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Controversial Issues 8

01 Aug
8. Ms. Evans Homosexual Discussion- 5

As a reminder I have been banned from participating in the discussion on Ms. Evans website so I offer my contribution here. You can read her side at the following link:

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/god-and-the-gay-christian-discussion-part-5-i-corinthians-6

#1. Matthew points out that the two terms consider here are malakoi [sometimes translated “effeminate”] and arsenokoitai [sometimes translated “abusers of themselves with mankind” or, more recently, “homosexuals” or “men who practice homosexuality”]…New Testament scholar David Frederickson has argued that, given the context, malakoi in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is best translated, “those who lack self-control.”

We did this when we were young, and I am talking about my undergrad classmates. It became sort of a fad as once we learned Greek we started using greek words in our sermons.  The statement would go something like this– ‘The original Greek word means…’ But over the years God has shown me that we really do not have to go back to the original languages to get to his meaning. Why are we spending millions of dollars translating God’s word into different languages when all we have to do is teach the new converts of different nations Greek and Hebrew?

Seems like a waste of time, money and resources to do things the difficult way. We have to learn to trust God that he guided earlier translators and that the words used in certain versions carry correct form of the original languages.  We just have to make sure we follow the HS to the correct versions. The other thing that needs to be considered when reading other people’s translation efforts is ‘how do we know they got it right?’  How do we know that God is speaking through them to alter the meaning of the text that has been unchanged for 100s if not thousands of years? Why wasn’t the change made sooner?

Other questions we can ask are: ‘What bias do these people have? Do they have an ulterior motive for translating certain words the way they do? Why is this change taking place now? Is God actually leading them and confirming their correction? I do not care how many years a person has studied an original language, if God is not behind them in their work then their conclusions are all suspect. We should also ask, does the person believe God or are they an unbeliever or alternative believer?

Then we must, ask as it is an important question, ‘why would God use them to correct his word?’ I disagree with that guy’s translation above because it does not conform to God’s attitude about homosexuality. If you take a close look at both the OT & NT, you will not find one contradiction between them especially when it comes to God’s feelings and definitions about sin. So why that particular verse is there a supposed contradiction? Because homosexuals do not want to go to hell and want to get to heaven while practicing their sin.

When it comes to translation work, be confident God has led you to the correct version to use to find his words and do not let anyone fool you with ‘well the original language says..’ because they may be very wrong. God said he would preserve his word but he didn’t say it would only be in the original languages.

#2. While there are very few uses of arsenokoitai in Greek literature after Paul, some of the few uses that have survived indicate it referred to economic exploitation, not same-sex behavior. It’s also important to remember that the most common forms of same-sex behavior in the ancient world were pederasty and sex between masters and slaves. (Pederasty was so common that Philo described it simply as the union of “males with males.”)

This is a desperation move by those who so want to justify their decision to practice sin and be considered a Christian. They are trying to change history to justify their desire to make homosexuality appealable to God. To tell you the truth, it does not matter how Greek literature uses the word, they do not believe God so they can use it any way they like. We need to discover how God used the word, that is what matters. I will state that the author of the quote is wrong about ancient same-sex behavior and they are misinterpreting what they have read because of their bias.

Again, it does not matter how the ancient world viewed or practiced same-sex behavior for the Bible is not recording the ancient attitude BUT GOD’s. God does not look upon same-sex acts the way secular people do. Their saying that the biblical authors took the secular idea and wrote against that is just pure blasphemy. The ramifications of their position are immense, too long to put here. So far all they are doing here is using the secular world’s ideas to justify their position, there is no biblical teaching to do that.

#3. Matthew points to an ancient text known as the Sibylline Oracles in which the word arsenokoites is used to describe injustice:

My answer to that is ‘so’. In English we have countless words which have several legitimate meanings and uses but those alternate definitions/uses do not disqualify the original definition/use from being valid. We also have cultural slang influences on many English words but that perversion does not over-rule or omit the legitimate definitions or uses of a word. It doesn’t matter how the word was used in ancient daily life for God’s use of the legitimate definition is not disqualified or changed. It just means that ancient Greek words had alternative definitions and uses.

To apply an alternative definition to God’s word without permission from him is violating God’s warnings in both Deut. and Rev.

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and [a]from the holy city, which are written in this book. (Rev. 22 NASB)

This is the trouble such people like Vines and others face when they try to alter the biblical text to justify their desire to practice sin. Too many people ignore this warning because they do not want to obey God and God does give people the freedom to choose

15 “See, I have set before you today life and [t]prosperity, and death and [u]adversity;16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. (Deut. 30 NASB)

Sadly, people like Vine choose to disobey.

#4. But here’s the key point to remember,” writes Matthew. “Even if Paul had intended his words to be a condemnation of all forms of same-sex relations, the context in which he would have been making that statement would still differ significantly from our context today.”
That’s because same-sex behavior in the first century was not understood to be the expression of an exclusive sexual orientation but rather it was understood as excess on the part of those who could easily be content with heterosexual relationships, but who went beyond them in search of more exotic pleasures

This is splitting the sin in good and bad practices. Their reasoning is because some people in the ancient world viewed same-sex behavior in this manner then all people did and our version of that preference is not as bad as what they did so we are okay. Uhm… no.it doesn’t matter how many versions of same-sex behavior there are or how people viewed them, GOD did not separate same-sex behavior into unacceptable and acceptable practices. He put them altogether into one category. We do not have the authority to divide the sin into different categories and then claim God said this style was good. God covered all varieties and styles with his words

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Lev. 18:22 NASB)

His words are quite clear on this matter. Notice that even monogamous, committed, loving same-sex relationships are covered by those words.

#5. So when the translation of malakoi and arsenokoites shifted in the 20th century to refer to people with same-sex orientation, “it fostered the mistaken belief that Paul was condemning a minority group with a different sexual orientation” when “in fact, he was condemning excessive and exploitive sexual conduct.”

This is just not true.

#6. The concept of same-sex orientation did not exist in the ancient world. Prior to recent generations, same-sex behavior was widely understood to be the product of sexual excess, not the expression of a sexual orientation. The issue we face today—gay Christians and their committed relationships—has not been an issue for the church in past eras…”  

As is this. For both quotes the words in Lev. 18 make it very clear that they were talking about all forms of same-sex sexual expression and were well aware of the concept of orientation. Vines & Evans’ mistake is that they are taking the views of the secular world and applying them to God, God’s people and scripture. That is very wrong. They also ignore Solomon’s words ‘nothing is new under the sun’. The issue today that those two speak of was well-known in the ancient world.

It may not have been an issue for the early church only because the homosexuals knew they were not allowed to be part of the church so they did not force their views upon others like the modern homosexual is doing today. It is not because the early Christians did not know the difference between orientation and excess.

#7. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is about a threatened gang rape, not an intimate companionship. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 were grounded in cultural concerns about patriarchal gender roles and religious ritual purity. Romans 1:26-27 refers to excessive sexual desire and lust and uses “natural” and “unnatural” to refer to customary gender roles, just as those words are used to describe men with long hair and women who cover their heads

Both Vines and Evans distort history and biblical events to fit their sinful desires. Just because the story of Sodom does not contain the words ‘committed intimate, monogamous, loving, relationships, doesn’t mean that they were not taking place in those cities or that they were excused from judgment. In fact we read nothing of that style of homosexuality being excluded from judgment, approved of for the church, or accepted by any biblical author. You would think God would have mentioned that exclusion if it were true.

Their argument from silence doesn’t work because they have no scriptural reference supporting their point of view. This division of same-sex sexual practice is important enough for God to mention in the Bible if it were okay but he doesn’t do it. He just lumps all styles together and calls them all ‘an abomination’.

#8. The bottom line is this,” writes Matthew.  “The Bible does not directly address the issue of same-sex orientation—or the expression of that orientation. While its six references to same-sex behavior are negative, the concept of same-sex behavior in the Bible is sexual excess, not sexual orientation. What’s more, the main reason tat non-affirming Christians believe the Bible’s statements should apply to all same-sex relationships—men and women’s anatomical complementarity—is not mentioned in any of the passages.”

He deludes himself.  That is about the only thing I can say here except he lies. The Bible has spoken directly on the issue of same-sex orientation but he refuses to listen to its words

9. Ms. Evans’ Homosexual Discussion- 6

You can breathe a sigh of relief because she says it is her last discussion on Matthew Vines’ book so that would mean this will be my last post on that work as well. I did this because she banned me from contributing to her discussion  not to be an activist. I do not believe same-sex unions are of God nor I agree with civil unions for same-sex couples. Marriage is between one man and one woman but the arguments of those who disagree with me still need to be exposed for how wrong the are.

All quotes are taken from the following link:

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/god-and-the-gay-christian-discussion-week-6-conclusion

#1. Our question is not whether the Bible addresses the modern concepts of sexual orientation and same-sex marriage,” he writes. “We know it doesn’t. Instead, our question is: can we translate basic biblical principles about marriage to this new situation without losing something essential in the process?”

Actually he is very wrong. The bible does address the modern concepts of sexual orientation and same-sex marriage. Leviticus covers it all in one short verse:

Ifthere is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death (20;13 NASB)

That covers every possible variation a homosexual couple can invent or think of. A man lies with a woman in monogamous loving, committed relationships thus that covers Vine’s protest in the quote above. He lies with her according to his sexual orientation thus that aspect is addressed as well. We do not need to transfer anything because there is no new principle. Vines is just looking for a loophole and God did not provide him with one.

#2. “In marriage,” writes Matthew, “we are called to reflect God’s love for us through our self-giving love for our spouse.” This is something same-sex couples can do just as well as heterosexual couples, he says

Except same-sex couples are not reflecting God’s love for us because they are practicing sin and God does not sin. You will notice that Vines ignores an important part of the passage he refers to;

30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband. (Eph 5 NASB)

The bold words are the key part he leaves out. Paul did not say that a man will leave his mother and father for another man, or a woman will leave her parents for another woman. This is a glaring error on Vines’ part. he is being very selective in his use of scripture in order to get his own way and not God’s.

#3. One of the most common reasons for opposing same-sex marriage cited by non-affirming Christians is that only a man and woman can biologically procreate. Appealing to Genesis 1:28 as a direct command rather than a creative blessing, they argue that the capacity to procreate is critical to a God-honoring union.

Pro-creation is an important part of marriage. Now some heterosexual couples may choose to not have children for spiritual reasons, they may not be able to have children but that doesn’t make same-sex unions correct.  The couple can still become one with each other, something same-sex couples cannot do. What Vines’ fails to realize is that the blessing does not include same-sex couples, in fact there is no blessing found anywhere in the Bible for same-sex couples.it really isn’t the procreation part that is important here. it is God’s  definition of what marriage is and the absence of his approval for same-sex unions.

#4. To support this, Matthew points to Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3, as well as his statement in Matthew 12:46-50 that “whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” This new emphasis on being “grafted in” to the family of God brought those who had traditionally been left out—eunuchs, for example—in.

What Vines is missing here are the words I put in bold print. A person who practices same-sex preferences or other alternatives are not doing the will of God. God’s will is clearly stated in Lev. 20:13 yet Vines’ ignores that and hopes to confuse people with the words ‘will of my Father.’ He hopes people do not realize that God’s will extends to sexual preference.

#5. From a theological perspective,” Matthew concludes, “marriage primarily involves a covenant-keeping relationship of mutual self-giving that reflects God’s love for us….Marriage is only secondarily—and not necessarily at all—about having biological children.”

He doesn’t understand marriage at all as he continues to look for excuses to justify his refusal to repent from his sinful same-sex practice.He tries to redefine marriage to fit his ideology. I will grant him that procreation is not the best argument for defending traditional marriage but it is an important aspect to keep in the discussion. I am going to leave this point with what I originally said, he doesn’t know what marriage means.

#6. This, in my opinion, is the big one. Because some Christians interpret the New Testament household codes as prescribing hierarchal gender roles wherein wives function as subordinates to their husbands, their challenge to same-sex couples is, who’s in charge? 

It isn’t that some Christians have interpreted the NT after their own ideas, it is that God has defined who i sin charge of the family and union. we return to Eph 5:

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (NASB)

God is very clear here who is in charge and you will notice that there is no additional words to include same-sex partners. There is no biblical instruction telling alternative people to discuss between them who takes which role. No matter how you slice it, those advocating for same-sex marriage have no biblical leg to stand upon. he continues:

Just as the New Testament household codes assume a hierarchy between master and slave, they assume a hierarchy between men and women.

There is no assumption of a hierarchy. The Bible makes it very clear who is the head and who submits to whom. Only those desiring an alternative will miss this very obvious point.

#7. Matthew points out that in his letter to the Galatians, Paul wrote that three types of hierarchies would fade away in Christ. One was that of male and female. The others were distinctions between Jew and Gentile and distinctions between slave and free

Vines will abuse scripture to get his own way. He i snot even close to correct in his application of that passage of scripture. If he is upset about other people interpreting Eph. 5 why does he think his interpretation of Gal.3. is going to be accepted? What makes his act of interpreting greater than other people’s? What spiritual support does he have for his twist on scripture? he says:

In other words, “neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, male nor female” has to mean something more than shared access to salvation. It has to mean something radical about how relationships among Christians in this patriarchal culture were to change. 

Why does it have to mean more? Just because he wants it to? Why does it have to mean something radical? Again, just because he wants it to? This twisting of scripture shows that God does not support what Vines’ and others are advocating.

#8. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a million times more: What makes a marriage holy and sacred isn’t the degree to which it reflects a rigid hierarchy, but rather the degree to which it reflects the self-giving, self-sacrificing love of Jesus.

He is wrong, of course, as what makes marriage holy and sacred is that it obeys God and follows his rules. But what can you expect from someone who is trying desperately to justify his disobedience of God’s will?  He redefines marriage to make it look like he wants it to look then he tries to bend scripture around that newly invented definition and it just won’t work. God defined marriage in the beginning and every attempt to alter that act is just wrong, sin and disobedience. His actions tell us that Vines does not want to give up sin to and wants marriage to be his way not God’s.

#9. A final argument against same-sex marriage is that two people cannot become “one flesh” if they do exhibit anatomical complementarity. Here Matthew cites Jim Brownson’s Bible, Gender Sexuality, where the Bible scholar argues that such an interpretation of Genesis 2:24 over-sexualizes the phrase “one flesh,” which in the Bible is used metaphorically to describe ties of kinship between all sorts of people.

Yet another appeal to an outside fallible source to support his unbiblical premise. Being anatomically correct is an important part of being ‘one-flesh’. The opposition to this fact is astounding as the sexual organs were made to fit together one way only. There is no alternative to this procedure. Physical oneness is as important as emotional, psychological, intellectual oneness between a man and a woman.Again, Vines abuses scripture to support his unsupportable argument. Homosexuals cannot be one with the other

#10. But for those who do not sense a calling to celibacy, God’s gift of sexual love in marriage should be affirmed. There is no biblical reason to exclude the covenantal bonds of gay Christians from that affirmation.” (bold mine)

I guess he hasn’t read the Bible then for there is one great biblical reason excluding homosexuals from same-sex unions. God is against it. Does he need any other reason? Obviously he is ignoring those passages of scripture to try to get his selfish way.

#11. In Chapter 9, Matthew makes a strong case that being created in the image of God cannot uniquely be tied to heterosexuality and points to the Trinity to show that part of being created in the image of God is longing for intimacy and relationship.

Is he saying that God is homosexual now? The feminist has said God is a female so I guess it stands to reason that the homosexual will make God after their image instead of their being made in God’s image. He doesn’t grasp what being made in the image of God is all about and distorts that teaching to justify his pursuit of what is not his to have. But that is the way it is with those who do not want to follow God’s rules–they have to distort biblical teaching to support and justify their disobedience.

#12. When we tell people that their every desire for intimate, sexual bonding is shameful and disordered,” he writes, “we encourage them to hate a core part of who they are. And when we reject the desires of gay Christians to express their sexuality within a lifelong covenant, we separate them from our covenantal God, and we tarnish their ability to bear his image.”

Hatred for a sinful desire is not reason enough to alter the definition of marriage and allow people to disobey God. All his arguments boil down to is that he and other homosexuals refuse to obey God’s rules. Instead of obeying, they want to change them in order to keep practicing their sinful desires. The reason homosexual unions are rejected by Christians is because they are sin and not of God. This is something that doesn’t seem to be getting through to his brain. He can twist scriptures all day long to justify his position but when the rubber meets the road, same-sex marriage or unions remain the same–an abomination to God.

Vines may pull the wool over some religious people’s eyes but he can’t do that to God. God knows what he detests and that position does not change.

Conclusion: Then Matthew concludes with this little truth bomb:  “Instead of asking whether it’s acceptable for the church to deny gay Christians the possibility of sexual fulfillment in marriage, we should ask a different question. Is it acceptable to deny gay Christians the opportunity to sanctify their sexual desires through a God-reflecting covenant.”

Yes it is acceptable to deny homosexuals any same-sex expression or desire through a ‘God-reflecting covenant’. Why? because same-sex unions are not God-reflecting. God did not create same-sex marriage or unions. Those come from evil. God created marriage to be between a man and a woman and that union is good.

Vines and Evans have NO argument. Their position is unbiblical and straight from evil.  Same-sex unions cannot be allowed in the church nor can unrepentant  homosexuals. We do not allow sin in the church.


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