Terrible Parts Of The Bible Part 3: Homophobia

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:13)

I was shocked the first time I saw this. I know religion is well known for its prejudice against homosexuals, but death? Surely that is too far for even the most bigoted homophobe.

Religion has always been the harshest critic of homosexuality. This is appalling as you cannot choose who you do or do not love; therefore homosexuals are condemned for something they cannot control. Even still I was surprised at the harshness with which homosexuality is condemned in the Bible, especially as a reason is never given.

The Bible is (unfortunately) rife with maltreatment of homosexuals which supposedly is justified by God. They are regularly referred to as dogs. God tells the Israelites to exclude whores, gays and dogs from their camp and their temple (Deuteronomy 23:17-8).  So not only are gays ostracized but they are not even allowed live with the rest of the community. The entire city of Sodom (from which we get the word sodomy) is destroyed because its people “sinned”. Some people believe the sin in question was homosexuality. Though this begs the question, if God hates gays why has he not destroyed San Francisco?

God apparently supports the wholesale deportation of homosexuals! “Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land.” (1st Kings 14:24) Just in case the message wasn’t clear enough, his son also expelled them from the land (1st Kings 22:46) (In the King James Bible it is said he “took [them] out of the land” but in the Revised Standard Version, refers to “male cult prostitutes which were “exterminated from the land”).

Many parents wonder what to do when they find out their son is gay. One thing is they should definitely not do is consult the Bible. When Saul finds out his son his gay, he tries to kill his lover by throwing a javelin at him (1st Samuel 20:33). Personally I would rather if the Bible told parents to accept their son for who he is, but then again I’m a heathen so what do you expect?

Those who claim the Bible is great book filled with love that we should all live by, should stop and reflect on the fact the Bible commands the execution of people just for being gay.

Terrible Parts Of The Bible Part 1 – Genocide

Terrible Parts Of The Bible Part 2 – Sexism

Terrible Parts Of The Bible Part 3 – Homophobia

Terrible Parts Of The Bible Part 4 – Slavery

Terrible Parts Of The Bible Part 5 – Racism

Terrible Parts Of The Bible Part 6 – Anti-Semitism


Filed under Religion

34 responses to “Terrible Parts Of The Bible Part 3: Homophobia

  1. First, here are a couple texts you might want to take a look at:

    The story of Sodom and Gomorrah does mention the sexual perversion of the people, but does not say that is the reason it will be destroyed. (That is a common misunderstanding among many people including Christians, but that is not what the Bible says.) Actually, Ezekiel 16:49 says that their sin (i.e what they were punished for) was not caring for the poor.

    On David and Jonathan, they weren’t lovers, though that culture was so different than our own I do understand why the language read in today’s context might indicate that. Also, the reason Saul tried to kill David was because Saul’s kingship (which presumably would have gone to his son Jonathan) was given to David. All of these details are found in I Samuel. I can give you references if you’d like to look it up.

    I don’t want to get caught up on the details of the stories too much though because your underlying point that God views homosexuality as sin is true. The Bible does clearly teach that. One thing you might consider is that the Israelites, the only people group bound by the law, entered freely into that “contract” with God. Also, when Jesus came he abolished the law. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t view homosexuality as a sin, but it does mean Christians should not in any way be teaching that gay people should be punished or persecuted or anything like that.

    • It is true that the Bible is unclear about why Sodom was destroyed (as it is about many other things). But it was always interpreted (rightly or wrongly) that it was because of homosexuality and used in that sense as justification for homophobia

      Jonathan and David is open to interpretation by 1st Samuel 20:17 says they loved each other and 20:41 says they kissed (admittedly not definite proof but the Bible rarely is definite and often merely hints at things). 20:30 is very confusing but could mean Saul is calling him gay

      Actually Jesus supported the laws of the Old Testament and at no point did he revoke any homophobic laws http://www.evilbible.com/do_not_ignore_ot.htm

      • You are absolutely correct that people have used the story of Sodom to justify homophobia…I agree with that. It’s like many things in the Bible that have been used to support what people want it to support…it does say though that it was about not caring for the poor.

        You are correct, Jesus did follow the law and he didn’t speak about homosexuality at all to my knowledge. However, Christians do believe that Jesus fulfilled and therefore ended the law of the Old Testament. I realize some people might not interpret the Bible that way, but that is how the New Testament writers of the early church interpreted it. Most Christians believe that God made a covenant with Israel (the law) and that a new covenant began when Jesus died. That a new covenant replaced the old and there are multiple places in the Old Testament where prophets speak of the new covenant God will replace the old one with.

        Of course, that’s not to say that God has changed what he views as “sin.” I only say that to explain what Christians believe about Jesus’ view of the law.

      • Greg

        Right Christians should not forget tho that it is sin god says if a man lies with a man there blood was on there own hands for it is wickedbess they wrought that in themselves

      • Greg

        Actually the bible couldn’t have been more clear there were no righteous people in all the land except lot and his family the men tried to have sex with the male messengers of god as well sexual immorality namely ezekial brakes it down further to them not caring for the poor and such

  2. Hi Robert, Joel from the other blog here!

    I would just like to talk a little bit about how Jesus agrees with the OT law. Indeed, Jesus did not come to reject it, but to fulfill it. (Matthew 5:17) This means that He agrees with the strict rules of holiness that the OT law requires. The law is a reflection of the holiness of God and should not be compromised.

    What it means when He fulfilled the law, is that He has taken on the consequences of the OT law for us. For examples, when I murder under the OT law, the law requires fulfillment by my death. But Jesus has borne all the consequences of our sin through His death on the cross, and therefore, the OT law is fulfilled for us. Thus, Christians should still live by the holy requirements of the OT law, but not by it’s consequences.

    Referring to the link you posted, you would realize that Jesus always advocated the obedience to the OT law, but did not say that we are bonded to it (subject to it’s consequences). The only 2 exceptions are point 4, 5 (about our parents), and point 6, about removing parts of the body if they cause us to sin.

    If you read Matthew 15:4-7 and Mark 7:9-13, Jesus was quoting directly from the OT, which still included the punishments because Jesus had not fulfilled the law then. Also, he did not advocate the killing of our parents, but was using that as a point in argument against the Pharisees, who were nitpicking on another issue. He was saying something like this: “If you want to follow the consequence on this law so carefully, why is it that you do not follow the consequences of this other law as carefully?” Jesus was revealing their fake religiosity. So that passage was not intended to reinforce the consequence of the law.

    About point 6, from Matthew 5:27, I’m sure we can agree that Jesus did not mean that our eye/hand would cause us to sin, but said it figuratively. What causes us to sin is our sinful nature and desire. The eye/hand is only a tool to sin. Therefore, He was trying to say that we must quickly isolate the evil influences and desires in our life so that we will not go down the path of sin.

    I understand this brings in a lot more complications and questions, but I hope this answers some questions. You may want to read this passage from the Bible from John 8:1-11

    • But if Jesus did replace the Old Testament why is it still part of the Bible? If the Old Testament is obsolete, then why do Christians still worship and obey it. Religious people regularly quote from it or use it to prove a point, would they do this if it was obsolete?

      • I’m sorry if you got me wrong, I did not say Jesus “replaced” the OT. Even in his own words, Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. What it means by fulfilling, I have explained in the previous response.

        Therefore, the OT is not obsolete. The laws in the OT are a reflection of God’s holiness. Now if God just tells the people in the OT “you guys need to be holy like me”, they probably would do very poorly. That’s why God defined holiness as “do not commit adultery, do not bear false testimony, and instead you should do this and that.. and so on…”.

        If you would notice, an OT law will have 2 parts- the command and the consequence. The command reflects the holiness of God, while the consequence reflect the just nature of God, that He is fair. Let me give you an example:

        “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.”
        Leviticus 20:10

        So the command is not to commit adultery. So instead of God giving us a vague command to be holy, he tells us that marital fidelity is a part of being holy. Thus, this part of the OT law is relevant in the sense that it instructs us.

        Now the consequence part of the law is not applicable to us today, because in God specifically defined that consequence for that people at that point in time. This is the physical consequence. I must also add that the spiritual consequence (of eternal death) is also not relevant to Christians today because Jesus has already taken the spiritual punishment for all our sins.

        However, the consequences are still useful to us as it helps us reflect on, and worship God for his just and fair qualities. It also reminds us of the seriousness of sin to God, even though they do not apply to us.

        I understand that some extreme “Christians” today will try to apply the OT consequences to people. This is Biblically wrong and should not be done because Jesus has fulfilled the requirements for the law. Again, I refer to you John 8:1-11.

        One more thing, Christians don’t worship the Old Testament. We worship God🙂

        Hope this helps!

  3. No I’m even more confused. So the law applied then but not now? Why have it in the first place? Did God change his mind?

    You say it shows that God is fair, but killing someone because they had an affair doesnt sound fair

    • Again, there are 2 parts to the law.

      1. The command- this is that part where it tells you what you should and should not do. This is the reason why the OT laws are still so important today! Because without them, we don’t know what is God’s standard of holiness. He can say He is holy, but we won’t understand the depth of this holiness until He tells us what the standards are. So the standards are fidelity, morality, and so on,.. there are about 613 of them in the Bible.

      God has not changed His mind about the command at all! We are to follow the command part (not the consequence) as much as possible. This is because God never changes, and His holiness never changes.

      Therefore the standard that the OT law sets still applies to us today. However, the consequence part is different.

      2. The consequence- this is the part where God tell the Israelites how to deal with people who break the OT laws. I am sure you know the purpose of having consequences of breaking the law. However, God crafted these set of consequences for the Israelites who were living in that specific place, during that specific time.

      If you read the NT, you would realize that the command part of the law never changes, but the consequence part has changed drastically. This is because the society then had a different culture and social norms. Of course, laws are made based on more than that, but the culture and acceptance of the people are a strong factor.

      Thus today, we should should still adhere to the standard of the 613 laws of the OT, but we should not exert the same consequences as mentioned in it.

      For each of your questions, let me give you a summary:

      Q: “So the law applied then but not now?”
      A: The command part applies, but not the consequence part.

      Q: “Why have it in the first place?”
      A: Any society should have laws, I’m sure you agree with that. So the purpose was to keep orderliness in the Israelite community. But there is another purpose- to reveal the standards of God’s holiness. Therefore today, we use the OT laws to keep the standards of His holiness.

      Q: “Did God change his mind?”
      A: Your question is a bit vague. Maybe you’re asking if God’s standard of holiness has changed today? If that’s the question, then no. God’s standard is the same forever. But only the “command” part of the law reflects His standard. The “consequence” part was for the Israelites to keep themselves in orderliness. Therefore, the consequence part can change because it’s not part of God’s nature.

      Q: “You say it shows that God is fair, but killing someone because they had an affair doesnt sound fair”
      A: This question is difficult to answer. But let me share an analogy.

      I personally do not agree with the death penalty. I feel that no human has the right to take the life for another, however bad they’ve done. However, I live in Singapore where smuggling drugs results in the death penalty. Now, shall I send an e-mail to the ministry of law and tell them about my views? Shall I tell them that I feel they don’t have the right to take away someone’s life?

      Yes! I could tell them, but it may make very little difference. A country’s laws are made based on a few factors like the government and the acceptance and tolerance of people. In Singapore, homosexuality is taboo in our culture. Therefore, our law reflects this, and disallows homosexuality. In the US however, you would realize they are gradually moving towards an acceptance of homosexuality. Why is it different? Who is wrong and who is right? We cannot say, because each country has it’s own needs and cultures, and will form the law based on that.

      So back to the question. This is clearly your personal view on how adultery should be punished. Now what I am going to say to you may sound offensive, but I hope you understand that I mean it in a good way.

      The Israelites at that time all acknowledged God as their final authority on all moral issues. So let’s imagine I am an Israelite living in that time. Firstly, I would acknowledge God as the person who created me. He created the universe and created my mind.

      For me to even think that He is unfair- I am using a function of my brain that God created! If God has all the knowledge of everything in the universe, everything we are thinking and anything is is going to happen, what I am thinking now is not even a speck of dust compared to Him! Since He knows all, I find that I have no authority to decide what should be the law and what shouldn’t. I have no right to prescribe the death penalty, or reject it. Only God has.

      Since God knew the needs/culture/people of that time, He prescribed the consequences of the law based on what was best for His people.

    • Greg

      Why would you justify someone who had an affair they’d most certainly deserve death

  4. I feel that I should talk a little bit more about your question on adultery. Perhaps in the US, affairs are common (I really don’t know). In Singapore however, Asians generally place faithfulness at the top of their moral values.

    So if an affair took place in the US, the people may feel that it is not too bad a matter. It’s wrong definitely, but it doesn’t deserve too heavy a sentence.

    In Singapore, when an affair happens, there is an immediate taboo placed on the adulterous person. That’s because we value fidelity so much. Thus, people in Singapore, compared to in the Us, may feel that a heavier sentence should be prescribed.

    If let’s say we move on so some unknown tribe in the middle of Africa. Over there, having an affair means death, no compromise. They hate adultery so much that the unfaithful person must be killed. As a Singaporean, I will say that it’s too heavy a sentence.

    But a person from that tribe, from that culture will tell me that it’s the right thing to me done! He will say that such a evil crime must be severely punished!

    So then, who has got it right? The American, the Singaporean, or the tribes’ people?

    For each of these people, they have all gotten it right! The purpose of the law is to ensure fairness, and to deter people from doing it again.

    If in America, people don;t really bother about affairs, then it is fine to have a lighter sentence. In Singapore, affairs are taken seriously, and thus, a heavier sentence should be given to deter people from doing it.

    I hope you understand what I’m trying to say here. I really have no knowledge whatsoever in law. I’m just sharing what I know from the Bible.

    • I actually don’t understand you. (Just to note I’m in Ireland so I don’t know how America treats adultery) You seem to be quite casual about killing someone over a petty crime. You also seem to suggest we should apply our own morals to the crime, so that if we think its really bad we should punish it severely and vice versa. Then what use is the Bible? Why not have our own morality?

      • I see that you still may not understand the command and consequence parts of the law. We are not creating our own morality as long as the command stays the same. The command is the morality. The consequence is for the people’s sake.

        When you say “suggest we should apply our own morals to the crime” You are again, taking an emotional, personal response to my words. I have said that our personal views make little difference in a country’s laws. So if you want to look for a personal response, I would trust my government to set the right punishments for the laws. This is also why we have judges- because not every case is the same. Some murders get the death penalty, and some do not.

        As for me being casual, I have already said that I do not agree with the death penalty. I do not think anybody has the right to remove another person’s life. Perhaps the reason why I sound casual is because I do not let my personal emotions get into discussions.

      • Greg

        Because morality means nothing in a world with out god some people like raping kids would you want them to base the morality of the work some people get a kick from stealing love it would you have them define your morals why not there just being free thinkers society says I shouldn’t hurt people but I like stabbings like no thank you I’d rather follow god that says such things should be detested

  5. This debate is getting quite long so I’ll just make two quick points. You say the command is perfect and we cannot change it and it is clearly the work of God. But the consequences can change. Aren’t you picking and choosing? Could you not argue that the law was designed solely for the Israelites at that time in those circumstances? On the other hand aren’t Gods laws supposed to apply to the whole world? For ever?

    In your last paragraph you take the tone of a submissive slave to an all powerful dictator. How can we possibly know the reasoning of our great leader, we must still obey etc. I personally would rather be a free thinking critic but each to their own

    • I am not picking and choosing. I just refrained from backing up my points Biblically because I know you’re an atheist. And the interpretation of the Bible requires some Biblical foreknowledge

      Hebrews 10:9, Jeremiah 31:31-34 reflects that God has introduced a new covenant (like law), to fulfill the old one (the OT law).

      Note: Jeremiah was in the OT, but it was a prophecy foretelling that God was going to do in the NT.

      Romans 3:21-23- sums it up by saying that now, we cannot obtain righteousness (justification) through the OT law. We can only do so through the grace of God by believing in Jesus.

      Romans 15:4 says the the OT was written for our learning today, not for us to be bonded under it.

      Now you may ask, “If we are no longer under the OT law, does the ‘command’ part still apply?” I have been saying that it still does, but not directly in the way you think. This involves a whole new topic concerning the word of the law and the spirit of the law, so I’ll just leave it here.

      I’ll conclude this part by saying that I will not dare to make any point that is Biblically wrong or not backed up by the Bible. I respect my God and will not misrepresent Him.

      As for the tone of a submissive slave, yes! I am. But we cannot view this dictator as Hitler or Chairman Mao. Because they are imperfect. God is a dictator who is completely perfect and the things He commands are good for us.

      And another difference is that He is a dictator who who allows His people to choose to obey to Him or not. That’s why you can be an atheist now! I may be a Christian, but I am still a free thinking critic of many things, including my own faith.

  6. Robert,
    Can I move this conversation in a different direction? I’m curious about your response to this. Do you have a problem with Christians saying they believe homosexuality is wrong or just if they are homophobic. If I were simply to say to you that I personally believe homosexuality is wrong, would you accept that or be offended by that?

    • Yes, if you said homosexuality was wrong I would be offended. You cannot choose who you can or cannot love, so you are blaming them for something they cannot control. I don’t fully understand your first question, saying homosexuality is wrong is homophobic, at least in my book.

      • For me, saying you believe homosexuality is wrong isn’t homophobic. It’s a personal moral conviction. To me, homophobia is protesting in the street, slandering gay people, hate speech, etc…(Need I go on? Unfortunately, we all know what that looks like. I will concede that Christianity has a reputation for being homophobic and unfortunately that’s a reputation they’ve earned.)
        I believe that I can disagree with someone’s behavior, but still treat them respectfully and be friends with them. Aren’t we all kind to, and friends with people without agreeing with everything they believe or do?

      • Greg

        You know homophobic is an incorrect rendering means to be scared of the same. Homosexualphobic would be proper and none of those advocates are afraid of it they know its a sin but instead of trying to help people turn from sin that were all born in we propagate hate for sinners when God hates the sin itself

  7. To an extent but I see it as thinking being Protestant is wrong but I’ll still be friends with you. Or thinking there’s something wrong with being black. Or where the person is from. Basically I dislike it as its judging someone based on something you cannot control.

    Protesting the street etc are expressions of homophobia.

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  10. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the story about Saul’s son. Really interesting! (And horrible of course.) Very much enjoying your posts on “Terrible Parts of the Bible.”

    • Greg

      What’s wrong with Saul trying to protect his son from following in sin I’m confused should the man of god be shown to take sin so lightly no he was offended as he and all people should be at this world

  11. Greg

    What’s bad is that we live in a world that defends defilers and perverts love is not pure in all fashions man loving a man or a beast are just two cases of foul love

  12. Greg

    Reading the last part of that you would rather the bible say accept and love evil he’s your son so what if he’s against righteousness that would be failing as a parent that’s like saying that’s who my son is he just likes to stap o that’s my boy jeffey dohmer he loved little boys its OK fudge that

  13. alfred

    The above post is bs. Homosexuals may not be able to control who they love but they can control who they have sex with. Just because you disagree with the Bible in this respect doesn’t mean that it is “terrible”.

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  18. Doug

    What would lead you to believe that Jesus was sent here to bring peace on earth? Jesus speaks directly to the fact that even within your own family there will be those that follow and don’t follow the word.

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

    And to what Joel was saying, the Bible never says that you can sin without consequence. In the NT, it speaks quite clearly about not being allowed into the kingdom of God for multiple reasons. Simply not being saved is one. Multiple Christian denominations believe they are going to heaven (Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, etc) but even they are not saved if they truly follow those doctrines. The old testament speaks to God’s morality. Jesus refers to God’s morality over and over especially on the topic of homosexuality.

    On the subject of a homosexual not being able to choose to be a homosexual, wouldn’t your logic also apply to serial killers? We call them monsters and yet they were born that way. Should we love them and condone their practices as well? Talking about picking and choosing….

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