More Responses to the Question

First, my belief and my interpretation of God's word should be interpreted literally. If you read a verse in context, from the subject matter, it is very easy to determine if the verse is to be interpreted literally or figuratively.

How can one determine which Scripture is applicable to the subject matter we are trying to decipher and do we apply God's Scripture literally to the subject topic? I am a firm believer that all of the books in the Bible are the inspired word of God. Granted that in Paul's writings and Jude's writing, we have references from the Aprocraphal and Pseudograms, I believe these writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit to include their texts to clearly present God's message.

How are we to resolve this conflict? When someone in Scripture says "God told me", this is the last word on Gods views on practicing homosexuals? Where must we go to determine the Supreme God's ultimate authority on the practice of homosexuality within the church (I believe this was Paul's starting point on this subject!)? What is the final court of appeal on this issue?

Christian enthusiasts through the years hold the view that the final religious authority is found in the Holy Spirit's direct communication in the believer's heart. Most people reject external or objective authority; they make their personal experience their final court of appeal in matters of faith.

Admittedly, the principle of a self-authenticating inward, divine witness is a vital part of any adequate sate of religious authority. However, the danger lies in making religious experience the primary, or worse, the only source of authority. For us to trust the subjective feelings of imperfect humanity, even redeemed humanity, does not take the human sin of homosexuality in the church seriously if it is condoned from the pulpit. Christians have committed many tragic errors when they say, "God told me this was alright" or "This is God's will for this individual; God made him/her that way." When we do this, we become victims of a false, unauthenticated, subjective authority.

Ideally, when we make our decision about whether certain behavior is acceptable to God, we must exercise both objective and subjective authority. The Scriptures are objective authority and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit is subjective authority. The Holy Spirit's inward is always consistent with the objective word of revelation, and conversely, the authority of the Scriptures is affirmed through the Holy Spirit's witness in the heart of the believer.

When we utilize both what the Scriptures say on a subject matter and the Holy Spirit's witness, we have a mutual check and balance. What the Scriptures say serves as a corrective to our unbridled experiences. As well, our spiritual experience gives meaning and vitality to the Scriptures, so that they do not become a wooden, legalistic rule book.

We must verify the subjective claim of spiritual authenticity of the practice of homosexuality in the church by referring to the objective record of the Scriptures on this subject.

As I said in my post on May 25th, homosexuality is equally condemned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Let me once again run the gamut of the Scriptures I found with a view on homosexuality both within and without the church. If you've found additional references please share, I would be interested in reading these Scriptural references, also.

References of homosexuality in the Old Testament are:

1. Sodom's angelic visitors'-Genesis 19:5 (post of May 25th).

2. Forbidden male relationship-Leviticus 18:22-23; 20:13 (post of May 25th).

3. Male prostitutes-Dt 23:17 None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute (6948), nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a cult prostitute6945).

4. Example of homosexual conduct-Judges 19:22-24 While they were making merry behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, surrounded the house, pounding the door; and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him." (23) Then the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them "No, my fellows please do not act wickedly; since this man has come into my house, 'do not commit this act of folly. (24) "Here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. Please let me bring them out that you may ravish them and do to them whatever you wish. But do not commit such an act of folly against this man."

5. Eradication of deviates-1 Kings 15:12 He (King Asa) also put away the male cult prostitutes (6945) from the land, and removed all the idols which his father had made (cf. 14:24) and there was also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations (8441) of nations which Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel.

6. Male prostitutes enshrined-Job 36:14 They did in youth, and their life perishes among the cult prostitutes.

New Testament references to homosexuality:

1. Unnatural passions and desires-Rom 1:24-27 Therefore impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. (25) For they exchange (3337) the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped (573) and served (3000) the creature (2935) rather than the Creator (2936) who is blessed (2128) forever. Amen.

God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them (25). For they exchange (3337) the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped (4573) and served (3000) the creature (2935) rather than the Creator (2936), who is blessed (2128) forever. Amen.

Human sin is rooted in a rejection of the glory of God. Human beings failed to glorify God (21) and exchanged his glory (23) for idolatry. The disgrace that has invaded human sexual relations is a consequence of rejecting God. They have "exchanged" God's glory for the sexual relations which is unnatural. Sexual immorality is evidently a consequence of human idolatry. They have been handed over to an unfit mind (28). An unfit mind is the fruit of seeing God as unfit.

To think of "God's laws" operating impersonally apart from God's personal superintendence reveals people today think that God's involvement with the created world today is different than God's involvement with the Jews. God's wrath must be understood in personal terms. God's wrath is his holy and righteous response to those who do not worship and esteem him as God.

Sexual sin is the 1st consequence of being handed over. Paul focuses on homosexual relations because it functions as the best illustration of which is unnatural in the sexual sphere. Human beings were intended to have sexual relations with those of the opposite sex. Homosexual relations are contrary to what God planned when he created man and woman.

2. Lesbianism: Women lusting for each other-Romans 1:26 (these lesbian women acted contrary to nature). They violated what God intended: "they exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural." Paul selects the unique word "women" drawing on the creative account of Gen 1:27. The use of man and woman emphasizes there is a sexual distinctiveness of male and female. Sexual relations within the same sex violated the distinctions that God intended in the creation of man and woman. Stoic and Hellenistic Jewish tradition saw homosexual relations as violations of the created order.

3. Sexual deviation described-Rom 1:26-27 (27) "and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the women and burned in their desire (3715) toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their persons the due penalty (1163) of their error.

Verse 27 specifies in 3 ways what constitutes the unnatural activity for men.

· Forsaking sexual relations with women

· Burning in desire for other men

· In doing that which was shameful with other men

Verse 27 indicates that all homosexual relations in general are indicated: both heterosexual and homosexuals. Homosexuality is a violation of what God intended when he created men and women. In Paul's writings, the theology and ethics are closely wedded. Any attempt to separate them is a rejection of God's theology and the promulgation of evil. The Scriptures do not support homosexual activity by people labeled heterosexual nor people labeled homosexual. Homosexuality is a violation of what God intended. Homosexuality cannot be legitimized in a believer's lifestyle. The path to happiness and holiness is the avoidance of homosexual relations.

The last cause in verse 27: "men committing indecent acts and receiving their own persons the due penalty to their error." What is the "penalty" that people receive in themselves? People who participate in homosexuality have scorned God's glory. Their foundational sin is refusing to thank and glorify God which leads them to other sins.

These people who practiced this evil knew that such behavior was "worthy of death": it was the moral requirement contained in the Mosaic Law. God disapproves of this behavior and they deserve the punishment of death.

They continue to practice this evil and they know that the act deserves God's death sentence. Their encouragement of others to practice this evil was and is an additional evil.

The person who commits evil, even though his or her acts are inexcusable, can at least pled passions of the moment. But those who encourage others to practice homosexuality do so from a settled and impassioned conviction. If we in the established church condone and applaud the vicious actions of others in homosexuality, we are making a deliberate contribution to the vice and are ourselves enabling the corruption of other people. The full extent of the rejection of God's Scriptures becomes evident when we enable homosexuality in the church.

The hatred of God is entrenched in people today that they are willing to risk future judgment in order to carry out their evil desires. This fundamental sin is a refusal to delight in or to submit to God's lordship. God's wrath is rightly inflicted on those who practice this evil.

4. Homosexual activity condemned-1 Cor 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, (10) nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul gives a catalog of sinners who are typical of the unsaved. Their lives are total characterized by sin; they are not saved and therefore unrighteous and unjustified. They will not inherit the kingdom of God because they do not have a relationship with God. They are outside the sphere of salvation.

Homosexuality is condemned throughout Scripture. For believer's sodomy is synonymous with sin and has come to stand for moral corruption, and God's hatred and judgment of moral corruption.

Conversion must make a visible difference in the believer's lifestyle. If it does not, there is room to question whether there has ever been a conversion.

Conversion begins with justification, "You come to the place where you quit trying to earn your salvation. You acknowledge the fact that Christ has paid your debt for you, and on the basis of your trust in what he has done for you, God made you righteous. God gave you the gift of full acceptance before him and you were justified. Then that begins the process of becoming sanctified. The Holy Spirit began to lead you, to change your attitude, and your behavior.

Finally, there is actual change in you behavior; you start acting differently. When believers' are cleansed by the change in their hearts by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God you have an individual's conversion.

5. Sexual perversion-1 Tim 1:8-14 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, (9) realizing the fact that law is not made for righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers (10) And immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, (11) according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted (4100). (12) I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service; (13) even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor, and yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; (14) And the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.

The false teachers wished to be teachers of the law, but that was an impossibility: "they did not understand". The law is good because it reflects God's will.

The false teachers were misusing God's law. The Mosaic Law was not made for a righteous man. Those who think they are righteous will never be saved since they fail to understand the true use of the law. The purpose of the law is to show willing sinners their sin (cf. Rom 3:19) and their need of a savior (Gal 3:24). The law is morally right and good, but the law alone is not good news. The law forces man to recognize the bad news that all are guilty of violating God's standards. Therefore the law condemns everyone and sentences them to hell (Rom 3:19-20).

It is impossible to be a true child in faith without experiencing divine salvation in Jesus Christ. Timothy had true faith, but not all associated with the church at Ephesus had genuine faith. Some questioned Christ's deity. No one who rejects Christ's deity can be saved. Our Lord said in John 8:24 for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."

The unholy person is indifferent to what is right. He is indifferent to God and his duty to God. This indifference leads to individuals trampling what is sacred. Lawlessness produces rebellion; ungodliness produces sinners, unholiness, and profanity. The law was made for such disobedient, impure, and irreverent people. If they would obey God's laws, it would show them their sin and need of salvation.

Verse 10 addresses our topic: homosexuality." All believers have a responsibility to be on the alert for false teachers. What do we watch for?

· Look at your understanding of Scripture, and ask if their teaching is biblically sound. Does your teacher handle the Word of truth accurately?

· Examine their goals. As they teach do they seek to love, honor, and glorify the Godhead or is self or their family? Or do they pursue self-love, material wealth, or personal happiness? Does the message delivered in speech or written speak of purity of heart, good conscious and a true faith?

· Examine the effect of the teaching. Do their followers understand clearly the gospel of Jesus Christ? Do they define the gospel properly? Do they use the law as part of the gospel message or do they promote the works of righteousness?

Those who pass these 3 checks should be welcomes as brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who do not are to be rejected, no matter what experiences they may have had, or what else they may teach. A constant vigilance on our part is our defense against those who would enslave people with a false gospel.

6. Homosexuality in the church-Jude 4-16 see post on 25th.

7. The mother of perversion-Rev 17:5 And upon her (the woman clothed in purple and scarlet) forehead a name was written, a mystery BABLYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Babylon is the great mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth who had her mark of identification written on her forehead. The woman sits upon 7 kingdoms. The true character and identification of the woman is clearly revealed. It had been hidden and now this evil about Babylon is exposed.

The idolatry in Babylon began on the plains of Shinar through the work of Nimrod and will reach its pinnacle just before the 2nd advent. The woman's name is "Babylon the Great". The name is a mystery.

Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earthè Babylon is a theme in the Scriptures beginning at Gen 10:9-10 and closing in Revelation. It was a city where false religion began (Gen 11:1-9) that has continually plagued Israel, the church and the world. Babylon will once again become the world's city religiously as well as commercially and politically as the end draws near. Babylon's role as "the mother of harlots" and of the abominations of the earth" makes her the precursor of everything anti-Christian. This includes false religions: everything that is pagan and idolatrous under Satan's control. It all began with the building of tower that became the forerunner of the world's idolatrous practices throughout history. The headquarters of the beast's empire has a long reputation for its anti-god stance. This city stands for everything that God does not tolerate.

Abomination (946)è idolatry, licentiousness, abominable impurity. In the Old Testament, homosexuality is referred to as an abomination. The word acquires a moral meaning and together with homosexuality, it stigmatizes all the immoralities of heathendom (Rev 7:5)

Mary I am not picking a bone with you, but we are having the most active dialog in this group, so let me understand you better. We are looking for the proper Christian position we should take concerning this, right? Tell me if I am wrong, but are we saying the same thing concerning what should be taught in the Church from the pulpit? And you also mentioned the Mind of Christ and His righteousness. Do you suppose that even today, that He would take a whip and drive out of the place of worship those who would teach sin. In ministry, finding it on the streets is one thing, and in the Church quite another. 'Whosoever believeth' in Him should not perish. But do those who practice this in reality believe. Do they trust and obey? I guess you could say, I question their salvation.