Re: An interesting essay for evangelicals

From: Robert Schneider (
Date: Thu Jan 23 2003 - 15:25:23 EST

  • Next message: Robert Schneider: "Re: An interesting essay for evangelicals"

    Regarding Moorad's citation of 1 Cor. 6:9-10, below:

    In my previous note I commented on 1 Cor. 6:9-10, and realize now that I
    should have elaborated on the meaning of the Greek word "arsenokotais." In
    the translation Moorad quotes below, "arsenokotais" is translated
    "homosexuals." Yet, there is good evidence from the original texts that the
    Greek word does not convey the generic notion of a homosexual, but refers to
    a person who engages in male prostitution. The problem with the translation
    "homosexual" is that it imposes our modern understanding upon an ancient
    word and turns it into a generic rather than the specific term this rare
    Greek word appears to convey. The translation of "makaroi" as "effeminate"
    may also be misleading since the term in our culture is popularly used to
    refer to gay persons, despite the fact that there is plenty of evidence that
    men who display body language interpreted as efffeminate (and women who
    display such evidence as "masculate") may well be and often are heterosexual
    (while many tough-looking, handsome, heterosexually-looking men are gay).
    The Greek word probably meant something else to Paul, though it is not
    entirely clear to me what. It must have a negative connotation given the
    other terms it is lumped with. I agree with Moorad that Paul has cast his
    net widely to give examples of those who are unrighteous, which may put all
    of us under judgment, though perhaps Paul is speaking of persons who
    behavior is habitually unrighteous, since another translation (NRSV) of this
    Greek word "adikoi" is "wrongdoers." At any rate Paul continues (v. 11,
    NRSV), "And this is what some of you [NB: not all] used to be. But you were
    washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord
    Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." So, we believers have
    justification and the power of the Spirit to aid us in falling into, or
    reverting to, habitual wrongdoing of whatever specific kind.

    Grace and peace,

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Alexanian, Moorad" <>
    To: "John Burgeson" <>; <>
    Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2003 1:12 PM
    Subject: RE: An interesting essay for evangelicals

    > First, I was not shouting. I just copied the verses from the Internet and
    did not bother to rewrite what I had copied. I have given much thought to
    the issue Christianity/homosexuality. You have a gut feeling that it is not
    a choice to become a homosexual; I have the opposite gut feeling. I read a
    book sometime ago that said that homosexuality is a choice but it is rooted
    in the nurturing of a boy before his third birthday. “Or do you not know
    that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be
    deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
    effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards,
    nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor.
    6:9-10. This speaks to all of us! Moorad
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: John Burgeson []
    > Sent: Thu 1/23/2003 12:35 PM
    > To: Alexanian, Moorad;
    > Cc:
    > Subject: RE: An interesting essay for evangelicals
    > Moorad, instead of accepting my challenge to you to do some tough studying
    > (yes -- it is tough -- I came to my present position from yours only after
    > burning a lot of midnight oil, reading both sides of the issue, etc.) you
    > instead tossed off the following:
    > "I believe Jesus does address the issue of homosexuality in Mark 10:6-8
    > “But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. FOR
    > BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.” Jesus
    > certainly defines what Christian marriage is. So much for homosexual
    > marriages!"
    > No need to shout. Jesus likely did not when he said that.
    > To say "Jesus defined what Christian marriage is" from those verses is
    > a stretch. The fundementalist "proof text" approach almost never works,
    > except perhaps to a biblical literalist.
    > I accept that heterosexual marriages are both a norm and a desired goal.
    > What I do not accept (because scripture does not ask me to accept) is that
    > homosexual unions are necessarily a sin.
    > John W. Burgeson (Burgy)

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