Are homosexual relations sinful?

Debating issues regarding sexuality

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Mithrae
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Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #1

Post by Mithrae »

In Australia we're currently enduring a postal vote about gay marriage, and the Christian rhetoric which has inevitably been cropping up has reminded me of some thoughts I'd initially had back in 2006.
  • Tuesday, 9 May 2006
    It occurs to me that Christianity may very well have the wrong end of the stick in their view of God. If nothing else, surely what the old testament and the gospels teach us is that God is a covenant God. Jesus said that his blood was the blood of the new covenant; looking back, the Mosaic law is described as the old covenant; he made covenants also with Abraham and David. Perhaps we should not think of God as one who simply sits in the clouds handing out laws. Rather, he is a God who makes covenants with his people; fellowship in return for blessing. . . .

    With the people of Israel God made two covenants. The first was at Sinai, beginning with the ten commandments covering chapters 20 to 23 of Exodus. These are almost exclusively commandments of worship for God and social justice amongst the Israelites, with very little about sacrifical specifications or ritual purity. Chapter 24 describes the confirmation of this covenant and the people's agreement to abide by the terms written within the 'book of the covenant.' The second covenant was made in the lands east of the Jordan River, before Moses died and the people crossed over (Deuteronomy 29:1), and covers chapters 5 to 28 of Deuteronomy (with the earlier chapters being the preamble). Laws concerning such things as legal cases, the king, cities of refuge and warfare regulations (chapters 17 to 20) make it clear that this is essentially the constitution of the new nation of Israel.
The bible does not say that God gave any rules or commandments at all to Adam and Eve, except the bit about the tree; and similarly, Jeremiah clearly states that the new covenant to come would be "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt" (Jer. 31:31). In commenting on that passage the author of Hebrews writes "In that he says, “A new covenant,� he has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away" (Heb. 8:13).

How can it be that at one time it was "sinful" to sow a field with two kinds of seed, or wear a garment made of two kinds of cloth (Leviticus 19:19), yet Christians now would almost universally consider these to be silly and outdated concepts? Why did commands like that exist in the first place? I believe they were intended to ingrain into the Israelite people the concept of their separateness from the nations around them, to reinforce and strengthen their own national identity. But then, that same kind of practical purpose seems to obviously underlie the prohibition against same-sex relations too (or the exclusion of anyone who'd suffered genital injuries in Deut. 23:1): A small nation surrounded by enemies would likely need all its people breeding to maintain its strength. Crude and even cruel though those laws may have been, at least we might be able to glean a worthy intention behind them.

But the Christian concept of "sin" as it is usually expressed seems to be utterly blind to the fact that these were part of a covenant - an agreement - between God and Israel, one which the author of Hebrews declared to be obsolete. And according to Jeremiah the new covenant is not to be found in letters of stone or ink in a book; instead "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor or a man his brother, saying 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest" (Jer. 31:31-34). (See also my earlier thread Did apostles think they were writing the 'word of God'?)

Likewise Paul - though he himself remained hung up on homosexuality - captures the more individual nature of the New Agreement perfectly, even as he downplays the everlasting covenant of circumcision:
  • Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. . . .
    13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.� 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.


    Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’�
    12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.
Have Christians got the wrong idea of "sin"?

And if the essence of God's will is simply that "You shall love your neighbour as yourself," as Paul says, isn't homosexuality one of the most obvious examples in which freedom in Christ replaces the situational rules of Israel?

An example in fact where Christian attitudes often seem to be almost the opposite of love?

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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #91

Post by JehovahsWitness »

bluegreenearth wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:00 am From the perspective of many Christians, "God's people" = all people.
bluegreenearth wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:48 pm... rather than aligning with this Biblical trajectory towards the flourishing of [all people], the prohibition against homosexual relations between consenting adults has only ever been demonstrated to cause objective harm to [all people] on average
So you are sayjng [all people] are harmed by prohibition(s) against homosexual relations ?


First of all, the study you refer to doesnt look at "all people", from what I can see looking at "sexual minorities" and furthermore it examined the effect of {quote} "anti-gay prejudice" NOT the effect of a prohibitory law on homosexual relations .

PEJUDICE is defined as "preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience", so Jehovahs Witnesses are in no way "prejudiced" against gays or any other group. Our position is based on both reason and the collective experience of the Christian community as a whole, so while I have no doubt that the study is somewhat accurate in its conclusions, it in no way proves what you claim.




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Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:19 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #92

Post by Miles »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:12 am
Miles wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:31 am How about this. "Human rights" are _______________________fill in the blank___________________ .
See post #82 above
viewtopic.php?p=1015908#p1015908
Doesn't say a thing about the meaning of your "human rights."

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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #93

Post by Miles »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:17 am
Miles wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:31 amJWs feel that ... but it's equally right to disrespect homosexuals.
How in your opinion do Jehovah's Wintesses "disrespect homosexuals"?
In the article "Does God Approve of Same-Sex Marriage?"which appeared in the Awake!: 27. 8 April 2005. issue it said homosexual marriages . . . "cannot give homosexuality a cloak of respectability," which, in effect, says homosexuality is not respectable. And, if you lack respect for someone's sexual orientation---a natural aspect of their being---you're not respecting them, because that's what they are. Just as if you don't respect the color of my skin, say I'm black, you're disrespecting me.

...........dis·re·spect
.........../ˌdisrəˈspekt/
...........noun: disrespect
................ lack of respect or courtesy.
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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #94

Post by bluegreenearth »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:59 pmSo you are sayjng [all people] are harmed by prohibition(s) against homosexual relations ?
Yes, all people are harmed in some way by the prohibition of homosexual relations. Heterosexuals who believe homosexual relations are sinful are harmed by the faith-imposed emotional trauma they experience when someone they love has a romantic relationship with another person of the same biological gender. Heterosexuals who support homosexual relations are harmed by the anxiety and anger they experience when anti-gay prejudice is exhibited by many religious bigots towards homosexuals. Homosexuals who believe homosexual relations are sinful are harmed by the faith-imposed denial or suppression of their sexual orientation and subsequent inability to enjoy romantic relationships with people of the same gender. Homosexuals who do not believe a homosexual relationship is a sin are harmed by the anxiety and anger they experience when anti-gay prejudice is exhibited against them by many religious bigots.

If there are any positive outcomes to the prohibition of homosexual relations, those outcomes are neither demonstrable nor supported by the peer reviewed literature.

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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #95

Post by JehovahsWitness »

IS HOMOSEXUALITY "RESPECTABLE"?
Miles wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:26 pmIn the article "Does God Approve of Same-Sex Marriage?"which appeared in the Awake!: 27. 8 April 2005. issue it said homosexual marriages . . . "cannot give homosexuality a cloak of respectability," which, in effect, says homosexuality is not respectable.



For many in bible based Christian faiths and for Jehovah's Witnesses in particular, homosexuality is not respectable.
RESPECTABLE

1: worthy of respect : ESTIMABLE

2: decent or correct in character or behavior : PROPER
source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/respectable
There is no merit to ANY sexual orientation (whether hetrosexual or homosexual) it's not an achievement or a quality. This is like suggesting "tallness" or "blondness" is worthy of respect. One has done nothing to be tall or blond or black or white, they are just inherited characteristics passed on to one's DNA, as is (to a greater or lesser degree) one's sexuality. Human beings are worthy of respect by virtue of them being living breathing feeling creatures made in God's image, but to suggest any one feature or characteristic is to be respected (above and beyond it simply being a part of the whole) is at best superficial and at worse insulting.



The second definition of respectable is, "correct in character or behavior". For a believer it is Almighty God that decides what is "correct"/ right, in keeping with His standards. While a homosexual tendencies or sexual orientation may arguably be innate to the individual and therefore not the basis for adverse judgement by a loving God, that doesnt mean such attraction is "correct" ie in line with his original purpose for humans.




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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #96

Post by JehovahsWitness »

CAN A CHRISTIAN RESPECT A HOMOSEXUAL?

Yes, respecting someone isn't synonymous with according merit to tendencies or weaknesses but rather to recognise their merits and rights and treat them accordingly. Christians can and should respect everyone, as we are all made in God's image.
Longman's defines the transitive verb as {qoute} "a feeling of admiring someone or what they do, especially because of their personal qualities, knowledge, or skills"
Merriam Webster " ... to act in a way which shows that you are aware of (someone's rights, wishes, etc.) : to treat or deal with ( something that is good or valuable) in a proper way


Miles wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:26 pm.. if you lack respect for someone's sexual orientation---an natural aspect of their being---you're not respecting them

That is a matter of opinion; many would say true respect is recognising the person is more than the sum of his parts and should not be reduced to being equated with his sexuality any more than any other physiological characteristics. (See post #95 above).





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Should people be defined by who they are attracted to?
viewtopic.php?p=1015595#p1015595
To learn more please go to other posts related to...

SEX, SIN and ...HOMOSEXUALITY
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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #97

Post by Miles »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:46 pm IS HOMOSEXUALITY "RESPECTABLE"?
Miles wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:26 pmIn the article "Does God Approve of Same-Sex Marriage?"which appeared in the Awake!: 27. 8 April 2005. issue it said homosexual marriages . . . "cannot give homosexuality a cloak of respectability," which, in effect, says homosexuality is not respectable.
For many in bible based Christian faiths and for Jehovah's Witnesses in particular, homosexuality is not respectable.
So we've found out.

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:46 pm There is no merit to ANY sexual orientation (whether hetrosexual or homosexual) it's not an achievement or a quality.
Your right, homosexuality is not meritable because it is not an achievement, no more than the color of one's hair is a meritable achievement.

...........meritable /ˈmɛrɪtəbl/
...........1
...........adj
...........deserving reward or praise

However, sexual orientation is an innate aspect (quality) of human beings, just like eye color, height, and skin color are. Assuming you're heterosexual, I'll bet good money you no more chose to be a heterosexual than homosexuals choose to be homosexuals. Yet JWs treat sexual orientation as if it was a chosen part of the homosexual's identity because 2-3,000 years ago some sheep herders and spiteful temple pooh-bahs decided it was something homosexuals chose to be. But science has shown us otherwise. Heck science has even found that "No species has been found in which homosexual behaviour has not been shown to exist, with the exception of species that never have sex at all, such as sea urchins and aphis (sp). "
(Source:"1,500 Animal Species Practice Homosexuality". News-medical.net. 2006-10-23.)

So it's obviously god's doing the just about all the animals, including humans, develop the sexual orientation they do. God gives some people a homosexual orientation and then condemns them if they try to express it. If any human did something like this we'd call him a sadist.

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:46 pm This is like suggesting "tallness" or "blondness" is worthy of respect. One has done nothing to be tall or blond or black or white, they are just inherited characteristics passed on to one's DNA, as is (to a greater or lesser degree) one's sexuality. Human beings are worthy of respect by virtue of them being living breathing feeling creatures made in God's image, but to suggest any one feature or characteristic is to be respected (above and beyond it simply being a part of the whole) is at best superficial and at worse insulting.
Thing is, it isn't the characteristic per se that's respected or disrespected unless it's attached to an object, which happens to be the case with homosexuality, as when JWs attach homosexuality to people: "homosexual marriages . . . cannot give homosexuality a cloak of respectability," which, in effect, says homosexuality is not respectable. So, JWs are the ones who are saying that concept of respectability, and its cognates, are attachable to homosexuality, AND GO AHEAD AND DO JUST THAT.

JehovahsWitness wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:46 pm The second definition of respectable is, "correct in character or behavior". For a believer it is Almighty God that decides what is "correct"/ right, in keeping with His standards. While a homosexual tendencies or sexual orientation may arguably be innate to the individual and therefore not the basis for adverse judgement by a loving God, that desnt mean such attraction is "correct" ie in line with his original purpose for humans.
And this is what's disturbing, almost disgusting. Just like slavery, which almost every astute Christian considers to be immoral, despite god's approval of it---I take it you consider slavery to be quite moral---so to do most Christians consider homophobia to be immoral, despite god's hatred of homosexual sex.


Gotta ask you, as a JW how do you reconcile god's laws with man's laws?

...........Do JWs kill men who've had sex with other men as the Bible directs them to?

Leviticus 20:13

13 “If a man has sexual relations with another man as with a woman, they have committed a terrible sin. They must be put to death. They are responsible for their own death."

...........Do JWs ever own slaves? If not why not? It sounds like a pretty good deal for the owner:

Titus 2:9-10

Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior."

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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #98

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Miles wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:04 pm...JWs treat sexual orientation as if it was a chosen part of the homosexual's identity
How does one treat a sexual orientation? Sexual orientation is simply a feeling, one can't interact with someone else's feelings any more than one can walk up to jealous and offer to buy it a coffee.

Feelings, views, hopes and desires are all interior to a person, so treatment (acts) are with the person that has those feelings not with the feelings themselves. Sexual orientation cannot exist outside of the person himself.
Jehovah's Witness ...
  • (a) treat all people with love and respect including homosexuals.

    (b) view engaging in homosexual ACTS (intercourse, sexual contact) as a choice

    (c) view homosexuality ( sexual or romantic attraction to others of one's same biological sex) as evidence of human imperfection and not necessarily a conscious choice*

* Sexuality is complex and the scientific community is divided as to the degree same sex attraction is genetically driven; Jehovahs Witnesses avoid becoming embroiled in that debate.



To learn more please go to other posts related to...

HOMOSEXUALITY, HOMOPHOBIA and ...BIBLICAL PROHIBITIONS
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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #99

Post by bluegreenearth »

[Replying to JehovahsWitness in post #98]

The view that homosexuality is evidence of human imperfection and publicly calling attention to it as such is to commit an emotionally and psychologically harmful act against humanity. Such rhetoric should not and will not be tolerated.

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Re: Are homosexual relations sinful?

Post #100

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Miles wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:04 pm...Christians consider homophobia to be immoral...


ARE JEHOVAHS WITNESSES HOMOPHOBIC?


Homophobia has been defined as "irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination* against [homosexual people] " ; a fear and dislike of homosexuals.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not FEAR (“phobia” means fear), hate nor discriminate* against homosexuals. We strive to treat all people with dignity and respect and are taught to show love even to those we disagree with.


  • Discriminate the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.



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TREATMENT


Does the God of the bible treat homosexuals unjustly?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 21#p926621

Can a Christian respect a homosexual?
viewtopic.php?p=1016339#p1016339

Do Jehovahs Witnesses treat homosexuality as if it were A CHOICE?
viewtopic.php?p=1016384#p1016384

HATEFULNESS
Is the prohibition of certain sexual behaviours HATEFUL?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 50#p993650

Does DOES classifying homosexual acts as sinful equate to hating gays or encouraging mistreatement?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 94#p995694

Are Jehovahs Witnesses homophobic? [this post]
viewtopic.php?p=1016386#p1016386

Is condemning sexual immorality incompatible with a God of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE?
viewtopic.php?p=1015566#p1015566

Is it UNLOVING to point out what the bible says about homosexuality?
viewtopic.php?p=1015527#p1015527



To learn more please go to other posts related to...

SEX, SIN and ...HOMOSEXUALITY
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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