Thursday

Monday

The Narrow Gate

If you were able to go inside the mind of a Christian, see what's really at it's core, you'll find percentages around like this of what they think being a Christian is all about: 50% Loving God, 30% doing what the Bible tells you to do, 15% Loving your neighbor and the other 5% Prayer, seeking God, meditation on God and His Word and whatever else. Like I said the percentages might be off by 1 or 2 between "loving your neighbor" and "doing what the Bible tells you to do," but pretty much in those percentages range. We get the biggest percent with loving God because He does say to love Him with all your heart, soul and mind after all.

I beg to differ with those percentages because the Bible does. If you were to put the Bible in the most accurate percentages from summing up all the Bible messages from front to back cover (but let's take out the equation of God loving us, because when it comes right down to it, the whole of the Bible is a living love letter from God to the creature He created), you'll have 99% of loving your neighbor and 1% of everything else and I'll tell you why.

The Bible says Jesus will forgive you of your sins; ONLY He can forgive your sins. Sins that once were, are now gone, blotted out, like they were never there. The Bible gives us another example of what can happen to our sins in Isa 1:8: "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."
If you look at the context of that verse you see why God will do this with your sins in the previous verse 17: "Learn to do good (for others); Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow."

Love for others is the key with this verse. We find another verse that plays out the same way in 1 Peter 4:8: "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." It's even in Proverbs 10:12: "...love covereth all sins."

Now this is not FORGIVENESS of sins with these verses, it's a covering, a translation of a verb word from the Greek that means a continuous hiding, a veiling of sins that are still there, they just can't be seen. The love talked about comes from the command of; 'Loving your neighbor as yourself'." This love is so strong, so powerful, this love will hide your sins from the very eyes of God, a love so powerful, Paul says it is greater than having a faith that moves mountains and better than all wisdom and knowledge (1 Cor 13:2).


Christ says ALL the Laws that were given to man by His Father, ALL of what the Prophets spoke, hang on loving God and what Matthew 22:39,40 says is the same as; "Loving your neighbor as yourself."

Is the author of this post writing, "Loving your neighbor is the same as loving God," when that Scripture says loving God is the greatest? Yes.

The ancient Jews have a popular word trick (Gezera Shava) in that if two separate announcements had the same word or phrase, they were equal. It was this word trick that Jesus used against the Pharisees who tried to trap Him in Matt 22:34-39:
"But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Now if Jesus would have answered them with saying loving God was the greatest commandment, it would have taken away from what the Pharisees understood was the whole message of Jesus, loving your neighbor as yourself, but if Jesus said loving your neighbor as yourself was the greatest commandment the Pharisees would have stoned Him for blasphemy. What does Jesus do? He uses the Jewish word 'trick' (Gezera Shava) to show both are equal:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Jesus putting both commandments as being the same is what get's Him out of their snare. He does it again in the parable if the Good Samaritan with the follow up explanation of; "Who IS my neighbor?"

What about the Laws? Jesus says:
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." (Matt 5:17)
But what is "The Law?" The answer is found in Matt 19:16-19 with what Jesus tells the rich man and it's found again with Paul in Romans 13:8,9. The laws we are to keep are only to be found in the commandment in Leviticus 19:18; "...but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.

To many it looks like Christ is reading laws off the top of His head to give you a general idea that old laws are to still be followed with what he says to the rich man, but every single prohibition He states is said for a reason and those prohibitions He did not include were left out on purpose.

To the rich man:

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery,* you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother," "love your neighbor as yourself."

And now what Paul says:

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Each prohibition listed by Christ and each prohibition listed by Paul is breaking the general rule of "Loving your neighbor as yourself" From Leviticus 19:18. Now we have the answer with the seeming contradiction Paul says in Romans 2:13: "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous."
With:
Romans 3:20: "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin."
And Jesus seemingly saying we are to keep the Old Testament Laws in Matt 5:17:
"...Think not that I am come to destroy the law..."

Paul and Christ, two learned Jews of the Torah, treated the Torah the way the ancient Jewish nation did, they divided the laws that were between man and man (mitzvoth bein adam lachaveiro) that involved loving and doing kindness to your neighbor that we are to keep as a general law from Leviticus 19:18 and laws that were everything else (mitzvoth bein adam lamakom) that involved Laws between God and man that Christ said is fulfilled with loving and doing kindness to your neighbor.** So the answer to what looks like Paul contradicting himself with Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20 is Paul saying the 'works of the laws' (Old Testament Laws) will not make you right with God, it is only the 'works of the law' (Leviticus 19:18) that will make you right with God. 
If you stay within that commandment of Leviticus 19:18 in all you do, Christ says you fulfill ALL the Laws and Prophets (Matt 7:12):
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

Now we know what SPECIFIC law Jesus said He will not destroy in Matt 5:17.


Loving your neighbor shows a physical outward proof you have passed from death into Salvation according to 1 John 3:14:

"We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death."

James 2:8 says if you do this, you're doing good with everything else:

"If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you are doing well.

James 2:12,13 also says mercy triumphs over judgment (those who show mercy to gays will be better off than those who show judgment to gays for instance):

"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."

If you truly love God with all your heart, soul and mind, you will 'love your neighbor as yourself.' Jesus said if you truly love me, you will 'love others as I have loved you.' It will be the ONLY thing we will be held accountable for when we stand before God and it will be the ONLY thing that will that will decide whether we go to Heaven or be cast in Hell (Matt 25:31-46):
 
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


note: V'ahavtah L'rey-acha Kamocha (Love your neighbor as yourself) is steeped in Jewish tradition as is Gemilut Chassadim (bestowing loving kindness) that is supposed to be given with no fixed measure.

*Adultery is a sin that breaks the command of "loving your neighbor" in that it's an offense against a another (wife, husband, mate, an extension of your fellow human being) as themselves. Now since a man loving another man does not constitute breaking "Loving your neighbor as yourself," homosexuality wouldn't fall in breaking that command.

**Author Michael Wood explains in detail how the ancient Jews divided their laws between what a man did for God and what a man did for his fellow man in his book "Paul and Homosexuality."

Saturday

James White

James White is debating Justin Lee who's the founder of the Gay Christian Network. I believe White is being deceptive with what he knows about 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, but I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time someone questioned this supposed "expert" on the Greek language of the Bible.

This is the end of a series of me commenting on youtube videos of anti-gay apologetics pushers in my blog 'vids' tag.
addendum 4/16/14: I noticed White is requesting all videos of this debate be taken down with the only ones left being on his own site and sites that believe as he does. If you really believe the truth is on your side, you wouldn't pull this kind of tactic.




White is correct with saying everything should be seen through the Gospel, It's the final say when all reasonings, philosophical points and impassioned pleas of understanding are finished.

White believes, like Ravi Zacharias, that you can in fact be Christian and gay if you are in a homosexual condition, just not practicing. I don't think either one of them know that they are in the minority with that belief in Christendom or even being in the minority with the belief the church has been wrong in how they've acted in regard to gay men and women. It just shows me most Christians aren't really open to the Bible/homosexuality debate if it gives even an inch to homosexuals no matter how Biblical it is from Bible-based scholars.

Let's talk about White's points because he's approaching them from a Biblical stand point.


Bringing up 1 Corinthians to prove a point on homosexuality is the LAST place you should go. I know why they do it. It's because it's the only instance people like White can find what seemingly condemns homosexuality out of the contexts of homosexual rape (Sodom) or homosexuality linked with idolatry (Leviticus, Romans).

White says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that 'malakoi' is the passive (catcher) homosexual and 'arsenokoitai' is the aggressive (pitcher) homosexual. You know what contradicts that and what White conveniently forgets to mention? 1 Timothy 1:9-10 that uses the word aresenokoitai WITHOUT malakoi. If in fact it meant both sides of a gay relationship, both words would always be put together otherwise it looks like the Bible is only condemning only one side of the relationship. Guess what else? Jesus says the word malakoi WITHOUT arsenokoitai in Matt 11:8 and that has nothing to do with homosexuality either (Jesus is making an indictment of those who have the spirit of wanting the luxurious (fine clothing) in contrast to how John the Baptist lived).

White brings up the other reference to the word arsenokoitai being used around the same time as Paul (Sibylline Oracle 2.70-77) and guess what? It's talking about an ECONOMIC injustice and NOT homosexuality like what White wants you to think. All the other times it's used AFTER Paul, without exception, it's always used to mean either an economic or sexual exploitation with sometimes referencing idolatry.

Two problems with White saying Paul gets the term arsenokoitai from word mash-ups of Leviticus in the Septuagint. The first is that Paul would be contradicting himself with saying the old Jewish laws are dead to us (Romans 7:6-82, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Galatians 3:23-25, ) and then goes right back to those laws with referencing Leviticus. The second (don't you find it interesting that 2 out of the 3 branches of Judaism accept homosexuals when they have the most damning of Scripture on homosexuality? What do they know that we don't?) is that the ancient Jews believed those Leviticus passages were only for them at a specific time for a specific reason while they were living among the idolatrous Canaanites, so EVEN IF Paul was doing a word trick from Leviticus, it would STILL be homosexuality in the context of idolatry.

I don't know where White gets off saying it's an open and closed case arsenokoitai means a homosexual man. Notice lesbianism is absent? Either Paul forgot to include lesbians, God doesn't mind them or God likes loose ends.

He brings up Romans (funny, because in the beginning of the debate he said he wouldn't be throwing anti-gay Scriptures around) as an indictment against homosexuality WITH it's inclusion in idolatry. At least he's honest with saying the homosexuality mentioned in Romans is only entwined with idolatry. He should have stopped there because the rest of his readings into Romans, is just that, his reading into Romans what he has already decided on homosexuality.

As long as people like Justin try to justify homosexuality apart from the yes or no of it in the Bible, people like White will always get the upper hand if you hold the Bible as the Word of God. There is no excuse with denying a place at the Table of God for gay men and women if the Bible is read truthfully and you become a Berean with searching the Scriptures to make a correct judgment instead of just looking at the surface (John 7:24) of what are shoddy and biased Bible translations.

Friday

Albert Mohler



Mohler is giving 10% of the Word and 90% his opinion. What shows God's Glory between man and God is a man dying to self, the old sinful man that Paul says we are always struggling with inside, we become less so God can be more. What shows God's Glory on Earth is loving our neighbor as ourselves, the sum of all the Laws and the Prophets, what will tell the world we are the people of God. This hackneyed theology of Mohler saying opposite sexes coming together is showing God's Glory with it being a right order is crocked. Even unbelievers and the haters of God who do all forms of wickedness are in opposite sex relationship, are they a display of God's Glory in the right order? A dog chewing a bone does not show God's Glory any more than me eating artery clogging chili cheese fries that will give me heartburn later, it just is.

Mohler is showing his ignorance of Bible translation with his use of the word "dominion" over animals from Genesis. The correct translation from the Hebrew is "stewardship," A caring for animals like God takes care of us and not this dominant control from the incorrect translation from the Greek we get the iron-fisted word "dominion" from. By the way this is another example of a whole Bible belief being wrong because of a mistranslation over just one word and the error of it being carried over by the writings of the early church fathers that became doctrine. Now you see it's not so much of a stretch the same can be done with homosexuality and the Bible with translators who saw homosexuality from the perspective of their day and prejudiced personal opinion of church fathers in their writings.

We need completion with a mate? Maybe Mohler missed the part where everyone from John the Baptist to Christ to Paul were celibate with Paul encouraging it over marriage. What completes us is  being in Christ (Colossians 2:10). James 1:3,3 says; "...testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
This Bizzarre theology of completeness with a mate comes from Robert Gagnon.

Mohler says everything we know about life comes from marriage, a non-negotiable covenant, Did Abraham have a non-negotiable marriage covenant with Hagar over Sarah? Did Solomon have one with his seven hundred wives? What about King David and his numerous concubines who weren't his wives?
 
I stopped listening at the 13 minute mark because this is ridiculous if he's starting off this way and I later tried again to the 18 mark and couldn't even make it past THAT.

Wednesday

"(Gay) men and women are not projects. If you don't really love them, shut the Hell up. If you have no genuine love, if you have no genuine affection, then I don't understand what you're doing. It's like you're working a project or something, like you want the big gay victory of; "A gay man converted!" If you really don't love someone or have genuine care for their soul, their mind and their being, be quit man! You're making a mess of stuff."

-Pastor Matt Chandler, who believes homosexuality is prohibited in the Bible, on Christians who quote the "clobber passages" to gays.




Tuesday

Michael Brown

Brown just came out with a book and in one chapter here brings up the gay urban legend about the book "After The Ball" As stated fact. For those who don't know, "After the Ball - How America will conquer its fear and hatred of Gays in the 90s" was a book released in 1989 by two gay authors that gave an outline with how gays will be accepted in mainstream America. The main thrust of the book was to make homosexuality seem like a no big deal to the public and that's what will make homosexuals accepted. With people knowing more and more gays, including friends and family and the 'exoticness' of homosexuality being shown to be a myth with gays being shown in the media with being normal and living boring lives, it was just common sense that's how gays will be accepted over time. It's a fact that if you know a gay person, you're less likely to not hate gays if you put a face to a homosexual.

Anti-gay Christians like Brown see the acceptance of homosexuals in society as something else. They believe that all gays are following the book as a kind of manifesto, that gays are following some secret and diabolical plan outlined in "After The Ball," All gays know about it, we just don't talk about it in public. Most people would put this in the realm of conspiracy nuts, but it's amazing how many prominent Christian leaders like Brown and Albert Mohler believe it's true.

I've never heard of the book until the name of it started to pop up in rabid anti-gays sites. No one I know has ever heard of the book, it went out of print years ago and I guarantee you 99% of gays have never heard of the book much less read it. 'After The Ball' is to gays what "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is to Jews.

This is an interview with Brown and Wayne Bessen. Wayne played a key role in exposing the "ex-gay" movement for what it was. My response is below.
 

 
 
Brown really is a bold faced liar. As for this 'gay activist' Brown said he was going to go out to lunch/dinner with because he thinks Brown is such a great guy, let's hear what the activist actually said: holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2009/07/charlotte-pride-and-hypocrisy-of.html#.Uw6aFY3Tl1t
Go to the comments section.
 
First, Christians should be leery of Brown because of his association with the heresy called the "Brownsville Revival" that he still defends today (news flash The Holy Spirit doesn't make you bark like a dog) and is considered a false teacher in most Christian circles for pushing the 'Prosperity Doctrine.'

Brown lied about the purpose of his group at Charlotte Pride with one witness saying; "I saw a lot of people trying to get away from the red-shirted people, and they just wouldn’t leave people alone. They were going after the children of gay and lesbian parents. They were after the little kids, telling them that their mommies and daddies were going to hell and were sinners.”

He bares false witness with saying comments like; "Gays want to sexualize children" And they; "Want to put Christians in jail" (easy Google look-up) he'll no doubt will say was taken out of context with a smug smile. The man has a ministry (they also went to the pride parade together that brown said was like; "Going to the gates of Hell") with Lou Engle, also considered a false Christian by most Christians for spreading the 'Manifest Sons of God' Heresy, who went to Uganda to help pass the "Anti-Gay" Law that would put gays in prison for the rest of their lives:

Second, and what concerns me as a Christian is his keeping old Jewish Laws with new Christianity mix and match apostate theology, even saying Christians should keep the Sabbath.

This is what he said on the Piers Morgan show:


"First, Jesus said that He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. In other words, the Old Testament law, even in Jesus’ day, was still in force and Jesus accepted it. That is the same law that condemns homosexuality in the Book of Leviticus.
Next, Brown cited Matthew 15 in which Jesus states that all sexual acts committed outside of marriage defile a human being.

Finally, Brown cited Matthew 19 in which Jesus said that marriage, as God intended it, is the union of one man and one woman."

My response:
Any man who claims Jesus said we are to run back to the Old Testament is insulting the complete work of the cross and teaches a different Gospel than the one preached by Christ and Paul (Rom 7:6, Gal 2:21). The Bible is crystal clear that ALL the Law and the Prophets hang on the sole edict of "Loving your (gay) neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22-36, 40). Period. Paul even goes as far as saying those who insist on following aspects of the Old Covenant, a covenant that was hung on the cross to die with Christ and to die to us to be replaced by a NEW Covenant of Grace, are under a "curse" (Galatians 3:10).

Brown also seems to miss the rest of the Matthew verses where Jesus talks about born 'eunuchs' (verse 12) who straight marriage doesn't apply to and how the marriage vow is only for those who accept it for themselves (verse 11), it wasn't a command. Look at the Bible more closely and you'll see Jesus said little about marriage (He only commented on it because it was brought up to Him) and Paul had even less a regard for it (1 Cor 7:8,9).
Any person who doesn't understand these basics tenets about Christianity shouldn't call themselves "Christians."

Monday

Ravi Zacharias

On this blog I have lack of challenges with what I present on homosexuality and the Bible. If I present an argument, I expect for you to give me an answer to that argument point by point and just telling me I'm "wrong" on your own blog or giving me a link is not an answer. I've been posting a lot on youtube lately and I'd like to address some of the anti-gay points brought up by some of the most influential Christians on the scene. I'm not afraid to answer tough questions or give counter points even from these "Super Christians" because it's the Word of God that guides me. I am nothing in the world when it comes to these great men in Christendom, but I take my queue from God saying he will use the stupid and not the wise. Paul said to have a defense for your faith and I am all too happy to lay out that defense.

Ravi Zacharias is considered on of the greatest Christian apologist of our time. I give my answer
below the video I either posted in youtube comments or for the first time here.



Sorry, but if Ravi really believes the majority who call Christ Savior are only concerned about homosexuality because they see "sexuality as sacred," He doesn't know most 'Christians' who seem to be morbidly focused on it, see it as a "greater than" sin and bare false witness with making outrageous about a "gay lifestyle' we are somehow living and a "gay agenda" like we're following some nefarious plan to persecute Christians and undermine the Word of God. If Ravi also thinks "race as sacred" was always a held belief, maybe he missed the episode of American history when God-fearing men had slaves.

A few other points...

Ravi's premise faulty from the start when he states homosexuality is an aberration, according to who? Bigoted dispositions of Bible translators and church tradition? It's not from Scripture because you can not find homosexuality outside the contexts of rape, idolatry or exploitation. Take homosexuality out of these contexts and you find nothing that speaks in the negative on the homosexual condition, zilch. If the Bible speaks nothing on homosexuality in and of itself, neither should we. If Christ speaks nothing in the negative on the condition of homosexuality, neither should we. You can actually see how Bible translations have evolved over time to become more and more bigoted with homosexuality especially with 1 Corinthians 6:9.

Ravi said God complimented Adam with woman (the actual Scripture says "mate," God just happened to make a woman first) and put only in her what can cope with a man? In reality you can not find two more foreign beings who are always attempting to understand each other. Take away the sexual desire a man has for a woman and I doubt one would prefer to be with the opposite sex instead of the same sex for company in a room. If there is anything called "complimentary" with one human with another it's with the same sex with common understandings, common dispositions and a slew of other commonalities across the board.

He says gays can be gays in disposition, they just shouldn't act on it and he brings up some writer who he thinks we should all have heard of. This man is asking gays to put on a yoke he would ask of no one else who desires the companionship of another human being. Giving gays a burden that God never asked for or required. Since he brings up his author friend, let me bring up one of my own in contrast. William Stringfellow was a brilliant lawyer and Harvard graduate who gave up his career to defend poor blacks in court by the call of God in the 60's and he lived in the slums of Harlem with the people he defended. Stringfellow's writings on the Apostle Paul's statement of "Principalities and Powers" is considered the best on the subject in theological circles. Stringfellow was a gay man who lived with his lover during this time. He was no less of a Christian and no less a man of God than Ravi's celibate friend, yet Ravi will only see one as righteous.

What I do find interesting is that he believes you can be gay (just not practicing) and a Christian. I don't think he realizes how that wouldn't fly with most of his brethren. He seems to not know that many churches affirm practicing gays (Church of Christ, Methodist, Presbyterian) so he doesn't have to worry about gays being in churches like his.

Friday

Jewish Exegesis Methodology and Leviticus

On the basis of the exegesis of Baraitha d'Rabbi Ishmael in the Sifra, on Leviticus, written in the mid-second century of the Common Era, Rabbi Ishmael says:

"The Torah is interpreted by means of thirteen rules.... When a generalization is followed by a specification, only what specifies applies (Miklal u'frat)."

In our texts of Leviticus the generalization is the text; "A man shall not lay with a man," ואת זכר לא תשכב and the specification is the text; "as you would lay with a woman" משכבי אשה.

Based upon Rabbi Ishmael's method of Jewish Torah exegesis, we can clearly see that the biblical passages in Leviticus 18: 22 and also in Leviticus 20: 13 can not refer to true homosexual activity at all, as at least one of the males is a heterosexual or perhaps a bisexual male. Otherwise the text need not supply the words, "as (you would) lay with a woman."

To translate that prohibition, therefore, as applying to any homosexual relationship is to exit the realm of divine ordination and enter instead the realm of subjective, mortal homophobia.

The ancient rabbis must have had some sense of this problem when they ruled two thousand years ago that any homosexual sexual activity short of anal intercourse is not included in the biblical prohibition (Babylonian Talmud, Yevamot 54a-56a; Sotah 26b; Niddah 13a; Maimonides, Perush L'Mishnayot on Sanhedrin 54a).

Why did they bother to offer that qualification if it was so clear to them that homosexuality was forbidden?

Also, lesbianism, according to Jewish law, was never prohibited; Maimonides, who personally abhorred such behavior, ruled that; it is neither a biblical nor a rabbinic prohibition. (Perush L'Mishnayot on Sanhedrin 54a.)

In fact, the rabbis in the Gemara (BT, Tractate Yevamot) specifically say that the passages in Leviticus refers to an androgynous being and not to male-male sex.

Since the rabbis' interpretations are the basis of halakhah, anyone claiming that Judaism is against homosexual orientation based upon that passage is simply incorrect.

From http://home.earthlink.net/~ecorebbe/id18.html