Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Homosexuality and the Bible

Homosexuality and the Bible

My suggestion, as always, is get back to the "Word of God".

Not that Jewish library of myths and legends, histories, law, old sayings, erotica, allegory, poetry and prophecy.  And not the collection of letters by members of the early Christian Church, of whom Paul might well be seen as a "Doctor of the Church" along with Augustine, Gregory and the rest.

No. Get back to the true "Word of God".  God's living "communication" with mankind. God's perfect example of how life should be lived.  This is not about a "Book".  It is about a “Message".  It is not about "Theology". It's about "Life".  Trust that through Jesus we know all that we need to know.

Question 1.  If the words of Jesus, as written down for us by several witnesses, and the examples set by Jesus as likewise recorded, are sufficient, then what about the other stuff that constitutes "The Bible" aka "Holy Scripture" aka "The Word of God"? Is it factual? is it infallible? Does it matter?

A:  God doesn't require perfection to work through us!  Let us just thank God that he doesn't require perfection to work through us!  The writers of those scriptures were seriously flawed people, just like us! The Holy Spirit doesn't "dictate".  The Holy Spirit "inspires".  ….. and so, with all the faults and flaws, the four Gospel accounts of Jesus continue to be the best possible source of information that we have about the love of God, and what he desires for us, and expects of us.

Question 2.  If Jesus, as the incarnate Christ was/is the "Word" i.e. "Communication" of God, what did he actually communicate?

* He communicated that he accepted sinners.  At least, he accepted sinners of ALMOST every class.  The main sort of sinner that he showed a real disdain for was the hypocrite.  The reason for this is fairly obvious. The sin of the hypocrite is personal deceit that breeds insurmountable intolerance towards other sinners. 

* He communicated that nothing in the human condition shocked him and that no human was too foul for his touch. He challenged all prejudice of sex, race, cleanliness, orthodoxy. Not just the adulteress and the tax collector- the woman of the despised race of slave-traders was challenged to speak out against the prejudice of all around her. The Roman soldier who had a male servant, about whom he cared SO DEEPLY that he was prepared to grovel to an itinerant Jewish preacher, received Jesus' immediate reassurance. 

*Jesus challenged the rules. Jesus was not locked into the values of "Religion". He made a strong case for common-sense and common-kindness.  And since he demonstrated these values in such abundance, we need to develop them in ourselves. 

*Jesus met people where they were at. He challenged the proud to bow down, the rich to be poor, the voiceless to speak out, and the gender-oppressed to act as equals. Jesus empowered people to mighty witness. The woman who touched his robe was healed; but more than that.... she witnessed, and was restored in the eyes of those to whom she was unclean. 

*That story about that “Good” Samaritan”: the thing that set that Samaritan apart from the Priest and the Levite was that, like Jesus,  Jewish ritual was not an obligation for him.  He was free to touch that bleeding naked body, because he was not bound by religion or convention.  The other two, in walking past, were simply fulfilling the requirement of the Law. 

*The story about that Prodigal Father:... Yes, it was the father who was the real challenge to society.  He accepted the socially unacceptable. 

What I am saying here is that we are almost certainly wrong if we imagine that the love of homosexual people, and the expressions of love between homosexual partners would be unacceptable in the sight of Jesus.  To condemn gender equality, to condemn what appears (scientifically) to be a God-given gender preference doesn't hold with the tolerance, the acceptance, the broadness of the love of Jesus, and the sort of loving acceptance that he led us to develop in ourselves.  Neither does it seem possible for this intolerance to exist in the Divine nature of the Father, the Creator-God, whose message was embodied in Jesus.  Surely Jesus didn’t get it wrong?  Those four individual witnesses were awfully consistent in the way they depicted his character!

Question3: So what about the condemnation of the "sin of Sodom"?

The sin of Sodom, as enacted in the Old Testament has nothing to do with "gender preference".  It has to do with the violent act of rape, still a major problem in the Middle East and Africa, and used to humiliate and intimidate those who do not conform, both male and female. 

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