Is Homosexuality a Sin?
Introduction: The mainstream media ( news and talk radio ) would have us believe that most Christians in America have come to an agreement that homosexuality is not a sin.
Invitation: Are you a Christian who believes that homosexuality is not a sin?
Argument: The Bible clearly states that Homosexuality is a sin, in the old and new testaments. How can you be a Christian and disregard this fact?
I accept your challenge. I am a Christian.
Point of information: Can we use this definition of sin, “An action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible.”? (Merriam-Webster) The reason is that Bible’s definition of sin would be a clear bias against my side. Another, there are fundamental rules in a debate that we should follow strictly.
In the next round, I will give my arguments and I will rebut yours.
Also, as Christians we believe that ALL humans are made in the image of God. Whether or not we agree with ( or choose to affirm or not ) people practicing Homosexuality, we recognize them as human beings and as such, they have the same value as all other humans. We do not have to agree with them, but we DO love them.
In the beginning, God made 2 Humans. One man, and one woman. Many people will try and say that there are 2 separate Genesis accounts of creation, but there is not. There is 1 overview of creation, and one specific account. The overview tells us that God created humans, and the specific account tells us that He made one man, and one woman, and then joined the two together, to become one flesh. This "becoming one flesh" is understood as 2 persons, being married and the "one flesh" can be seen in the offspring. One man and one woman procreating ( as commanded, be fruitful and multiply ) is Gods clear plan for all of mankind. Without one woman and one man, this simply does not work. Marriage, in the Christian religion, is a symbol of Christians being reconciled to God. Christ to His bride ( the Christian church ). What a wonderful picture of God's love for us. We can see why God hates divorce, if marriage is not a permanent bond, then ceases to be the symbol of His reconciliation between He and the Church. To redefine Marriage to include anything more, or anything less than one man and one woman, would also change the symbolism, as it is not what God intended, or how he created and commanded. In the Christian marriage there are two specific roles. Firstly, the woman submits to the man. That may not sound politically correct, but wait, there's more. The second roll is that the man submits to Christ. The only way this can be done is through following the Bible, for that is how we know Christ. So, if the man follows the Bible and the Holy spirit, He does well. If the woman, than obediently submits to the man, she is also in submission to Christ, ultimately, as the man is led by Him alone ( we cannot serve to masters ). This is the outline of Christian marriage, and does not make any sense if marriage is anything other than one woman and one man.
All sex outside of marriage is considered sin. Since a marriage consists of one man and one woman, Homosexual sex is sin. All lust is sin, speaking from outside of marriage, again, and Homosexuality includes lust for someone that you are not ( and cannot be ) married to.
People outside of Mainstream Orthodox Christianity ( including Atheist's, Liberal Christian, Cult's etc ) may try and tie the old testament in with the new, placing people today under the "law" or "10 commandments" and have a confusing message about having to subscribe to the commands given in the old testament. However, for the sake of my argument, I will set the record straight quickly. This is what ALL mainstream, Orthodox Christianity teaches:
The 10 commandments were given to the people of Israel. this is _not_ a covenant that we gentiles are under today. The old testament laws reveal to us some of God's nature, and His intent for us, but these are not rules that we observe or even follow. This is why Christians do not keep a "Sabbath" day. That was on Saturday, and was for the people of Israel. This is why Christians can eat pork and shellfish. This is why we can wear clothing with 2 fabrics interwoven. Christians are under 2 specific commands "Believe in Jesus" and "Love each other". This is called the "royal law". We, having been born again, are under the "spirit" of the law, not the "letter" of the law. We do not need 10 commandments to keep us in check. We already know the difference of right from wrong, it is written on our hearts.
Now, here is why this is important:
We already know that murder is sin. The Bible told us, our conscience tells us, even society tells us. Therefore, just because we are not bound to follow the old law like a checklist, we still recognize moral sin, and we abstain from it. The same can be said for lying, and fornication. Fornication is any sexual activity outside of marriage. Homosexuality is fornication, as it cannot be done within marriage, as marriage only includes one woman and one man.
I will not be referencing the old testament for scripture about Homosexuality, as we already know that it forbids it, calls it an abomination, etc. We all know the story of Sodom and Ghomorra ( the sexual act of sodomy gets its name from the city that was destroyed for that sin ) . In the new testament, where we are told how to live, how to conduct ourselves, how to be saved by Jesus, and how to know that are saved, we are told that homosexuality is a sin that we can be saved from. If it was not a sin, we would not need to be saved from it.
The following passage tells us about several sins that a born again Christian stops being enslaved to:
1 Cor. 6:9-11
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
That just said:
Listen, do not be fooled. If you are still stuck in these kinds of sins, you have not been born again, you are not saved! You are deceived. On judgment day, you will think you are going to heaven, but you wont be. If you had been saved, you would have broke free of these types of sins!
It says : These are the kinds of sins that will reveal to you, that you are not saved! Don't fool yourself. If you are a
thief, coveter, drunkard, reviler, extortioner, fornicator, idolator, adulterer, homosexual, you are still a slave to sin, therefore you have not been saved.
Such were some of you! But you have been washed! This means that a homosexual or a thief can be saved and then be on their way to heaven. But, it says that if you HAVE BEEN SAVED you will no longer be one of these people.
Homosexuality is a sin that reveals the person has not been saved, and is fooling themselves.
BTW, no one is perfect. I know homosexuals that have been saved, have stopped that sin, and I have heard that they stumble and fall from time to time. They way you know you are saved is by your "direction" not your "perfection" ( cause you wont be perfect ). But, to say that homosexuality is not a sin, is to deceive yourself or others and it goes against what the Bible clearly teaches. If you say it is not sin, than no one will repent of it, and no one will get saved. Calling it anything other than a sin is dangerous. Homosexuals wont go to Hell for the reason of that particular sin. They will go to hell because they haven't been born again.
I await your rebuttal.
Though I believe in God, using his words(the Bible) is just religious bias or a fallacy of appeal to heaven. That should not be the way because it is not acceptable in this debate. But anyway I will use the Bible for my arguments just in this debate since I accepted your terms.
The main claim is that homosexuality is a sin because there more or less 6 admonishments in the bible concerning homosexual acts. But there 362 admonishments against heterosexual acts. Clearly, we cannot consider homosexuality a sin with just 6 admonishments, otherwise everything in this world is a sin including heterosexual acts. That is just very humorous.
I will lead to some expert opinions. (credited to dignitycanada.org)
Opinions are based on this question, "does God regard homosexuality as a sin?"
Rev Dr George R Edwards, PhD (Presbyterian -- professor emeritus of new testament theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, holds masters in divinity from LPTS and a PhD from Duke University, taught new testament theology studies at LPTS from 1958-1985, member of Society of Biblical Literature):
Q1: God does not regard homosexuality as a sin any more than heterosexuality. Sin is lack of respect for God; it is a lack of love or respect for other persons. Whether gay or straight, therefore, one may sin against God or others. But God forgives us when we sin and strengthens us in resisting sin. We are led by God's forgiving love to become more respectful and loving toward God and towards others, even those we don't "like".
Rev Harry L Holfelder (Presbyterian -- chair of AIDS Interfaith Network of Baltimore and is senior pastor of local church, is active with the Maryland Interfaith Legislative Committee):
Q1: No, I do not think that God regards homosexuality as a sin. I believe that one's sexual preference is first and foremost a matter of biology (creation) and only secondarily a matter of choice (responsibility). Since I also believe that all God creates is good, I conclude that human sexuality (not a matter of choice for anyone) is good, whether that sexual expression be heterosexual or homosexual.
Dr Karen Lebacqz, PhD (United Church of Christ -- professor of Christian ethics at Pacific School of Religion, holds bachelor degree in Biblical history from Wellesley College and masters and PhD in religion and society from Harvard University, phi beta kappa member and past president of the Society of Christian Ethics):
Q1: What God does regard as sin is oppression, injustice, persecution, disrespect for person. This sin, then, is homophobia, gay-bashing, discriminatory legislation toward lesbians and gays, refusal to include lesbian/gay/bisexual people into our churches and communities. To force anypeople, whether for reasons of race, age, or sexual orientation, into a "ghetto" -- this is a sin.
Bishop Melvin Wheatley Jr (United Methodist -- ordained elder of the United Methodist Church who retired in 1984 after 33 years as pastor and 12 years as bishop, honorary PFLAG director due to services to gay and lesbian people in the church):
Q1: Of course not! The preponderance of evidence now available identifies homosexuality to be as natural a sexual orientation for a significant percentage of persons as heterosexuality is the natural sexual orientation for the majority of persons. Homosexuality is an authentic condition of being with which some persons are endowed (a gift from God, if you please), not an optional sexual lifestyle which they have willfully, whimsically or sinfully chosen. Certainly one's sexuality -- heterosexual or homosexual -- may be acted out in behaviours that are sinful: brutal, exploitative, selfish, superficial. But just as surely, one's homosexual orientation as well as another's heterosexual orientation may be acted out in ways that are beautiful: tender, considerate, mutual, responsible, loyal, profound.
Now, in your Christianity, or one of the Liberal Theologians that you quoted, you can choose not to believe part of the Bible. Or, you can take the Bible as allegory, and not literal. But, if you do that, than you have denied the only authority that we have been given. Why be a Christian at all? Why not throw the Bible out, and make up your own religion? Say... Well, the Bible wasn't accurate, but my own feelings ( or intellect ) are, so instead of conforming to the Bible, I am going to conform to my own inner consciousness. Many people DO this. Many offshoot religions have come about. But the truth is, God gave us His rules. We either accept them, or we do not. You quoted some theologians, all of them modern, a product of a day and age where some refuse to conform their own lifestyles to the Bible, but instead try and edit the Bible to conform to their own thoughts and feelings. The overall message of the Bible is that it is Gods unchanging, preserved, and perfect word. We are to conform to it, though the world will try and make us do the opposite. I say that the world ( and its ruler, Satan ) are very cunning. The Bible says "be not deceived" and then references a list of sins, including Homosexuality. Then, I see other Christians disagreeing that it IS a sin, showing that they are, in fact, deceived.
Now, you also said that Homosexuality was only condemned as a sin a small amount of times ( 6 or so, I think ). Well, how many times was adultery condemned? Or thievery? Or even murder? Not many, either. This is because the Bible isn't a book of rules. It reveals God's nature and moral law to us. It is clear that the Bible ( which has introduced the concept of Sin to us ) clearly teaches that Homosexuality is a sin. Your disagreement is not with me, it is with the Bible. Dear Debater, Dear Reader, Dear Soul, don't listen to the world. The world says that if you recognize sin for what it is, that you are somehow a bigot. This is not true. You do not have to hate the sinner, you just need to remember that God is rich in mercy forgiving ALL SINS. But, how can he forgive them, if the sinner has been convinced that they are not sinning? This is how the world works. Deny that someone is in sin, and now the person doesn't seek forgiveness, and in the end they lose, big time.
That is not just a plea for you to look into yourself and seek Christ, that is also my demonstration about what the Bible says about Sin, and how a loving God can still be a righteous Judge. There is no contradiction in the Bible, it is to be taken literally, when it calls Homosexuality a sin, it is because God has decreed it as such.
You quoted Liberal Scholars. Liberal, when we are talking about Theology does not mean the same thing as a Liberal when we are talking about Politics, by the way. Liberal means that they choose to ignore a literal reading of the Bible, and instead try and conform Gods word to what we see around us in the world, using our own reasoning and emotions. this is a product of the post-enlightenment era, and although many in todays post modern world might agree with these theologians, they are still in the category of "heretic", and in conflict with the historic Church, and the overall thrust of the canon of scripture. That said, here is one of todays leading Orthodox Theologians, and his take on Homosexuality in the bible:
The above link shows new testament condemnation of homosexuality as a sin, and refutes any claim that it only applies to non-Homosexuals practicing Homosexual behavior ( a common argument by Homosexual's professing to be Christians ).
As you can see, Homosexuality is a sin, as declared by the Bible and by God. Also, as you can see, He calls them to repent, the same way He calls everyone to repent. Remember, morality is not relative. It is universal. It starts and ends with God. We are the ones who try and make up the rules as we go along, based on our own thoughts and feelings. This is why we have the Bible. It hasn't changed in thousands of years ( look into it, it has not ). It is there, permanently telling us Gods unchanging word.
Vote for me, agree with God. Thank you for your time.
The Holy Spirit ( I hope you have Him too )
The Bible ( I can help you get one if you don't have one )
Matt Slick and Carm ( the best apologetics website on the net, for orthodox Christians ).
All that you have said can be summarized into this: Homosexuality is a sin because God says so.
With that contention, you committed a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid or fallacy of general rule. This fallacy is done when there is an attempt to apply a general rule to all situations, when clearly there are exceptions to the rule.
Logical form: X is a common and accepted rule. Therefore, there are no exceptions to X.
Example: The Bible clearly says, thou shall not bear fall witness”, therefore, as a Christian, you better answer the door and tell our drunk neighbor with the shotgun, that his wife, who he is looking to kill, is hiding in our basement, otherwise you are defying God himself. (Logically Fallacious)
To assume any law, even divine, applies to every person, in every time, in every situation, even though not explicitly stated, is an assumption not grounder in evidence, and fallacious reasoning. (Logically Fallacious)
Similarly, you assumed that there is no exception to what the Bible says, that it is absolute.
Another fallacy you committed is appeal to faith. You stated that if I am a Christian who doesn’t believe in homosexuality sin, then I don’t have faith in God. This statement of yours is an abandonment of reason in an argument and a call to faith.
Reasons why I should win:
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