My article “Justifying Bad Behavior with a Mix of Good” (June 13, 2011) was an introductory response to a lengthy email I received from an advocate of homosexuality. In his email, Mr. Himes argues for the normality and morality of homosexuality on several levels. He began by arguing that homosexuals are good people and homosexual behavior does not do any harm. I pointed out that all good people, even great people, do bad things, and homosexuality does do harm.
I’m always amazed when homosexuals try to use the Bible to support homosexuality. It can’t be done. Here are some of Mr. Himes’ arguments and my responses:
The Old Testament of the Bible, THE OLD LAW OF MOSES (that is simply history and not law for a TRUE CHRISTIAN), talks of homosexuality being disliked because, at the time, God wanted to populate the earth and homosexual sex was a “conflict-of-interest” for that goal. It wasn’t considered an abomination at all; just a temporarily dislike of God at the time. This was told to me by leaders of the Jewish faith.
Where does the Bible say this? Nowhere! It’s hearsay, the opinion (by Mr. Himes’ own admission) of some “leaders of the Jewish faith.” Who these leaders are, he does not say. I can assure Mr. Himes that there are other leaders of the Jewish faith who would vehemently disagree. For example, Rabbi Dr. Immanuel Jakobovits, in his entry Homosexuality in the Encyclopedia Judaica, describes the traditional opinion in this way:
Jewish law . . . rejects the view that homosexuality is to be regarded merely as a disease or as morally neutral…. Jewish law holds that no hedonistic ethic, even if called “love,” can justify the morality of homosexuality any more than it can legitimize adultery or incest, however genuinely such acts may be performed out of love and by mutual consent.
Mr. Himes’ claim that homosexuality “wasn’t considered an abomination at all” is a flat contradiction of the Bible: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22; 20:13). Abomination is a term of strong disapproval in Hebrew (to’evah). It is used five times in Leviticus 18 (vv. 22, 26, 27, 29, 30) and once in 20:13. “It is more common in Deuteronomy (17 times), in Proverbs (21 times), and in Ezekiel (43 times). Other writers use it less often. It comes from a root meaning ‘to hate’ or ‘abhor.’ An abomination is literally something detestable and hated by God (e.g., Prov. 6:16; 11:1).”1
The morality in the New Testament is based on the morality found in the Older Testament. For example, the Greatest Commandment (Matt 19:19; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8) is actually a quotation from the Older Testament: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:18). Notice that this love command is sandwiched between chapters that describe homosexuality as an “abomination.” This means that loving your neighbor does not mean always loving what your neighbor does, especially when that behavior is condemned in the Bible.
Then in THE NEW TESTAMENT, none of the original 12 disciples ever mentioned homosexuality. . . . JESUS CHRIST also did NOT mentioned homosexuality; and you would think if homosexuality was as big of a sin and BAD, as your kind claims, that JESUS CHRIST (THE GREATEST TEACHER OF ALL TIME) would have mentioned this subject AT LEAST ONCE!!! JESUS mentions sin like adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, worshipping idols (like money, fortune, and fame), gossiping and specifically JUDGING OTHERS in Matthew 7:1–10. Perhaps your kind should read more about these sins, since heterosexuals are seen committing these sins on an hourly basis. As I said before, JESUS does not mention homosexuality . . . not even close to the subject!!!
A standard argument against the Bible’s prohibition of homosexuality is that Jesus never mentions it. Mr. Himes adds the “original 12 disciples.” Jesus didn’t condemn rape (Deut. 22:25–26), sex with animals (Ex. 22:29), sex with a minor, incest (Lev. 18:6–18), abortion (Ex. 21:22–25), kidnapping (Deut. 24:7), arson (Ex. 22:6), or tripping blind people (Lev. 19:14); therefore, Jesus must not have been opposed to rape, incest, bestiality, sex with minors, abortion, or tripping blind people. This is a terrible argument, yet it is used over and over again by homosexual advocates.
The Bible defines “natural” sexual relationships in Genesis 2:18–25. Anything outside the norm is abnormal. Jesus confirms the creation model in Matthew 19:4–6, and by definition condemns any other type of sexual relationship: “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? ‘So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’”
If my wife said to my children when they were younger, “stay in the house while you’re dad is fixing the roof,” she didn’t have to follow this up by saying “don’t go outside.” The positive standard (stay in the house) implies the negative prohibition (don’t go outside). The speed limit sign that reads “55” includes any speed over “55” without ever saying don’t go “65 miles per hour.” Based on the Genesis account alone, there is no need for a single verse condemning homosexuality (Gen. 1:26–28; 2:18–25). Affirming the heterosexual relationship — one man with one woman — condemns the homosexual relationship by definition. With the norm established, any deviation is by definition abnormal, unnatural, and sinful.
What about Mr. Himes’ statement about “not judging”? Paul Copan writes in “True For You, But Not True For Me, “It’s been said that the most frequently quoted Bible verse is no longer John 3:16 but Matthew 7:1: ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged.’” I would add that it’s the most frequently misquoted verse by those who quote the Bible only when they believe it helps their cause.
We cannot glibly quote this, though, without understanding what Jesus meant. When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn’t at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people “pigs” and “dogs” (Matt. 7:6) and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15)! Any act of church discipline (1 Cor. 5:5) and rebuking false prophets (1 John 4:1) requires judgment.2
Jesus said “Do not judge lest you be judged” (Matt. 7:1; Luke 6:37). But He also said, “Judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24; see Deut. 16:18). These are not contradictory statements since the context of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 tells us what He means by “not judging” and what it means to judge with “righteous judgment.” Jesus was condemning those who judge using two standards of morality, one standard for the judge and another for the accused. The Bible maintains—in both the Old and New Testaments—that the standard of judgment must be equal for both parties (Num. 15:16). “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you” (Matt. 7:2).
In essence, no one is above the law, not even those who make and enforce it. The Pharisees demonstrated a system based on two standards of justice: “They tie up heavy loads and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger” (Matt. 23:4).
If the “judge not” concept were taken to its logical conclusion, every court room in the country would have to be shut down, every judge laid off, and all attorneys sent packing. This says nothing of the Supreme Court and Congress, two institutions that deal with judgment on a national scale.
Paul, who never met, talked with or followed JESUS CHRIST personally, was a tremendously dedicated Jew, prior to his sudden “Christ revelation.” This is well known by all Bible scholars who have truly studied the history of Paul and Christianity. Paul felt that JESUS CHRIST was coming back during his lifetime and thought that people should NOT MARRY AT ALL!!!
The arguments of Mr. Himes get thinner and thinner. I left some of them out because they are bizarre and not worth answering. Who knows where he found some of this stuff.
Anyone familiar with the New Testament knows that Paul did meet Jesus (Acts 9:3–9; 22:6–21).Writing to the Corinthians, Paul asks: “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?” (1 Cor. 9:1). All of these questions require an affirmative answer. Later in 1 Corinthians, Paul states:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (1 Cor. 15:3–8).
Of course, all the New Testament writers believed Jesus was coming back in their lifetime, because Jesus said He was going to come back in their lifetime (Matt. 24:34), and He did. I’ve written on this topic so often that I’m not going to repeat my arguments here. If you are interested, see my books Is Jesus Coming Soon? and Last Days Madness. Paul didn’t feel that Jesus was coming back in his lifetime; he knew it (1 Cor. 1:7; 10:11).
Paul’s instructions regarding marriage do not deviate from the biblical norm: “But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband” (1 Cor. 7:2–3). There is no hint of an approval of homosexual relationships or marriage. Paul does not prohibit anyone from marrying. He makes it clear that some of his advice is opinion “not of command” (v. 6). Compare this with his comments about the Lord’s instructions (v. 10). These are commands, and one of those commands is that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The “present distress” (1 Cor. 7:26) relates to the “great tribulation” that Jesus predicted was going to happen before “this generation” passed away (Matt. 24:15–22). In this section of Scripture, Jesus makes particular reference to “those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!” (24:19). It was going to be a difficult time for families with children, so postponing marriage should be considered given the fact that “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work” (2 Thess. 2:7), that is, already at work in Paul’s day. There’s was coming a great Neronic persecution that would engulf many Christians.
Then [Paul] thought that WOMEN should NOT BE ALLOWED INSIDE A CHURCH!!! Paul, of course, was the founder of the horrifyingly evil and corrupt CATHOLIC CHURCH, who deny admittance of nuns into the church during services TODAY!!! So, what validity does Paul posses concerning his claim to be an authentic follower and teacher of the lessons that JESUS taught???
Mr. Himes continues to be confused. There were no church buildings in Paul’s day. Women were part of church gatherings from before Pentecost and beyond: “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1:14).
Paul had nothing to do with founding the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church does not “deny admittance of nuns into the church during services TODAY.” I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, and I can assure Mr. Himes that nuns were always permitted in worship services. I am not defending the Roman Church. There is no provision in Scripture for nuns or priests. Certainly Paul never wrote anything about a special female order of nuns. Neither is there a requirement that men who serve as ministers (priests in the Roman Catholic Church) must not marry. Such a doctrine goes against everything the Bible teaches. Aaron was a high priest in Israel and was married and had children. Peter, who is supposed to be the church’s first pope, was married (1 Cor. 9:5). Mr. Himes is thoroughly confused.