Episode # 21
Sexual immorality vs. the Beauty of God’s Design for Intimacy | Dr. Jordash Kiffiak, Part 2 – Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
February 19, 2024
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Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
Sexual immorality vs. the Beauty of God's Design for Intimacy | Dr. Jordash Kiffiak, Part 2 - Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
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In this episode Dr. Ann and Dr. Kiffiak discuss the ramifications of sexual behavior outside of God’s order.

Dr. Kiffiak is a scholar of the life of Jesus and teacher of New Testament Greek.
Find Dr. Kiffiak at Omilein.org and be sure to keep an eye out for his upcoming book!

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See Podcast Transcript

*This is an AI generated transcript, and may contain inaccurate transcriptions*

Dr. Ann Gillies (00:12):

Welcome back to Truth Talks with Dr. Ann. Well, today we have Dr. Ardash Kak coming back to talk about the manuscript that he has written and that is Jesus and Sexuality. So we’re going to talk about the manuscript. We’re going to talk about some of the sections in it, and we’re going to start with the issue of Sodom and Gamora, which is always a hot button, I think, for a lot of people. So welcome back Dr. Kak. And yeah, why don’t we just get right into it. What about Genesis 19 where same sex sexuality is addressed?

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (01:02):

Thanks, Dr. Ann. Yeah, you can imagine with a title like Jesus and Sodom, that will be a central topic that I look at in the book. It’s not just a punchy title to sort of grab attention, but it really is the central question. Jesus talks about Sodom and Gomorrah a number of times in his teachings. The main one I’ll address here a little bit later is Luke 17, but it’s a really important question. This story of Sodom and Gomorrah has been known for centuries to refer to homosexuality to address that topic. Yet today there’s quite a big backlash. People saying, no, it’s more about inhospitality or it’s about group violence, rape. And there may be a number of topics in there, but one thing we need to bear in mind is that you can have sins that are stacked on top of each other. And we know this in our own lives, we can be very familiar with this.

(02:06):

But there’s also the case of Amon, for example, who rapes his sister Tamar. Now, that’s a story about a rape and incest. And you can think of examples even just off the top of your head that if someone were to do sexual violence towards a nun, for example, it just sort of raises the level of inappropriateness because you think, well, this person has vowed chastity. There’s just ways where you can stack things so that if it’s done between two older brothers to a younger brother or et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, you can add elements where it just becomes too much. And so we don’t want to look, it’s not an either or question. When we look at Genesis 19, it’s really a question of what is being highlighted here. And when we ask that question, it becomes pretty clear the text of Genesis when people may be familiar with the story and may not, but God comes and speaks to Abraham saying, I’m about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and before I do that, I’m just going to really make sure and verify that this cry that’s come up to me is that I know what it really is.

(03:19):

And Abraham intercedes, he shows God’s mercy by really hoping that God will save the city. And God promises that if there’s 10 righteous people, he will do that. He will save the city. Two angelic visitors come down to the city, lot finds them lot is a sojourner there, he’s not a citizen. And it’s actually on Lot’s account that earlier on in chapter 14 of Genesis, earlier on in the narrative and in history, Abraham has gone and rescued all of the captives from Sodom Gaur in the other cities who were taken in war, all of the women and children. And he brought them back, all of them. But he was primarily Abraham was going with a few hundred men to go and save a lot his nephew, but also managed to deliver all of these other captives whom the kings of Sodom, Goor and the other three cities were to cowardly themselves to go and pursue and to rescue.

(04:14):

So Abraham was kind of a David and Goliath in that generation. So his nephew is living there. They all know about Abraham. Abraham will be like a household name. He has the one who’s produced a lot of deliverance for them. Certainly the king of Sodom knows this. Bera came out and demanded all of his people back when the Melek had welcomed Abraham and blessed him in the name of the Lord most high. So these two angelic visitors come and lot takes them in and says, don’t sleep out here. It’s is dangerous coming to my house. And then the text genesis

Dr. Ann Gillies (04:53):

That’s right to start with, the streets are dangerous in Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s not a safe place to be.

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (05:03):

Yes. And then all of the men of the city surround that house and it says it very clearly. The Heric narrative style is usually laconic. It doesn’t use a lot of words to describe something. You don’t often get descriptions of people’s physical features, for example. It’s very, very sparse in detail. But when you get something that’s redundant like that and the text now says three times that all of the men from young to old without any exception surrounded the city, then you go, this is really disturbing. This is really disturbing. This is a culture that is actually inundated with a desire for sexual immorality. And they want to do a number of things. They want to humiliate guests, but they want the men because when the concept of having women in the household comes, and that is a very disturbing part of the story. But when that idea is presented, presented,

Dr. Ann Gillies (06:01):

I was going to say that that bothers me so much.

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (06:04):

Absolutely, absolutely. And it’s really difficult to process what is happening in lot speech there. Peter calls him a righteous man, and I’ve made some really dumb statements when I have been under great stress, things that I wish I could take back. I’ve put up blog posts that I wish I had never put up, for example. And we do dumb things and I don’t, can’t excuse him, did he say it sarcastically? I don’t know

Dr. Ann Gillies (06:38):

You want me guess, but to offer his own daughters. For those viewers who don’t know the story, please read Genesis 19. But law goes ahead and in trying to protect the angels from all of the men of the city offers the man his own daughters to do with whatever they want to. And it’s appalling to me that was like, if these are the angels of God, can’t you trust them to protect your whole family? But we aren’t in his shoes. And can you imagine, imagine his home being surrounded by all of the man of the city, how awful that would be. And still, I couldn’t imagine offering anyone in my own family. But anyways, nevertheless, that is, it’s kind of like, oh, he’s human. So I think you’re right. Did he have a brain freeze? Was he being sarcastic? But the reality was that he was trying to protect these angels of the Lord. And what was the biggest problem there?

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (07:52):

What comes out of that interaction is that the men of the city say, absolutely not. We want these two men, and when we’re done with these men, then we’ll come and deal with you worse. And so they threaten actually the three men, the two visitors and lot. They don’t say, when we’re done with these men, then we’ll come for your daughters or we’ll come for whatever It really is. There’s an emphasis on that same sex sexual element. The angels deliver them. They come out, the only his family is delivered. And by the way, the angels ask, is there anyone else in this city? This destruction is going to happen tonight. There’s anyone else in this city that you have that’s part of your family. And lot goes out and tries to find and finds the men that are engaged to his daughters and he says, let’s go. And they think that he’s just, they can’t believe what he’s saying. And so they don’t come, but they stay. And by this point, the angels have blinded all of the men. So they can’t because trying to get in through the door, but they’re blinded and they can’t do anything like that. But these, so all

Dr. Ann Gillies (09:09):

The men of the city were blinded. Wow, isn’t that, that’s so amazing, really.

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (09:16):

So what you were saying is you were saying couldn’t lot have believed that the angels would protect them and in the end they did. They did just what you were saying. And lot should have had that kind of insight and confidence. But the two men that are engaged to his daughters, they prefer to stay in the hoard of crazed men who are seeking male flesh rather than to go away with the women that they’re betrothed to and have natural families. And it’s another point in the story that just highlights that this really is about same sex sexuality as opposed to natural sexuality between a man and a woman, which is what God has designed. They escape. There’s destruction, lots wife turns back and is turned into stone and eventually just lot and his daughters get away,

Dr. Ann Gillies (10:16):

Which is a whole other story. And I’m just going to insert something here. I know that this isn’t what the focus is, but when I think about the evil of the city and the spiritual context of immorality, and we read then subsequently what lot’s daughters did, there is that sense of a spiritual connection that they had already embraced. And I just think, wow, unless we deal with those things in our life, we’re liable to repeat some things that are pretty damaging. Anyways, sorry about that. Let’s talk a little bit about sexual immorality prior to the flood and how that contributes to the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (11:13):

Yeah, this is a really interesting thing, and among the times that Jesus mentioned Sodom and Gomorrah, Luke 17 is the instance where he brings the flood and the Sodom story together and he does it on a number of points. There’s a number of things that he describes in both stories that are parallel. So he’s read these stories in considerable detail and thought about them, and he also uses both of those stories as paradigms or precursors of what is actually going to happen at the end of the age in relation to the judgment that will come when he finally meets out a final judgment on all humanity.

(12:00):

When we look at the little letter of Jude, now, Jude is most scholars would accept those that are Christian scholars would accept this as Jesus’ brother. He calls himself a brother of James, but that’s probably James, the brother of Jesus. That’s probably a humble way of saying that I’m also a brother of Jesus, sorry. Jude also brings the flood and the Sodom story together. And with Jude, it’s very clear that the angels prior to the flood left their heavenly dwelling and made homes on earth. Let’s just say they took wives and produce offspring on earth. This is the story that’s described in Genesis six. So these are celestial beings that God has created that forsake God and come and cohabitate on earth and produce nephilim. These are the giants. Even David kills a giant, and it’s the giants that the Israelites are so afraid of.

(13:04):

That’s what prevents them from coming into the promised land and wandering in the desert. Then for 40 years, it’s really giants that are a principle opponent to the people of God at various key points, but they’re the offspring of really fallen angels and humans. Jude links that sexual immorality, which brought about the flood. Genesis six said, this happened before the flood and afterwards, this is the Nephi when these heroes of oral old were born both before and after, but when the sons of God came together with the sons of or the daughters of man and Jude links that sexuality with the homosexuality that precedes the destruction by fire of Sodom. So we have water and fire, two massive destructions, complete annihilation of civilizations. And what Jude highlights in both cases is a sexual immorality. We see something similar in the letter of second Peter in chapter two.

(14:08):

He also brings the flood and Sodom and goor together. Now, he doesn’t really specify what the fallen angels were guilty of, but he does specify that the people in Sodom were guilty of sexual immorality. Now, he doesn’t say homosexuality, but sexual immorality would encompass that. And certainly if the men are married in the city of Sodom, they’re not only committing adultery by trying to pursue other men, but then they’re engaged in homosexuality. And so both of those would be covered by Peter’s reference, Simon Peters reference to sexual immorality. So we have two of Jesus’s disciples, a disciple and one is his flesh and blood brother as well, and others, his principal leader that he appoints and they’re both linking the flood and Sodom together and they’re both highlighting sexual immorality in Sodom in that connection between the two destructions. And Jude makes homosexuality very explicit.

(15:11):

What are the chances that Jesus has brought together the flood and the Sodom story in such detail as we see in Luke 17, but not thought about the connections between sexuality in both stories? And there’s more to it than that. I’ll add one more piece is that in both cases after the destructions, there is a kind of tremor after an earthquake, you sometimes have tremors and there’s a tremor in both stories. In the case of Noah, Noah plants a vineyard, he gets drunk, he becomes naked, and one of his sons ham sees him. And that can be a euphemism for actually sexual activity to see someone’s nakedness. And it may be saying in euphemistic language that ham actually assaulted his father and later comes out and tells his brothers, and why does Noah get so upset that he curses him Son Canaan? It’s a very, very strong curse. It doesn’t seem commensurate with just simply seeing somebody. Now maybe it was voyeurism, but the language, it is the type of language use that makes you think there was a sexual glance. At the very least

Dr. Ann Gillies (16:33):

He saw

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (16:34):

His father’s nakedness

Dr. Ann Gillies (16:36):

That just, it’s like drops a peg for me because I’m thinking, wow, I always thought, okay, saw his father naked sleeping. I don’t understand. But when you couple that with seeing and I think of how God sees us intimately this sense of intimacy, now I’m thinking, wow, I like how you put that together because it makes a whole lot more sense of why Noah cursed that son and his descendants because it was far more personal than just I’m sleeping naked. And the reaction now makes a whole lot more sense. That’s so interesting.

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (17:28):

And the parallel with that, first I should just say that phrase to see nakedness, we have that in, I believe it’s Leviticus 20 as an actual euphemism for inappropriate sexuality between I think it’s a brother and a sister in that instance, I’d have to go back and look exactly what the pairing is, but that’s to say it is a euphemism that is used elsewhere for inappropriate sexuality. When you see the parallel of what happens after the flood and what happens after Sodom, something very similar happens. The patriarch gets drunk. One of the children, in fact, both of the children in subsequent nights sleep with him. And so you have a dishonoring of a father, you have drunkenness, you have incest, and in this case of Noah and ham, you also have a same sex sexual element, and that’s Canaan gets cursed in. Canaan is the descendant who from whom, if you look in the table in Genesis, the table of nations, that this is where Sodom and Gomorrah come from. So there’s actually a genealogical link between Ham Canaan and the Sodomite and the Peter of Sodom as well as a kind of ideological link.

(18:55):

And that’s shown right in the text of Genesis. So if you’re studying the flood story in the Sodom story in detail, and Jesus was, and Jude and Peter show that they were doing the same sort of thing, then the sexual immorality that precedes both of those two destructions, one by water or one by fire. And that comes in the aftermath even within the family that’s rescued because it’s like you were saying, it’s something about the cultures they were living in. They didn’t quite get out of it. They came with them,

Dr. Ann Gillies (19:31):

It came with them, it all of them in their heart. You know what? They had embraced the culture. And then you see the manifestation of embracing the culture in their behavior. And we see that all the time now. I believe we see that a lot in new Christians coming into the church, coming into a belief in Christ, I won’t say coming into the church, but coming into a relationship with Jesus. And yet often that relationship becomes stagnant if they do not repent of embracing the culture and all of the sexual immorality. And it’s not just sexual immorality of course, but our culture is so fixated on that. So, boy, you have drawn some really interesting parallels. How about talking about Paul in the New Testament? What was his tag? He was a prolific writer. He gave us all kinds of fabulous books, and he had some things to say as well on same sex sexuality,

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (20:48):

The line between Jesus and Peter, Jesus and Judah is so much easier to draw because very likely they learn directly from their master. No servant is greater than his master, so they’re not going to be really coming up with a lot of new things in that area. Paul is different because he received his revelation directly from Jesus in vision, at least his main call I’m sure he received, and he articulates. There’s a lot of things that he received also by tradition from the apostles when he writes to the followers of Jesus in Rome and he’s never been there and he opens his peace, he’s going to really present his understanding of the gospel. And he talks about both Jew and Gentile being under sin. One of the crowning pieces he puts there when he talks about Gentiles is that there’s idolatry, worship of images of animals and so forth, and there’s sexual immorality in a specific same sex sexuality. He really highlights that. So for him, it’s his opening piece and we need to take that seriously. He thinks that just in the same way that people have exchanged the invisible God for images of created things, we’ve also exchanged those that of us that have been apart from God. We’ve also exchanged natural relations for unnatural relations, and

Dr. Ann Gillies (22:11):

Not just homosexual relations, but all kinds of other unnatural relations because the Bible does not, it’s not silent on things such as pality or like you said, incest. And the New Testament as well is very explicit about what is acceptable sexual behavior and what is natural and what is abnormal, what is harmful. And so there’s not just the same sex, but there’s a whole lot of different perversions, and I’ll call them perversions, that step outside the bounds of marriage, male and female, and that God is explicitly condemning. And then Paul goes on to talk about some of those things like explicit parallels

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (23:11):

And Paul’s voice, Jude’s voice, and I’m inferring also Peter and Jesus there, those voices would not have been unique among Jews in the ancient world. All Jews would’ve said the same thing. That’s the one thing that I’m trying to articulate in the book fairly clearly, is that we need to situate Jesus. The book is primarily about Jesus within that Jewish context. And Paul is not an outlier here. He is just right in the same stream as everyone else when it comes to same sexuality as well as other sexual immoralities. Ancient Jews that follow the scriptures would say, in fact, all ancient Jews that we have any opinion of recorded from around that time that ever address same-sex, sexuality, they you’ve used sometimes even stronger language, really strong language. So we just know that that’s a unified voice there.

Dr. Ann Gillies (24:07):

And the Jews, I mean because of their religious practices and their beliefs on this, they were certainly not part of the Roman citizenry. They were separate from the whole Roman thought. Greek thought. They separated themselves based on their commitment to the Torah, to their ability of understanding morality, which separated them from the Roman citizens and the practices within that huge, huge area in the world.

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (24:54):

You raise a great point, Dr. Anne. And we know that a few, a hundred and some years before Jesus, there was a very inappropriate king who ruled Antiochus epiphanies, who ruled over the land of Israel and tried to implement pagan worship. There was sexual immorality that happened inside the temple in Jerusalem. It just got so out of control that some Jews rose up. And actually by miraculous assistance, assistance from heaven, they actually cast off that oppressive foreign force, that gentile force that was forcing people and changing laws and so forth. But hellenism, the Greek way of thinking and Greek way of doing things already had a strong grip in Israel, in the land of Israel, I should say. And that’s to say that there were, I mean, men would wrestle naked and there were all those sort of Greek types of things had already come into the culture. And so Hanukkah is really the celebration of that is a festival that celebrates when the Jews were able to throw off that foreign rule about roughly a hundred and 150 years before Jesus, roughly like that. And Jesus himself celebrated Hanukkah. We see that in the gospel of John. So Jesus would be very, very aware of what is Hellenism, what are the sexual proclivities of those involved in Hellenism? And as Jews, we just don’t do this. In fact, we celebrate a feast that says we don’t do that.

Dr. Ann Gillies (26:34):

And so separating themselves even further from the gentile world, but then we get Jesus, and we’ve been talking about Jesus and Sodom, let’s finish up with this call to intimacy. This is your final section of the book, and I think what a great way to end this book because it’s such a very difficult topic, and God offers a call to intimacy with him. Can you talk about that as we kind of wrap this up?

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (27:07):

Yeah, yeah. Thank you, Dr. Ann. There’s four chapters in that last section, and they look at God’s call to intimacy for us, we’re created for intimacy, we’re created for very meaningful close relationships, and that’s what often we’re longing for when we go off track and get involved in things that seem alluring and seem to promise so much, but just end up really disappointing us over and over and over again. But sometimes we keep pursuing it anyways because we don’t know that God has a really good design. So the first chapter in that section looks at the family that God has, the natural family, the one that God has designed, and that involves not just say a marriage partner, which is an important part, very important part, but you may not be married, and it involves brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. The whole nexus, that whole tree that you have been graciously by God put into, there are relationships in there when they’re healthy that can be deeply nourishing.

(28:13):

These are people that I’m taking a trip soon to see some relatives in another province and just the ability that they can have to connect with you because they’ve known you all your life is very rich and meaningful. Now the natural family can fail you, and the next chapter looks at the family of God and the family of God is really something greater. It’s great when you have people in the natural family that are also a part of the family of God, but that’s not always the case. And in God’s family, anyone who believes in Jesus receives the Holy Spirit as a seal, and you actually become a son and a daughter and you become, you and I we’re brother and sister, and there’s a relationship that we can share and that especially in a local community, you can share which meets you in your deepest needs in a way that just other relationships can’t, even your marriage can’t, if that marriage partner is not a follower of Jesus because it’s brought to life by the Spirit, the next chapter looks at an even greater intimacy than that, which is this intimacy of our connection with God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

(29:29):

Sexual intimacy is about connecting and interpenetrating or penetrating and things like that, and what can be more beautiful than having the spirit of God come and dwell inside us. The one who loves us more than anyone will, the one who knows us more intimately, and not only that, but absolutely empowers us to do what we were unable to do to change. There is legislation as far as I understand it in Canada that says, you can’t say this sort of thing, but I truly believe that you can change whatever type of proclivity you have for behavior that is not healthy. The Holy Spirit, that’s the whole promise of the new covenant. Jesus says, I’m giving you a new covenant in my blood. And every time we take communion, we remember this. That new covenant Jeremiah says is that he will write his laws in our hearts. So every time we take communion, we are affirming that we can positively change to align ourselves with God’s laws. We just have to get intimate with the Holy Spirit and allow him to have his way. Sometimes it’s very difficult,

Dr. Ann Gillies (30:38):

Very difficult. He

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (30:39):

So mer, he’s so merciful to take us where we need to go. And sometimes it’s a bumpy road, but it’s better. It’s a better road because it’s on an upward trajectory. It’s not just down, down, down.

Dr. Ann Gillies (30:51):

Well, and even though some people might think, oh, God has disappointed me, usually it’s God’s representatives have disappointed someone. We aren’t perfect by any means, and so we say and do things that can hurt other people, but the greatest intimacy is with God himself. And I guess we could say God disappoints us too because he doesn’t give us everything we want. Sometimes we have this idea that he’s this fairy godmother, right? But that’s not who God is. He is bound by the very laws that he put in place and that when we line ourself up, and I always think of this alignment, the sense where God, the Father, is through the cross, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and then the infilling of the Holy Spirit comes and touches us in such a way that it impacts our spirit, soul, and body holistically and that kind of intimacy. There is no other way. I mean, marriage is a representation of it. When we think of God, man and woman coming together in marriage, holy matrimony, that’s a representation of this true intimacy. Anyways, I’ll let you have the final word. Dr. Final word is,

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (32:29):

I really appreciate what you said, that sometimes we still are not satisfied completely. And that’s what I address in the final chapter, which is the deepest longing for intimacy is that we are made to be eternal beings and this planet, if you have chosen Jesus, and I hope that you have everyone because there’s nothing quite like him. He will satisfy you more than anything you’ve tasted if you’ve chosen him. And we have Dr. Ann, you and I, we know that we are sojourners on this planet. This is not our home. Thank God. This is not our final resting place. There is a hope, there is a time that will happen. It says in the scriptures that when we see him, we will actually become like him. I mean, it’s more than we could ever dream. It’s beyond anything we could hope for. We will be like him. We will be with him forever. We will be fully known just as we will fully know him, just as we are already fully known. Can you imagine that kind of intimacy? I can’t wait,

Dr. Ann Gillies (33:32):

And I don’t think any of us can truly imagine it. I mean, really the depth and breadth of the love and intimacy of God for us, and that’s why he wants to write his laws in our heart and why he has given us sexual boundaries, because intimacy is such an important aspect of our creator. God. Well, I just want to thank you, doctor, for being with us. George, you are such a delight, and I think this is going to be a wonderful read for people. So keep that in mind going forward, and maybe we’ll have you back after the book comes out and we’ll talk a little bit further. Does that sound okay?

Dr. Jordash Kiffiak (34:17):

That sounds fine. Thanks so much.

Dr. Ann Gillies (34:20):

You’re welcome. Thank you. Thank you for being with us again today. I hope you enjoyed DoorDash and all that we’ve been discussing. I know I learned some very important things. My eyes have been opened actually, and many things. I just love the depth and the insight that George Dash brought to this subject. So please watch for his book and we’ll talk about it later. I’ll certainly have updates on my website, restoring the mosaic.ca, and you can find more information there. Thanks for joining me today.

Outro (35:03):

You’ve been listening to Truth Talks with Dr. R. Thank you so much for joining us today. You can find Anne’s books blog and sign up for the newsletter by going to restoring the mosaic.ca.

Restoring the Mosaic seeks to strengthen Canadian national unity by educating and informing policy-makers, legislators, and educational leaders with clinical research that will assist them to establish programs and policies that allow individuals with crises in identity to recover wholeness.

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