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The reason I chose to include my essays about the Bible and homosexuality is because it gives people a chance to read them and (hopefully) ponder over them before leaving a nasty message:) So please, if you haven't read over these words, do so now before you make a hateful comment. For those who can't believe anyone would have the gaul to say they're gay AND Christian, I suggest reading this more than once. It took a long time and a lot of studying for ME to come to terms with gay Christianity, so I know it will be hard for someone straight. Afterward, go to other websites like this one and read over THEIR essays several times (and it goes without saying that you should pray for G-d to help you see the truth one way or another, after reading the Bible for yourself). After all of this I recommend you study your Bible in even more detail and do a word study for all the passages mentioned (the type of word study I'm referring to doesn't mean looking it up in the Strong's for 5 minutes and then calling it a day--a proper word study should take you 8 hrs. minimum, hopefully an entire weekend. An entire investigation on homosexuality will take at least a couple months). This article is a bit long, so it might be easier to read some and come back an read the rest.

The Bible and Homosexuality

Many Christians and MJ's believe that homosexuality is wrong because Scripture says so, period. After carefully examining the Bible in its original languages I must disagree. There are six "gay bashing" passages used to "prove" that homosexuality is aberrant and unnatural. However, when we look at Scripture we must look at them in their entirety to get the big picture first.

One thing most will agree with is that G-d's laws are not absolute. For example, the Bible says, "Thou shall not kill." What if I kill someone by accident? The Bible is clear that I will not be considered at fault. Therefore the rule that we not kill isn't absolute. Yeshua gives many other examples in Matthew 12 when he talks about what is lawful on Shabbat. If all of G-d's laws are absolute, then Jesus is clearly a sinner.

Now personally, I'm Torah observant, I keep kosher, don't work on Shabbat, etc., but I don't condemn those who do not. Yeshua made it clear that we are not simply supposed to follow the letter of the Law, but the spirit, too. It is not enough to avoid adultery, we must also control lust in our hearts. G-d looks at what is in our hearts, what our motives are whenever we do something (I Sam. 16:7, Hosea 6:6, Mic.6:6-8).

Let's now examine the six passage regarding homosexuality. Genesis 19: the destruction of S'dom. The 'sin' of S'dom has often been regarded as homosexuality, even though there is no basis in Scripture for this. There is a plethora of passages to which we can turn for what the L-rd regards as the sin of S'dom. Here are some of them: Deut 29:17-26,32:32-8, Is. 1:9-23, 3:8-19, Jer. 23:10-4, 49:16-8, 50:2-40, Lam. 4:3-6, Ez. 16:49-50, Amos 4:1-11, Zeph. 2:8, Lu. 17:26-9, IIPt. 2:6, and Jude 1:7-8. The sins listed in these passages are: idolatry, murder, theft, arrogance, mistreating the poor, adultery, sex with priests (the cult prostitutes), cruelty, ungodliness, and fornication (after strange flesh--i.e. angels). Clearly the Bible, written indirectly by G-d, doesn't believe the sin of S'dom was homosexuality, and nor should you. Another important observation you should not overlook is the fact that S'dom is almost always linked with the idea of unbelief when it comes to a message of salvation and truth. When Yeshua commanded his disciples to go and preach the gospel in two's, he says to wipe the dust from their feet of any town who rejects them, then compares these towns to S'dom. Read the verses above and you'll see that one of the most grievous sins of S'dom was rejecting the angels' message of salvation. Still convinced that these people were gay and that's why G-d wanted to destroy the city? Let me remind you that their fate had already been sealed BEFORE the angels visited S'dom.

Also, and this is something that is hard for people to grasp at first, the vast majority of men in S'dom were straight! 'Wait a minute, how can you say they are straight when they clearly wanted to have sex with the angelic visitors posing as men?' you might ask. Well, think about prisons in North America today. There have been many off-color jokes told about men in prison being forced to bend over and 'receive' another man. Is this dominant gentleman gay? Maybe, or maybe not. In reality he would probably rather have sex with a woman, but there are none in prison, so he settles for a man. But even more likely is that he 'humbled' the receiving man to show his own dominance.

Now think back to the old days when nations conquered nations, then raped the women. What's often left out is that they then had anal sex with the men they just conquered. Were these victors all gay? No! They were simply showing their dominance over the men (and women).

The point is that it is possible to engage in homoeroticism without BEING gay. BEING gay is a state of mind, it is found in your desires and feelings, not in your actions. Think back to when you did something wrong or something right. What happened first? You wanted to do it, for whatever reason. It all starts in the head. To BE gay you must first desire someone of the same sex in your head. Even if you don't act on it, you're still gay. (For example, I myself am virgin. But I'm a lesbian, because I am so in my mind. Should I ever get married it will be to a woman because that is what I'm attracted to).

Back to S'dom. The men wanted to rape the angels because it showed dominance and cruelty to them, and would teach the angels humility, it wasn't because they were gay.

Read the passage and focus on what Lot's response was. He said it was evil and offered his virgin daughters to them. Firstly, someone from N.America in 2003 would react with disbelief at this. How could Lot offer his own daughters to these terrible men?!!! You must understand in that age, visitors were very important. There were no hotels or restaurants, so if you were a traveler and no one was hospitable you would die. Therefore, being kind to visitors was important and an unwritten rule. If you only had enough food for your visitors, you and your family starved. If you only had enough water for their animals, your animals went thirsty. If you had to protect them, you would sacrifice your own life, and if necessary, the lives of your family members, to protect them. But if Lot could choose between him suffering and his daughters suffering, he would most definitely choose himself.

Why would Lot offer his daughters to the men if they were gay? He lived there, he knew how they were. If they were gay, Lot would've offered himself. What if they were bisexual? He still would've offered himself. The only conclusion is that they weren't gay or bisexual, they were straight!

This brings us back to the situation. Why would these men want to show their dominance over Lot's visitors? Lot is a foreigner living in S'dom. The text says he 'judged' the townspeople (Gen. 19:9). Lot, a righteous man, had settled in S'dom, and judged the people as sinful and evil at some point. This made them angry and vengeful. If Lot had visitors (which people of the day were supposed to protect at all costs), wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity to kill Lot or at the very least, have your 'way' with him? Of course it would. Lot would be forced to protect his visitors and that meant that you could 'humble' Lot and get your revenge. Or, if Lot went against the norm in that culture and DIDN'T protect his guests like he was supposed to, then the people of S'dom would rape them and Lot would be too ashamed to stay in town. In either situation you would get to embarrass Lot, it was win-win. Now look at the next statement, "Now we will deal worse with you [Lot] than with them." This clarifies their intent alright! The story of S'dom is about revenge and rape, not about homosexuality. It gave us a peek at how people without G-d can act, and what will ultimately happen to those kinds of people. The L-rd is telling us, "Now don't you be this way!"

One thing that must be explored is the incident at Gibeah in Judges 19:10-30. The Christian right loves to talk of S'dom and Amorrah, but seems to forget Gibeah which had to deal with an almost identical situation. If the sin of S'dom was homosexuality, was the sin of Gibeah heterosexuality? Certainly not, it was rape and murder!

Please take the time to read the Judges passage yourself and note the similarities. The men seek shelter with a foreigner himself, just like Lot was in S'dom. The attackers were offered two women instead of the visitors...starting to sound familiar? The men took one of the women offered this time, and ended up killing her, indicating how violent this type of mob can be. Surely the same fate would have resulted on the angels that visited S'dom if the attackers had succeeded in getting to them (and Lot as well, since the men said they would treat Lot worse than his visitors).

Leviticus 18&20. And what of the Holiness Code in Leviticus (and again repeated in Deuteronomy)? There are two places in Leviticus that deal with homosexuality, and none in Deuteronomy (Deut. 23:17-18 is sometimes quoted as such, but is a clear mistranslation. The word Kadesh literally means "holy" as you'd recall if you attend shul or synagogue regularly. This word (along with its feminine form, Kadeshah, and plural form Kadeshim (Kadeshot, fem) is referring to the 'holy' temple prostitutes that are dedicated to their false god [and thus are considered holy]. The word has nothing to do with sodomy per se, although the Bible says these prostitutes did have anal sex on occasion).

Leviticus 18:22 forbids that a man lie with another man (as a woman). The penalty for such an act is death, so you would expect it to be repeated to make it clear to the people not to do such things. As predicted, it's repeated in Lev. 20:13. This is where I find things get interesting. Firstly, when you read Deuteronomy, this mandate to avoid gay sex at all costs is not repeated. So what? Well, the thing is, the people were first given the Law at Mount Sinai, then wandered in the desert for a generation. The Law was repeated to their children before entering the land to make sure it was fresh in everyone's minds. Why would you not repeat this rule not to engage in homoeroticism, when it is punishable by death? It should have been one of the rules on the top of the list along with murder and idolatry. Something IS repeated in a similar passage (to Lev. 18), though. The Law that Israelites are not to engage in idolatrous practices is addressed, right in the same place you would expect to find a law against homosexuality. Curious.

Is it that this 'replacement' rule is actually one and the same as Lev. 18:22, and 20:13? Is it that the passage in Deut. 20 is in fact repeating every law from the Holiness Code, just in different wording? If that is true, then that would mean the prohibition of homoeroticism in Leviticus is in reality a prohibition on idolatry (in the specific form of homoeroticism).

Ok wait, we know that Leviticus forbids men having sex with each other, and that the penalty is death. But does G-d give us a reason? Yes, She does. "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman, it is an abomination." When I was growing up and reading those words, I had no idea what abomination meant, but I knew it must be bad. I had visions of the abominable snowman attacking me if I did any of the mentioned activities that were said to be 'abominations'. This fearful obedience stopped me from challenging my church's beliefs about homosexuality for many years.

What does this strange word mean? Well, in Hebrew, the word is 'to-evah' (or to-ebah), but that helps little. The word is difficult to translate succinctly, but picture someone or something that is wild and dangerous, highly addictive and contagious. Picture something radioactive, that once unleashed, will spread like wildfire and affect (and infect) everything nearby. It's not only wild, but disgusting, and describes detestable religious orgies, or idolatrous practices. If you were confronted with that kind of enemy, what would you do? You'd have to destroy it--stop it dead in it's tracts. If you didn't, it would soon infect the entire population, yourself included.

That very thing is what G-d ordered the Israelites to do. They had to kill every last Canaanite (who practiced these 'abominations'). What is interesting is that certain activities are universal in every culture. Homosexuality is present in every culture and species of animal (both captive and wild). If the Israelites were any normal type of nation (there is no indication that they weren't), then they wouldn't need the Canaanites to teach them about homosexuality, because it would've already existed in their culture. Yet the Bible makes it clear that if they did not eradicate the Canaanites and their practices, those 'abominations' would infect them as well, like a virus gone out of control.

In closer examination, the whole point of Torah is to keep Israel separate from other nations. "After the doings of the land of Egypt, where you lived, you shall not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I will bring you, you shall not do; neither shall you walk in their ordinances." Lev. 18:3 Israelites were fallible humans, and didn't need anyone to show them how to commit adultery or incest. Homosexuality was no different. However, they WOULD need someone to demonstrate how to do these things as part of a religion, a religion that would take them away from the true G-d. It would be like if I one day decided to become a Hindu. Well, I don't personally know very much about Hinduism, so I would have to actually meet with some Hindus and follow what they did and taught. There would be no way for me to successfully practice Hinduism without first meeting with these people. It would be the same with the Israelites. There would be no way for them to follow the religions of the Canaanites if they didn't first associate with the Canaanites and watch what they did.

Dig even closer and you will find that the point of the entire Bible is to convince you to believe in and follow the true G-d. First there is Adam and Heveh, who move away from G-d. He then comes up with a plan to bring humanity back to Him, a Messiah. Throughout history G-d works towards creating a nation which will give birth to this Messiah, and throughout history haShatan tries to thwart G-d's plans (think about the fallen angels having sex with humans, changing their DNA to become Nephilim--literally 'the fallen ones'--and contaminating humanity in Gen.6. G-d had to destroy everyone but someone of 'pure generations', or pure human DNA, which was Noah's family). But this race, supposed to be only for haShem, turns to other gods, which is considered the worst offense of all. Why is idolatry so bad? Because then G-d would have no people to give birth to Her Son, no one to follow His message of reconciliation to G-d, and no one to further spread the message. He would have no way of redeeming humanity and be one with us. It is like a man trying to find his lost love so that they can get married and live happily ever after. Idolatry is awful because it is denying the truth of who G-d is: the only G-d in the universe, and the only one who loves you and would die so you can be one with Him. In reality, toevah is radioactive, because it convinces all those in its path to follow it, instead of being influenced by good.

One interesting fact is that the first time 'ABOMINATION' is used in the Torah is to DESCRIBE WORSHIPPING G-D, when Moses is asking Pharoah to let the Israelites worship G-d in the desert. The Pharoah inquired, "Why can't they worship right here?" and Moses answered that if the Israelites worshipped G-d in Egypt, their acts would be an ABOMINATION to the Egyptians. Can you believe it? Worshipping the one true G-d is considered an abomination! Why? Because it is the religious rite of a different religion (from the perspective of the Egyptians--the Israelites were going to sacrifice animals whom the Egyptians worshipped, so it was considered detestable). Still don't believe that toevah is about idolatry? "Do not inquire concerning their gods, saying, 'How did these nations worship their gods? I also want to do the same.' You must not do the same for the L-rd your G-d, because every TOEVAH that the L-rd hates they have done FOR THEIR GODS" Deut.12:30-1. This makes it clear, the abominations of the Canaanites weren't just a bunch of random detestable acts, they were FOR THEIR GODS. As a child I wondered what 'abomination' meant, now I have the answer. The Bible gives its own definition in Deut. 12:30-31; an abomination is a detestable religious rite of a religion different from your own.

This also further proves that the L-rd looks at the heart. Why would, say, two men having sex be any more or less disgusting to G-d than a man a woman having sex? Have you seen a man a woman having sex? It's honestly rather gross! The same basic stuff goes on between people of the same sex, so why would He think it's more disgusting, even detestable? He doesn't, unless your heart is in the wrong place. Are you doing this sex act for money? because you're addicted to sex and really don't care for this person? do you want to use this person or lead them on? or maybe are you worshipping a goddess in a sex ritual? THAT is what G-d finds disgusting.

Still want more proof that 'abomination' is referring to idolatry? Let's look at the connotative use of the word, toaybah (and its masculine form, toayb). It is used a total of 115 times, and out of that there are 57 times when it is specifically used to describe idolatry. It is used 61 times where idolatry is implied, it is speaking of ritual uncleanliness, or just general sinfulness where it COULD mean idolatry, but the text is not clear. Only 4 times is there no reason given. In instances where toayb is used, the masculine version of the word, once it is used specifically to describe idolatry, twice for uncleanliness (ritual), and 4 times no reason is given. That isn't the end of the story, however. When looking at connotative meanings, one must remember that connotations change over time in every language. The word 'gay' used to mean 'happy' or 'carefree', now it refers to a homosexual. I'd say the connotation of the word has definitely changed :) The same seems to happen with the word 'toayvah' in Hebrew. When we look at the Torah, we see that 100% of the time the word is referring to idolatry, ritual impurity, or both. And for all we know, ritual impurity might also have been considered idolatry at that time. We can also tell that the word is extremely negative and strong. However, when we look at books that were written later in history, the word seems to have a broader application, with a less negative tone and looser usage. Going even further into the future sees and even broader application than before. This is exactly what happens to all extremely positive or negative words in all languages, so this was to be expected. Therefore, we must look at the Torah, and the usage of 'toaybah' in Torah only. That way we will get a more accurate understanding of how the word was used (and probably what it meant) AT THAT POINT IN HISTORY. Again, the word 'abomination' was used to describe idolatry and ritual impurity EVERY time it was used.

Then comes an important question we must all ask. Ok, so 'toevah' means idolatry. Then is homosexuality idolatry? That's an important question, because the Bible says 'a man must not lay with a man as a woman, it is an abomination [idolatry]. So one would think that it's obvious, homosexuality IS idolatry. But again, we must not glaze over everything, but really study the Word of Hashem. Idolatry begins in the heart, and I've already proven with Scripture that that's what G-d looks at. If you are not idolatrous in your heart, then you are not idolatrous, period. It is impossible to sin unless you first intend to sin in your mind. Period. Now, someone may do something inappropriate, but there is a big difference between doing something inappropriate and committing a sin. Consider the words of Paul in Romans 14 and take it to heart (typed at the end of this essay).

So what is the spirit of the law regarding homosexuality? Is the text speaking of it IN GENERAL or is it only speaking about it in an idolatrous context? Consider this, every time both the Tenach and the Brit Chadashah discuss homosexuality, the passage always connects it to idolatry. As in science, once is a random act, twice a coincidence, but three or more is a pattern. Six times there is a connection between idolatry and homosexuality, that is a clear pattern to me.

G-d commands us not to kill, yet it is allowed in certain instances for self-defense or if done accidentally (Num.35:9-11, Deut 19:1-13). Adonai says we are not to fornicate ourselves, yet we are not condemned if having sex (outside of marriage) while being raped (Deut. 22:25-6). Clearly G-d sees rules as regulations to be followed diligently, but with common sense. G-d commands men not to lie with other men as men normally lie with women. Is this the only rule in the Bible that prohibits ALL like activity, or is it just like the other regulations? Is there a common sense aspect (I call this a 'duh! clause') to Adonai's command? G-d is saying that it isn't right for men to engage in tantric sex (idol worship) with other men and close relatives, but loving gay couples (who aren't worshipping false gods) do not apply to this rule. The command is strictly religious in nature: Don't follow another religion, don't engage in their rituals.

I think one of the most interesting things about this argument is that lesbianism is not condemned by Torah. You might say, "So what?" at first glance. However, gay men are supposedly condemned to death. Why are gay men supposed to die and lesbians aren't even mentioned? Perhaps the Bible is not condemning homoeroticism, but rather idolatry (in the form of homoeroticism). In other words, this discrepancy in the Tenach is cleared up if we consider that Lev. 18 & 20 are condemning acts of idolatry, including sex with close relatives (many cult prostitutes were committing incest by having sex with their family members), sacrificing children to the idol Molech, and men having sex with male cult prostitutes.

Romans 1. "Hey," you might think, "but Romans 1 mentions lesbians." True. Of course, this only creates a bigger discrepancy. After all, G-d doesn't change (Mal. 3:6), but remains constant. It is wrong to kill someone in cold blood today, as it will be in 20 years. So one would assume the same would be for homosexuality. However, if the Christian right is correct in presuming Lev. 18 & 20, and Rom. 1 are express condemnations of homosexuality IN GENERAL, then that means G-d's law has changed. For many years lesbianism was fine, but then G-d changed his mind suddenly? I don't think so! Whenever we must conclude that G-d changes Her mind, we must then conclude to change ours! This perhaps is the most important point in this entire essay so I will say it again. G-d doesn't change, so that means there is a huge chasm in the Christian Right's argument. If G-d doesn't change, then why is lesbianism not wrong for so long and the suddenly it is? Unless of course the L-rd simply FORGOT to include lesbianism in His list of capital offenses, but that would require belief in a fallible G-d. I don't think for one minute that my Adon would forget to include ANY law, let alone one that demands death for justice. We must not forget that the Bible says not to make a judgment (resulting in death) based on the testimony of one witness. The reasons are obvious, the witness could be lying or maybe THOUGHT they saw someone do something illegal but really didn't. The witness' testimony can also be misunderstood or misinterpreted. The opposing lawyer might even DELIBERATELY make the witness' testimony appear to say something it does not. I believe this principle is true of the Bible as well. When there is only one passage of Scripture to testify against a certain group of people, that's not very reliable. People can very easily misinterpret just one verse or passage (one reason why I believe G-d chose to repeat several laws, so there would be no confusion). Therefore, I urge you to take the Bible's exhortation seriously: Don't make a judgment based on the testimony of one witness (Num. 35:30). There is only one passage that discusses lesbianism, and it is clearly linking this behaviour to idolatry.

Romans 1 is obviously linking homoeroticism with idolatry, about which we've examined at length. Many people interpret the verse 27, 'Receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due,' as meaning the AIDS virus. Paul is not speaking in a prophetic sense, firstly, but past tense. Secondly, lesbians are the group at least risk for contracting HIV (though they still must be monogamous and careful). Not only that, but AIDS is increasing in heterosexuals at a higher rate than any group. So what is Paul talking about? Many in his day believed (as do many athletes today) that sex weakens the body (as a result, many coaches forbid players to have relations before a big game) and there is some truth to that. But really, the text is simply poorly translated. Looking at the original language gives one a sense that the author is describing what is happening to idolaters AS A GROUP when it says, 'And receiving in themselves...' The 'penalty' is also poorly translated, it should be 'consequences', since the wording in Greek is neutral. The word could be good, bad, or neutral, it is simply the payment for their actions (idolatry drives you to do immoral things, and causes you to live apart from G-d, which happens to be a negative thing). These people knew G-d and worshipped haShem, then they began worshipping creation instead of the Creator, and then engaged in idolatrous same-gender behaviour. If you are homosexual and reading this, ask yourself, did you first know and worship the true G-d, then exchange this truth for a lie? Have you been 'filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are gossippers, backbiters, hater of G-d, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful...'? Now, I'm not perfect, but I wouldn't say I'm any of the above either. The message is clear, we must think about what we read, study it, and put it into perspective. Obviously Paul wasn't talking about homosexuals as we know them today, but straight people who committed adultery with temple prostitutes. What? Yes, the majority of these people were Christians who worshipped G-d, but then followed idols and went to the temples and had sex. Most were married, so they were committing adultery, and they were given over to sexual immorality and 'vile passions'. Read the first 3 chapters of Revelation to get a similar reading. John mentions the teachings of the Nicolaitans (sexual immorality will get you closer to G-d), which echo the beliefs of the people mentioned in Romans 1.

There are two similar passages, I Cor. 6:9, and I Tim. 1:10, each echoing the Torah. They both use "arsenokoitais" in Greek. What does this mean? It appears to be a word coined by Paul. If we look at the translation of Lev. 18 & 20 into Greek (Septuagint), they both use the words "arsen" (male) and "koitais" (lying--having sex). Literally this means "man-lier" or "male who lies with males", a promiscuous man. One friend of mine (I hope she doesn't mind me using her words) said to picture it as a man hopping from bed to bed to bed (to have sex). Not only that, but the Leviticus passages which say 'do not lay with a man as with a woman' translate into almost identical wording in Greek. This is no coincidence. I believe it was Paul's intent to echo Leviticus. Something very interesting is that some scholars (myself included) believe the Brit Chadashah was originally written in Aramaic, and both the I Cor. and the I Tim. verses say 'man who lays with man as a woman' in Aramaic. In both Greek and Aramaic manuscripts, it appears as though Paul is paraphrasing Leviticus. Again, we've already discussed the Lev. passages. As a post script, I Cor. 6:9 uses the word "malakoi" which means 'soft' (like a sweater). Paul is not saying that people who wear Kashmir are going to hell! :) Some like to translate it as 'effeminate' but it is not referring to 'sissy men'. 'Soft' is referring to those of soft morals in this verse.

In closing I must again touch on some 'silences' of the Bible. While biblical silence on an issue doesn't mean it condones that particular behaviour (like smoking weed, say) it is curious in some respects. These are some of the activities forbidden in Lev. 20: sacrificing children to Molech, (repeated in Deut. 12:31), using mediums (repeated in Deut 5:7--doesn't say this specifically, but says they are not to follow other gods), cursing ones parents (also condemned in Deut 27:16), adultery (and in Deut 5:18, 22:22), incest with one's father's wife (repeated in Deut 20:20), incest with child's spouse (also in Deut 20:23), incest with both daughter and mother (and again in Deut 20:23), beastiality for both men and women (repeated in Deut.20:21), and homosexuality is condemned in only Lev 20 (as well as Lev. 18), and even then it is alleged, yet there is nothing in Deuteronomy. Again, the silence is a weak argument, except that it becomes strong when one considers that Moshe WOULD'VE repeated it if he had believed homosexuality in general was wrong. Both men and women are forbidden to do everything else (after all, to commit incest with your father's wife, the wife must also concur to the act, otherwise it's rape) and would both be executed if caught. And why are only men forbidden to sleep with each other? One must only conclude that both the Egyptians' and the Canaanites' religions had rites in which males slept with each other (and not women with women). This is not speculation, the Bible is clear that the neighboring religions committed all the 'abominations' listed. However, in Paul's day, women did sleep with each other as part of a religious ritual, and that is why the Bible only then speaks about lesbianism.

Both sides of this debate can argue until the L-rd comes back, but I have better things to do. I ask everyone to consider the words of Paul, "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for G-d has received him. Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for G-d is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another, another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the L-rd. And he who doesn't observe the day, to the L-rd he doesn't observe it. He who eats, eats to the L-rd, for he gives G-d thanks, and he who does not eat, to the L-rd he does not eat, and gives G-d thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the L-rd, and if we die, we die to the L-rd. Therefore, Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be L-rd of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, 'As I live, says the L-rd, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to G-d.' So the each of us shall give account of himself to G-d. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. I know and am convinced by the L-rd Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for who Christ dies. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of G-d is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to G-d and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of G-d for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before G-d. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith, for whatever is not from faith is sin." Romans 14

In Paul's day, most meat was first offered to idols, then sold. Some believed this was wrong and became vegetarians, others knew that these idols weren't real, so they ate meat free of reservations. The same controversies existed over which days to celebrate (some were Jews and others were Gentiles). Paul is clear, if you eat meat, do it for G-d, if you don't, then don't do it for G-d. Those who thought eating meat offered to idols were weak and immature in faith, just as those who believe homosexuality is evil. But Paul says to those who eat meat, don't do so to make your fellow believer stumble. In other words, don't flaunt your homosexuality around others who believe it's wrong, and don't start calling them evil names. Paul says we are to patiently trust that G-d will bring them around. But for now, let's not fight, but be at peace. Shalom!

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