— Truth Wins Out on Exodus International’s new “celibacy-only” stance for homosexuals.
I should approach the Bible on the matter in chronological as the Bible addresses homosexuality. Genesis 19 is often used to condemn homosexuals (where the term ‘Sodomites’ comes from). Often people assume Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for homosexuality, but this is false. Ezekiel says, “…This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it. (Ezekiel 16:46-50)” Not a word mentioned about homosexual acts (let alone homosexual orientation)! However, we can assume the lust and intent to rape seen in Genesis 19 was one of the ‘abominable’ things mention in Ezekiel.
Then we have the Levitical texts, Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. Both deal with homosexual acts, yes, but within a context! Leviticus 18 is prefaced with “’You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. (Leviticus 18:3)”. This give a further context to the condemnation of the cult of Molech in 18:21, where child sacrifice is forbidden on both an ethical and religious level, and pagan practices in general. But it is also interesting that the Cult of Molech involved cult prostitution and temple rape, which is then condemned in Lev. 18:22 and 20:13. The acts committed within a non-consenting and pagan context were what were (and still are) condemned.
Next we see, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 used to condemn homosexuals. But we that there was no word for “homosexual/ity” in any language until 1868 when it was coined by German Psychiatrist Helmut Thielike in a critical response to a Prussian sodomy law. The word mistranslated as ‘homosexual/homosexual offender’ in certain Biblical translations, is ‘arsenokoitai’. A word meaning ‘man-bed’ (literally). It has been translated throughout history as ‘pervert’ (*the most accurate), ‘child molester’, and ‘masturbator’(during Martin Luther’s era; but that is also a mistranslation). ‘Pervert’ or ‘perversion’ is the best translation as the last time it was used in the Classical era (and specifically by a Classical church leader) in the 2nd Century AD to condemn men who were having anal sex with their wives. Not homosexual acts or homosexuality itself!
In fact it wasn’t until 360 years after Christ that homosexuality was condemned (specifically against “born/natural eunuchs” in the official document that did so. Also seen in Matt. 19:12, where Christ briefly but does in fact, affirm the nature of male-homosexuals). This was done by St. Ambrose who blamed “natural/eunuchs” for civil unrest in Cisalpine Gaul and Milan. He suggested they be burned alive for their “sin” and, with Emperor Theodosius I under penance to him, had it so. Then the decree was posted to the Roman Hall of Minerva. So began an era of homophobia in the Church for the next 1800 years.
This is the story and exegesis of Homosexuality and Christianity.