Saying nothing

Lots of debate goes on blogs about equal marriage and Christianity. I got involved here, and an oppressor commented:

Homosexuality is not the issue at hand… the issue is sin in ALL forms. As I follow Jesus I am learning more about taking the plank out of my own eye before the speck out of my brothers eye. To me I come to understand this as don’t be sure of your “rightness’ to the point that you hate, judge, or condemn others. But this also does not allow me to sit around and say nothing when Christ is being made into something He is not according to the Bible (Old and New Testament) so that we can continue in sin.

Here is someone who proclaims loudly and repeatedly that all gay sex, even between monogamous partners, is sinful. He does this, he would say, in Love, asserting the truth of Christ. According to him, he is not judging gay people, because all sin, and all are subject to judgment, and the sacrifice of Christ is available to all who believe- and believers continue to sin, though should try not to. All he is doing is stating the truth of Christianity, as some would deny it, and say gay sex is all right really. In a country with free speech, that should be permissible.

I do not think that position can be justified.

First, there is the question of how important it is. With some people, it seems their creed goes
Credo in unum Deum
Patrem Omnipotentem
qui damnat homosexuales
factorem caeli et terrae
Indeed for some, it is a shibboleth of the Faith: if you respect the Bible properly, you must condemn homosexual behaviour. However, we can debate what the Bible actually says, and whether we have to follow that. I say the homosexual acts which the Bible might condemn involve violence, and Christians should avoid violence in heterosexual relationships too. I say if the Bible does forbid homosexual activity, it forbids it in the context of idol worship, not in loving relationships, and so the rule has no more weight now than the other ritual purity rules, like not eating shellfish. But I realise that some people think that the Bible condemns all homosexual acts, and that matters more than “love your neighbour”.

Then, how important are they, as sins? Far less important than adultery. Adultery breaks relationships, while making love strengthens a relationship. It is not good for a lesbian to be alone, any more than a straight man. Perhaps the energy the Evangelicals put into fighting equal marriage should be put into preventing adultery instead.

 

Then, how important is the message that homosexual lovemaking is wrong, in the context of Christianity? I would say that “God is Love” is the central message, possibly “Jesus died for our sins” is pretty central too, but “God condemns homosexual sex” comes pretty low on the list. In the post linked to, Argylenerd comments that he is agnostic, but does not believe in God as defined by Evangelicals. And two of them weigh in and say that the Bible condemns homosexuality and therefore so does God. Is this the first winsome message to tell someone who is not yet Saved?

 

Finally, what does the right to proclaim the Faith have to do with preventing equal marriage? “Simple Theologian” may want to state his understanding of Christianity, but if he does anything further- such as campaigning for the North Carolina constitutional amendment- he is going beyond that, and his homophobic oppressive instincts stand revealed.

If an Evangelical states to someone outside his church that the Bible condemns homosexual love, he is an Oppressor.

 

Oh, I got a bit hot under the collar. I feel better after those pictures- and this Wikipedia article. The truth increasingly flourishes.

10 thoughts on “Saying nothing

  1. Excellent points, Clare. I’ll share what I just posted on another blog, which supports your points. The bible has so many positive lessons to learn but many “Christians” tend to use it as a weapon to support their bitterness and hate. Bigots and homophobes will overlook countless lessons about love, compassion, and being a good neighbor, and will fight to the death over a verse in Leviticus (for example)… In the end, I think the bible is like a mirror, there to reflect what is a person’s heart, for better or worse.

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    • The Bible is like a mirror. Exactly. The things which speak to us most in another person are the things which are in us, perhaps the things we dislike in ourselves. Thank you for commenting, Guy. Let us encourage each other. We are on the winning side, I am just sorry it is taking so long.

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  2. Great post. Laughed out loud at The Credo part. People still pick and drop verses from the Bible any which way they choose disregarding the fact that many sections were not meant to be taken literally, some ideas for living were based on cultural norms at the time and that the hundreds of translations have led to a significant loss of meaning. If sin is sin and all Bible verses followed literally, we could start by stoning adulterers and “putting to death” all who eat shellfish

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    • Welcome. We must tell these people that they are ridiculous, loudly and repeatedly, until they get the message. More and more of them do. It is more difficult in Africa: thank you for your courage.

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  3. I think that it is indeed important to look trough in what time and context the bible was written. First of all there has been a change in the language, We can not be sure of what the real deep emaning fo the hebrew words are in some cases. Take for instance the word Jada (in Lot ) which can mean both “get to know” and “have sex with” so we actually do not know which version was meant by that time.
    I also have to add that many things shows that the cultural idea by that time was that the cum was supposed to create life. So one can argue that the idea of prohibitinh acts everything else than penis+vagina would be a “sin” not due to homosexuality but becourse of you where “wasting the sperm” . Also there was no word for “homosexuality (as we know it) in the hebrew or the arabic language by that time. Homosexuality as an sexual identity was not seen as we see it today. It is important to look trough the context and time when looking at the sources.

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    • Welcome, Maddie. I like your this and that. Any argument you like about the Bible will do. It is most pernicious when gay people believe that it condemns them and therefore they have to be celibate or go to hell. I begin not to care what other “christians” think about it. Though it is encouraging to think they are wrong about the interpretation.

      How is equal marriage coming along in Sweden?

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  4. Dear Clare! In Sweden In it is possible twith same-sex (bourgeois) marriages since the the gay marriage legislation bill came on 2009. If you are a Christian and want to be married in Church it is possible from 1 November 2009 possible to enter into Christian rsame-sex marriage. But the decision If they marry you is up to each church or denomination. The decision also means that no individual priest has an obligation to marry same-sex couple.

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