Homosexuality and the Bible: The Clobber Passages—Part 1

First and foremost, this blog is a safe place for all people to discuss the topic of Christianity and homosexuality. That being said, I get a lot of questions about what I think the Bible does or doesn’t say about the topic. Since the “What We Believe” section of the website is one of the most visited pages, I thought it might be constructive to do a 4-part series on the clobber passages—the six passages of the Bible most often used to condemn homosexuals. The majority of the material I will use comes from Dr. Rembert Truluck, simply because I think he does a fantastic job at hashing out these passages. As always, discussion is encouraged!

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Genesis 19:5: “Bring them out to us that we may know them”.

Sodom and Gomorrah… for decades this story has been used in some congregations to condemn homosexuality. The citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah were known for inhospitality. Instead of feeding, clothing, and providing shelter for the angelic wanderers who were hiding in Lot’s house, they wanted to gang rape them. Why in the world would they want to do that? I surmise it’s one of two reasons. The first is the more obvious… perhaps they wanted to engage in these acts for sexual pleasure. They may have also been demonstrating an exertion of power over their victims and humiliating them. (A common practice of that time and culture was for men to undermine and conquer other men by raping them.)

Further into the passage, Lot tells the men that they can have sex with his daughters instead! What?! How is that any better? Interestingly, the people who use this passage to condemn homosexuals never make it to this verse. Until I began researching this topic myself, I didn’t even know this part of the story existed! And let’s not forget the incestuous relationship between Lot and his two daughters in verses 30-39!

The Bible, in its entirety, mentions the sins of Sodom in 22 different verses. Nowhere does it mention homosexuality. Here is a list of those passages:

Genesis 13:13

Genesis 18:20

Genesis 19:13

Deuteronomy 29:17-26

Deuteronomy 32:32-38

Isaiah 1:9-23

Isaiah 3:8-15

Isaiah 13: 11-19

Jeremiah 23:10-14

Jeremiah 49:16-18

Jeremiah 50:2-40

Lamentations 4:3-6

Ezekiel 16:49-50

Amos 4:1-11

Zephaniah 2:8

Matthew 20:11

Matthew 11:19-24

Mark 6:10-11

Luke 10:10-12

Luke 17:26-29

2 Peter 2:6

Jude 1:7-8 ****(This verse is most commonly used to support homosexuality as a sin of Sodom, due to the “strange flesh” reference. While some assume “strange flesh” refers to homosexual acts, it actually refers to the “sons of God” that came to earth and had sexual intercourse with women, as recorded in traditional Jewish history and literature.)

As Truluck stated, “The story of Sodom clearly teaches that evil and violent people who attack aliens and strangers whom they do not know or understand receive God’s quick and terrible punishment. The purpose of the story is to show that misunderstood, strange, or feared minorities in any community are in danger from violence by the majority when that majority is ignorant, ungodly, selfish and afraid.”

Isn’t it interesting that a passage commonly used to promote homophobia actually denounces it?

9 responses to “Homosexuality and the Bible: The Clobber Passages—Part 1

  1. But also, when was a loving relationship between two people anything like the gang rape of strangers by a mob?

    “You knitted me together in my mother’s womb; thy works are wonderful, and I know it well”. We are OK. The bigots merely seek to justify their own bigotry. God is bigger than that.

    • “God” is not the god of sexual pleasure. “God” is the god of life, and homosexual sex does not produce life.

      Satan likes sex, though. If you homosexuals would simply worship Satan then you would make much more sense.

      • Hi, Matthew. Thanks for engaging in the conversation. I’m having a difficult time understanding exactly where you’re coming from, I guess. From perusing your blog, it seems you have certain philosophies that are rather progressive, even if they are controversial. I understand that you don’t like Christians. Trust me… I understand the reasons why. But why exactly is it that you believe LGBT folks would make more sense as Satan worshippers? You kinda lost me there.

  2. Great read Mandy!!! You never cease to amaze me, and I am SO proud of you. I don’t even know if this is relevant but I think this applies to Scripture as a whole. It has really helped me through tough times. 2 Peter 3:16-17:

    “Speaking of this as he does in all of his letters. There are some things in those [epistles of Paul] that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrue to their own utter destruction, just as [they distort and misinterpret] the rest of the Scriptures. Let me warn you therefore, beloved, that knowing these things beforehand, you should be on your guard, lest you be carried away by the error of lawless and wicked [persons and] fall from your own [present] firm condition [your own steadfastness of mind].”

  3. I think it is safe to say that clarity does not come with the flip of a switch. I read this posting and to me it seems so clear, but then I have my life experiences and much time in studying this very passage. For some people this may be their first real look at this passage and it may or may not be the beginning of a process of clarity for them.

    Honestly, at this point in my journey, I am getting frustrated with having to try and explain the “clobber passages” (more than willing to discuss, but the truth is that it can be exhausting). Part of me wishes people could just look at me and see my heart and know that I am not lost in sin, my mind is not twisted, and that I truly am walking with the Lord in a very positive way. I wish that could be enough to convince someone that my heart is not corrupted. I DO NOT have a heart like those who were living in Sodom.

    While my faith in God is strong, I do find that there are times that I have trouble trusting in God….this usually happens when I get so down because people I highly respect either don’t try to understand or they are not letting go of their view that they call “truth”… While one view is clear to me a different view is clear to someone else…and it remains grey.

    The peace of mind that I have when I am so down due to the grey, is my love for God and God’s love for me. That is the one thing that is always, 100% crystal clear and it is that relationship that gets me through all the grey. That struck me hard today and it felt good. And while I struggle with what I should or shouldn’t be labeled in regards to my sexuality, I find peace in just being labeled “Lover of the Lord.”

  4. Great job taking on the clobber passages. These are so greatly misunderstood and misused by the Christian community – I almost think we have made our own new clobber phrases – but I have a feeling you will be dealing with those in upcoming posts. It is our interpretation/reaction to these passages that is causing people to turn from religion and place Christianity in a bad light. The form of sex that this first clobber passage describes has nothing to do with homosexual sex as we know it today – instead it aligns more with the power domination found in prison rape. That type of sex usually has nothing to do with being gay – it is a show of dominance. That is so shameful to a man – especially in OT times.
    We get so caught up in pointing the finger at all of these clobber passages…here is a great passage to keep in mind:
    Ezekiel 16:49 Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

  5. The Bible is as irrational and superstitious as the homosexual lifestyle, so trying to use the Bible to deal with homosexuality is like trying to put out a fire with a fire.

    • Hello again, Matthew. It’s me again… I guess I’m just trying to understand your perspective in all of this. Why is it that you see LGBT individuals as “irrational” if they choose to spend their life in love with someone of the same gender?

      At any rate, I tend to agree with you on using the Bible to deal with homosexuality… at least as we know it today. I’m actually planning on writing a new post about this very soon, so I’m sure you’ll be enthralled to read it.

      I’ve been checking out your blog, and I noticed your “no comment” policy. I’m sorry to see that, because I’d really enjoy discussing some of those topics with you.

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