[i] By Rev. Hannu Happonen
One day I was on Google trying to get some ideas on what I could use as an image for a Power Point presentation on God. When I typed in “God” one of the first images that came up was of a protesting man with a sign “God still hates fags.” The image began to haunt me and I started to think: “does God still hate fags?”
Many people have a difficult time understanding those who are attracted to people of the same sex. They are “wired” differently; their “computer” has contradictory software loaded in. We have a fear of what we do not understand, what we cannot comprehend. It can lead to discrimination against others of a different sexual orientation. Some may think that if we show sympathy for “sinners” or stand beside them, our actions show that we are condoning the sin.
A person may see homosexuality as an abomination, a perversion, a sin. However, Jesus associated with marginalized people: the sinners, tax collectors, drunkards, women, lepers, prostitutes, Samaritans, and children. I believe that today Jesus would be there where the gay community is. He set us an example that we should follow (Jn 13.15). We need to treat marginalized people the same way he did. God treats the “righteous” and “unrighteous” equally, setting us an example to follow. Even if a Christian may see homosexuality as “sin,” the question we should ask is “how should we treat sinners?” God loves everyone regardless of what they do or do not do. It is not based on our works, nor is it based on sexual orientation. This is the very love that Christians need to reflect.
The issue is quite divisive and will split denominations, churches and Christians. This article will not debate whether homosexuality is right or wrong. I will attempt to look at its relationship to HIV and AIDS and what the response of the church should be. There are issues that can unite Christians when discussing HIV and AIDS.
Sexual orientation refers to the sexual and emotional attraction based on the gender of one’s partner. Heterosexuality refers a person who is sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex. Homosexuality refers to a person (usually a man) who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex.[ii] This is distinct from homosexual behaviour. Behaviour has to do with what a person actually does – what the attraction leads a person to do.
Today the term “men who have sex with men” is commonly used to describe a behavioral phenomenon rather than a specific group of people. It includes people who call themselves gay (or homosexual) as well as those who are bisexual (those who are sexually attracted to both men and women). It further includes those who engage in male–male sex but identify themselves as heterosexual as well as transgendered males.[iii] There are also men who have sex with men but are married to a woman, have a family and do not identify themselves as being gay. Others may engage in male–male sex in certain settings (for example, when incarcerated in a prison), but when released, cease from such activity.
Origins of same–sex orientation
People do not consciously choose their sexual orientation. A heterosexual or a homosexual does not decide what their sexual orientation will be.[iv] Studies that have been done on same-sex orientation have come up with biological theories and psychological theories as to the origin. The biological theories see that a person is “born” a homosexual; that there are genetic or hormonal factors that cause a person to be inclined towards homosexuality. The psychological theories look more at the social and environmental factors. Some argue that factors such as a dominant mother and passive or absent father contribute to a person becoming gay.
No consensus has been reached on this hotly debated subject. Research on the origins of sexual orientation has focused on homosexuality and not heterosexuality. There has tended to be a bias that homosexuality is not acceptable or not normal and has thus skewed the research results. Research should examine the origins of sexual orientation in general, not the origins of one type of orientation.[v]
Homosexuality is a reality
Homosexuality has existed and exists in society. Although the advocacy for gay rights is being pressed for by the developed nations into Africa, it existed before this pressure was exerted. In the history of Uganda, one of the Baganda kings, Mwanga (1868–1903) was well known for his homosexuality and it is argued that the Uganda martyrs died because some young boys and men refused to be part of his homosexual practice.[vi] Homosexuality is shrouded in secrecy because it is illegal in most African countries. To condemn it or to legislate against it will not make it go away. It is a reality that we have to come to terms with. To deny or ignore this reality will also lead to denying and ignoring the dangers associated with it also.[vii]
One of the challenges we have is to get hard data in Africa about same–sex practices. It is difficult to gather the data because if one would admit to engaging in this behaviour they would be admitting to breaking the law and make them liable to criminal prosecution.
What does the Bible say?
The Bible does not speak much about homosexuality, but there are some passages that do address the issue (Gen 19.1–38; Lev 18.22; 20.13; Judg 19.22–23; Rom 1.26–27; 2 Cor 6.9; 1 Tim 1.10; Jude 7). There are passages that refer to “male shrine prostitutes” (Deut 23.17–18; 1 Kings 14.24; 15.12; 22.46; 2 Kings 23.7; Job 36.14) but it is unclear what exactly this entailed.[viii]
In the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah the men wanted to rape Lot’s male visitors (Gen 19.1–38; Jude 7). In a similar story, a Levite man was going to be gang raped by the men of Gibeah who ended up raping and killing his concubine (Judg 19.1–30). In the holiness code it was forbidden to have “sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman” (Lev 18.22; 20.13).
Paul views homosexual behaviour (male or female) as a consequence of idolatry and an expression of excessive lust (Rom 1.26–27). He states that those who “practice homosexuality” along with many other persons engaging in various practices, will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6.9-10; 1 Tim 1.10).
These passages have caused much discussion. Some argue that they are culturally relative and have more to do with abuses that happened within the context that they were written in. Others state that this is the word transcends culture and applies to all people at all times.[ix]
Same–sex relations were understood typically as exploitive and a perversion of the natural order in antiquity. The modern understanding differs significantly. Today it is not seen as exploitive but as mutuality. It is understood as a naturally occurring sexual orientation.[x]
Another thing to consider is that the Bible includes various sanctioned sexual relationships that today are generally understood as unethical (e.g., polygamy,[xi] levirate marriage[xii]). The church has sought to discern what appropriate and inappropriate expressions of human sexuality are. Today the church is divided regarding the questions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians with the church and in society in general.
Inclination and sin
The New Testament speaks about the “sinful desires” that a person has that “wage war against your soul” (1 Pet 2.11; Gal 5.16–17; Rom 8.2–4). These desires cause a person to do what is contrary to what the Spirit of God wants. These sinful desires are entrenched in each person. For example, Paul instructs “those who have been stealing” to cease from doing so (Eph 4.28). To have a tendency (“sinful desires”) to steal is not wrong in itself. To act on that inclination is. Paul advises to “put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Col 3.5) and to crucify “the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Gal 5.24). As James puts it, a person may have a “evil desire” and “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin” (Jas 1.13–15). If that “evil desire” does not conceive, it does make it something contrary to what God desires.[xiii]
People do not choose their tendency towards homosexuality. It came about and is difficult to explain. If a person has this tendency, it is not wrong in itself. [xiv] There is a distinction between a person’s sexual orientation and what behaviour this leads to. A person is not condemned for their inclinations, but what they do with that inclination. [xv]
The more relevant question is: is homosexuality a sin? This is where people are divided. This is where churches and Christians are divided. As I stated earlier, I will not attempt to answer that question in this article but will focus on the issue in relation to HIV and AIDS and how the church should respond.
Homosexuality and HIV
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first cases of AIDS occurring in gay men in 1981. It was referred to as Gay–Related Immune Deficiency (GRID).[xvi] AIDS was originally associated as a “gay disease” causing many Christian leaders to be outspoken in their condemnation. Even though HIV is transmitted almost exclusively heterosexually in Africa, there are cases of homosexual transmission also. The problem is that hard data is not available and is difficult to ascertain.
The membranous linings of the rectum has blood vessels which are torn more easily than those of the vagina. This is why anal intercourse with internal ejaculation without a condom poses the highest risk of HIV transmission in sexual activity.[xvii]
Men who have sex with men and vulnerability
According to the UNAIDS 2006 annual report, in most African countries there is nothing used in the national prevention programmes for most-at-risk populations which are defined as injecting drug users, sex workers, and men who have sex with men.[xviii]
The criminalization of men having sex with men increases vulnerability to HIV infection. This severely limits the ability of many men who have sex with men to access HIV prevention information as well as treatment and care.[xix] It is estimated that fewer than one in twenty men who have sex with men have access to the HIV prevention and care services they need.[xx]
Homophobia is a strong dislike and fear of homosexual people. A blatant homophobia exists among some African leaders that is expressed in their statements. Former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi described it as a “scourge.” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni stated that the law should be used against such “abominable acts.” President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe described homosexuals as “lower than pigs and dogs.”[xxi] Namibian President Sam Nujoma warned that “the Republic of Namibia does not allow homosexuality [or] lesbianism here,” and “the Police must arrest, imprison and deport homosexuals and lesbians found in Namibia.”[xxii] There has been much media attention to the new anti–homosexuality bill which was tabled in the Uganda parliament in 2009. It has created much debate for and against the subject and has drawn much international attention.
Even though the statements are harsh and the practice is prohibited, this does not mean that it does not exist.[xxiii] If we dismiss the issue by blanket homophobic statements, we will never make an impact on the issue and help those who are vulnerable to HIV because of the sexual practices they are engaged in. “Without frank discussion of what exactly people are doing in bed and behind bushes, it will be impossible to curb the epidemic.”[xxiv]
Stigma, discrimination and human rights
Stigma and discrimination are interrelated. “Stigma” means to mark someone as unacceptable or inferior because of their HIV status or perceived status.[xxv] Discrimination may be defined as unfair treatment of a person based on their HIV status or perceived status. Stigma and discrimination reinforce and legitimize each other. Stigma lies at the root of discriminatory actions, leading people to engage in actions or omissions that harm or deny services or entitlements to others. Discrimination can be described as the enactment of stigma. In turn, discrimination encourages and reinforces stigma.[xxvi] Human rights are the rights held to be justifiably belonging to any person.
Can a person be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation? It happens in Africa. Homosexuality is illegal in 29 countries and lesbianism in 20 countries.[xxvii] Is it right to have those laws? What are the consequences of those laws? How do they contribute to the spread of HIV and AIDS? These are questions that should be addressed when thinking of the issue. To legislate against homosexuality will not make it disappear but will drive it underground. Homosexuality exists even in those countries where it is forbidden by law.
South Africa is an exception among the African countries. The constitution of South Africa affirms that everyone is equal before the law and that the “state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.”[xxviii] It is the only country in Africa where sexual orientation is mentioned in their constitution.
Sexuality and the law
Can sexual behaviour be legislated? Is it private? Is it the business of government to say what should and what should not happen in bedrooms? Do other nations have the right to impose their agendas on other countries? Is it right for donor nations to say to recipient nations that “you need to uphold the right of gays” before they will give assistance?
When homosexuality is criminalized, it contributes to the spread of HIV. It makes is difficult to access educational programmes for those with same-sex orientation. How can a person ask for information about safer sexual practices if what they are engaging in is criminal? Health workers and educators can be looked upon as engaging in promoting criminal behaviour if they give out information about safer practices to those engaged in such criminal behaviour.[xxix]
Criminal law prohibiting sexual acts between consenting adults in private should be reviewed and they should not be allowed to impede provision of HIV and AIDS prevention and care services. [xxx] The Secretary–General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon has stated:
In countries without laws to protect sex workers, drug users and men who have sex with men, only a fraction of the population has access to prevention. Conversely, in countries with legal protection and the protection of human rights for these people, many more have access to services. As a result, there are fewer infections, less demand for antiretroviral treatment and fewer deaths. Not only is it unethical not to protect these groups; it makes no sense from a health perspective. It hurts all of us.[xxxi]
What should the response of the church be? Religious leaders and churches should also review their stand on people who have same-sex orientation. Even if the church would not accept (as some have) homosexuality, they should have the preservation of human life and the prevention of the spread of HIV at the top of their agenda. Every life has equal worth, regardless of sexual orientation. Saving lives is the highest ethical act and has the priority.
Everyone’s life is sacred and needs to be protected
No matter how a Christian feels about homosexuality, each person is loved, and sacred before God. Every person’s life is sacred and needs to be protected, including the life of a homosexual. No one has the right to take away the life of another. This means that we need to do what we can to protect people. It can mean the provision of safer sexual practices for those who engage in sex with those of the same sex. Information needs to be provided about risk behavior, how to protect oneself; HIV prevention and care. Laws that criminalize same–sex acts between consenting adults in private need to be reviewed, and antidiscrimination or protective laws enacted to reduce human rights violations based on sexual orientation.[xxxii]
Attitudes towards homosexuals [xxxiii]
We fear the unknown. Many people have a difficult time understanding those who have a different sexual orientation than they have. It causes them to feel uneasy in the presence of those who are different. A person may see homosexuality as an abomination, a perversion, a sin. A Christian may have a clear understanding of their own view on homosexuality, but they also should know what a Christian is to be towards everyone, even those who may have a different sexual orientation. If one sees a homosexual as a “sinner,” the question we need to ask ourselves is “how should we treat sinners?” Christians need to love everyone, including the heterosexual, homosexual or men who have sex with men.
Jesus associated with marginalized people: the sinners, tax collectors, drunkards, women, lepers, prostitutes, Samaritans, and children. He set an example that we should follow (Jn 13.15). We need to treat marginalized people the same way Jesus did. God treats the “righteous” and “unrighteous” equally setting an example to follow, so that we “may be children of your Father in heaven” (Mt 5.45). Jesus was a “friend of sinners” (Mt 11.18; Lk 7.34). He set the example for us that we should follow. As Paul stated: “follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11.1). No matter what a Christian may feel about the issue of homosexuality, whether they feel it is right or wrong, they need to love everyone, including those with a different sexual orientation than themselves.[xxxiv]
God’s love is not based on sexual orientation
Those who feel that homosexuality is wrong should have the right to their opinion. It is not necessarily a phobia that one has, but an opinion. It may be based on how they understand the Scriptures. However, respect should be shown to all people. All people are equally created in the image of God.
We may rephrase the original question in the title of this article to “Does God hate a person of a particular sexual orientation?” The answer is: God’s love is not based on a person’s sexual orientation. God does not love someone who is heterosexual more than those who are homosexual in their orientation. God’s love is not based on a person’s sexual orientation. He does not give preferential treatment on the basis of sexual preference. He makes the “sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Mt 5.45). “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5.8). This same type of love should be exhibited in those who “belong to him.” If a person claims to be a Christian, this same love for “sinners” needs to be exhibited in them: “since God so loved us, we also ought to love” (1 Jn 4.12). “We love because he first loved us” (1 Jn 4.19, 10).
However, it is often the opposite that is true. Christians, who preach love and tell people to turn the other cheek, may convey a message of hatred for gay people. As Christians we are required to love. It is not optional, but is a demand, a requirement.[xxxv] Christians are to love others the same way that God has loved them (Jn 13.34; 15.12; 1 Jn 4.11). We need to love those among us who are homosexuals as ourselves (Mt 7.12). Homosexuals need to be treated with the same kind of grace, respect, care and compassion with which we want to be treated. It means that we will defend them when there is hateful action aimed at them. It means all of this even if we do not agree with their sexual ethic.[xxxvi]
[i] The word “fag” is an offensive term used of homosexuals. The title for the article is adapted from the picture that I saw on the internet and is not intended to condone it’s usage.
[ii] Bryan Strong, Christine DeVault, Barbara W. Sayad, and William L. Yarger, Human Sexuality (Boston: McGraw–Hill Companies, Inc., 2002), 20.
[iii] 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2006), 110.
[iv] Tony Campolo, Speaking My Mind (Nashville: W. Publishing Group, 2004), 58.
[v] Bryan Strong, Christine DeVault, Barbara W. Sayad, and William L. Yarger, Human Sexuality (Boston: McGraw–Hill Companies, Inc., 2002), 166–167.
[vi] J. F: Faupel, African Holocaust: the Story of the Uganda Martyrs (Nairobi: St. Paul Publications, 1962), 68, 74, 81–93.
[vii] AIDS and men who have sex with men (Geneva: UNAIDS, 1998), 4.
[viii] J. M. Sprinkle, “Sexuality, Sexual Ethics,” in Dictionary of the Old Testament Pentateuch, edited by T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2003), 749–750. Karel van der Toorn, “Prostitution (Cultic),” The Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 5:510–513. This is in contrast to other writers such as Young, who feels that they are references to homosexuality, James B. De Young, Homosexuality (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2000), 40–43.
[ix] There are many books and articles written on the subject. Bailey, D. S. Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (London: Longmans, 1955). J. Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1980). L. W. Countryman, Dirt, Greed and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and Their Implications for Today (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988). James B. DeYoung, Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in the Light of the Bible and Classical Jewish, Greek, and Roman Literature and Law (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2000). Stanley J. Grenz, Welcoming But Not Affirming: An Evangelical Response to Homosexuality (Louisville: Westminister John Knox, 1998). V. P. Furnish, The Moral Teaching of Paul: Selected Issues 2nd edition (Nashville: Abingdon, 1985), 52–83. Larry R. Holden, What Christians Think About Homosexuality: Six Representative Viewpoints (Richland Hills; Tex: D & F Scott, 1999). John J. McNeill, The Church and the Homosexual 4th edition (Boston: Beacon, 1993). Nissinen, Martti. Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective. Translated by Kirsi Stjerna (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1998). Letha D. Scanzoni and Virgina R. Mollenkott, Is the Homosexual my Neighbor? A Positive Christian Response Revised edition (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1994). R. Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983). Choon-Leong Seow, editor, Homosexuality and Christian Community (Louisville: Westminister John Knox, 1996). John R. W. Stott, Homosexual Partnerships: Why Same-Sex Relationships Are not a Christian Option (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1985). Walter Wink, Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999).
[x] Jeffrey S. Siker, “Homosexuality,” in The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, D–H Volume 2 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007), 883.
[xi] Lamech had two wives (Gen 4.19); Nahor had a wife (Milkah) and a concubine (Reumah Gen 22.20–24); Abraham married Sarah and his concubines Hagar and Keturah (Gen 11.29; 16.1–4; 25.1–2); Esau had at least three wives (Gen 26.34; 28.6–9; 36.2); Jacob married Leah and Rachel (Gen 29.16–30; 30.1–24); Moses had two wives Zipporah and a Cushite woman (Ex 2.21; Num 12.1); Gideon had “many wives” (Judg 8.30–31); Samson had two wives (Judg 14.1–20; 16.4); Elkanah had two wives Hannah and Peninnah (1 Sam 1.1–2); Saul’s wife was Ahinoam and his concubine Rizpah (1 Sam 14.50; 2 Sam 3.7; 21.8); David had seven wives (2 Sam 2.2; 3.2–5; 1 Chr 3.9; 14.3) and additional unnamed ones (2 Sam 5.13); Solomon had “seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines” (1 Kings 11. 1–3); Ahab married Jezebel but had other wives (1 Kings 16.31; 20.7); Rehoboam had eighteen wives (2 Chr 11.18–21); Abijah had fourteen wives (2 Chr 13.21); Jehoram had “wives” (2 Chr 21.14); Jehoiachin had “wives” (2 Kings 24.15); Ashhur had two wives Helah and Naarah (1 Chr 4.5); Mered had “wives” (1 Chr 4.17); Shaharaim had three wives Hushim, Baara and Hodesh (1 Chr 8.8–11); Jehoshaphat had “wives” (2 Chr 21.14, 17); Joash had two wives (2 Chr 24.3). It could be that Jair (Judg 10.4) Ibzan (Judg 12.9) and Abdon (Judg 12.14) had more than one wife because Jair had thirty sons, Ibzan had thirty sons and daughters and Abdon had forty sons. Adrienne Forgette and Young Lee Hertig, “Marriage, Marriage Practices,” Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, Edited by A. Scott Moreau (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000), 599.
[xii] The term “levirate” comes from the Latin word levir which means “brother–in–law.” In the Bible if a brother dies, leaving a widow without having a son, the brother–in–law is to “take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother–in–law” (Deut 25.5). This “duty” was to produce a son “so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel” (Deut 25.6). The son was to “carry on the name of the dead brother” (Deut 25.6). Examples of levirate marriages in the Bible are the case of Judah and Tamar (Gen 38.1–30), Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 2.20; 3.12; 4.1–12) and in the story where Jesus is questioned about marriage at the resurrection (Mt 22.23–33; Mk 12.18–27; Lk 20.27–40). Victor P. Hamilton, “Marriage (OT and ANE),” in Anchor Bible Dictionary edited by David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 4:567–568.
[xiii] Catechism of the Catholic Church (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1994), 2358–2359.
[xiv] As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it: “Homosexual persons are called to chastity” Catechism of the Catholic Church (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1994), 2358–2359.
[xv] However, Yusufu Turaki states that it is “academic to try to make a distinction between a homosexual person and a homosexual act, as if the latter is sinful and the former not. Both are sinful.” Tokunboh Adeyemo, editor, Africa Bible Commentary (Nairobi: WordAlive Publishers, 2006), 1355.
[xvi] It wasn’t until 1982 when the acronym AIDS was adopted. Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987), 171.
[xvii] Gerald J. Stine, 2005 AIDS Update: An Annual Overview of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings, 2005), 215.
[xviii] See 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2006), 295–500.
[xix] 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2006), 112.
[xx] 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2006), 110.
[xxiii] Paul Semugoma, “HIV: Don’t ignore homosexuals,” The New Vision, Wednesday, July 6, 2005, 24.
[xxiv] Robert Guest, The Shackled Continent (London: Macmillan, 2004), 17.
[xxv] Stigma has also been defined as the process of devaluation that significantly discredits an individual in the eyes of others. HIV–Related Stigma, Discrimination and Human Rights Violations (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2005), 7.
[xxvi] HIV–Related Stigma, Discrimination and Human Rights Violations (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2005), 11–12. Veikko Munyika, “Confronting HIV and AIDS Related Stigma and its Devastating Consequences,” in Challenging the Current Understanding Around HIV and AIDS: An African Christian Perspective (CUAHA, 2005), 74–117.
[xxix] Handbook for Legislators on HIV/AIDS, Law and Human Rights (Geneva: UNAIDS, 1999), 55.
[xxx] Handbook for Legislators on HIV/AIDS, Law and Human Rights (Geneva: UNAIDS, 1999), 123.
[xxxi] Universal Access for Men who have Sex with Men and Transgender People (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2009), 1.
[xxxii] 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2006), 113–114.
[xxxiii] Philip Yancy, What’s So Amazing About Grace (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), 174.
[xxxiv] Philip Yancy, What’s So Amazing About Grace (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), 172.
[xxxv] Facing AIDS: The Challenge, the Churches’ Response (Geneva: WCC, 1997), 77.
[xxxvi] William J. Webb, Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 40.