Thursday, April 07, 2005

More grouses on the scriptures

There is some debate about homosexual tendencies and homosexual activities. For example, being a homosexual is not a sin, but committing the act of homosexuality is a sin. This needs some consideration; it is certainly not a sin to be a heterosexual (it is God’s design!) but you can sin in the heterosexual realm. In addition, to say that one is a victim of any of the above removes any hope of change in the future. Yet the Bible teaches otherwise, and many homosexuals have come to Christ and changed their lifestyle!

The above was taken from this website. One R.K. Harrison was also quoted as saying that “Patristic (church fathers) references, like scriptural ones, were directed, however, to the practice of homosexuality, not the desire itself. There was no condemnation of the person who kept his propensity in check, Christian judgment instead being imposed strictly on those who yielded to its pressures.”

Now, this is an interesting way to look at it. I could probably live with not having sex. It would entail lots of determination and determined. Men just aren’t born to be celibate. It’s in their software that they propagate their genes as far and as wide as possible. However, in the Bible, it is said that marriage is For fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband (Corinthians 7:2).

In other words, a married couple is not allowed to have sex with other people. Can they have sex between themselves? Obviously they can. They are supposed to have sex with each other and be sexually satisfied so that they won’t seek gratification outside of marriage. If they are not sexually appeased, there chances of adultery and affairs are much higher.

Now, let’s assume that a married couple are not supposed to have sex. Meaning sex other than for the purpose of procreation. After all, the Bible did say to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth”. If the phrase were to be taken literally, that would mean that couples couldn’t have sex for fun, to bring intimacy into the relationship, to improve the relationship or to bring husband and wife closer together or just for the sake of having sex. Sex is only for having babies. Sex must be "fruitful", which means it must have conception. Actually, there are some who do believe that sex is only for procreation (click here). Which means it just a process with an end result in mind and it is certainly not considered to be a loving act between two loving people.

If that’s the case, I wonder how can they stay together for long? Especially in the early years of the marriage. True, sex isn’t the most important thing in a relationship, but it is still important. Maybe they are just expected to share the same bed at night, cuddle and hug, have mutual masturbation, and perhaps some sex toys are involved. They could also kiss, but can’t be too passionate because that might lead to something else. They can also do the household chores together, spend time with the kids, go to the cinema and the beach. They can do everything except have sex.

Still with me so far with this assumption? What do you think? Will marriage now be extremely dull or exciting? I can just imagine the queue at the Registrar of Marriage getting longer. The point being that even with matrimonial laws and society’s role in supporting marriage, divorce rates are high. With no such support for same-sex couples, it is already bad. No sex will make things worse, if this line of thought were to apply. Or more likely, this is what the anti-homosexual side is saying, so that gays and lesbians will give up their so-called sinful lifestyle and get married and have kids.

The contention that you can be gay, but you can’t do the “gay” stuff smacks of hypocrisy. It’s like someone who wants to be a writer. He knows that he is born to be a writer. This person has a wide vocabulary, vivid imagination, captivating storytelling style and good prose. And whatever else that a great writer is supposed to have. But wait, he can’t put his stories on paper. No sir, he is not supposed to write them down in words or type it out. He can be a writer, but he can’t physically express his love for writing. He can’t have the joy of seeing his works in print. How ludicrous is that!

Also, the conservatives often use the claim that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Well, God created humans with two legs, two arms, two eyes, etc. What about people who are born deformed or some other defects? Some are blind, some has only one limb, and there are many other combinations of defects. Likewise, male and female are the extremes, and there is everything else in between like homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals and hermaphrodites. My view is that male and female are just for biological and reproductive purposes and for the genetic edge (healthier gene pool) in propagating the human species.

Furthermore, there is a whole lot of debate on the Greek words used in the Bible, in verses which supposedly mentions homosexuality. The words are arsenokoitai and malakos, which were used in Corinthians 6:9, King James Version (the Bible has many versions, the one most commonly referred to is King James and some even say the most reliable).

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,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Arsenokoitai and malakos were translated into effeminate and abusers of themselves with mankind respectively. As there are many versions of the Bible, these two words are sometimes translated into homosexual, sexual pervert and sodomite. This mistranslation apparently started only in the early 20th century. According to researchers, that two Greek words were rarely used in ancient times, and no one knows exactly what they mean. Some tried to understand the words literally; others looked at the context used, which explains why there are so many variations. Of course, both sides of the homosexual debate have their own justifications.

Someone once said that, everything can be justified and reasons can be found, once we have decided on something.

You must be thinking why am I going on and on about scriptures. Somehow, I found the arguments given by both sides interesting. Obviously, I have my own agenda and I would be on the pro-homosexual side. Come to think of it, if homosexuality were a sin, like adultery, stealing, murder and fornication, why didn’t the writers be more specific, rather than using such obscure words, which were not found in other parts of the scripture. In fact, the word homosexual was only coined in the late 1800’s. There was no word used to describe homosexuality in Greek.

I may be biased, but I certainly can’t see how a loving relationship between two people can be deemed sinful. To end, I quote the Bible, Romans 13:8-10,

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,”and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (New International Version)

Love is, the most important thing after all.

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