April 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm EDT | by Bishop Charlie Braun
The truth about what’s in the Bible

In recent months we have seen a series of high-profile suicides. How heartbreaking to see grade school, high school and college students being bullied to take their own lives because they are gay.

We would not be truly Old Catholic should we ever exclude those who are gay.

Homosexuality is very much a part of the human experience, and we know how difficult it is to share this with parents and friends for fear we will lose their love. But to be bullied to take one’s life is nothing short of immoral and sinful. So I offer the following that those who seek the truth will benefit, and our gay brothers and sisters will find comfort.

Long before John Paul II, there was Albino Luciani, the happy, smiling, people-loving John Paul I. He had great plans for the church, including correcting Rome’s erroneous concepts on sexuality. Unfortunately the power behind the throne prevented this from happening. They made sure we would have this good pastor among us for only 33 days.

John Paul would often ask: “What is the greatest of sins?” Frequently the answer was: “I suppose sex.” So let us be clear. Sex and love are synonymous. Sex is God’s creation given us as a wonderful gift. This loving pastor-pope would usually proceed to explain in detail, sex in itself is nothing more than human nature and not a sin at all. The greatest sin of all is hatred – hatred of other kinds of people and hatred of those who live lives differently.

One day, John Paul I addressed the cardinals that “the day is not far off when we will have to answer to these people who through the years have been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose human dignity has been offended, their identity denied and their liberty oppressed. What is more, we will have to answer to the God who created them.”

Psychiatric and medical communities concluded long ago that sexual orientation cannot be changed, that the ability to fall in love is a basic instinct. Falling in love is not an accident, but an act of nature, an act of God. It was obvious to John Paul I. The person one has the natural instinct to fall in love with determines sexual orientation — not whom one has sex with.

Many have been poorly instructed concerning the Scriptures with long outdated information. In this, the 21st century, we know more about the Scriptures than ever before. No Scripture scholar worth his or her salt would ever subscribe to the notion that the Bible is the inerrant inspired word of God. For the sake of the good people clergy serve, it is their duty to teach Scripture based on 21st century evidence.

For instance, we know now that the words “homosexual” and homosexuality” do not appear in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. The concept of sexual orientation was only developed in the late 19th century.

We know that the Bible has a lot to say about temple prostitution, including homosexual ritual prostitution. Just as in Shakespeare’s time the roles of women were performed by men, so during this time, men took women’s roles in fertility rites. Paul had nothing nice to say about that. The book of Leviticus, with its many purity laws, was written by priests and leaders to keep the Israelites from assimilating into Babylonian culture. The destruction of Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality.

Of the many hundreds of Jesus’ instructions and prohibitions, few have a sexual component and none condemn homosexuality. Bible translators must be aware of the errors that have been made in previous versions of the Bible. It is such Scripture scholars that we need and want who freely and diligently seek truth and teach accordingly.

We are followers of Jesus Christ, not Moses or Paul. Scripture scholars lead us to the truth as taught by Jesus, our elder brother.

  • While the words “homosexual” and “homosexuality” do not appear in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts, it is also true that the Bible condemns men having penetrative sex with men. This is not a translation error but an accurate interpretation.

    Bishop Braun tries to overcome this condemnation by referring to temple prostitution, etc. I agree with his objective but believe that a more effective argument is to say that the condemnation of men having sex with men does not apply today because it is based on the ancient idea that it was shameful and sinful for a man to be receptive like a woman in sex.

    So the condemnation only applied to the ancient biblical cultures who held this view and does not apply today because of our different view of gender roles. Sex between men is therefore okay if the men care for each other and no one is harmed. More information on this view can be seen on the “Gay and Christian” website (www.gaysandslaves.com).

  • Great closing point, “We are followers of Jesus Christ, NOT Moses or Paul.” I often ask myself these very same questions, who died for our sins? Whose commandments did Jesus instruct us to teach to others? So why is it churches who claim to be ‘Christian’ spend more time teaching what Paul wrote in his letters as he [Paul] tried to understand his own Christianity? If we were only given the Gospels of Jesus, we would not be in the conundrum we’re in today. I pray the day more discoveries are made to support the TRUTH that homosexuals are God’s children, just as much as heterosexuals.

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