A lot has been said about what Jesus did or did not have to say about homosexuality. Jesus Christ is the core of Christianity. Yet today many people seem to consider homosexuality to be the single most important issue before Christians. Catholics claim that being homosexual is not a sin, but homosexual acts ARE sinful. Others use the words of the Bible to deny gays basic human rights, such as the right to marry. Or they use the Bible to justify abusing and even murdering gays. It is hard to believe that Jesus would have been completely silent about something so important. Yet the claim is that, somehow, he was.
That claim is wrong. Jesus DID speak of homosexual acts. Specifically he said:
"There is NOTHING from without a man, that entering into him can defile him"
Those are the words of Jesus Christ, from Mark 7.
The simplest thing to do is just to compare homosexual acts to that statement. Do homosexual acts involve something entering onto a man from without? Why yes, they do. So we know they do not defile a man -- they are not sinful. That is simple, direct, and accurate. All that is required is to believe that Jesus Christ knew what he was talking about, meant what he said, and did not lie. If anyone thinks they have something else in the Bible that contradicts that, then they are wrong. Jesus Christ himself says they are wrong, and he should know.
Homophobes consistently tear pieces of verses out of context to try and promote their anti-gay message. While they don't particularly care if their interpretations hold up, pro-gay passages are held to a very different standard. They not only must show that there is nothing is wrong with homosexual acts, but they also must show that it is IMPOSSIBLE to come up with a valid interpretation that excludes the pro-gay message. Therefore it is necessary to review the entire chapter, in the full context of the Old Testament and the traditions of the times.
There are three major parts to Mark 7. The first (Mark 7:1-13) is the accusation of the Pharisees that the Apostles do not follow the traditions of the elders, which set the stage for the words of Jesus. In that segment, Jesus pointed out that the Pharisees were wrong, gave examples, and expanded the context to far beyond the original incident.
The second (Mark 7:14-16) are the words of Jesus to EVERYONE, where Jesus provides a test which can be used for ALL of the traditions which match -- and the anti-gay traditions are a perfect match.
In the 3rd part, Jesus speaks to the Apostles, who apparently do not want to believe that the words of Jesus were as all-inclusive as they actually were. Jesus makes it quite clear that he did not misspeak in his original comment
The links at the top will take you to the various segments of this analysis that shows that it is impossible to come up with a valid interpretation of the words of Jesus that exclude the fact that the anti-gay message is wrong.
Perhaps it would help to look at exactly what Jesus Christ said was NOT of God but of Man in Mark 7.
Mark 7:1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
Mark 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
Mark 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
Jesus is speaking of these:
Leviticus 22 :: King James Version (KJV)
5 Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath;
6 The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water.
7 And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food.
Then there is this one:
Mark 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
This sets aside these:
27 Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place.
28 But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water.
29 All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy.
31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.
32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.
33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it.
10 And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even: and he that beareth any of those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
11 And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
12 And the vessel of earth, that he toucheth which hath the issue, shall be broken: and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.
Then we have this one:
Mark 7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
Mark 7:11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
Mark 7:12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
That relates to this:
9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
Leviticus 16 :: King James Version (KJV)
29 And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:
30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments:
33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.
34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Jesus is particularly upset at the idea that the PRIESTS provide atonement for cursing your parents by receiving a "gift". Jesus felt that atonement should be made to the PARENTS -- the ones who were wronged.
Then there is this:
"Mark 7:14 ...Hearken unto me EVERY ONE OF YOU, and UNDERSTAND:"
Jesus is clearly speaking to EVERYONE. He himself has identified these words as IMPORTANT. He insists that people should make the attempt to understand them. They should not let their preconceptions get in the way of understanding the words just as they are phrased. Jesus is not throwing these words around with no thought. He expects people to MISunderstand unless they really make the effort to think about the words.
That is important, because he is saying words that contradict the traditions that people have come to incorrectly accept as the word of God. Most people would prefer to turn a blind eye to the facts rather than admit that their traditions are wrong -- especially if those traditions are harmful to others. They would have to admit that they themselves have been spreading evil AGAINST the word of God, and it is so much easier to just ignore the words of Jesus.
"Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him:"
There it is. That is the test. The entire chapter is about THESE words, which Jesus Christ himself has identified as important for ALL to understand.
Christians DO recognize these words as very important and significant. In fact, they have led to a major difference between how Christians and Jews act even today. These words are widely interpreted as overturning the kosher laws. And they have. After all, eating involves something entering into a man from without. Therefore, the kosher laws, which said that a man was defiled by eating certain things, are set aside for Christians. Jesus says they are wrong, because they involve something entering a man from without.
Likewise, blood transfusions, medication, organ transplants, and artificial insemination are not sins and do not defile, because all of those involve something entering a man from without.
Likewise HOMOSEXUAL ACTS are not sins and do not defile, because all of those ALSO involve something entering a man from without.
© 2003, by JRichards. All rights reserved, except that free distribution via any medium is permitted as long as author's credit is given and no profit is involved.