A Debate On Homosexuality Part 2

Much of the remainder of the first proposition debated was citing sources over the definitions of words. Clearly, brother Eaves used the lexicons and translations correctly while Johnson tried to cast doubt on what is obvious to most people. Although the debate was to examine what the Scriptures presented, John-son spent most of his time citing various “authorities.” One of those was a priest, Henry Fehreu, from an article in U.S. Catholic, 1972. Perhaps unintentionally, Fehreu stated what is the crux of the matter:

The many studies of homosexuality cannot agree on the source of homosexuality, but whether homosexuality comes from one’s own genetic makeup or from early conditioning, a homosexual is a homosexual through no fault of his own (54).

Isn’t that the mantra that advocates of homosexuality have been trying to get people to accept? A man who prefers other men neither knows nor cares what the cause is; he can’t help it. It is through no fault of his own! Could not anyone exhibit this same wrong attitude—the pedophile, the transgender individual, the adulterer, the fornicator? Who wants to take responsibility for his actions? The gambler and the drinker would like for their problems not to be their fault, too. The problem is that God does not accept such at-tempts—even if they were well-meaning.

Johnson cites Arno Karlen, who wrote the book, Sexuality and Homosexuality. He quotes Dr. Stanley Jones on page 487 as writing in 1947 that getting homosexuals to change was “quite indefensible.” He added: “Attempted treatment or alteration of the basic personality of an inborn homosexual can only be de-scribed as a moral outrage” (55). None of these “doc-tors” and “experts,” however, are as wise as the Holy Spirit who through Paul told the Corinthians regarding this and other sins, “Such were some of you.”

So, the first principle of the theology of homosexuality is that they cannot help it, and the second principle is that it is wrong to try to get them to change. The third principle implied in the book and made quite plain three decades after this debate occurred is: “You had better like it.” We now have laws against any form of homosexual “discrimination,” and who knows where this insanity will end up and how much those who affirm what the Bible does will be punished for their convictions?

The Second Proposition

The second round of four speeches each revolved around this proposition: “I know the Bible, which is the inspired word of God, teaches that sexual intercourse between certain human beings of the same sex is not sinful.” Johnson affirmed the proposition, and brother Eaves denied it. Johnson began by defining the words in his proposition and the terms he would be using in the discussion. His main points (which follow) are not based on the Scriptures at all, nor when he cites a verse does it always relate to the subject.

Without a reference to any principle in the Bible (and actually contrary to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), Johnson says that one’s sexual orientation “is God-given, just as God gives us all our talents and grace” (76). One can-not help wondering, with this line of reasoning, if God gives certain individuals the ability to lie and be deceptive? Or is such not learned behavior? Of course, no Scripture accompanies this wild assertion.

His Rule No. 1 is: “God does not hold a person responsible for a same-sex act over which he or she has no control” (78). He cites Romans 2:14, Matthew 19: 11, and Luke 12:48—none of which pertain directly to the “rule” set forth. The first of these talks about the Gentiles doing by nature what is in the Law of Moses. Johnson does not bother to explain how it relates to what he just asserted. The second passage describes heterosexual marriage, and the third establishes the point that “to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Again, if these are supposed to be relevant to the “rule,” Johnson fails to specify how.

If Johnson means that a person is not at fault when he is victimized by another, we would all agree with that, but the way he words it would also allow for any homosexual to say, “I was born this way and have no control over it.” All who know the Word must take strenuous objection to that meaning.

Johnson’s second rule is: “The Lord is a God that wishes for all his children happiness and love (even people that do not conform to the average), John 9:2; 3:16; Luke 22:10; 7:2; Matt. 24:40” (78).

This is certainly the claim of everyone who deter-mines to contradict what the Bible teaches. How many times have we all heard someone (who is not Scripturally divorced and has no authority to marry again) say, “I just think the Lord wants me to be happy”? Apparently, a person’s personal happiness takes precedence over the will of God and obedience to His commands. One would think that physical happiness was the highest good that there could possibly be and that there is no such thing as making a sacrifice.

If such were the case, would Jesus not have been happier to remain in heaven, and would He not have been happier if He had not gone to the cross to die for our sins? He put aside His personal happiness for the greater good. John 9:2 is irrelevant to this issue, as are Luke 7:2 and 22:10. In fact, they seem to be cited to fill up space since they are in no way related to the “rule.” John 3:16 is pertinent, but it contradicts the rule. If God had desired His own personal happiness and been as selfish as human beings, He would not have sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins (John 3:16). Matthew 24:40 should probably be Matthew 22:40 (perhaps some of the others are misprinted, also). But again, love makes sacrifices, and all who are in unlawful sexual relationships should give them up in order to please God.

In Johnson’s third rule, he actually reverses the meaning of Matthew 19:12: “God does not expect people who cannot contain to live sexless lives (even people who do not measure up to the physical standards suggested in the Bible)” (79). To be certain that Mat-thew 19:12 is not misapplied, we need the context of the entire passage. The Pharisees came to Jesus with a question about marriage in order to test him. They wanted to know if a man could put away his wife for just any reason (Matt. 19:3).

Jesus appealed to the creation as a pattern for God’s design for marriage. He made them male and female (which authorizes heterosexual but not homo-sexual marriage). God also designed marriage to be permanent (“let not man separate”) (vv. 4-6). They asked why Moses allowed for divorce; Jesus answered that the reason was the hardness of their hearts, but from the beginning it was not so (vv.7-8). Then Jesus states the New Testament teaching on the subject of marriage, which will last as long as the earth stands:

“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matt. 19:9).

God’s will is for two heterosexuals to remain married. Should a wife be unfaithful, the husband can divorce her and marry another (who is eligible) with God’s approval. If he does not have that Scriptural reason for divorce, then he commits adultery in marrying another and living with her. When Jesus taught these words, His disciples thought it over and said, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry” (v. 10). They were accustomed to seeing a society with looser attitudes toward marriage. But if a man could not divorce his wife at will, then maybe it was better to remain single.

At this point, Jesus says, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given” (v. 11). What saying cannot all accept? All cannot remain single rather than getting married. Some have that ability, but most do not (cf. 1 Cor. 7:7-9). Now this subject draws to a conclusion in verse 12:

“For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”

If one desires to give up being married, along with its privileges, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, and he has that natural ability to forgo sexual relations, that is a good goal. The wrong conclusion, however, would be, “Oh, then everyone else has a right to marry.” NO! Jesus just said that those who divorce their wives for some cause other than fornication do them-selves commit adultery by entering into “a marriage” with another. They may not have naturally possessed the gift of celibacy, but they must now make them-selves a eunuch for the kingdom’s sake anyway be-cause they are not authorized to marry. God does expect some to live sexless lives, and that includes any same-sex relationship, along with illicit heterosexual ones.

Rule No. 4 states: ”Since marriage is honorable in all and no specific prohibitions are given in the Bible regarding transsexual marriages then God accepts them (Hebrews 13:4)” (80). God does not need to condemn specifically every style of bizarre marriage arrangement, such as a couple reversing genders. The question is not, “Where does God condemn it?” but rather, “Where does God authorize it?” (Col. 3:17). All marriages that fit the original pattern are honorable—not those involving adulterers, et al.

Johnson’s fifth rule repeats this error; he claims that God accepts lesbian marriages because there is no prohibition against it (91-92). How warped is some-one’s thinking that, when a practice such as homosexuality is condemned, period (Rom. 1:26-27), he would then expect another Scripture forbidding marriage between those who practice what is wrong in the first place! Since the Bible condemns murder, is it really necessary to condemn mass murder, too? Again, what is needed is authorization, and none exists.

Romans 1:27

In order to try to get out from under the force of Romans 1:27, Johnson quotes from David Lipscomb. Below is what he cited:

Romans 1:27: For the women changed the natural use into that which is against nature. What the special form of this unnatural perversion of women’s lust was, we are not told. — David Lip-scomb, Commentary on Romans (Nashville, Gospel Advocate Co., 1935).

Then Johnson adds, but does not quote Lipscomb as saying that “it may have been bestiality that these women practiced together” (91). The 1986 printed edition does not have that wording, although the sense is the same. In fact, Lipscomb’s comments are on Romans 1:26—not verse 27. Johnson seems to get a great deal of his information wrong. But discounting all of his errors, what about Johnson’s use of Lipscomb?

First, Lipscomb, like any commentator is giving his opinion of the meaning of a text. It may be a well-grounded opinion, or it may not be. We cite sources to see what they thought on a matter—not as Biblical authority. Only the Bible is regarded as truth. Second, Lipscomb did not rule out lesbianism as being condemned, he just said that it might include more than that, based on Leviticus 18:23. Third, the text com-pares the sin of the women with the sin of the men by the use of the word likewise. Since the men were burning in their lust toward one another, then so were the women. Lipscomb acknowledges that the men were engaging in acts of homosexuality (40). Johnson wasted his time with this quote.

A Debased Mind

The mind that contorts itself, as Johnson’s does, is a debased and perverted mind. He cannot see any relationship (male-male, male-female, female-female) but what there is sex involved in it. Consider some of his claims throughout the remainder of the debate.

…David and Jonathan formed a sexual love unit… (92).

In Moses’ day, homosexuality was so widely accepted that it was only condemned in the most extreme situations (96). [He never explained Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13, GWS.]

The most beautiful love song ever written was composed by one woman to another (Ruth 1:16). Joseph’s respect and love for Potiphar, Daniel’s lasting love for Nebuchadnezzar and David’s love for Jonathan have rightly been compared to the loves of Socrates… (107).

Johnson slanders the names of practically everyone named in the Scriptures—and some who are not. He accuses Cain and Abel of being homosexuals, as well as Ruth and Naomi, although he further accuses the virtuous Ruth of seducing Boaz as well. Joseph’s respect and love for Potiphar was not sexual in nature. Nowhere is such a thing even hinted at. If two people of the same sex have a fondness for each other, it is immediately assumed that something intimate is going on between them even though no evidence exists for such a perverted speculation.

David is probably the favorite target for those of a debased mind. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with Jonathan and Mephibosheth, his son, and we can only wonder why he omitted Uriah, since he did not go home to sleep with Bathsheba. No one has ever read these Scriptures before, but Johnson assures us that the following renderings are what they really mean:

And Jonathan lusted greatly after David.

The body of Jonathan was joined to the body of David….

Then Jonathan and David made a marriage covenant because he loved him.

And Jonathan went to David in the woods and sensually fell upon him.

Then Saul screamed, “You are a shameful intimate lover to the Son of Jesse.”

Then King David sent and married him (122-23).

That these are fabricated, the student of the Word already knows. It was “the soul of Jonathan” that “was knit to the soul of David” (1 Sam. 18:1). They made a covenant but not a marriage covenant. Saul called Jonathan the son of a perverse, rebellious woman! The kinds of claims that Johnson makes can only come from a defiled mind that does not even have the capability of understanding a true friendship expressed in mutual love and respect; he can only envision base, sexual expression.

These farfetched and tortured interpretations result from fleshly minds that are desperate to find some way of justifying their sins. They will impugn the righteous to justify their behavior, including charging the holy and lofty with their own ungodly actions. Apparently, they have no fear of standing before God in the Judgment, having castigated the character of the noble and pure. Some go so far as to suggest the very Son of God practiced what they do. They have no shame; neither can they blush, but God will repay them for their error.

A Debate On Homosexuality Part 1

In last week’s article (1-20-13), it was reported that some academics are beginning to suggest that pedophilia be considered as a sexual orientation. It was only 34 years ago (1-8-79) that Time magazine reported that the American Psychiatric Association had established a new category for homosexuality which they called, “Sexual Orientation Disturbance.” The APA had previously, in 1973, removed homosexuality from a list of disorders, having decided that there was “no difference between the pathologies of homosexual and heterosexual men.” Of course, everyone has seen where this first step of saying that homosexuality is not ab-normal has led. Now various states have legalized same-sex marriage.

In 1979, after Time published those latest findings, Thomas Eaves wrote an article, “Sexual Orientation Dis-turbance,” which the Gospel Advocate published on February 15th of that year. He lamented that there was a concerted effort to make homosexuality normal and cited Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 to show that God regards it as a sin despite what any culture might decide. He also noted that lesbians were de-manding that test tube babies be turned over to them so that they could raise children. He closed by saying: “Regardless of what you call it or how many defend it…homosexuality is not God’s way.”

After this assessment appeared in the Gospel Advocate, Eaves received a form letter from Dr. Paul R. Johnson, which included several pieces of propaganda from homosexual advocates. After a few exchanges, a written debate was set up, which occurred mostly (perhaps entirely) in 1979. It was not published until 1981; the debate (unfortunately) is no longer in print, but copies might be available from used book dealers. Some of the arguments from this debate will be summarized with the following goals in mind: 1) To show that the assault on truth, as evidenced by the Queen James Bible (see 1-13-13 of this publication), is scarcely surprising; these denials of the plain teaching of the Scriptures have been argued for more than 30 years; 2) homosexuals are dedicated in their efforts to re-write the Scriptures. What they were willing to affirm more than three decades ago they continue to assert without re-lenting; 3) They are as perverted in their minds and their thinking as they are in their physical practices.

The first proposition for this debate, in which there were four affirmatives and four negatives, was: “I know that the Bible, which is the inspired word of God, teach-es that all sexual intercourse between human beings of the same sex is intrinsically sinful.”

Eaves presented a good case for the truth in his opening arguments. He appealed to the pattern established by God at the beginning in Genesis 1:26-27. The fact is that, when God created human beings, He created them male and female. God could have created us as asexual beings, but he designed us as male and female for a purpose, one of which includes repro-duction. He also created male and female in His image, which means that we are far more than physical beings. We possess intellect, emotion, reasoning ability, and a spiritual nature as well. Eaves also cited Genesis 2:24 as God’s plan for marriage.

In the New Testament, Jesus cites, concerning marriage, God’s initial plan (Matt. 19:3-9). No authority exists for two men or two women to marry. None can be found for polygamy, either, which God once tolerated (under the old covenant). Nor does God authorize “group” marriage or “open” marriage or any other per-version of His Divine plan. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 Paul says that to avoid immorality, “let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (v. 2). Note that Paul does not write, “Let each man have his own partner.” The Bible exalts the man-woman relationship throughout its pages. No other arrangement is authorized, period.

The Case Against Homosexuality

Brother Eaves cited passages of Scriptures from all three covenants to show that God has never accepted the concept of homosexuality. This twofold approach forms an airtight case. On the one hand, homosexuality is not authorized or enjoined by God; on the other hand, the practice is condemned. In the Patriarchal Age, prior to the Law of Moses, those who practiced homosexuality were condemned, and it was called a sin that was “very grievous” (Gen. 18:20). Previously, the men of Sodom had been called “exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord” (Gen. 13:13). God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim because of their behavior (Gen. 19). The men of Sodom were so perverted that they desired two males who were visiting the city more than two virgin ladies (which would also have been a sin, since they were entitled to neither) (Gen. 19:4-10).

When the Law of Moses took effect, not only was adultery condemned (Lev. 18:20); so was homosexual-ity: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” (v. 22). Again, Leviticus 20:13 states: “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” Eaves also cited Deuteronomy 23:17: “There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel.” Moses is referring to both male and female prostitutes. Other verses referring to these practices are 1 Kings 14:24, 1 Kings 15:11-12, 1 Kings 22:46, and 2 Kings 23:7.

Eaves closed by pointing out several times that the sin of Sodom is mentioned elsewhere in the Scriptures. In talking about how evil Jerusalem and Judah had become, Isaiah wrote that “they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it; Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves” (Isa. 3:9). One cannot but think of the “Gay Pride” Parades where ho-mosexuals flaunt their perverted ways. Several other references are found in the Old Testament; Eaves also called attention in the New Testament to 2 Peter 2:6-8 and Jude 7. Both talk about the example of the destruction of Sodom: the former passage comments that they were an example for all who would afterward live ungodly; the latter states that they serve as an example of the suffering of eternal fire.

A Different Viewpoint

Dr. Johnson opened his first written response by saying that homosexuals are “your children, your teachers, your parents and your ministers.” He boasts that they have lived through 4,000 years of repression and have survived the Napoleonic Code, the Baltimore Catechism, and Anita Bryant (a critic of homosexuality). He predicted that they would survive Fundamen-talism, also. It was surprising that he did not include a recording of Queen’s, “We Are the Champions,” to ac-company the book! What homosexuals will not survive, however, is the Day of Judgment.

He asserted that there was not one verse in the Bible that condemned homosexuality—only abuse, excess, or inversion. He claims that what occurred in Sodom was abuse, which was certainly true when the two visitors came. But they practiced the sin all of the time—not just then. They were probably guilty of excess, also. By inversion, Johnson means homosexuals who betray their true preference and practice heterosexuality instead. He claims that it is wrong to forsake the sexual relationship that is “natural” for an individual.
He would also agree that homosexuals should not be male prostitutes, yet he does not comment on the fact that, on average, male homosexuals have more than 50 partners, which, while it may not constitute prostitution, is certainly fornication.

Most of the first negative was spent saying that Genesis 19 deals with abuse and that many of the other passages cited describe prostitution; therefore, these do not apply. Of course, he is wrong on the men of Sodom. Yes, this one case describes abuse, but that intended abuse grew out of their regular sinful practices (Gen. 13:13; 18:20). Did Johnson think this was a first-time thought—that ordinarily “straight” men saw two strangers and suddenly had inordinate desires? No, they commonly practiced homosexuality (though many of them had to be married), which caught God’s attention before the men ever arrived.

To further attempt to take away from the force of Genesis 19, Johnson cites a footnote from The Jerusalem Bible, first made available in 1966. It is a Roman Catholic Bible, and it contains a footnote on Jude 7 which states that the men of Sodom did not lust “after human beings, but after the strangers who were an-gels.” Here is a good example of the danger of foot-notes. Although they may at times be helpful, in this instance, they included an interpretation for “strange flesh” in Jude 7, implying that it belonged to the angels. The problem with this note is that nobody, including Lot, knew they were angels!

The Jerusalem Bible serves as a paraphrase rather than a translation in many passages, as do many of those listed below. But they are not very friendly to-ward the homosexual cause.

RSV: “and indulged in unnatural lust”
TCNT: “and fell into unnatural vice”
Moffatt: “and sensual perversity”
Norlie: “and homosexuality”
Knox: “and pursued unnatural lust”

Even if the text were berating the men of Sodom for trying to have carnal relations with angels (which it is clearly not), they would still be male angels.

Another dodge of homosexuals is to try to offset the force of all the plain passages showing what the sin of Sodom was by citing a verse or two that mention some of the cities other sins. Johnson lists Isaiah 3:9 (referenced already) and Ezekiel 16:49. In fact, he quotes a Catholic priest, John J. McNeil as saying:

We are dealing here with one of the supremely ironic paradoxes of history. For thousands of years in the Christian west the homosexual has been the victim of inhospitable treatment. Con-demned by the Church, he has been the victim of persecution, torture, and even death. In the name of a mistaken understanding of the crime of Sodom and Gomorrah, the true Crime of Sodom and Gomorrah continues to be repeated every day (The Church and the Homosexual 50).

What McNeil wrote is an excellent example of what Isaiah condemned: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20). To hear McNeil tell it, the sin of Sodom was treating others wrong—as homosexuals are treat-ed wrong. He tries to make the sinners the victims! Nothing could be more convoluted! What is wrong with his and Johnson’s reasoning is highlighted below.

1. Isaiah 3:9 talks about the openness of Sodom’s sin. They did not try to hide their perversion but rather flaunted it—just like so many do today. The Sodomites were the original in-your-face homosexuals. But they are still around. Lesbians showed up in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, January 13th, 2013, took off their T-shirts and started yelling and screeching like banshees. On their backs they had written in bold letters: “In Gay We Trust.” On the front side was written; “Shut up,” which is exactly what homosexuals want to force upon any opposition. Sadly, “Gay” has become their God. To try to make homosexuals the innocent victims is ludicrous.

2. Ezekiel 16:49 compares Judah to Samaria, whom God refers to as Sodom because of her corruption. What were some of her flaws? She was filled with pride, fullness of food and abundance of idleness (referring to material prosperity); neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. So is this the reason Sodom was destroyed? No, these were accompanying flaws. The fact that she is referred to as Sodom shows the moral corruption that was present. Verse 50 reinforces this fact: “And they were haughty and committed abomination be-fore me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.”

3. It was God that ordered the deaths of homosexuals in the Old Testament law (Lev. 18:22; 20:13). This law was not man’s idea but the Lord’s—to prevent the spread of perversion. We are not under the Old Testament any longer, but many have never under-stood that point and therefore erroneously persecute homosexuals. We have had laws against such practices in times past in this nation, and any nation has a right to pass such laws—because of the detrimental effect on society.

4. God prescribed stoning for adultery, also, under the Old Covenant, and we used to have laws against that evil as well. These practices are fundamentally wrong and harmful to any culture. Perhaps Hester was judged harshly for her sin (The Scarlet Letter), but it would be better to have that situation than with immoral women being rewarded with government support for their sins.

5. Everyone knows the true crime of Sodom; homosexuals just try to offer up red herring arguments to take people’ eyes off the truth of the matter.

Speaking of subterfuge, that was the technique of Johnson throughout most of his responses. He went off on a tangent, talking about Biblical arguments against birth control, which was irrelevant. We all know that people have misinterpreted and misapplied Scriptures. So what? The question is, “Are Bible passages being misapplied toward homosexuals?” and the answer is no. Homosexuals go to great lengths to reinterpret those passages so that they end up being favorable to them.

The first negative speech ends with Johnson asking 6 questions, which do not advance the discussion. The first was: “If the attempted rape in Sodom had been heterosexual, would that prove that all heterosexuality was intrinsically sinful?” (24). Eaves answered: “No, because God allows heterosexual relations according to His will while He does not allow homosexual relations. The heterosexual relationship may be abused (resulting in sin) but it can exist with God’s approval” (44). In other words, God authorized heterosexual marriage, but He condemns heterosexual rape, fornication, and adultery. He never, however, authorized homosexual relationships of any kind. The rest of his questions were even more oblique and irrelevant, such as the second one: “If a person commits one same sex act, does that make him a homosexual?” Eaves answered, “No, but the act itself is sinful.”

Concerning marriage, Johnson accused Eaves of finding “a verse which says that heterosexuals can marry and quotes it to prove (?) that only heterosexuals can marry. What our brother needs is a text which says that marriage is only allowed between heterosexuals” (21-22). First of all, Johnson is not our brother by any Biblical definition of the word. Second, Eaves did not just find a verse. He appealed to the creation and the institution of marriage, and the only example involves a male and a female. Third, no example of two males or two females being married exists.

Brother Eaves kept asking for the passage that defines marriage as permitting two individuals of the same sex to enter into that relationship. All Johnson could ever come up with is Hebrews 13:4, first introduced by brother Eaves: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” This verse does not authorize two persons of the same sex to be married any more than it does those unscripturally divorced and remarried. Homosexuals fall under the classification of fornicators (Jude 7). No verse authorized two of the same sex. No woman calls another woman wife, and no man calls another man husband. Attempts to justify homosexual marriage fail utterly.