May 17, 2012
I’m back… and this time it’s biblical.
Last instalment we covered off the texts in the old testament that touched on homosexuality. We learnt that there is a lot to be said about the meaning of the term abomination, and that Leviticus had something against pigeons.
I did slightly mislead you, my dear readers, in that last FFN post. There are mentions of homosexuality in the New Testament, in fact both Romans and Corinthians are technically New Testament. So there are two mentions. One in the Epistle written by the Apostle Paul to the Romans:
Romans 1:26-27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”
(This is the only place where homosexual behaviour of women was mentioned. )
The second in the Epistle written by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
The apparently 'frigid' apostle, Paul
While the scripture may sound clear, there is much debate surrounding the use of the Greek word that translates as “homosexual offenders.” The term is “arsenokoite.” Some say that it is a reference to male prostitutes rather than to two committed homosexuals. Yet, others argue that Paul, who wrote the passage, would not have repeated “male prostitutes” twice. Even others argue that the two root words in arsenokoite are the same terms used to prohibit any premarital or extramarital sexual relations, so they may not refer to homosexual relations alone.
I would suggest taking a different approach to the argument… Jesus made no mention of homosexuality, but preached some pretty sensible stuff about love. We have the only two mentions of homosexuality in the New Testament which are both made by the same man, with no corroborating scripture by any of the other authors or any parables made by Jesus. (Just a note – Paul’s epistles were written about 20 years after the death of Jesus, so we can assume without direct input from his boss.)
So what exactly makes Paul so remarkable as to be the definitive source on homosexuality for Christians? What do you think Paul had to say about heterosexual love? He is the same man who stated Christians shouldn’t marry as being single meant they could please God, and being married meant they must please their spouse. “Better to marry than burn” being a paraphrase from this chap. So, only a single, celibate and virginal member of his faith would fall within his approval, which is rather far from the norm.
He just sounds rather frigid to me.