It’s been a while since I got on my soapbox over this subject, so I’m overdue. This post is actually a retread of an older one, but it makes some interesting points so I decided to freshen it up a little and share it with you again. I wrote this after reading another blog called “Jesus, The Radical Pastor”, by John Frye. In an entry titled “Jesus Goes Postal“, Frye contends Jesus’ was doing more than clearing the vendors out of the temple when he went off; he was sending a message that the exclusion inherent in Judaism and displayed in the Temple was over. In it, Frye says:
“Exclusion in the Name of faith. The Temple in Jesus’ day maintained a rigid hierarchy of who was closest and farthest from God. God-seeking Gentiles? Hey, let’s build a flea market in their spot. Never mind there are all kinds of markets already available on the Mount of Olives. Competition is good. Who cares that the traditional laws forbid carrying your wallet into the Temple area? This is AD 33! Get with the times. Your wallet: don’t leave home without it. But, keep the women out. Keep the cripples out. Keep the Gentiles out. Keep the am ha’aretz out! We are Jewish, well-bodied, well-educated, righteous men. We’re in! By his unexpected drama, Jesus declared that the days of exclusion were over. Are Christian gays welcomed into our ’sacred space’?”
It was that last sentence that caught me. Over the past several years ago, the Southern Baptist Conventions of several states have amended their Articles of Incorporation to say that a church was not in “friendly cooperation” with the Convention if they “knowingly act, approve, endorse, support or bless homosexual behavior” That’s verbatim from their website, by the way. What happens to churches not in friendly cooperation? Ask Broadway Baptist Church in Texas. The Texas convention terminated a 127 year relationship with that congregation because they were too lenient with homosexual members. The Oklahoma convention passed a resolution that asked businesses, organizations and government to restrict their grants to two types of families: those headed by one man and one woman and those with single parents. Because that’s exactly how Jesus would’ve done it.
Why all the hubbub about homosexuality? According to those opposed to it, it’s based on scripture. Not that there’s a lot of scripture on the subject. In fact, Jesus himself never mentioned much about sex in general outside of adultery. A lot of people refer to the Old Testament on this. While Mosaic Law seems pretty harsh about homosexuality, it’s also pretty harsh about other things . Like stoning adulterous women (but, not men), forbidding divorce, that if a man dies childless, his widow is to sleep with his each of his brothers in turn until she becomes pregnant so that the dead man’s line continues and others even more outlandish by our standards. But, we don’t any of these things anymore. Why? Three reasons:
- We’ve learned things since they were written that tell us they’re discriminatory,
- They’re no longer required for our relationship with God
- They require more drastic consequences than we believe fits with a Christian life style (i.e. stoning).
We don’t do these things anymore and that’s all right, but all of society is threatened if a same sex couple wants the same legal rights as a straight one. This doesn’t make sense. Why slavishly hold to one aspect of Mosaic Law as an absolute truth and throw out the rest? Apply the same measures to homosexuality, however, and you’re accused of “moral relativism”. Moral relativism is the view that ethical standards, morality, and positions of right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person’s personal choice (from moral-relativism.com). Morally relative or not, the churches current view on homosexuality works to marginalize a large group of people and that’s contrary to the Gospel.
Think about this: Who did Jesus spend most of his time with? The elite, chosen Pharisees and devout Jews or the dregs of society, including prostitutes, tax collectors and lepers. You know the answer without even looking it up. And, when confronted about who he was with by the Pharisees, Jesus responded that these were the people he came for. The poor, the disenfranchised, the outcast. In His words, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick”. If he was here today, who would he be hanging around with?
Finally, I come to the question posed in the title of this entry: Gay and Christian? That is, can you be a practicing homosexual and be a Christian also? Some would argue not. That continuing the sin of homosexuality somehow following Christ. I notice, however, that any sins these folks might be complicit in aren’t mentioned. Funny how that works, huh?