Response to "Jesus, Peter, Paul, Timothy, Food, And Gays"

“Bobby Winter”[1] sent the following post about Jesus, Peter, Paul, Timothy, Food, And Gays:

"The evidence points to sexual orientation as being an innate condition for most people. You can decide how and when to express it, but you can’t change it. You were born that way."

You make a HUGE assumption here that seems to imply that IF you are wrong about it, it's no big deal - that's always a dangerous place to be.  Be careful about what you assume when speaking for or about God.  Your voice (words) are a gift from him and you bear a tremendous responsibility in how you use them and share them. Believe me, I know - and I believe you know it too.

The Bible speaks about behavior.  Regardless of your orientation you are responsible to 'behave' the way God directs.  So IF God instructs you to not be 'left handed' then you are better off deciding to no longer express your 'left handedness' than trying to hide behind an excuse that you can't help it - you were born that way.  It's the same Jesus who told folks that losing a hand or eye was way better than losing your soul to Satan.

I'm not sure which audience you are addressing, but I suspect this piece was aimed at believers who think they are better than other believers or non-believers who practice homosexuality.  IF that is your audience then I think you do a good job of challenging them to see the bigger picture - God loves everyone.

HOWEVER, I would be concerned about how other believers or non-believers might read this piece.  Might they possibly convince themselves that they are correct in their sinful practices by what you say.  That is, might a homosexual read this and believe the only sin indicated is that of hatred or unfair judgment?

Jesus loves sinners - and ALL people are sinners - and yes, God loves every last miserable one of us.  But he also wants us to turn away from our sin - and he is the standard of what sin is, not culture, not the APA, not you or me or anyone who reads your blog. I'm not sure how many persons engaged in sinful sexual behavior consider their sexual behavior sinful.

I would say to the church: stop your sinful practice of judging others and evaluating their relationship with God.  Love everyone more than yourself.

I would say to those outside of the church: turn away from your sins and come to Jesus.  Love God more than yourself.

I do not arrive at my conclusions quickly, or without due study, prayer, & meditation.

I have turned a metaphysical corner in my spiritual growth:  While I am more convinced that ever of the reality of God, the Divinity of Christ, and the abounding grace available to all humanity through His sacrifice, I am also coming to realize we often cloud the reality with cultural / personal preconceptions.

As Paul wrote, “We see through a glass darkly”.[2] We should take care not to let the preconceptions & cultural bias of our time cloud the Truth…

…but we should also be aware that other men at other times faced no less a challenge from their preconceptions & their cultures.

A wrong belief remains a wrong belief, no matter how long or how sincerely held or, for that matter, how esteemed the person holding that belief, or by how many.

I have taken to re-reading the Bible again, more carefully than before, and taking extra care to strip away the interpretive baggage to see what it really says; in particular who is saying it and under what conditions and for which intended audience.

Eventually[3] I will do a multi-part post on the Decalogue & what I think God was getting at when He laid down the 10 Words.[4]

Not to make too fine a point of it, but God didn’t worry about homosexuality enough to mention it in the Decalogue.

Since the Decalogue is from God directly and the various laws of Moses are from him (albeit inspired by God), and because the laws of Moses were designed to whip a mob of fugitive slaves into a coherent, well disciplined army/nation, we Christians -- particularly we Gentile Christians -- are not bound by the Jewish laws & traditions found in the Old Testament.

This point gets repeatedly hammered home in the New Testament.  Paul was in a unique position to bridge Jewish & Roman worlds, but even though he jettisoned a lot of his Jewish heritage, I don’t think he was able to get rid of it all.

No matter; it’s not what he said but what He said that matters, and as far as I can tell the only times God ever addressed humanity directly (the Decalogue and the teachings of Christ) He had bupkis to say on homosexuality.[5]

If it doesn’t matter to Him, it shouldn’t matter to us.

.

.

.

[1]  Pseudonym requested

[2]  Considering Paul’s background & education, it would be astonishing if he wasn’t acutely familiar with Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave.  The truth remains the truth regardless of who speaks it or where.

[3] Promise!

[4]  “Commandments” is the word King James’ translators chose to use in place of the Hebrew “Asereth ha-D'bharîm” which is more accurately translated as “verses” or “sayings” or “terms” or “words”.  Why did they choose “commandments” instead?  Well, they were in the employ of a rich & powerful king; go figure…

[5]  But a lot to say about being unforgiving, judgmental, greedy, and stingy…

Dinna Do Dis

Writing The Great American eNovel On My Smartphone: I Killed A Horse At the Gym Today