I see that you have addressed the topic of homosexuality and the Bible in your Q&A. But I wanted to draw your attention to a short study a man has written and posted on the internet (http://www.douglasjacoby.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/study.pdf). He refers to the Greek and Hebrew, alleging that the Bible actually does allow for "loving, monogamous homosexual relationships." If a lot of people start reading this (which they will, because the L.A. Times recently wrote a positive editorial about it), he could lead a lot of people astray. I have tried to use the very scriptures he used to convince him of his error, but to this point he has not been convinced. Please read the letter he wrote to the L.A. Times about David and Jonathan's relationship. -- Jason Wermers (Miami)

I have read the article, and it is amazing how two millennia of interpretation have missed what our biblical expert has found! But let me not rely on sarcasm to make my point.

We begin with the text itself: nothing in it suggests a homosexual relationship. If David lusted after a person (2 Samuel 11), let me assure you it was a woman, not a man. Not that both forms of lust aren't sinful. Perhaps it is because close male-male relationship is in such short order these days that the writer can only see homoeroticism in the funeral dirge from 2 Samuel. In my opinion, those who advance such twisted interpretations have some terribly wrong understandings of what human relationships are all about.

Then we have to take into account that the Bible condemns homosexuality, from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible is specific and unmistakable: "God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion" (Romans 1:26-27). The analysis of the writer covers many passages and many ancient words, but fails to make the case.

1 Corinthians, which may well contain the most beautiful poem about love in the ancient world (13:4-8), also contains one of the most explicit condemnations of homosexuality: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (6:9-11). Let's look closely at this passage, since several important points emerge:

* Sexual sin is wrong in the sight of God, whether heterosexual or homosexual. God designed marriage as the proper locus of sexual union (Hebrews 13:4), and God defines marriage in the Bible as early as Genesis 2:24.
* The Corinthians, members of a society proverbial for its sexual dissipation, repented and became followers of Christ. "That is what some of you were."
* People can change. If the gospel did not extend hope through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, then change would not be possible. But it is "praise God"! Again, such dramatic change is possible through the Holy Spirit. I have known a number of homosexuals who have renounced their "alternative lifestyles" and embraced the truly alternative lifestyle of embracing the cross of Christ.
* With these things in mind, calling on men and women to renounce homosexuality is no more unloving (or "homophobic") than calling on alcoholics or gluttons or swindlers to repent of their evil behavior. We can and should confront sin. This is not merely a matter of "personal preference." No one who follows the Lord can remain in darkness (1 John 1:5-2:6).

Having read what the church taught over the past two millennia, one cannot seriously hold to the belief that it sanctioned homosexual unions, although it is beyond question that deviant groups throughout church history have sanctioned and committed many wrong things. Our writer claims, "The modern church needs to set aside this prejudice, and open her eyes to what the Bible really says about homosexuality." I would reword his plea: "What the scriptures say about homosexuality is clear, and the church should set aside the prejudice of the modern world, opening its eyes only to the Bible."

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