The New Christians

Sean gets right to the point — a point that Rod and I will explore much more in coming weeks.

Nine biblical citations are customarily invoked as relating to
homosexuality. Four (Deuteronomy 23:17, 1 Kings 14:24, I Kings 22:46
and II Kings 23:7) simply forbid prostitution by men and women.

Two others (Leviticus 18:19-23 and Leviticus 20:10-16) are part of
what biblical scholars call the Holiness Code. The code explicitly bans
homosexual acts. But it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting two
different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two
different kinds of yarn. Tattoos, adultery and sexual intercourse
during a woman’s menstrual period are similarly outlawed.

There is no mention of homosexuality in the four Gospels of the New
Testament. The moral teachings of Jesus are not concerned with the

Three references from St. Paul are frequently cited (Romans
1:26-2:1, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and I Timothy 1:10). But St. Paul was
concerned with homosexuality only because in Greco-Roman culture it
represented a secular sensuality that was contrary to his Jewish-
Christian spiritual idealism. He was against lust and sensuality in
anyone, including heterosexuals. To say that homosexuality is bad
because homosexuals are tempted to do morally doubtful things is to say
that heterosexuality is bad because heterosexuals are likewise tempted.
For St. Paul, anyone who puts his or her interest ahead of God’s is
condemned, a verdict that falls equally upon everyone.

And lest we forget Sodom and Gomorrah, recall that the story is not
about sexual perversion and homosexual practice. It is about
inhospitality, according to Luke 10:10-13, and failure to care for the
poor, according to Ezekiel 16:19·50: “Behold, this was the iniquity of
thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness
was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of
the poor and needy.” To suggest that Sodom and Gomorrah is about
homosexual sex is an analysis of about as much worth as
suggesting that the story of Jonah and the whale is a treatise on

He then points us to Peter Gomes’s post on the subject.

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