Christians Should Accept and Love Homosexual People
Debate Rounds (3)
Of the few instances in the Bible where homosexuality is mentioned (the majority of which are in the old testament), many of them are in extenuating circumstances, or could have an ambiguous translation.
Firstly, in Genesis (19:5), it describes the homosexual rape of messengers of God in Sodom and Gomorrah. What the punishment for this act (the burning of the two cities) may be because of, is the rape and not the homosexuality. This is reinforced later in the Bible, most prominently in Ezekiel 16: 49 and Zephaniah 2: 8-11, where it describes how the cities were destroyed for their arrogance and greed.
Secondly, in Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13), it states how lying with a man as one would with a woman is an abomination. However, it is a theme in Judeo-Christian beliefs that semen is unclean, it should only be used for procreation. So, if semen goes anywhere else, it is dirty and a sin (see Genesis 38:8-10, for what happened to Onan). As a further point about Leviticus, if you're going to choose one law over any other, you are going against God and are sinning, and should stop eating bacon and shrimp, wearing mixed fabrics and should start sewing your own clothes and become a vegetarian.
On the back of this point, as this concludes my look into the old testament, I would like to take a look at Hebrews 8:13. It says that the old covenant (the one made with the Israelites in the first 5 books of the Bible) is outdated and obsolete, and what is outdated and obsolete shall soon disappear. This says that all the old laws were too numerous and difficult to follow that God renounced them, and instead made the second covenant, consisting of 2 laws: love God and Love each other. Pretty self explanatory, right?
Now, to the new testament.
Another verse used to say that homosexuality is wrong is Romans 1:26-27. Firstly here, Paul uses the word "natural". To clarify, there are 2 possible meanings of the word: one, that whatever is occurring is in line with the scientific world, and two, that it is common, or normal. How can we know which Paul was using? Later in Romans, Paul describes God as "acting contrary to nature", what he means is not that God went against the natural order, but rather that God acted unexpectedly. Therefore, along with the fact that nobody can prove if Paul knows what is scientifically correct, it can be assumed that Paul was calling these relationships "uncommon". Secondly, Paul, in most translations, uses "relations" and "lusts" (and so "desires" and "affections" and "passions" and "sex") to denote that whatever is happening is not a loving and wholesome relationship between members of the same sex, but rather selfish and sexually gratifying lusts. In the same way people of God are against people who are gluttonous and selfishly sexual (the people who were the subject of God's disdain), and are, therefore, not people looking for loving relationships with one of the same sex as them.
In conclusion, a Christian should love and accept their neighbour for who they are born to be. If we are all made in the image of God and God makes no mistakes, are homosexual people not meant to be homosexual? Love thy neighbour, and do not make judgement on them for who they are.
1. Pro has tried to deny the example of Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of homosexuality being punished. I will agree to the Pro's point that homosexuality was not their only sin that God punished in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, however, God was clearly still punishing them for their homosexuality.
2. Pro has made the claim that Leviticus 18:22 makes homosexuality a sin because semen is unclean, and not because homosexuality in itself is an abomination. I have two responses to this argument.
a) First, I will copy and paste the actual text of Genesis 38:8-10, which pro has cited: "8 Then Judah said to Onan, 'Sleep with your brother"s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.' 9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother"s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the Lord"s sight; so the Lord put him to death also. " If you read this passage, it is obvious that Onan was not put to death for spilling semen, but because he did not fulfill his duty to his brother's wife. It was his legal duty to take her as his wife, to continue their family name, and he specifically prevented this from happening. This impacts the round because Leviticus did not prohibit homosexuality only because semen is an unclean substance, but because homosexuality in itself is indeed a sin.
b) My second response to this argument is that even if God had made this law just because He wanted to prevent an unclean substance from spilling, it would still be an abomination. Many laws that God made are not just laws of principle, but laws of practical application as well. For instance, the similar sexual law in Leviticus 18:19 that a man should not lie with a woman who is "bleeding." This is a perfectly practical law with a lot of wisdom in regard to health, and it would still be a sin to break.
3. Pro brought up the argument that if this law must be upheld, we must defend the entirety of Old Testament laws, citing Hebrews 8:13, that the old covenant is obsolete and aging. I have two responses to this argument.
a) Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Here I am citing Matthew 5. While I do not have the word count to paste it here, I will request that everyone read it. Matthew 5 makes a great point as to what Jesus wanted to do with the law - He wanted us to go BEYOND the law, not to shirk it. In response to the law, "anyone who murders will be subject to judgement," Jesus said, "anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement." In response to "do not commit adultery," Jesus said, "do not look at a woman lustfully." The list goes on. Jesus did create a new covenant, but the new covenant is not one of legalism, but of a legitimate change of heart.
b) God has set us free from SPECIFICS in the old covenant. We know that animal sacrifices are no longer required because the Bible refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Ultimate Sacrifice. We know unclean meats are made clean because of Peter's dream in Acts 10. Also, many laws were Jewish GOVERNMENT laws, like laws about who could and could not be allowed in the city. These laws obviously do not apply to us today, as they were given to the Jewish government to enforce. When Gentiles were allowed to follow Christ, we were given four things to avoid (Acts 15:20), out of all the Jewish law. These four things were, food polluted by idols, sexual immorality, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. Notice it did not say "adultery," but "sexual immorality." This includes anything sexual that God also deems immoral - including homosexuality. The impact of this is that sexual immorality (which includes homosexuality) was one of the four laws the early church gave to Gentiles, out of all of Jewish law. They considered it incredibly important.
4. I have one response to Pro's pre-rebuttal of Romans 1:26-27, and that is, if the passage had been condemning the unhealthiness of the homosexual relationship, and not the homosexuality in itself, it would have said so. I'll paste the passage for clarity: "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error." The passage makes itself very clear, that God punished them for their sin, and the only sin the passage explicitly describes is homosexuality. If you read the passage with an objective perspective, it is undeniable that God is condemning homosexuality. The Bible was not meant to be conformed to what we want it to say, it was meant to say what it explicitly says. Anyone who reads this passage for the soul purpose of learning God's desire, and not with their own agenda to prove, will clearly see what God is communicating here. It is not a mystery.
5. Finally, in his conclusion, the pro said, "If we are all made in the image of God and God makes no mistakes, are homosexual people not meant to be homosexual?" But this is flawed logic. The same argument could literally be made for a murderer, or any other sinner. "If we are all made in the image of God and God makes no mistakes, are sinners not meant to be sinners?" No, they're not, but they've been given free will, and they chose to abuse it.
And now for my own case. I believe the Bible takes a very clear stance on homosexuality, and I will cite two different passages that support this claim.
1. 1 Corinthians 9-10: "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." Now some of you may have gotten suspicious to see a footnote after "men who have sex with men," so I'll post what that footnote says, just to prevent any confusion. "The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts." I don't think there's really any wiggle room here.
2. 1 Timothy 1:9-11a: "We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers"and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God." To paraphrase, homosexuality is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God. It doesn't get much more clear than that.
In conclusion, both sides have brought up Biblical examples where God condemns homosexuality. The pro has done so in an effort to deny their impact, and the negative has done so in an effort to bring them to your attention. Neither side has brought up Biblical examples of homosexual relationships that God has endorsed, or even ones that He neglected to condemn. Why? Because they aren't there. The only times the Bible mentions the topic, it is in condemnation. To an objective reader with no agenda behind their reading, the Bible makes itself very clear. No objective reader of the Bible can honestly deny that God condemns homosexuality.
A central part to con's argument is that it is an abuse of free will, and homosexuality is a choice. However, due to the heteronormative society we live in, it is considered normal to be straight. This means however, that when someone comes out as gay, it is heralded like a choice, as if they have made a conscious decision to be different from what society expects. However, because of the condemnation of gay people by communities such as the Westboro Baptist church and other conservative christian groups, maybe the reluctance to come out until later in life is a choice, but not actually choosing to be gay. If a man was gay, but grew up in a conservative christian environment, being told his whole life that who he was as a person would of course mean that he would not tell anyone, out of fear. So when this young man finally confronts his feelings and tells someone, it would be seen as a choice, because the rest of the community had no experience of this young gay man before he told them at a later date in his life.
While this may be an extreme case, this is how it plays out in many a household. Because being gay is seen as different, people have to tell people who they are, or else they are assumed to be straight.
If it were truly a choice, then would it not be a choice for the converse? Would a man not choose to be straight? Or is it just how you are? Because of our society, most, if not all gay people have come out at some point, and accepted who they are, if only to themselves. It is a gradual realisation of who you are as a person, just like finding out that people of the opposite gender are attractive.
I firmly believe that being gay is not a choice, and it is just who you are. In all cases, a sin is a choice, so if homosexuality is not a choice, can it be truly called a sin?
Now, to counter con's points.
All the examples of anti homosexuality that con used in their argument were all from Paul's letters, and not straight from God. This means that all of the letters are from the perspective of a man, who was not half as educated as we are today about anything. This means that, to be truly objective, context must also be taken into consideration. Paul was an opinionated person, he instructed the churches in his letters based on what he personally believed, not straight from God. This means that everything he says must be taken subjectively. Then there is also the fact that the Bible is a collection of books that a group of people decided were the ones that should be included and made holy. This means that there could be any number of books and new testament gospels that were deemed not good enough for whatever reason. Why Paul's letters were chosen, I don't know, but he was a human, like us, and therefore has opinions and social stances based on his knowledge. All that Paul says in the letters to the various churches are his own views on what should be done, and so they are all his opinions and have to be read subjectively, for his views are also subjective. The point "The bible was not meant to be conformed to what we want it to say" is, quite literally, what Paul was doing in writing his letters to the churches. Therefore, the word of Paul cannot be entirely trustworthy when it comes to points of contention.
In the old testament, back to con's rebuttal of my first point, it is not clear whether God was punishing the people for homosexuality or not. The acts described were all lustful, and the most serious of which was when the men came and raped the messengers of the lord. I believe that it was not the homosexuality that was punished here, but the sexual immorality of the rape.
Finally, in con's conclusion, they say that there are no examples of homosexual relationships in the bible.
I shall answer this in 2 parts:
1) Ruth and Naomi
They are described as having a "close relationship", but in Ruth 1:16-18, Ruth says "Don"t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." This passage, most famously used as marriage vows, shows that there is something a bit deeper than a good friendship doing on here, further shown in Ruth 1:14, where it says "but Ruth clave unto her". This word, clave, is translated from the Hebrew word that is also used to describe Heterosexual relationships in Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." This definitely shows definitively that Ruth and Naomi were in some sort of relationship, or at least had deep feelings for each other.
2) David and Jonathan
They too are described as being close friends, but certain descriptors all throughout 1 Samuel show that there was a lot more to it than friendship. Firstly, in 1 Samuel 18:1, it says how "the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." Since it uses soul here as opposed to spirit, it echoes Genesis 2:7, when, in the original Hebrew, says that God blew the spirit into the body of Adam, so that Adam became the living soul. This means that the soul is some combination of body and spirit, and so this passage in 1 Samuel shows that they had a physical as well as an emotional link. Then, in 1 Samuel 18:2, it describes how "From that day, Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house." This once again echoes Genesis 2:24 (shown above). Then in 1 Samuel 18:3-4, it describes how "Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt". This was unusual for simply a friendship, because in those days men did not wear loincloths, Jonathan has stripped naked in front of David. This would have been incredibly strange were they not in a relationship.
"Now Saul's daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 'I will give her to him', he thought, 'so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him'. Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law" In the King James Version, the end of Verse 21 reads: "Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law, in the one of the twain." Saul's belief was that David would be distracted by a wife that he would not be an effective fighter and would be killed by the Philistines. He offered first his daughter Merab, but that was rejected. Then he offered Michal. There is an interesting phrase used at the end of verse 21. In both the NIV and KJV, it would seem that David's first opportunity to be a son-in-law was with the older daughter Merab, and his second was with the younger daughter Michal. The KJV preserves the original text in its clearest form; it implies that David would become Saul's son-in-law through "one of the twain." "Twain" means "two", so the verse seems to refer to one of Saul's two daughters. This is a mistranslation. The underlined phrase "the one of" does not exist in the Hebrew original. The words are shown in italics in the King James Version; this is an admission by the translators that they made the words up. Thus, if the KJV translators had been honest, they would have written: "Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law, in the twain." Since Merab had rejected David initially, it would then mean that the two Saul referred to were Michal and Jonathan, his son. This mean that there was obviously a relationship between David and Jonathan, one which was open and normal.
In conclusion, There were 2 most notable homosexual relationships in the Bible, Homosexuality is not a choice and Paul is open to interpretation.
1. Now that we have established that, I will respond to Pro's first point that being gay is not a choice.
a) Because the Bible says that being gay is a sin, it must be a choice. Pro had it right when he said, "In all cases, a sin is a choice," but then he drew the wrong conclusion that homosexuality is not a choice, therefore not a sin. The correct conclusion is that because the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, it must be a choice.
b) Homosexual temptations are not a choice, but homosexuality is. Homosexual temptations are just that, temptations. Some people are tempted by them, and others aren't, just like with every other temptation. The temptations themselves are, at least largely, something that happens to us, as opposed to something that we choose, but we do choose whether we will act on them. Our gay friend who grew up in a conservative Christian environment and "suppressed" his sexuality can be compared to someone who is justifiably angry at someone, but so much so that he wants to murder him. He has a desire to murder, but it would still be wrong for him to do it - society requires that he "suppress" that part of himself. Is the temptation his fault? No. Is sin permissible just because we have the desires inside us? No. God expects us to exercise self control.
c) Pro said, "If it were truly a choice, then would it not be a choice for the converse? Would a man not choose to be straight?" My response is yes. We choose whether we will be homosexual or heterosexual when we express interest in a specific sex. Most people default to heterosexual because they find no conflict - heterosexuality works for them. However, they can choose to be homosexual if they find that their own sex arouses them, and not the opposite sex. Again, the temptations are not a choice, but the switch is.
Now in defense of my own points:
1. Pro has said that my examples of God condemning homosexuality do not stand because it was actually Paul condemning it, and not God. My response to this is that all scripture, not just Paul's letters, is written by God, through humans, and 100% infallible. To make the claim that God's condemnation of homosexuality is illegitimate because it was written by Paul and not God is to call all scripture illegitimate. All scripture was written by humans, not just Paul's letters, but it is all the direct Word of God. God would not have allowed Paul's letters to be put into His Holy Word if it had even one mistake in it.
Finally, I will respond to the rest of my opponent's points:
1. Pro brought up Ruth and Naomi as a Biblical example of a "homosexual" relationship.
a) This argument assume that because Ruth and Naomi had an intimate and committed relationship, it must have necessarily been sexual. I have intimate committed relationships with all of my closest female friends (I am a girl), but they are not sexual. In fact, most of them have seen me exposed at one point or another (I was on swim team for a long time and we changed in one locker room), but we are all 100% heterosexual.
b) If they had been homosexual, the Bible would have said so. The Bible would not have described their relationships in such depth and yet failed to bring up the small side note that they were romantically involved.
c) "Don"t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." Here, Ruth is describing her commitment to Naomi, and commitment is just as important for platonic relationships as it is for romantic ones.
d) The Hebrew word used for "clave" in Ruth is דָּ֥בְקָה, and does not refer exclusively to romance. It is the past tense of "cling," and can also mean "stick" or "stuck," and the Bible uses it to refer to people, clothing, and even souls. Its use in this verse does not in any way imply romance or sexuality. In Genesis 2:24, the Hebrew word for "clave" is וְדָבַ֣ק. Similar, but not the same.
2. Pro also brought up the example of David and Jonathan as a Biblical "homosexual" relationship, saying that the phrase "in the twain" means that David would be married to both Jonathan and Michal. The Hebrew word used here for "in the twain" is בִּשְׁתַּ֛יִם, pronounced "bi""ta"yim," and every translation except KJV, even ASV, translates it in some form of "a second time," or "a second chance," in reference to Merab. KJV translators added the phrase "one of" because there is no mentioning of David being homosexual anywhere else in the Bible, David has been heterosexual in every past Bible example (think Bathsheba, or any of his other concubines), and if he were the only example of a homosexual relationship in the Bible that God did not punish, they expected that the text would explicitly state it.
I want to point out that Pro has not yet responded to my attacks on any of his original points except for Sodom and Gomorrah. This point doesn't really show us anything for either side of the debate, because there were multiple sins that they were punished for. I cannot prove that they were being punished for their homosexuality as well, and Pro cannot prove that they weren't. However, I was able to turn his other points to my side of the debate, and he has not yet responded. In conclusion, because Christians must uphold the infallibility of the Bible, because the Bible is clear on the status of homosexuality, and because we have free will and can control our own decisions, a Christian has no choice but to conclude that homosexuality is a sin.
OneCoolKid forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by kingkd 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Hate to say it but COn wins. Pro FF and COn rebutted everything . GOod job
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