Tuesday

Resource Me

Two great sites for LGBT Jews:

ESHEL (Orthodox)
HOD (in Hebrew, also Orthodox)
In the L.A. area, JQ



My friend Terence has a site from the LGBT Catholic perspective.

Two links for Pentecostal LGBT are at the bottom of my blog.

Wednesday

Gagnon's Poor Passion

David Kyle Foster (who posted this video on youtube) pushes Gagnon videos on his website. He recieved his degrees from evangelical schools and believes the same-sex molesting he experienced as a young boy is what homosexuality is all about. He won't let anyone re-post this Gagnon video because he's afraid Gagnon is going to be mocked (exhibit: A) and refuted in the comments section he can't control, so he just hoards this video that gives Gagnon the opportunity to lay out his arguments at any length.
Since Foster will delete any dissenting view or negative comment on Gagnon on his youtube channel, I thought I'd bring Gagnon here.

 


This blog has pointed out the error that is called "moral, ritual and ceremonial" laws enough to what's being presented by Gagnon here. The man thinks Paul speaks from the center of these Old Testament prohibitions with almost everything he wrote, like the old Pharisee Saul didn't really completely die to be the new Paul. He misses the very core message of Paul who said the old prohibitions are dead to us and ignores Paul saying in 2 Corinthians; "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" and again in Romans; "But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code."
It's re-stated in Acts; ""Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?"
And from Hebrews; "The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless," "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves."
Even the ancient Jews believed the new "Messianic Torah" would replace their written Torah; "The Torah that a person learns in this present age is trifling compared to the Law of the Messianic King" (Koheles Rabah 11:8)
Paul also gives a dire warning to those who insist on following old Torah prohibitions (Gal 3:10).

Homosexuality was never 'absolutely' proscribed in the New Testament. You have the homosexuality entwined with idolatry in Romans 1 where Paul patterns his sin list in Romans from other idolatry vice lists popular in his day and from Deuteronomy that mirrors Romans word for word. And you have homosexuality entwined with the exploitive wording in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy Gagnon sees as an "echo" with Paul from the Old Testament. Paul only spoke on homosexuality through the narrow lens of idolatry or exploitation with Gagnon taking these examples to make a blanket statement on ALL homosexuality. He won't take out homosexuality from the idolatry context because it's him being deceptive again and I already brought up Gagnon's error with seeing homosexuality with being equal as exploitive homosexuality, so I don't need to go further with correcting this view he continues with now and later in the video with his sorry interpretation of "Arsenokoites." This is a perfect example of Gagnon's "half-reading." He quotes extensively from David F. Greenberg's book; "The Construction of Homosexuality" in his own book; "The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics" when Greenberg gives an exhaustive narrative of homosexuality through the ages as a practice without condemning comment or consequence (all documented by Greenberg, all deliberately left out by Gagnon).

Gagnon brings up his two children and what they KNOW is wrong and equating that with how we are suppose to feel about homosexuality, we should KNOW it's wrong. Gagnon believes so strongly and so deeply homosexuality is so contrary to anything right or good or holy, he's incredulous you can't see it. This is a tactic of his to make you feel foolish with what he thinks you should see as a given, this is Gagnon who sees homosexuality as the equivalent of a child touching a hot stove.

He takes apart the easy argument of those who bring up the "abomination" of mixing two types of cloth with the "abomination" of homosexuality in Leviticus, why doesn't he bring up the more complex issue of divorce Christ takes away from Moses? The sin of usury in the Old Testament Christ actually carried over unlike homosexuality? Breaking the Sabbath that also calls for the death penalty? Circumcision the Old Testament says is a "forever" act? Or the other slew of what the Bible calls "abominations" that don't fall in either the ceremonial or purity categories ignored by the Body of Christ today?

Leave it up to Gagnon to make the story of the woman who was going to be stoned to be about the woman's adultery and not about how we are to be merciful with not judging one another and that we are to follow Christ to 'do likewise.' What do we get out of what Jesus did in this story? Saving someone for the "Kingdom of God" (the Scribes did not believe in a "Kingdom of God" so Gagnon's take on the story would have no meaning to them) who might not repent later even with what Christ tells her to do in His intervention of her stoning? Or showing that mercy trumps the letter of the law (James 2:12,13) and making Him an enemy to the Scribes and the Pharisees who brought the woman to Christ to be stoned according to "The Law?" By implication Gagnon says Jesus would have took part in the stoning if He could, but stops Himself for the singular reason of saving her for "the Kingdom" (This is yet another case of Gagnon not being able to take his head out "Old Testament Laws" weights and balances and missing the mark of who Christ is).

Paul called out a man at the church in Corinth with what he was doing that hurt another with what was an incest relationship, Gagnon says it's the same with two non-related homosexuals (ironically, Gagnon has stated that the Corinthian man's incest is preferable to homosexuality even when the Bible gives no such account of Paul taking a stance with a homosexual man in the church). He takes the Greek word "Porneia" (harlotry) in the verse describing the Corinthian man's sin and carries that description to mean all sexual immorality. In all Biblical instances the word is used, without exception, it is either in reference to a breaking of a marriage obligation or prostitution and is never used as a blanket term to mean all sexual immorality that Gagnon then carries over to mean homosexuality.

Gagnon give away his bias with his statement; "Tolerance is not always loving," yet he is the first to show tolerance to the divorced with coming up an excuse for stating it is a; "one time sin" and immediately it stops being a sin or living in a state of sin.

His question of; "Are homosexuals at risk?" He answers his own question because to him there is no other answer. When Gagnon uses the term "Aggressive love" to him that translates as fighting legislation that would stop gay children from being bullied in school and writing letters to church bodies telling then to kick gays out, this is Gagnon's 'love' in action, a love he thinks he sees with Christ. Unlike what Gagnon believes, love does not dishonor others or demands it's way... just ask Paul (1 Cor 13:5), a good disciple of Jesus.

No comment is needed further with Gagnon's claim the only problem the Pharisees had with Christ was because he was pushy with an even more intensified Old Testament ethic while at the same time being loving, I really wonder if Gagnon believes that himself.

This is one of Gagnon's weakest argument, along with the since discredited "science" in his book, that somehow men and women are to be 'complimentary parts' to each other and is a large part of why he believes as he does. I point out this error of his in my review of his book; "The Construction of Homosexuality... " and another reference to his work is another solid treatise on this pagan-based belief. Gagnon goes to bogus science because he can never show the "consequence" of homosexuality he compares to vices that do have notable consequences in Paul's vice lists.

When Gagnon brings up the fact Christ never talks about homosexuality with saying Christ never brought up incest either, he misses the fact Sodom was brought up to Christ. Instead of leading Christ to expand further with what was the sin of Sodom, Christ says nothing other than making it a case for inhospitality.* When Christ comes across the same sex practicing Centurion, He says nothing other than to admire the faith of the centurion, When Christ does speaks on marriage, he's quick to bring up "born eunuchs" Gagnon himself concedes could fit the the historical definition of a homosexual.

His claim that the Christians of Paul's day would have seen homosexuality as a given prohibition from the Old Testament like incest, let's look at that closer.

Gagnon states; "There is no record of a Jew practicing homosexuality in early Judaism," or "There is no dissenting opinion anywhere in Judaism on the subject of homosexuality," he's mistaken.

An excellent page on the false claim of the Greek term "Malakoi" he tries to pass off as meaning an effeminate 'gay' man.

I quote from my own page on 1 Corinthians about the term "Mishkav Zakur;" "The Hebrew expression mishkav zakur drawn from the Hebrew texts of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 was a term found in no ancient writing prior to Paul, so to say Paul went with that understanding is false."

This is a refutation of Gagnon saying Leviticus is an absolute prohibition on homosexuality even outside of it's idolatry context with outside sources referenced (see; Myth 2# and 2-3 A – Seven Myths in the Homophobic Interpretations of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13) that also addresses Gagnon's other points mentioned in the video.


*Gagnon brings up Sodom in not this video, but elsewhere in an attempt to force the story from lack of hospitality he admits is the jist of the story to homosexuality. My response is here that also covers Jude 1:7.

 

As you can see, Gagnon has thoroughly been refuted with what are his main arguments on homosexuality and the Bible.


It's worth repeating with what scholar Jean-Fabrice Nardelli has to say on Gagnon that needs no further comment:

"Once and for all, let it be said that Gagnon is an inaccurate and poor student of Biblical homosexuality: he is far too opinionated and self-indulging for someone who would have us believe in his impeccable judgement (whence my jibe at his status as an ayatollah), has no grasp whatsoever of the major ancient Near Eastern languages apart from Masoretic Hebrew, never consults scholarly literature in other tongues (German and French Bible studies simply do not exist for him), and he is ridiculously parochial in his selection of primary and secondary sources (they are principally American, and wherever possible come from the Evangelical right). Just consult any piece of his which appears on his website; you will discover that he is all rhetoric and blistering, with virtually nothing in guise of scientific apparatus. I would have been loathe to expose him for what he is had he been decent enough not to charge his opponents with gross dishonesty. So let us not mince words any longer. As a parting shot, I shall like to adduce a point which speaks volumes about his academic credentials: in more than a decade, Gagnon only produced one large book (under, one might add, the covers of a religious publisher, not an academic press) and a handful of papers in peer-reviewed journals; such an output for a senior scholar, coupled with the fact that at well over fifty he is still an Assistant Professor in a second-rate theological seminary, comes on a long way, I think, towards explaining his tooth-and-nail stance as an ideologue and his preference for online preaching over academic work."



Monday

Hate in the Name of Christ

I prayed on if I should make this post. I always believed anti-gay theology would grow an ugly fruit that Christians could no longer deny because of it being the Doctrine of Demons that it is. This is it's fruition, it's ugly flower in full bloom. I couldn't call myself a Christian if I turned my back on the horrors done in the Name of my God.



Friday

Rev. Joseph Adam Pearson, Ph.D.

What I love about Pearson is that he's a Bible thumper's thumper, a real conservative and hard liner with the Word of God, he just happens to believe the Bible doesn't condemn homosexuality.
His book on-line.

Thursday

Michael Craven

I made the big mistake to write a comment to Michal Craven on his site. I should have known better when he thinks all of America is going into some moral morass because I get googly eyed with boys and because of "secular humanists" (I thought that terminology went out in the late 80's with Evangelicals?). Apparently Michael missed the Scriptures that we are to be set apart from the world and not in a tug of war with it. We are to live at peace with our neighbor, not demand our way with them, we are to preach the "Good News," not force un-believers to act like they were.
This is what I first wrote him and his response:
http://www.battlefortruth.org/ArticlesDetail.asp?id=236&rr=1#resp

The actual article is harmless enough with coming from an anti-gay Christian, but how does Michael really feel when in a different article on homosexuality he says:

"In short, social acceptance of deviant sexual behaviors (homosexuality) represents the final stages of a society working to rid itself of all traditional mores related to sexual conduct. The jettisoning of sexual morality renders the individual and its attendant society devoid of its productive energy. Such societies diminish because their collective creative energies are redirected toward the fulfillment of their personal sexual appetites (hedonism)."

Of course what you don't see is my final comment Michael didn't want to post with what he wrote me back so it looks like I had no response to him or the Scriptures he brings up (in one part of my post I say I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, breathed by God and is inerrant. I guess that popped his bubble of claiming I'm a "Liberal Progressive," so he just rather not post it).

Michael loves to put people in boxes who he believes are picking fights with Christianity in what's  his made-up; "Culture War." People he labels; "Secularists," "Homosexuals with an agenda," "Liberal Progressives" and a list of others with scary titles who are either fighting Christianity coming into the world or kicking out of the world the Christianity it still has left. Notice his fighting words (battle, war)? People like him are always needing to see a spiritual enemy behind individuals and "Homosexual Activists" are one of his combatants (Any homosexual who has the nerve to demand the same rights as a heterosexual is an "activist)." It's lost on Michael that there are not tiers of citizenship in America where you being a Christian American citizen somehow trumps the citizenship of a Gay American in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution. I DO believe in spiritual enemies, but not the ones Michael believes in, gay men and women. To Michael, the simple and you could even say the boring way of "Loving your neighbor as yourself" just isn't thrilling or enough for him. Jesus wants us to love one another like we were in a love story movie, Michael wants to make it into a war movie with bombs and kicking Satan's ass. To him, why should it be about anything else when he's all geared up and ready to go with fighting battles that will turn the tide in what he sees as a war of good and evil on a grand scale? Even accusing me of; "... attempting to transform the world to accommodate my behavior." I can do that???
I love his last line of him saying he sees an "inner conflict" with me. I honestly don't believe he sees it, it's just a little trick to make people second guess anything I have to say.

Wednesday

American Theologians and Bible Scholars who do not see an anti-gay reading from the Bible


Victor Paul Furnish, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Yale University.

David L. Bartlett, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary.
   
Jim Brownson, Professor of New Testament, Western Theological Seminary.

William McDonough, Associate Professor of Theology, St. Catherine University.

Dale B. Martin, Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University.

J. Philip Wogaman, Professor Emeritus of Christian ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary.

Jennifer Knust, Associate Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Boston University. 

Ted A. Smith, Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Ted Grimsrud, Professor of Theology, Eastern Mennonite University.

William Schoedel, Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of Illinois

Dan O. Via, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Duke University Divinity School.

David Brodsky, Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Brooklyn College. 

James B. Nelson, Professor of Christian Ethics, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. 

Jack Bartlett Rogers, Professor Emeritus of Theology, San Francisco Theological Seminary.
  
Saul Olyan, Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University.

William Stacy Johnson, Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary.

Frederick Parrella, Professor of Theology, Santa Clara University.

Phyllis A. Bird, Associate Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

David Gushee, Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University.

Ken Stone, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Chicago Theological Seminary.

Daniel Boyarin, Professor of Talmudic Culture, University of California at Berkeley.

Carl Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary.

L. William Countryman, Professor of New Testament, Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley.      
                                                                                                                                          
Bernadette J. Brooten, Professor of Christian studies, Brandeis University.

David E. Fredrickson, Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary.

Robin Scroggs, Professor of Bible Theology, Union Theological Seminary.

David L. Balch, Professor of the New Testament, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.
  
Walter Wink, Professor of Biblical Interpretation, Auburn Theological School.

Marten H. Woudstra, Old Testament scholar, Calvin Theological Seminary.

Richard Hays, Professor of New Testament, Duke Divinity School.

Robert L. Brawley, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, McCormick Theological Seminary.

George R. Edwards, Professor of New Testament, Lousville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Mark D. Jordan, Professor of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School.

I didn't even tap into the Bible scholars worldwide who don't read the Bible as prohibitive of homosexuality.

Monday

Biased Bible Translators

The whole crux of who's right and who's wrong in the Bible/Homosexual debate can be found in the translations of the Biblical texts. Anti-gay proponents with the Bible, when they aren't taking words or verses out of context, insist no bias worked it's way into the translations of the Bible from the translators with their readings.
They can now be proven wrong.
Link

"The question could be asked... whether the proverbial “whore with a heart of gold” may also be permitted to seek ordination while still plying her trade?"

- Bruce Metzger on gays within the church he compares to "whores." The supposed "unbiased" Translator and editor of both the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Sunday

Of Romans and Reptiles


One day I'll do a treatment of Romans 1. In the meantime this guy, with outside sources, does a pretty good job of explaining those verses in the context they were written in, idolatry. Jeramy Townsley's (popular) paper also makes the case with giving the name of the specific cult Paul if talking about in Romans.

I want to add one thing.

Look at Romans 1:22-23:
"Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles."

Now look at Deuteronomy 4:16-18:
"Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground..."

Now there is not a Bible scholar in the world who doesn't read Deuteronomy 4:16-18 as anything but  talking only about idolatry, it's a given. Yet when Paul repeats Deuteronomy word for word in Romans, Romans is only talking about homosexuality and not idolatry?

Another instance of Paul putting the homosexuality in Romans 1 in only the context of idolatry is his quoting the 'idolatry part' of the book "The Wisdom of Solomon" (a book well known to Paul). Francis Watson in his book; "Paul And The Hermeneutics Of Faith" makes the comparison:

"Romans 1:18-32 follows Wisdom 13-14 not just at individual points but in the whole construction of the argument. Both writers argue that the true God might have been known by way of the created order, but that the opportunity has been wasted; that the most fundamental error is the manufacture and worship of idols; that idolatry is the root of all other evils; and that those who commit such sins are subject to divine punishment."

To take homosexuality outside of the context of idolatry in Romans 1, you would have to reverse the text with how it unfolds. It's not:
Homosexuality = Worship of animals, it's Worship of animals = Idolatrous homosexuality.

Friday

Charisma's Folly

I think one of the biggest obstacles to reaching Christians to change their mind about homosexuality and the Bible is because of the place they are coming from right out the gate. Instead of listening to me with what I have to say with what I explain with Scripture, AS explaining Scripture to them, they see it as; "How is this homosexual going to try to make a case for himself and other homosexuals that's NEVER going to cut it with me?" If you start off seeing me as that, ANYTHING I say will fall on deaf ears because they'll just see it as an interesting thing I have to say and nothing that should change their minds.

Charisma is an on-line magazine geared to the charismatic community. I saw a challenge by this twit with questions he posed to a gay Christian, any gay Christian, he wanted to get honest answers from. I met that challenge and the Charisma moderators deleted my comment not once, but twice. These are the questions posed by Brown and my answers before they were deleted because they really never expected or wanted a response.

As an actual gay Christian, I'd like to answer Michael's challenge.

"1. Are you 100 percent sure that your interpretation of Scripture regarding homosexuality is correct?"

Absolutely.

You come across a few gay Christians in leadership positions and you believe from those encounters, we are all 'iffy' on the Bible and homosexuality debate with where we stand. I'm so confident in my belief, I've made it a duty to hear all the argument, including yours Michael, of leaders in the 'anti-gay because of the Bible' side of the debate (Albert Mohler, James White, Ravi Zacharias and even your 'Grand Leader' Robert Gagnon) to see just how solid they are with what they had to present. Let's just say I was floored at what these men try to pass off as coming from Scripture.

Now let me turn it around and ask you the same question. Are you 100% sure that your interpretation of Scripture regarding homosexuality is correct?"
Are you so confident the Bible condemns in one large stroke every practicing gay man and woman with the Bible giving nothing in the negative on homosexuality outside the contexts of the Sodom attempted rape, idolatry and the exploitive terminology used in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy? I know my exegesis is spot, prove me wrong. If you believe I am deceived with my own willful justification, excuse, in that deception, understand only my soul will suffer and I will quote that defense for how I believe before the very Throne of God in confidence, but if YOU are wrong, the blood of all gays you have offended against Christ will be on your head including the gentlemen I name above and all those who use the Bible in an inflammatory way against homosexuals. Want to take that gamble because of a few Scriptures totaling 6 altogether, taken out of their Biblical context, having gone through interpretation after interpretation from interpreters who were not inspired?

By the way Michael, you give yourself away with saying "I'll pray for you" if a Christian doesn't agree with your Bible interpretation on homosexuality and it shows you really aren't here to listen with truly open ears.

"2. Do your beliefs start with certainty about the authority of Scripture, or do they start with certainty about your “sexual orientation”?

Always the Word of God and only the Words of the inspired Word of God matters, NOTHING ELSE. The irony is that I give more authority to Scripture than most Christians because I actually searched them like a Berean and not just blindly followed what was told to me by Pastors, church leaders or Christian groups who have no love or mercy for homosexuals and have no interest with going deeper into the Bible with what is an eternal life or eternal question with gay men and women. Know without one hint of doubt what you speak as speaking for the Living God.

3. What do you say to those people who are genuinely ex-gay or to those who are still same-sex attracted but have chosen to separate themselves to the Lord unless He changes them?

I've know "ex-gays." A common thread with them is the horrific same-sex experiences they have had with everything from molestation to same sex prostitution that lead them into deep addictions. I question if many of these people were even gay. Once these people are healed from these same-sex traumas and are delivered from their addictions they go back to their true orientation. Most blame homosexuality instead of blaming what was the true cause of their descent, what was sexually done to them by others. If others have separated themselves for the Kingdom with not having a same-sex relationship, fine, but do it for that reason and not because of the fear of going to Hell because you believe Scripture prohibits homosexuality even in a monogamous relationship dedicated to the Lord.

4. If you were convinced that God opposed all forms of homosexual practice, would you follow Him anyway?

Yes. I care about my soul and where I will spend eternity too much to be swayed by any personal desire. I came to this years ago with an open heart to go by what I found, I found my answer and the fruits of my life are a testimony to that.

You end your article with a question Michael and I'll end this with a question. Are any of you really open to change your mind on the Bible's view of homosexuality if a clear case was layed out before you? Can it revise your current opinion with what you were always lead to believe? Or would you put on blinders, dig your heels in the sand and continue to believe as you do because it is something that you cling to so strongly? Search your soul, because Christ will.