For the last several weeks we have been going through the passages in the scriptures that have been used to condemn gay marriage, convince gay individuals that they need to “pray away the gay”, and sadly, by some to bully LGBT persons.
It is my contention that these verses have been either misinterpreted, misunderstood or misapplied.
I set out in the beginning that I read the Bible as a library of God inspired books that together tell the story of God and humanity. It is a collection of books that contain the truth as it was seen and told from different points in history in the ways and words of the people of that time and culture. God spoke in each era in a way that the people of that time could understand and apply. I believe that God revealed himself little by little, all the while drawing humanity into a more and more reconciled and connected relationship with him. The story of God with humanity in the Scriptures begins with a beautiful poem about the beginning of our story: God and individuals. As the story develops, Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebecca and Jacob & Leah & Rachel are added along with the 12 Tribes of Israel: God and the Nation of Israel. Soon Jesus arrives on the scene and expands the story to include previously excluded or marginalized people and give them a voice and a place at the table: Gentiles, women, adulterers, drunks, tax collectors, prostitutes and all others: God and all of humanity. As it turns out God’s story has ALWAYS included ALL people and inviting them in. The blood of Christ covers all. His perfect love and sacrifice is enough for all sin for all time. As we like to say at Novitas, if you want to stand on a street corner with a big sign it should say, “Your sins are forgiven.” The forgiveness, grace, mercy and love of Jesus is big enough to include Pharisees and Homosexuals, Jews and Gentiles, Saints and Sinners.
You can read all the posts in this series at the following links:
Homosexuality and God: A Weekly Exploration
Homosexuality and God: Part 1 – Lev
Homosexuality and God: Part 2 – Genesis
Homosexuality and God: Part 3 – Jude
Homosexuality and God: Part 4 – Eunuchs Who Have Been So From Birth – Matt
Homosexuality and God: Part 5 – Romans
Homosexuality and God: Parts 6 & 7 – Pornoi, Arsenokoitai, and Malakoi – 1 Tim & 1 Cor
31 thoughts on “Homosexuality and God: Conclusion”
Reblogged this on A Robin Hood's Musing and commented:
Thank you for this series, it has been good.
great collection of writings. thanks for sharing the journey! Im still questioning, still thinking, still trying to enjoy the journey. YES let us stand in the street and give people the hope they have been searching for that their sins are forgiven and life is meant to be lived
Your blog posts are excellent, and I enjoyed reading them. While you took aim at the several that are on the “homosexual hit list”… I think you may have missed a few.
Maybe a subject for part 2?
These, admittedly, are off the “hit list” because they are actually passages that are gay supportive and show that modern homosexual relationships are not a sin.
The first is not necessarily a demonstration of Biblical law, in as much that it is a gay love story. That is the one that involved Jonathan and David…. and while anti-gay folks like to paint this as a “just friends story”, when you read it, the passion and intensity described suggest otherwise. So, there it is… gay love in the Bible.
The second is far more important and relevant, because it involves the chronicling of the reaction of Jesus to a gay relationship… that is the story of the Roman Centurian. The Roman is described searching out Jesus to heal his beloved “servant”. The word translated is actually “pais”, which in context is most likely not to have been just a “servant” but his young male lover. If you read the story in that context, it is clear the nature of the relationship. Jesus heals the young man, and not only does not condemn the relationship, but rather declares the Roman as the one who has the greatest faith in all of Israel. There is no “go and sin no more”, and there is no indication that to have a gay relationship is somehow a violation against loving God (as is often argued).
The third case is far more controversial… and to understand it is not just how one looks at the Bible, but how one thinks of same-sex partnerships. As you have noted in your blog, the biblical comments, even if they were to be understood as homosexual in nature, are not in any way descriptive of two gay same sex partners today. Relationships that are begging for “gay marriage” are based on life-sharing and intimate affection more than they are “hot sex”. “Hot sex” in fact, is not the thing being voted on… it is the ability to commit, love and cherish a partner legally and affectionately to build a family that is under “attack”.
To that end, I would suggest that the archetype same-sex partner relationship demonstrated in the Bible is that of….. **drum roll**….. Jesus and John. now before you crumble under the weight of all thoughts sacrilegious…hear me out: John refers to himself in the gospel of John as “the disciple Jesus loved”. It is clear that Jesus loved all his disciples, so to declare one as “the one he loved” had to mean as the one who was loved on a different level. In the depiction of the last supper, the relationship is even more clear. John is the “go to’ person for others to ask things of Jesus…like a spouse. And, before you think of him as just Jesus’s executive assistant. the text portrays him as being cuddled upon Jesus’s chest (wow…”friendly”). The partner relationship continues all the way to the cross. John is the one who takes over Jesus;s personal life, care of his mother, his possessions. These are the same things that same sex couples are looking for in their marriage committments.
The case of John and Jesus is so implied to be of a partner relationship that it was weaved into the famous fiction “The DaVinci Code” where the author speculated that “John” must have been a woman (Mary Magdalene) who was actually Jesus’s wife. Experts commenting at the time refuted it, and said no…. it was John. I think they were both right… it was John, but he was actually a partner.
So, any way. Now that you have investigated the “anti” side… how about a walk on the “pro”?
Words fail me. Please stop doing this.
I will not be silent when I speak on behalf of love.
You are free as always to read or not
I wish you nothing less than all God has for you.
Very interesting post – I’d chosen egalitarianism around hetero marriage as my “mountain to die on” and not ventured into the analysis of potentially gay-supporting passages, so this was a new view and I appreciate the paradigm shift. My only devil’s advocate (no pun intended) thought was around separating cultural practices (both of the time and the location) from what those of us in western society today consider “normal.” In cultures where most gatherings are single-sex (as in, women and men do NOT mingle in public spaces), men are generally far more free with each other physically (even otday). Spend a few months in Asia or the Middle East if you get a chance – it is incredible how much the greater cultural understanding changes your interpretation of Biblical scenarios. Men developing such intense relationships with each other is not uncommon, and neither is far more physical interaction than we would see in a hetero relationship between men here. Of course, it’s possible that some of these are, in fact, gay relationships between men in hetero marriages (the cultures aren’t usually too open toward gay lifestyles, so I assume they would be concealend), but certainly wouldn’t consider that to apply in every circumstance that I’ve seen (as in, most of the man I know have these types of more touchy, more emotional friendships).
apologies for the spelling. My computer is messing up the formatting and hiding a few lines as I type. 😦
Interesting observations Rachel! Thanks for joining the conversation.
I am rather inclined to believe that the Author of the Gospel of the Beloved Disciple was indeed a woman. A well educated woman at that. And there are indications in the other stories that Jesus was indeed very close to a woman, not a man. Was he married? Most likely-the wedding took place at Cana and is recorded in the early chapters of said gospel. Or, one can consider that the writings are all myth rather than history.
I just want to say, that this whole series is so wonderfully written. Everytime some ignorant idiot starts spouting off about homosexuality being a sin and against the bible, the first place I come is here and I start quoting your blog posts on this issue. I’ve linked to the story a couple of times. Apparently the ignorant can’t defend themselves when presented with logic arguments and instead delete or block people. The ignorant’s answer to a logical response is to silence their opposition. I’m glad you wrote this and I wished more were aware of it. Its nicely written, and really gets to the heart of the issue. Everyone in this world wants the same thing, to be happy and its not right or “holy” to deny those basic, god-given values of anyone.
Thrilled to be a resource for you. If you haven’t seen the video from the Harvard student I posted a few days ago you would love it. It is excellent.
Love & Blessings,
This is my first time visit at here and i am in fact pleassant to read
all at one place.
I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing,
and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
The problem is something which too few men and women are
speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during my search
for something regarding this.
Thank you very much for your kind words. I am honored you are reading.
Reblogged this on (Un)fettered.