6. Ms. Evans Homosexual Discussion- 2
Today’s topic is about the Bible and the verses condemning homosexual behavior. Right at the top a comment is made by Vines which is very disturbing and shows how little regard homosexuals have for God and his word. But first the link to the discussion
#1. Drawing from the work of biblical scholars, most notably James Brownson, Matthew looks at the context, language, and historical background of these passages to conclude that the Bible does not directly address the issue of same-sex orientation or the expression of that orientation. “While is six references to same-sex behavior are negative,” writes Matthew, “the concept of same-sex behavior in the Bible is sexual excess, not sexual orientation” and so these passages do not apply to gay, lesbian, or bisexual Christians in committed same-sex relationships.
The bold is mine as it highlights the disturbing words from Vines. The very first question that comes to mind is, ‘Who is Vines that he gets to dictate which passages of scripture apply to homosexuality or any other part of life and which ones do not?
We do not see him acting on God’s behalf trying to straighten out a doctrinal error or misguided people. In fact we do not see him invoking God at all in his ‘crusade’. We do not see anything from God at all in Vines or his work.
There is no holiness, humbleness, no recognition of the work of the spirit or anything else that would tell people Vines’ words are of God or God approved. What we do see is a wild, reckless and desperate attempt from one homosexual to justify his continual participation in sin even though God has said it was abominable to him.
His logic fails because there is NO biblical support for same-sex orientation, let alone any escape clause allowing homosexuality to be good if it is done in a monogamous, committed relationship. Where are the scriptures that allow this splitting of hairs?
What is the difference between abnormal sexual preferences if they are done as a one night stand or a fling, an affair or just for fun, and their being done with one person for years on end?
For heterosexuality we have biblical teaching telling us that pre-marital sex in any form is wrong and sin. We have NO such teaching separating the practice of homosexuality into good and bad practices. What Vines does is import his own desires into the biblical texts in order to justify his failure to obey God and the Bible.
#2.“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…” (Ezekiel 16:49-50, ).
I took out his emphasis here and also have skipped over his example of Sodom for now. This passage is refered to a lot by homosexuals as they seek to feel good about their sexual preference. But of course they skip over the key words to make their distorted point:
If Sodom’s sin had indeed been homosexuality,” writes Matthew, “it is highly unlikely that every written discussion of the city for centuries following its destruction would fail to mention that fact.” This is true for other ancient Jewish literature as well, he argues, where Sodom’s sins are identified as arrogance, indulgence, and lack of hospitality.
Of course, Vines forgets that many writings do mention homosexuality as one of the sins Sodom and company were destroyed for practicing. He also ignores the last line in that passage he quotes and which provide the key words that tells us the sin of homosexuality is included in the list of reasons for Sodom’s and company’s destruction.
The words ‘did other detestable things before me..’ seem to escape his attention. Does God have to list each sin individually before the homosexual gets the message that they are wrong? Are not the other verses in the Bible enough of a warning for them? apparently not as Vines thinks the lack of mentioning homosexuality in that passage is justification enough to conclude that homosexuality is good if it is done like a real marriage.
#3. So what about the men of Sodom’s threats to gang rape Lot’s guests?
As Matthew points out, this has nothing to do with sexual orientation or an expression of sexual desire. In the ancient world, for a man to be raped was considered the ultimate degradation, a sign of total defeat. Warriors who wanted to shame their conquered foes often raped them in order to humiliate them
Really? Homosexual gang rape has nothing to do with sexual orientation or expressing sexual desire? I have yet to hear or see any heterosexual man, whether as a conqueror or in meeting new men in their city express any desire to gang rape men.
The gymnastics it takes Vines to get to this weird conclusion makes Olympic athletes jealous. In quick research the raping of men is not mentioned anywhere but even some took place, Sodom, Gomorrah and the others were not at war, these men were not warriors who vanquished a foe nor even come close to overcoming them.
Their words were straight on lust and evil desire and nothing else was considered. it boggles the mind how homosexuals distort past events to eke out even a minute excuse to justify their decision to practice their sexual preference.
Then appealing to a subjective subject like history is always a dangerous thing to do because even if such practices took place it doesn’t mean it was condoned, legal or even encouraged. It also doesn’t mean that any male rape of another male came from any other desire than homosexual lusts.
As usual, you will notice that neither vines or Ms. Evans offers even one link to a credible and legitimate historical document supporting this reasoning. They take the generalization route and are dishonest about the whole issue.
#4. Notes Matthew: “Neither Lot nor the old man of Gibeah said, ‘Don’t do anything to these men, because that would be a same-sex act.’ Instead, they both expressed concern that the visitors had come under the protection of their homes. The men were their guests and the ‘sacred duty’ of hospitality…was paramount.”
So according to Vines the man was for same-sex relations if it were done outside of his home? That makes no sense at all. The host most likely knew what was going to happen to the men if he did not bring them into his home for protection. he wa snot for same-sex relations anywhere it took place.
Vines distorts scripture for his own selfish purpose. here is a verse that supports my position and not Vines;
20 The old man said, “Peace to you. Only let me take care of all your needs; however, do not spend the night in the open square.” (Jud. 19 NASB)
Clearly the words indicate that the old man had knowledge of the behavior of the inhabitants and took the unknowing men out of harm’s way. He wasn’t for same-sex relations, he was protecting these men from them. The ‘sacred duty of hospitality’ had nothing to do with it.
#5. Only the latter two passages make reference to Sodom’s sexual sins. Jude 7 says the people of Sodom and Gomorrah “indulged in gross immorality and went after stranger flesh.” But rather than referring to same-sex relationships, the phrase “strange flesh” seems to refer to the attempts to rape angels instead of humans
I think these are Ms. Evans’ words but it is hard to tell at points because there is such a co-mingling of thoughts in her article. Just what do both Ms. Evans and Vines consider to be ‘gross immorality’? Do they not think that homosexual preferences and actions are not immoral?
The words stranger flesh do not apply to rape of angels as no human is capable of over-powering any angel. That reference is a figment of their imaginations as they hasten to conclude that monogamous same-sex relationships are biblical and approved by God.
They reference Mt. 10 but that passage has nothing to do with the validity of same-sex unions or the reasons for the destruction of those cities. Same for the passage in Luke.
It was the Jewish philosopher Philo who first explicitly linked Sodom’s sins to same-sex behavior, and his idea caught on
No it was the Bible who did it first and we cannot say Philo was the origin of that reference because of the lack of extant ancient writings on the topic. Vines’ and Ms. Evans attempt to make the connection to Philo, means they are trying to make the condemnation solely human instead of divine. In so doing they then can claim that God does not disprove of monogamous committed same-sex relationships, even though the connection provides no support for that claim.
They blame the human in order to escape divine condemnation.
#6. Even though it was decided in the Council of Jerusalem that Gentile Christians are not bound to Scripture’s Levitical law, discussions continue to this day regarding how those texts apply to followers of Jesus.
That is not true. The book of Acts records the topic to be circumcision not all of the Levitical laws. Acts 15 lays out the decision of the council and the people were not given a pass on all of the law. The main issue of course was circumcision not homosexuality and you will see that no permission was given to have same-sex relations.
Of course, Ms. Evans and Vines ignore the word ‘fornication’ as it applies to the same-sex issue. I would imagine that some homosexuals want to have same-sex marriage legitimized and legalized in order to avoid thinking they are fornicating. Here is a link to one discussion on fornication
In the Bible, the Greek definition of the word “fornication” means to commit illicit sexual intercourse.
The issue of course is did the council have authority to change what God said was an abomination to him? They did not thus their decision did not nullify God’s unacceptance of homosexuality.
#7. It’s easy to forget just how many of these laws are disregarded by Christians without much thought. Leviticus 3 and 11, for example, forbid eating animal fat or blood, shellfish, and animals that walk on all fours and have paws—all of which are denounced as “abominations,” along with having sexual relations during a woman’s period, and charging interest on loans.
Just because other people may sin or break the law doesn’t mean that you can break the law or that homosexuality is suddenly deemed okay. The logic used by both Ms. Evans and Vines is astoundingly bad as we see in the next quote.
#8. As Matthew points out, in the vast majority of cases, the word “abomination” (typically the Hebrew, toevah, which is used in Leviticus 18 and 20) refers to what the Israelites associated with the idolatrous practices of the Gentiles, leading Old Testament scholar Phyllis Bird to conclude that “it is not an ethical term, but a term for boundary making,” with “a basic sense of taboo.”
The last line provides the key words. God used the word ‘abomination’ to make a taboo boundary for sexual practices yet Vines and others ignore that fact. God said heterosexuality is good and everything else is taboo.
But their illogical thinking continues:
Many other biblical scholars share this view, which helps make sense out of why eating shellfish and charing interest on loans might have been considered taboo to the ancient Israelites, but not Christians today. “So while ‘abomination’ is a negative word,” Matthew says, “it doesn’t necessarily correspond to Christian views of sin.”
So he appeals to the practices of misguided people or misinformed people to justify his practice of what God said was sin. Why not appeal to God and the truth and use his application of the word ‘sin’ instead?
But they do not stop with their lack of logic
In addition, there are no condemnations of either polygamy or concubinage, which are in fact assumed within the text.
So because there is no direct condemnation of other relationship practices, this nullifies and over-rules the direct condemnation of same-sex relationships? Then they go on and say that because there were other sins subject to the death penalty, same-sex sin was not serious. It is hard to describe how illogical that makes their point of view.
#9. So as we read these ancient texts, we need to keep this question in mind: Do these writings suggest that same-sex unions are wrong because of the anatomical ‘sameness’ of the partners involved? Or is the primary concern a different issue?”
The desperation of both Vines and Evans is very evident as now they look to secular ideas about same-sex relations and try to apply those views to God’s holy perspective. It doesn’t matter how the secular world views homosexuality. They do not decide what is or isn’t sin or how God defines what is an abomination to him.
That is like appealing to a rapist who claims that rape is not sin or wrong and that he should be allowed to continue raping. If these people are going to make a biblical argument about a biblical sin then they need to stick to those who believe the Bible and not appeal to those who live in sin and have no desire to do what is right.
Sinful cultures and people are in need of a savior and they are not an authority to determine who can practice what in the church or Christian faith.
“If the issue were anatomical complementarity,” Matthew argues, “female same-sex relations should be condemned on an equal basis. And yet, the text is silent on this matter…The entire question of how bodies fit together doesn’t seem to be on the radar. The concern we see is centered around the proper ordering of gender roles in a patriarchal society.”
The text is not silent on female to female relationships. They are considered homosexuals as well even though today they prefer the word lesbian. Female homosexuals go to hell just like the male homosexual will.
It has nothing to do with a society being patriarchal or not. That is just another phony argument to attack God’s order of things.
#10. Frankly, I’ve never found arguments against same-sex relationships from these Old Testament texts particularly persuasive,
They do not have to be persuasive, the OT texts just need to be obeyed. The main failure of most of these arguments is that both Vines and Evans use only 1 incident to make their case. On top of that, they do not know all the details involved in that situation and it seems they do not want to know yet they try to twist the scriptures to fit their point of view.
If any argument is not persuasive it is Vines’ and Evans’. They cannot point to one biblical incident or situation that confirms their point of view. There is not one monogamous, committed homosexual relationship recorded in the Bible and shown to be approved by God.
Their only resort is to twist what God has written in order to make God say something he did not say. They are not presenting a biblical argument against an unbiblical stance. They are trying to justify and legitimize an unbiblical stance and support of sin by attacking, twisting, redesigning, ignoring biblical words.
We do not even see the Holy Spirit behind their words. We just see people who disagree with God doing everything they can to practice sin and call it good.
Here is a link to a review of Brownson’s book on homosexuality that may be one of Vines’ resources
P.S. Ms. Evans is invited at ay time to write a rebuttal to anything I have said here in this article and in the article #1 as well as future articles addressing the information she puts on her blog.
Her contact information states that any contact via wrong channels will be ignored and I am sure I would pick a wrong channel to invite her. So if any of you know the right channels feel free to pass this invite along.
i won’t edit her remarks and will give her a separate page to place her response so she is not lost in the crowd. for that matter Michael Vines has the same invitation.
7. Ms. Evans & Her Homosexual Discussion- 3
I wasn’t planning on using my 900th post on this topic but I had forgotten that this discussion was still ongoing and I had trouble accessing her website on a different computer. The lengths that people go to find some sort of justification to practice their sin is a sign of how wrong the practice really is. Today’s installment demonstrates the extremes Vines and Ms. Evans go in order to support sin and call it good.
#1. Perhaps the most significant passage in the debate regarding the Bible and same-sex relationships is Romans 1: 26-27, which opponents to same sex relationships often point to as a “clear” statement on the matter
These opening words set the tone for the rest of the article. They tell us that Ms. Evans and Vines do not have a high regard for God’s word and think that opponents of same-sex relationships have it all wrong.
#2. According to Paul, the sins of the Gentiles are rooted in their worship of idols, which led them to indulge in vices like envy, slander, gossip, murder, arrogance, and “shameful lusts.” Here he notes: “Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones” and the men “abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another
In other words Vines and Evans are trying to separate what God has called sin into different categories and saying that if sin were practiced in another way then it is not really sin at all. They are desperately looking for a loophole for their personal beliefs about homosexuality. I wonder how they view pedophilia if it were conducted in a loving and monogamous manner? Would they make the same arguments, have the same type of discussions or rearranging scriptures to support such a sexual alternative?
Why do they target only homosexuality? The answer to that question is because that is what they favor. I highly doubt they would defend a loving, monogamous pedophilic relationship with the same drive and perseverance. The hypocrisy involved in their side of the argument undermines any point they raise. We must ask, why is it that they ignore all other alternative forms of sexual practice? Are not those practitioners favored by God as well as the monogamous, loving homosexual couple?
#3. Pau’s depiction of same-sex behavior in this passage in indisputably negative,” acknowledges Matthew. “But he also explicitly describes the behavior he condemns as lustful. He makes no mention of love, fidelity, monogamy, or commitment. So should we understand Paul’s words to apply to all same-sex relationships, or only to lustful, fleeting ones?”
Here is where the separation of sinful behavior really takes root. Evans and Vines try to divide sin according to Paul’s words refusing to accept the fact that what they advocate cannot be divided by the apostle’s words. The refuse to see that their style of same-sex relations is exactly what Paul was talking about. Vines fails to see that even supposedly committed, et al, relationships can be done lustfully. To answer his question, Yes Paul’s words apply to all same-sex relationships because God did not separate the alternative practice into two parts like he did for heterosexual relations.
The biblical context for homosexuality is carried forward throughout the bible.There is no form of homosexuality that God calls good or gives permission for it to be practiced. Paul does not have to be word specific because the context is already known. All forms of same-sex relations are lustful and wrong. What Vine forgets to mention is that Paul does not make a word specific point separating loving, committed, monogamous same-sex unions as an exception to his words. Without that exception, Vines has no argument because Paul has not said homosexuality was good in certain forms.
#4. To make a case for abolition, Christians had to look beyond what appears on the surface to be an endorsement of slavery to examine why the New Testament authors wrote what they did. While Matthew doesn’t spend much time on this particular issue, this is what ultimately changed my mind about LGBT people and the Bible. The moment I realized I couldn’t win a “proof text” war with a slave-owner was the moment I realized that in discussions like these, we can’t rely on a few Bible verses pulled from their context—not when lives are at stake. But more on that at a later date…]
These are Evans’ words and her problem is that there has never been even a surface endorsement for slavery in the Bible. There are instructions on how to treat slaves but there is no verse stating that owning other humans is good and of God. God has directed the people of Israel at specific times to take slaves but he did not tell them to establish a slave trade or have sexual slaves. God also did not have a word specific verse stating that owning another human was abomination to him.
Her argument is a clear case of comparing apples with oranges. What God and readers of the Bible said about slavery has absolutely no bearing on God’s view about homosexuality. The verses speaking against homosexuality are not pulled from their context, it is just people like Vines and Evans who want to alter their context to fit their desires. They cannot point to one passage of scripture that declares certain practices of same-sex behavior are okay. The context for this issue is consistent and continuous–homosexuality in all forms is wrong and sin. They cannot be pulled out of context.
#5. .As has already been shown, same-sex relations in the first century were not thought to be the expression of an exclusive sexual orientation but were widely understood to be the product of excessive sexual desire wherein the one engaging in same-sex behavior did so out of an excess of lust that could not be satisfied.
The problem for Evans and Vines here is that how the secular ancient cultures viewed and practiced homosexuality has no bearing on God’s word or God’s opinion on the issue. The pair appeal to the cultural argument here and t won’t work. They are saying that culture influences God’s word thus biblical teaching on homosexuality is not God’s teaching but human thinking. Oh, and they are wrong about how the ancients viewed same-sex relations.
#6. The most common forms of same-sex behavior in the Greco-Roman world, Matthew notes, were pederasty and sex between masters and their slaves, and the majority of men who indulged in those practices also engaged in heterosexual behavior with their wives. So we’re not talking about committed, monogamous, sacrificial relationships here. Not by a long shot
Even if it were the most common form practiced, that doesn’t make same-sex relationships that are monogamous,loving,committed, etc. good or right. it means that same-sex marriage was illegal in ancient times and those ancient people opting for alternatives could not marry their supposed loved one. They cannot say the word ‘majority’ because they do not know and we do not have specific records informing us of that statistic.BUT how does that supposed practice differ from today when we have one partner in a heterosexual relationship cheating on their partner with a same-sex lover?
Their view of the past and its sexual practices are skewed. How does being promiscuous in a heterosexual relationship make same-sex relationships loving, monogamous or committed? You will notice that neither Evans or Vines point to one ancient law allowing those same-sex behaviors or make them legal. They are making an argument without revealing all the facts surrounding the ancient behavior. That is dishonest and if it is dishonest then it is not of God. That means then, Paul was not speaking from secular culture but from God’s instruction and all forms of homosexuality are included in Paul’s words.
The pair try to make it look like same-sex practices were acceptable to the society in general when that is not the case. They certainly do not quote from any ancient wives and stunned husbands to provide a complete picture of the ancient view of homosexuality.
#7. Citing the writings of Philo, Plato, and Dio Chyrysostom, Matthew notes that same-sex relations were not considered objectionable to these writers because partners shared the same anatomy, but “because they stemmed from hedonistic self-indulgence.”
Vines and Evans are reading into the words of those ancient authors and making them say something they did not say. I wish Evans would cite actual references so we could double-check Vines’ conclusions but that is part of the dishonesty of those who advocate for acceptance of sinful behavior. I am not willing to buy the book just to get references.The pair complain about opponents to homosexuality taking verses out of context, yet have no problem in taking ancient writers’ words out of context when it suits them.
I am also kind of curious as to how Vines is capable of determining the intent of long dead authors and how he can see that they were siding with him on this issue. He says that they were condemning the practice because of lusts yet he points to NO ancient authors’ words that have them approving of monogamous, loving, committed, et al same-sex relationships. This failure only exposes their esigetical work and their failure to be truthful.
#8. The concept of same-sex orientation and the notion of committed same-sex relationships was simply not part of Pauls’—or these other writers’— worldview.
Really? So Paul’s extensive and elite education left him void of any answers or conception to same-sex unions? This quoted thought is really hard to accept as a credible, though it is a laughable one, point. Does Vines think that Paul’s rabbinic training would not have covered this topic or that his teachers who were well versed in the Hebrew Bible would simply ignore God’s revelation about what homosexuality means to him and take a secular view and apply it to scripture? Vines really has a low view of Paul and his teachers.
Vines also forgets Solomon’s words that there is nothing new under the sun so if Vine’s is arguing for the view that monogamous, committed, et al, same-sex relations are okay was not mentioned in ancient times then he is off the mark. Paul and his teachers would be well aware of this issue. We need to ask, how many of those people who came to Lot’s door asking for homosexual relations with his visitors were in monogamous, committed, et al, same-sex relationships? Vine doesn’t say but he can’t for no one knows for sure what their practices were.
For all we know, the inhabitants set up those cities in order to practice monogamous, committed, loving same-sex unions and just wanted to have lustful fun that night with the strangers. God didn’t make the distinction between one night same-sex stands and long-term unions. For Vines and Evans to be honest, they need to factor this point in with their arguments and re-think their stance.
#9. In Paul’s day, same-sex relations were a potent symbol of sexual excess,” writes Matthew, and so “they offered an effective illustration of Paul’s argument: We lose control when we are left to our own devices.”
As far as I know, we have no ancient testimony to this idea. I will welcome anyone to provide me credible links to legitimate historical websites that provide actual ancient testimony on this idea.
#10. The context in which Paul discussed same-sex relations differs so much from our own that it cannot reasonably be called the same issue.
Uhm…no. Again we must turn to Solomon’s words ‘there is nothing new under the sun to show how wrong Vines is. Do both Evans and Vines think that no one discussed Sodom and Gomorrah after their destruction or the reasons for it? He must think that the ancients lived in a vacuum if he thinks no one talked about it or used those cities as examples to support their points of view. Does he think that Paul was absent the day Sodom and Gomorrah were discussed in class? The justifications made by Vines and Evans are just ludicrous.
#11. Homosexuality condemned as excess does not translate to homosexuality condemned as an orientation—or as a loving expression of that orientation.”
This is the pairs’ own spin to biblical views and ancient ideas. Homosexuality condemned means that all forms of homosexuality are included in the condemnation. There is no splitting of hairs. Again, we see that Vines and Evans are not arguing out of honesty but from the point of personal perspective and desires. There is just no open-minded attitude on their part. Everyone else is wrong and they are right. 5000 years of saying homosexuality is wrong and sin are over-turned because two people, who cannot accept the answer, say otherwise.
#12. The gay, lesbian, and bisexual Christians I know tell me they have experienced same-sex attractions for many years, often since childhood, and simply want to be in a committed, sacrificial relationship with someone to whom they are attracted
Yet no thought is given to the fact that evil was tempting, deceiving them as children. It is automatically assumed that those feelings were right and not sinful. If Evans and Vines want to use the Bible to justify their point of view then they need to be honest and use all of the Bible and all it addresses as they construct their arguments. They conveniently left out evil and its desire to destroy God’s creation just to make their sinful desires biblical.
#13. Matthew again returns to what no good biblical scholar would dispute: that many of the gender roles alluded to in Scripture are rooted in patriarchy.
But Evans and Vines cannot stop when they have made themselves and their arguments look ridiculous. The second part to her post takes them into the realm of utter foolishness. They are blaming God’s order for life on earth as the problem for what is natural or unnatural and are completely ignoring God’s feelings on the subject? I am sure they feel that straight males wrote those passages on the Bible opposing homosexuality and if women were in charge, the Bible would look completely different.
If patriarchy was the problem why are Vines and Evans trying to change the Bible to fit their desires? Why are they not producing God’s real words showing his approval for loving, et al, same-sex relationships? Why do we not have a manuscript track record of these alternative words? They can only make these foolish claims and accusations but they can’t prove they have valid point because they do not have any replacement scriptures to back them up. They are not really attacking patriarchy, they are attacking God because they do not like his order of life nor his views on their desires.
To be honest, the rest of this section is so foolish that I can only respond to one more point. Their logic and reasoning is just off the charts and it would not be wise or prudent to go against Solomon’s words concerning answering a fool.
#14. Concludes Matthew: “For Paul, same-sex desire did not characterize a small minority of people who were subject to special classification—and condemnation—on that basis. Rather, it represented an innate potential for excess within all of fall humanity.”
Yet there is no biblical teaching to support Vine’s conclusion. Both Vines and Evans appeal to dishonest research, dishonest biblical reading & study, and dishonest analyzation of historical times to make their point. Their failure to be inclusive of all sexual alternatives just shows how dishonest they really are. Why is it only committed, et al, type of homosexual unions that they are arguing for in their personal agenda? Why do they not make a case for polygamists since there is less biblical opposition to that marital practice than homosexuality? God certainly does not call that alternative an abomination.
We can see that God does not like committed, loving, monogamous homosexual unions any more than he likes lustful same-sex practices just by witnessing the dishonesty, they hypocrisy and the untruthfulness of those who argue for that particular style of homosexual relationships. All the advocates of that style are doing is copying the thinking of those who used the Bible to legitimize the slave trade and owning other humans.