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Romans 1:26-27:

[26] For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, [27] and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Jesus said nothing about homosexuality (from what we know) yet Paul teaches strongly against it (continuing in other verses). How do Christians who believe homosexuality is wrong justify the potential discrepancy here?

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I think you're making too many assumptions here. Such as: Christ only taught what we have recorded in the gospels; Christ only shared with Paul what we have recorded in the gospels. Those are pretty large assumptions. –  JustinY Dec 1 '11 at 17:11
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I've worked with Sven to make some edits and hopefully correct the tone and doctrinal direction of this post. –  wax eagle Dec 1 '11 at 20:59
    
@JustinY. Another assumption is that the Pauline verses cited here have anything to do with homosexuality. Many would dispute that. We'll start with the first three words: for what reason? –  TRiG May 30 '12 at 18:35

6 Answers 6

up vote 26 down vote accepted

You are correct in stating that there are no recorded teachings of Jesus on homosexuality. However, to suggest that this means there is disagreement between Paul and Jesus is unreasonable, since it is comparing something to nothing. It is certainly wrong to assume that Jesus disagreed with Paul on that just because He never explicitly indicates His agreement -- with Paul and the Law of Moses.

Indeed, if Jesus had disagreed with Moses on this, we should expect to hear about it in His teaching. If, however, He agreed with Moses, then why go to great pains to point that out?

It should be noted that Jesus was Jewish and lived among Jewish people in a Jewish culture. This whole culture was based on Mosaic teachings that held that homosexuality was wrong and had a very stiff penalty spelled out for it, much like adultery. People caught in adultery still suffered the possibility of death (see John 8:1-11). It is quite likely that this was simply not practiced in this culture.

Jesus never taught that eating pork was wrong either, because everyone in that culture agreed with that and no one ate pork. The idea of "preaching to the choir" about getting involved in the church comes to mind.

During Jesus' life, Israel was still under the Old Covenant, so the prohibition against eating pork was still in effect. Paul's writings occur in the New Testament, but reaffirm the prohibition of Moses against homosexuality.

So, there's absolutely no "discrepancy", and any intimation that Jesus supported homosexuality is not reasonable.

Jesus "did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it" [Matthew 5:17].

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also note that Paul was writing to [dominantly] non-Jewish people in Romans - who would be unfamiliar with the laws given to Israel –  warren Dec 2 '11 at 15:09
    
@warren Great point. Thanks. –  Narnian Dec 2 '11 at 15:14
    
Your answer here is inconsistent. Without good cause, you can't ascribe different verdicts on "pork", "mixed crops", "shellfish" and "homosexuality". Either those laws stand or they don't. If he didn't come to abolish the law, do you still follow Mosaic / Jewish law? –  Marc Gravell Apr 28 '12 at 12:25
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@MarcGravell Acts 15 states that the Mosaic Law does not apply to Gentiles (or even Jewish Christians), but one thing they still prohibited was "sexual immorality". –  Trebor Rude Mar 23 at 10:07

Jesus said to keep the commandments, including the commandment against Adultery (Matthew 19:16–19)

The commandments against adultery form the basis for the Catholic teaching against homosexual acts and all sexual acts outside of marriage. These teachings all fall under an explanation of the sixth commadnment:

Chastity and homosexuality

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

CCC 2357-2359

Adultery may mean many things to many people, but the Church is clearly free to expand on what she considers adultery to encompass and it's perfectly rational that any sex outside of marriage is adultery on account of

  1. that person you're having relations with may one day be someone else's bride or husband and

  2. you may one day be someone else's bride or husband.

By this definition, and since 'homosexual marriage' is a spiritual and physical impossibility, every homosexual act must be adultery, at least in a spiritual sense.

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+1 because back then, the thought of homosexual marriage wasn't considered. Although people had relationships with the same sex that today we would consider inappropriate, the thought of marriage (which is a union to create more children) with the same sex wasn't considered at all. –  user1054 Dec 5 '11 at 16:28
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@Trig - I reverted your changes because you were incorrectly making a doctrinal point in removing the "physical" impossibility of marriage. The physicality of "one flesh" is impossible in Catholic (and many other) understanding, and hence it is not "an obvious absurdity" –  Yuletide Geek Jan 30 '12 at 17:37
    
The problem in part here is that much of Christianity gets so much more excited about homosexuality than it does about plain old adultery... –  Marc Gravell Apr 28 '12 at 12:23
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@MarcGravell I'm inclined to agree with you, but for a different reason. 1) Your statement is true, and in this respect Christianity is wrong for the unbalance. 2) Much of it stems from the fact that a disproportionately greater number of people are claiming that homosexuality is not wrong than are claiming that plain old adultery is not wrong. –  San Jacinto Aug 2 '12 at 23:00

If Jesus did not in fact say that, it doesn't mean that Paul and Christ are in contradiction with one another. Not saying something does not mean acceptance or approval.

That said, Jesus has made a stand and voiced opposition against homosexuality. Just not while He was performing his ministry here on earth.

First, Jesus is God: John 8:58 - Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Second, Jesus existed before the earth began: John 1:3 - All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Third, God said from the beginning that it stands against his law: Gen 19:4-11, Lev 18:22.

Fourth, Jesus entered the world not to abolish the law but to fulfill it: Matthew 5:17.

Fifth, Paul and the other apostles being filled with the Holy Spirit of Truth would not preach a different gospel than their Messiah.

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Its not very clear how your five points directly relate to this point: "That said, Jesus has made a stand and voiced opposition against homosexuality." –  JustinY Dec 2 '11 at 0:22
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I see it.. If Jesus is God, and God took a stand against homosexuality, then it may not be mentioned in the Gospels or His ministry here on earth, but again, if Jesus is God, then He said it in the verses cited @Brian, I edited to clarify the point I think you were making. –  David Stratton Dec 2 '11 at 1:02
    
Welcome to Christianity.SE. –  Caleb Dec 2 '11 at 8:15
    
David, that is exactly what I meant so thank you. In connecting the dots with the other verses, I was also trying to end other arguments that might arise that would either say: Jesus did not exist in the Old Testament, or Jesus' law of salvation invalidated the law of condemnation. –  Brian Dec 2 '11 at 14:50
    
Thanks for the welcome Caleb. –  Brian Dec 3 '11 at 5:53

No. Hebrews 11;3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

John 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1;14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Colossians 1; 12,13,14,16 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

John 1;17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Psalms 119;142 Thy righteousness is everlasting righteousness, and thy law is truth.

Genesis 19;4-5 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. Genesis 19;13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them waxen great before the face of the LORD: and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

Homosexuality was rampant well before Paul's time. God's judgement required the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Hebrews 4;12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than a twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing assunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart. 1 Peter 1;25 But the word of the LORD endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

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Jesus talked about marriage, and reiterated that it is between a man and a woman. So if you go just on Jesus' words, you know homosexual marriage is a sin.

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You're right, but it would be helpful to cite the reference. (For this reason a man shall leave his mother and be joined...) –  Yuletide Geek Jan 30 '12 at 17:39

Please read this with an open mind, this explanation must necessarily be very long—I am trying to debunk centuries of human error after all!—Mind you, all humans are full of error, except of course for one person crucified some 2,000 years ago. Don't think that I am trying to attack anyone, I am merely stating my faith, since none of us are perfect we are going to have disagreements.


I would actually say that Jesus was not silent on the issue of homosexuality. It should be mentioned that the whole idea of sexual orientation, and the term homosexuality, is quite new. "Homosexual" was not in the english language until it was coined in the late 19th century. Thus, any inclusion of the word in the Bible was added by contemporary translators to make certain passages more clear for modern readers. However, I am quite confident that a certain quote from Jesus is specifically referring to the natural nature of homosexuality, and this has not been changed to the modern word "homosexual" because of the inherent sin of humans—that is to say, the human translators refuse to include the term if its inclusion is at odds with their hatred and judgements—essentially slandering Jesus to suite their own sinful and human desires; we are all sinners and imperfect.

The quote comes from Matthew 19. The Pharisees (the most conservative. scripture-affirming sect of Jews) asked Jesus if a man could divorce his wife for any reason, which is allowed under Mosaic law in the old testament (Deut 24:1). Jesus then tells them that a man and woman become one in the eyes of god, and that you shouldn't thus split that which is one in the eyes of god. It should be noted that Jesus is explicitly disagreeing with scripture, which he does in other places, thus disproving the rather new concept of "Biblical inerrancy". It is hard for modern readers to see this, but Jesus is actually saying in his response in Matt 19:8 that "I, god, like some of the things in your scripture, but you're mostly full of s**t, listen to what I have to say". Some use Jesus's statement of "he made them man and woman" to justify their hatred against homosexuals, or that this is the only sexual orientation, but this is taken out of context: he was asked a question about husband and wife, so he gave an answer regarding husband and wife, he was not condemning homosexuals. After he says that you shouldn't divorce your wife (notwithstanding adultery), his disciples say to him that it is better not to marry. Jesus then says that not all can accept their statement: some are born eunuchs (more on this later), some are made eunuchs by others (obvious that this refers to castration), and others make themselves eunuchs for the sake of god (meaning they remain celibate, the answer his disciples have come up with), and that only people whom "god helps" can be a "religious eunuch" or someone that remains celibate for god; clearly not everybody who is saved falls into this third category. What could Jesus have possibly meant when he said that "some are born eunuchs in their mothers' wombs"? Unless he is talking about some poor toddler that suffers from erectile disfunction, or some poor fetus whose mother stuck an exact-o knife up her hoo-ha to castrate him, Jesus is clearly talking about homosexuals, and he is saying that they are born that way. Under Roman law (which provided legal definitions for all under its rule, including the jews), there were two types of eunuchs: the castrated variety, and the natural, un-castrated variety who had no interest in women (which we would now call homosexuals, what Jesus was talking about). If you don't believe me, read the Roman Legal document Lex Julia et Papia. Thus, at the very least, one has to accept that Jesus said homosexuals are born that way.

Furthermore, Jesus specifically did decry certain behaviors. For instance, Jesus says that it is not our place to judge others ( like condemning others for their sexual orientation) for we are not the judge, and that we may see the problems in others' lives but not the greater faults in our own (Matt 7, Luke 6, to name a couple places). So, even if Jesus thinks homosexuality is a sin, though I don't believe that he does, it is not our place to be the judge. In simple terms: It does nothing to serve god or his interests to judge and hate others and prevent gay people from marrying, nor does gay marriage harm straight marriage, society, or the faith and salvation of others, while there is a strong possibility one will be judged on par with their own judgment. People should question who they are serving when they don't allow gay people to live their lives in a natural way, god or their own sinful, hating nature (we all sin and hate from time to time, I am not trying to be pious or judgmental).

We know that one's sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather a complicated process of genetic and environmental causes. Talk to any gay Christian that has struggled with the issue for most of their lives, look at the overwhelming psychological and genetic evidence (the penetrance rate of homosexuality and its location on the X chromosome). Unless you are of the minority christian view that says science is wrong you must accept this (science and faith do not need to be in conflict, Jesus himself did not take old testament scripture as literal inerrant truth as evidenced by some arguments I have made, and if science is wrong then God is a liar and has gone to inconceivable lengths to obscure the truth from us). To think that people make the choice to be gay in a gay-hating society is kind of like covering your ears, closing your eyes, and going "lalalala".

On the issue of Paul, he is probably wrong. Many people say the bible (and Paul's writings in it) is the 100% inherent word of god, but this view is demonstrably incorrect. This did not become the defining, integral nature of certain Christian movements until the Niagara Creed of 1878, and the Bible is not necessary for Christianity (how else did it grow from nothing in the 3 centuries that it existed before the orthodox biblical cannon was created?). Each of the Gospels give different and sometimes contradictory accounts, and there are contradictions throughout both testaments (such as the salvation through faith alone view of Paul vs. the faith and good works view of Peter, also read Mark 2:26 and 1 Samuel 1-6 see if you can find the error). Furthermore, unless Jesus wrote something (he didn't, we only have what other people said he said), I don't care how divinely inspired you are, you are only an imperfect human and you are not capable of writing the inerrant word of god. If humans are capable of such perfect divine revelation, I question the necessity of Jesus' existence in the first place, or all of the disagreements we humans have. Paul, while divorcing Christianity from a lot of the incorrect teachings of Judaism, was an imperfect human and made some mistakes by keeping certain traditional jewish views (like ordering women to cover their head during prayer in 1 Corinthians, or the 3 statements he made from a Jewish perspective on homosexuality).

Finally, we have to ask whether homosexual marriage is a fundamentally legal or religious issue in 21st century America. Since we do not live in a Christian Theocracy, since Marriage is a legal term that influences benefits and taxation, since we are even having a discussion about the legality of gay marriage, we are talking about a fundamentally legal issue. This legal issue certainly has religious connotations within church's, but church's are allowed to limit their views on marriage in their own church, not in the country as an entirety (gay marriage would not force church's to accept and practice it, and marriages independent of any religion already exist). I hope that I have substantially made the case for Jesus's message: love, not judgment. I know most people who actually read this far will disagree with me, and that is fine—I am merely a human, I am not perfect, it is possible I have made a mistake, but it is equally as possible every other human has made a mistake as well. Have a blessed day, and praise god.

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I have never seen so much of ranting in one place. –  Monika Michael Aug 7 '12 at 14:44
    
"Many people say the bible (and Paul's writings in it) is the 100% inherent word of god, but this view is demonstrably incorrect." That's all I needed to know about this response. –  Steve Mar 23 at 13:55
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Does your argument for accepting homosexual just boil down to it being a natural thing that some people are born as? Because if so then it's not argument at all. We're all born sinful, and we're all born into judgement! –  curiousdannii Mar 24 at 1:59

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