It’s Cherry-pickin’ Time

My conservative brothers and sisters have been rather vociferous lately over what the Bible has to say about sexuality. To be honest, most of it has been quoted out of context. Cherry-picked, if you will. I’m sure you’ve heard that term before, it was all the rage back in early to mid-aughts to describe how the Bush Administration parsed intelligence leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. If you’re still not sure what it means, let’s clear that up now. There are several definitions for the term, but the one that best fits what we’re discussing today comes from to choose or take the best or most profitable of (a number of things), especially for one’s own benefit or gain. Using this device, we’ve been told that the heterosexuality is the only acceptable “lifestyle” and that cohabitation in any form other than Christian marriage is verboten. I could spend days picking these arguments apart, but others have done a much better job than I ever could. Besides, I want to engage in a little cherry picking of my own.

If some folks can pull verses out the Bible and use them marginalize others and deny people their natural rights, then why can’t I do the same to defend those rights and welcome those people back into our fellowship? See what you think:

Learn to do good. Seek justice: help the oppressed;defend the orphan; plead for the widow. Isaiah 1:17

Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law.  Romans 13:8

Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.  Amos 5:24

Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. 1 John 3:18

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Psalm 82:3

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you 45 so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven Matthew 5:44-45

He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly:

This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. John 15:12

These verses may not be in perfect context, but I’d say they’re damn sight closer to what God wants from us than what we’ve heard.