Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A paper on Homosexuality

Here is a paper I recently did for an online course I am taking. It is on homosexuality, read, critique discuss and enjoy!  (I got a B on this)

BLOGGERS NOTE:  you will come across some statics that are a little shocking and out of nowhere. They are not my claims but from research. See attached bibliography 

Homosexuality is a sin, but it is no more a sin than cheating, cheating, adultery and jealousy. It has been a topic of controversial discussion for many years and has intensified in recent years. This is truly the biggest cultural fight of the twenty-first century; Christians, equal-rights activists and hate groups have pleaded their case with no solution. Most family therapists do not condone homosexuality and consider it psychologically damaging. Pastors are pressured into marrying homosexuals and compromise their beliefs about traditional marriage. Despite that, homosexuals often get unfair treatment by Christians, compared to that of the lepers in Ancient Jerusalem. It is unfair that people who call themselves Christians would treat homosexuals poorly and come alongside an alcoholic or drug addict and pray for them while ignoring homosexuals.
Homosexuality and the Media.
In media, homosexuality is considered normal and acceptable. The opposition most often comes in the form of Christians protesting. Perhaps the most famous example of protesting comes from Westbro Baptist Church. This hate group considers themselves Christians when they preach hate towards the homosexuals of the world, dismissing the love of God and the redemption of Christ. Not only do they protest their marriages but soldier funerals as well. The media covers these events and often gives Christians bad press because of them. Even in movies, people depict the negative. In 2007's I Know Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Adam Sandler and Kevin James play two New York firefighters who fake a gay marriage in order to protect the custody of the widowed Larry's children. After attending a gay bar to further their act, Chuck (Sandler) and Larry (James) are approached by a pastor who uses negative slurs to insult him and the other gays there, resulting in Chuck punching him in the face. Although the movie was satirical and quite offensive, it portrayed homosexuality as a normal and acceptable behaviour1.
What Does Scripture Say?
When defending homosexuality, many people immediately go to Leviticus 18:22:  "Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin”. This passage is part of the Aaronic Covenant God establishes through many different laws. Leviticus 18 is full of passages forbidding sexual relations in the form of incest before stating homosexuality is also an abomination. Leviticus 20:13 says If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them”2. This may seem harsh to some, but Old Testament law required many strict things for God. Humanity is to be holy, because God is holy, including within sexual aspects of life.
The book of Genesis is full of accounts against same-sex behaviour. This is another place many go to defend the sanctity of marriage. Adam and Eve were the first humans to exist, both created by God’s own hands. Because God is holy, He wanted the same out of Adam and Eve. God gave them the freedom to do anything: multiply, have dominion over animals and more. Since the first two people created were opposite gender, the design for sexual relationships was created. The purpose of intercourse in ancient times was strictly for multiplying and bearing children is impossible if two males or two females procreate. Humanity is created to be image-bearers of God and homosexual intercourse mars the very image of the Creator. Marriage and sex are designed to be between a man and a woman because it is the only way children can be conceived.
Sodom and Gomorrah

In Genesis 18 and 19, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah takes place. Sodom was a wicked city that actually performed sodomy. God would only spare Sodom if there were 50 righteous people found within the city. Unfortunately, the men of Sodom demanded the other men to come out and have sex with them. Despite Lot offering them his daughters, they were persistent to attempt homosexuality. God destroyed the city for disobedience. Most assume that God destroyed them solely for their homosexuality, but is not necessarily the case. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for the magnitude of sins they committed, homosexuality just happened to be part of it. Even before God established the law through Moses and Aaron, He had standards for people obey.
New Testament Passages on Homosexuality.
In Romans 1, the apostle Paul writes about God’s Redemptive plans for humanity. However it involves God’s anger, a topic not many Christians like to talk about. Although God is the embodiment and personification of love, He is also justified by handling sinfulness with consequences. God gives us free will, but still tries to draw people closer to Him. “God’s anger is shown from heaven against all the evil and wrong things people do. By their own evil lives they hide the truth”3.
The New Testament also covers homosexuality in detail. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is another famous passage that Christians use to attack the homosexual community. There is one problem with doing that is homosexuality is not the only behaviour Paul writes: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God”4. All people he described are apparently condemned to hell, not just homosexuals. If Christians really wanted to pass judgement, perhaps spending equal focus on the other behaviours Paul writes of is beneficial.
“There are various interpretations of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 of which this is one. The Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible, and James Moffatt translation use the word “catamites," or the phrase "boy prostitutes" to describe one group of individuals that Paul believed will go to Hell because of their behaviour on Earth. Catamites and boy prostitutes were often a boy or male youth who was kept as a sexual partner/slave of an adult male. The verse is profoundly immoral by today's secular and most religious moral standards because it transfers punishment from the guilty perpetrator to the innocent victim. This type of transfer is seen many passages throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Many religious liberals believe that these passages are immoral and should be ignored because they are clearly opposed to the will of God”5.
The apostle Paul wrote this based on his knowledge of the Old Testament. He knew the Law and the Pentateuch by heart. He knew the sexual laws that God requires His people to follow. The church in Corinth was disobeying those very laws, prompting Paul to write them concerning several different behaviours he feels are immoral. Paul takes it a step further stating that people who fail to repent from them will go to hell. Homosexuals are often attacked by people telling them they’ll go to hell, without giving a glimpse of redemption and salvation. Redemption through Jesus Christ is possible no matter what we do, God can save homosexuals just as much as he can save drug addicts, alcoholics and porn stars. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”6.
What Does Scripture not say?
Fred Phelps of Westbro Baptist church in Kansas is good at twisting scripture. Although Leviticus does say that homosexuality is an abomination, God does not hate the people who practice it. God detests sin but has never ending love for those he creates, the old phrase “love the sinner, not the sin” is not only for humanity but God as well. God does punish people for doing wrong even today, but does not hate anyone. The bible is clearly taken out of context by them and they claim they’re the only Christians who are doing everything right. Clearly, they are nothing more than a cult and a hate mongering group. They also feel that fatalities of American soldiers are direct consequences of homosexuality being accepted. This is not Christian and does not portray the boundless love of Christ.
Christians Defending Homosexuality
In 2008, Candace Chellew-Hodge wrote a book called Bulletproof Faith: A Survival Guide for Gay Christians. It is considered a controversial book to some but draws some good points. She reassures homosexuals that God loves them and will accept them for who they are. Truly a great example of God’s love, because He truly loves all of humanity, just not the sins they commit. Although Ms. Hodge describes the love of God very well, she fails to mention the judgement God has for the disobedient. Ms. Hodge uses 1 John 4:12 as a theme for most of the book. “If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us”7. She goes on to mention that “heterosexuality is presumed to be an inborn trait, yet that in and of itself, does not make a person moral. Sexual orientation itself, be it heterosexual, homosexual or somewhere in between- is ether a moral issue nor harmful in and of itself”8. She is determined that any kind of love is acceptable, because of God's love that lives inside of us. She reassures people that it is indeed possible to be a homosexual Christian. If that was possible, then it would also be possible to be an alcoholic Christian, a drug addict Christian, porn star Christian; the list goes on. All of these are harmful psychological vices and things that the apostle Paul calls people to avoid. Ms. Hodge counteracts by basically saying that it is okay to be a homosexual.
“Love is the measure of all relationships; no mention is made of sexual orientation or even gender. If love, commitment, and fidelity are present, so is God, no matter what the configuration of the couple. Not one word in the Bible condemns loving, committed relationships. God calls us all, not just heterosexuals, to be moral in our sexuality—keeping our covenants and refusing to use or abuse anyone sexually. This is the only role religion plays in sexuality. It is a guide to responsible sexuality regardless of orientation. Once we understand that there is no valid “other side” to the “homosexual issue,” our faith can grow and become bulletproof. When we hear arguments against us based on Scripture, we know they hold no water—they have no power over us”9.
I will agree with Hodge that love is the measure of all relationships, even gender/orientations. The bible does not condemn committed relationships but she fails to mention homosexuality as sinful. The Old Testament calls it an abomination which mars the image of God. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law, not necessarily replacing it; although he made burning sacrifices unnecessary. God still has standards for sexuality today, religion does not play a role in sexuality. He created man and woman to become one flesh and bear children. This is not possible through homosexual intercourse. Ms. Hodge's arguments lack a biblical understanding of sexuality. When defending either for or against homosexuality, Christians need to remember to remove the log from their own eye in order to try and get the speck out of the others' eye.
Marriage, Equal Rights and Children
Over the past 10 years, there has been pressure from the homosexual community for churches to perform gay marriages. For many people, two people falling in love is okay regardless of gender. According to James Dobson: “everything is wrong with letting homosexuals marry because marriage is defined by the God of nature, and a wise society will protect marriage as it has always been understood. Marriage is the way our culture promotes monogamy and provides a way for males and females to build a life together and assure every child has both a mother and father”10. Everyone has the rights and freedom to do what they please, but marriage is a civil union. Homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue, because civil rights refer to discrimination based on race and ethnicity; things that are unchangeable. Homosexuals can change and became heterosexual, it does not happen overnight but it is possible. Homosexuals try to use civil rights as an argument, but the marriage amendment would simply define another right: the right to marry.
Homosexuality can be psychologically damaging, especially if one is raised by same sex parents. Family formation definitely affects the well-being and future of children. Child abuse is at its lowest when children live with both of their biological parents; the rate is higher for ones who live with at least one non-biological parent. Same-sex households would possibly increase the risk of abuse. Children from two-parent homes also have higher grades, skip school less and have greater aspirations for the future than those who live with one parent. On the other side of the statistic, children from one-parent or divorced homes are seventy percent more likely to be suspended or expelled from school.
The same-sex marriage movement seeks to advance its agenda by adopting or parenting children. Homosexuals often point to the overcrowded foster care system to support their arguments in favour of legalizing same-sex adoption. However, the solution to the foster care problem is not same sex adoption; it may create even more psychological problems for the children. First, children raised by homosexuals are more likely to engage in same-sex relationships, opening them up for increased physical and mental health problems11. The best interest of the children must be the most important priority in adoption, as well as their life expectancy and protection from disease. Homosexuals are more prone to AIDS, a fatal disease and a completely unacceptable infected home to bring a child into. Not only would living with homosexuals increase the risk of disease, but children who live in single-parent homes have a greater risk of suicide and depression. The cause of depression can likely be linked back to divorce12.       stats based out of book losely on a couple different life situations 
Conclusion.
Homosexuality is a sin, but it is as much a sin as lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, pornography and everything else that is sinful. The negative treatment homosexuals get from most of the Christian community is unfair, unjust and completely contrary anything Christ-like. We have absolutely no right to judge their behaviour, because we are just as sinful. How this must be treated is through gentle, humble Christ-like grace and not hate filled protests. However, due to the evidence stacked against same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption, keeping out of both of them would be the wisest for not only them, but the others affected. Homosexuality mars the image of God, but so does every other sin.

Works Cited
Dobson, James C. Marriage under fire:  why we must win this war. Sisters, Or.: Multnomah Publishers, 2004.
Faris, Donald L. The homosexual challenge:  a Christian response to an age of sexual politics. Markham, Ont.: Faith Today Publications, 1993.
Hodge, Candace. Bulletproof faith:  a spiritual survival guide for gay and lesbian Christians. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (Full Screen Edition). DVD. Directed by Dennis Dugan. New York, New York: Universal Pictures, 2007.
Robinson , B.A. "A very brief glance at passages that may discuss homosexuality." ReligiousTolerance.org by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. http://www.religioustolerance.org/homglance.htm (accessed July 10, 2011).
Stanton, Glenn T, and Bill Maier. Marriage on trial:  the case against same-sex marriage and parenting. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004.
Staver, Mathew D.. Same-sex marriage:  putting every household at risk. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman, 2004.
White, James R., and Jeffrey D. Niell. The same sex controversy: defending and clarifying the Bible's message about homosexuality. Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany House, 2002.



1 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (Full Screen Edition). DVD. Directed by Dennis Dugan. New York, New York: Universal Pictures, 2007
2 Lev.20:13 (NASB)
3Rom 1:18-19 (NCV)
41 Cor. 6:9-10 (NASB)
5Robinson , B.A.. "A very brief glance at passages that may discuss homosexuality." ReligiousTolerance.org by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. http://www.religioustolerance.org/homglance.htm (accessed July 30, 2011)
6Eph 2:8-10 (NASB)
71 John 4:12 (NASB)
8Hodge, Candace. Bulletproof faith: a spiritual survival guide for gay and lesbian Christians. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.
9 Ibid.
10Dobson, James C. Marriage under fire: why we must win this war. Sisters, Or: Multnomah Publishers, 2004.
11Staver, Mathew D.. Same-sex marriage:  putting every household at risk. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman, 2004.

12 Ibid.

3 comments:

  1. I appreciate your very well handled approach, Jamie. I have long been concerned that your college was too liberal and that was rubbing off on you but this paper was written with a steady hand, I can tell, and doesn't stray very far from the plain meaning of scripture, which is a very good thing. Liberal interpreations, allegorizing, twisting scripture, etc., are all forms of pride - we're placing our presuppositions onto the text. I'm glad you took the text, and most of the texts, when making your points. As that author you mentioned took only a few verses and came out with a distorted view, you took many verses and came out with a balanced view. Good job! Keep trusting the Word, it was meant to be understood by everyone, in all times and places, so a plain reading is usually the right reading, even if that is sometimes hard to understand. In good time, God will enable us to understand it.

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  2. There were some points in here that threw a few people off, and that was the stats. They're all out of a book, about a few different situations. I enjoyed writing this paper. It really bothers me that people treat this choice or behavior like its the worst thing in the world. If you want to protest gay marriage you might as well protest at bars, parties, strip clubs and movie theaters as well.
    The gay community needs to be treated with more grace and love by the church. Protesting them and saying their sinful, without judging (which we should never do anyways. Plank in the eye?)other things "sinful" seems unfair. It's unjust, people wonder why young people leave the church in flocks. Here is one of the reasons

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  3. Hey James!

    I awarded you the Liebster Blog award. Check out the details over at www.splash-of-ink.blogspot.com

    ttfn

    ReplyDelete