My last post was a really good explanation of what the Bible says about Homosexuality by Matt Slick. I had actually planned to publish this post, but I thought it might be a bit harsh. However, since John Shore has blocked me from commenting at his place, I might as well just post it here at The Battle Cry. Some of the passages quoted and interpretively mangled were also referenced by Matt Slick in his article. There are a couple John Shore didn’t even mention but instead dismissed them as irrelevant. they will be easy to spot. Enough said for now. Here are John Shore’s really stupid arguments for removing homosexual behavior from God’s sin list. . .
John Shore, a proud member of the PCA (Progressive Christian Alliance) has written a really long and rather nauseating (to me anyway) blog post at Patheos.com affirming homosexual acts between consenting adults as really OK with God. To do so it was necessary for him to speak to Old Testament prohibitions against such behavior, as well as certain New Testament passages that also prohibit such activity. I have extracted those parts of his argument and present them here for your consideration.
His OT argument:
Using the four Old Testament passages to condemn all homosexual acts is not in keeping with any Christian directive from God, nor with the practices of contemporary Christians.
The Bible’s first four references to homosexuality occur in the Old Testament.
While continuing to be spiritually inspired and influenced by the Old Testament, Christians were specifically instructed by Paul not to follow the law of the Old Testament, in such passages as:
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. —Hebrews 7:18-19
Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. — Galatians 3:23-25
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another … — Romans 7:4
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. — Romans 6:14
None of the law applies to us who are under grace! How simple is that? No need to even quote those rather annoyingly clear OT passages that speak to the matter at hand – OT Law just doesn’t matter any more! Any questions? As a matter of fact, yes!
What about the fact that Paul, in the above passages was speaking about grace being able to accomplish what the Law cannot – satisfy God’s demand for perfection in order to enter his Kingdom. It’s called justification and a major theme of Paul’s body of work (half the NT). Let’s move on.
Here is John Shore’s discussion of certain clear passages of NT text:
In the clobber passages Paul condemns the coercive, excessive, and predatory same-sex sexual activity practiced by the Romans—and would have condemned the same acts had they been heterosexual in nature.
The Bible’s clobber passages were written about same-sex acts between heterosexual persons, and do not address the subject of homosexual acts between a committed gay couple, because the concept of a person being homosexual did not exist at the time the Bible was written.
Here are the three references to homosexuality in the New Testament:
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. — 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine. — 1 Timothy 1:9-10
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. — Romans 1:26-27
During the time in which the New Testament was written, the Roman conquerors of the region frequently and openly engaged in homosexual acts between themselves and boys. Such acts were also common between Roman men and their male slaves. These acts of non-consensual sex were considered normal and socially acceptable. They were, however, morally repulsive to Paul, as today they would be to everyone, gay and straight.
The universally acknowledged authoritative reference on matters of antiquity is the Oxford Classical Dictionary. Here is what the OCD (third edition revised, 2003) says in its section about homosexuality as practiced in the time of Paul:
“… the sexual penetration of male prostitutes or slaves by conventionally masculine elite men, who might purchase slaves expressly for that purpose, was not considered morally problematic.”
This is the societal context in which Paul wrote of homosexual acts, and it is this context that Christians must acknowledge when seeking to understand and interpret the three New Testament clobber passages. Yes, Paul condemned the same-sex sexual activity he saw around him—because it was coercive, without constraint, and between older men and boys. As a moral man, Paul was revolted by these acts, as, certainly, he would have been by the same acts had they been heterosexual in nature.
The treatment of the NT passages Mr. Shore provides is even worse, in my opinion. than his complete dismissal of all OT law. He tries to justify ‘consensual’ homosexual activity by saying Paul was really talking about some of the despicable practices in Roman society!. Here is the passage in question again::
“Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men . . .” – Rom 1:27
What about that points to any kind of ‘forced’ homosexual activity? What about ‘exchanging ‘natural sexual relations for the unnatural’ is confusing? Our Romans passage merely mirrors n the Leviticus passages that were omitted in his lame OT argument (Lev. 18:22, & Lev. 20:13) Indeed Mr. Shore is a clever fellow. If he hadn’t dismissed the Leviticus passages they would have destroyed his ‘Roman society’ argument.
There is a lot more to John Shore’s blog post that you can be read here. . Caution is advised for the biblically literate. One (or more) of those little bags you can find in the back of commercial airliner seats may be appropriate, if blatant attempts by professing Christians to justify sin makes you ill.
Pray for John Shore and his fans, that God would open hearts to hear the true gospel and that He would continue to send messengers into the darkness.