God does not Consider Homosexuality a Sin
Debate Rounds (5)
--God: The Christian God referred to in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
--Homosexuality: Relating to sexual intercourse between same-sex people
--Sin: "transgression of the law of God" 
The resolution of this debate is for con to prove that God deems anyone who practices homosexuality sinful.
Round 1: Acceptance only
Round 2: Arguments/rebuttals
Round 3: Arguments/rebuttals
Round 4: Arguments/rebuttals
Round 5: Conclusion/rebuttals
72 hours; 10k characters
Disclaimer: This debate is not intended to proclaim validity of God's existence. I ask that all viewing the debate respect one another's beliefs and/or practices.
SETUP - PART ONE:
Definition of Love: "an intense emotion of affection, warmth, fondness, and regard towards a person or thing" 
Romans 13:10" "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (NASB)
I claim that all sins go against God's fundamental principle of love. I cannot prove this, but I will support it through quotes like these, and I will counter any examples that my opponent says do not against love. I also claim that all love is essentially the same; that is: love for one's friends, parents, children, and spouse all fall on the same spectrum. As we progress toward romantic love (not of lust, but companionship), love acquires new attributes, like a greater sense of responsibility, commitment, and finally sexual attraction.
If God considered homosexuality a sin, it would contradict His message of love. The bible teaches that God is essentially love. For instance, let's look at 1 John 4:7... "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." (NIV) Love between people is what God wants. I pose this question to my opponent and voters: Why would God restrict same-sex romantic love? All kinds of love fall on the same spectrum. Since God encourages sons to love their fathers and daughters to love their mothers (filial love) - why would same-sex romantic love be forbidden? Two people who are in love should please God, not disgust him.
I will emphasize that God is just. If He is just, and restricts homosexuality, then He must have a justified reason to do so (I will of course argue He doesn't). Psalm 25:8 - "The LORD is good and does what is right..." (NIV) I will leave it up to con, who has BoP, to come up with a justified reason for God to condemn homosexuality.
Since God considers intercourse before marriage a sin, we can look to what kind of marriages God accepts in figuring out whether homosexuality is acceptable to God. For this, we'll discuss Hebrews 13:4... "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (KJB) Needless to say, whoremongers and adulterers have nothing to do with homosexuals. Another translation of this verse says, "Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery." (NLT) Then there's another translation of the same verse: "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (NASB)
The message? We need to honor marriage. And by that, God indicates that spouses need to be faithful to one another. This is what is important to God concerning marriage: not hurting one's significant other, not going against His message of love. To put it simply, cheating is immoral in God's eyes, so an unfaithful marriage is the kind of marriage he restricts. Hebrews 13:4 mentions nothing of same-sex marriage/homosexuality, and even says "all" as though referring to many groups of people. Perhaps implying that all kinds of people can marry? This isn't my main argument, but it's something to consider.
SETUP - PART TWO:
Because I anticipate that my opponent will refer to Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and Romans 1:26-28, I will set up why I believe these verses are false. Or rather why the deciphered meaning/interpretation of their original Hebrew and Greek words are false.
Why do I question how original texts have been deciphered and translated? First, let's address the conception that professional translators can decipher meaning with nearly complete accuracy. They can't always. Translating languages is not concrete. For instances, "Don't touch me!" can be interpreted to imply at least four different situations (e.g. "That tickles, haha!," "That's annoying!" "I hate you!," and "That's illegal!"). In deciphering and translating, we often have to make inferences based on context. What are inferences? Guesses. It's uncertainty. If it's uncertain, it's unreliable.
"But we have the entire bible. No context is lost." Not true. Ever consider time period as a part of context? The New Testament alone was written about nearly 2000 years ago.  Time is a filter through which we can lose context and meaning.
I ask my viewers to guess what the term "lady-killer" means... Did you guess already? Okay... So based on the two words that make it up, it may mean (1) a person who kills ladies or (2) a lady who kills. It probably means one of those things, right? Nope, "...lady-killer was a term used in the 1970s to refer to men whom women supposedly found irresistible." 
So even interpreting the meaning of works originally written in English may prove difficult! If you're still sure professionals can decipher meaning with complete accuracy from texts written in *ancient* Hebrew and Greek, consider that historians and English scholars aren't always sure about what writers like William Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe have meant in their works, and those authors lived only a few hundred years ago compared to biblical writers.
In the next round, I will discuss what I believe verses that supposedly refer to homosexuality more likely mean.
1) The love between God and man - we are to love God first because he created us and saved us. From the beginning, notice how God gave Adam the command to not eat of the forbidden tree. This demonstrates that our love for God is different than for our spouse. Marriages, friendships, and relationships can end, but a relationship with God is eternal. The very first and important commandment in the Torah was "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength." Responsibility to God comes first. This, the love of God is different than the love we have to each other.
2) Love between a man and woman - Gen. 2:24 "therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and
Shall become one (Echad) flesh (basar). In Hebrew, Echad is a compound unity. This is the unique relationship between a man and a woman in the flesh which will only last while we are here on earth. We are then called to live by the principles God has set in a marriage. Gen. 4 :1 says Adam "knew " (yada) his wife. In Hebrew thought, knowing someone meant much more than sex, it meant giving themselves completely to the essence of who they are.
3) Family and Friends - finally, we are to honor our parents and share a bond of wisdom with our friends.
I argue that while we are to show God's love because he loved us, he established specific boundaries within each human relation such as marriage and family structure. To break them is to rebel against what God has instituted and therefore it is a sin. If homosexuality is against nature then it is only just and loving for him to correct us.
I also anticipate that my opponent will go back to the original Hebrew and Greek as will I, so I will respond accordingly in defense of my position, using sources other than language to back up my claims.
I'm looking forward to next round
I. Leviticus 18:22 is incorrectly translated and/or interpreted.
It states: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." (NASB)
1. My first point concerns who this law applies to (my opponent's resolution is to prove that no one should practice homosexuality according to God). I argue that the verse in question only applies to Israelites. At the beginning of Leviticus 18, God even tells Moses to specifically address the Israelites.  Leviticus 18 later states, "You must not commit any of these detestable sins. This applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you," (NLT). Apparently, Israelites are considered God's chosen people, to be kept the most pure. "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession," (NIV). Evidently, Levitical laws are set up to distinguish God's chosen people apart from others.
Furthermore, Christians are not fully bound by the Mosaic Law (first five books of the Old Testament, including Leviticus). Let me delve into that with Galatians 3:23-25... "But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." (NASB) We are no longer bound by the law because of faith in Jesus.
"God's Law continues to serve as that schoolmaster to those Jews who still adhere to it as the standard for their conduct. And in its general, moral sense as found in the heart of the Law, the Ten Commandments, it continues to serve as a moral compass and God's prescription for holy conduct."  What's meant by "moral compass"? Let's see:
"These laws are still valid - but, as we know, they are applied in a spiritual way. The application of the law has been transformed by the coming of Jesus Christ. If our hearts are circumcised, it does not matter whether we have been circumcised in the flesh. If we are offering spiritual sacrifices, we do not need to offer animals...
If we examine our hearts for corruption and are being cleansed by Jesus Christ, then we do not have destroy houses that have mildew. If our thoughts are pure, we don't have to worry about our fabrics... The laws are valid, but the way in which we obey them has been transformed by the coming of Jesus Christ." 
2. The word "abomination" in Leviticus 18:22 comes from the Hebrew word "toevah". It's translated as "abomination" and "detestable" in many cases, "Yet a close reading of the term toevah suggests an entirely different meaning: something permitted to one group, and forbidden to another. Though there is (probably) no etymological relationship, toevah means taboo." The word toevah "...(and its plural, toevot) occurs 103 times in the Hebrew Bible, and almost always has the connotation of a non-Israelite cultic practice."  This would make a lot of sense, seeing how Levitical laws apply specifically to Israelites, as I've argued.
Another source says that, "If the writer(s) of Leviticus had wished to refer to a moral violation, a sin, he would have used the Hebrew word "zimah.""  So why wasn't the word "zimah" used? I urge the audience of this debate to reflect on this.
3. The original Hebrew in Leviticus 18:22 does something that doesn't make sense in English. Let's look at a literal translation: "And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman. It is an abomination (detestable)."  Obviously that's not coherent. Let's break it down: "lyings of a woman" indicates a possessive. The woman owns something. Therefore the translation, "as one does" has no place. A noun belongs here, not a verb.
"The Hebrew literally says: "You shall not lie with a male [on] the bedding (or bed) of a woman (or wife), it is a despised thing (or despicable act)." The Bible doesn't always tell us why something is "despised," and hence we have to use reason. It is likely that the two men were having sex on the bed of the woman to despise her and rub it in her face that she wasn't woman enough. Reuben slept with his father's wife on his dad's bed to despise his father Jacob. Also, according to the book "How the People Lived in the Bible [HPLB], on pg. 117, it states: "The women's portion of the tent was separated by a curtain from the men's half, and it was strictly off limits. A male stranger who entered a woman's quarters could be punished with death. Sisera hid in Jael's tent, but paid for it with his life (Judg. 4:18-21)."  The source goes on to explain that an equivalent for the word "on" is omitted in the original Hebrew because it isn't necessary for comprehension. But in English, it is.
4. Why do English translations of Leviticus 18:22 only supposedly refer to homosexual men? If homosexuality is the issue, it shouldn't be so gender inclusive. I think it's reasonable to say that if the verse is really talking about homosexuality, women should also not lie with women. That's not what it says though.
II. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is incorrectly translated and/or interpreted.
Right now, I'm at 9,500+ characters with my rebuttals. Seeing as I have a lot to say, I will delay my arguments & support for my main points II and III until round 4. At this point, I ask that my opponent mention any other scripture that supposedly explicitly condemns homosexuality.
III. Romans 1:26-28 is incorrectly translated and/or interpreted.
1. "...God placed different expressions of love, so not all love is the same."
To clarify, I'm not saying all love is the same in the way I would not say all temperatures are the same. "Cold" is distinctly different from "hot", but all temperatures are still a measure of heat. In cold, there is heat (the movement of particles). In warmth, there is more heat. In other words, all temperatures fall on the same spectrum.
""...you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.""
I don't see how this refutes that all love falls on the same spectrum. Given the verse con quoted, love for God is like an extreme measure of love. I will liken it to an extremely hot temperature. Certainly, as we progress toward the love of God, we may lose some features of love. As love intensifies, we lose sexual attraction because love for God does differ from love for one's spouse. As heat intensifies, we lose features too. For example, ever see snow in the middle of June? Probably not. I argue that all love (according to my definition and not including lust) is a varying intensity of the same thing.
2. Genesis 2:24
I feel this verse is out of context, so I will quote the bigger picture:
Genesis 2:23-24... "The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.""
Furthermore, I want the audience reading this debate to know that at least seven bibles translate the beginning of Genesis 2:24 as "For this reason..." or "This is why..."  The bible is not commanding that men marry wives, but rather explaining why they do. It merely supports that God intended for the majority of people to be heterosexual. Considering only about 3.5% of the US population is gay,  this is a reasonable and likely interpretation. However, nothing about Genesis 2:24 supports God condemning homosexuality.
Interestingly, if we interpret the verse further, we may even find that it approves of homosexual relationships. The bible indicates that because woman is a part of man, she and man "shall become one flesh." Well, all men are already made up of the same flesh. Can't two men also marry and become one "for this reason"?
3. "...he established specific boundaries within each human relation such as marriage and family structure..."
Con does not support further this claim.
"If homosexuality is against nature then it is only just and loving for him to correct us."
Homosexuality is not against nature. Genetics and pre-natal hormones have been found to influence sexuality,   suggesting that homosexuality was part of God's design. Why might it be a part of God's design? It's very simple. To control the population rate. The human species, as a whole, faces far fewer natural selection pressures than the rest of the animal kingdom; typically speaking, we don't need to hunt for food, and we have reliable shelter, health care, police protection, etc. So many people make it to sexual maturity nowadays that our population has spiked. The more it increases, the more limited our resources become. Therefore, homosexuality could be a wise design on God's part.
"Professor Steve Jones, a geneticist at University College London, said: "In Shakespeare's time, only about one English baby in three made it to be 21... All those deaths were raw material for natural selection, many of those kids died because of the genes they carried. But now, about 99% of all the babies born make it to that age."" 
2. Lev. 18:22 Hebrew (1).
v'et zakar lo t'shakab mishkebai ishah tovebah hi
The hebrew word "zakar" is referring to a male. Hebrew "shakab" is noted for being used to refer to sexual intercourse. I will list the following verses to prove that:
"11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 Speak to the people of Israel, If any man's wife goes astray and breaks faith with him, 13 if a man lies with her sexually (shakab), and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she is undetected though she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her, since she was not taken in the act,"
"18 If a man lies (shakab)with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe themselves in water and be unclean until the evening."
"The Hebrew literally says: "You shall not lie with a male [on] the bedding (or bed) of a woman (or wife), it is a despised thing (or despicable act)." The Bible doesn't always tell us why something is "despised," and hence we have to use reason. It is likely that the two men were having sex on the bed of the woman to despise her and rub it in her face that she wasn't woman enough. Reuben slept with his father's wife on his dad's bed to despise his father Jacob."
Hebrew "Mishkab" is mostly used for bedding, but is used to refer to having sex with whoever is on the bed (2).
"17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept (Mishkab) with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."
The place is not of importance, but the act of sexual activity. Moreover, Mishkab is used for women who had sex with men in general.
As we can see, no specific bedding or place is mentioned, Mishkab is typically used to describe the act of sexual intercourse.
Ishah is used for the woman and or wife.
"The word "abomination" in Leviticus 18:22 comes from the Hebrew word "toevah". It's translated as "abomination" and "detestable" in many cases, "Yet a close reading of the term toevah suggests an entirely different meaning: something permitted to one group, and forbidden to another. Though there is (probably) no etymological relationship, toevah means taboo." The word toevah "...(and its plural, toevot) occurs 103 times in the Hebrew Bible, and almost always has the connotation of a non-Israelite cultic practice."  This would make a lot of sense, seeing how Levitical laws apply specifically to Israelites, as I've argued.
Another source says that, "If the writer(s) of Leviticus had wished to refer to a moral violation, a sin, he would have used the Hebrew word "zimah.""  So why wasn't the word "zimah" used? I urge the audience of this debate to reflect on this."
"11 "This is what you are to do," they said. "Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin." 12 They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept (Mishkab) with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan."
Whether it is ethical or moral, God abhors it and punishment will given period. The Hebrew Toevah comes from the root "Ta'ab" which means to abhor (3). I will list several verses where the same word is used to describe what is abominable to the Lord:
Lev. 18:26-27 "26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations (toevah), either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you"27 (for all these abominations (Toevah) the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled),
Lev. 18:29 "29 For whoever commits any of these abominations (toevah), the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people."
"13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination (toevah). They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
"25 You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination (toevah) to the Lord your God."
"9 The way of the wicked is an abomination (toevah) to the Lord,
But He loves him who follows righteousness."
As we can see, the end result is the same, all of the things ethical and moral are detestable and the end result is the same: Death.
For now, i will wait until my opponent dives into the New Testament.
While i mostly agree with some of Thoughts rebuttals, i disagree with the following:
"I don't see how this refutes that all love falls on the same spectrum. Given the verse con quoted, love for God is like an extreme measure of love. I will liken it to an extremely hot temperature. Certainly, as we progress toward the love of God, we may lose some features of love. As love intensifies, we lose sexual attraction because love for God does differ from love for one's spouse. As heat intensifies, we lose features too. For example, ever see snow in the middle of June? Probably not. I argue that all love (according to my definition and not including lust) is a varying intensity of the same thing."
All love does not fall in the same spectrum. You are to love God above all else (Matthew 22:36-40). We are to obey God first and foremost then others.
"Genesis 2:23-24... "The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
"Furthermore, I want the audience reading this debate to know that at least seven bibles translate the beginning of Genesis 2:24 as "For this reason..." or "This is why..."  The bible is not commanding that men marry wives, but rather explaining why they do"
The Hebrew translate it as "al ken" or "upon thus" (4). Your right, God is not commanding that people marry, but notice that it doesn't say "thus shall a mean leave his father and mother and be joined to his man and they shall be one flesh." Lets examine the uses of the Hebrew "Ish" and "Ishah."
Gen. 3:6 "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband (ish) with her; and he did eat."
"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man (ish) from the LORD."
"And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman (ishah) and brought her unto the man. "
"And they were both naked, the man and his wife 9ishah) and were not ashamed."
"Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife (ishah), and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. "
It is very clear that there is a distinction between ish and ishah. A man and a woman.
"Well, all men are already made up of the same flesh. Can't two men also marry and become one "for this reason"?"
No, notice that in Gen. 1:27, the Hebrew word for man is "Adam" which is a collective noun for "humanity" (5). It was not until that Adam was separated from his other half (Eve) that they were referred to as ish and ishah.
"Homosexuality is not against nature. Genetics and pre-natal hormones have been found to influence sexuality,   suggesting that homosexuality was part of God's design. Why might it be a part of God's design? It's very simple. To control the population rate. The human species, as a whole, faces far fewer natural selection pressures than the rest of the animal kingdom; typically speaking, we don't need to hunt for food, and we have reliable shelter, health care, police protection, etc. So many people make it to sexual maturity nowadays that our population has spiked. The more it increases, the more limited our resources become. Therefore, homosexuality could be a wise design on God's part"
The concept of nature vs. nurture takes into account many things such as murder, incest, rape, necrophilia, etc. to genetic factors and the environment. Should we also justify those acts as well? Certainly not. Theologically, these are moral evils and because Jesus is able to free us from the power of sin controlling our lustful desires (Romans 6:19,22). Even if our natural instincts drive us into sin, the power of Jesus Christ is the ultimate authority to break the curse of sin.
It should be known that the KJB, ASV, DBT, ERV, WBT bibles use "abusers of themselves with mankind [or men]" instead of "homosexuals." The YLT bible uses "sodomites," which I argue doesn't mean "homosexuals." To support this, let's review the original Greek word, "arsenokoites."
""...abusers of themselves with mankind." A similar phrase appears in a list of sins in I Timothy 1:10. Both phrases are derived from a single Greek word, arsenokoitai, which is quite rare. In fact, these two biblical references may be the first examples we have of this word being used in the literature of the time... Because the word is so rare, its exact meaning is probably lost forever...
One translation technique is to look at the root words alone. Arsenokoitai is a combination of two existing words, one meaning "bed" and referring to sex, and another meaning "male."... Thus, some scholars surmise the term has something to do with male sexual expression - perhaps exclusive male sexual expression, since no woman is mentioned...
A better way to understand what Paul may have meant by arsenokoitai is to look for other instances of the word in the subsequent writings of his time... First, two early church writers who dealt with the subject of homosexual behavior extensively... never used the word in their discussions of same-sex behavior. The word shows up in their writing, but only in places where they appear to be quoting the list of sins found in 1 Corinthians 6, not in places where they discuss homosexuality...
A similar pattern is found in other writings of the time. There are hundreds of Greek writings from this period that refer to homosexual activity using terms other than arsenokoitai... If Paul had intended to refer generally to homosexual sex, or to one of the partners in gay-male sex, he had other commonly-used, well-known words at his disposal... Apparently Paul was trying to refer to some more obscure type of behavior.
This conclusion is reinforced by a survey of the actual uses of arsenokoitai in Greek literature. Scholars have identified only 73 times this term is used in the six centuries after Paul... (There are no known instances before Paul.)... In one instance, a Greek author uses the term when cataloguing the sins of the Greek gods... In this context, the term is probably intended to refer to the time Zeus abducted and raped a young boy, Ganymede. Arsenokoitai is also used in an ancient legend in which the snake in the Garden of Eden is said to have become a Satanic figure named Naas. Naas uses a variety of means (including sleeping with both Adam and Eve) to gain power over and destroy them. In this story, Naas is said to have gone to Adam and had him like a boy. Naas' sin is called arsenokoitai... These examples suggest that arsenokoitai refers to instances when one male uses his superior power or position to take sexual advantage of another."
"Common experience tells us list-makers tend to group similar items together... In I Timothy 1:10, the word appears between "fornication" and "slave traders." This is consistent with the meaning suggested above - that arsenokoitai describes a male who aggressively takes sexual advantage of another male. Examples of this type of behavior would include a man who rapes another (as in the Sodom story...) or a man who uses economic power to buy sex from a male prostitute... This latter example is an especially neat fit if malakoi is understood to be a reference to the prostitute, in which case Paul's list would include a reference both to the male prostitute (malakoi) and the man who takes advantage of the prostitute (arsenokoitai). This type of person is a close kin to the thief and the greedy - the two Greek words that most often follow arsenokoitai in the lists of sins."
"Thus, we conclude that aresenokoitai is best understood as a reference to men who force themselves sexually on others. This conclusion is consistent with the New Revised Standard Version, the English translation of the Bible often regarded as most scholarly. The New Revised Standard Version translates arsenokoitai as "sodomite." ...the men of Sodom were the ultimate example of sexual aggression and oppression. Even the New International Version, a more conservative English translation... they translate the term as "homosexual offender," suggesting that to commit the sin referred to here one must use homosexuality in an aggressive or offensive way." 
(I apologize that all of that wasn't in my own words.)
III. "...God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another..."
Note that the words "exchanged" and "abandoned" are used here. This suggests that the people in question have already had sexual relations. They "burned in their desire." This is more of an indicator of excessive sex and infidelity than it is of homosexuality.
Let's look at the word "natural" too. The original Greek word is "phusis," which means, "the sum of innate properties and powers by which one person differs from others, distinctive native peculiarities."  Given this, straying from one's sexual orientation out of excessive desire is what's sinful.
"John Boswell: "The point of the passage is not to stigmatize sexual behavior of any sort but to condemn the Gentiles for their general infidelity."" 
IV. God is not so concerned with gender, as evidenced by Galatians 3:26-28:
"So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
1. "Hebrew "shakab" is noted for being used to refer to sexual intercourse." - I don't disagree.
"..."Mishkab"" is used to refer to having sex with whoever is on the bed."
Con implies that both of these words are used to mean roughly the same thing (while corresponding to the same subject) in Leviticus 18:22. That would produce a translation similar to "You shall not lie with lie with..." It's more likely that the first word means one thing and the second word means another. Since "shakab" is *only* listed as a verb,  and can't imply anything but an action, it must mean "lie with" here. So "mishkab" must mean "bed". We can eliminate "lie with" because shakab already claims that meaning; it would be redundant if mishkab was also "lie with". This is the process of elimination. We do it in English too. Ex:
"He had had supper." Obviously we aren't using two "had"s to convey the same meaning. We can use the process of elimination, like I just did for the Leviticus verse, to accurately determine what they each mean. (Had: past tense term indicating distant past; or term indicating possession) We aren't saying, "He possessed had supper." That's incoherent, so it must be, "He had possessed dinner."
2. "Toevah" - Three of the verses con quoted are Levitical verses, only of relevance to Israelites. Not only does Leviticus 18 specifically address the Israelites, but Leviticus 20 does as well.  Deuteronomy 7:25 too is only addressing the Israelites.
Deuteronomy 7:6-8... "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession... he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt." Chosen people? Slavery? Sounds like the Israelites. We can confirm this by reading Exodus 6:6, which is God talking about saving the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Proverbs 15:9 - the verse says that the ways of wicked are detestable, not that any sins are detestable. Just because the wicked may be sinful, this doesn't mean their ways are sins themselves. In any matter, the toevah point isn't at the heart of my argument.
3. "All love does not fall in the same spectrum. You are to love God above all else..." And I liken the strongest love to the hottest temperature. Of which falls on a spectrum.
4. "...it doesn't say "thus shall a mean leave his father and mother and be joined to his man and they shall be one flesh.""
Here's a narrative to help me argue my point:
Linda stood in line at the grocery store with her three daughters. As items scanned and beeped, she glanced around for her husband. Finally, he appeared behind her.
"Did you get the newspaper?"
When Linda's husband ran off to get it, she faced her daughters and said, "You girls better marry rich. Men can't remember anything!"
(above narrative does not reflect my views)
Linda assumed her daughters want to marry men. Is this incorrect? In terms of probability, probably not. Society is accustomed to accurately guessing what gender people are attracted to. For the most part, people are straight! So the bible talks about men marrying women, but just as mothers talk about their daughters marrying men, this doesn't automatically forbid homosexuality. Furthermore, if God condemns homosexuality, it's reasonable to expect Him to explicitly say so. e.g. Authors write books with exclusively heterosexual characters, but this doesn't imply an author is against homosexuality.
5. Nature vs. Nurture: I agree with con here, but will emphasize that this point was not part of my main argument.
Gen. 2:24 is not talking about society is, it's speaking of how God constructed nature to be. Genesis 1-3 explains our purpose as human beings in the world God put us in. I will address the other half of this point later.
Thoughts brings up a strong case for homosexuality and because of the insufficient verses in the Hebrew O.T on it, i surrender that, but i will bring up points and questions to make a case for why the Bible doesn't support it:
1. God made everything able to reproduce after it's own kind (Gen. 1) and that includes man and women. Gen. 1:28 "28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
God created man and woman (Adam's wife) as a model for all of humanity during a marriage. No where in the Bible do we find a homosexual relationship. We always find a relationship between a man and a woman.
2. In the Torah, we always find many laws regarding the marriage between a man and a woman of marriageable age.
On to N.T
Philo in Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible condemns homosexuality (1). It is futile to attempt to define a word based on it's etymology and thus it's meaning cannot be established (2). The Septuagint of Lev. 20:13 has the exact same word arsenokoites which means "Sexual intercourse" (3). Pro is right in saying it has a sexual meaning. Paul citing Gen. 2:24 in 1 Cor. 6:12-20 shows that he was not restricting sex to male prostitution
1 Cor. 6:9, the Greek word for fornicator meaning pornos (4) while arsenokoits in this passage is used to refer to a sodomite (5). Paul could not have used arsenokoitai to refer to adultery (6). Nor bestiality (7). Nor incest (8). Nor pederasty (9). Paul probably coined the term arsenokoitai himself as it did not exist prior to the Greek language (10).
"...God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another..."
According to the Greek, orexis is used (11) and it's specifically used to refer to function (12). The Archaeological study Bible NIV (13) notes that homosexuality was widespread in Paul's day. Aristophanes ridiculed homosexuality in his book "Women at the Thesmophoria. Plato also spoke out against homosexuality in his work "Laws." It cannot be certain he restricted himself only to male whores.
I believe Galatians 3:26-28 is taken out of context (because i'm running out of characters, i'll paraphrase) so lets read it in full:
v. 1-9 speak of how faith in Jesus and not of works
v. 10-14 speaks of Christ redeeming us from the curse of the Law
v. 15-18 God's confirmation of the covenant
v. 19-25 "19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Here, Paul is basically explaining the purpose of the Law given to the Jews and finally, given to the Gentiles. He's saying that God does not discriminate between man and woman, Jew and Gentile, but that all can come to faith.
1. David Wright, "Homosexuals or Prostitutes?" VC 38 (1984):129; Robin Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983), 85-86.
2. See James Barr, The Semantics of Biblical Language (London: Oxford, 1961), 107-10.
4. ." "`0;a2;`1;_7;_9;`2;." Morwood & Taylor (Eds.), 2002, p. 266."
5." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "adulterer, paramour, general paramour of a sodomite, idolatrous person"); ." An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, 1889 (defined as "an adulterer, paramour, debaucher"); and ." Strong, 1995/1996, Greek section p. 59, entry 3432 (defined as "Perhaps a primary word; a (male) paramour; figuratively apostate: - adulterer")
6. " A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940
7. " A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "incest with one's mother")" A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "one guilty of such incest"); " A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "incestuous person"); ." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "incest with one's mother");" A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "incest with a daughter"
8. "_6;_1;`4;`1;_9;^7;^5;_6;^3;^5;." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "incest with one's mother"); "_6;_1;`4;`1;_9;^7;^0;_6;_9;`2;." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "one guilty of such incest"); "_6;_1;`4;`1;_9;_4;_9;^3;`4;_1;`2;." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "incestuous person"); "_6;_1;`4;`1;_9;_6;_3;_8;^3;^5;." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "incest with one's mother"); "_2;`5;^7;^5;`4;`1;_9;_6;_3;_8;^3;^5;." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940 (defined as "incest with a daughter")
9. (paiderastM03;s) Glesne, 2004, p. 127; "`0;^5;_3;^8;^9;`1;^5;`3;`4;^2;`2;." Morwood & Taylor (Eds.), 2002, p. 239; "`0;^5;_3;^8;^9;`1;^5;`3;`4;^2;`2;." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940; "`0;^5;_3;^8;^9;`1;^5;`3;`4;^1;`9;." Morwood & Taylor (Eds.), 2002, p. 239; "`0;^5;_3;^8;^9;`1;^5;`3;`4;^1;`9;." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940; "`0;^5;_3;^8;^9;`1;^5;`3;`4;^3;Q13;." Morwood & Taylor (Eds.), 2002, p. 239; & "`0;^5;_3;^8;^9;`1;^5;`3;`4;^3;Q13;." A Greek-English Lexicon, 1940
10. Glesne, 2004, p. 126; "Arsenokoitai, on the other hand, is a word that appears to have no prior history in the Greek language and, as is generally surmised, may have been coined by the apostle himself . . . " (Waetjen, 1996, p. 109); "O36;`1;`3;^9;_7;_9;_4;_9;^3;`4;_1;`2;." An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, 1889, stating that word was first used in the New Testament; Laymon, 1971, p. 1199, stating that Paul wrote in Koine Greek; "As already shown, there was no Hebrew"or, for that matter, Aramaic"word for homosexuality" (Scroggs, 1983, p. 83); "There was, of course, no precise word in the ancient world in any of the languages - Greek, Syriac, Aramaic or Hebrew - which meant homosexual, substantial proof that the concept of a homosexual or homosexual behavior did not exist" (Spencer, 1995, p. 57); Boswell, 1980, p. 341, stating, "Paul appears to have been the first author to use the word."
12. Timothy Friberg et al., vol. 4, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament (Baker's Greek New Testament library, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2000), 410.
1. "Gen. 2:24 is not talking about society..." I agree. It says, "That is why a man..." (NIV) It's talking about specific individuals. The mother in the short narrative I wrote also talks about specific individuals, her daughters (not society). My point here is that society is accustomed to addressing the vast majority of individuals the same way.
"...it's speaking of how God constructed nature to be." There is a difference between explaining why something happens and explaining how something should be. "This is why..." indicates that Genesis 2:24 does the former.
2. On Genesis 1:27-28:
"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth..."
Here, God tells the first man and woman to be fruitful and multiply. Does this mean God intends for everyone to pair up with reproductive partners? No. At the time God gave this direction, the population size was... two! This direction is best understood when we consider that there are only two people on the planet.
3. "No where in the Bible do we find a homosexual relationship."
In many books, we find exclusively heterosexual characters. As I've stated, this doesn't mean that the authors of those books are against homosexuality. In any case, con's point is actually a debatable one.
Concerning the book of Ruth: "Here we have two women who made vows, lived together for life, loved each other deeply, adopted each other"s extended families as their own, and relied on each other for sustenance - as do many lesbian women today. Instead of condemning these relationships, the Bible celebrates them, giving them their own book in Scripture."  If not an indicator that God supports homosexuality, this supports that two women can be in very loving relationships - ones that mirror that of marriage. Nothing about the structure of their life together is condemned in scripture.
Even more interesting is a possible account of Jesus healing a gay man's lover:
Matthew 8:5-7 "When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly." And he said to him, "I will come and heal him."" (ESV)
"The Greek word used in Matthew's account to refer to the servant of the centurion is pais. In the language of the time, pais had three possible meanings depending upon the context in which it was used. It could mean "son or boy;" it could mean "servant," or it could mean a particular type of servant " one who was "his master's male lover."
"The Bible provides three key pieces of textual and circumstantial evidence. First, in the Luke passage, several additional Greek words are used to describe the one who is sick. Luke says this pais was the centurion's entimos doulos. The word doulos is a generic term for slave, and was never used in ancient Greek to describe a son/boy. Thus, Luke's account rules out the possibility the sick person was the centurion's son; his use of doulos makes clear this was a slave. However, Luke also takes care to indicate this was no ordinary slave. The word entimos means "honored." This was an "honored slave" (entimos doulos) who was his master's pais. Taken together, the three Greek words preclude the possibility the sick person was either the centurion"s son or an ordinary slave, leaving only one viable option - he was his master's male lover." 
Not long after, in verse 9, the centurion mentions his other slaves, yet... "When speaking here of his slaves, the centurion uses the word doulos. But when speaking of the one he is asking Jesus to heal, he uses only pais." 
Finally, "The third piece of evidence is circumstantial. In the Gospels, we have many examples of people seeking healing for themselves or for family members. But this story is the only example of someone seeking healing for a slave... The extraordinary lengths to which this man went to seek healing for his slave is much more understandable, from a psychological perspective, if the slave was his beloved companion." 
Given the evidence, this is plausible. And if it's true, we can infer from Jesus' response (healing the pais) that homosexuality was not a problem.
4. "God created man and woman (Adam's wife) as a model for all of humanity during a marriage."
Con does not support this.
5. "In the Torah, we always find many laws regarding the marriage between a man and a woman of marriageable age." An example to show why this doesn't support con's resolution:
P1: Man should not hit his wife.
P2: This doesn't say man should not hit his husband.
C: Men should not marry other men.
This doesn't follow. We can't draw that conclusion. It's just like this example:
P1: A mother says to her daughter, "When you find the right guy..."
P2: The mother expects her daughter to marry a guy.
C: The mother is against homosexual relationships.
While the mother expects that her daughter will marry a guy, this doesn't mean she wouldn't support her daughter if she was a lesbian.
6. "Philo in Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible condemns homosexuality."
"Scholars sometimes support this reading by pointing out that the two words occur together, though not joined, in Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible and in Philo in a context in which he condemns male homosexual sex... Either Paul, it is suggested, or someone before him simply combined the two words together to form a new term for men who have sex with men.
This approach is linguistically invalid. It is highly precarious to try to ascertain the meaning of a word by taking it apart, getting the meanings of its component parts, and then assuming, with no supporting evidence, that the meaning of the longer word is a simple combination of its component parts. To "understand" does not mean to "stand under." In fact, nothing about the basic meanings of either "stand" or "under" has any direct bearing on the meaning of "understand."...
Furthermore, the claim that arsenokoites came from a combination of these two words and therefore means "men who have sex with men" makes the additional error of defining a word by its (assumed) etymology. The etymology of a word is its history, not its meaning" The only reliable way to define a word is to analyze its use in as many different contexts as possible." 
7. "It is futile to attempt to define a word based on its etymology..."
My source in round 4 used context to decipher its meaning, which is what my last source called a reliable method. Incidentally, the method used to support that "arsenokoites" means "homosexuals" uses etymology (as cited above).
8. "The Septuagint of Lev. 20:13 has the exact same word arsenokoites which means "Sexual intercourse".
This just asserts that the word means "sexual intercourse."
9. "Paul citing Gen. 2:24 in 1 Cor. 6:12-20 shows that he was not restricting sex to male prostitution."
I'm not sure what con means here. There is a word translated as "prostitute," while not deriving from "arsenokoites," but this word refers to female prostitutes. 
10. "...while arsenokoits in this passage is used to refer to a sodomite."
I refer back to round 4, in which my source states, "...the men of Sodom were the ultimate example of sexual aggression and oppression."
11. Concerning Romans 1:26-27 "...it's specifically used to refer to function""
The original word for function in this verse is listed to mean, "of the sexual use of a woman".  Some bibles (NIV, ESV, HCSB) also translate it as "relation."
Furthermore, a designed function does not restrict us from using something in a way unrelated to that function. Ex: God created trees to produce oxygen, but we may use trees for their lumber.
12. "Aristophanes ridiculed homosexuality in his book "Women at the Thesmophoria. Plato also spoke out against homosexuality in his work "Laws.""
People disliking homosexuality does not indicate it is immoral. Many people dislike those who are not so fast-moving in lines at banks, stores, etc. Would that make an elderly person who takes "forever" digging out change immoral?
13. "Here, Paul is basically explaining the purpose of the Law given to the Jews and finally, given to the Gentiles. He's saying that God does not discriminate between man and woman, Jew and Gentile, but that all can come to faith."
Why would this lack of discrimination discontinue after people have entered into faith? People continue in their faith, therefore it seems reasonable that God"s lack of discrimination would continue.
As many people dislike homosexuality, it's easy to favor the interpretation that God condemns homosexuality. But we can objectively determine if this is true through God's message of love and further examination of scripture and its context. Does homosexuality hurt anyone? Does it damage our relationship with God? Objectively speaking, no. Claims about God's design for nature hint that God is trivial and is concerned more with reproduction than love. Or that God wants us to follow a certain structure of life that don't affect our relationship with Him.
Upon reviewing con's arguments, I do not believe he has proven that God considers homosexuality a sin (for voting: "prove" will mean "prove with very little doubt").
I contend that Leviticus 18:22 most likely has to do with men having sex on a woman's bed, "Arsenokoites" most likely has to do with men who take advantage of other men sexually, and Romans 1:26-28 most likely has to do with excessive sexual desire.
On the contrary, God does expect us to reproduce should we pair up. Pay attention to the following verses:
"11 Then God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."
"20 Then God said, Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens. 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.
"24 Then God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."
" 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them (male and female), "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
If your not in a relationship that has reproductive purposes, your straying from the design God has for living creatures.
The book of Ruth is about two women making vows, but no where do we find kissing or any physical intimacy as we would in lesbian relationships.
The Greek word is pais, but in the Septuagint, it's exclusively used for servant (1).
"Furthermore, a designed function does not restrict us from using something in a way unrelated to that function. Ex: God created trees to produce oxygen, but we may use trees for their lumber."
That's because he commanded us to "rule over the earth." With human beings, it doesn't work that way.
"Why would this lack of discrimination discontinue after people have entered into faith? People continue in their faith, therefore it seems reasonable that God"s lack of discrimination would continue."
We are called to faith, but we are also called to works in Jesus Christ to change.
Conclusion: Because Thoughts has brought up many good points on the topic, i declare her the winner. Maybe we can have a rematch sometime, but for the time being, she made me reflect on a bit about the nature of homosexuality.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is really really insanely long. I felt like Truth_Seeker dropped many important points throughout the debate that ultimately contributed to his lost.
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