Tuesday, July 21, 2009
One being the NIV (New Living Translation) printed in 1996 and the other is worn out and without any marking of which translation it is. However, when you open it, you will find it was a gift from my Grandmother to my Uncle Gene on "June 1956."
I came across this Bible in my parent's home. When I found it, I was immediately interested in how the "Clobber Passages" were worded in this 53-year-old Bible.
When I open my 13-year-old NIV Bible to 1 Corinthians 6:9 this is what it reads, "Don't you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers-none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God."
Gee whiz. After reading that, it seems pretty plain, huh? When Jesus returns, we homosexuals, are in deep s#@t! This modern translation is very specific and it's in the Bible so it must be true.
But let's go back in time to 1956. A time when the word "homosexual" was a scientific term that was put into translation of the Bible for the first time only 3 years prior (1953) and the word itself only existed in the English language for approximately 90 years.
Here is what the 53-year-old Bible I found had to say in 1 Corinthians 6:9, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
Phew! Wait a second homosexuals, I think we may be safe! Maybe God does think we're fine, and its man who has the problem with us. It seems to me the very same verse, from two different Bibles, from two different times, deliver a foggy message.
In 1956, we have a 1 Corinthians 6:9 which uses very broad terms such as, "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." Fast forward 53 years later, to a much more organized and politically motivated church, and all of the sudden these broad terms are now very specific. So we're supposed to jump on board and understand that what they meant to say all of these years was, "homosexual." Oh! Of course, now it all makes sense! "Effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind" meant "homosexual" all this time! Right? Or does it?
[Que the buzzard noise for "WRONG ANSWER!"]
So what does effeminate mean?
Effeminate - (of a man or boy) having traits, tastes, habits, etc., traditionally considered feminine, as softness or delicacy.
Soooooo... you're a homosexual if you like to do interior design and now you're going to hell for it? Who decides what is and isn't a "feminine trait?" Culture? You? Me? Who?!
Lastly, what does "abusers of themselves with mankind" mean?
This phrase (or whatever you call it) comes from the Greek word arsenokoites. This is a compound word composed of arsen meaning man in the sense of ‘male adult,’ and koites meaning ‘bed’ (with undertones that suggest having sex). Its meaning is impossible to be specific about (it is not found anywhere else in the Bible and almost nowhere in all Greek literature).
Different Bibles translate it differently such as... ‘pederast,’ ‘child molesters,’ ‘those who are immoral with … boys,’ ‘men who lie with men,’ ‘abusers of themselves with mankind,’ ‘them that defile themselves with mankind,’ ‘men who sin sexually … with other men,’ ‘(sexual) perverts,’ ‘sexually immoral,’ ‘sin against nature,’ ‘sodomites,’ ‘homosexual offenders,’ ‘homosexual perverts,’ ‘homosexuals,’ ‘people … who live as homosexuals,’ ‘people … who have sexual relations with people of the same sex,’ and ‘practicing homosexuals.'
So, what does it really mean? And how has it come to mean homosexual? How has it come to mean that who I am is condemned to hell without hope? What translation can we trust?
These are questions I would like hear your response on. Let me know your thoughts on this.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I often find myself in moments like this in my car. Today, I found myself in one of those moments. I believe it is our confession of unworthiness that tears us down and does more damage than the actual event we're reminded of. For me, when I'm through calling myself an idiot, I feel a little more at ease but also left feeling like a failure.
One thing God has been teaching me is, I am worthy enough. I am worthy of his love. No matter my past failures, no matter the severity of my shortcomings, despite my inability to comprehend the validity of my worthiness... I am. We all are. We are worthy of his love, grace, and acceptance. And when we confess, "I am worthy," rather than, "I'm an idiot," it begins to build us up and heal our hearts.
Lately, I have replaced, "I'm an idiot," with, "I am worthy." While I was alone today, I was reminded of a past failure, in that moment I began to say aloud, "I am worthy. I am not without shame. I am not without blame. I am not without Christ. I am worthy." After speaking this aloud, I felt encouraged and was able to move beyond that memory of a embarrassing moment with my confidence intact.
I wanted to share this with you, because we all beat ourselves up, and I do it to myself a lot. When you want to beat yourself up, I encourage you to remind yourself of the worth you have in Christ. Remind yourself out loud, "I am worthy."
Jesus demonstrated just how worthy we are by laying down his life. It is because of Christ's sacrifice we can acknowledge our worth and accept the love, grace, and healing he offers you and me every moment.
You are worthy.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
• 72% of heterosexual adults say faith is important in their lives, compared to 60% of homosexual adults.
• 85% of heterosexual adults identify themselves as Christians, compared to 70% of gay adults.
• 75% of heterosexuals said their "personal commitment to Jesus Christ" is still important today, compared to 58% of gays and lesbians.
The survey is based on telephone interviews conducted between January 2007 and November 2008 of a total of 9,232 adults. The margin of error for the 8,548 heterosexual adults surveyed ranges from plus or minus 0.2 to 1.0 percentage points. For the 280 homosexuals surveyed, the margin of error is between plus or minus 2.5 and 5.8 percentage points. An additional 404 adults did not identify their sexual orientation.
This is very exciting. I believe God is doing a great work in the LGBT community when it comes to faith. I pray that all peoples faith in Christ will continue to be restored, I hope that I get to be a part of it and see lives transformed including my own.