Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Homosexuality Part II: Methinks We Protest too Loudly!

Matthew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye
What if homosexuality is always sin? The only distinction would arise in comparing a heterosexual couple in a monogamous lifetime relationship with a homosexual couple in a monogamous lifetime relationship. Biblically, any sexual act outside a monogamous lifetime relationship is sin. It doesn't matter whether it is with the same gender or the opposite. However, we will not get to gay marriage or civil unions until the third post.

Right now, let's look at sexual sin. What is more serious biblically - homosexuality or adultery? I am personally an "all sin is equal" kinda Christian - but if ranking is valid then adultery has to be hands down worse than homosexuality because you have betrayed your spouse, a vow to God, and of course committed a sexual sin. Certainly, adultery constitutes a far more serious threat to Christian marriage than homosexuality on any level
Matthew 5: 27 "You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart . . . 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Matthew 19: 9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." 10 The disciples said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry." 11 But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.
I personally committed all of those. This should land enough logs in enough eyes to quiet almost all condemnations of homosexuality by Christians. Been dropping into internet pornography sites? Do you and your spouse have a damaged sexual relationship, and you masturbate to images and/or fantasies of others? Maybe you have sexual fantasies about that women with the low-cut tight blouse or the guy with the tight jeans; and go out of your way to get the best view of the body you "admire"? How about the sensitive and kind person at church (the office, etc) that you compare favorably with your emotionally distant spouse; and feel the heat of a rising passion? Perhaps you are meeting for coffee or lunch (have you mentioned it to your spouse?) with that funny someone who "really understands you"; and your thoughts are becoming sexual about them (or soon will be)? Is this your second marriage, or are you divorced? Was the divorce caused by adultery? If not, are you committing adultery now? If your spouse left you tomorrow, for reasons other than adultery, are you prepared to be celibate for the rest of your life? This last one I had to face last year - it was a bleak and difficult future to envision.

These are the verses closely following Romans 1:26-7:
Romans 2: 1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. *
* Romans 1: 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
Romans 2: 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
I am not really trying to engender guilt. I am trying to engender humility; and an understanding that we all stand in front of an Almighty God imperfect and unable to say much about anything but our own sin.

This author:
"Should opposing the cultural acceptance of gayness be a central task for the Church? Because of the teaching of the Scripture about the task of the Church, I say no."
Does it help the mission of Christ's church to be perceived as hateful representatives of a hateful God when it comes to homosexuality? No.

Homosexuality is not the worst sexual sin, and is only equal to heterosexual sex outside of marriage (how many are doing that right now); and sexual sin is not the worst sin overall. C.S. Lewis:
The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and back-biting; the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither. -- Mere Christianity
Finally, what if we are wrong? What if Paul really had no clue about committed, loving relationships between people of the same gender, and all he could see was temple prostitution and pederasty? What if gays do feel that orientation from the youngest of ages and that is all right with God? Remember, Paul and the other apostles thought Christ was returning in their lifetime. They had Jesus's revelation to lean on (He of course said only His Father really knew) - and we should live like Christ is returning tomorrow - but still they were wrong about this. How will God feel if we have persecuted gays in His name and He doesn't feel that way? We should always approach judgment and/or condemnation of people based on scripture with "fear and trembling" - or better yet just leave this job to God. I think the wisest thing for Christians to do about homosexuality is to love the sinner; and hate the sin - but keep their mouth shut about the second part in most cases.

Next: Homosexuality Part III: Gay Marriage and Civil Unity (comments allowed at end of series)