|The Idol worship in Clobber verses|
The six clobber passages used to condemn gays are often translated literally without understanding the cultural and religious context, or where the terms used were not common in the original Greek, the translators added their own biased understanding. Thus when they say "The Word of God says ....", it is often relating to what the translators had said, or addressing the same sex action as sin rather than the motivation behind it. When one studies the motivation behind these verses, the six clobber verses are interlinked to each other on the thread of religious idol worship. It was religious idol worship which was an abomination (rather than homosexuality which was rare), with the entire nation of Israel descending into mass sexual orgies worshiping other gods, and male priests castrating themselves to be women so that the men can have sex with them. It had nothing to do with same sex orientation even on the face of it if we had known the historical and religious context.
In Gen 19:4-5, the interpretation of Sodom being filled with gays intending to have orgies with the angels was not supported by Ezekiel 16:49, which did not mention homosexuality as the sin rather pride and the prosperity gain through the injustice against the poor and needy. Sodom was in a region famous for its worship fertility gods, such as Baal/Ashtoreth. They appear to be demonically possessed to attack the angels and to rape them, able to supernaturally recognize the Angels even though they came quietly into Sodom. Perhaps the Sodomites were so proud of their prosperity that they tried to challenge heaven itself on behalf of the gods they worshipped. The clobber verses (Jude 1:6,7) is related where the angels from the rebellion had sex with mankind to produce "stange flesh" of supernatural beings - half human and half angelic. It was not about same sex orientation. In the context of the religious idol worship, we begin to realise that these were all straight men almost in a state of religious frenzy as they seek to rape the angels, in the same manner as they had worshipped and had anal sex with the priests of Ashtoreth.
In Lev 18:22, 20:13, the term “abominations” or “Towebah” when referring to same sex acts refers to idol worship, in particular, the fertility god Molech (Lev 18:3). The role of the priests and the priestess in this fertility idol worship were sexual in nature. In Deut 23:17-19, both the men and women of Israel were prohibited from becoming ritual harlots or qadesh. In the “The Sacred Fire: The Story of Sex in Religion by B. Z. Goldberg”, it was said that the priests were Eunuchs who had castrated themselves, and the worshippers were having anal sex with the priests. There were also young men who sold themselves to play the role of the harlot, and even dogs specially trained for the worshippers to have sex with. Thus, we have the term “price of a dog” in Deut 23:18 in NKJV mis-translated as “male prostitutes” in NIV. Hence, Lev 18 and 20 should be understood in the context of purity laws created in respond to idol worship and not about homosexuality.
In Rom 1:26,27, Paul was preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews in Rome (1:15), and was facing the Judaist who insisted that their righteousness is from the law, and so Paul leveraging on the prevailing idol worship in Rome, highlighted that under the law, the ancient Jews were not very much different. He explained how their ancestors under the Law had worshiped idols even to the extent of engaging in the sex with the priests as we have seen in Leviticus. They were exchanging to truth of God and worshiping a lie (Rom 1:25). The Jews were judging (Rom 2:1) those who practised the same kind of sexual orgies prevailing then in Rome where the Syrian goddess Cybele was both male and female with a bearded face and a big breast. The male priests were castrated to mark the mourning of Cybele’s androgynous lover Attis. His death would be re-enacted by cutting themselves with stones, castrating themselves and putting on women's clothing.
Catherine Kroeger in “The Apostle Paul and the Greco-Roman cults Of Women” found in the Journal of the Evangelical Society details how these cults were often marked by gruesome sex exchanges. Hence, it was a choice for the male priests to exchange their natural sexual orientation, to become a "women". The term "natural" also speaks of being natural for us to worship God who created us and this world (Rom 1:20), and conversely unnatural for us to worship idols made by our own hands as if they were gods (Rom 1:23). Hence, the same sex acts in Rom 1:26,27 was motivated by the unrighteousness of idol worship even under the law rather than homosexuality.
In 1 Cor 6:9, and 1 Tim 1:10, Paul was preaching about being unrighteous and not inheriting the kingdom of heaven. The setting in the city of Corinth known for its mass orgies in the worship of Aphrodite with a thousand female slaves would have given us a strong hint. However, the unrighteousness was again blamed on the gay men with the word "Malakos" being mis- translated as "Homosexuals" (NKJV), and “Effiminate” (KJV) even though Aristotle denotes it as unrestrained indulgence in bodily pleasures. The Greek Word “Arsenokoites” was also mis-translated as “Sodomites” (NKJV), and “Homosexual Offenders” (NIV) even though there was no such usage in Greek literature. The term appears to have been created by Paul from the Septuagint’s Greek translation of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.
Leviticus 18:22 - “kai meta arsenos ou koimethese koiten gynaikos”
Leviticus 20:13 - “kai hos an koimethe meta arsenos koiten gynaikos”
With this reference to Leviticus relating to idol worship, it becomes clear that 1 Cor 6:9 was emphasizing the unrighteousness of those who worship other gods having no part in the kingdom of God rather than about homosexuality. "Arsenokoites" was referring to the temple priests rather than gays. We also begin to understand 1 Tim 1:9 and 10, talking about the laws being implemented for the unrighteous, were actually refering to the laws in Leviticus which again were motivated by idol worship rather than homosexuality.
Without the six clobber passages condemning gays now effectively referring to abominations and unrighteous acts in worshipping idols, we begin to see a clearer picture that the heart of God is for the gay community, the natural Eunuchs in Mat 19:12. and that Isaiah had prophesised in 56:4-5 where the gay Eunuchs which were hitherto rejected by the community will now have a special place in the kingdom of God, in the body of Christ. The prophecy of Isaiah is now coming to pass in our life time, the declaration of good tidings to the meek, to the gay community which has been the most despised in the community. When we see that all the condemnation about homosexuality was based on our fear and mis-interpretation, we begin to see that the good news message has a special place for the GLBT community and God is calling out for us to come back in the last days to be His special people of Faith.