Playing God

Playing God April 18, 2024

Practical Spirituality series

This article contains references to sex and may not be welcome to all readers. Use discretion.

Researchers at Osaka University in Japan announced they’ve created mouse pups from the DNA of two dads, and not only did these pups survive to adulthood, they became parents themselves. No female mouse required.

The bad news: We already have enough mice and we’re trying to get rid of them. And we don’t want to get rid of women.

“Ruben, Ruben, I’ve been thinking, what a fine world it would be, if all the men were transported far beyond the Northern Sea.” – Reuben and Rachel song.


Gender and Sexuality by Microsoft Designer AI
Gender and Sexuality by Microsoft Designer AI

The Jews, in their quest to have legal opinions for all 613 laws, created this math puzzle to trap Jesus. Try not to laugh:

“On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife, and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” – Matthew 22: 23-30 (NASB)

Ahaaaaaaaaaaa! Do we understand the power of God? Nope. We just keep God in a box of our own making that limits God’s power. We even call God a he. Maybe God doesn’t like that pronoun.

Mind reading the thoughts of some: Yea, though I walk through the broken shards and erroneous conclusions in my mind, I will assert my god-mind voice upon all of creation. I know the mind of God because I’ve read the Bible and you shall do as I command. I assert that only male and female biology together can create, and doing it another way shall be repugnant to me and humanity. So it shall be written; so it shall be done. And stop making mice!

Yeah, we love to play God. We shove our opinions onto everyone, such as God made man and woman binary. Only they can reproduce. Except nature says many species don’t require fertilization. They reproduce themselves. Some, even people, have both sets of reproductive organs. The more we know about life, the more we realize binary thinking usually overlooks the complete spectrum of differences that exist. Our God is a God of variety. God is out of the box.

We love playing God

We cheat death at every turn with modern medicine. Modern medicine has saved me from death several times. By utilizing medicine and surgery, we make life more comfortable and navigable by addressing developing conditions. We enthusiastically approve of IVF for creating pregnancy. We’re right on top of this play God bandwagon.

If we don’t understand or don’t like others’ behavior, we search the scriptures for ways to end it. So we find scripture to approve our conduct while finding scripture to disapprove of others’ conduct. Hypocrites much?

LGBTQ is our current sore spot

We would rather people be single, or miserable in a marriage, than to love someone of the same gender. We don’t understand not marrying and reproducing. If it’s right for me, then it must be right for you.

We don’t even care that much if people love someone of the same gender. It’s the intimacy and sex that get to us. So, be single while loving someone of the same gender, but don’t have sex. But self-masturbation is okay. Maybe. Got it.

What do the scriptures really say?

  1. Jesus was profoundly inclusive in his ministry. He reached out to all people regardless of their background, even if the Jews considered them outcasts. Jews were excellent at being exclusive. But Jesus condemned no one. He recommended to some that they stop sinning. This he said to the woman caught in adultery, and to a man he healed, he said: “… do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” Some conditions resulted from sin. (Reference John 8:11 and John 5:14.)
  2. Jesus speaks of sexual immorality, but is silent on LGBTQ. This topic has little mention in the Hebrew Bible. Absence isn’t evidence in itself, but it suggests this wasn’t an important enough issue to bring up.
  3. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 probably are a negative reaction to Canaanite temple fertility rites, specifically the cult of Molech which is mentioned, just as human sacrifice was common to them. Worshiping foreign gods and human sacrifice are prohibited. Leviticus 18:12 does not present the command in an apodictic form, indicating a narrow scope rather than a universal scope. This leaves open whether the command was cultural or ethical. It doesn’t seem to have an ethical component because it doesn’t reflect a moral principle.The existence of Canaanite temple prostitution is in doubt by some. Reports are scarce and came a century later. However, archaeological evidence definitively proves its existence. And this was a common practice in nations bordering the Mediterranean, in which fertility was a common theme. It would be unusual in that period for it not to have existed in Canaan.
  4. Current Judaism doesn’t consider same-sex romantic and sexual practices to be a problem except under certain conditions. It is primarily a matter of religious cleanliness during temple ceremonies, comparable to nocturnal emissions and menstruation.
  5. The Apostle Paul had no word to describe LGBTQ practices so invented a word for it, which was common for Paul. We have no historical context to understand what the word meant. Any translation of the word is a guess.Paul probably had limited exposure to the idea of people of the same sex being in love with each other, so misjudged the situation as being purely sexual. He very likely reacted strongly to pederasty, which was very common in Greek culture and had a very negative impact on young men. We can make a much stronger case for this interpretation.

    People held marriage and family in high regard, despite there being exceptions. Had remaining single not been acceptable, there would have been a prohibition regarding temple ceremony and leadership.

    The Apostles had a lot of difficulty adapting to non-Jewish cultures. Paul went on a similar outrage regarding women not covering their head during worship (1 Corinthians 11:6).

  6. Over time, society’s perspective on important matters like divorce, polygamy, and sex with slaves has changed. This may be the same for LGBTQ. It would be a major strain to explain how love between same-sex individuals that is expressed with sex is somehow more honorable than sex with slaves or multiple women.
  7. It is a mistranslation to adopt the word “Sodom” for translating verses in the New Testament, many centuries after Jesus. The word is an incorrect assumption. The Sodom episode in the Hebrew Bible doesn’t relate to LGBTQ practices. That episode plainly explains the horrible treatment of other people, and other Bible passages provide a clear explanation. It’s very clear in the Sodom passage.
  8. Paul made it plain that Jewish law and ideas weren’t applied to non-Jewish followers of Jesus. I elaborate on this in my articles, The Apostle’s Guidance and Sexual Morality.
  9. God created men and women. That’s a binary. How can sexual expression be addressed if not everyone should enter into marriage and being single is not condemned? Are desires not from God?
  10. God made us in His image. This is a spiritual image. God may have created us in pairs of man and woman. Men and women are equal in God’s eyes. The spirit is not sexual (Matthew 22: 29-30).
  11. If this translation is correct, Romans 1:26–27 denounces homosexual and homoerotic relations as unnatural, that is, contrary to nature. This is an assumption and not an all-encompassing one. The assumption by many is that sex is binary, so is intended to be only between a man and a woman. While this is the most common way of procreation in humans and most animals, nature is full of examples of pathogenesis (no fertilization) and asexual reproduction. Pathogenesis can even happen in humans. Ruben get thee across the Northern Sea.While we like to observe human sexuality as binary–that seems “natural” to us–a recent study showed that genes (nature) play a small and limited role in determining sexuality. “Sexuality cannot be pinned down by biology, psychology or life experiences, this study and others show, because human sexual attraction is decided by all these factors.” Another study showed that “genetic variants accounted for 8 to 25% of variation in male and female same-sex sexual behavior.”

Some people have a grand assumption that sex is meant only for procreation. It’s more often viewed by religion as bringing people closer together as an expression of love that lasts far beyond the fertile years. Procreation can be an outcome of that closeness. Without that closeness, sex would just be a wild west grab bag used for fun and maybe reproduction. Closeness is spiritual. Yet what we try to do is eliminate the spiritual and set rules, reaching for difficult scriptural interpretation and calls to nature that aren’t there.


The Bible and Same Sex Relations.

Old Testament principles relevant to consensual homoerotic activity.

Sacred Prostitution in the Story of Judah and Tamar.

Cultic Prostitution in the Ancient Near East.

How some animals have ‘virgin births’: Parthenogenesis explained.

A new hypothesis may explain human parthenogenesis and ovarian teratoma.

Asexual Reproduction.

There is no ‘gay gene.’ There is no ‘straight gene.’ Sexuality is just complex, study confirms.

Large-scale GWAS reveals insights into the genetic architecture of same-sex sexual behavior.

Excellent read: “An Argument Against the Use of the Word ‘Homosexual’ In English Translations of the Bible.


As followers of Jesus, we have to determine what applies to Judaism as opposed to what applies to all. We also have to understand what is bias in our own minds and how that affects our translation. And what is required by love.

Probability Space

What probability spaces can we open in our minds to focus on being as profoundly inclusive as Jesus and not look for ways to exclude or judge others?

Potential Space

If you think creatively and allow your mind to wander and explore, how can we make the world more just in the realm of human sexuality? How can we understand what is not natural to us but is natural to others?

–           Dorian

Our answer is God. God’s answer is us. Together we make the world better.

About Dorian Scott Cole
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