now, just because they are equal never means that they are both approved. Gay sex is a sin, but we need to remember that heterosexuals can also commit some serious sexual sins (1 Corinthians 5:1-5).
Supporters of gay marriage love to cite how African-Americans were once forbidden to marry white people. The supporters cite this to draw a parallel with gay marriage. However, there are massive differences between the two and between the motivations for opposing each. During segregation, black men were forbidden from officially marrying white women because the dominant culture wanted to prevent the birth of more black babies. All the people at that time understood that marriage was for raising children. This is why sex was kept within marriage. So, forbidding interracial marriage during segregation was deeply concerned with the reproduction and procreation aspect of marriage.
With gay marriage, no such concerns exist. Two homosexuals cannot reproduce naturally with each other. In order to reproduce naturally, they would need to act contrary to their homosexuality. Because gay marriage is completely different from interracial marriage, the reasons for opposing each are completely different. One has nothing to do with the other. The people who oppose gay marriage cannot oppose it to prevent reproduction. There is no reproduction to prevent.
So, the goals in opposing the two are completely different, and one has nothing to do with the other. Therefore, supporters of gay marriage cannot cite interracial marriage as their precedent.
Now, let us take a look at Leviticus 18. Adultery is included with incest, gay sex, and bestiality. What do these four have common? These four sexual sins are opposed to healthy children and healthy families.
With incest, inbreeding, and it is just gross. All scientists know how detrimental it is, and all moralists agree. With adultery, adultery interferes with the married couple having kids. A man should not commit adultery with his neighbor's wife because the family is between the neighbor and wife. The man should have his own wife for a family. With gay sex, two people of the same gender cannot reproduce. With bestiality, reproduction is also impossible.
So, this is what adultery has in common with incest, gay sex, and bestiality. All are wrong for having children.