Homosexuality and Christianity.

This issue came up in a discussion on this blog, and I felt some justification is needed for my stance. For those who aren’t familiar with how I feel about the issue of homosexuality and Christian churches, here it is. I don’t care if somebody is gay, it’s hardly going to affect my life. But most people will throw their arms up and say I should take a stance, so I’m going to attempt to explain.

There is much made of the gay debate in Christianity, mainly by those who are opposed to homosexuality. This has raised debates in liberal denominations. Within these denominations, the liberal viewpoint has provided texts, such as Matthew 19:12, that they claim support a more liberal view of homosexuality. I really haven’t put that much thought or effort into it, I glanced over a summary of the debate on Britannica once, and I happen to remember that text.

There are of course many anti-gay verses in the Bible, but of course issues have to be examined closely to ascertain, what the final word might be. Some may say that this means that a Christian version of morality is not absolute, but that is overly simplistic. It is true, the Bible says that people should be stoned for certain things, but Christians don’t stone people, well not recently as far as I know, not even the highly fundamentalist denominations. The reason being John 8:7, and if Jesus wasn’t willing to have someone stoned, or get involved in a stoning, then why should we? This rhetorical question comes from the fact that Jesus was the one without sin, and chose not to. Romans 3:23 makes it clear that the rest of us aren’t in the position to actually make that call.

Back to homosexuality, one reason I haven’t looked into it that closely is because I’m not gay, so it little affects me. Homosexuality isn’t going to make a victim of me, or, so far as I can tell, anybody else. The effects on society, are, as far as I know not really measurable, people don’t install burglar guards or alarm systems because of homosexuality. Thus, it is difficult to examine objectively (see here.) So my question is, how much of an imperative is the issue, for fundamentalist Christians who aren’t actually gay? It probably isn’t. There are issues that many fundamentalist Christians choose to ignore while using energy on the homosexuality issue. If you’re a Catholic and choose to accept Papal primacy, that’s your thing, but if you’re a fundamentalist and claim that the Bible is the only rule of faith, then consider the following. The Bible only supports seventh day worship, this is not negotiable, it is one of the Ten Commandments. There is not one text in the Bible supporting the moving of sanctity from the seventh (Saturday) to the first (Sunday) day. You don’t need to accept the word of an adventist, just read Cardinal Gibbons’ (a Catholic) The Faith of our Fathers, where he confirms this unambiguously.

Further issues fundamentalists have to deal with include the fact that the Bible doesn’t support separation of body and soul at death, in fact, it expressly contradicts it. It also expressly contradicts the idea of a Hell never-ending, and expressly teaches annihilism. These issues are actually crucial to the understanding of a fair and loving God, for by popular Christian teaching, God sends people to Hell at death, but Christ will return to judge the wicked. Seriously? Sentencing prior to judgement? Once you’ve spent a couple of thousand years (or whatever it may be) suffering while awaiting judgement, then your loving Father sends you back to the flames for time never-ending.

My reasoning for giving little thought to the homosexuality issues can thus be summarised: every Christian who is against it is straight, and therefore it doesn’t matter to them. At least one of the Ten Commandments is overlooked weekly by a large majority of the noise makers. The death and punishment teaching actually distorts the image of a loving creator, and is therefore a greater issue. I just wonder why as a straight vegetarian adventist, I should be expected to worry about homosexuality and pork, when there are greater issues than that, like showing a loving creator, and following that creators main instructions: love God; love others, and be content with being yourself, and be the best yourself you can be. Once Christians can get these right, then energy will be available as to what a Christian response to homosexuality should be, although, I doubt gay bashing will be an issue if people learn to love others.

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6 thoughts on “Homosexuality and Christianity.”

  1. Christians don’t seem to stone anyone anymore… thankfully! πŸ™‚ Although we do still have frindge lunatics (but that applies to all groups – of everything!). So, not really a point.

    Hmmm… seems to me on this issue it’s not really addressed. I like this Jesus guy, he seems all round nice. He’s like, “don’t be throwing stones” and as Bill and Ted paraphrase, “Be excellent to each other”. These are all good points. But, he never forbids it or say’s it’s wrong – it remains “Gods way”.

    But… they don’t really address the fact that something’s been declared wrong. Christianity as found in the Old Testament states it’s wrong (but much like it does a whole list of other things), so needs to be rejected. The point here is that according to Jesus, that’s not mans job. I agree with Jesus on this one πŸ˜€

    Then there’s this quote: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

    The thought just dawned on me, that actually works both ways. If people are to leave judgement up to god and continue to show love while god will damn them for the abomination that is homosexuality. In this case I would prefer the Christian over the Christ?

    A bit of paradox here I believe.

    Yet another reason on so many levels that I reject the Old and New Testaments as a single work. Really two books, one that teaches fear and damnation and the other that teaches love and tollerance. Like I said, this Jesus fellow seemed like a nice guy, his god… I really don’t thinks so.

    1. “But, he never forbids it or say’s it’s wrong – it remains “Gods way”.”

      Actually, in a Christian framework, Jesus is God, so not stoning is Gods way. Romans 6:23 gives us the consequences of not following God’s path to salvation. Since instant reward is a human want, stoning was the human way to get the instant reward for ones actions, it wasn’t universally applied, so in the Old Testament, we see both God’s and mankind’s ways, which do you prefer, instant reward, or waiting for it? If you prefer the first, we could always go back to stoning. Herein lies the banning of stoning, God incarnate didn’t allow it.

      “Yet another reason on so many levels that I reject the Old and New Testaments as a single work. Really two books, one that teaches fear and damnation and the other that teaches love and tollerance.”

      Actually, what Billy Graham referred to as the bad news of the New Testament comes down to all that hell stuff, “fear and damnation.” While the Old Testament contains the Exodus; God forgiving Jephtah; Samson; David and many others, which shows “love.” Tolerance is not taught in the Bible, people are expected to be tolerant of others right to choose, but actions can still be seen as evil. God an the other hand isn’t tolerant of those who reject plain Biblical teaching. So if you like you can stick by that simplified version of things, but it doesn’t come from an objective look at the Bible.

  2. Billy Who… πŸ˜‰ Actually anyone that puts on a song and dance like that loses my interest. So… Whether he and I agree, disagree, I don’t know.

    But you missed the point that Jesus didn’t say don’t do it. There in lies the point. He simply stated that others really shouldn’t because of their own transgressions. That’s like saying to some degree don’t complain about others speeding when you too have been speeding (I think of the whole Gareth Cliff incident here).

    What we have here is an abomonation where their blood is not on your hands…
    This is quite clear…

    If you can find a spot where Jesus says, “I forbid stoning” (or at least something very similar) I reject your justification. I will however accept that Jesus as God in this case would really rather you didn’t.

    Semantics I agree, but again it is this loose interpretation that allow people to do truly horrible things in a gods name… and claim that they are doing gods work.

    Like I said, I like that Jesus fellow, but that god of the Old Testament… not so much.

    1. Sure, he didn’t say don’t, he lived it, that granted, you have accepted my explanation, you just want it stated categorically, which it isn’t, if you, or anybody else, can’t make the inference, it’s a defect in understanding, not a defect in God’s way.

      The God of the Old testament, and the God of the New, are the same God, you just focus on the perceived negatives of the one, and not of the other. That “Jesus fellow” spoke quite a bit about the consequences of not following Him, so it demonstrates that He is the same God as the Old Testament, what changed was the structure of the agreement.

      1. Not a defect in understanding, simply never stated. Hence you have people doing crazy things because “God said so!”.

        Not at all… Most of what I accredited to Jesus contradicts the vengeful method of the previous god.

        Old Testament… do this or die.
        New Testament… you really should do this because we know that it’s a better choice.

        Vastly different. Unless I missed Jesus calling to arms the armies to destroy the wicked.

      2. Christians do crazy things that are actually specifically prohibited in the Bible, so stating outright wouldn’t make a difference. Christians are supposed to study the Bible for it’s entire message, it’s their fault not God’s if they don’t do this. (Hosea 4:6; Acts 17:11; 2Timothy 3:16).
        “Most of what I accredited to Jesus contradicts the vengeful method of the previous god.”

        Yes, of course you know better than eye witnesses. There was no “previous god” Jesus made it pretty clear He was in unity with that same entity.

        Different system, not different God’s. The Israelites were to take the gospel to the world, and to provide the bloodline for Christ. The taking over of Canaan was simply to show the ancient world the power of God, and to secure a living space. Also, we’ve discussed the instant reward/consequence issue, it set a good example of why that isn’t good.

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