environmental sex

environmental sex cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
(click on this image if you are interested in checking out a print of this cartoon)

I’m okay with theories. If they work. When they no longer work it’s time to dispense with them. The number of theories out there attempting to explain away the vast array of orientations out there are just that: an attempt to invalidate them.

In the end what do you have? The same person who is or who has made a choice and who has the right to be just that.

This comes down to more than sexuality. It comes down to spirituality as well. In the end, you have the right to be who you are. Because that’s who you are. It just is!

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  • Gary


    I did not choose to be straight. I was born this way.

    Nuff said. (Though I am pretty sure there will be much more ink spilled) 😉

  • Well, in prison I knew quite a few straight men who would have sex with men who wouldn’t if they weren’t locked up. Of course most also didn’t. So you could say environment does make some men homosexual who maybe weren’t born that way. Obviously this isn’t true for everyone behind bars, but it does show environment can be a factor. I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it, sexuality is complex. Environment is an issue, as is biology, and I know this is an unpopular point of view, but psychology is also a large part of it. We know being sexually abused as a child can have a huge effect on a persons sexuality, effects that weren’t there from birth. I guess my point is that while some people are born gay, others are not, and it is doing a disservice people to say you are either born that way or not, just like saying everyone is making a choice. Very few things are either/or, or black and white. There is a lot of grey in human behavior. Jesus seems to recognize that. He spent very little time with sin. He didn’t go around condemning people, instead He set people free. Christians need to spend more time healing people and setting them free, especially the ones who keep throwing stones. They need more healing than anyone.

  • Gary

    Yes I agree Jareth…environment certainly can and at times does play a role in sexual orientation. The statement by many that “no one is born gay” however is not based on any sort of evaluation of empirical evidence but rather on a personal bias. The fact that we have not identified a clear gay gene yet, in no way changes the reality testified to by millions of individuals. It is this false claim made by so many, particularly in more fundamental religious communities, that is being challenged by this simple illustration of the logical fallacy of such a view.

  • Frank

    God does not make anyone gay. There is no scientific or theological evidence to support that.

    Sexuality is a complex thing in our sinful fallen world but that’s not how it was designed. It was designed for a man and a woman, in communion with God in what we call marriage.

  • Gary

    And there you have the unsubstantiated declarative statement voiced in all of its bravado laced glory.

    No substance of course…but full of bravado none the less.


  • Frank

    Still waiting Gary…. I see you have moved into attack mode since you are unable to show your option is anything more that just a personal opinion. Well done!

  • Gary

    No your not Frank so you can drop the charade.

  • Frank


    Have you really resigned yourself to resort to this?

    Thanks for another confirmation that your opinion is unsupported.

  • Gary

    Not wasting time sending you any more. You have ignored them thus far and summarily dismissed them without so much as a hint of effort made to make your case in the first place. Really not interested in your games of subterfuge and denial.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Jareth: good points. I’ve been a Chaplain’s assistant in a high security detention center. I agree that an unknown number of heterosexual men and women engage in homo-erotic behavior within the prison environment. Yet, the majority of them will remain hetersexual upon release from prison. Thus, I offer that we are seeing in our own society the Romans 1 use of the word ‘exchanged [their natural affections]’. The word ‘exchanged’ is not transformation (as it is in Romans 12); but is a simple trade for the moment. The two Greek words are very different.

    I lean towards all the scientific evidence pointing towards a complexity of causation. Sadly, for the men and women that are homosexual in orientation, and desire to change that orientation with all their heart, there remains no ‘cure’ for reversal. Thus, the LGBT that is a believer often goes through a grieving process… but hopefully, ends up in accepting what God will not change them (outside of a miracle). As Alan Chambers, the leader of the world’s largest ex-gay network states, “99.9% of homosexuals will not have their orientation changed.” [Alan offers celibacy as the highest path for a gay believer to take.]

    As the conservative Christian Dr. Warren Throckmorton has stated, the Evangelical community continues to ignore the results of the studies completed in 2000 through 2012, all showing that even the most highly motivated born-again gay believer cannot change their sexual orientation. As Dr Mark Yarhouse, a dean of Regent college showed, those gay believing men married to a heterosexual woman, remain homosexual in orientation. So many broken hearts have happened in that sad experiment of mixed orientation marriages.

    The challenge facing the church is to discard the unproven scientific theories of the 1980’s and 1990’s; to understand the scientific evidence that shows non-reverable sexual orientations; and to give the gay believer in Christ mercy to be married for life to the same sex spouse (rather than to continue to insist on the sacrifice of celibacy). “I would rather have mercy than sacrifice” rings true to this day.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Frank

    What you really mean is that you have no support for your position and so you simply attack the messenger. That’s what I thought.

  • There’s a logical fallacy in the cartoon.
    The cartoon is trying to make the point that if the environment causes object X to exist in state A, then it must also be the cause for object X existing in state B. That is not logically correct. It is entirely possible (in general logical terms) for object X to exist in state B by default (genetics, programming, design, etc) and to only shift to state A provided certain environmental factors.
    The speaker in the cartoon is assuming that if homsexuals are made so by environmental factors, then all humans must be born neutral and their sexuality, in either direction, is shaped by the environment; when in fact one could also argue (and I believe the argument actually is) that humans are born hetero by default and shifted to homosexuality be environmental factors. The speaker seems not to have thought of this position or is dismissing it for reasons not readily apparent from the cartoon.

  • Wade

    There are two things about sexuality that most people in today’s modern Western secular society don’t get: 1. describing a person according to their sexual preference is actually quite modern and 2. sexuality is a complex spectrum.

    I’ll leave the first point for someone else to argue, but the one about a continuum is surprisingly rare. It just is not a simply either you’re gay or you’re not. Many people will have sexual attraction towards people of either sex. And what makes things more complicated is that for some people,. masturbation is itself a turnoff.
    So sometimes a partner of the wrong sex is simply preferable to taking care of it yourself!

  • Caryn LeMur

    Johnathan: I think that almost all cartoons contain logical fallacies… that is one major reason we find them funny…. lol. So, in essence, I think you are right – there is a fallicy in the logic… but I love the laughter that it pulls from my mind…. by all means… .lol.

    It is like a cartoon showing a group of gay Christians, all laying hands upon one person, and praying that the ‘demon of being straight’ will be cast out. The logic of demon possession or oppression, or the exegesis of Biblical norm, nor the study of ‘sins of the fall of man’ – these are not the point of the cartoon; but the point is rather the willingness of a group to apply one standard upon a target victim, and to not also apply the same standard upon their own selves.

    David’s comment is spot on: “The number of theories out there attempting to explain away the vast array of orientations out there are just that: an attempt to invalidate them.”

    To invalidate a sexual-orientation, to belittle it, to reduce it to just a choice, to say (in essence) ‘it is OK for we to drink from this fountain of blessings, but your type should go around back and drink from a lesser fountain of blessings’ – is an afront to the gospel of Christ as taught in Galatians – ‘there is no Greek, no Jew, no Male, no Female, no slave, and no freeman – you are all one in Christ.’ There are few things as deep to a person’s self-identity as their sexual orientation and gender identity… and few treasures held so deeply.

    The evil desire to invalidate someone – to make them somehow less than me and therefore less able to share in the blessings of God – is the opposite of the wisdom that comes from heaven, which is full of mercy AND impartiality (James 3:16). Therefore, I think we should laugh and enjoy the logical fallacies that make these cartoons so very interesting… and often the start of a great conversation and exchange of viewpoints.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Frank, I’m one of your most sympathetic readers, but I have to say that I don’t think your tactic here isn’t really helping your cause. Gary has already given the names of several articles and sources for why he thinks the way he does; therefore, it obviously isn’t simply his personal opinion. You can’t just dismiss those without giving your reasoning. Were they irrelevant because they weren’t Biblical? (that’s a valid argument to make) Did you have concerns about their methodologies? Did you feel that their conclusions were not actually supported by their research? Was their logic flawed? Coming into a place like this and just saying “You’re all wrong because the Bible says so.” isn’t going to win anyone over; you need to search for common ground and you be open to the truth even if it surprises you.

    Also, Gary can be abrasive, but I don’t think he was attacking you so much as trying to call your logic to account. Of course even if he did attack you, you can be much more persuasive by graciously looking past personal slights, than by reacting defensively against them; you know, turn the other cheek.

    Again, if you’ve got an ally here, it’s me, it sounds like you and I have similar views on Scripture and in theology; and I’m not trying to attack you; I’m just trying to offer some constructive criticism: the tactic you seem to have chosen does not seem to me to be a very effective one if your goal is to persuade people to change their opinion.

  • Dug

    Sexual activity does not identify sexual orientation. It is possible for a homosexual man to have successful coitus with a woman. But as is evidenced above, it is very difficult for most Christians to believe that all of sexuality is a gift from God. God is love, and those who love know God.

  • Thank you Caryn for your love in Christ; I accept it gratefully and return it to the best of my ability.

    I appreciate the points that you’ve made, and I honestly don’t know what to do with a lot of what I’ve heard and seen here and in other places; still trying to wrestle with it. I’m not backing off my point, just trying to say that I appreciate yours.

    I still get defensive when I feel like my friends and my parents, and possibly my own, position is made to look illogical or ridiculous in ways that it isn’t. I’d be fine if the cartoon was lampooning an actual conservative belief or pointing out a real logical fallacy of conservative thought; but this doesn’t seem to be doing that. I’ve noticed that humor is a very effective weapon in rendering logic impotent. It can galvanize popular support and draw attention to specific areas of logical weakness or nonsensical behavior (think Tina Fey and how her portrayal of Sarah Palin influenced the 2008 elections). At the same time, however, humor has a power that can be abused by drawing attention away from unanswered questions or by making wisdom seem unwise; so, I think that the power of humor must be handled with great care.

    Oh, and David, I’m sure that you are probably well aware of the logical fallacy of your cartoon and were intentionally incorporating that into your cartoon. That’s valid; these are more general concerns than specific.

  • Adam Julians

    Yes – so much about “the other” and not embracing difference, trbalisinm in other word with the example of the gay / straight. And either could get into a polemic with the other.

    So much influence by Derrider and deconstruction theories. Basicallt the I’m right you are wrong no you are wrong I am right dialogue. It mught not be like that on thea on the surface, might be dressed up in colourful language but it being what underpins the dialogue. I call it school playground behaviour. A power struggel, survival of the fittest etc. Primal stuff

    So yeah gettng past that onto a healthy dailogue in this instance and sharing ideas. What we see in the cartoon id the interesting thoughts of is our sexual orientation someting we are born with or somethig that by nurture and social conditioning is what we adopt. Interesting views. I’m sure there is potential for some great conversations if there is willing and coming at it with a healthy attitude.

  • Gary

    It is difficult to exchange ideas with an individual who flatly refuses to engage after repeated attempts by multiple posters yet proudly declares them all to be wrong. What is even more frustrating in situations like this is the characterization by others that it is an equal back and forth dialogue with both parties wearing blinders or engaging in “tribalism”. There comes a point were you call out an individual like that and then walk away. That is what I have done with Frank following long and arduous attempts at discussing ideas by many.

    Still there may be others here who are open to healthy reason and dialogue.

  • Gary

    “I still get defensive when I feel like my friends and my parents, and possibly my own, position is made to look illogical or ridiculous in ways that it isn’t. I’d be fine if the cartoon was lampooning an actual conservative belief or pointing out a real logical fallacy of conservative thought; but this doesn’t seem to be doing that.” – Johnathan

    Johnathan I am really curious by this statement. The reason is because I see David’s cartoon doing exactly that. I have known many conservatives who resoundingly declare that “no one is born gay”. They do this of course to support their belief that homosexuality is an inherently sinful behavior and if an individual is born with such a condition it would seem to imply some sort of endorsement by God. As David’s cartoon suggests they paint themselves into a corner of insisting that only environment and/or willful sinful rebellion makes a person gay. The clear logical fallacy is in their insistence that environment and/or choice had nothing to do with them being straight.

    I understand your defensiveness. I would ask you to understand mine. I not only have friends who are gay by no choice of their own and no environmental abuse, I have a nephew who is such. Consider the implications of this view, which I do consider bigotry. My sister and her husband are wonderful Christian folk who have done their level best to create a loving and Godly home environment. There has been no indication of any verbal or physical abuse of any kind. In fact such would be very contrary to their nature. They are simply two good people doing the difficult job of parenting their 5 children. My 23 year old nephew has finally come out to his family concerning his sexual orientation. This was no surprise to many of us as the clues were always there. But the insistence that my nephew is making a sinful choice, over a matter for which he has no more control over than his skin color, is a real and offensive slander on both him and my family. Most struggle immensely for years with the guilt of such a slander, to literally be told their entire lives that what they are by no choice of their own, is reprehensible to God and the world. Many are not equipped to handle it and literally take their own lives believing there is no way to ever be healthy or whole. Others are the victim of horrible verbal and physical abuse, including countless murders, at the hands of bigots who have been taught by the religious community to view them as offensive, disgusting, and morally degenerate. The silly catch phrase of “love the sinner but hate the sin” becomes nothing but contemptuous mockery because they literally ARE the sin in the eyes of the self righteous religious community. It is a condition of their very identity which they cannot change. I have a good friend who told me not long ago that there is no way he would ever choose his life as an outcast in society if he had any choice in the matter, nor would he ever wish it on anyone else. By the way, has has been in a committed monogamous relationship for more than 30 years with a man he has no legal right to call his husband in the state of Indiana.

    My views on this matter changed long before my nephew came out. I used to be one of the champions in the church proudly speaking out against the threat of the homosexual offenders. But two things caused me to finally change my views. The first was the moral disconnect of the whole issue. I simply reached a point of questioning the morality of such a view within the church. Too many innocent victims, too much contempt, to be inline with the gospel of love. So I decided to study the scriptural case against homosexuality for myself. What I found was shocking considering the absolute resolve of the position in pretty much the entire religious right. Jesus never spoke on the issue even once. (Though many believe His reference to some eunuchs being born this way was an acknowledgement of such a condition without condemnation) And the 6 or 7 typical clobber passages in the bible, upon careful examination, fail to address what we presently understand as sexual orientation at all. The scriptural case, in my honest opinion, simply does not exist.

    This is why I call the gay prejudice bigotry. As a society we have recognized this truth and have made sexual orientation a protected class. But not in the church. The church tries to get around the issue by attempting to somehow separate the individual from who they are and thereby maintain the right to openly condemn them and/or seek to impose a life of celibacy and deny them the same rights of love, marriage, and family they themselves enjoy.

    This is ugly…this is bigotry…this is not Christ.

  • See my post, way above, for the logical fallacy in the cartoon. In short, the cartoon is unfairly portraying conservatives to be morons. The belief that the cartoon is lampooning is that homosexuals are made so by their environment; that is correct; but it does so by implying that this belief necessarily implies that heterosexuals are also made so by their environment. That is simply not logically correct. Believing that homosexuals are made so by environment in no way implies that heterosexuals are made so by their environment. The belief, as it is stated, certainly contains the possibility that humans sexuality is wholly determined by environment one way or another, but it isn’t a logical necessity. That’s why I say that the cartoon is unfairly portraying conservatives to be idiots. Thay may very well be idiots, but not for the reason presented by the cartoon.

    Now, one could say that if the environment shapes homosexuality then it must also be a factor in allowing the heterosexual ‘default’ to remain unchanged, but even in that instance it would be incorrect to say that the environment [i]determines[i] sexuality whether homo or hetero. So, even in that case, the criticism still stands.

    And, understand, I’m not trying to attack or defend any certain viewpoint, I’m criticizing the logical delivery of the viewpoint and exploring other ways of formulating the viewpoint that might be logically valid.

    Just out of curiosity, back when you were “one of the champions in the church proudly speaking out against the threat of the homosexual offenders” what were the reasons you used to argue for that position?

  • Gary

    “See my post, way above, for the logical fallacy in the cartoon. In short, the cartoon is unfairly portraying conservatives to be morons. The belief that the cartoon is lampooning is that homosexuals are made so by their environment; that is correct; but it does so by implying that this belief necessarily implies that heterosexuals are also made so by their environment. That is simply not logically correct.”

    Yeah I saw your post and illustrated in my own why I disagree with your analysis. I do believe it is a logical fallacy to state that homosexuality is always environmental yet heterosexuality is never environmental. I realize that not all believers adhere to such a rigid understanding of sexuality…but many do. Those are the ones I see David poking fun at.

    In response to your question as to what my reasons were I have a very simple answer. For me (try not to take offense because none is intended) it was pure ignorance. I was willing to accept the theological conclusions handed down to me by leaders in my faith without fully exploring them on my own. After all, the clobber passages (as they are presently translated) seemed like a slam dunk case. This and the very pervasive implication that to question anything in the bible was to directly challenge God Himself, created an environment where blind faith was deemed far superior to logic and/or reason. Any in my churches who dared to question the official church position was publicly shamed and dealt with very firmly. Those who did not acquiesce to the accepted in this matter view were simply shunned and/or driven out. So for me personally, since I accepted the view without question, I defended it with zeal perceiving any challenge to it as an attack on the church, the moral fabric of my country, and on God Himself. But my foundation for such behavior was still one of ignorance.

    Make no mistake…when the bible is used to justify the demoralizing and marginalizing of an entire class of people…no amount of sincerity or ignorance is sufficient reason to allow the abuse to continue unchallenged. This issue has a very real class of victims who are done irreparable harm. It is not one of simple preference or theological difference of opinion. I see it very much in the same light as those who used (sadly some still do) scripture to justify the belief in racial superiority.

  • Frank

    Gary is not interested in changing his opinion. His in entrenched in deception either willingly or he wants the bible so much to say something it does not, he is willing to be deceived. He posts links to theology that is simply not supported and has been dismantled and dismissed by credible scholars. It’s a textbook case exegesis.

    On top of that when confronted with it he misrepresents me and my motives. Just another sign that he really has no cogent case, simply a personal opinion and people need to know this. Lives are at stake.

  • Gary

    Frank you really should take my advice and look up exegesis in the dictionary as contrasted with eisegesis.


  • So, (and I think I know the answer to this, from other posts you’ve authored) what did you do with those passages of Scripture?

    What factors led you to change your opinion?

  • Frank

    Gry I know very well the difference. What you do is start with “gay is ok” and then start trying to justify your already conceived opinion. You have failed. That’s exegesis.

    Eisigesis is looking at the text without bias and figuring out what it means. If anyone does that, it’s clear that God does not condone or bless homosexual behavior. All you have to do if you disagree is show us in scripture where God condones or blesses homosexual behavior. Still waiting.

  • Gary

    Seriously Frank…look them up. It would help both your understanding and your spelling.


  • Gary

    If your implication is that I simply rejected those passages you would be incorrect. I freely admit I do not hold to the belief that everything in the bible is inspired. But my change of position came prior to such belief. Even now…embracing scriptural infallibility is not required to do proper exegesis of the text. Wouldn’t you agree?

    As for what factors lead to my change…I stated them explicitly in my first comment to you above.

    Look Johnathan, In spite of Frank’s assertions to the contrary there is a very strong scriptural case supporting my view which is promoted by far more learned biblical scholars than we. It is easy to find an “expert” in the field who supports whichever point of view one adheres to. But this does little to provide validation beyond seeking to confirm what one already believes. This can be said about a great many things in the bible that are hotly debated. When I encounter such a conflict I seek to hold it to the higher principles as taught by Jesus to determine which is correct. Jesus was abundantly clear in that the law of love is to be our guiding principle in life, and even stated that when kept we have not violated the law. He further demonstrated multiple times the inadequacy of the law in both word and deed. As one of the key principles in the law of love is to do no harm…I came to the conclusion that my former view failed that test.

  • Frank

    Oops had them mixed up. Thank for the clarification. Though it does not change what you have done.

    Eisegesis (from Greek εἰς “into” as opposed to exegesis from ἐξηγεῖσθαι “to lead out”) is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto the text

    Exegesis (from the Greek ἐξήγησις from ἐξηγεῖσθαι ‘to lead out’) is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text. Traditionally the term was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible; however, in contemporary usage it has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text, and the term “Biblical exegesis” is used for greater specificity.

  • Frank

    This is all we need to know about Gary to comfortably dismiss his biblical opinions:

    “I freely admit I do not hold to the belief that everything in the bible is inspired. ”

    Just throw away the parts you don’t like. Yeah that works.

  • Gary

    Frank I am actually very glad you are here. There is nothing I could say about blind fundamentalism that would illustrate the fallacy of such thinking as clearly as do your own posts.

  • I would have guessed that you “do not hold to the belief that everything in the bible is inspired,” which would then allow you to subject the scripture to some other standard, like reason, and dismiss those passages that didn’t meet that standard. I was hoping that you might say that you were convinced of a different exegesis of those Scriptures than the traditional one. I’ve read of several different attempts to exegete them, and I’m comfortable with saying, at least, that there is some ambiguity, but the arguments for the traditional exegesis still seem to outweigh.

    I like your statement “When I encounter such a conflict I seek to hold it to the higher principles as taught by Jesus to determine which is correct.” It corellates to a one of Wesley’s exegetical principles of interpreting complex and ambiguous passages in light of more direct and easily understood passages. It also makes sense to hold every piece of Scripture to the whole of Scripture, and interpret every single passage according to the Spirit of the passage’s context, the book in which it is found, and of the entire Bible. That makes sense.

    “It is easy to find an “expert” in the field who supports whichever point of view one adheres to.” I don’t like it, but I agree with it. The same could be said of logic; you can get numbers and logic to dance any way you want and come out to affirm whatever view you believed in the first place. Scripture can be the same way; which is one reason why it is so important to not settle into a single exegesis or interpretation, but to continually go back to Scripture, with as open a mind as you can.

  • Frank

    There is nothing blind about my beliefs. They are from scripture. You however seem to like to make up your own. So thank you for showing us the folly of doing that.

  • Gary

    I struggle to disagree with anything you have stated in this post. 😉

    Contrary to the assertion thrown at those of us who reject biblical inerrancy and/or infallibility, we don’t just go around throwing out the parts we don’t like. This is especially true of me since I was raised to believe so strongly in the perfection of the original texts. For me this lead to much searching and exegesis in an attempt to resolve the apparent conflicts within. In fact I still hold scripture in very high regard. But some conflicts defy resolution. Additionally some portrayals of God’s morality are so strongly contrary to His nature as revealed by Christ that one either must ignore them completely or come up with untenable justifications for them.

    But I do want to clarify a statement. You said “I was hoping that you might say that you were convinced of a different exegesis of those Scriptures than the traditional one. ”

    First of all I have stated that previously most directly in my posts. I believe an honest exegetical case of the disputed texts can and has been made that actually supports my conclusions. As for the which is the “traditional” view…when the changes in the words selected for our modern translations (which took place in the last century or so) are taken into account, one can clearly argue that the present religious right does not even represent the traditional view.

  • Gary

    For those wanting to explore the issue of biblical inerrancy more deeply, the following article by Mark Mattison of Auburn University is an excellent starting point.


  • Frank

    Sadly Gary does not see the irony of these two statements:

    “we don’t just go around throwing out the parts we don’t like. ”

    “some portrayals of God’s morality are so strongly contrary to His nature as revealed by Christ that one either must ignore them completely or come up with untenable justifications for them.”

  • Frank
  • Gary

    I encourage everyone to follow Frank’s link here. Pay particular attention to the home page and peruse the articles and positions supported. Any questions pertaining to Frank’s set of beliefs (though he flatly refused to respond when questioned by David about his theological background) can be clearly answered there.

  • Could you please briefly explain the “honest exegetical case of the disputed texts [which] . . . supports my conclusions.” And we are talking about 1 Tim 1:10, 1 Cor 6:9, and Rom 1:26-27, correct?

  • Frank

    What? That I hold that the bible is the word of God without error? Yes that what I believe as well as most Christians. I am in good company as Jesus held high regard for scripture.

    Once again the only way you can come to the conclusions you do is to pick and choose and just keep what you like or what your limited human mind can understand. That is a definition of a fool.

  • Frank

    And here is some more information for those that care:


    Lets see trust Gary or trust the Word of God, There really is no choice.

  • Gary

    “Briefly” Johnathan? This seems a bit disingenuous. 😉

    Please follow the links I provided in the other thread as a proper analysis is way too lengthy for this forum.

  • Gary

    However here is a link I left off that previous list referencing a large number of well recognized and qualified scholars and church leaders.


    There is much room for debate. However my honest evaluation of the issue from both sides lead me to conclude that my views were in error. It is not because these scholars support my view that I refer to them…rather it is because I found the case presented too compelling for me to maintain my previous position. I did not seek out those who would support my view…rather I sought to refute it when originally challenged. Eventually the exegetical case and the greater issue of morality I have already discussed compelled me to admit I was wrong.

  • Gary

    “A straw man or straw person, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally,[1][2] is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.[3] To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and to refute it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.[3][4] This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged, emotional issues.”


  • Frank

    Gary at least you are aware of what you are doing.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Johnathan: hope you don’t mind me joining you (and Gary) in this conversation.

    May I offer that we begin with Leviticus 18?

    I believe that the Bible is inspired. I lean strongly towards inerrancy. I also hold to a high view of the Bible (so, I interpret commands as commands; history as history; poetry as poetry; stories as stories, and so forth).

    I ask myself, “is this passage, Leviticus 18, a collection of commands or does it have context?”

    For example, when I read Proverbs chapter 10, I see a ‘collection’ of proverbs (wise sayings). Some relate to the previous, but most do not. This chapter is a collection of non-related bits and pieces of God’s wisdom. However, when I read Proverbs chapter 1, I then find strong ‘context’ – a flow of ideas wherein the ideas relate to 1, 2, or 3 themes.

    I then return to Leviticus 18. I find a context of sexual sins. This chapter is not a random collection, but a themed series of commands that have context.

    I then run into the rather jarring Lev 18:21, ““‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.” This is not a sexual command – so… what is it doing here? Under the rules of context, the command against ‘sacrificing children’ is signaling a change of subject matter. We thus encounter the first sin of Molek Worship.

    Under the rules of context, the next two ‘sins’ must also be related to Molek Worship (otherwise, they should have been before verse 21).

    Thus, verse 22 and 23 are parts of Molek Worship: a heterosexual man having sex with a male temple prostitute; and a heterosexual woman engaging in sexual acts with an animal (most likely the stallions dedicated to an area’s version of the sun god).

    Leviticus 18:21, 22, and 23 are therefore primarily a series of three commands against Molek Worship: a heterosexual couple giving their child over to an altar of fire; the heterosexual man going to one room in the shrine, and mounting a male shrine prostitute; the heterosexual woman going to the shrine’s stable, and presenting herself to an animal in a sexual manner.

    This is therefore not a command against life-long same-sex marriage.

    Your thoughts?

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Joseph Parish

    I agree with your point, Caryn, humans are indeed complex. I have a gay son. I raised all my sons the same, so in his case it is biological. I suspected he was at an early age, parents know these things but some are in denial, so it wasn’t a big surprise when he came out of the closet, nor was it for his brothers. Somehow, we all knew. For others, circumstances such as child molestation may play a role. We can’t compartmentalize people.

  • Joseph Parish

    Wrong, Frank, much evidence. You dismiss it because it is inconvenient to your theology, much like the Creationists who dismiss evolution as an “unproven theory”.

  • thanks for sharing that vulnerable but beautiful story joseph.

  • Gary

    BTW Johnathan, the 3 passages you reference above are analyzed exceptionally well in the link I provided by Matthew Vines. As this is a transcript of a speech he makes at churches it does not contain the references you would expect a scholar to make in a theological position pieces. However, the analysis of these passages and their “traditional” interpretation is very logically and beautifully articulated and the references to culture and translation are consistent with the more scholarly sources I have reviewed. This transcript is an excellent starting place for anyone wanting to seriously explore this most important issue. I will include the link again for convenience.


  • shelly

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2)

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14a)

    The rider wore a robe that was covered with blood, and he was known as “The Word of God.” (Revelation 19:13, CEV)

    The Word [of God] is Jesus (God incarnate), not the Bible. To equate a collection of books compiled by the Nicene Council (how do we know they didn’t get it wrong, anyway?) to the personage of Jesus is idolatry, in my less than humble view.

  • Gary

    Shelly I believe you are absolutely correct. Idolatry is exactly what I believe it is when one seeks to elevate the bible to a status of holy perfection.