Homosexuality and Lesbianism
We use the term sex to include pretty much anything one or more people can do together that involves enjoying what our genitalia can provide for us. When it comes to scripture however the more accurate term that is most important is intercourse. Scripture is most concerned with intercourse. That does not mean that other aspects of enjoyment are ignored, but are not classified the same.
Intercourse with another man's wife would be adulteration. Reaching under another man's wife's skirt to feel between her legs would be considered acting on lust and likely get you righteously beat up by the husband. It would not be considered a death penalty offense as is intercourse with his wife. Scriptural intercourse is vaginal. Improper intercourse is anal. A man's penis must be inserted into another person to call it intercourse or be scripturally called sex.
Scripture is mostly only concerned with this type of activity. Vaginal intercourse is performed solely between a man and his woman (wife). Anal intercourse is prohibited in Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26-27 regardless of whether a man performs it with a woman (Romans 1:26) or a man (Romans 1:27). Anal intercourse is also an unhealthy activity and thus the warning in the later part of Romans 1:27. I consider it also a health law.
It always bothered me that that the new testament seemed to indicate there was a sin that was not found anywhere in the law or the old testament. The English can be so misleading. As noted above Romans 1:26 does not have anything to do with two women having intercourse as a woman is not properly equipped to have intercourse with another woman. Verse 26 can only be understood properly in the Greek and it indicates a form of intercourse that is not normal vaginal intercourse. There must be a man's penis involved to have intercourse and abnormal intercourse must then be anal intercourse. So two women can not have intercourse or sex in the scriptural sense of the words. They can enjoy each other's company in other ways though.
Would that be considered Lesbianism? No. I view Lesbianism as one or two different ideas or aspects. There is one aspect that is particularly political with it's goal to destroy the scriptural principles of marriage. The other is when women gather together because they hate men. Some of their hatred may be justified as men do not always behave as proper righteous men. Some though just hate the Biblical model for marriage and although they would fight to avoid a home with a man and more than one woman they will go and live in a home with other women. Go figure. We live in a world where scriptural righteousness is sometimes viewed as evil and out of date.
There are some aspects of what we call homosexuality that I believe are societal and not necessarily moral. Scripture talks about the evil of anal intercourse between two men. Scripture also tells us that men need to behave like men. Men should not try to be or be like women. Women should not try to be or be like men. So for the sake of discussion let's say that you and a couple of your buddies are out hiking and camping in the wilderness, no tents. You've been sitting around the campfire enjoying the time and the peace of nature. There are no women with you and you all feel the need to get some relief. Would there be anything wrong with you all masturbating there around the fire? What if you even helped each other? There is no intent or desire for any intercourse or becoming homosexual. Can three guys sitting around the fire realize that they have that kind of freedom with out any evil intent?
So just as women can get together and have some fun I do believe that men can as well. Between two men or between two women the activity then is going to be some form of masturbation whether by hand or orally. I will suggest that it is fine to share with your friends whom you trust. In this day though that might be difficult! Like any thing else in life one should not let it control your life and do not let it replace your need for a mate if you desire one. Regardless of how good it might be it can not replace the love and intimacy of a mate.
No, I'm not ready to start seeing guys hold hands or kiss in public. The first thing I'll tend to think is that they are having unscriptural anal intercourse. Also I'm not sure that would really qualify as behaving as men in this day. Scripture makes some room for custom just as it does with appropriate clothing or lack thereof. Scripture also requires one to be aware of and to care about offending others. So keep that in mind please.
There is one other thing I should mention. This is talked about some in "Eros Made Sacred" by Stivers. Stivers suggests that it is forced monogamy that is at least somewhat responsible for the amount of homosexuality and prostitution in our society. I agree. There are not enough men to go around so women find solace with women. Have you ever noticed that many men are drawn to women of other races, such as Korean or Philippine. Many men find the attitude of those women to be easier for companionship. Interracial marriage is forbidden in scripture, but one can see why men are tempted to do so. There is an attitude among women in most Western nations that implies a status that is superior to men. Forced monogamy has created the woman on a pedestal. In scripture the woman should be found by the man's side as a companion and help meet, not something to be worshiped. In Christ we are equal and not to be worshiped. So it is somewhat understandable why some men find it easier to accept companionship of another man. Understand that I am not denigrating the idea of sharing time with a friend. I am suggesting that many are forced to seek it as their only solution because of what society has before it as it's ideal. It is not God's ideal.
Definitions: According to the 1931 Winston Simplified Dictionary sodomy is defined as unnatural intercourse among males and between humans and animals. Here are scriptures associated with what used to be called sodomy and associated acts.
Where to purchase Eros Made Sacred by James Wesley Stivers