To the many exegetes, M-Div, pastorate, theologian etc… on this blog, how might one extrapolate, from the verses below, that Jesus (aka The Trinity) had nothing to say about sexual deviance:
“Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
What might Jesus’ understanding have been of the term ‘sexual immoraility’? Would it not have been based on the OT/Law that he referenced elsewhere? Would it have been a completely new redefinition? If so where is that redefinition found? It seems to me that he would have had to redefine it for it to exclude homosexuals/lesbians/gays etc..
While this is a thought provoking post, which I found enlighting and fresh. I still can’t seem to put togeather gay and christian. The thing that keeps running thru my mind is the context that the Law of the OT was/is a schoolmaster till the new came. With this reasoning how do you forget the old for the new. That would be like forgetting 5th grade math when you get to 6th grade. Still I read, hopefull that I might be enlightened as to how to put this togeather within the limits of God’s Holy Word.
Of all the mythologies that gays could have chosen to embrace, you would think they could have chosen one supportive of their beliefs. I’m an atheist. Homosexuality is about love, not sex. For that it deserves respect.
I’ve read the Bible. Unfortunately, the God of the Bible, or at least the Old Testament, hates gays. It really takes some effort to navigate around this fact. I’m hoping that my gay friends with gather with me this week and kill my neighbors that do not respect the sabbath. I’m sure my gay friends will agree with me that the Bible is a little clearer on this issue. Where are we meeting? Maybe we should tailgate.
Love this. And thanks for dodging the bible bullets with such grace and wit.
/ Spotted this little item on the never boring web. /
“Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality”
When gays have birthdays, they don’t mention everything they don’t want but say positively what they do want.
Likewise, Jesus didn’t negatively list every sexual perversion He knew mankind would invent but positively stated that marriage involves only a man and a woman!
(Also Google or Yahoo “USA – from Puritans to Impure-itans.”)
Want to know what Jesus said he wanted?
Love god. Love your neighbor. End list.
To be honest I was hoping for more. I love the idea of this page but I am still confused on the whole issue of gays being christians. I have been told and heard and read many things on the subject, both positive and negative. I’m not really sure what to believe.
Matthew 5:19 “So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
So you get into heaven either way? If you ignore commandments then you don’t get to say be one of the great when you get there. I can live with that. There are synonyms. I will be one of the fabulous instead.
Which one is the least commandment anyway? (Sarcasm.)
I don’t know what hte least commandments are. But I do nkow the two greatest commandments.
1: Love god, with heart and soul and mind. 2: Love your neighbor as your brother.
If any commandment contradicts these… I would indeed ask you to ignore them.
5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” -Mark 10
dc, why do you leave out the preceding end following verses which clearly indicate this teaching was about divorce? Did you think no one would notice?
Since you revere Scripture, may I point out a few verses for you? “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Prov. 16
I think silence is at best, confusing, so it seems to me it urges/invites a significant open handedness and curiosity. What do you do with silence? It can make space or desperation.
I think that Jesus did not say it quite this way but it is clear that all of us are badly disordered, in a way that we cannot manage ourselves. I take this to include every person’s sexuality. If we are to love God and love others –much grace and mercy is needed. Brutal honesty about the journey is helpful in receiving this…
edited, made a mistake.
oh my word, what a courageous and brilliant post on homosexuality!
So posted this to my facebook, and had a pastor guy that I went to Christian school with reply back with….”How does Jesus define marriage in Matt 19 just saying not trying to start a fight”
So I read it and understand the reference he was making (tho’ your initial post has isn’t directly about marriage equality), and wondered what to say in return. I have waited to respond because I feel like I need a better understanding of the context of the text, but the first initial thought I had was that when Jesus speaks, he is quoting from the Law (Genesis I think)…but the way marriage is discussed in the Old Testament is nothing like what we consider to be the sacred vow now. Does that make sense? I wasn’t so sure, and thought I’d ask here and a few other people as well.
You are very insightful in your questioning. No, the marriages in Hebrew scripture hardly represent what we now call “traditional marriage”. From kings with wives and concubines galore to the mandate for a rapist to marry his victim if she was a virgin at the time of her assualt. Then there is the levarite marriage law where a man is commanded to wed his brother’s widow and sire a child on his behalf. So many variations you see.
What Matthew 19 IS addressing is divorce – I wonder where are the ardent protests and high spin websites working hard to denounce the civil rights and basic humanity of divorcees?
But as you astutely observed this particular post of mine is not about marriage equality. It is more about simple awareness raising for people who believe that Jesus is on record having anything to say about homosexuality as it was understood in his social context over 2,000 years ago. If it was such a big all mighty deal (as it seems to be the biggest deal in so many conservative churches today) then why did he not utter one word about it?
What Jesus did say was that the most important commandment, on which all others hang, is to love God with all your heart mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Love.
I understand the point of the cliche at this point – no, we have no words of Jesus concerning the legitimacy of homosexual practice – but it really doesn’t have any force at all. The gospel authors chose the stories they incorporated selectively, for a variety of reasons, and there is no evidence that the desire to provide an exhaustive account of Jesus’ moral teaching was among those reasons. Since the Jews at the time believed that homosexual practice was a sin, it is no surprise that any explicit condemnation of the action is absent from the text – the gospels highlight examples where Jesus either claims a particular commandment is no longer applicable (Mark 7:14-23) or he intensifies its demands (Matthew 5-7). Consequently, the absence of any direct reference to homosexual practice in the gospels indicates nothing about its moral legitimacy. In fact, given the general acceptance of homosexual practice among Greeks and Romans, if Jesus didn’t consider homosexual practice to be porneia (a general term for sexual immorality) like the rest of the Jews, it is surprising that the gospels DON’T contain an example of his overturning of that commandment.
Besides the fact that Christ went out of his way to include the marginalized, despised and *unclean*, it IS evident that he bore no ill will towards homosexual relationships. Scholars have assumed that the slave/servant, of the Roman centurion, who was healed by Christ was also his lover. I recently read that there is now extant a copy of that Gospel in which the Greek word that is used to describe the ‘servant’ is the equivalent of what we today would translate as ‘boyfriend’, in the sense of a lover, not just a male friend; but I’ve realized over the years that no matter the evidence, if someone wants a reason to hate a certain group of people and to exclude them, they will always find a way to rationalize it.
Accusations of enmity for a particular group only serve to prematurely shut down conversation. I harbor NO animosity toward members of the LGBT community. However, as an exegete trained in both “conservative” and “liberal” academic contexts, I have yet to see compelling evidence for your claim that Jesus “bore no ill will towards homosexual relationships.”
Your understanding and estimation of the evidence, in fact, is inaccurate. Regarding your example above, for instance, you do not seem to have a strong grasp of the argument. SOME scholars (a minority, in fact) argue that the Greek word pais in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 refers to a member of a same-sex relationship. But first of all, pais was also used commonly to refer to slaves in general and even to one’s children, and the former is the most common meaning of the term in both the LXX and NT. Both Matthew and Luke use pais in the senses of “child” and “servant,” never in the sense of “sexual partner.” More importantly, pais doesn’t designate simply “boyfriend” or “lover,” but specifically refers to the younger, submissive member of a pederastic relationship. Such relationships were a means of social mobility through prostitution – an orphan (or often, a boy’s parents) would sell himself to an older man in exchange for money, vocational training, etc. The point is, a pais in a homosexual relationship was not an equal, but rather one of the oppressed. I am sure that is not the sort of relationship you want Jesus to be validating (though I also reject the specious assertion that Jesus’ willingness to heal the youth would necessarily indicate his approval of their relationship anyway).
You are thinking of faith through a legalistic viewpoint, but Jesus rejected legalism.
Thank YOU Lucas
It’s like the White Album.
The article was too long, so I didn’t read it. However, I enjoyed your responses in the comments very much!
Not to mention that if one WAS to address the rest of the Bible on the subject, it would be summed up into two parts. The first is everything in the Old Testament, which is then put into the trash where it belongs because none of it is followed anyways and we’re meant to be following the new covenant as it is.
And the second pile would be “comments by Paul”, which themselves would be summed up as, this is Paul’s opinion. That’s it. Nothing more.
There’s a reason why Thomas Jefferson considered Paul to be the first great corrupter of the Bible.
“17“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” ~Matthew 5:17-19 (Sermon on the Mount)
Thanks for the Bible drive-by. How’s that poly-cotton blend treating ya?
Ah… isn’t it great to live in America so that we don’t have to change the things that are wrong with us but can simply start a campaign to convince everyone that we’re right? Why put in any hard work or make any tough decisions when we can simply liberalize the rest of society to accept the wrongs we do as rights? Thanks for the passive-aggressive comment, how’s that forcing your way into a religion that explicitly tells you you’re wrong treatin ya?
Well, if you can’t actually address the idea of this post and instead hurl bible verses at me without really thinking about all the ways that might be a shallow way to respond, well sorry.
And of course if that fails for you, by all means just share any old snarky, mean-spirited thing you can think of.
I promise I am not forcing myself into THAT religion. In fact I am not forcing my way into any religion. I am an invited and loved member of a deep and wide Christian community that recognizes my sacred worth.
Now, if you would like to engage in actual dialog, really talk about theology and sociology and how we are called to love our neighbor not act like modern day pharisees I would love to carry on an actual conversation with you. But, please do read a few other posts of mine,
like this one – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/02/a-lesbian-changed-through-jesus/
or this one – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/02/mo-wants-to-know-how-can-i-be-a-lesbian-and-a-christian/
and this one is a great one too -http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2012/12/gods-teachings-are-clear-that/
Other than that, if you do not care to actually engage in conversation, and you feel the need to be, as my meemaw would say, ugly-bugly, then you will likely be asked to excuse yourself from this blog.
Okay, then, what do you with the rest of the Bible, and the Scripture I quoted from Jesus? It sounds like you choose to believe what isn’t said, but not what is said. In other words, since Jesus didn’t spell out word-for-word a condemnation of homosexual acts, you read that part (which isn’t there) literally…but then where the Bible spells it out clearly, those passages you don’t read word-for-word, and instead to convolute them or make them figurative.
Merely stating what Jesus didn’t say doesn’t prove anything. You could make a bunch blank posts for all sorts of things: “A compilation of what Jesus said about…pedophilia, pornography, polyamory…” and that’s just getting started with the sexual sins.
The Bible is not just the sum of its part, but a whole, living book, which Jesus upheld (the Old Testament), and the New Testament is what tells us what Jesus said and did, and his influence on his disciples, as evidenced by their writings after he sent them out.
Ok, now this is a conversation I can have. Thank you for taking the time to make it a conversation and not just throwing scripture at me as if I have never read it or you are the first person to enlighten me to that particular pericope. That is never a thoughtful helpful or real way to engage a conversation. Your new post is a real question and lifts up real concerns in a cogent and faithful way – I can rise to the occasion in kind.
So, my snarky comment actually leads to a real and deeper question. If this is the passage you want to use to talk about the “legality” of my relationship with my partner, I want to talk about the other 600+ laws from Hebrew scripture and which ones you think we are allowed to break and which ones you think we get a pass on. It starts to become arbitrary pretty quickly and based on not so biblical precepts.
Jesus may not have come to replace the law, he came to fullfil it right? But he later says that all the laws hang on the greatest commandment – Love God with all your heart, mind and soul (I got that one), love your neighbor (check) as yourself (working on that one, that is one reason it took me so long to come out since I loathed myself under the stern gaze of our modern day pharisees).
So, my original snark is a real question posed in a not so graceful way. Are you adhering to 100% of biblical laws? If not why and how did you choose which ones Jesus did not overturn and which ones he did (since as you point out he says he turned over none).
Just some other food for thought. You quoted, “not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.” What if that purpose was achieved through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus? Then, as Kimberly wrote, “laws hang on the greatest commandment…” would be inaugurated. Something akin to the Reign of God.
Oh yeah, if you ever lump me in with pedophiles again I assure you that you will be banned from this site without so much as a second thought. Unacceptable.
I’m not surprised at the snarky aversion technique, considering the rest of the Bible was completely ignored in this post, which was void of…well, anything.
How happy I am that you are not my mom, but how sad I am for your children.
The thing is, literarymom, that although a bit snarky, Kimberly’s “Thanks….ya” response made a very legitimate point. Do you really follow the law that you talk about in the quote from the sermon on the mount or do you disregard the parts you don’t like while criticizing others who do the same? Do you wear blended cloth? Do you eat shellfish? Do you eat pork? Do you perform labor on Saturday (the Sabbath)? I could go on, there are many laws that most modern American Christians do not follow. Unless you follow all of those Old Testament laws, you really have no business applying the laws about homosexuality to others.
Succinct and accurate! Thank you.
How many people are going to think there’s something wrong with their internet connection?
I did for a moment. I thought it wasn’t loading. 😛
This article may save lives.