238. The Anglican Church of Australia agrees with me! About same-sex “marriage”.

It’s nice when people agree with you. Especially on sensitive issues! Especially when you are a retired Anglican minister and you want your church to remain faithful to the revealed will of God in the Scriptures! I was going to title this blog (with tongue in cheek) as “The Anglican Church of Australia agrees with me! It must be right! About same-sex marriage.” However not every one has the same sense of humour. Some might have thought that I was prideful in seeming to suggest that my opinion was the only correct opinion. But it was encouraging to read this decision of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia at its meeting last week at Noosa in Queensland.

In previous articles on this blogsite I have written on the subject of so-called “same-sex marriage”. I found that the concept could not be based on the scriptures. The resolution of General Synod printed below uses the same argument I used from the words of Jesus in Matthew 19 verse 6. This was their resolution last week,

General Synod –
a) notes with regret that the Scottish Episcopal Church has
amended their Canon on Marriage to change the definition
that marriage is between a man and a woman by adding a
new section that allows clergy to solemnise marriage
between same-sex couples as well as couples of the
opposite sex;
b) notes with regret that this step is contrary to the doctrine of
our Church and the teaching of Christ that, in marriage, “a
man will leave his father and mother and be united to his
wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Matt 19:6), and
c) expresses our support for those Anglicans who have left or
will need to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church because of
its redefinition of marriage; and those who struggle and
remain and
d) prays that the Scottish Episcopal Church will return to the
doctrine of Christ in this matter and that impaired
relationships will be restored.

Though I was glad that sanity had prevailed,  that the words of Jesus were taken seriously and that the teaching of the Scriptures had been upheld, I was saddened a little to see the voting. It was as follows in terms of voting for this resolution.
House of Laity: 60 Yes; 45 No.  House of Clergy:68 Yes; 42 No.  House of Bishops: 12 Yes; 6 No

I would have preferred to read regarding the resolution of General Synod above, the numbers being recorded as Laity 105 Yes and Nil for No. Clergy 110 Yes and Nil for No.  Bishops 18 Yes and Nil for No. But I am very grateful that the Anglican church in Australia wants to honour Jesus in such decisions and not ignore His teaching as many churches have done in other parts of the world.

Christian love means siding with Jesus in what He says, and acting in loving ways towards everyone, seeking their best interests on every occasion. Their best interests are NOT served in encouraging people to act in ways that are not pleasing to God and contrary to His eternal purposes for humankind throughout the ages.

Blog No.238. Jim Holbeck. Posted on Sunday 10th September 2017. 

 

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237. What does the Bible say about marriage? Is it just between a man and a woman or can there be other “couplings”? What will a plebiscite do for marriage in Australia?

What is marriage supposed to look like? How do we know what form it should take? Fortunately, we don’t have to guess. God the creator has revealed this to us in His word, which could be called the “Maker’s Handbook.” He tells us as the Maker, how it began; what is its purpose; and for whom it was intended. We find those truths in Genesis chapter 1 describing the beginning of human existence and also in other passages in the Bible. Unfortunately, in today’s world many people are failing to look back to the origins of creation, marriage etc and have become focussed on things like what they feel human rights should look like, and on other human issues. They fail to realise that all of life has its origin in Him and that we are privileged (not entitled) to be alive in His world. However we are responsible to use our God-given free will to willingly live in the way He meant us to live.

Some folk judge the Lord to be non-existent or if they think He does exist, they see Him as unfair, malevolent, uncaring, discriminating and powerless to help. The problem is that for humans He ultimately will be the judge and all must answer to Him for every thought, word and action in their lives. We don’t have the capability to judge Him. He does have the capability to judge us, and to do so, absolutely fairly.

So how do we go in comparing our idea of what marriage should look like, with His original pattern. As we look at the following passages that tell us what marriage is all about, we need to remember that this is how the Creator Himself planned it. It is the product of His mind. If our opinions are different to His regarding marriage, which of us needs to change? Even as I write these words I think of many folk who are talking unwisely about marriage and pushing their own ideas onto susceptible people. If they knew how seriously God views marriage and resulting family life, they would take time to reconsider their opinions about Him and about marriage.

Just a quick summary of what is brought out more broadly below.

1] God made this world and all the people in it.

2] God designed marriage to be between a male person [a man] and a female person [a woman.]

3] God designed them differently so that together they could reproduce in a way that other “couplings” could not.

4] God made marriage in such a way that it would take priority over other relationships except for the totally committed relationship that both partners should have with Him.

5] God doesn’t want marriage partners to be separated from each other by the introduction of any other person.

The following are the verses that tell us about the origin and meaning of God-given marriage. The text is in the left hand column and the corresponding comments are in the right hand column. I have included the Hebrew and Greek words to show their occurrence in different passages. (The LXX is short for the Greek version of the Old Testament translated by 70 [hence LXX] scholars between perhaps 300 and 200 BC. It was known and quoted extensively by New Testament writers.)

 GENESIS Chapter 1. The beginning of all things and of human existence

Gen 1:26  Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Hebrew Bible text.

“Mankind”. [’āḏām].  Used for male and female humans.

Their value is that they are created by God and made in His image to have dominion in His creation.

 Greek LXX text.

“Mankind”. [ánthrōpos, ἄνθρωπος]. Used for male and female humans.

Gen 1:27  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Hebrew Bible text.

“Mankind”. [’āḏām].  Used for male and female humans

“Male.” [ zāḵār.] Male human or male animal.

“Female.”  [neqēḇāh.] Female human or female animal.

 

Greek LXX Bible text.

“Mankind”. [ánthrōpos. ἄνθρωπος] Used for male and female humans.

“Male.” [ársēn, αρσην] A male human.

“Female.” [thḗlus, θήλυς] A female human.

Creation is made up of two sexes, male and female according to God’s revelation about the creation of the universe. Though they are both equal in status, in being made in His image, they are different in some of the functions they perform in life.

Gen 1:28  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. …”

 

God instituted marriage to be between a man and a woman so that they might be fruitful and multiply. He created them to be different to each other so that together they might accomplish this purpose.

No other coupling can produce this result naturally.

MATTHEW Chapter 19.

The context is that some religious leaders were questioning Jesus about divorce. However He took them back to the origin and purpose of marriage by quoting from Genesis chapter 1. He affirmed that marriage is between a male human [a male] and a female human [a female]. The man takes on new responsibilities as he now adjust his priorities in life to make his wife his number one priority after God.

The resulting marriage normally leads to a one flesh relationship which is viewed by God to be of His making and no one is meant to come between that couple.

Mat 19:3  Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Man”. [ánthrōpos, ἄνθρωπος] In this case the man has a wife.

 

 

Mat 19:4  “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’  The creator created humans as male or female.

“Male”. [ársēn, ἄρσην] A male human

“Female” [thḗlus, θήλυς]. A female human

Mat 19:5  and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? Marriage brings a change in relationships.

“Man”. [ánthrōpos, ἄνθρωπος] the man is to take to himself a woman who will then be called his wife.

“father”.  [patḗr, πατήρ] The male parent of the man.

“mother”. [mḗtēr, μήτηρ]. The female parent of the man.

“wife”. [gunḗ, γυνή]. Can mean woman or wife depending on the context. Here it is “wife”.

 

Mat 19:6  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “One flesh.” Physical union as implied in verse 5, “be united to his wife” where “united” is [kolláō, κολλάω meaning to glue to, to adhere to. English “collage” is from this root.]

“joined together.” [Is from suzeúgnumi,  συζευγνύμι meaning to yoke together. This is what God does. ]

The coming together of a man and a woman in marriage is seen to be God’s intention for one flesh relationships.

No one should seek to come between the couple.

MARK 10:2-9. The corresponding passage in Mark 10:2-9 has the same phrases as shown above in Matthew’s account.

EPHESIANS 5:31-33.

In the context of mutual submission in the relationship between husbands and wives, Paul adds this statement, Eph 5:31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Again the words are almost exactly the same as in Matthew 19:5. What that should mean in practice is found in verse 33, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” They have God-given responsibilities to genuinely care for each other.

 OBSERVATIONS

  • If we are going to use the term “marriage” it should be used in its right context, namely the coming together of a man and a woman in a committed relationship to be united in what would normally become a one flesh relationship.
  • There is no other “coupling” that can be called a “marriage” in Biblical (God’s) terms. The term “same-sex marriage” is an oxymoron in Biblical terms because no such entity is considered by God to constitute marriage.
  • Care must be exercised when dealing with people who believe that marriage is a human right for all people and that to deny marriage to same sex couples is unloving. It may be that they may not know what the Bible has to say on the subject and are trying to be loving and accepting towards all people. They may be ignorant of the fact that God has actually revealed His plan for marriage.
  • In Australia we are soon going to have a plebiscite to get the general population’s opinion on whether the Marriage Act should be changed to allow for same sex marriage. The Marriage Act at present specifies that “marriage” means “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” That definition accords with God’s revealed will in the Bible concerning marriage. If the Marriage Act is eventually changed to include same sex relationships it may become lawful in the eyes of the law in Australia but it would be unlawful in the eyes of the Lord. However His love will always be available for those who take Him, His laws and His purposes for His world (including marriage) seriously.
  • All decisions in God’s world have consequences. One prays that whatever decision is reached, people will be motivated by love, self-denial and fairness in their relationships with each other.
  • It needs to be realised that there will always be some people throughout the world who will vote against the introduction of same sex marriage because they believe that God has declared His purpose for marriage and it does not include marriage between people of the same sex.

Blog No.237. Jim Holbeck. Posted on Friday 8th September 2017

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236. How Did The World Come To Be In Such A Mess? There is an answer in Romans chapter 1! And a message of hope!

There are many who are saying in 2017 that we are living in an upside down world where “good” is called “evil” and “evil” is called “good”. Others say that the world is in chaos, out of control. Still others are saying it’s as though darkness is overcoming the world and  we are living in a world of unreality, a world of madness. Evidence of that is seen in recent months and years where we have seen nonsense being espoused by some scientists in their writings about “extreme” global warming threats.  Or office bearers in Medical and Law bodies in Australia making pronouncements that their organisations had certain views concerning sexuality issues. But they did not have the right to speak on behalf of their members who had not been consulted. They were reprimanded by many of their own members for misrepresenting their views.  Or we might think of politicians who are taking their countries further and further into debt with seemingly no desire to do anything about it! It is a sad world indeed when one cannot accept as truth what many scientists, medicos and legal folk are saying whilst we are being led into an ever -increasing national debt.

Why is the world like this? I wrote about this some 5 years ago when I was studying Romans chapter 1. The passage talks about a world in rebellion against God and how He has handed people over to do their own thing, to do what they wanted to do. They responded by misusing the free-will they were given. The passage also tells us what takes place as a result. That sad story is being played out before our eyes at the moment throughout the world. The following is that article which I think is still highly relevant today. It is actually my extended paraphrase of Romans 1.

Reproducing Article No. 87 written in August 2012
“How Did The World Come To Be In Such A Mess?” Well it’s pretty clear really! We’ve turned our back on God. When you turn your back on God you can get into a hell of a mess (literally). God has shown us in His book (the Bible) how we are meant to live but we have ignored what He said. What we did know, we didn’t act on anyway! But how about people who don’t have Bibles? How do they know how they are meant to live? A good question! But there is an answer. God showed a lot about Himself in the world He made. For example the more you study the world the more you realise that you didn’t make it. Neither did your wonderful parents or grandparents! It shows such intricate design and order that it is obvious that no human could ever have designed it or created it. Some supernatural being must have done it. A being who is above nature, who made it all.

We can paint beautiful life-like flowers on canvas but we can’t make them live. We can harness the wind to derive energy, but we can’t produce the wind ourselves, (well some blowhards do better than the rest of us but it is infinitesimal in the grand scale of things.) We use some explosives to do a bit of damage but a violent tornado or earthquake does far more damage in a matter of moments. We marvel at the food chains in the world and marvel that it is all so coordinated, as though someone planned it that way. It is indeed a short-sighted person who says that there is not a supernatural being who made it all. Seeing the order and the power in creation is meant to lead everyone to know more about this being. The creation does bear witness to the existence of a Creator whom people are meant to “search out” in whatever way they can.

However the Bible says that instead of searching out more about this Creator God, humans refused to acknowledge His existence. They refused to thank Him for the privilege of living in the wonderful world He had made.  By taking their focus off Him as creator they began to think silly thoughts about God and to live as though He didn’t exist. This led to more foolish thinking. In fact what happened was this. They made their own gods. They did this in three ways.

I). Firstly they tossed aside the evidence that the creator God had shown in His creation. In its place they made images to be their gods. Some looked like humans. Others looked like birds or animals or even (shudder, shudder!) nasty looking reptiles. Fancy thinking that lifeless images could compare to the creator God!

II). Secondly they rejected the truth about God that He had revealed about Himself. They began to live a lie. They realised that they had strong feelings. But instead of expressing those feelings appropriately in the way the Creator God wanted, they did their “own thing” independently of God.   Their focus went from being on the Creator God to being focussed on the creation itself. It’s as though they were saying, “We don’t need you Creator, if you exist that is. We can manage this world. We are sufficient of ourselves to run the show. We don’t need you even if you do exist!”

So God did something very significant. It’s as though He said, “Well if you want to run your own show, I’ll let you do it. I gave you free-will in the hope you chose to worship and follow me. But I’m now handing you over to do what you want to do”. What happened? They did what they wanted to do!

III).  Thirdly, they rejected God in rejecting His order in creation. Some women, for whatever reason, felt an attraction towards other women. So they acted on it and formed same-sex relationships. It was not what God wanted (Genesis 2:24). It was contrary to the purpose for which God had created the world and the people in it. Some men also, for whatever reason, gave up the way God had made the world composed of males and females. They turned their backs on women and focussed their consuming passion on other men. And expressed their passions inappropriately from God’s point of view. He saw it as shameless. He saw it as an error on their part. He saw their actions as coming from a debased mind. But you can’t act contrary to what God wants and not expect consequences.  One of the consequences was that God continued to hand them over to do what they wanted. What they continued to do was not what He wanted for them. But He gave them a chance to turn to Him to act in the ways He wanted them to act. They refused His help to become the people He wanted them to become.

Was God just picking on those who were involved in same-sex activity? No, of course not!  He is against everything that is harmful for His creatures. The following are some of the things that earn the displeasure of God when people turn away from Him. It is not only anti-social behaviour, but anti-God behaviour as well.

Other signs of rebellion against God in His world

People who lose their focus on God to whom they are accountable, wrongly focus on other people. They can become nasty to them. Instead of being righteous people they can become filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They can be filled with many anti-social attitudes and actions. Their envy may lead them to destroy others by harbouring murderous thoughts towards them, creating strife, being deceitful and being malicious. They continue on this downward spiral by gossiping about people, by slandering them, by being insolent to them.  They maintain haughty, boastful attitudes and fail to have due respect to those who brought them into the world. They may even try to work out how they might inflict even more damage on those they don’t like. As those who have given up on God they have nothing to offer in relationships. In short they are the “less than they might be people”, senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

There is a very, very sad thing that happens. The people who are guilty of any or all of the things mentioned above in their rebellion against God, also encourage other people to do the very same things. They actually applaud those people when they do the things that are anti-God and thus anti-social, Rom 1:32.  Although they know full well God’s just sentence–that those who practice such things deserve to die–they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.

The very sobering thought behind all this is that when people turn away from God and act in rebellion against Him, as seen above, He takes them seriously. He purposely hands them over to do what they want to do apart from Him.  Freedom to rebel. Freedom to run their own lives. Freedom to ruin the lives of others through inappropriate speech and behaviour which is repugnant to God.

So there is the answer. The world is in a hell of a mess because the powers of darkness run rampant in a society which has turned its back on God. People unknowingly become the puppets of evil powers even while they think they are running their own lives.  St Paul once wrote to Timothy a church leader who had to deal with people who were false teachers. He advised Timothy how to behave, 2Ti 2:24-26  “The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, (25)  instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance to know the truth. (26)  Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.”  How scary to realise that when you think you are running your own life, that it is the Devil who is “calling the shots”.

Is there any hope? Yes, amazing hope through amazing grace. The transforming power of God is available to make new creatures out of those who turn from their rebellion against God. To those who have focussed on creation, to now turn to focus on a relationship with God through Christ. As ‘The Message’ version of the Bible puts the words of 2 Corinthians 5:14-19, (14)  “Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused centre: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat.(15)  He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.(16)  Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore.(17)  Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!(18)  All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. (19)  God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.”

Do you want to get out of the mess you have gotten into in life? As ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step’, so the change in your life can begin with a simple prayer to God.

Prayer:- “Lord, I am sorry for running my own life apart from You. I’m sorry for all the hurt and pain I caused others as I lived that way. Please forgive all my sins and transform my life by Your Holy Spirit so that I can become more like Jesus in all I say and do. I ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN.”

(PS. The words in the article above are really an extended paraphrase of the words in Romans chapter 1:18-31. I will write in more detail on this passage in future articles. But read the passage now and get blessed!)

Blog No.236.  Jim Holbeck. Posted on Wednesday 6th September 2017

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235. What insight does Romans 1 have to the same sex marriage debate? Does it favour a “Yes” or “No” vote?

In the last few articles I have looked at an article that appeared recently on an ABC website. The writer was attempting to show that the Bible did not argue against same sex marriage.  She did correctly emphasise that when one examines Bible verses, one should also look at the context of those verses to understand them properly. Unfortunately as I did that with the verses she quoted, I came to opposite conclusions to what she had written.  I found I did the same as she wrote about Romans 1. These are her words from that article, “In Romans 1:26-27, Paul condemns people swapping out their usual partner for one of the same gender. He claims this is a result of idolatry and uses it as part of his argument for why one should only follow (his) God. It is typical of the strong “them and us” rhetoric of the ancient world, serving a larger argument and is not a statement on sexuality per se.” [Rather a brief summary of such an important passage of scripture, and one that takes great liberties with the text it would seem.]

I remembered that I had done a summary of some articles on Romans 1 some years ago. Just a few minutes ago I discovered that I had done so exactly 4 years ago today! It was blog [No 129]. Summary of Romans 1:17-32. Human Rebellion against God. This is what I wrote then and I am posting it here for your convenience. Remember this was in September 2013 and all I can say it that the world situation has gotten much worse since then.  The following is that article.

4th Sept 2013. What has gotten into some of the world leaders in recent months? Some have taken gigantic strides in directions that were not expected. Some seem intent on changing the world as we know it, into an image they have created in their own minds. Now they want to see this vision reproduced in their own countries and even in other nations. Are we looking at world-changing visionaries in our midst? Or are we seeing the results of human wisdom gone mad? Humans out of control?

Once again chapter 1 of St Paul’s letter to the Romans has some answers for us. Recently I wrote some material on this chapter where I showed that three of the major factors in today’s world can be explained from its message. It is a description of human rebellion against God in three main facets of life.

1). In Rom 1:17-23, [blog 123] we saw that human rebellion against God leads to idolatry in which God is replaced by aspects of His creation. It means that Jesus, His agent in creation, is also not accorded His God-given position as Creator and Lord of His universe. One of the factors I noted in the articles was this. If folk reject God, they also reject His declaration that humans are made in His image. If people are merely different bits of this world structure then they (particularly the foetus or near-born or newly-born) can be disposed of at will because they are expendable “bits” with little present significance. There are many national leaders actively supporting almost unlimited abortion on demand. But some of them are not content with that. Now they want to have that particular concept of abortion on demand extended to other countries as well. There is talk that some of these leaders might want to make the acceptance of wide-spread abortion a qualification for receiving aid from the “richer” country! To stop “populution”? Or to extend their longed-for “power”?

God (YHWH) doesn’t see this “option” as wise management of human resources. He has a name for abortion done purely for the convenience of the person or the family or the nation. It’s called “murder”. Jesus once warned about putting stumbling blocks in the way of the young, Luke 17:1 “He said to His disciples, “Offences will certainly come, but woe to the one they come through! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” If causing the young to stumble brings such condemnation, then what does the supporting of the extinguishing of the young, merit?

We need to wake up! Humans in rebellion against God are destroying fellow humans who are made in the image of God. He says they are! As such they are to be protected and valued! Not destroyed!

2). In Rom 1:23-25 [blog 124] we read that this rebellion takes on a sinister turn. Humans created by God reject their Creator AND begin to worship and serve “something created”. This is what false religion is all about, when humans begin to take their eyes off God as the pre-eminent One in the universe and begin to exchange the truth about Him for a lie. The lie is this; that something or someone can take His place. Such people put their focus onto something or someone else, a part of God’s creation. Instead of following God’s commandments and His revelation of His will in the Scriptures, they place their allegiance in things or people.

We noted in a previous article that Jesus as the Creator-Redeemer of humans was called “the truth” and that His teaching is to be followed and not rejected nor added to. He was called also the “wisdom of God” for His words were the Father’s words. His wisdom was obvious to all who heard Him. We read in Mat 13:54, He went to His hometown and began to teach them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “How did this wisdom and these miracles come to Him? Paul called Him the “wisdom of God” in 1Cor 1:23-24, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Similarly in 1Cor 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption

True religion is based on the wisdom of God rather than the wisdom of the world. One way of assessing all the present day religious movements is to look at how they operate and what are the ideologies and the motivations behind their actions. The wisdom of God (YHWH) in James 3:17 is described like this, … the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favouritism and hypocrisy. What a wonderful peaceful world it would be if we lived by the wisdom of God! As we examine all the current religious movements are they marked by these qualities? If they are, then they appear to be elements of true religion operating with God’s wisdom especially when they exhibit true love knowing “God is love” (1John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.)

If the religious bodies today are not characterised by these qualities, they may not be of God. Religions or ideologies operating from a human source of wisdom rather than a divine source have these features seen in James 3:14-16, bitter envy, selfish ambition, bragging, defying the truth. James writes here that this “wisdom” it is not from above, from God. It has to do only with the dimension of the human senses. It may be demonic, influenced by the powers of darkness. The outward expression of worldly wisdom is disorder and every kind of evil. A quick glance at our daily papers sees the evidence throughout the world of disorder, murder, the absence of love and utter evil in some of the religious movements. It would seem that false religion is alive and expanding on planet earth. It is false religion that brooks no rivals. True religion looks to God for wisdom on how to behave and to live in the peace of God that passes human understanding.

We need to wake up! Humans in rebellion against God are worshipping and serving the lie that you can replace Him with something or someone! He brooks no rivals. However He offers all people a relationship of peace with Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.

3). Romans 1:26-27. [Blog 125] We saw in a previous article that this passage speaks quite openly about homosexual practice and God’s attitude to it. In Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 He declared His repugnance. “Abomination” and “detestable” are never pretty words. How much more when they come from the mind of God Himself! If He used such words to describe these activities, it is sad that His people today are being labelled as homophobic for simply expressing what He said. But people in rebellion against God will reject His words especially when they come through fellow humans.

Recently we have seen that some national leaders are not only in favour of homosexual practice, but are pushing for same-sex marriage. One leader even wants to send expert teams out to other countries to help facilitate the acceptance and legalisation of same-sex marriage in those countries. Foreign aid with a twist! Again is it a case of such leaders being world-leading-visionaries who are taking the world into whole new expressions of freedom and liberty? Or something quite different!

But what if? What if there is a God who has revealed Himself in the Bible and through Jesus, and whose revelation we have in the Holy Bible, the Scriptures? What if He told us almost 2000 years ago that He had dealt with people in rebellion against Him and delivered them over to “do their own thing”. What if people presume He doesn’t exist or isn’t concerned when they do things He had forbidden and are not struck down dead as a result? What if the words of 2Peter 3:9 are true, “The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” What if His apparent failure to deal with human sin is not a sign of His pathetic weakness, but of His incredible patience and amazing grace and astonishing love in giving them time to turn from their rebellion against Him, to seek His forgiveness and to find true peace with Him as the true God?

We need to wake up! Humans in rebellion against God are encouraging practices that God has strongly condemned in unmistakeable terms! He isn’t going to change His mind! He isn’t going to adapt to cultural changes! He isn’t going to water down His word to gain more acceptance or to elicit a greater following! He has spoken! Clearly! Definitively!

A realistic appraisal of the whole human situation. Romans 1:29-32

God’s appraisal! We have seen in a previous article that these verses apply to every human ever born who has been rebellious against God. That’s all of us except for Jesus. We may look at these verses and pat ourselves on the back that we are pretty good in comparison with some notorious sinners in this world. But when we come to words such as greed, envy, disputes, deceit, gossips arrogant, proud, boastful, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful, we realise that we ourselves have failed to get a perfect score in those areas of life. It means that we are sinners just like the ones we have judged as being guilty of sin.

Only one way for all of us

There is only one way out of our predicament for all of us because we are all sinners in the sight of God. And that is by accepting His offer of forgiveness and salvation in Christ. It is a free gift to us in Him. It is an offer coming from His grace and love. But it is not cheap grace! It meant that Jesus the Son of God, the Messiah, had to die for the sins of all the peoples of the world throughout the ages. His death brought the possibility of forgiveness and new life for every person who would receive them in Christ. But “receive them” is the operative phrase. What is happening in today’s world is that people are making their choice. To seek truth in the God of truth, or to turn their backs on Him and to continue on in their rebellion.

Perhaps when St Paul wrote Romans chapter 1 at the inspiration of the Spirit of God he did not envisage a world as rebellious as it is now. But God did! In His love He has warned us through St Paul in this chapter that human rebellion would always take the form of idolatry, false religion and sexual inappropriateness. In His love He has warned those rebelling against Him in this way. However He also warns each and every one of us in the latter verses of the same chapter that we can’t criticise others, for we too are guilty before Him. The fact that we seem to be free to do whatever we wish without punishment may be an indication that the words of 2 Peter 3:9 are true, “The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Repentance from all of us! No exceptions!

A Prayer for someone to pray who feels they are not right with God

Dear Lord. You have shown us so clearly in Your word that none of us can stand before You, trusting in who we are or in what we have done. We have all rebelled against You in many and various ways. I confess that I am guilty before You and I need Your forgiveness and love.

I have learned that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross so that I might have forgiveness. I have learned too that He rose from the dead and is alive today.

I invite You Lord Jesus to be my Saviour from sin and to be the Lord and Master of my life. Come into my life to make me a new creature and to guide and strengthen me to live as I should, from this day forward.

I thank You by faith for the victories I shall experience in life with Your help. Please accept my thanks in Your precious name of Jesus. AMEN

Blog No.235.  Jim Holbeck.  Posted 4th September 2017

 

 

 

 

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No 234. What the New Testament really says about same sex relationships in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Why we should vote “No” to change the definition of marriage to include same sex relationships

In previous articles we have looked at a recent article on this topic written by an Australian theologian. She gave some helpful material showing that homosexuality was practised to some extent in both Roman and Greek cultures in New Testament times.  She wrote, “In Graeco-Roman society, there was an acceptance that men might be attracted to other men. Even if married (to a woman) and often prior to marriage, a wealthy man might have a young male lover or male partner. In educational settings, several ancient authors comment on the male-male mentoring that often included pederasty (sex with boys). The main ancient objection to male-male sexual activity was that one partner had to take the “woman’s role” of being penetrated. In a patriarchal society, to be masculine was to be the active partner, whereas to be passive was deemed feminine and shameful. Then she adds, “These attitudes find their way into the New Testament in various forms. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Timothy 1:10 list a wide group of people who will not “inherit the Kingdom” without changing.”

We will look at those verses.  In the original Greek text of the New Testament, the words referring to male sexual activity in 1 Cor 6:9-10 are these, [malakós,  μαλακός meaning soft or effeminate] and [arsenokoítēs,  ἀρσενοκοίτης  from ársēn, a male, and koítē, a bed. Thus it is translated as a man who lies in bed with another male.]

Recent translations of these verses, agreed upon by hundreds of Biblical scholars from various denominations throughout the world, represent their consensus rather than being the translation of individual scholars. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the following recent versions [NOTE 1] those described as the unrighteous or wrongdoers who will not inherit the kingdom of God include the following.

New Revised Standard Version. (Published 1989)  1 Cor 6:9  “  Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers

English Standard Version. (2001). 9,  “… neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers,

New International Version. (2011)  9 “…Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers

Christian Standard Bible. (2017)  9. ..No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males, 10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers.

Modern English Version. (2014)  9 … Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners

Lexham English Bible. (2012)  9 ..” Neither sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor passive homosexual partners, nor dominant homosexual partners, 10 nor thieves, nor greedy persons, not drunkards, not abusive persons, not swindlers

One has to conclude that an abundance of modern scholars see these terms in 1 Corinthians 6:9 as describing homosexual relationships, in spite of the arguments by other modern scholars that the verse is not referring to homosexuality. [As the writer of the article put it, To translate it as “homosexual” is problematic for two reasons: it is unlikely Paul had any concept of sexual orientation and he was certainly not describing a committed adult relationship.”] She appears to be reading modern day unproven theories about sexual orientation into the text. What Paul is talking about in verse 9 is not the condemnation of sexual orientation but of sexual practice.

Is it just a matter then of deciding which scholars to agree with or can more light be shed on these verses from the context? We will again take the advice of the writer of the article and search the context. Fortunately, we will discover that the immediate context does help us grasp more of the meaning.  Verses 9 and 10 are followed by these words in verse 11 and they are almost identical in all the versions above, 1Cor 6:11 “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

 Paul was writing to believers in the Greek city of Corinth. It was a city noted for its licentiousness and immorality. In verse 11 he addressed them directly and truthfully, “And such were some of you.” It was probably true that many of the converts to Christ had been involved in immorality including homosexuality. In fact the city was renowned throughout the world of that day for its sin. So much so, that “the word ‘Corinthianize’ was used to refer to unmentionable sins.” [NOTE 2]

But something major had happened to them so that they were no longer to be characterised in that way.

  • They had been “washed” [apoloúō, ἀπολούω meaning to wash or bathe]. The only other reference in the New Testament is in Acts 22:16, where Ananias tells the newly converted Saul of Tarsus (St Paul) Act 22:16 “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” The baptism would be the symbol of the reality of the cleansing of his sins by God. [There may be here an echo of the words of Job in Job 9:30 in the Greek Septuagint [LXX] version where Job says, “If I wash [apoloúō, ἀπολούω] myself with snow and cleanse my hands with lye, 31 yet you will plunge me into a pit, and my own clothes will abhor me. 32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together.” Job realised that though he might try hard in a vain effort to cleanse [apoloúō, ἀπολούω] himself from his sin, ultimately only God could thoroughly cleanse him. Paul knew the Corinthian believers had been washed clean!]
  • They had been “sanctified.” [hagiázō; ἁγιάζω]. The root meaning of this verb is “to be separate,” separated from sin and separated to God and to His purposes. That process had begun in the Corinthian believers but a separation from the sin in their former lives had already taken place. Paul had already described them as “sanctified” in his opening greeting in 1Cor 1:2 “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.” They had been set apart [sanctified by the Holy Spirit] to live for a new Master.
  • They had been “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” “Justified” [dikaióō, δικαιόω] means to be made right with God through Christ and that occurs when people put their trust in Him or “in His name”. The Holy Spirit was God’s agent in bringing them to faith and thus to being justified, made right with Him.

By the way, the writer did mention 1Tim 1:10 as seen in my first paragraph above.  How does that verse affect our discussion? The verse is seen in the context where Paul is denouncing false teaching. 1:8 “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9  understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10  the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11  in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”  The underlined phrase here is the translation of the word [arsenokoítēs, ἀρσενοκοίτης] which we saw above, meant men who lie down with men, that is “practise homosexuality”.

The list of people ignoring or disobeying the law are listed in verses 8-10 and what is common to all of them is that their lives are being lived in a way “contrary to sound doctrine”. That obviously means that homosexual practice as well as all the other sins mentioned, are contrary to God’s revealed character and will as seen in His word.

Summing up. If we take the word of God seriously it would be very dangerous policy indeed to vote “Yes” in favour of bringing same sex relationships under the definition of “marriage” out of some misplaced “compassion” or sense of “fairness”. God did say to every human, and Jesus affirmed it in His teaching, that the priority of loving and obeying God is foremost, Deut 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Voting “NO!” seems to be more in accord with His character, plans and purpose for His ongoing blessing on the human race.

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[NOTE 1]. The dates of publication of the translations are in the brackets.

[NOTE 2] A quote from Professor KJ Foreman’s Commentary on “Romans, Corinthians” in the Layman’s Bible Commentary series, page 65. As he also unforgettably remarked on the same page, “If you could get a church going in Corinth, you could get it going anywhere.” The transforming grace of God had touched the people of Corinth as they heard and responded to the gospel message about Christ.  They were changed! Remarkably so! By God!

Blog No.234. Jim Holbeck. Posted Monday 28th August 2017

 

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233. What relevance do Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 have to changing the definition of marriage in Australia? Should I vote “Yes” or “No” to same sex ‘marriage’?

As I mentioned in the previous article, the ABC on its website published an article by an Australian theologian which examined some of the Bible’s teaching relating to marriage. Part of that article had these words, “Two of the laws of Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) are the sum total of what the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) says about same-sex activities. They call a man lying with another man instead of his wife an “abomination”. The imagined scenario is a married man committing adultery with another male. Again, we need some context. Yes, this verse clearly condemns adulterous homosexual sex in calling it an “abomination” (to’ebah), but here are all the other things also called an “abomination” in the Bible.” The writer then listed many of those abominations. She concluded, “As you can see, there is quite an assortment of ancient laws, some of which seem to make good sense (such as no child sacrifice) and others of which the majority of Christians no longer keep (such as eating pork and wearing a wool-silk blend). To claim one set as timeless truths while ignoring the others is patently hypocritical and goes against the grain of the text itself.”

Well let’s take the advice of that writer and look at the context for these verses, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. The writer of the article unfortunately [and most probably unintentionally] gives the impression that there are only a few occurrences of the word “abomination” (Hebrew to’ebah) which are those mentioned above. However, a quick look at a concordance gives the number as 126 occurrences. Admittedly they are not all translated as “abomination” but have similar meanings. The reference in Lev 18:22 in its context is immediately followed by these verses which include the same Hebrew word for “abomination”. The words are underlined as follows. Lev 18:26 “But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. 27 (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), 28 lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. 29 For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.”

We note the seriousness of what God saw as “abominations” in these verses. God’s people had to follow the laws He had given them. That meant everybody, including those strangers sojourning among them. They were not to live in the same way as the nation in that area lived before them, for their sin polluted both the people and the land [because they had done all of the abominations mentioned in chapter 18.]   The warning is given to the people of God that if they did “any” of those abominations they would be cut off from the people.  Note it says “any” not some or a few but “any!” In other words they were to do none of those abominable things. They were never to practise any of those abominations and never to make themselves unclean by doing any of them. Stern words! God could not be clearer in saying to His people, you must do none of these things that I have called an abomination, not one, ever!  What was included among the abominations? The practice described as an abomination in verse 22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

The author of the article on the ABC website seemed to be suggesting that the abomination occurred when a married man had homosexual intercourse with another man, “We should note first that the imagined scenario is a married man committing adultery with another male.” To some that would seem to be reading into the text what is not there. It does indeed appear to be an “imagined scenario”. The “You” in “You shall not lie with a male” seems to be referring to all males, not just married males. The abomination seems to be in the male to male action itself and not simply when a case of adultery occurred. That is made clearer in the passage from Leviticus 20:13.

The reference in Lev 20:13 to abomination also seems to be in relation to same sex encounters,  “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Again in this reference there is no need to see this as just a married man having sex with another man. It seems to refer to any man. The Hebrew word here for “man” is [‘ı̂ysh] which can be translated as ‘man” or husband.” But it is pushing the boundaries of common sense to say it should be translated as “husband’ in this verse. Why? Because the same word is used in this passage to say that a “man” [‘ı̂ysh] should not lie with or have sex with the following, Lev 20:10 with the wife of his neighbour. 11 with his father’s wife, 12 with his daughter-in-law, 13 with a male as with a woman 14 with a woman and her mother also, 15 with an animal, 17 with his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his mother, 18 with a woman during her menstrual period 19 with his mother’s sister or father’s sister, 20 his uncle’s wife, 21 his brother’s wife.

In this verse, Lev 20:13, the action is described as an abomination committed by both parties and a penalty is also added. Both were to be put to death. Why was such severe punishment to take place? The answer may be found in the context where God declared in the final verses of the chapter that He wanted His people to be holy and set apart for Him. His people were privileged to be His people but they had the following obligations.

  • To live by all His rules and statutes so that when they came to the land God had given them, they would not be vomited out, Lev 20:22 “You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out.”
  • To not walk in the customs of the nations that God would drive out before them. He detested their practices. His own people were not to do them. Lev 20:23 “And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them.”
  • They were to live for Him and be separate from the culture and practices of other nations, Lev 20:24 “But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.”
  • To not mix that which God declared clean and unclean. Lev 20:25.
  • To be His and His alone as His holy [separated] people. Lev 20:26 “You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.”

The laws in Leviticus give us an indication of the character of our God. He describes what He dislikes as being contrary to His holy nature. He expects His people to be holy like Him and that means not participating in practices that He has deemed to be abominable or detestable in His sight. That was particularly so as He led His people towards their promised land, and tried to protect them for being contaminated by adopting the customs of the peoples through whose lands they would journey.

We may not agree with or understand His reasoning in all His statutes and rules and commands, but this is His world and He sets the rules for His creatures and especially for His people to follow. He has told us in His word what He likes and what He dislikes, even calling some of those dislikes, “abominations.” The amazing thing is that He is gracious and wants to fulfil His promises for His people, 2Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” [NOTE 1] 

In the meantime, we are to live for Him as Peter went on to write in 2Peter 3:14 “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” Seeking to become spotless and blameless before Him certainly means doing nothing He dislikes. If God expressed His displeasure with male to male sexual encounters as He appears to do in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, then there seems to be no way of broadening the definition of the God given institution of marriage to include same sex relationships.  That should mean a resounding “NO!” vote in any plebiscite to change the definition of marriage to include same sex relationships.

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[NOTE 1] In a series of articles I wrote on “repentance” (summarised in blog No. 230 ) I made the point that repentance [metánoia, μετάνοια] means a change of mind accompanied by a change in attitude and in behaviour. It means turning from sin to God to ask Him to forgive us and to give us the grace to help us overcome the temptation to sin in that way (or in any other way) again. It is a sobering thought to realise that the so-called delay in the coming of the Lord in judgment is not a sign of weakness. Rather it is a sign of His grace being extended to all of us to give us time to repent of our sins and to turn to Him in true repentance and faith. Sadly that time is coming to an end for those who have not yet heeded His call to repent.

Blog No.233. Jim Holbeck. Posted on Saturday 26th August 2017

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232. Why does our national broadcaster appear to support only the “Yes” side of the same-sex vote? (The story of Sodom.)

An article [by an Australian theologian] published on the ABC website [NOTE 1] recently, made a number of claims about same-sex marriage. Included in the presentation were some statements which a number of like-minded scholars affirm as well. But are they right in doing so?

One statement is this. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 has nothing to say about homosexuality.  The author of the article acknowledges that the story in Genesis 19 is where the terms “sodomite” and “sodomy” originate, and that it has long been associated with biblical condemnation of male homosexual sex. Her conclusion is that it refers to gang-rape and not male homosexual sex. In the story in Genesis 19 Lot offered hospitality to two angelic beings. However they must have seemed in appearance to be like young men. Soon after, the men of Sodom of all ages surrounded the house, and called out to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” What did they mean by saying that they wanted to “know them?” Was it simply that the men of Sodom wanted to say something to them like “Hi fellas! Welcome to Sodom! We just felt as a group that we’d like to get to know you a bit better. Do you want to join us down at the pub for a beer?”

I looked at this some time ago in blog No 85 [Note 2] where I commented, ‘{The word for “know” is (yada). It has many meanings but it can mean knowing a person sexually such as in Gen 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” It is also used in the same way in 1Kings 1:4, where David’s servants try to keep David warm by selecting a young woman to lie in his arms. Abishag was found and brought to the king. Even though she was very beautiful and attended to the king, he “knew” her not. In other words he did not know her sexually. Another reference to (yada) being used to describe sexual relations is in the story of Rebekah where she is described as a virgin in these words, Gen 24:16  The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known.

In the story in Genesis 19:8 Lot knew what the men were after, namely sexual relations with his guests. He offers his virgin daughters (who have not known [yada] any man) to the men so that the men of Sodom might do to them as they pleased. Rather a despicable attitude but he wanted to save face with his guests at the cost of his daughters’ well-being. However the men of Sodom lusted for the men and would not accept the offer of the daughters. Judgment followed upon those men [as Lot’s family were divinely protected.]

 Many modern versions of the Bible spell out the meaning of “know” referring to sexual relations. For example the Holman Christian Standard Bible puts it, Gen 19:5  They called out to Lot and said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!” Lot’s offer of his daughters is translated as, Gen 19:8  Look, I’ve got two daughters who haven’t had sexual relations with a man. I’ll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want to them. The NET Bible also puts it starkly, “Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” The daughters are described in this version as those who have never had sexual relations with a man.

 It is obvious why the term “sodomy” came into use. It described the sexual activity between males as seen in the city of Sodom.’} That is brought out in Jude 1:7 where Jude describes the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of God’s punishment for what He saw as evil in His sight. The reason given for the destruction was not that on one occasion the males of the city had tried to rape two visitors to town [and by God’s intervention, been unsuccessful]. Rather it was because they “indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire”. The word for “Sexual immorality” is [ekporneúō, ἐκπορνεύω] meaning to practise immorality or lewdness. The phrase “pursued unnatural desire” is made up of a number of words. They are [apérchomai,  ἀπέρχομαι meaning to go after or pursue] and [héteros, ἕτερος meaning different or another of a different kind] and [sárx, σάρξ meaning flesh] ie., they were going after or pursuing strange or different flesh. As the Baker’s New Testament Commentary puts it, “Therefore, when the men of Sodom were interested in sexual relations with men, they perverted the created order of natural intercourse. That is, the men of Sodom did not desire females (see Gen 19:8-9); instead, these men demanded homosexual relations with the men who visited Lot.”

 The judgment on Sodom was God’s response to what some would call a widespread sexual proclivity in the city as 19:4 indicates, “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house.” [The words, ‘All the men’. ‘From every part of Sodom’. ‘Both young and old’ show how widespread and deep seated was the lust among the males of the city. They were accountable to God for their lust. He acted to prevent them from putting their desires into action. Nevertheless a greater judgment upon the city was soon to follow.]

It would appear then that the author’s conclusion that Genesis 19 is only about gang-rape and not male homosexual sex is questionable to say the least. However we are fortunate in Australia that the national broadcaster (the ABC) is meant to be balanced in its presentations. So I am looking forward to it publishing or presenting arguments in favour of the historical interpretation of this passage. It hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge but perhaps I just need to wait a little longer!

In the meantime we will investigate in the next article whether the author’s second point is correct when she affirms that the 2 laws of Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) are “the sum total of what the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) says about same-sex activities” and are not necessarily verses that can be used as arguments against same sex marriage.


[NOTE 1]  The ABC stands for the Australian Broadcasting Commission and it operates  under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.  Part of the charter has these words, “It also imposes general duties on all ABC employees to, amongst other things, act honestly, in good faith and for a proper purpose.”  Many assume that this should mean in practice a fair and balanced treatment on all the topics it presents or on which it reports. (Such as a balance for the arguments for the “Yes” and “No” cases for the coming postal vote in Australia. The vote will be about altering the definition of “marriage” in the Marriage Act to include same sex relatioships.)

[NOTE 2] I have written on this and similar themes a number of times over the years and on request linked them together in one blog to enable folk to be able to click on any topic mentioned in the blog that they wanted to investigate. That blog number is 195.

Blog No.232. Jim Holbeck. Posted Friday 25th August 2017

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