An Understanding of the Biblical View Andrews University

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years In response to the growing societal pressure for the Church to normalize homosexual. behavior in terms of membership leadership employment curriculum standards and other. areas the Seminary faculty believes that it has a duty to clearly set forth the teachings of. Scripture regarding these matters and provide a biblical perspective on this recent debate. Therefore although much could be said on a range of issues relating to sexuality this statement. is limited to the issue of homosexual practice It does not purport to answer all questions related. to this challenging issue but seeks to lay out a biblically based position while demonstrating a. respectful and caring attitude toward gay and lesbian persons4 in order to help guide the Church s. response to this delicate topic, The intent of this document which we humbly submit for thoughtful and prayerful study. is not to judge but to clearly set forth what Scripture teaches concerning homosexual practices. and offer guidelines on how to interact with persons of same sex orientation Therefore we urge. the reader to pay careful attention to the pastoral section of this document It must be. remembered that we are all part of fallen humanity and that Christ came to die for all It is the. aim of this document to point each disciple of Christ to Him the Source of all salvation and to. encourage every person to pray to God for guidance on how to deal with his or her specific. struggles with sin, What the Bible Teaches Concerning Sexuality and Marriage. The opening chapter of the Bible portrays in lofty grandeur the creation of humankind. Then God said Let us make humankind in our image according to our likeness and let. them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the. cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that. creeps upon the earth So God created humankind in his image in the image of God he. created them male and female he created them Gen 1 26 27. The sexual distinction between male and female is a key feature of humanity This is explicit in. the phrase God created humankind in his image in the image of God he created them male. and female he created them Gen 1 27 Building on this divine design Genesis presents the. ideal of human sexuality as consisting of marriage between a man and a woman Thus in the first. chapter of Genesis heterosexuality is at once proclaimed to be the order of creation 5 Genesis. 2 24 underlines a succinct theology of marriage Therefore a man shall leave his father and his. mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh ESV The therefore. Hebrew al ken connecting the creation of woman v 23 to the joining of marriage v 29. indicates that the relationship of Adam and Eve is upheld as the ideal pattern for all human. sexual relationships, The reference to a man ish and his wife ishto indicates that a marriage. between a man and a woman is the Edenic model for all time This unique heterosexual marital. form involving the sexual union of a man and a woman constitutes the divine paradigm the. This document does not use terms like LGBT or LGBTQ or LGBTQIA because they are very broad in. their scopes and this study is limited to the issues related to homosexuality. Samuel H Dresner Homosexuality and the Order of Creation Judaism 40 1991 309. Creation order for humanity from the beginning This paradigm means that marriage cannot. consist of the sexual union between a man and another man or a woman and another woman. This Creation pattern of marriage between a man and a woman remains the norm throughout. Scripture Any deviation from this heterosexual norm is portrayed by the biblical writers as a. distortion of the Creation norm Rom 1 24 27 The importance of male female relationship in. raising children and organizing society is attested in almost all societies and cultures 6. Furthermore marriage between a man and a woman is one of two institutions created by. God for humanity before the entrance of sin The other institution is the Sabbath established by. God at the close of the Creation week Gen 2 1 3 7 The Bible reveals that both institutions. created by God and protected in His law Exod 20 1 17 will come under special attack Dan. 7 25 Mal 4 5 6 2 Pet 2 3 Rev 12 17 14 6 8 8 The Sabbath teaches the importance of. cultivating relationships with God and one another and marriage between a man and a woman. lays a foundation for developing the holy image of God in healthy family relationships The. Bible reveals the universality of the heterosexual norm by holding non Israelite nations. accountable for violations of this teaching Gen 18 19 Lev 18 24 30 Ezek 16 53 59 Jude 7. Homosexual Practice versus Homosexual Orientation, In this statement we differentiate between homosexuality as an orientation propensity. inclination condition disposition and homosexual practice although we do not enter the debate. over whether or how much of the orientation is inherited or acquired since no Scripture passages. directly address this point All human beings after the Fall of Adam and Eve have sinned and. fall short of the glory of God Rom 3 23 They are born with sinful natures and a bent toward. evil Our nature is marred and corrupted by sin from birth it is damaged with inherited and. cultivated tendencies toward sexual and other kinds of lust in both either heterosexual or. homosexual persons Yet because of the atoning blood of Christ those redeemed are not. condemned and can receive victory over those tendencies and inclinations see Gen 8 21 Ps. 51 5 Rom 3 9 18 7 13 24 8 1 8 Eph 2 1 3 1 John 1 8 2 16 Rev 3 5. Scripture condemns heterosexual immorality no less than homosexual practice and warns. against any harboring of lustful thoughts and desires for such practices While homosexuality is a. distortion of the Edenic ideal there is no condemnation for homosexually oriented persons as. Nicholas P Miller Should Adventists Care About Protecting Traditional Marriage in Homosexuality. Marriage and the Church ed Roy Gane Nicholas Miller and Peter Swanson Berrien Springs MI Andrews. University Press 2012 214 216, Ellen G White also makes this parallel between marriage and the Sabbath Eden s twin institutions.
indicating that we should advocate for them until the end of time Then in Eden marriage and Sabbath had their. origin twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity He enunciated the law of marriage for all. the children of Adam to the close of time AH 340 Marriage was from the creation constituted by God a divine. ordinance The marriage institution was made in Eden The Sabbath of the fourth commandment was instituted in. Eden Then let this God s institution of marriage stand before you as firm as the Sabbath TSB 159. Ellen White declared that Romans 1 18 32 which details a descent into sensuality ending especially in. homosexual behavior as especially applicable to the last days A terrible picture of the condition of the world has. been presented before me Immorality abounds everywhere Licentiousness is the special sin of this age Never did. vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now The people seem to be benumbed and the lovers of virtue and. true goodness are nearly discouraged by its boldness strength and prevalence I was referred to Romans 1 18 32 as. a true description of the world previous to the second appearing of Christ CG 440. long as they are in Christ Jesus Rom 8 1 and do not harbor or act upon their orientation and. propensities The same principle applies to those who struggle with heterosexual immorality see. Matt 5 27 28 Rom 6 1 23 8 1 4 Col 3 1 10 James 1 14 15 Even as some individuals may. experience a miraculous deliverance from sinful heterosexual and homosexual urges others may. have to wrestle with such tendencies all their lives see Gal 5 16 25 9 One is not culpable for. these involuntary tendencies but for acting upon them either in imagination or actual practice 10. In Matthew 19 12 Jesus refers to three specific categories of people 1 eunuchs by birth. 2 eunuchs made by man 3 eunuchs by personal choice While this passage does not explicitly. refer to homosexuality it does reveal that the Bible recognizes that some sexual departure from. the norm can be inherited acquired or chosen In addition it demonstrates that Christ. acknowledges that some persons choose sexual abstinence for the sake of the kingdom of God. Homosexual Practice in the Old Testament, Homosexual Practice in Narratives of the Pentateuch Genesis 19 and the Former. Prophets Judges 19, The story of Lot and Sodom Gen 19 1 11 is well known and is often considered a classic. reference to the practice of homosexuality It is suggested by some defenders of homosexual. practice that the word yada to know used in v 5 does not refer to sexual activity but simply. means get acquainted with However in v 8 the verb yada is used in connection with Lot s. daughters and unmistakably refers to sexual intercourse Modern interpreters acknowledge that. contemplated homosexual activity along with issues of inhospitality or xenophobia is described. in Genesis 19 but they also insist that the sexual issue is that of rape or violence. Beyond the significance of the word yada one must also recognize that in the overall. movement of the narrative this incident is used to characterize the depth of depravity in Sodom. and Gomorrah Thus W hat makes this instance of inhospitality so dastardly what makes the. name Sodom a byword for inhumanity to visiting outsiders in later Jewish and Christian. circles is the specific form in which the inhospitality manifests itself homosexual rape 11. But the larger context of the later prophetic passages that refer to this narrative clearly. indicates a sexual interpretation and a condemnation of homosexual practice and not simply. homosexual rape Ezek 16 43 50 cf Jude 6 7 2 Pet 2 4 6 8 these passages are examined in. some detail below One sees the same distaste for rape in the reprehensible actions in the story. of the Levite and his concubine in Judges 19 That text of terror at the end of the book of. See the documentation e g in Stanton L Jones and Mark A Yarhouse Homosexuality The Use of. Scientific Research in the Church s Moral Debate Downers Grove IL InterVarsity 2000 117 151 idem Ex. Gays An Extended Longitudinal Study of Attempted Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation in. Homosexuality Marriage and the Church ed Roy E Gane Nicholas P Miller and H Peter Swanson Berrien. Springs Mich Andrews University Press 2012 367 392 and the discussion below. For a similar distinction made between practice and orientation see Robert A J Gagnon The Bible and. Homosexual Practice Texts and Hermeneutics Nashville TN Abingdon 2001 37 38 cf Thomas E Schmidt. Straight and Narrow Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate Downers Grove IL InterVarsity. Press 1995 164B165 and Stanley J Grenz Welcoming but Not Affirming An Evangelical Response to. Homosexuality Louisville KY Westminster John Knox 1998 119B125. Gagnon Homosexual Practice 75 76, Judges portrays men of Gibeah base fellows making homosexual advances against a Levite. who was a guest in a friend s house The narrator makes clear the contemporary perspective on. this activity by recording the words of the master of the house to the would be homosexual. assailants No my brothers do not act so wickedly hip il of ra a Since this man is my guest. do not do this vile nebalah thing but against this man do not do such a vile nebalah. thing Judg 19 23 24, The author of Judges gives his own summary of the outrage contemplated homosexual. rape and committed the rape of the concubine at Gibeah in the words of those who were. contemporaries of the event Has such a thing ever happened since the day that the Israelites. came up from the land of Egypt until this day Consider it take counsel and speak out Judg. 19 30 The narrator also brackets this whole narrative complex which comprises Judg 19 21. with a signal that the events depict a nation gone tragically awry Judges 19 21 begins with the. comment In those days when there was no king in Israel Judg 19 1 and the concluding. comment is even more to the point about a nation who did not even consider the truths of God s. will In those days there was no king in Israel all the people did what was right in their own. eyes Judg 21 25, Homosexual Practice in Pentateuchal Legislation Leviticus 18 22 and 20 13.
The Mosaic Law strongly condemns all homosexual activity In addition to the prohibition of. male cult prostitutes qedeshim in Deuteronomy 23 17 MT 18 12 the basic legislation. proscribing homosexual practice is found in Leviticus 18 22 You shall not lie with a male. zakar as with a woman it is an abomination Some modern translations e g KJV and NIV. render zakar as man or mankind which could imply only an adult male or the entire human. species but the meaning of this term is clearly male 13 denoting all members of this gender. regardless of age Thus the use of this term is a prohibition of all male to male sexual relations. Unlike ancient laws outside of the Bible relating to homosexual activity both parties here. are penalized thus clearly including consensual male male intercourse not just homosexual. rape The absoluteness of the prohibition is unlike anything else found in the ancient Near East. or Greece contexts that made accommodations depending on active role consent age or social. Richard M Davidson Flame of Yahweh Sexuality in the Old Testament Peabody MA Hendrickson. An Understanding of the Biblical View on Homosexual Practice and Pastoral Care Seventh day Adventist Theological Seminary Position Paper Marriage was divinely instituted in the Garden of Eden at Creation and it is a special gift to humanity from a loving God from before the Fall The design of our Creator for marriage was to satisfy the deepest human needs and longings for love intimacy joy

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