Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunday Drive: A Quick Stop at the Temple and then on to Rome

Deuteronomy 23:17-18 None of the daughters of Israel shall be a temple prostitute; none of the sons of Israel shall be a temple prostitute. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are abhorrent to the LORD your God.
Like the verses in Leviticus last week, these verses deal with temple prostitution, not a loving committed relationship.

Romans 1: 21-28
If we follow [this] passage, step-by-step, we find Paul is moving through a logical progression. He is talking about people who:

1. Refused to acknowledge and glorify God. (v. 21)
2. Began worshipping idols (images of created things, rather than the Creator). (v. 23)
3. Were more interested in earthly pursuits than spiritual pursuits. (v. 25)
4. Gave up their natural, i.e., innate, passion for the opposite sex in an unbounded search for pleasure. (v. 26-27)
5. Lived lives full of covetousness, malice, envy, strife, slander, disrespect for parents, pride, and hatred of God. (v. 29-31)
The model of homosexual behavior Paul was addressing here is explicitly associated with idol worship (probably temple prostitution) and with people who, in an unbridled search for pleasure (or because of religious rituals associated with their idolatry), broke away from their natural sexual orientation, participating in promiscuous sex with anyone available.

There are, no doubt, modern people who engage in homosexual sex for reasons similar to those identified in Romans 1. If someone began with a clear heterosexual orientation, but rejected God and began experimenting with gay sex simply as a way of experiencing a new set of pleasures, then this passage may apply to that person. But this is not the experience of the vast majority of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. (Miner and Connoley, The Children are Free)
Most of the GLBT people of faith I have met, have felt called to worship the Lord but were attracted to members of the same sex, nevertheless. They were not people looking for thrills and pursuing their own desires. Actually, those GLBT people would be guilty of this kind of sin if they stay in the closet and attempt to marry partners of the opposite sex because they are naturally attracted to people of the same gender.


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