Reply to Frix

John W. Burgeson (
26 Aug 96 12:28:42 EDT

William writes, in part: "Whoa, John! The Hebrew word for "abomination" in
Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 does NOT mean taboo! From Strong's Dictionary of
Hebrew words: active participle of 8581; properly, something disgusting
(morally), i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an
idol: KJV-- abominable (custom, thing), abomination."

Appreciate this comment, WIlliam. Have you looked at Helmaniak's discussion of
this point?

William also writes: "Your other passage from Leviticus: "BTW -- many things
were taboo in the time Leviticus addresses. Try this one. Your wife has just
given birth to your first child. Do not rush into the room and embrace her &
the babe, she is taboo!" This passage (Leviticus 12:2) uses an entirely
different word for "taboo", 2930 tame' (taw-may'); a primitive root; to be
foul, especially in a ceremial or moral sense (contaminated): KJV-- defile
(self), pollute (self), be (make, makeself, pronounce) unclean, X utterly.

As you can tell, the word for taboo is much milder than the word for
abominable. They are different words, from different roots, hence the
prohibition against homosexuality is NOT the same as embracing your wife after
she gives birth."

I think you have a good point here. The argument is mine, not anyone elses, and
is clearly not very strong. Thank you for pointing out the defect in it.

And he writes: "If your church accepts homosexual partners by the reasons you
have cited, your church must openly accept all forms of sexual sin for
consistency and avoid the label of hypocrisy."

There are a number of reasons the fellowship I attend (First Pres of Austin)
accepts gay partners as members; I, however, do not speak for the church, only
for myself. We all wrestle with the issue, and have members clearly on all sides
(including the extremes) of the issue. Presumably, those who see it as
foundational have moved on; those who can accept diverse opinions on secondary
matters have not. The issue is, of course, NOT "is the Bible the Word of God,"
but "Does the Bible really teach that gay acts are always, and in every context,
a sin?" The fellowship does NOT accept nor teach that sexual sin (or any other
kind of sin) is "OK." That would be silly.

There are many Christians close to me family-wise and fellowship-wise who hold
that all gay acts are, without regard to context, sinful. We get along, because
none of them hold (as far as I know) that my refusal to accept that position
places me outside the fold. BTW, I have not accepted the converse, either. I'm
just studying the subject. Do I have a position? Shoot, yes! In the absence of
harmony, err on the side of love. Recognizing that I may be wrong wrong wrong. I
can live with that. I can face God with that.

What if, you may say, when I approach the gates of pearl, I am informed that (1)
this WAS a foundational issue and (2) I WAS wrong wrong wrong? I have to take
that chance. Fortunately, my salvation is in Christ, not in my works.

What if, I ask, when you approach the gates, you are informed that (1) this was
NOT a very important issue and (2) God never intended to enjoin long-term
committed adult relationships? You have to take that chance. Fortunately, I
assume, your salvation is also in Christ. But you will have to endure an
occasional "I told you so" from me! < G >

What is then for sure, my friend? It is this -- we will speak of these things
again. Eventually.