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The Bible and Homosexuality

Biblical Questions, Biblical Answers
By Jagannatha Prakasa (© May 3, 1999; last updated April 9, 2017)

The Bible is said to be the foundation stone upon which the Church of God rests. It is often quoted to encourage and build up faith in God. We read about the importance of the Bible to our Christian walk at I Timothy:
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Despite the stated purpose of the Bible as a great unifier, as a source to settle all matters of doctrine and lead us into Christian maturity, it often misused and employed to feed confusion, prejudice, and religious partisanship. The Bible is sometimes used to condemn and destroy faith in those with differing doctrinal understandings. Seemingly one can prove (or disprove) anything by quoting from its passages! Even worse, with so many conflicting versions of the Bible today, who knows what to believe!

Not so long ago if you spoke the English language your Bible translation was almost certainly the Authorized or "King James" Version. If you spoke another language, your Bible was probably a translation of the KJV. There were a few other versions used by Christians, more as study aids, but the KJV was the Bible. When Christians said, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it!" what they believed were the words of the King James Bible. When they debated doctrine, the King James was the authority both sides referenced. Using a different translation was always considered supplementary evidence. There was still great doctrinal diversity about what the Bible taught, but the source material was deemed unassailable. That is no longer the case due in large part to the non-christian publishing houses like Zondervan press. Such companies have made billions of dollars by replacing the King James with inferior paraphrases.

Because of Zondervan and other companies, there are almost as many Bible versions as there are Christian denominations now! Unlike the single voice of the Authorized King James Version that, since 1611, led the faithful godward, Christians now listen to scores of competing voices, each claiming to be the Word of God. It all seems very confusing at times! The end result is spiritual relativism, the belief that there is no way of knowing what God actually intended in the pages of the Bible.

Some will argue that it doesn't matter which Bible version one uses. They are all the same, its just that the new paraphrases use modern English and hence are easier to understand. But is this true? Consider the following examples. Below I contrast the Authorized King James Version, translated from the time honored Textus Receptus, with the New International Version, a paraphrase of diverse and dubious sources, because through heavy-handed marketing and propaganda, the NIV has amazingly become the most popular version of the Bible in the world. It is however only one of the New Age Bible paraphrases currently undermining the historic Christian faith:

Psalm 12:6-7:
KJV: The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

NIV: And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.
Isaiah 7:14:
KJV: Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

NIV: Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Isaiah 14:12
KJV: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

NIV: How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn!
Micah 5:2
KJV: ... Bethlehem ... out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting.

NIV: ... Bethlehem ... out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
Matthew 17:21
KJV: Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Matthew 18:11
KJV: For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Matthew 23:14
KJV: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Mark 7:16
KJV: If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Mark 7:19
KJV: Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats.
NIV: For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body. (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")
Mark 9:44
KJV: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Mark 9:46
KJV: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Mark 9:46
KJV: But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Mark 15:28
KJV: And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Luke 4:4
KJV: And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
NIV: Jesus answered, "It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone."
Luke 4:8
KJV: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written...
NIV: Jesus answered, It is written ...
Luke 17:36
KJV: Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Luke 23:17
KJV: (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
John 5:4
KJV: For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Acts 8:37
KJV: And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Acts 15:34
KJV: Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Acts 18:21
KJV: But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.
NIV: But as he left, he promised, "I will come back if it is God's will." Then he set sail from Ephesus.
Acts 24:7
KJV: But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Acts 28:29
KJV: And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
Romans 1:27
KJV: ...men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
NIV: ...Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Romans 16:24
KJV: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!
I Corinthians 6:9
KJV: 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,
NIV: Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
I Corinthians 9:27
KJV: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection ...
NIV: No, I beat my body and make it my slave ...
Galatians 5:12
KJV: I would they were even cut off which trouble you. [those requiring circumcision of Gentile Believers in verse 11]
NIV: As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
Ephesians 3:9
KJV: ...God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.
NIV: God, who created all things.
I Timothy 3:16
KJV: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
NIV: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
I John 4:3
KJV: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist ...
NIV: but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist ...
I John 5:7
KJV: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
NIV: For there are three that testify:
Revelation 22:14
KJV: Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life ...
NIV: Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life ...

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city,
and from the things which are written in this book" (Rev. 22:19).

I realize of course that this stern warning is in reference to anyone who would tamper with the Book of Revelation, but surely the same warning applies to the other sixty five holy books!

It may be argued that perhaps the new paraphrases are closer to the original documents. There is no reason to believe this is true. Are we to believe that God has changed and that some of His words should be removed from the Bible?

What is apparent however is that the Christian Church is becoming progressively more hypocritical, that its losing its faith and losing its social impact even as it embraces these new Bibles. This is not a coincidence. In the Book of Revelation spoken by Jesus to John, we read of the Church of the Last Days:

Perhaps the abandoning of the Bible upon which the Christian Faith was founded is partly what will lead to the falling away of the Christian Church and the end of the age. If so, this apostasy was foretold and was bound to happen, although such is little consolation!

So in light of all this I ask you, do we really need the Bible? Would we be better off without it?

When considering this question we need to remember that if you're a Christian, the Bible did not save you, Jesus did! People seem to forget this some time. We are not to worship the Bible! Its a tool, and spiritual help.

May I repeat this? The Bible didn't save me, Jesus did!

Now don't get out the stakes for my crucifixion just yet, I'm not denying the importance of the Holy Scriptures, God forbid! But the Bible tells us about Jesus, it leads us to salvation by sharing a written record of God's dealings with the people of this planet. That glorious Book declares to us that salvation is the free gift of God and is not attainable through any book, even the Most Holy Bible.

No, the Bible has never saved a single soul.

But can we discover the heart of God without it?

We read at Acts 10:

9 On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.
10 But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance;
11 and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground,
12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air.
13 A voice came to him, "Get up, Peter, kill and eat!"
14 But Peter said, "By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean."
15 Again a voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy."
16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.
17 Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon's house, appeared at the gate;
18 and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there.
19 While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you.
20 "But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself."

Peter was a good Jew. He knew the Law of Moses. He knew that it was a sin for him to eat the creatures on that blanket. He also knew it was a sin for him to preach the Good News of the Jewish Messiah to Gentiles. He could have quoted the Scriptures back to God to prove it! But now he had a tough decision to make.

Should he say, "Sorry God, no can do. I'm a devoutly religious Jew and Leviticus says..."

But what did God say to Peter? God didn't reply that there were older, more reliable manuscripts that said it was all right eat these things. God didn't go to Strong's Concordance and break down the literal meanings of the words to demonstrate that God was the Lord of all the earth, hence it was OK to share with the Gentiles... No!

God said, "What I have called clean do not you call unclean!"

God knew the Torah better than Peter did, and yet God said to him, "Kill and eat these un-kosher foods! Share the truth with the outsiders!" The Torah was superseded by the sovereign Will of its author, God. God had said these animals, and hence the Gentiles being alluded to, were no longer treifah, now they were kosher, so they were pure, no matter what the Bible said! Oye!

Now, these Gentiles that soon showed up at Peter's house weren't dummies either! No doubt knew they were asking Peter to violate the Levitical law by their request, but God had told them to go, so they went. Which will you obey, the law or the lawgiver?

And so what happened? Peter violated the letter of the Law, preached the Gospel to non-Jews, and beginning at verse 44:

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.

45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered,
47 "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?"
48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

The Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles! Seemingly the Spirit of the Living God violated the Torah! But God is not limited and the Torah was given to help the earth and its caretakers. Jesus made the point quite clearly in his teachings:

God told these Gentiles to go, they went. God told Peter to go, he went. Then the Holy Ghost came! Peter could look at these people and see that God had made them pure no matter what the Torah said! He was no longer relying on the letters on a page but on the Living God.

Remember what Jesus said? By their fruits you can know his disciples.

What God has called holy, do not dare to call unholy! By the Spirit of God we can know the truth of a thing by its fruits and by the witness of our spirits. Yet even so, our own cultural and religious belief systems come into play. The best advice is to leave the judging of others to God! (1 Corinthians 4:

Surely we must have the Bible to teach us how to be faithful stewards! How will we be able to know the will of God in our lives without it?

Scripture says clearly at I John 2:27:

"As for you, the anointing which you received from God abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as God's anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in God."

For those who surrender their will and ego to God, the indwelling Spirit of Truth will teach all things and, in harmony with that sweet Spirit, we may peaceably abide in God. Such a person is like Peter, knowing the Law but following the Spirit.

But you may say, the human heart is too vile and deceptive, one can't trust it!

And yet the Bible says, at I John 3:

18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before God
20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God...

When our hearts and minds are focused on God, when the desire of our hearts is know and love God more fully each day, then our hearts, our inner voices, will guide us correctly.

The question is, can, or better will, we trust in God to such an extent?

The Christian mystic Thomas Merton (1919-68) wrote in Seeds of Contemplation:

"Contemplation is the highest expression of ones intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being."

It is by searching our hearts that we know the mysteries and the will of God.

So then, what about the Bible? Does this exclude it? Does this make debates over translations and paraphrase irrelevant?

God forbid! The Bible is our lifeline! The Bible is the guide that makes sure our inner life does go off kilter! The Bible however must be rightly understood as a guide and a spiritual helper to the Holy Spirit within.

We read at II Tim. 2:15:

And that word of truth is the Holy Bible. Paul continues to tell Timothy at 2 Timothy 3:16: