The conversation continues my most-read Beliefnet post to date: Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: How I Went from There to Here. Ben contributed this:
Yes, The Holy Bible is very clear on a lot of things. Circumcision,
for instance. And what about Leviticus 15? That’s pretty clear, I
think. It’s always amazed me how so many of the rules of God can be
dismissed by man, while others are so violently upheld.
As a kid, when I asked my mom (as she was frying pork chops!) about
why we don’t follow all the rules in the Old Testament she wisely
explained her take on it in terms that her 9 year old could understand.
It may or may not have been entirely accurate, but it made an
impression on me and has served me well.
She told me that, at the time God made them, every rule had a
purpose whether man [sic] understood it or not. For instance, pork wasn’t
able to be easily preserved so it could be dangerous to eat it. There
were reasons for the rules, but as time passed and people and
situations naturally changed there needed to be new rules.
Eventually, as people followed the rules, God recognized that there
was one really big rule that He needed everybody to understand. He sent
his only son to make sure everybody knew that to get into Heaven the
most important thing to know is that He expects all of us to treat
every other person with love and respect. If everybody could treat
other people the way he or she would want to be treated we’d all get to
go to heaven. (Ah-ha! I recognized the Golden Rule when I heard it! I
was aware even then it appears at least twice in the gospels.)
I’ve always thought that was one of the best answers I’ve ever
gotten to a question about religion. I recognized that she lived her
life that way, so I always had a good model growing up. I hope I’m half
as deserving as she is of the reward.
I feel strongly that we’re to treat every person with the respect
God demands regardless of whether they eat pork, or if they’re
circumcised, or on their period, or gay.
Marriage today isn’t at all the same as it was in biblical times. It
might just be time for some new rules again. Or maybe we just need a
refresher on the big one.