Thank you so much for bringing out that scripture in Ezekiel. It is cross referenced in the NWT from the text in Lamentations. But since very few JW's read their bible, and even less look at the references, I was doubtful it would pop up. Kudos to you, I did not think someone would bring out the points you raised either, although the jury is still out on some of the points that you submitted.Well SFJim from Pennsyvania, I like this place better already. Below are some more comments I had prepared for the Jude 7 argument. (already referred to) Your critique would be appreciated.
Very true, that is what Jude seems to say. But do you believe it is that black and white? Did he? There is little doubt in my mind that Homosexuality is cast in unfavourable light in the bible, but so was mistreating widows, orphans and foreigners. So before someone opens the bible to condemn the gay community, he better be stellar in regards to helping old ladies across the street, foster children and their Xenos neighbours. A simplistic read of Jude without context is as flawed as a prejudicial view of the Genesis account of Sodom.
Consider what Jude wrote:
"My reason is that certain men
have slipped in who have long ago been appointed by the Scriptures to this judgment, ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord
, Jesus Christ
Loose conduct is Gr. Aselgeia, which other than the typical (stereotypical) means, "outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence and excess". Here Jude was speaking in context of the congregation, and before he mentions Sodom, he mentions the Angels who forsook their place. Although sex was involved to some degree, it was the outrageousness of the action taken that is really highlighted. They acted reprehensibly before God, they new better, given their station in life. Likewise with the Israelites, who are mentioned before the Angels. Even though sex was likely involved, it was the idolatry that condemned them, their simply lacking faith. They after being delivered knew better, and so such action was "shameless". Even still, the Angels materialised as men, and had sex with women. Although it may be termed "unnatural" it was not "men with men", nor was it likely that the idolaters at Sinai indulged in such "unnatural sex" to any great degree.
Another argument against a simplistic reading of Jude 7 is that vs 4 talks of men who slipped in. Can you think of a worse place for Homosexuals or Fornicators than the uptight homophobic churches of Christendom? My mother was afraid of anything other than "missionary positioning" if you know what I mean. Surely there would be then, as now, far better places for such people to ply their trade, if that was what Jude was getting at.
(Jude 5-6) "afterwards destroyed those not showing faith. 6
And the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place "
(Jude 7) "
after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed fornication
excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use
, are placed before [us] as a [warning] example
by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire."
Thayer's lexicon, comments on the word Jude uses (Porneia) here as "a lust that gluts itself or satisfies completely". Lust can easily be tied to pleasure, and often is. But the OT mentions that merely a political alliance was Adultery, or Fornication in God's eyes. Hardly pleasurable, ask any whore (Ask any Canadian how he feels about Nafta alliance with the USA). Power is a lustful, seductive force, that drives humans to do the most outrageous things. Could this be what Jude was getting at?
Consider one commentary:
"i. Jude speaks of a danger which is present today in alarming proportion: the gospel is under attack, by both its avowed enemies, and many who would claim to be its friends "
a. They have crept in unnoticed; they don't wear "Danger: False Teacher" buttons; often they claim to be more "scriptural" than anybody else
b. They are ungodly men; they lack the fear of God; they disregard Him completely
i. We are not told specifically how these men deny the only Lord God; it may be that they denied Him with their ungodly living; it may be that they denied Him with their heretical doctrines - probably both were true "
So true. And many who were formerly associated with the Witnesses, would now agree that this type of connection is far more plausible than the old homo rant. (I would say there is more molestation of minors than Homosexuality among the Homophobic JWs, with an exception at the branch and Bethel levels) Namely, that men who should know better, or at least who claim moral superiority, act in an "outrageous, shameless" way just like the Angels, Jewish exiles, and Sodomites did. The reproach heaped on God, Christ and the bible by such people is Himaleyan in size and scope. Look at what Jude says next.
(Jude 11)Too bad for them, because they have gone in the path of Cain, and have rushed into the erroneous course of Ba´laam for reward, and have perished in the rebellious talk of Ko´rah!
None of these men fit the description typical of the so called Gay Sodomites do they? Only Cain could get negative marks for sex with his sister (shame on you). The only common thread is that they all were responsible men who claimed to serve God. However in turn they each harboured jealousy, greed for material gain, and ambitious power. This lust or outrageousness came at the expense of others. Are we seeing something taking shape here?
(Jude 12-13) "shepherds that feed themselves without fear
; waterless clouds carried this way and that by winds; trees in late autumn, [but] fruitless, having died twice, having been uprooted; 13
wild waves of the sea that foam up their own causes for shame; stars with no set course
, for which the blackness of darkness stands reserved forever.
None of this remotely has anything to do with Homosexuality, unless you want to lay it at the feet of Gay Catholic and Anglican priests in some convoluted exegetical way. It more or less describes the deceptive methods that many responsible men (and women) have used the message of truth and freedom left by Christ and his early followers to ensnare and enslave men. "Shepherds" who eat of the fatness of Christ's flock, without any fear of reprisal (Compare Matt 24:48-51) "Waterless clouds"! Ask any X-JW who still believes in God or the bible what years of meaningless talks and rhetoric means to them. Likely they would say that this term aptly describes the majority of the so-called teachers in the movement. Look at the shame in all the organized religious movements. They block out the glorious light from the Sun (Son) and lead and continue to lead men astray. (Matt 15:14) That is at the heart of it and is my submission.
(Jude 16) and their mouths speak swelling things, while they are admiring personalities for the sake of [their own] benefit.
Does this expression not fit well the men who align themselves with a religious body and submit to it at the expense of truth and/or conscience? Have you ever tried to Witness to a JW, a Mormon, or any other member of rank in a religious order. Most if not all would call the day night, and night day to maintain their status quo.
That is my addition to the debate.
Frank (not Ernest)