Gender & Sexuality Mark Silk: Spiritual Politics Opinion

Evangelical leaders try to hold the line on gender

Transgender Pride Flag

On Tuesday, an outfit called the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood issued, over the signatures of more than 150 evangelical leaders, the Nashville Statement — a 14-article manifesto saying pretty much what you’d expect 150 evangelical leaders to say about marriage, sexuality, and gender identity.

As in Article One:

WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.

In my view, the Bible is rather less clear on manhood and womanhood than the confident assertions of the Nashville Statement suggest, there being at least four wives among the three Patriarchs in Genesis, to say nothing of the polygamous and polyamorous behavior of David and Solomon, or David’s arguably homoerotic relationship with Jonathan.

But as a devotee of the Free Exercise Clause I say: Go for it, guys. If that old-time heteronormativity is the hill you want evangelical Christianity to die on, be my guest.

For we should be clear why this Statement is appearing now. The faithful are harkening unto what its Preamble identifies as the “secular spirit of the age.”

Thus, according to a Pew report delivered earlier this summer, fully 35 percent of white evangelical Protestants now support same-sex marriage (up from 13 percent in 2001). The number is 47 percent when it comes to those under the age of 53.

Moreover, PRRI found this spring that just half of white evangelicals favor laws requiring transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their birth sex. Can acceptance of “transgenderism” be far behind?

No wonder the evangelical leaders have decided to draw lines in the sand.

To be fair, the Nashville Statement does in places tip its hat to the norms of 21st-century Western culture, which the Preamble denominates “increasingly post-Christian.” It affirms that “people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life” and that “those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers.”

But it’s hard to square such assertions with its denial that “adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.” So far as the Nashville Statement is concerned, God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption boil down to body parts and procreation.

About the author

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service


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  • So, David ♡ Jonathan, is that right?
    Homoerotic Tru-Luv 4-Ever, yes?

    Now it’s no surprise that Mark Silk would disagree with the Nashville Statement.
    (Does the sun rise in the east?)

    But this “homoerotic” claim about David and Jonathan, is nothing more than a Gay Activist fairytale that was Scripturally dead and buried (and correctly sent back to Hell with postage due), long before the putrid lie ever saw the first light of day.

    Oh well. Break out the shovels again, boys.

  • A bunch of grifters who support serial adulterer Donald Trump don’t have any moral authority left to make any statements on the love lives of others.

  • You will notice that these “spokespeople for God” did not actually get God to sign their Manifesto. Trump’s spokespeople can’t get Trump’s messages right, and they are in constant communication with Donald. But without ever having a one on one sit down conversation with God, they KNOW what God thinks.

    Its amazing how completely confident these self appointed God’s spokespeople are that they know God’s opinion on every subject, and GOD’S OPINION IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THEIRS ON EVERY SUBJECT! They don’t seem to be worried that God will punish them on Judgement Day for claiming to speak for Him without His permission. Could that be because, deep inside, they do not think there is a God?

  • I see the intent of this statement as being contained in Article 10, second paragraph.

    It states :
    “We deny that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.”

    They are saying that, if you want to consider yourself a faithful Christian, you can’t disagree with them.

    It should make any rational person wonder what they won’t let you disagree with them about next.

  • You’re very wrong about that. It’s not that they don’t think that there is a god, but that they think they ARE god.

  • This piece of evangelical trashy dominionism, which is nothing more than an attempt to beat a dead horse in hopes of shaking some more money out of it. It is just begging to be punked. so here goes.

    Well, once I cleaned up the mess from blowing my coffee out my nose as I was doubled up with laughter. Too bad they had their scam, err, convention in Nashville instead of Intercourse, PA.

    The “declaration” is a series of statements, all beginning “We affirm this” and “we deny that”. I think they did it to give it some speechifyin’ gravitas, if by gravitas, you mean another way to separate the true believers from their cash. They affirm this and deny that, but they obviously don’t believe it. If they did, they’d lose half their congregations and income.

    I AFFIRM that I couldn’t possibly care less than I already don’t about what these grifter grabbers have to say, and I DENY that I ever did.

    We affirm that we have time, energy, and money to attack everyone who does not think like we do. We deny we have time, energy, and money to feed starving children or help Houston.

    We affirm that this country is not a theocracy and hopefully, never will be. We deny that we have to give a ratsass about what you affirm or deny.

    “WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.” And that’s why we affirmed President Grabby, Billo reilly, fornicating and adulterous Newtie, and a whole bunch of other people too numerous to mention, who all seem to have the morals of congressmen.

    “WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife …” I deny that they will be concentrating their efforts on wiping out adultery and divorce, let alone the long list of self-proclaimed desert quadrupeds living in multi-million dollar estates.. The list of people who ignore that is wrong, errr, umm, long.

    I affirm that “The Nashville Statement” is crap, and deny that it has any authority over law or government, civil or human rights, or anyone who chooses to ignore it.

  • Yes. Because every straight guy says he loves his buddies more than he loves women. Happens all of the time.

    By the way, there is more weaselling in your link than there is in the White House and congress combined. But lucky for you, I don’t have the time right now.

  • 33 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.

    34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:

    35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
    (Luke 20) Sounds like a human arrangement to me.

  • That one cracks me up whenever I hear it — usually from somebody all carried away by the image of Jonathan removing his “robe” and evidently without the slightest idea of the political significance of that act.

  • “…David’s arguably homoerotic relationship with Jonathan.” Projection – big time, Mark Silk?. Not biblical at all.

  • That’s a remarkably simplistic and uncaring approach to an experience which millions of people go through. It’s a shame that so many Christians are so eager to label these people as “immoral”, when all they’re doing is trying to pursue happiness like anyone else, and they aren’t hurting anyone.

  • All very Christian: arrogant, vain, malicious and wilfully ignorant. Comes from living by childish delusion and ridiculous fabrication.

  • Thank god that in the US marriage is a function of the state and not the church. We can therefore ignore their rhetoric. They are free to hold their members to these standards of they wish.

  • “Fake woman” … maybe you have a fake heart. No one is hurt by transgender people using the restroom. It doesn’t happen. You should try walking a mile in someone else’s shoes before being so eager to slander them.

    And your objection to having transgender people using the restroom which best suits them (which has been happening ever since bathrooms were invented) doesn’t BEGIN to address ALL the ways which the Christian religion encourages slandering, ostracizing and otherwise disenfranchising then entire spectrum of the LGBT community. If you get your way with bathrooms, are you suddenly going to support same-sex marriage? Or gay people in the military? Do you care that THEY aren’t harming anyone? Or do you figure you’ve solved all that by whining about “fake women in the bathroom”?

    Do you muster the same outrage for what’s happening to children in the dubious care of priests?

  • The argument that David’s relationship with Jonathon was homoerotic is wholly without foundation, and only underscores the present generation’s obsession with intimate relationships that can only be construed by people with a limited sense of human motivation to the arena of sex.

  • I’m trailing the pack on this one, but my comment mirrors yours, DirtyHarry#’s, and Shawnie5’s.

  • Among a host of other ills, let us not forget, blame enough to go around for all. The key as Christians is to win souls for him despite our sins and the sins of others…as God enables us to do so.

  • I thought about commenting that I thought he was an idiot for saying that – but then I knew you’d say something like, “DH, was that the Christlike?” And then I’d stare at the floor and say something like, “No…but…” And you’d interrupt me and say something like, “DH…was it Christlike?” And then I’d have to admit it wasn’t the way Jesus would handle it and I’d have to apologize.
    Boy EBS you really know how to put a guy on a guilt trip. 😉

  • I’ll just leave this here…

    Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus. Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041

    The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions.

    Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

    The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

  • I suspect there is a coming division within Evangelical Christianity. Namely between those who (like the signers of the “Nashville Statement”) say that the issue of “teh gays” is a fundamental creed of the Christian faith on par with the Virgin Birth, Deity of Christ, etc. – and those who say it’s a “secondary” issue. It’s becoming a fight between the fundamentalist Evangelicals and the mainstream Evangelicals.

    The fundamentalist Evangelicals that signed the “Nashville Statement” declare that not only are all gay people damned to hell, but so are those who don’t agree with them that gays are “evil”. So, if you have a son or daughter that’s gay and you love and support them, you are damned to hell by this group of Evangelicals. Isn’t that nice? (no)

  • I’m sure there was no sex between Jonathan and David considering the penalties but who knows what kind of love it was so you can’t dismiss it either. When I came across this during my first bible reading I was a bit shocked (I was 13). I’m positive there were closeted gays and bisexuals among the people named in the bible.

    Disclaimer: I’m talking hypothetically because most of the people and events in the Bible never existed or occured.

  • What’s next, burn all the Bibles to keep people from reading it? You don’t need to follow what it says but we Christians will. Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God 1 Cor 6:9-10. That’s what it says.

  • The arguments that the Bible addresses homosexual relations and transgender issues at all is wholly without foundation and based on proof texting and spurious self serving interpretation. But that didn’t stop prior generations with a limited sense of decency from using the Bible to justify bigotry, discrimination and outright physical harm to gays.

  • To borrow an extremely crude urbanism, ever heard of “bros before h**s?”

    In any case, the relationship was likely less of a “buddy” thing and more of a mentor thing. Given David’s age when he began his reign, and the minimum age that Jonathan had to be when he commanded his father’s army in the second year of Saul’s 40-year reign, there was at least a 28-year age difference between the two.

  • Fake Christian is more concerned with attacking trans people than with people who might get hurt.

  • My biggest problem with the Nashville Statement (and yes, I have read it) is the lack of scriptural support. For all its thundering and judgement and speaking in God’s name, there is remarkably little recourse to what God has actually said in the Bible. The scriptural witness is not unequivocal in either direction, but it seems to me that scripture has to be the starting place for any conversation among Christians, not simply “We affirm” and “We deny.”

  • These so called “Christians” are anything but. Instead they follow the heretical “teachings” of John Calvin & Oliver Cromwell ignoring the teachings of The Christ. Their ultimate goal is to establish a theocracy like the ones in colonial America just like their philosophical ancestors who were run out of England. They are effectively no different in beliefs than ISIS with its goal of a world wide caliphate.

  • From my experiences scripture does not matter to these cultists. The only thing that does matter to them is their twisted self serving interpretation which places them above God.

  • Women can be homosexuals. There is no mention of women in the passage you cite. Therefore, it does not say what you say it says. But then, no one really knows what it says? Effeminate? Well, that isn’t me. Abusers of themselves with mankind? Don’t know what that means either.
    But in any case, the last place I would want to spend eternity– if I wanted anything to do with eternity, because it sounds boring– would be a place that includes the kind of people who write the Nashville Attack.

  • Edward, how many straight men would say “Thy love was wonderful to me, surpassing the love of women?” You can be a gay man, and never have to mention sex. when I talk about my husband, I’m not talking about sex, but about the person I share my life with, a good, kind, decent, generous man.

  • They don’t like to admit that part much anymore.
    (Semi regular posters Roy Hobs and Strong119 excepted)

  • It’s alright, I like talking with someone who tries to enunciate right-wing talking points, gives me practice for rebutting them. Not that they’re ever that powerful.

  • We’re talking Corinthians. And romans is about idolatry. But whatever. One can never convince a bible beater that their bible beats hem every time.

  • The polygamous marriages of Abraham, et al. are NOT held up as right or good in the Bible, including in the Old Testament narratives themselves. The OT narratives on simply telling what happened, without the kind of commentary that we see in other parts of Bible. The polygamous marriages cited in this article were NOT glorifying to God, which the Bible makes very clear based on what happened within these marriages as a result.

    The Bible is consistent in its definition of both marriage as between one man and one woman, as well as God’s parameters for sex (within marriage between one man and one woman.) Importantly–and as the Nashville statement soundly and lovingly points out–disagreement about sexuality and identity all flows from disagreement about these fundamental truths.

    It’s not at all surprising that non-Christians reject those ideas–and the Bible as a whole. It’s more surprising (and disheartening) that Bible-believing Christians are confused about these truths. The Nashville statement very cogently and clearly draws a line in the sand and provides a set of claims that churches and Christians can use as an “anchor” for discussion.

  • No, “so called ‘transgenderism'” is a physical condition that manifests itself somewhere in between conception and birth. Some people would go so far as to label it a birth defect.

  • Mannequins are the only “fake women” I’ve ever seen, and they’re inanimate. But now that you mention it, they could be even more dangerous than trans women (not that trans women are dangerous; most of us are really nice people once you get to know us). Think about it; when was the last time you heard of a transwoman’s arm coming loose, and dropping onto the head of an unsuspecting shopper, or becoming unbalanced, and falling on somebody? Yeah, me neither. You’re welcome. ?

  • If that’s true then murder and gossip is about idolatry Ro 1:29 LOL! No, the fact is that homosexuality is a sign that a person has been abandoned by God in His anger Ro 1:18.
    But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
    Romans 1:18‭, ‬26‭-‬27 NLT

  • So these boys at Nashville are busy defining who is a true Christian and who is not.

    No news here.

  • ” For all its thundering and judgement and speaking in God’s name, there is remarkably little recourse to what God has actually said in the Bible.”

    “What God has actually said in the Bible” is absolutely nothing. It was actually said by men delusionally and/or fraudulently claiming to be “speaking in God’s name.” So, if what you are seeking is “scriptural support,” you are really seeking to be supported by ancient ignorance, delusion, and/or fraud.

  • I’m sorry but you are interposing on the OT texts a divine disapproval that just isn’t there in scripture. Polygamy is common to the prophets and patriarchs -Abraham,Solomon,Joshua to name just three nowhere does God condemn them or withhold his blessing from them.Not only polygamy but concubinage and levirate marriage were common too.
    The idea that the bible promotes ‘one man one woman’ marriage is a total myth as is the statement that the bible condemns ALL premarital sex.It simply doesn’t.

  • The story of David & Jonathan is the elephant in the room.It is the one part of the Bible fundamentalists simply pretend isn’t there and pretend it doesn’t say what it so conspicuously does!!
    -nobody in their right could seriously suggest that they are ‘just friends’.:-
    ‘Jonathan’s love for David was greater than that for a woman’
    ‘Jonathan stripped naked and clothed David with his armour’
    ‘Jonathan and David made a covenant and their souls were as one'(on the first day they met!)
    ‘On their parting Jonathan and David wept and kissed each other’
    And of course Jonathan’s father Jessie berates his son for ‘choosing David’.
    If this were describing a mam and woman they would obviously be lovers.Jonathan and David is a gay love covenant,beautifully and warmly celebrated.Scripture speaks with great passion about gay love here.

  • Evidently not. Proof-texting the Bible out of context and relying on modern translated words are hardly proving me false. The Bible doesn’t address homosexual and transgender issues at all because its writers had no concept of the terms. It is only modern bigots who are looking for justification for malicious attitudes who come up with such arguments. All done by selective editing, quote mining and legalistic stretching points to ridiculous lengths.

  • I posted the context. So, you claim homosexuality didn’t exist in the first century and the biblical authors had no idea what it was? LOL!!! I suggest you enroll in a remedial reading course and pay attention when you get to the chapter on circles of literary context.

  • People didn’t understand what homosexuality was. It is a modern term and modern concept. Most bible thumping posters here don’t have a clue what transsexuals are.

    Its telling that you feel the need to define Christianity by who one must hate. It speaks badly of your religious belief and moral character. Not only are you so spineless as to use religion to make your personal bigotry acceptable, you are so hateful that you can’t abide by people disagreeing with you on the subject. It really shows how venal and malicious your brand of Christianity is. Truly worthless belief without socially redeeming points.

  • The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)
    1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
    2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
    3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
    4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
    5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
    6 “You shall not murder.
    7 “You shall not commit adultery.
    8 “You shall not steal.
    9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    A violation of any of the above are called “sin” in the Bible. Just because you say there is no such thing as sin doesn’t mean there is no such thing as sin.

  • But if he weren’t imposing a divine disapproval that isn’t there, then what on earth would he do with his time?

  • The word “homosexual” did not appear in English until the 1860’s at the earliest. It did not appear in the bible until 1948.

  • C’mon BO. Your ignorance is showing again.

    Paul the apostle wrote both epistles – you probably didn’t know that – but he did. So it’s logical and reasonable to infer he is referring to the same thing.

    Anyway I corrected you on another thread so why do you keep spreading fake theology? That is so dishonest.

    Let’s go back and look at the Roman’s text – again:
    Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    Now pay attention; we’re going to do a little close reading:
    This describes homosexuality of both men and women. The “degrading passions” v. 26 these people experience are a result of not worshiping God – ie they are not recognizing who God is and therefore conforming their lives to His will. In fact they “exchanged the truth for a lie.”

    [And all kidding aside, here in v. 26 is a truth both horrible and tragic to contemplate about the ways of God: GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO THEIR SIN…. We either say to God, “Thy will be done…” or He says TO US “Thy will be done.”]

    (Back to the text) The “degrading passions” are a result of “lust”, “lust” which results in “impurity”, “impurity” then results in the “dishonoring of their bodies” which is described in v. 26 as the “women exchanging the natural function for that which is unnatural”. In other words, Paul says the women were engaging in sexual acts with other women. How do I know that? I know that because Paul said in v. 27 “in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
    See that little phrase “in the same way”, that tells us the women were doing the same thing the men were doing and the men were doing “it” with other men. By inferential reasoning then we may conclude the women were doing “it” with other women.
    And the consequences? Practicing homosexuals will receive “the due penalty of their error”. What is the “due penalty”? I infer that there will be physical and spiritual consequences. For the physical consequences go to the CDC website and see the fact sheets “Men having sex with men.” I gotta tell you, they don’t paint a very rosy picture of the gay lifestyle. For the spiritual consequences just read down a bit – verses 28-32.

    Let’s summarize: Here in Rom. Paul addresses and describes the sin of homosexuality, its origins, and consequences. This passage comports very well with the I Corinthians passage.

    Any questions?

    Now I don’t want to see you spread any more fake theology about this text on any other thread. Because if you do, I’ll take off points. Understand? LOL.

  • If you think the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has anything to do with homosexuality then go back to Ezekial. Therein he describes the sins of the city being greed and indifference to others.

    Again, modern bigots taking snippets of the text to justify their behavior rather than looking at the messages and themes of such passages.

  • Are you purposely acting illiterate? Read the story about men having sex with men and why it’s called “sodomy” named after that city.

  • I can’t help it if context– romans is about idolatry, and you never go earlier than verse 24– and nuance– the CD reports are about promiscuity and unprotected sex– are lost on you.

    There is a cure for it, but ignorance and despite are easier.

  • John Hopkins Hospital shut their sex reassignment program down.

    Paul McHugh had his mind made up to shut down the Johns Hopkins program before he got there. Here’s where he said so.

    This interrelationship of cultural antinomianism and a psychiatric misplaced emphasis is seen at its grimmest in the practice known as sex-reassignment surgery. I happen to know about this because Johns Hopkins was one of the places in the United States where this practice was given its start. It was part of my intention, when I arrived in Baltimore in 1975, to help end it.

    While there, he commissioned a ‘study’ to ‘prove’ he was right.

    BTW, Johns Hopkins has started doing sex reassignment again.

  • I guess you didn’t read Ezekiel, can’t tell the difference between gang rape and consensual relations, missed the parts of the story concerning marked coins and indifference to the downtrodden and use a post facto term which supports my premise as to how you use scripture.

    You are doing just as I claimed you do. Seek validation for prejudice by spurious reference to the Bible. All the while missing the point of its stories.

  • There you go acting illiterate again by cherry picking out of context. Homosexuality is listed among the vices in Ro 1:26-29. Do you also think murder is okay as long as it’s done in a consensual loving relationship?

  • What you don’t know about the Bible would fill volumes. LOL.
    The main idea which controls the interpretation is this: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

    The idolatrous images listed here are merely examples instrumental in nature and do not circumscribe or determine that the sinful behavior is related only to these images. In other words, there were other kinds of idols. Did Paul exclude them with his example here? If you think he did you are more than ignorant.
    Again, they are not the cause of the behavior, they are examples or symptoms of the behavior. The primary cause is this: the people “…did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man…” (sounds like someone I know here)
    That is, unbelief is the primary cause of their sinful behavior. Idolatrous images only give the worshipers an excuse or a means by which to express their “degrading passions”.

    But how do I know that? Simple: Paul says in Phil. 3:19 (of those who are the enemies of the cross – that would be YOU and your ilk) whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame…” Here Paul says their “appetites” are their god – or idol.

    But not only that, if you knew the Bible you’d know that Jesus and Paul supported the Law and the Prophets as authoritative and so all of your twisting of Scripture won’t change that. That in and of itself tells us that they considered homosexuality a sin. Why? Because they believed Lev. 18:22 and Lev. 18:22 describes male homosexuality in graphic detail.

    So every time you put your ignorance on display about the Bible, I will remind you of it – and correct you. No need to thank me. At least I get you to read God’s word.

    As for the cdc . Anyone who goes there sees that the problem is HUGE among young gay men. That’s a fact, Jack! Why? Because gay men in general are extremely promiscuous – according to their OWN testimony. And the cdc proves that.

  • He’s been schooled on this and other matters multiple times, but he’ll come back again and again with the same faulty talking points. That’s because he writes to convince the ignorant who’ve never read Romans and never will, or the Law and the Prophets either.
    He admits it’s all for show.

    It’s hard to come away from the entirety of scripture without realizing that the very essence of all sin is idolatry, because it ALWAYS involves giving loyalty and homage to something else besides God — and that something else is usually self. C.S. Lewis captured it very neatly when he wrote: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.””

    And of course the Accuser’s first lying promise was: “You will become like God…”

  • You’re right. You know, I am not normally so confrontational with people, but soon after I started commenting here I noticed the extreme vitriol directed at Christians who are very gracious. And I thought, this isn’t right. Well, I thought, Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal, so I guess I can too. Hence, my comments are probably a little more edgy than most Christians who comment here. And I also want (you know who) to know he is ignorant and dishonest when he twists the plain truth of Scripture. Hopefully, others who are on the fence and read our comments will see not only what the Bible says, but will see also how we arrive at our interpretations. God bless you. Have a great weekend. Keep commenting. I always learn something from what you post.

  • And right on schedule here is Exhibit A of my comment below. Sigh…

    ‘Jonathan’s love for David was greater than that for a woman’ Not surprising in a culture of arranged marriage that never heard of spouses being “soulmates.” “Eros,” or sexual love, was considered the lowest grade of love.

    No, the scripture does not say Jonathan stripped “naked.” He removed his royal robe (a tunic would have been worn underneath) and his military effects and gave them to David. The political significance of this was quite momentous — for it was a relinquishment of royal status and privilege to another, acknowledging the choice God had made to remove Saul’s lineage from the throne to be replaced by David’s.

    “Jonathan and David made a covenant and their souls were as one” The exact same language is used to describe Jacob’s bond with his son Benjamin…oh my! Let’s not go there. Nor was it the “first day they met,” for Jonathan was commander of his father’s armies and David had been Saul’s armor-bearer ever since he first came to the palace to play the lyre for him.

    “On their parting Jonathan and David wept and kissed each other’ So what? Looks like someone is unfamiliar with middle-eastern culture. “All the people crossed over the Jordan and the king crossed too. The king then kissed Barzillai and blessed him.” (2 Sam. 19:38-39). “Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his (Saul’s) head, kissed him. (1 Sam.10:1). “Then Esau ran to meet him (Jacob) and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” (Gen. 33:4) Oh my….two brothers…let’s not go there either.

    “And of course Jonathan’s father Jessie berates his son for ‘choosing David’.” Jonathan’s father was king Saul, not Jesse, and he most certainly DID berate him for choosing to be loyal to David rather than to his own father and sovreign.

    “Jonathan and David is a gay love covenant,beautifully and warmly celebrated.Scripture speaks with great passion about gay love here.” Quite telling that you would imagine a married man with kids of his own exposing himself to his young and green brother-in-law, thirty years younger than him, to be “beautiful.” Most people would just consider it revolting.

  • I know – I’m a “nice girl” too, but the older I get the less patience I have with misrepresentation and ignorance, particularly when both are deliberate and very, very loud.

    I hope you’ve got a great Labor Day coming up. I’ll be helping the hubby feed wood-chips into the smoker — a bit more trouble than it’s worth, IMO, but then I’m a lover of Mediterranean food, not really a BBQ nut.

  • No, you have told me what YOU think. World of difference to being “schooled.”
    As for harry’s vitriol, he’s dreaming.

  • Middle eastern culture? 2500 years ago? Of course. We know all about it. The middle east wasn’t even the middle east back then.
    And again, straight men always talk to their buddies that way.

  • Read the story about MEN threatening to RAPE other men, and then conveniently turn it around into a description of homosexuality. Even Shawnie, sola scriptorium girl that she is, admits that Sodom is no more about homosexuality than it is about the price of a pillar of salt.

  • Proof texting which misses the context of the passage decrying idolatry and malicious reviling of others (as you have done)

    Bringing up excerpts of “gotcha” passages merely proves my point concerning how you use scripture selectively to reinforce personal bigotry.

    “Do you also think murder is okay as long as it’s done in a consensual loving relationship?”

    Wouldn’t that simply be assisted suicide? 🙂

  • That’s only if you equate rape with having sex. And rape has far more to do with power than it does with sex. But then you already conflated homosexuality with murder. And heterosexual men are known to be rapers of men. Bisexuals exist.

    and ben Carson, that luminary of knowledge, has declared that men go into prison as heterosexuals and it turns them gay. How can you argue with Ben Carson? it isn’t rocket surgery.

    But there you have it. Six reasons why you are wrong.

  • Actually “Sodomy” means essentially “I don’t wike it” when it comes to others’ paraphilias. Some say oral sex, BDSM, etc., are sodomy; some say it’s only anal sex. However, if the latter were so, most anal sex is engaged in by heterosexuals.

  • Exactly why the argument against gay marriage fails.
    Surest way to reduce sex is get married. Thank you.

  • By that reasoning lesbians must be especially blessed since they tend to be healthier and less prone to infections. Of course realizing a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle is the foundation of good mental health for a female anyhow.

  • And you chose a kangaroo for yours. And kangaroos have the reputation of acting like intolerant and selfish toddlers. Lol.

  • An entirely wrong analysis of the text, framed from a 21st century perspective which has no concord with the culture, attitudes, and precepts of the nation of Israel in the period described. The love described that was greater than that “for a woman” was not construed in homo-erotic terms. One very clear error in your statement is the “Jesse berates his son for ‘choosing David’.” Jonathan was Saul’s son, David was Jesse’s.

  • Okay, I get that, which is precisely a good argument for why such a statement can be declared without any connection to a sexual relationship, but the frequent argument is that the declaration presupposes a physically intimate one. Such a declaration as was made in the text would undoubtedly be difficult for a straight man to make in the 21st century, but not in the world of ancient Israel.

  • I can’t speak to transgenderism, but the bible clearly speaks to homosexuality in a pejorative manner, absent proof texting. Aside from that, how different generations have applied the bible is, of course, quite problematic. I don’t dispute that.

  • Well, if you saw my reply above, you’d know I’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s much easier to pause and take a deep breath here than it is in the travails of navigating traffic where elemental courtesy is extremely rare. I strive to be courteous and generous on the road, but frankly rise to real anger when others do not and sadly, it’s clearly evident. Anyway, I’m a great believer in the consolations of confession.

  • So perhaps they weren’t as hung up on the subject as we suppose they were? Today, we have fathers afraid to kiss their sons, and expressing affection to another man on the street can get you killed. LOok up the Eschezay brothers.

  • Why ask me? You thinking about having it done? And No, I will not lend you any money toward the surgery either – at least not until you pay me back what you already owe me.
    And I don’t care if we have been friends like forever. The answer is No and don’t ask again.

  • Aside from Levitical admonishment of acts considered foreign and therefore forbidden, you have talk of things that don’t really address the subject. The very concept of ones’ sexual orientation is absent in the Bible and is modern thinking.

  • Shawnie 5
    The Hebrew word for love-‘ahab’ used to describe David’s love for Jonathan is exactly the same word used to describe Michal’s love for David later on.This Hebrew love was only used to describe sexual/romantic love and therefore must denote this deep love.’Ahab’ is never used to denote ‘friendship’.In the Old Testament the jews did not have any conception of ‘eros’ or the binary between eros and agape.This comes from ancient Greece not Israel.And the erotic aspects of love arent considered ‘the lowest form of love’-on the contrary the song of songs celebrates the beauty and ecstasy of sensuality and sexual love.
    Yes Jonathan did indeed strip naked-he removed all his clothing and in biblical times there was no male underwear!
    All of the evidence put together provides a coherent example of a passionate gay relationship.The great attention paid to David’s unusual beauty in 1 Samuel 10:12 anticipates the huge attraction David will be to both sexes and also provides the context for Jonathan’s attraction to him as Brueggeman suggests in “First & Second Samuel”(1990).
    David’s heartbroken lament for the loss of his beloved is far more passionate than it woukd be for a mere friend(2 Samuel 1:26).
    David basically writes a passionate elegy where he opens his heart snd pours out the intimate feelings of his heart:-
    “Your love to me surpassed the love of women”-sexual love was a part of the love of women so it would certainly be part of this relationship.Again the word ‘ahab’ for love is exclusively used to describe sexual/romantic love.
    Thr deep passionate and ecstatic love expressed here and the fact it is covenanted is exhibit A I think.In the ancient middle east such homoerotic love between warriors/kings was quite common.Susan Ackerman in ‘When Heroes Love'(2005) suggests this covenant is like a marriage and is paralleled in the love story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu.
    But the decisive evidence comes in 1 Samuel 20:30 where Saul (apologies for the name mix up earlier)says:-
    “You son of a perverse rebellious woman!-do I not know you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own SHAME and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?”
    The Hebrew word for nakedness means sex in this context.The word “shame/ confusion” (Bostheth in hebrew)also denotes sex and is used to condemn illicit sex in Leviticus.
    So obviously we are being told that his choice of sexual partner brings shame upon his mother.(Ypur mother will be embarrased)Will destroy his He will not become king:-“For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth,neither ypu nor ypur Kingdom shall be established”(1 Samuel 31).Because he cannot produce an heir if he is essentially married to his ‘chosen’ one-a man.
    You are dismissing Jonathan and David’s passionate kiss and tears far too lightly.:-
    “They kissed each other until David exceeded”(ie got bigger).The Hebrew word ‘higdil’ means to get bigger.It is unlikely David grew taller so pretty obviously it means David had an erection.Sex seems likely to have followed this as the text says:-”
    “The Lord be between me and thee and between my SEED and thy SEED”.Obviously they exchanged their seed in an act of passoon ate love having become sexually aroused.
    The final point I would make is that God never hesitates to admonish David when he has sinned. He is chastised for committing adultery with Bathsheba,but never once is there a word of denunciation for his beautiful gay romance with Jonathan.
    You say most people would consider such naked love ‘repugnant’.The holy spirit,the inspired of Samuel obviously doesn’t. The tone is one of approbation, awe and absolute joy at the gay relationship between Jonathan and David.
    I rest my case.

  • Edward Borges-Silva
    If you read my reply to Shawn you will see my analysis is perfectly coherent and many scholars interpret the text this way.
    By the way I find it ironic that conservative christians criticise us for not being ‘in concord’ with the ancient culture of the day when you all reject our arguments about the cultural context of the ‘clobber passages’ meaning they don’t condemn homosexuality as we understand it.

  • “The Hebrew word for love-‘ahab’ used to describe David’s love for Jonathan is exactly the same word used to describe Michal’s love for David later on. This Hebrew love was only used to describe sexual/romantic love” Is that a fact? It’s also the word used to describe Abraham’s love for his son Isaac and Jacob’s love for his son Joseph … oh my, let’s not go there!

    It’s also the word used to show love for God’s laws and precepts — which is clearly lacking around here. (How does one have sex with a precept, I wonder?)

    “Yes Jonathan did indeed strip naked-he removed all his clothing and in biblical times there was no male underwear!” Is that a fact? “The priest is to put on his linen robe, and he shall put on undergarments next to his flesh.” Lev. 6:10

    “The Hebrew word for nakedness means sex in this context.The word “shame/ confusion” (Bostheth in hebrew)also denotes sex and is used to condemn illicit sex in Leviticus.” LOL! I had someone try to make this argument to me before and couldn’t believe anyone could get it so exactly wrong. Saul is not talking here about the nakedness of Jonathan, but the nakedness of his wife and Jonathan’s MOTHER. How do Jonathan’s actions imply a sexual shame upon his mother? Because Jonathan’s giving up his claim to his father’s throne would imply to the people that he was not in fact his father’s lawful heir but a bastard, which in turn implies adultery on the part of his mother.

    “They kissed each other until David exceeded”(ie got bigger).The Hebrew word ‘higdil’ means to get bigger.It is unlikely David grew taller so pretty obviously it means David had an erection.” Show me a passage where higdil has anything to do with sex. All it implies here is that David wept more than Jonathan and was clearly the most upset.

    “The Lord be between me and thee and between my SEED and thy SEED”” This gets sillier and sillier. These two were promising an intergenerational loyalty and friendship. And if you were to read the rest of the Samuel you would find out that David as king fulfilled this vow after the death of Jonathan and the rest of Saul’s family by bringing Jonathan’s only surviving son, the lame Mephibosheth, to live at the palace as an honored part of the royal family.

    If I were you I would be extremely wary of attributing to the holy spirit any kind of approval of what would here be both fornication and adultery, were it true. Blasphemy against the spirit is quite a serious matter, according to Christ, probably because it implies lack of the sense of good vs evil which is necessary for repentance to happen in the first place.

  • Well we aren’t going to agree on the etymology fine. The simple fact remains s that ‘two souls intertwined’ cannot describe other than a passionate love relationship.No mere friendship would have the degree of intensity and love shown here.You are living on complete denial of what is staring you in the face:David and Jonathan had a passionate love bond.Ot is obvious to all not in abject denial (ie not living on a river in Egypt! Lols) that Saul is castigating him for ‘choosing” Jonathan’s (meaning choosing him over another) -ie a partner-and bringing shame to his mother because he has chosen a ma .If he was merely gaining s friend how would this shame his mother?-it wouldn’t.
    Sorry this alone makes it incontrovertible that David and Jonathan had an intense homoerotic romance.
    And Seed-throughout the Old Testament is a name for Semen.Remember the story of Onan who -spilt his seed’?-meaning his semen.This is well known because it was incorrectly used to condemn masturbation as a sin-which of course God makes no objection to this relationship.He certainly does when David sleeps with Bathsheba.
    As for obeying God’s laws-we aren’t under law we are under grace:-“The whole of the law is love”.It is this very harsh legalism that puts off agnostics and atheists and together with the anti gay attitudes is a massive barrier to mission.

  • And what is getting sillier and sillier is your refusing to see the obvious! !-this is a same sex love affair.

  • With regard to the word ‘ahabah’/’ahab’ the Brown-Driver-Brigg Hebrew lexicon define it as:-
    1a2.Human objects for human love
    1a3.Of man towards man
    1a4.Of man towards himself
    1a5.Between man and woman
    1a6.Sexual desire
    21a.God’s love for us
    So yes ahaba does describe God’s love for us and can of course describe s fathers love for his son.It must be interpreted contextually and in tjis context-passionate talk of souls being intertwined it is fairly obvious romantic and sexual love.
    Indeed,Ahaba is used mostly to denote sexual live in the OT:
    Genesis 29:20 -Used to describe Jacob’s love for his wife Rachel;
    Song of Solomon 3:1-4 describes the love of the shun mite girl for Solomon.
    And in this case the love of the Shulamite girl for Solomon comes from.her “nephest-soul”-the same word used to describe Jonathan’s love for David.I rest my case.

  • So Jacob’s love (ahabah) for his youngest son Benjamin was sexual? Same language about souls being “entwined.” Oh my, what’s a gay apologist to do???

  • Again, so you affirm that Jacob’s love for his son Benjamin (himself at least 25 at the time and the married father of children) was “passionately” sexual? That is the necessary conclusion of your argument.

    None of Jonathan’s actions would have brought sexual shame of any kind upon his mother — except for an acknowledgement of his own illegitimacy, which is exactly what Saul was talking about.

    “And Seed-throughout the Old Testament is a name for Semen” Is that a fact? “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Gen 3:15. In case you didn’t take biology, women don’t have semen, but they do have offspring.

    “As for obeying God’s laws-we aren’t under law we are under grace:” We are free to live righteously without fear of imperfection, not free to deliberately indulge in the sins that put Christ on the cross.

  • Your obviously didn’t read what I said in my last post.It depends on the context.David wasn’t Jonathan’s son so it isn’t the ‘filial’ type of love.Yes souls can be bonded in families but most of the OT’s referencing of bonded souls ‘nepeth souls’ is in the context of a loving relationship

  • And I’m not a “gay apologist”.I am a gay christian who passionately believes the church needs to have a more just and enlightened view on the gay issue and accept committed,faithful gay relationships and sexual love as an indivisible part of the love relationship.

  • Anyone can do a google search and find out the costs. And you know it’s expensive. There was an article several weeks ago that stated how much the military would shell out per person for surgery and hormone therapy. It was in the millions over the life of the person.
    So what!

  • There was an article several weeks ago that stated how much the military would shell out per person for surgery and hormone therapy. It was in the millions over the life of the person.

    Link please, to the “article several weeks ago that stated how much the military would shell out per person for surgery and hormone therapy. It was in the millions over the life of the person.

    You have to counter those other ‘studies’ that show the military spends more than 4 times as much treating erectile dysfunction as it would treating 10,000 transgenders to a ‘free sex change’.

  • Nope , you stated that this language can ONLY describe a passionate sexual relationship.

    Except when it doesn”t.

    So, not much of an argument you’ve got here.

  • Once again, I get that, but it still comes back to context, and being hung up is a subjective term and varies depending on one’s viewpoint. In my own case I find it difficult to express affection to men and women alike. I have to be extremely comfortable with an individual to even exchange as much as a hug. But then that’s my hang up.

  • There are references to temple prostitution (in a passage which decries idolatry) and a few which are stretched to meet a modern anti-gay POV. But even the whole concept of sexual orientation is beyond the Bible writer’s understanding.

  • You have no problem whatsoever with misrepresentation and ignorance, deliberate and loud, with floydlee, JP, Dirty, and quite a few others.

    I guess it’s all a matter of what sauce for the goose is not necessarily sauce for the propaganda.

  • are you sure? Because the book of Exodus lists two different sets of 10. You only listed one of them. In addition, since we know that the events leading up to Moses (who never existed) supposedly receiving those Commandments never happened, you have no reason to think that those Commandments had ever been given down by a higher power. Which means there is still no such thing as a covenant, no such thing as ‘sin’. Never was. Never will be.

  • Denial of what? The world is better today than it ever has been at any point in human history. And it is consistently getting better day after day after day, no thanks to religion. Meanwhile, there is no evidence that any of these significant claims made by any of the abrahamic religions are true. Therefore, by default, they are not true. Or at least we should operate under the assumption that they are not. It is time to throw away your silly Bronze Age superstitions and live in the real world.

  • I’m sorry, but that is a rather superior assertion. I find no evidence that modern thinkers evince greater analytical skills, or a better grasp of human foibles than the ancients.

  • Untrue. Ancient people had to spend more of their lives and time dealing with the uncertainty of day today survival. That means less time and resources to ponder on things unrelated to having enough to eat and live an unagonizing life.

    People were less literate, lived shorter lives, were far more limited in communication and travel and had less access to accumulated learning than modern folk.

    Modern thinkers have the benefit of accumulated knowledge ancient ones were without. 🙂

  • Where does that leave Aristotle, Plato, St. Paul, Josephus, Herodotus, Moses, Seneca, Diogenes, Demosthenes, etc., etc., etc.?

  • Don’t forget Soranus, a contemporary of Paul, who wrote that same sex attraction was “generated in the act of conception.” Or Dorotheus of Sidon, 1st-century author of the Carmen Astrologicum, who credited the position of the planets at birth with whether a child “will be a Lesbian, desirous of women, and if the native is a male, he will be desirous of males.”

  • Your examples may meet modern standards for sophistication, but their arguments seem askew…was that your intent, or am I missing something? I would like to add Pythagoras to my list, His thereom seems elemental now, but it was a substantial advance for geometry, such minds as cited were clearly equal to those today, perhaps superior ;).

  • My point was that, contrary to Spuddie’s assertion, in turn copied from Boswell’s followers, it is clearly not true that the ancients had no concept of sexual orientation. Many did indeed consider it to be an inborn tendency — although obviously the stars had nothing to do with it .

    None of which bears upon the immorality of it, of course, for we are all of us born with all sorts of wrong desires and tendencies. Our mission is to deny self and follow.

  • Ahhh. I see it a bit more clearly now, your examples were in fact perfect for refuting Spuddies’ claims with respect to ancient perceptions of sexual orientation, especially as your spokespeople were from outside the Judeo-Christian construct which Spuddie takes particular delight in disdaining.