Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Religion and Gays

USA Today is running some articles on Gays and religion.
Let's first be clear about one thing. gay people should not be kept out of Church. Jesus would never turn sinners away. If he did churches would be empty.

The problem is gays want more then tolerance. They want affirmation that the way they live there life is OK. The problem is the Bible, which Christians believe is the inspired word of God, makes it clear that homosexual conduct is a sin. For that reason Christians can not say it is not sin. They can say we love you anyway and welcome you to our Church and we pray that you will turn away from sin just like all of us must try to turn away from sin. They can not bless Homosexual Unions or have unrepentant sinners lead their Church (No matter the sin).

Lets examine the arguments people make to rationalize that homosexual conduct is not a sin.

1 Jesus never mentioned it. That is correct but Jesus was speaking to a Conservative Jewish Community where Homosexuality was not an issue. That community had a different set of shortcomings which Jesus dealt with. It is also clear that Jesus never categorized all the possible sins one could commit ( That had previously been accomplished). When the Apostle Paul brought Gods message to the wider non Jewish world he addressed homosexuality because that was a prevalent sin in the pagan world.

2. There are lots of things in the Bible we no longer follow. This is true however there are many things we still do follow. The Old Testament has two types of prohibitions in it, moral and cultural. The moral ones are things like not killing, committing adultery...you get the picture.
The cultural ones are things like the dietary prohibitions in the Old Testament. These cultural prohibitions were designed to keep Jews separate from there pagan neighbors so tha their nascent faith would not be contaminated. That faith needed to be strong so that Jews could full fill their mission to be a light unto the world. After Jesus, when the message was spreading to the whole world, God let it be known that these cultural prohibitions where no longer needed. So how do we know which type of prohibition "no sodomy" is? Context. The prohibition on sodomy is spoken about in the same areas and in the same way sins such as rape and adultery are spoken of.
3. I was born that way, so if God created me how can it be a sin. Putting aside the fact that it is a dubious proposition that gay people are "born that way" many people can blame their genetic heritage for any number of sins, most more heinous then homosexuality. If there is truth to that God clearly calls us to move beyond our genetics. God said he loves us, he never promised life here would be easy. Quite the contrary.

To tell someone that which is a sin is not a sin is one of the greatest wrongs that a person can commit. You are leading that person away from God.

Isaiah 5:20
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

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