No matter what your perspective, you should be able to agree that human sexuality is an important topic that affects almost every person alive on the earth. We are beings that have a sexual component to our nature, and it is a strong natural drive for most people. You should also be able to conclude that the decisions people make regarding how they express their sexuality oftentimes lead to problems in relationships with others. How much grief, pain and heartache have been generated around the decisions people make on how, whether to, or with whom to express their sexuality?
This article will be coming from the perspective of a disciple or student of Joshua (or Jesus) of Nazareth. A basic question people should ask if they claim to care what Joshua teaches, is does Joshua address human sexuality? The answer is a resounding yes and he does so quite clearly. So, we will take a look at his teachings that address human sexuality and then examine some important popular issues regarding human sexuality. This article is simply putting forth a basic framework of human relationships regarding human sexual expression.
A principle that must be clarified up front in a topic like this is what "love" is. Joshua's greatest teaching is telling we humans that his Father, the Creator, is a being who values love above all other characteristics of human relationship. That God so loved the people of the earth, that He gave his Son to us so that we might understand Him and what He wants. Furthermore, God wants love to be the primary characteristic of relationships between people. His Son went on to teach and to show us what love is - God's love is a heart of compassion motivating selfless behavior. (Please note that God's love has nothing to do with sexual attraction or sexual activity). Love never seeks to physically harm others, nor does a person guided by love hate other people for any reason. To hate others would include wanting to hurt them, have harm to come to them, to have or express animosity towards them, or to view them as worthy of harm. Furthermore, Joshua teaches that even those who choose to make themselves our enemies - those that wish harm upon us or who enjoy seeing us harmed or mistreated - ought to be treated with compassion and selfless behavior. These truths about love are key for a person to objectively consider the conclusions that reason based on Joshua's teachings will guide us to in this article.
It is equally important that the reader understand that because God is love, does not mean that He does not care about right or wrong beliefs or behavior. The Father Joshua refers to cares very much about people doing what He defines as right or doing what He defines as wrong. His Son spoke much about caring about what is right and defining what is wrong. He said that this way:
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after that which is right", starting with ourselves. Sadly, many redefine 'love' to mean that any belief or behavior ought to be accepted and not corrected or rebuked. This is a grievous twisting and misrepresentation of the teachings and life of Joshua of Nazareth as well as throwing reason out the door. It is also a false, self defeating definition of a 'tolerant' person - please see What it means to be a truly tolerant person.
A person cannot read Joshua' teachings and read the account of his life, and reasonably walk away saying he did not provide human kind with a standard of how people ought to live and behave. Just because people choose to ignore him and his teachings - "love your enemies", for example - does not change the fact that he taught it, nor does it change the fact of who he is, nor of our accountability to his teachings, nor of the consequences of ignoring or dismissing his teachings.
Those with religious training who don't like what Joshua says regarding human sexuality will simply deny what he plainly says and twist his teachings to fit their view on sexuality. This is typically done to justify some sexual behavior either they don't want to give up, or to not 'judge' a family member or friend who is engaged in a sexual behavior Joshua says is wrong. Sadly, many are taught that to 'love' means not making any moral or belief judgments and to accept 'everybody just as they are'. This is horribly wrong as previously noted and will lead to human chaos and destruction as people will refuse to be held accountable for, or to correct any behavior - including wrong and harmful behavior - because it is 'unloving' to do so.
For those who want to use reason as a guide to what they believe, Joshua of Nazareth will require you to make some judgments. If the reader wants to pretend that Joshua of Nazareth gives no teachings, rules or guidelines in terms of what is good and acceptable behavior and what is bad or unacceptable behavior before God, you are free to do so, but you will need to leave reason - and all pretense of objectivity - behind to accomplish that. You will also need to ignore the plain teachings of the Light of the world in the four gospel books.
Still others will bail out of this article quickly because they will say, 'Oh my, another uptight traditionalist, a prude who just doesn't get it'. It is important to understand that if we label others with labels like 'prude' or 'uptight' because they have a different view of some topic, it merely demonstrates that we are insecure, defensive or not open to bettering our understanding of some matter. (It also means that people using the labels against others are intolerant according to their own standard, and thus are acting hypocritically.) Unfortunately those who use unkind labels against others do so because they are truly not interested in what Joshua of Nazareth has to say on the subject of human sexuality. Many have created their own 'cool Jesus' who is not 'hung up' on sex. People are free to do that, but it is irrational and possibly hypocritical to dismiss or rebuke we who take his recording sayings seriously and at face value....like a child, as he asks.
In this article, I am merely repeating Joshua' teachings as recorded in the first four books of what people call the new testament. My objective is to repeat what he is recorded as having said, use sound reason in context to make short comments on those passages, and to do so in as objective a manner as possible.
God created genders and thus sexual reproduction.
The joining of the man and woman - "husband" and "wife" - creates a "one flesh" existence.
God designed and approves of the spousal relationship - "what God has joined together".
The "one flesh" existence - beginning with the joining of their bodies in sexual intercourse and the natural result of a child (two creating one flesh) - is permanent and should not be separated.
Hard hearts cause divorce and divorce causes additional wrong actions, pain and harm.
This is a fundamental teaching of Joshua regarding setting the framework for the proper expression of human sexuality. Joshua appeals to the beginning - an original creation perspective, and says that God created the genders - male and female. The context was a question regarding divorce, thus the context was the spousal relationship or marriage relationship. They were asking for what reason may a person legitimately divorce their spouse.
In this teaching, Joshua provides a clear standard for the spousal or "marriage" relationship - a man and woman having joined both in spirit ("God joined together", and "hardness of heart") and body ("one flesh").
To argue that the spousal relationship is not clearly defined here is irrational. To start redefining his teaching to include say, multiple wives, is also irrational for he plainly refers to a singular man and woman.
Matt. 5:32, 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18
Representative quote from above references: "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman who is divorced from a husband commits adultery."
In these passages, Joshua clearly teaches that divorce is wrong and to engage in sex with someone other than your spouse is to commit the sin of "adultery". Furthermore, he says to marry (engage in sexual intercourse is implied) a divorced person is to commit the sin of "adultery" with the sexual consummation of the marriage.
Just because something is unpopular does not mean it is wrong. Clearly Joshua of Nazareth taught that the commitment between a man and woman as husband and wife is a very important one, and to break it is a serious matter that would lead to sin or being unclean or defiled before God. (Joshua does teach elsewhere that there is something more important than the marriage relationship, but I'll leave the reader to find and understand what that is.)
Matt. 15:19 & Mark 7:21
In a passage that does not have human sexuality as its context, but rather thoughts and behavior which make a person "unclean" or "defiled" or "polluted" before God, Joshua says the following:
Remember, the context of this saying was dealing with what food a person can eat or not eat in terms of God being concerned about food. Joshua was addressing the Mosaic rules on foods, and was saying how God did not care about what a person ate, for it was not what went into a person's mouth that made them dirty before God.
In this saying, Joshua addresses sexual behavior quite clearly and lists a number of things which make a person unclean or defiled before God including the following:
Adulteries - Greek transliteration, "Moichao" - A married person having sexual contact with someone other than their spouse.
Fornications - Greek transliteration, "Porneia" - Sexual contact between unmarried persons.
Sensuality (other translations include lasciviousness or lewdness) - Lacking self-control or restraint regarding fulfilling the lust of one's sexual desires - to be like an animal - indiscrete - in seeking to mate - to have fulfilling sexual lust as a predominant or ruling desire in one's life.
"...all these evil things proceed from within and defile the person".
Therefore, people who engage in cheating on a spouse; having sex before you have committed to a spouse; or whose heart is filled with sexual lust for others and thus is a primary motivation to one's words and behavior; all cause a person to be unclean, defiled or polluted before God. In fact, Joshua calls such beliefs and behavior "evil things". In today's culture in the U.S. about the only thing considered "evil" is the mass murders of children, and that is a horribly low standard for "evil". Indeed, the standard of what constitutes evil is much lower in the minds of the average U.S. citizen compared to what Joshua of Nazareth defines as "evil". Why do you think that is, dear reader? Was Joshua constrained by the culture of his day as is a popular belief propagated in the religious organizations and used to negate his teachings? Was he just wrong and we today are enlightened? Poor, ignorant Joshua!
In these passages, Joshua clearly teaches that to engage in sex with someone other than your spouse is "fornication", and that fornication is wrong and sinful. This remains true no matter how much the term "fornication" might be mocked by those who enjoy having sexual contact with whomever they feel like at the moment.
For a man to look at a woman lustfully is to commit adultery with her in his heart.
Since the term "adultery" is used, he is likely referring to a single or married man lusting after a married woman, or a married man lusting after (wanting to have sex with) any woman other than their spouse. What is clear and conclusive in this saying is that those who have improper sexual thoughts regarding a person is enough to make us unclean or defiled before our heavenly Father. While this might be difficult to conceive of in the current U.S. and western cultures where people promoting themselves in a very sexual manner is common place, it is none-the-less what Joshua of Nazareth teaches. What implications does that have on your life or your children's, dear reader?
In these words, Joshua clearly teaches that sexual error or wrong sexual expression does not have to happen physically, but that the thought itself ' the imagining in one's mind - is wrong and is sinful. Thus, he closes the door on human sexual expression between anyone other than spouses - a "man" and a "woman" committed to caring for one another their whole lives.
Just after saying spouses should not divorce each other for any reason, Joshua' disciples reacted saying it would be better, then, not to get married if one cannot divorce their spouse. Joshua responded:
In this teaching, Joshua simply says that there are two alternatives for any individual - to either marry permanently, or to not express sexuality towards another person. If a man no longer has a sexual drive, then they don't have to concern themselves with marriage - they are able to accept life without a spouse. In like manner, they are able to accept that that marriage is permanent for those who cannot remove their sexual drive.
He says men became eunuchs (were castrated or the equivalent), and thus had the sexual drive of their nature largely removed so that it would no longer cause temptation. Joshua explicitly commends those men who make this decision to forgo sex in order to more wholeheartedly serve God. He also encourages those who were made eunuchs for some other reason, to use that special condition to serve God - to have an undivided focus on, and attention to, serving their heavenly Father.
What can we conclude from these teachings?
1. Joshua defines those who can have sexual expressions towards one another as "male" and "female" - he defines the spousal commitment or marriage, as between a male and female;
2. Joshua defined marriage or spousal commitment as between one male and one female, not as between a male and several females or between one female and several males;
3. Joshua defines wrong or sinful (or that which makes us unclean) sexual expression using the terms adultery or fornication. Adultery is defined as a spouse having sex with someone other than their spouse. Fornication is un-married people having sex.
As mentioned earlier, there will be some Christians who will respond that 'Joshua teaches love', implying that that somehow invalidates his teachings on human sexuality. As we have seen, "love" as defined by Joshua has nothing to do with sexual expression; and two, it is not the only concept he teaches. Joshua also teaches that certain behaviors are right (blessed), and certain behaviors are wrong (woe). To love others does mean we will not hate anyone else or condemn then or wish them harm. But that does not mean that we will not say that a certain belief or behavior is wrong.
It is not 'unloving' to tell a person who lies for selfish gain that lying is wrong and that they should stop.
It is not 'unloving' to tell a person committing adultery that that behavior is wrong and ought to be stopped.
It is not 'unloving' to tell a polygamist that he should not marry multiple wives.
It is not 'unloving' to tell an older man that lusting after a young woman (or girl) is wrong.
The way or manner in which we communicate those rebukes is important, and if we do love the person, we will not convey the truth in a manner which conveys condemnation - lest we be in error and condemn ourselves. But make no mistake, we will tell them people if we care about them, that there are consequences to our words and behavior, and that Joshua does define what is right and what is wrong human behavior.
Other Christians will say, 'well, that is your interpretation'. I would respond that straightforward sayings of Joshua like, "forgive" or "love your enemy" or "adultery makes you unclean" are impossible to interpret wrongly. In general, it is only those who reject a concepts or teaching of Joshua who have trouble 'interpreting' the meaning.
Joshua is not recorded as having addressed homosexuality directly, but does that mean he approves of it? There are many things regarding details in human relationships that Joshua did not directly address. The first step in that discussion is to acknowledge that because he - or anyone for that matter - did not address something specifically does not mean he approves of it.
For example, because Joshua did not say something specific e.g. 'it is wrong to shoot someone with a bow'; does not mean he approves of that practice. His teaching, or higher principle, of not harming others would address that specific expression of harming others. A more relevant example for this topic would be, since he did not explicitly say that pedophilia or bestiality - or dozens of other sexual behaviors - are wrong, does not mean he approves of them.
The next step in finding the right conclusion is to ask, did Joshua give enough principles regarding human sexuality to address all the possible expressions of human sexuality that he did not specifically address. The answer is yes. Those three principles that have been previously stated in this article cover all potential expressions of human sexuality between two or more people. Let's review them again in a simpler fashion:
1. God created male and female, and once a male and female have committed to one another and joined sexually, they are bound to one another for life as spouses and companions and are not to separate (so, young people, you really ought to know what love really is before you enter into marriage);
2. God spoke through Joshua to say that the male and female spouses are a one-to-one relationship, not one to more-than-one relationships;
3. Sexual expressions outside of the human male & female spousal commitment relationship are what make us unclean and are wrong.
Thus, by deduction, Joshua comprehensively defined that people may have and enjoy a sexual element to their relationship, and he restricts that to male and female spouses. He explicitly said sexual expressions outside of that definition are wrong by using the concepts described by the terms adultery and fornication and sexual lust.
Furthermore, he said a man could sin in one's mind by lusting after a woman, thus decreeing that imagining sexual things about a woman he wants outside of the approved sexual relationship (male & female spouse) are also wrong.
To sum up, Joshua's teachings on sexual expression outside of the spousal relationship addresses homosexuality. Some will still maintain that because he did not address homosexual behavior, he does not disapprove of the practice. Again, and according to that argument, he would also approve of pedophilia or bestiality since he did not directly address them either. Fortunately, he in fact does address it as we have seen, with his broader principles of saying sexual acts outside of the male-female spousal relationship are what make a man or woman unclean.
Many will attempt to avoid the conclusions of that line of reason, but I challenge the listener to use logic to test what has been said. Logic is used to find error, and I encourage the listener to use logic to see if the arguments stated are false.
We can also use observation and reason to evaluate other aspects of homosexuals and their claims.
Our Core Identity: How we identify ourselves is important
If you randomly selected 100 people off a busy street and lined them up and asked them this question, 'who or what are you', you would get different answers depending upon how the person sees or defines themselves. As examples, some will say, 'dad' or 'carpenter' or 'construction worker' or 'computer operator' or 'muslim' or 'mom' or 'democrat' or 'secretary' or 'artist' or 'musician' etc.
I would speculate that you would virtually never hear the answer, 'heterosexual'.
Because non-homosexuals do not define their core identity by their sexual desire.
The question must be asked, is having your core identity as a sexual desire or practice a good or healthy or normal human state of being? Surely the heterosexual that defined their core identity as 'an oral sex lover' would be categorized by a psychiatrist or psychologist as having something wrong with them.
Why not the homosexual? In fact their sexual desire was characterized as wrong just a few short years ago. What changed?
Because politically correct beliefs won't allow it? Because the latest human psychological philosophies have changed in the last few decades of American history? What exactly is the basis for the change? Why are the new philosophies correct but the one's a few decades ago are wrong? By what standard are those judgment's made? The latest politically correct beliefs? How the majority 'feels' about something?
Having one's core identity as a sexual desire has some unfortunate consequences. One is that it can lead to a serious communication problem with other people. A person who does not have as their core identity a sexual desire will be much less sensitive toward another person who might disagree with some sexual practice they like. In other words, a heterosexual who likes some sexual behavior will not likely be greatly offended by someone who did not care for the sexual behavior they prefer. Those two people are more likely to have a reasonable, non-emotional discussion about their difference because sexual practices are not part of their core identity. Now, consider the homosexual whose core identity is their sexual desire/practice. Any disagreement with that person regarding their sexual desire is highly likely to deeply offend them since it will be viewed as attacking the core of who they are.
Consider a person having a core identity as a 'mom'. Being a mom means caring for the children and all that entails. Teaching the children what is right and what is wrong; teaching them good personal hygiene; cleaning, making or mending clothes; purchasing, making and serving meals; coordinating various activities; transporting the children to various activities. The list could be a good bit longer, but the idea I am trying to convey is that being a 'mom' involves a wide range of skills and personal characteristics and activities. Thus, having a core identity as a 'mom' involves a fairly broad set of characteristics. Please also note that being a 'mom' involves a good bit of selflessness with no direct or immediate benefits to the mom.
Contrast the 'mom' identity with having a core identity of 'gay' or 'homosexual'. Unless I am mistaken, there is pretty much a singular aspect to that core identity and that identity is based on a sexual desire or sexual attraction to a same gendered person. It is a very narrow and shallow identity. While a husband and wife can choose to have sex just for sexual pleasure, there is also an inherent reproductive aspect to the behavior. In addition, seeking sexual pleasure is inherently a selfish thing - it is virtually impossible to not have some aspect of the sexual activity be selfish.
Therefore, we can conclude that having one's sexual desire as the core of one's identity is at best not healthy and at worst, creates an aggressively selfish motivation to reject anyone who has a different opinion.
Isn't this what we see from many homosexuals?
This author is sure that there are some homosexuals who don't define themselves by their sexual desire. I would suspect that these are the homosexuals who are not militant in trying to force everyone who is not a homosexual, to accept their belief on sexual behavior or to re-define the concept of marriage to suit their sexual or material benefit desires. I would state, as a matter of general principle, that being militant and aggressive in trying to force others to accept your beliefs and practices, is as intolerant as a person gets. Please see the article - "Are you a truly tolerant person?".
Many homosexuals do not have a traditional moral framework or beliefs or religion, and thus many would believe that naturalistic evolution is the correct explanation for human's existence. For those that do, they would have to say that what is 'normal' would be defined by what occurs in the natural world. Out of the trillions of sexual reproductive acts among non-human species that occur on a daily basis on the planet, how many are homosexual? Stated another way, out of all the animal species on the planet, how many are engaging in same gender sexual behavior? If it is essentially none, then how could the homosexual person who believes in evolution reasonably argue that homosexual behavior is 'normal'? If you look to humans, what percentage of the population engages in homosexual behavior? If it is less than 50%, how could the behavior be defined as 'normal'? Furthermore from a naturalistic perspective, if homosexual behavior is 'normal' in any particular group of creatures, that group would die out due to the non-reproducing consequences to homosexual behavior.
Thus, not only do homosexuals have no moral standard to base their belief and behavior on, they also have no natural one. Regarding a moral standard, if a homosexual were asked, 'why is homosexual behavior good, acceptable or normal', the only reasonable answer available to them is, 'because I think it is', or 'because this person thinks it is' or 'because this group of people think it is'. This is very subjective and without substantial precedent in human history. Out of all of the cultures and societies in human history, this author is not familiar with any which accepted homosexual belief or practice as morally acceptable. It is only very recently that a certain human culture (the 'western' culture) has changed its mind and said that homosexual behavior is good and acceptable. Of course this same culture is largely made up of leaders who are agnostics or atheists who essentially say that there is no God; or religious relativists who reject the plain teachings of Joshua and who believe God is not concerned about how human's behave, at least if it does not interfere with their religious money-making business.
Even the divided world religions have common ground on the moral question of homosexuality. A religious homosexual could of course claim that God thinks it is OK as well, but they would have to reject thousands of years of religious unity on the matter. While the world's religions have disagreed as to the name, nature and who represents God, they have generally not disagreed as to the moral wrongness of homosexual behavior. Only very recently has christianity began to change their stance on homosexuality, even while the supposed original sources of their beliefs they cite, have not changed.
Why would that be? What new understanding about human sexuality has eluded human beings for thousands of years?
A main argument from homosexuals as to why they need to have a homosexual relationship accepted as "marriage" is because they love each other and are committed to one another. In this author's opinion (based on the studies I have read), and as a percentage of total sexual encounters, there is a significantly higher percentage of encounters between homosexuals that do not lead to committed and stable relationships than among heterosexuals. In other words, for every two people who engage in a sexual encounter, same sex engagements are far less likely to lead to committed relationships than opposite gender engagements. Whether this is true or not is difficult to ascertain due to the increasing immorality among heterosexual people, but as a percentage of total, it is probably factual.
The main point to be made in this context is this - why cannot two same gender people have a deep and committed relationship (an important aspect of true love) without a sexual element? Homosexuals seek to redefine marriage, and as the people and culture of the U.S. cut all ties to reasonable or even traditional moral frameworks based on a belief in a Superior being who does care about how people behave, the homosexuals will accomplish this. Instead of this destructive path, this author would suggest a better path. That homosexual people find a lifelong friend/partner, and forsake the sexual element, and simply enjoy the relationship in a deeper way - a lifelong friendship. The sexual element will always corrupt a homosexual relationship, but it does not have to be that way if true love is involved. If true love actually is the motivation between two people, then homosexuals need to forsake the sexual element in order to truly have a long and meaningful relationship with the person they love. This is part of a selfless way of life, which is superior to a selfish way to living one's life. Therefore, there is a higher path available to same gender people who truly love one another - lifelong committed deep friendship abstaining from sexual expressions - that path would be blessed by the heavenly Father and Joshua, and that is priceless.
Again, as a disciple of Joshua, I have no animosity towards homosexuals. However, as disciples, we are obligated - when asked or confronted for Joshua's teachings on the matter - should respond in a quiet and reasoned manner repeating his teachings on the matter of human sexuality. People are free to accept his teachings or not, and we should act without animosity towards homosexuals just as we should act without animosity towards any person, including someone committing adultery or any other person who is promoting or preaching or practicing things that contradict the Light of the world's teachings.
Human sexuality is an important subject as we as humans need a good deal of help in understanding how to properly express that aspect of our nature. This article has briefly looked at that topic in light of the one who calls himself the Light of the world. He does in fact address the topic quite clearly in the teachings that were captured in the first four books of what people call the new testament. Those teachings we have reviewed, and the teachings are clear for those truly willing to listen to Joshua.
I hope the reader or listener of this article will pass it along to others who claim some allegiance to Joshua of Nazareth, so that they might gain clarity on this issue.
"All who are of the truth listen to my voice."
* Definitions: Licentious, “lacking legal or moral restraints; especially disregarding sexual restraints”. Lewd, “obscene or indecent, sexual in an offensive or rude way “. Salacious, “relating to sex in a way that is excessive or offensive”.