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Why the 'Jesus Never Condemned Homosexuality' Argument is a Non Sequitur
Steven Long 12/22/13




A couple of days ago Dr. Michael Brown of the Line of Fire podcast appeared on the Piers Morgan show. They were discussing the recent Phil Johnson controversy. Piers asked Brown, what he probably perceived, to be an open-and-shut question. He asked Brown to cite just one Scripture where Jesus condemned homosexuality. Piers got more than he bargained for; Brown gave him 3:

  1. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. This includes the Old Testament Law which condemned the act of homosexuality.
  2. Matthew 5:18-20 Jesus condemns all sexual acts as sin.
  3. Matthew 19:1-9 Jesus defines a marriage relationship between a man and a woman, specifically saying that God had intended it this way.
Of course, this was not a good enough explanation. One of the guests who supported homosexusality commented that Jesus never explicitly condemned gay acts. The commenter tried to persuade Brown that the Old Testament, specifically Leviticus 18:22 did not condemn homosexuality. Brown reminded him that he himself was a scholar and trained in the Semitic languages and that the passages were very clear.

 The logic of the liberal is quite baffling! On the one hand they use the Bible to support their own views. On the other hand, when it can be demonstrated that the Bible opposes said view they default to the "Jesus never condemned that!" argument. I would like to offer just a few [logical] reasons why using that argument is a purely a Non Sequitur argument:

First, if Jesus condemned heterosexual sin why would He not condemn homosexual sin? The gospels are laced with comments and implied statements about sexual sin in general. For example, in John 8:1-12 we have the woman caught in adultery. While this passage is more about the Pharisees trying to trap Jesus, His words to the woman are clear: "Go and sin no more." Jesus called her actions sin. Matthew 21:31 Jesus talks about the prostitutes entering the Kingdom of God ahead of the religious leaders. This in itself is statement of sexual sin as the Greek word πόρνη is used. The word itself is defined as,
a woman who sells her body for sexual uses
1a) a prostitute, a harlot, one who yields herself to defilement for the sake of gain
1b) any woman indulging in unlawful sexual intercourse, whether for gain or for lust  
Thayer's Greek Lexicon

1. pórnē; (from pérnēmi, “to sell”) literally means “harlot for hire” (Greek harlots were usually slaves).
2. pórnos means “whoremonger,” then “male prostitute.”
3. porneía means “licentiousness” or “fornication” (rare in classical Greek).
4. porneúō means a. “to prostitute” (passive “to prostitute oneself”), and b. “to commit fornication.”
5. ekporneúō means “to live licentiously.”
note that the word also includes male prostitution
TDNT (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament)

πόρνος , ὁ , catamite, Ar. Pl. 155 , X. Mem. 1.6.13 , D. 22.73 , Alex. 242 , etc.
2. sodomite, D. Ep. 4.11 , Phalar. Ep. 4 .
3. in LXX and NT, fornicator, LXX Si. 23.16 , 1 Ep.Cor. 5.9 , al. II idolater, Suid.
LSJ (Liddell-Scott-Jones Classical Dictionary of Greek)

πόρνος pornos (por'-nos) n
1. a (male) prostitute (for hire)
2. (by analogy) a sex addict, a debauchee, a pornographer
3. (by extension) one who is sexually or morally unrestrained
[from pernemi "to sell" (akin to the base of G4097)]
KJV: fornicator, whoremonger
Mickleson

Note that the word encompasses all forms of sexual sin, including male to male sexual acts. One may try to argue that it is only prostitution, the selling of oneself, that is covered but these lexicons also cover fornication in general.

Second, those who were disciples of Jesus condemned homosexuality These are the men that spent three years with Christ. They ate with Him, talked with Him, asked Him questions, and, more importantly, hung on every word He spoke. One cannot follow a teacher for three years without knowing and understanding what He said and taught. If they disagreed with what Jesus taught on the issue of homosexuality then certainly it would have been reflected in their writings. Better still, the other apostles who may "misinterpreted" Jesus' words would certainly have tried to correct the others on the issue. But those who wrote the epistles agree that homosexuality is a sin.

Jude 5-7 5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that 5 the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, 6 subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after 7 strange flesh, are exhibited as an 8 example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral,(this is the word πόρνος which was discussed above) sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

2Peter 2:4-10 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties 
The word 'sensual' is the Greek word ασέλγεια.The word means wantonness and licentious. Here, in 2 Peter, with the reference to Sodom & Gomorrah sexual misconduct is in view. Jesus uses this same word in Mark 7:22 to describe sexual sins.

Third, other New Testament writers, chiefly Paul, condemn homosexuality. Paul was one of the most vocal on sin of any kind, including homosexuality. Perhaps, 1Corinthians 6:9-11 is the most famous passage.

1Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
In context, Paul is admonishing the Corinthians for bringing lawsuits against each other rather than settling the dispute privately. He then launches into a diatribe explaining how the heathen live, concluding it with this list of how not to live. It is interesting that Paul uses two different words for the word 'homosexual'. He uses the words ἀρσενοκοίτης and μαλακός. The first word is the active male partner in a homosexaul relationship while the latter is the passive partner. I have heard arguments trying to rebut this passage by claiming that Paul used a "made up word" for the first and that the second word only referred to those young boys who had been raped. However, Paul's usage is clear. The first word he uses is actually made up of two Greek words: arsen, meaning man or male and koites, meaning to lie with. The second word is where we derive our word 'copulate.' The word is also used in Hebrews 13:4 of a man and women in sexual union. The Abbot-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon defines this word as, illicit intercourse.

As for the second word, 'malakos,' Paul cannot be referring to those young boys who had been raped. Certainly, this was a common practice in Greek culture. But to say that God would punish those who had been raped against their will is an atrocity. The Greek word is translated as 'effeminate' and means 'soft.' It is in reference to those men who actively seek to be a passive partner with another male dominate.

Paul's context is clear! He is referring to those who purposely engage in homosexual behavior.

Fourth, Scripture must be taken as a whole. The argument that Jesus never condemned this or that just doesn't hold water. And Michael Brown proved that during his interview with Piers Morgan. When one of the other guests attacked Brown's interpretation of the Biblical passages he cited and stated, once again, "Jesus never spoke explicitly about gays," Brown demonstrates the fallacy of his argument. He stated that Jesus never "explicitly" spoke about wife-beating, yet no one would dare admit that that action was okay. What Piers and the other guests did was basically argue from what the Bible doesn't say rather than what it actually says. As a whole, Scripture condemns the act of homosexuality. It doesn't matter whether Jesus explicitly said it or not! An argument from silence is never really an argument. I could carry Brown's example a step further: Jesus never explicitly condemned child pornography, therefore it's okay to have it. Jesus never explicitly condemned physical abuse of any kind. In this case, I can beat whoever I wish and it would still be okay. I could go on and on but I think you get the point...

Fifth, the 'Jesus never condemned_______' is a double standard. The same argument that Piers Morgan uses to justify homosexuality is the exact same argument used by the 19th century slave traders and owners to justify owning human property! I'll bet anything if Piers was asked about the slavery issue he would be quick to condemn it. And I have strong hunch that if someone used the same logic to justify slavery that he uses to justify homosexuality he would crucify them on public television. In short, it is a double standard. Those who support homosexuality always default to the "Jesus never said," argument. However, when that same logic is applied to another hot-button issue that they oppose (slavery, in the example above) they immediately accuse the proposer of misusing and taking Scripture out of context.

The same standards for both sides must be used all the way around. One cannot simply point to one passage and build said belief about a certain topic without (a) examining what the rest of Scripture says about it, and (b) applying the same methods of interpretation for both parties.

The common argument that the homosexual community uses to support their sinful lifestyle is an argument that is grounded from logical fallacy. If they are to justify their actions to the public then I am afraid that they will have look elsewhere other than the Bible to do it.

Standing for Truth even when it's not popular,
Steven

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