How Not to Interpret the Bible

The Children of God (COG), a cult founded by David (Moses David) Berg, used sex as an intoxicant to keep the cult together. Homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, and group sex were all legitimized by the COG cult. Berg’s daughter, Deborah (Linda Berg) Davis, writes in The Children of God: The Inside Story, of how her father justified his perverted view of sex because he first perverted Scripture. He promoted “Flirty Fishing,” using sex to entice young people into the cult, a way to “win souls to Christ.” The Bible was used to support this immoral practice: “Just as Jesus laid down His life, so you must lay down your life (or wife) for these men.” As time went on, the question of lesbianism arose. “There is nothing in Scripture that forbids it,” Berg maintained. If it’s done “in love, it’s okay.”

Child sex was also promoted. Children were told to do “whatever they want.” Child-adult sexual activities were introduced. Homosexuality was approved. “There was such an outbreak of homosexuality that Berg later had to counter his approval with a reprimand. Then came group sex. Communion services were followed by group sex, with the involvement of children. Berg eventually revealed the incestuous relationship he was having with his daughter Faithy. The directive followed that families should practice incest with their children.” Deborah’s insight in the sexual devolution within the cult has a bearing on the rise of today’s homosexual movement:

    Is there a limit? One can see from this progression, occurring in less than a decade in a closed society, that immorality just doesn’t stand still. Nor does it satisfy or bring lasting pleasure. It grows and steadily becomes more perverse and wicked. Sex most certainly contains within it a moral code and a self-destruct principle. What form of sensual pleasure lies beyond what the COG are now doing? What form of perversion lies beyond incest, sodomy, and child abuse? I do not care to put that answer in print.

An ex-disciple of the COG cult believes the children growing up in this sexually charged environment “will become the real Frankenstein monsters.” They “will have nothing to fall back on, having never known any other morality. They’ll grow up believing you can do anything in the name of Jesus!” Homosexuals who claim to be Christians believe they can “do anything in the name of Jesus.”

Homosexuals are chained to sin. Their consciences are seared. A steady diet of sexual themes has resulted in sexual saturation where they are now beyond the point of absorbing any contrary opinion. To give up homosexuality would mean giving up life itself. Homosexuals must endure one of the most frightening punishments of God—to be cut loose from restraining forces and set adrift in a boundless sea of sin. Homosexuals have become sexual cultists.

Homosexuals expound the “All Things” doctrine, like David Berg, perverting the words of the apostle Paul: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Cor. 6:12). Homosexuals often use Scripture to normalize what the Bible describes as an “abomination.” The very activity which Paul describes as “impurity,” “degrading passions,” “unnatural function,” “indecent acts” (Rom. 1), homosexuals embrace with indignant vigor. They go out of their way to debauch the testimony of the Bible and its clear condemnation of homosexuality.

In an address to the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a former student at Bob Jones University maintained that David and Jonathan, son of King Saul, had a homosexual relationship that was blessed by God. He went further by claiming that David and Jonathan “were married.” Like David Berg and the COG, here is a man desperate to legitimize what the Bible most certainly condemns. This view has not gone away. I’ve gotten a similar argument from an emailer. I pointed out that the standard is one man, one woman (Gen. 2:24. Jesus confirms this standard in the New Testament:

    And [Jesus] answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matt. 19:4–6).

Homosexuals try to legitimize their sexual views by manipulating the biblical text of 1 Samuel 18. They assume that when two men express love for one another their relationship has to be sexual, whether in thought or deed. Does love always imply a sexual relationship? The homosexual wants to say yes. The Bible says no. In the Bible, if sex is part of a relationship, it is stated openly (e.g., Gen. 4:25; 16:2, 4; 19:30–38; Matt. 1:25). For example, is there any doubt that David’s relationship with Bathsheba was sexual? Not in the least. “And David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, ‘I am pregnant’” (2 Sam. 11:4–5).

Even if—and it’s a gigantic if—the relationship between David and Jonathan were homosexual, this would not legitimize homosexuality. It would only prove once again that David was a sinner. David also committed adultery and was an accomplice to murder in the death of Uriah the Hittite. So we add to these his sin of sodomy. Are homosexuals ready to acknowledge that adultery and murder are also normative behavior for Christians? Just because a Bible character—even one as great as David—does something does not mean the behavior is lawful.