Question:

I am an agnostic atheist, and I am interested in your response to my question: If you believe homosexuality is unnatural, why does your God allow it?

This verse supports my opinion: Romans 14:1-4, "As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

To me, this quote makes it sound as if the Bible is teaching Christians that God chooses to have homosexuals in the world, because who are we to pass judgment on one another? Correct me if I am wrong, but that is what it sounds like to me.


Answer:

One cannot be agnostic (a person who is neutral about whether God exists or not) and atheistic (a person who rejects all concepts of God) at the same time. You can be one or the other, but not both.

It is interesting that you take a verse that discusses whether avoiding all meat should be necessary because of the possible taint of idolatry and then apply it to homosexuality. In order to extend a principle to other topics, you first must show that the topics have the same characteristics.

Let's take the example of the people of Ammon. They worshiped a god called Molech or Chemosh, depending on your translation. In that religion, they believed the greater your sacrifice the more likely the god would answer your prayers. Thus, they were known to sacrifice children to get their prayers heard. "And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger" (II Kings 17:17). Using your argument, if a Christian chooses to sacrifice his children, then no one should pass judgment on him because that is the way he chooses to worship God. Hopefully, you see that is absurd. Therefore, there is something being overlooked in Paul's discussion that limits what the principles can be applied to.

Romans 14:3 is the critical point: "Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him" (Romans 14:3). In the discussion of whether or not to eat meat, a key point is that God has declared that both the meat eater and the vegetarian are acceptable to Him. This is easily proven because at the creation of the world, mankind was vegetarian. It was after the flood that God told men that they could now also eat meat. Therefore, God approves of both diets.

Paul further emphasizes the point by noting that men cannot make up their own rules. We live to serve God. "For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's" (Romans 14:7-8). Because of this, it is Christ who determines who is acceptable or not, not man. "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (Romans 14:10).

Therefore, Romans 14 doesn't determine if something is acceptable to God or not. What it establishes is that if two or more things are acceptable to God, men cannot put additional restrictions on what God allows.

Having said all of this, homosexuality and all other sins do not fall under these rules because they are not acceptable to God. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). This should have been obvious from the start. God does not contradict Himself (I Corinthians 14:33). Thus, when God clearly says something, like homosexuality, is wrong, no amount of finagling with the Scriptures is going to turn a wrong into a right.

Actually, you can be both. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because we do not believe in any deity, and we are agnostic because the presence of a deity is unknowable in principle and also unknown in fact. You can also be an agnostic theist, and believe in deities but feel that no one can know whether or not the deity actually exists. Thank you for answering my question. Although I wholeheartedly disagree, you have helped me to understand your thoughts on homosexuality. However, it seems that you are using the Bible to try and justify discrimination against 9 million adult Americans.

Do you support slavery as well? Except for murder, slavery has got to be one of the most immoral things a person can do. Yet slavery is rampant throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. The Bible clearly approves of slavery in many passages, and it goes so far as to tell how to obtain slaves, how hard you can beat them, and when you can have sex with the female slaves.

Many translations of the Bible use the word "servant", "bondservant", or "manservant" instead of "slave" to make the Bible seem less immoral than it really is. While many slaves may have worked as household servants, that doesn't mean that they were not slaves who were bought, sold, and treated worse than livestock.

The following passage shows that slaves are clearly property to be bought and sold like livestock.

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

However, do we have slaves today? No! Although the Bible approves of slavery, we do not keep slaves. Discrimination is not acceptable. How can you justify discrimination against homosexuals without the Bible? Or does your entire argument fall away without it?

See: Don't you dare change my mind, but why is homosexuality bad?

Please note that it was you who tried to make a biblical argument to approve of homosexuality and I demonstrated that your argument is not sound by the same standard. You then make the pretense that it is somehow greater to make an argument without the Bible, thus condemning your own original argumentation.

Since you have no biblical argument, and really no proof that homosexuality is morally right, you seek to distract by claiming that the Bible is wrong about one subject matter to imply without evidence that it is also wrong about homosexuality. The very nature of your argument cannot prove your point.

To illustrate this, there are far more people who commit fornication than who are homosexuals. I don't support sex outside of marriage, but no rational person would claim that I'm advocating slavery for fornicators or that the two subject are connected in any way.

But in regards to slavery, you use sweeping generalizations to condemn a subject that you only slightly understand. See: Slavery in the Bible.

You know what? Since you refuse to even think about any opinion I have on homosexuality, I will stop arguing about it with you.

Hmm, I laid out responses to each of your claims, detailing why they are wrong, and you come away thinking that I didn't consider your arguments. Clearly you believe that anyone who disagrees with you is irrational because that gives you an escape from thinking about the response and considering that you just might be wrong.