Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study (Part IV)

Read Part I of "Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study"
Read Part II of "Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study"
Read Part III of "Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study"

So, we addressed the first part of Sodom’s sin. How about the second part?

…[They] went and served other gods and adored them, gods whom they did not know and whom he had not let fall to their lot… (Deuteronomy 29:25)

In the Bible study, I pointed to a connection between this and Romans 1.

"The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." (Romans 1: 12-32)

The connection is between the practice of idolatry, or the lack of apportioning glory to the True Godhead, to the result of same-sex acts. Consider this scenario: the people, specifically men of Sodom worshiped other gods as reported in Deuteronomy. Over time, God “handed them over … to do what is improper”, which included the desire for and acquiring of homosexual sex. The men of Sodom’s desire became so great that before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, they needed to satisfy it by using the visiting men. Call this a stretch, but it does follow Saint Paul’s basic logic in his letter to the Romans.

The debate about what “unnatural” means is almost irrelevant under the weight of Paul’s words.

Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. (v 26-27)

How can this be approved? These same-sex relations are “degrading” to the very one who commits them. It degrades the very spirit of the person who commits the act.

Finally, how can something that was “abominable” all of a sudden become acceptable?

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

Even if we were to disregard ALL of the Old Testament laws, how can this act be now acceptable? But, alas, this falls into the category of Old Testament morality that Christians must still follow.

There was one point that the moderator, Dr. Michael Penn-Strah, made regarding Leviticus in general. He said that the entire book was only for the Israelite priestly tribe, Levi. However, in this chapter about sex, something unique is stated.

You, however, whether natives or resident aliens, must keep my statutes and decrees forbidding all such abominations by which the previous inhabitants defiled the land; otherwise the land will vomit you out also for having defiled it, just as it vomited out the nations before you. Everyone who does any of these abominations shall be cut off from among his people. (Leviticus 18:26-29)

It doesn’t say, “You tribes of Israel” nor “cut off from among Israel”. It says, you “whether natives or resident aliens” and “cut off from among his people”, respectively. To me, this denotes that everyone must abide by these sexual morality rules.

Finally, even though it was never mentioned in the Bible study, I must mention the following verses from Ephesians.

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

"For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-33)

My commentary says the following about the mutual love of marriage, a great mystery, or sacrament.

Paul varies this pattern by an emphasis on mutuality (see Eph 5:20); use of Old Testament material about father and mother in Eph 6:2; the judgment to come for slave-owners (you have a Master in heaven, Eph 6:9); and above all the initial principle of subordination to one another under Christ, thus effectively undermining exclusive claims to domination by one party. Into the section on wives and husbands an elaborate teaching on Christ and the church has been woven (Eph 5:22-33).

The apostle exhorts married Christians to a strong mutual love. Holding with Genesis 2:24 that marriage is a divine institution (Eph 5:31), Paul sees Christian marriage as taking on a new meaning symbolic of the intimate relationship of love between Christ and the church. The wife should serve her husband in the same spirit as that of the church’s service to Christ (Eph 5:22, 24), and the husband should care for his wife with the devotion of Christ to the church (Eph 5:25-30). Paul gives to the Genesis passage its highest meaning in the light of the union of Christ and the church, of which Christlike loyalty and devotion in Christian marriage are a clear reflection (Eph 5:31-33).

Here, the Church takes on the feminine and Christ the masculine. In this “Great Mystery”, the sacrament requires two individuals of opposite genders to marry. Any other configuration stifles God’s plan for this “divine institution”. No Christian should go against His Divine Will.

At the end of the Bible study, only a few from the large crowd were left. There was Dr. Penn-Strah, a couple of Rainbow Alliance members, about two independent individuals, and me. The ones remaining didn’t say what they thought regarding the subject at hand, but to me, it was obvious.

Actually, the most memorable part was when a couple of people got off of the elevator with me at the end of one study in the middle of the series. They asked me what would convince me that homosexuality was acceptable, even in “marriage”. I said, first of all, that they had to get their terms right. I didn’t see homosexuality, per se, as a sin. However, gay sex was. Further, I didn’t have an answer for them because of two things. First, in so many words, my Church, the Holy Catholic Church, was the deposit of the Holy Spirit, and it declared, “Under no circumstances can [homosexual acts] be approved (CCC 2357).” Second, I believed the Bible was clear in it’s pronouncement about the morality of the homosexual act.

In the end, it’s irrelevant how anyone comes to have a homosexual tendency. People have inclinations to covet, steal, be unchase, act violently, and fornicate. However, as followers of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are called to be holy, a people set apart. Let us not deny our sin, but lay it before God to help us in His loving grace with help from Mother Church, the Communion of Saints, and Mary our mother.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From “This Saying is Hard” | Catholic on 29 Aug 2006 at 7:50 am

    […] This is a very personal topic since I try as hard as I can to base my marriage on Ephesians 5, and my wife and I had it read at our wedding (by a dear, married sister in Christ). (I also referred to it in my post on the homosexual Bible study.) […]

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