Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Proposition 8 and Homosexuality: Part 2

In response to Part 1, "Mexjewel" attempted to make the argument that a Christian could rightly live a homosexual lifestyle. I would like to respond to this position below:

My Jesus makes the definition of sin (and so sinners) easy. He bases and defines ALL sin on lack of love (Matthew 22:36-40). Such obvious sins as theft, murder and adultery are unloving because each has a victim, someone not receiving love. Can a Gay person be sinful by themselves, with only the attraction to their own gender? So the attraction is sinful?
I, in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church, do not believe that a person is a sinner just because he has a homosexual attraction. Men and women are tempted every day to do things that they shouldn't do. This doesn't make them sinners, it makes them human. The sin is not in having the attraction or the temptation. The sin is in acting on it. This is an important distinction that must be made whenever this topic is being discussed.

And so, if that Gay person has a lover (as I prefer to call my mate), which is the unloved victim in that homosexual relationship? Neither, of course. Neither is unloved, neither is hurt. Who could bring suit against the “sinner”?
I would assert that neither person is being loved as they should be loved. I realize that you feel very deeply for the person you are with and that this may come as a grave insult to you. I'm not trying to deny your feelings. What I'm saying is that God has made us for something better than what you currently experience and that the love you share with your mate is not the same as the love that God wills for us to share with each other.

You are both victims in this homosexual relationship. You are sinning against God too, by not living in accordance with His will. Of course, I realize that I have yet to prove this. I hope to do that here shortly.

I guess you alread have noticed that no Gospel writer nor prophet proclaimed homosexuality as sinful? Jesus didn't, of course. My questions are not rhetorical; they usually remain unanswered by those who refuse God's grace and live by working the law.
The Gospels and the prophets are not our only sources of truth in Scripture, and you are creating a false dichotomy by pitting them against the Pentateuch and St. Paul. Ultimately, there is only one author of Sacred Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and He does not contradict Himself.

Certainly if God didn't want men to have sex with other men, He would have said “Man shall not lie with man PERIOD (Leviticus 18:22, 21:13). God wanted Moses to eradicate rampant idolatry in the Jewish nation. That whole “ . . . as with a woman” thing condemns straight men pretending to make it with a woman, such as during idol worship. Paul explains it further when putting down the straight Romans (1:26-28 ) for “leaving their natural relations” (i.e.... as with a woman) and having idolatrous sex with men. Gay men are attracted to other men by definition and by God. They can only imagine what sex “ . . . as with a woman” would be like.
This is a clever argument. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that having sex with someone of the same gender is only wrong when it is done by a heterosexual person within the context of idol worship. I disagree with this for several reasons.

For one, Scripture condemns the act itself. It says nothing of the orientation of the person performing the act. As soon as men began to lay down with men, they sinned. It doesn't matter if their actual sexual orientation is gay or straight. Secondly, where in the context of the various prohibitions of homosexual activity do we find that God meant to only forbid such acts that take place in the context of idol worship? You seem to have pulled that out of thin air. Thirdly, don't forget that any sexual activity, be it homosexual or heterosexual, that takes place outside of marriage (which Scripture only envisions as being between a man and a woman) is considered sinful. Thus, homosexual activity falls under every prohibition of "fornication" as well, and Jesus did talk about that (cf. Mt 15:19; Rev 21:8).

Finally, when Scripture says that men had forsaken relations with women to lay down with men, that doesn't mean that you have to be with a woman first before your sex act with a man is sinful. What it means is that they traded a natural form of sexual expression with an unnatural one. The first form of sexual activity is pitted against the second form. The second form is wrong b/c it's not the first form. Plus, if as a man you have sex with another man, you are forsaking sexual relations with a woman, whether you've actually had sexual relations with a woman or not.

“Homosexual” was coined about 1865, so any Bible translation since then that uses a form of that word is a lie that needs to be emended. My King James version is honest and homosexual-free. That word premiered in a 1946 English Bible and continues to condemn loving Gays.
Just because the word may be absent from the Bible, that does not mean that the act it describes is not a sin. At any rate, the KJV does condemn "sodomites" (cf. Deut 23:17; 1 Ki 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Ki 23:7). What do you make of that?

It is noteworthy that Gay people employ themselves in loving professions like medicine, education and the ministry. However, some Christians evidently work in the Biblical judicial system.
I never said that individuals with a homosexual orientation are useless to society, or that they have an inability to love. Such individuals are just as capable as anyone else to do good works for others. But, that doesn't make their homosexual lifestyle morally acceptable, and when they try to communicate love by participating in homosexual acts, they love wrongly.

We Christians want to avoid sin that offends God. We do not unilaterally harm God but we do wreck our love relationship with Him by sinning. Created in His loving image, we fail to live up to expectations. Without Jesus and His deal to make it all right, we would be planning our new residence in Hell. But we have taken Jesus as Savior and Lord and He keeps us in His Father's loving will.
If you want to avoid offending God you must refrain from acting on your homosexual orientation. Jesus will not simply turn a blind eye to what you are doing just because he loves you. In fact, it is because he loves you that he calls you out of that lifestyle.

What is the most love one can show another sinner? Offer them an eternity with God through the redemptive cross of Jesus. Instead of judging them, shouldn’t Christians be telling those “sinful” homosexuals that Jesus died for their sins? The stumbling block is that Gays do not want to affiliate with unloving and judgmental Christians. Know Jesus, know love. No Jesus, no love.
That redemptive Cross of Jesus that you wish more Christians would offer to people who struggle with this orientation is exactly what I am offering you. If you will grant me your forbearance, I would like to quote from a document of the CDF that is very eloquent on this point:
  • What, then, are homosexual persons to do who seek to follow the Lord? Fundamentally, they are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross. That Cross, for the believer, is a fruitful sacrifice since from that death come life and redemption. While any call to carry the cross or to understand a Christian's suffering in this way will predictably be met with bitter ridicule by some, it should be remembered that this is the way to eternal life for all who follow Christ.

    It is, in effect, none other than the teaching of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians when he says that the Spirit produces in the lives of the faithful "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control" (5:22) and further (5:24), "You cannot belong to Christ unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires."

    It is easily misunderstood, however, if it is merely seen as a pointless effort at self-denial. The Cross is a denial of self, but in service to the will of God himself who makes life come from death and empowers those who trust in him to practise virtue in place of vice.

    To celebrate the Paschal Mystery, it is necessary to let that Mystery become imprinted in the fabric of daily life. To refuse to sacrifice one's own will in obedience to the will of the Lord is effectively to prevent salvation. Just as the Cross was central to the expression of God's redemptive love for us in Jesus, so the conformity of the self-denial of homosexual men and women with the sacrifice of the Lord will constitute for them a source of self-giving which will save them from a way of life which constantly threatens to destroy them.

    Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life. As they dedicate their lives to understanding the nature of God's personal call to them, they will be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance more faithfully and receive the Lord's grace so freely offered there in order to convert their lives more fully to his Way. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, no. 12)
I hope that helps. In closing, I would like to provide a list of the passages of Scripture that condemn homosexual activity (from the RSV, unless otherwise indicated):
  • Gen 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.

    Gen 18:20 Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomor'rah is great and their sin is very grave,

    Gen 19:4-7 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; 5 and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them." 6 Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, 7 and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly (cf. Judg 19:22-23)

    Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination (cf. 20:13)

    Deut 23:17 (KJV) There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel (cf. 1 Ki 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Ki 23:7).

    Rom 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

    1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    [note: the Greek word translated in the RSV as "sexual perverts" is
    arsenokoites, which means "one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual" according to the KJV NT Greek Lexicon. The KJV translates this as "abusers of themselves with mankind" which is perhaps more indicative of the sin in question here.]

    1 Tim 1:9-11 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

2 comments:

Jnorm888 said...

Great responce!!!




JNORM888

Potamiaena said...

Mexjewel, thanks for asking these questions and expressing yourself so eloquently. From your questions, we can all learn much. I will pray for you.

Phat, thanks for addressing his concerns. I liked the paragraph format you used at address topics, it is easier for me to understand.

I will pray for both of you!

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