Rick Brentlinger and “Gay Christian 101”

“Gay Christian 101” is a web site which advocates same-sex, monogamous, loving relationships, written by a Christian gay named Rick Brentlinger.  His background is Independent Baptist so he comes from a solid biblical background; this is evident in his writings and his research.  The web site is huge and discusses everything you could want to know about gay Christian issues from a gay Christian perspective.  https://www.gaychristian101.com/

But for all Rick’s solid background and research, I suspect that instead of going to the bible to see what it says and being willing to submit to whatever he found, he’s expended a huge amount of time and energy in looking for ways to reinterpret what is obvious to a natural reading of the text, that homosexuality is both forbidden and condemned, in my opinion.  It is always the case that whenever you deny the plain teaching of scripture, you have to come up with an alternative understanding and interpretation.  It is always the alternatives, the reinterpretations, which make people think the bible hard to understand.  Trying to remove the sting from the clobber passages by putting them into the false context of idolatrous worship is wresting scripture (2 Pet 3:16).

 The clobber passages are those which orthodox Christians use as their proofs that homosexuality is sin; they are Genesis 1:27-28; 2:23-24; 19:1-29 (Sodom and Gomorrah); Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; and  Deuteronomy 23:17-18 in the Old Testament; and Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; and Jude 1:7 in the New Testament.  A discussion of these can be found on the web site Religious Tolerance: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hombiblnt.htm  But I should point out before you start, that some of the explanations given there are rather stretched.

In his efforts to defend his, and every other gay or lesbian Christian’s lifestyle and theological position, one of Rick’s cardinal points is that the clobber passages need to be seen and understood in their historical and cultural context.  This is true, of course, but Rick’s proposals are also stretched, I think.   For example, he writes: “Attempting to understand Paul’s Epistle to the Romans without factoring in Cybele the fertility goddess and shrine prostitution is as silly as trying to understand terrorism in New York City on September 11, 2001 without factoring in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center”https://www.gaychristian101.com/support-files/rcf01.pdf

He makes a similar claim for the clobber passages in the Old Testament, particularly Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 and says these chapters should be seen in the light of the worship of the Canaanite deities Molech and Ashtoreth and in the Egyptian cult of Isis.

Does this mean, then, that unless we have understanding of ancient and religious history, we can’t understand these passages?  Do we need to study a history text book written by a human scholar in order to understand God’s words and God’s book?  Didn’t God take this into consideration when he inspired Moses and Paul when they wrote the clobber passages?  Doesn’t the bible itself give us all the information we need to understand what it says?  What if we have no education?  How could Christians in the slums of India, for example, come to know about and understand the context of Molech or Cybele before they read the clobber passages?  Why would they?  Who among any of them would even be aware of Roman or Canaanite history?  And what of Christians in African villages – what would they know of ancient European or Middle Eastern history?  If they’re lucky enough to have a bible, they’d take it at face value, unless some Western genius told them otherwise.  The same would apply to Chinese Christians under Communist rule, or any other people or individual, including ordinary Christians like you or me.  It was William Tyndale’s passionate desire to make a translation of the scriptures so simple and clear that even a ploughboy would understand them; and he achieved his goal in that the King James Bible was the end result of Tyndale’s work. 

And didn’t those great men who translated the scriptures into Latin, Syriac, Georgian, Gothic and so on in the early church, or the KJV translators, or even the modern versions, understand this context and make it clear, even if only with explanatory marginal notes for the better understanding of the reader? Didn’t they understand that Molech and Cybele worship was what Moses and Paul had in mind when they wrote the clobber passages?  Those early versions of the bible were actually translated in the Roman period during which Cybele was worshipped by her devotees indulging in sexual relations with both female and male priests.  Surely they would have indicated this context for the sake of their readers; or done something to inform Christians as to how to understand their scriptures?

Did the Church have to wait until a gay Christian man in the 21st century West explained that they’ve had it wrong all these centuries and persecuted gays as a result?  Is it only now that we finally see that God wasn’t condemning gays and lesbians all those centuries ago, but only religious practices which use same-sex sex as a means of worship?  And that therefore God isn’t condemning gays and lesbians today who want to live in a loving, committed, same-sex, monogamous relationship?  Is it really only love and monogamy that counts with God?  Why, then, call it abomination?

The passages themselves state exactly what God meant and they’ve always been understood by Christians to refer to homosexuality ever since they were written.  And a straightforward reading makes this clear and unambiguous. 

However I can’t and won’t fault Rick for searching scripture to try and find a way he can express his sexuality; surely, this is what is required of all Christians when faced with any situation, especially moral, where they might be violating God’s law. 

Pagan Worship and Leviticus chapters 18 and 20

A key part of Rick’s interpretation of Leviticus 18 and 20 is that they need to be understood in their historical context, which is that of the worship of the Canaanite god Molech and his consort Ashtoreth.  In the passages below, he tries to show that the Hebrew words do not refer to modern-day homosexuals but can only refer to shrine prostitutes. 

Sodom

He writes:

55 times, our English Bibles use the word Sodom and related words like, sodomite, sodomites and Sodoma. Yet strangely enough, in Hebrew, Sodom and sodomite are not related words. For this reason, many Christians draw the wrong conclusion, that Sodom and sodomites are related when in fact, they are not etymologically related.

  1. Never in any of the Sodom passages does God say that the sin of Sodom was homosexuality.
  2. Never in any of the Sodom passages does God or a human author of the Bible link Sodom with homosexuality.
  3. Never in any of the sodomite(s) passages does God or a human author of scripture link sodomites(s) with a committed, faithful, non-cultic relationship between two men or two women.

On the other hand, whenever the Hebrew words qadesh or qadesha are used in scripture, they refer to a pagan worshiper of the fertility goddess. Therefore when we translate from Hebrew to English (or any other language) we must retain the original Hebrew meaning.

Because qadesh and qadesha did not refer to gay men or lesbian women in committed, faithful, non-cultic relationships in any Biblical reference where those words are used, it is wrong to assert that qadesh and qadesha mean homosexual in the English when they clearly did not mean homosexual in the Hebrew”

However the bible says, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah , and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:6). https://www.gaychristian101.com/shrine-prostitutes.html

And in another place, Rick writes:

“Ezekiel 16:50-52 uses tâ’abh and tôw’êbhâh repeatedly in the context (v.49) of the sin of Sodom, but not the oft cited reputed “abomination” of Sodom’s homosexuality for Sodom’s sin is here explicitly pride, greed, injustice and lack of concern for the poor; social rather than sexual sin.

Nowhere is Sodom’s sin seen as anything other than their social sins or inhospitality to strangers that may have included forced physical relations which Jude 1:7 describes as a desire for not homo but hetero “strange/other” flesh” (Emphases his). https://www.gaychristian101.com/abomination.html

In this verse (Jude 1:7), the men of Sodom and its neighbouring cities are said to be guilty of excessive fornication and going after strange flesh i.e. same- or male-sex.  The English words “giving themselves over to fornication” here is a translation of the Greek word “ekporneuo” which Strong’s’ Concordance defines as “to be utterly unchaste”, and “’to give oneself up to fornication’ implies excessive indulgence”.  The English word “strange” is “heteros” in Greek.  Souter (1949, p. 98), as part of his definition of the meaning of “heteros”, says, “in Gal 1:6 f. heteros appears to mean another of the same kind, as contrasted with allos, another of a different kind”.  Also, the margin in the Oxford KJV gives the explanatory alternative for “strange” as “other” (emphasis mine).  These definitions can only mean that the Sodomites i.e. the men of Sodom, were guilty of excessive opposite-sex sex and also of same-sex sex.  It can’t be referring to men having sex with angels as some people deduce from the previous verse because, for one thing, the men of Sodom didn’t know that the angels staying with Lot were angels; they thought they were men, and they wanted to rape them.  They didn’t want Lot’s daughters whom Lot cruelly offered them; they wanted the men.  So, in light of Souter’s definition above, “strange flesh” means same-sex.  It is men wanting sex with men rather than with women, even when two virgin women were offered them; same-sex sex instead of opposite-sex sex.  This can only be the meaning that Jude intends.

The apostle Peter has an almost identical version of Jude’s letter, and he described how Lot was a witness to their filthy behaviour and lifestyle.  He writes: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation (life) of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)” (2 Pet 2:6-8).

Whether or not the people of Sodom and its neighbouring cities were heterosexual or homosexual doesn’t matter; they were guilty of unlawful and wicked sexual sins and behaviour.  Both fornication and homosexuality are sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman, and God condemns them both.  And it cannot be argued that same-sex, loving, monogamous, non-cultic relationships aren’t referred to here, as Rick Brentlinger would have us believe – the problem for him is that they don’t need to be.  When Jesus mentioned marriage, he only ever referred to it as being between a man and a woman: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mk 10:6-9).  And “going after strange flesh” is same-sex sex, whether it’s monogamous and loving or not.

Male and Female Prostitutes and Sodomites

Rick then goes on to say:

Deuteronomy 23:17-18 links female prostitutes, the qedeshah and male prostitutes or sodomites, the qadesh.

Israelites were forbidden to bring the hire of a whore, a zanah, prostitute, or the price of a dog, kelev, a male shrine prostitute, into the house of the LORD.

Zanah is a Hebrew word which, in the Bible, often means street prostitute. Scripture also inserts zanah into the text when describing shrine prostitution or Molech worship, Leviticus 20:5.….. This clinches the undeniable link between the word zanah and shrine prostitutes.

Qadesh and Qedeshah are Hebrew words which, in the Bible, also refer to shrine prostitutes.

Two other times in scripture, God links qedeshah with zanah, whore, prostitute, Genesis 38:21-24 and Hosea 4:14”.

And then:

“It is remarkably inconsistent to assert that qedeshah equates to modern homosexuals and therefore, homosexuality is wrong while refusing to apply the same illogic to heterosexuals.

If qedeshah signifies all homosexuals, as so many modern Christians believe, then zanah in the same passage must signify all heterosexuals, therefore heterosexuality is wrong.

Of course, that is an illogical argument on both sides.

Qedeshah is a Hebrew word with a specific meaning. God the Holy Spirit is careful to use the word qedeshah to only indicate shrine prostitutes. Qedeshah is never used to mean homosexuals in the Bible.

Serious students of scripture also note that the qedeshah in our Genesis 38:12-30 passage, was a

female who had procreative sex with a man and became pregnant. That is not homosexuality”. https://www.gaychristian101.com/shrine-prostitutes.html

Originally Sinful but not Original Sin

However, all this is missing the point.  Both female and male prostitutes were there to accommodate the worshippers so that they could worship the gods through the act of sex, whether opposite-sex or same-sex relations.  So Rick can draw all the conclusions he likes about shrine prostitutes and prove that they weren’t used to mean homosexuality per se; but male prostitutes or sodomites did engage in homosexual, anal, sex.  The marital state of those who engaged in the temple sexual worship was not the focus; the focus, as Rick points out, was idolatry and pagan worship.  And the way this was practiced was with perverted and corrupted sexual relations.  Prostitution was sin.  Fornication was sin.  Homosexuality was sin.  And that’s why Satan required his devotees to worship him in these ways.  It was false worship of a false god.  Homosexual sex wasn’t sinful only when engaged in ritually as part of idolatrous worship; it was intrinsically sinful because it was a corruption of God’s holy institution of male/female marriage established by him in Genesis 2:24, and reiterated by Jesus in Mark 10:6-9, and is therefore unlawful.  And because it was sinful, Satan incorporated it as part of his idolatrous system of worship.  And the same applies to sex with female shrine prostitutes.  Sex with any female outside the bounds of marriage was, like homosexuality, a corruption of what God created and ordained.  The lawful use of sex always was and always will be within the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman; as we’re told in Hebrews: “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb 13:4).  The whole thing, idolatry with its filthy sexual practices, was meant by Satan to be an affront to God.  And it was also meant to alienate people, especially God’s people, from God and to bring them into bondage and degradation and judgment. 

Rick again:

“This is important!

The reason King Josiah broke down the houses of the sodomites was so that:

“no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.”

Since the Holy Spirit tells us the problem was false worship of Canaanite gods, it is sinfully wrong to ignore the clear statement of the Holy Spirit and insist, as some Christians insist, that the real problem was homosexuality”. (emphasis his). https://www.gaychristian101.com/shrine-prostitutes.html

Exactly!  The real problem was indeed false worship!  Rick has even gathered a bevy of leading Evangelical scholars, each of whom oppose the practice of homosexuality but who all agree with this point that the real problem was false worship, and he thinks he’s exposed them as being inconsistent and hypocritical.  And a related problem, one of the things that made the idolatrous worship of the Canaanites more heinous than the idolatry of other nations, was their practice of child sacrifice and sexual abandon.  Israel had only recently escaped their bondage in Egypt and had not yet conquered the Promised Land of Canaan, yet they had already fallen into sin by worshipping the gods of Midian and Moab in sexual abandon.  Consequently God brought death upon the congregation and 24,000 people were killed in the one day.  And during that time, while many were committing whoredom and others were weeping because of it, we’re shown one act of one couple: “And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly.  So the plague was stayed from Israel” (Num 25:6-8). 

Here was Satan provoking and defying God by causing God’s own people to commit idolatrous, sexualised worship, not only in the camp of Israel, but before the Tabernacle wherein God was present and before those godly Israelites who were weeping over the great sin being committed by their brothers and sisters.  The real problem here was false worship of Canaanite gods.  But the means by which they worshipped them was through sexual abandon.  And when Zimri and Cozbi (Num 25:14) brazenly had sex before the very door of the tabernacle and rubbed God’s face in it, so to speak, Phinehas killed them in righteous indignation and as an act of deserved judgment.  The false worship was the sin and they exacerbated it by engaging in corrupt sexual acts to perform that worship.  The sexual whoredom was part of the whole picture, just as homosexual acts and child sacrifice were part of the whole picture in the religions of Canaan.  Whoredom was intrinsically sinful.  Child sacrifice was intrinsically sinful.  Homosexuality was intrinsically sinful. 

But astonishingly, even before this, when Israel had only just crossed the Red Sea and escaped the Egyptian army, and before the Egyptian corpses had even rotted; and when just days before had been terrified to see the lightning and thunder and the trumpet blasts by angels, and the earthquake which shook the whole mountain as God descended to the top of Sinai; and even while Moses was at the top of Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments written by God’s own finger; the Israelites were down in the camp worshipping a golden calf, most likely in the same way that the Egyptians did.  And that worship was highly sexual and abandoned and the people were naked (Exod 33:25).

So, when God gave his people his laws, his ordinances, he gave specific instructions as to how to worship him in purity, without child sacrifice which was sinful; without whoredom which was sinful; without same-sex sex which was sinful.  But the instructions, the ordinances, he gave in Leviticus chapters 18 and 20, as elsewhere, were nothing to do with religious worship.  “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.  After the doings of the people of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.  Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God” (Lev 18:1-4).

The ordinances here referred to were secular, not religious.  (4) In non-religious usage, the word ‘chuqqah’ refers to the customs of the nations: (4a) ‘After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances (Lev 18:3 cf 20:23) (4b) The reason for the requirement to abstain from the pagan practices is that they were considered to be degenerate (Lev 18:30)” (Strong’s Concordance: Hebrew Aramaic Dictionary 2708:4-4b).

I agree with Rick when he says:

“It is spiritual malpractice and treason against God’s truth in the Bible to teach that the problem was gays and lesbians when the Holy Spirit clearly does not say that.

If God intended us to believe the problem was gays and lesbians or homosexuality, God would have stated that clearly and unmistakably”

He then goes on to quote a scholar named Margaret Murray:

“Marrying a close blood relative (incest) was a practice which came to be associated with the Egyptian cult of Osiris. Isis, the Egyptian Queen, was called Mother of God and Lady of Heaven. She was both mother and wife of the reigning Egyptian king. When God gives Moses the Law on Mt. Sinai, the practice of marrying one’s sister or aunt, is prohibited.

(From Margaret Murray, The Splendor That Was Egypt, Hawthorn, 1963, pp. 105-106)” https://www.gaychristian101.com/shrine-prostitutes.html

But this doesn’t weaken or negate the clear condemnation of homosexuality, as well as fornication, adultery, and bestiality, as specified in Leviticus chapters 18 and 20.  These chapters are not speaking of idolatrous worship.  If they were, then it would not be wrong for me to have sex with my sister or my mother or my aunt or my daughter-in-law and so on provided I didn’t do it as an act of idolatrous worship.  It would not be sin to have sex with an animal provided it wasn’t done as an act of idolatrous worship.  It would not be sin for me to have sex with another male, provided it was loving, monogamous, and committed, and not done as an act of idolatrous worship.  And, according to Rick’s principle, we could extend it to mean that the murder of children by abortion is not sinful, provided it is not done as an act of idolatrous worship.

No, the prohibition of having sex with relatives was wrong in itself, Egyptian cult of Isis or not.  The Hebrew men weren’t told not to have sex with their mother because it was idolatry; they were told not to have sex with her because “she is thy mother” (Lev 18:7).  They weren’t told not to have sex with their fathers’ wife (polygamy was practiced in those days); they were told not to do it because it was uncovering their father’s nakedness (18:8).  They were told not to have sex with their sister because “theirs is thine own nakedness” (18:10), nor with their father’s wife’s daughter because “she is thy sister” (18:11); nor with thy father’s sister because “she is thy father’s near kinswoman” (18:12); and so on.  For each forbidden sexual relationship, apart from the fact that they were adulterous, God specified why they were forbidden (and condemned and punished in chapter 20), and it had nothing to do with idolatry.  And when God had finished specifying all the opposite-sex sexual sins, he mentions child sacrifice which was idolatrous; and then same-sex sex:  “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (18:22).  Finally he forbids bestiality (18:23).  The only time, and the only person with whom a man could uncover a woman’s nakedness was if she was his wife (not husband) and not related to her according to the ordinances or laws here laid down by God.

Even if Egypt hadn’t adopted these practices, God would still have forbidden them for Israel because they were wrong in themselves.  Incest, adultery, fornication, promiscuity, whoredom, rape, homosexuality, bestiality and any other kind of sex were all forbidden from the time that God instituted marriage between a male and a female, and condemned because they were intrinsically sinful, not first because they were practiced as part of an idolatrous worship of false gods.  It seems to have been overlooked by many Christians that although homosexuality is labelled by God as abomination (Lev 18:22), every sinful practice in this list of sexual sins is also labelled as abomination (18:26-27, 29), and abominable customs (18:30).  And we don’t need a history text book to understand all this.  It is there, writ large, in the pages of the bible we love.

What about Romans Chapter 1?

It is clear, as Rick points out, that the background of this chapter is one of idolatry.  But we don’t need to know which gods were worshipped or how pervasive the idolatry was, and so on.  Paul gives us all the context we need and his focus is not totally on idolatry but equally on sexual sin; in particular, same-sex sexual sin.  The idolatry in Rome was no worse than in any other city or place in the ancient world.  For example, when Paul was in Athens, we’re told: “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, he saw the city wholly given over to idolatry (Acts 17:15).  And in Ephesus, we’re told: “this Paul hath turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth (Acts 19:26-27).

I find it interesting that Diana is here named, but in Rome, where Rick Brentlinger stresses the idolatry and sexualised worship which is so important to his interpretation of Romans chapter 1, the name of the god or goddess is not even mentioned; indeed, the idolatry in Rome is described in very general terms and not nearly as specifically as that in Ephesus.

And it is significant that the sexual sins mentioned in Romans chapter 1 are not shown to be part of idolatrous worship but as judgment by God because the people refused to acknowledge him; they are mentioned as being the result of idolatry.  I’m not saying that the worship wasn’t sexual, but Paul doesn’t specify.  So an argument that Paul is describing a situation where the worship was sexual is an argument from silence.  And therefore it is not essential to know the historical and cultural context of this chapter in order to grasp what Paul means.  What is made clear is that the people, both men and women, knew God but worshipped him in the forms of animals and birds and reptiles (1:23, 25).  And therefore God gave them up to perverted sexual practices (1:24-27).  The unnatural sexual relations as Paul discusses them were the result of God’s judgment on them for their idolatry, not part of sexual worship. 

In fact, it doesn’t have to mean that Paul was referring to sexualised worship at all in Rome at the time of writing.  Commenting on verse 20, Henry Morris provides the real cultural and religious background to Romans chapter 1, which is specified in verses 18-25.  He writes, 1:20 from the creation.That is, from the very time of creation, men should have seen the evidence of God’s existence and His work in the marvellous universe which He had created, for ‘God hath shewed it unto them’ (1:19).  ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork’ (Ps 19:1).  These things should have been seen and understood by men from the very time of the creation of the world, so it is clear that the creation did not take place billions of years before men appeared on the earth, as evolutionists and progressive creationists have alleged.  Men and women have been in the world since its very beginning, and all should have recognized the reality of God, even before God gave His written revelation” (Morris, H, 2017, p. 1700). 

Morris then says of verses 1:21-28: “Romans 1:21-28 describes the awful descent of the ancient world from their ancestral knowledge of the true God, as received from father Noah, down into evolutionary pantheism and its accompanying polytheism (1:22-25) and then into the gross immorality and wickedness that inevitably follows such apostasy” (Morris, H. 2017, p. 1701).

This understanding of Romans chapter 1 changes everything for Rick’s view.  And it means we can take the passage as it stands, at face value, and conclude that Paul is denouncing same-sex sex for both men and women without having to see it in the context of idolatrous worship.  It is true, as I explained above in the section on Leviticus chapters 18 and 20, that pagan worship was highly sexualised, but both then and in the time of the Roman world, homosexuality was “abomination” in Leviticus (along with all other sexual sins) and “against nature” in Romans.  As we saw in the discussion of Leviticus chapters 18 and 20, homosexuality is intrinsically sinful, and now Paul graphically reiterates that in Romans chapter 1.

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.  Amen.  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (Rom 1:24-28).

I’m baffled as to how anybody after reading this passage could not see that God regards same-sex sex as sinful.  Just look at the adjectives that describe it – they’re God’s words and they reveal his hatred of such behaviour.  It doesn’t make a scrap of difference whether same-sex sex is practiced in religious worship or in a loving and monogamous relationship – same-sex sex is same-sex sex whatever the setting and you can’t avoid that.  All the descriptive adjectives used in this passage about same-sex sex are powerful and condemning.  How can anyone think that if God’s judgment on those who denied him was to give them over to a sinful lifestyle consisting of same-sex sex, which he denounces in the strongest terms, it would be acceptable in the context of a same-sex marriage?

This passage is rightly regarded as a clobber passage because it clearly, powerfully, and irrefutably denounces and condemns same-sex sex.  You disregard it and try to explain it away at your peril.  But I don’t write these things heartlessly.  I feel very much for gay Christians and I sympathise with them because they’re between a rock and a hard place in the way they’re able to express their sexuality.  And I understand Rick Brentlinger’s well intended attempt to separate monogamous, loving, committed same-sex marriage from the vile behaviour manifested in the ancient pagan sexualised worship of devils; the two are indeed quite different to each other.  But the fact that they are same-sex makes them both wrong as I believe I’ve satisfactorily demonstrated above; they’re just different sides of the same street.

References

Morris, H, 2017, The Henry Morris Study Bible, Master Books, Green Forest, AR 72638

Souter, A, 1949, A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, Oxford University Press, London

www.sovereignjesus.net