Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ouyang Wen Feng Justifies His Act

Bible used to justify discrimination
Rev O Young
Sep 7, 10

I refer to It's not a gay church, explains pastor and would like to clarify that I have inadvertently been misquoted and thus my idea distorted inevitably. However, perhaps as a writer, I should have been more articulate. Thus, I would like to apologize to my readers, my opponents as well, for not being clear enough.

Since homosexuality is a highly sensitive topic and homosexuals perhaps are the least understood minority in our country, I deem it is important for me to clarify this. In my original press statement 'It is not a gay church,' I wrote:

'Many contemporary Biblical scholars now realize that the word 'homosexual' in the Bible were mistranslated from the original Hebrew or Greek. In those instances, the original words actually meant 'male temple prostitutes', 'male pimps', 'molesters' or 'morally weak men' – the prohibition was against pagan rituals, sex without consent and weak moral will. The tale of Sodom and Gomorrah, traditionally taken to mean God's wrath against same-sex behavior, is also now regarded as suggesting instead God's wrath toward the sin of inhospitality, arrogance, xenophobia and selfishness. But early Biblical translators did not have such historical insights and thus easily mistranslated the words and stories, inadvertently resulting in centuries of persecution against homosexuals.'

However, the report paraphrased it to: 'He also argues that the traditionally accepted Biblical condemnation of same sex behavior was a result of mistranslation of the Sodom and Gomorrah episode from its original meaning, which he says referred to 'male temple prostitutes, male pimps, molesters or morally weak men' and was a condemnation of 'inhospitality, arrogance, xenophobia and selfishness.'

What I was trying to say in my original statement is that, if we examine and scrutinize the biblical texts (Romans 1:26-27, i Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10) in the literary and historical/cultural context of the texts, the word 'homosexual' in most English translations of the Bible actually meant 'male temple prostitutes' or 'male pimps' or people who engaged in exploitative same-sex behaviors.

And, regarding the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, it is not about the condemnation of homosexuality, but rather inhospitality, arrogance, xenophobia and selfishness. Thus, these are two arguments. I did not mean the Sodom and Gomorrah episode was about male temple prostitutes nor male pimps.

Regarding the interpretation of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, it is not only my personal interpretation or the interpretations of most biblical scholars but also the interpretations and understanding of the biblical writers such as prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel (Isaiah 1:9-10, Ezekiel 16:49-50); even when Jesus mentions the city Sodom, he has in mind not the sexual sins, let alone homosexuality, but the inhospitality of its people (Matthew 10:14-15; 11:20-24; Luke 10:10-12).

Harvard biblical scholar Mark Jordan has also brilliantly argued and demonstrated in his highly scholarly book The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology that the term sodomy was coined by eleventh-century theologian Peter Damian and has been used to condemn homosexuals in our modern context which initially has nothing to do with homosexuality. What happened in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is same -sex rape.

To condemn same-sex rape should not be understood as condemning homosexuality, just like no sensible heterosexual person would characterize opposite-sex rape as heterosexual. Thus, to equate the sin of Sodom to homosexuality by a lot of Christians is to read our prejudice and bias into the Bible.

For so long, the Bible has been used to justify discrimination and to perpetuate prejudice. Many people have mistaken my position as attacking the Bible. I am not attacking the Bible, I am merely challenging the interpretations of many people of the Bible. The Church in the past had used the Bible to persecute and burn scientists alive, to oppose the abolishing of slavery and to justify slavery by teaching the slaves to willingly accept punishment and not to challenge their masters (1 Peter 2:21).

Many have used the Bible (1 Peter 13-14) to criticize Rev Dr. Martin Luther King when he challenged the racist and evil laws in the US in the civil rights movement. We need to learn from the history. But unfortunately, many are repeating the same blunder when they use the Bible to go against our lesbian, gay and transgender brothers and sisters.

In addition to this, please allow me to remind my fellow Malaysians and politicians that Malaysia is a secular state, neither Christian laws nor Islamic laws should be imposed onto its citizens, especially onto non-Christians or non-Muslims.

Last but not least, as a Christian theologian by training and an ordained Christian pastor, I would like to emphasize that we must allow the research and new discoveries of the natural science and social sciences to inform our interpretations of our religious scared text. And it is not a blasphemy to do so as we have allowed Galileo to change our view of the universe and how certain passages of the Bible should be read and interpreted. If we were to believe our God is God of mercy, love and justice, then our interpretations of the Bible should reflect the natures of God by promoting love and justice.

To condemn or to criminalize homosexuals and our transgender brothers and sisters simply because of who they are, and without being able to articulate what harm they do to themselves and to the society at large with sound and valid arguments that are bolstered by unequivocal facts without compromising logical consistency, but simply appealing to the religious text, is appallingly wrong and it is a form of discrimination that does no justice to God's creations. And if anything is blasphemy, this is blasphemy.

Comments 1 to 8 of 8
Rentap That's the problem when we read the Bible like other books. We just quote by the context without established intimate relationship with Christ. The WORD of GOD is alive if we allows GOD to open our heart and eyes so that we can discerning what GOD gave us through HIS Holy Spirit. As we remind ourselves by the following verse. "And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, let us be guided by the Spirit "Galatians 5:24-25

Timothytong If you BELIEVED gay activity, murder, cursing, adultery..... is allowed, then you will read the Bible in a way to JUSTIFY what you believe. Similarly, Cult leaders, he too can and has justified through the Bible that his members surrenders all their properties to the church under his name and even to mass suicide! This the the power of conceiving a "thought seed" in our mind. Do we believers dare says, what does the Bible has to says about it without any preconceive ideas.

Jefferson76 Blasphemy is a pretty strong word! I think what we are talking about is heresy. Heresy has to do with what is in the scriptures and what they teach. Scientific data are not used to dictate what the scriptures teach. As a pastor you should know the difference.

SusahKes Steve Oh, like what you have written in your article, "Gays imposing their lifestyle on us". You must have given a lot of thought in articulating your points.

Steve Oh The Bible is the most positively discriminating book I discriminates against sin..sexual impurity, lusts, evil desires, greed, thieving, murder, slander etc and of course, homosexuality and protects society from moral destruction. It is authoritative that is why even the heretics appeal to it to justify their heresies. The suggestion that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of inhospitality etc and not homosexuality is the sort of misleading teaching typical of the heretics which Ouyang depends on for support of his ideas. Lot was so desperate that he even offered his daughters to the sodomizers who wanted to sodomise the angels...anyone twisting the truth to justify an unjustifiable act God condemns has a quarrel with God not those who merely state the truth. There is hope for gays and lesbians but not in Ouyang's rebuke is better than love concealed as the Bible says and he should not rely on heretical scholars who also deny many cardinal teachings.

GP123 Rev, I think you read most of us wrong. We condemn the act. Not the person. Don't jump to conclusions.

Croniq Its easy for homophobias to use the Bible as their instrument of oppression against homosexuality. They are no better than UMNO who brandish 'Ketuanan Melayu' to oppress non-Malays.

Joker LEV 18:22 "'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. 29 "'Everyone who does any of these detestable things--such persons must be cut off from their people. LEV 20:13 "'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. How much clearer does God need to state His anger against homosexuality? ROM 1:26-27 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


1 comment:

  1. First of all, you are the most stupid person i have ever seen or heard of. If Gay was ok, God would have created one gender only. If Gay is ok, God would not have created male and female animals, probably just have animals with the same sex. If gay was ok, God would not have to make 2 genders so that a baby could be conceived. If gay was ok, Jesus himself would have said so. You my friend, are a REAL DUMBASS, and i hope God will have mercy on you for the people you have caused to stumble because of the lack of knowledge.