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Note: Liberated Christians is a primarily about heterosexual relationships. While we are supportive of all sexual orientations, the leaders do not have the resources to assist them in their special issues. Thus, our Fellowship groups are not appropriate for gays/lesbians. However, individually Dave (an extreme heterosexual - Kinsey Scale= 0) has done extensive biblical research and has been active supporting biblical homosexuality for many years. However, there is no "official" stand as an organization on homosexuality other than general support.
Serious Study Of Leviticus: Has Nothing to do with today's homosexualtiy
Summary: Leviticus verses do not deal with homosexuality but rather the Canaanite sex rituals performed by Molech's male priests/ prostitutes who dressed up as women, wore goddess vestments, and goddess masks and whose customers were male- hence laying with a male as though a female.
Eaten any ham sandwiches? Eaten at Red Lobster recently? Did you shave this morning? How about the clothes you are wearing - are they made of any blends of fibers? Had a haircut recently? Oh and by the way, have you been to the temple to make a burnt offering ? Can you explain why it is OK to do those things but not OK for people to love the consenting adult of their choice?
More serious discussion:
Leviticus 20:13 "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable."
This was obviously directed at the majority heterosexual population. It would be just as unnatural for a homosexual to lie with the opposite sex as for a heterosexual to lie with the same sex. Gays are naturally attracted to same sex - that is how God created them. It would be detestable to force them into an unnatural act with a woman.
You also have to look at the context of the passage.
What you have to realize is these laws were designed to have priests distinguish themselves from the practices of the religions of the peoples around Israel in other parts of Canaan, especially those east of Jordan. These people were involved in the worship of Moloch and Baal and other gods and goddesses. One of the common practices were for the heterosexual priests of Moloch to dress up as women as part of their rituals and have sex with men who came to worship. Hence the prohibition of laying with men as with women - it was part of the religious worship, not with other men as in natural homosexuality.
In the start of chapter 20 if you read verse 2 it says to "speak to the children of Israel." Christians are NOT the "children of Israel". No Christians have an obligation to follow Jewish Levitical Laws- they just do not apply. Have you eaten a ham sandwich lately? If so, thank Jesus for it.
Lev 20:13 is giving the penalties for the Lev 18:22 "abomination" or in the Hebrew "toevah". Unlike what the English translation implies, toevah did not usually signify something intrinsically evil, but something which is ritually unclean for Jews. Eating pork, shellfish, lobster, trimming beards, mixing fibers in clothing, and having sex during a women's menstrual period is just as much an "abomination". It is used throughout the OT to designate those Jewish sins which involve ethnic contamination or idolatry. In many other OT verses it simply means idolatry.
Chapter 20 begins with a prohibition of sexual idolatry almost identical with this, and like 18, its manifest purpose is to elaborate a system of ritual "cleanliness" whereby the Jews will be distinguished from neighboring peoples. This was also the interpretation given by later Jewish commentaries such as those of Maimonides.
The struggle over the issue of Christian and the Mosaic law was a serious area of confusion for the new converted Christians. Paul addresses this in Gal 5:1-2 urging Christians not to be "entangled again with the yoke of bondage" or to give "heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth," for "unto the pure all things are pure" (Titus I: 14-15). Jesus set aside the purity laws and gave the commandment of love.
Almost no early Christian writers appealed to Leviticus as authority against homosexual acts. Those few that did, exercised extreme selectivity in selecting which Levitical laws to say are legitimate for Christians and which are not, whatever suited their personal prejudice. It was clearly not their respect for the law which created their hostility to homosexuality but their hostility to homosexuality which led them to retain a few passages from a law code largely discarded.
The Leviticus reference to toevah has nothing to do with homosexuality: A further evidence of this is toevah is used throughout the OT to designate those Jewish sins which involve ethnic contamination or idolatry and very frequently occurs as part of the stock phrase "toevah ha-goyim" "the uncleanness of the Gentiles" (e.g., 2 (4) Kings 16:3).
Another Hebrew word zimah could have been used - if that was what the authors intended. Zimah means, not what is objectionable for religious or cultural reasons, but what is wrong in itself. It means an injustice, a sin. For example, in condemnation of temple prostitutes involving idolatry, "toevah" is employed (e.g. 1 (3) Kings 14:24), while in prohibitions of prostitution in general a different word "zimah," appears (e.g. Lev. 19:29).
Leviticus does not say that a man to lie with man is wrong or a sin. Rather, it is a ritual violation, an uncleanness ; it is something dirty ritualistically, just as was eating shellfish, mixing fibers etc. Lev 18 is to distinguish the Jews from the pagans among whom they had been living, or would live. The prohibition of supposedly homosexual acts follows immediately upon a prohibition of idolatrous sexuality (the female temple prostitutes worshipping the pagan fertility gods) (often mistranslated fornication but a obvious mistranslation in the proper context).
This conclusion finds further support in the Septuagint where the toevah is translated with the Greek word bdelygma . Fully consistent with the Hebrew, the Greek bdelygma means a ritual impurity. Once again, other Greek words were available, like anomia , meaning a violation of law or a wrong or a sin. That word could have been used to translate toevah. In fact, in some cases anomia was used to translate toevah- when the offense in question was not just a ritual impurity but also a real wrong of an injustice, like offering child sacrifice or having sex with another man s wife, in violation of his property rights. The Greek translators could have used anomia; they used bdelygma.
Evidently, the Jews of that pre-Christian era simply did not understand Leviticus to forbid male-male sex because it is wrong in itself. They understood Leviticus to forbid male-male sex because it offended ancient Jewish sensitivities: it was dirty and Canaanite-like, it was unjewish. And that is exactly how they translated the Hebrew text into Greek before Christ. It makes no statement about the morality of homosexual acts as such. In todays society similar unclean acts might include picking ones nose, burping or passing gas. In Hebrew times wearing polyester, or eating shellfish etc. would have been just as much an abomination as men laying with men.
I think its not that useful to get all hung up on Lev cleanliness codes which made pork eating and mixing of fibers just as terrible sins.
The NT is more significant for Christians following Christ instead of Jews trying to follow the OT rituals to be accepted by God. Jesus said not a word even mistranslated about homosexuality. In fact he praised as a great example of love the Centurian's love for his slaveboy, an obviously pederastrial relationship.
- The Holiness Code and the Legal Code -
The Yahwist and Priestly authors tell of Moses giving the Holiness Code in Leviticus. They further credit the Legal Code in Deuteronomy to Moses, although these texts were found centuries later. Scholars generally agree that crediting Moses with delivering the laws of Deuteronomy was an attempt to make the Legal Code legitimate.
As the Hebrews settled Canaan, their leaders worked to keep the identity of Israel separate from that of the Canaanites. A principle way to do that was to emphasize the Canaanites' practice of idolatry. The Yahwist and Priestly authors of Genesis, Leviticus and Deuteronomy equated sacred prostitution (an important part of Canaan's worship of fertility with idolatry. Prostitution - and any sex act not contributing to procreation - came to be equated with idolatry. When the Old Testament mentions homosexual acts it is usually in the context of male worshipers using male prostitutes in temples. In Deuteronomy 23:17 we find the main concern of the Hebrews toward homosexual acts: "None of the Israelite women shall become a temple-prostitute, nor shall any of the Israelite men become a temple-prostitute. You shall never bring the gains of a harlot or the earnings of a male prostitute as a votive offering to the temple of the Lord your God; for both are abominable to the Lord your God." In Leviticus 18:22, 20:13 the Holiness Code establishes the association of homosexual acts and idolatry. It specifically bans practicing the Canaanites' worship customs.
The concern with idolatry was not the only cultural or historical consideration of the Hebrews when dealing with homosexuality:
1) According to Genesis, God chose the Hebrews as his children. Eternal life with God was something God's people did, not something each person did themselves. To be a part of God's eternal covenant required marriage and bearing children. To be sterile, or to not bear children for any reason, was one of the greatest curses a Hebrew male could suffer. It cut him off from the covenant of God.
2) The Hebrews were a small tribe surrounded by big and powerful neighbors. There was a desperate need to be sure every seed became a member of the tribe. To "cast your seed on fallow ground" was a serious crime, whether that casting be outside of the tribe or in nonreproductive sexual acts.
3) The concept of the absolute dignity of the male was central to Hebrew values. In nomad societies, where life is hard and the tribe must always move with the needs of the herds, the male is always revered for his aggressiveness and dominance. These qualities are needed for protection and survival. The gods of these societies are always male, while agricultural, settled societies often have female as well as male gods. Also, the Hebrews understood procreation as being purely the doing of the male. The visible semen was the entire baby - the fertile seed. Females were understood only as incubators for this seed.
The absolute dignity of the male was revered by the Hebrews, even to the extent that virgin daughters were offered when that dignity might be threatened. The homosexual act of anal intercourse was an affront to this dignity, undermining the Hebrews' patriarchal society.
4) In biblical times, anal intercourse was used as an act of contempt, domination, and scorn. The Egyptians used sodomy on their beaten enemy to demonstrate domination. There were stories of Egyptian gods using sodomy to demonstrate that they had the right to the inheritance of other male gods. Homosexual acts outside the temple were seen only as violations of the sacredness of the guest: acts of violence and inhospitality to others.
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