Now, not EVERY Methodist church was marrying gay couples, but some were. The article specifically focused on a member of their clergy who was also a lesbian. Now, i had always been drilled to believe that homosexuality was a sin. A BIG sin. the verse most commonly quoted amongst Christians seems to be in Leviticus.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination (Leviticus 18:22 KJV)
I howver have a hard time with using this verse as a reason why homosexuality should not be allowed. Espcially when discussing the matter with many of the Christians i know. Why? Well for one big reason. If we have to follow this law and believe it to be true, why are we not also regarding all the other laws with this same reverance? Why, then, are we allowing women to wear pants!! When I share my opinion with people about why skirts, at least in our culture, should be the appropriate clothing for women according to the bible, Deuteronomy 22:5 often comes into play somwhere in the conversation.
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.(KJV)Everytime I share this quote, people tell me "but that is part of the Old Testament and Jesus freed us from those laws."
Sometimes I feel like telling them "Fine. okay. I'm wrong. Skirts aren't the more feminine choice and we shouldn't feel called to wear them over pants. My apologies." One of these people happens to be my dear cousin George. He's mostly awesome, but has his moments where he drives me completely insane. Right now, he is deployed somwhere. I think he is in the Middle East. I try not to think about it so that I don't worry about him. We often have these discussions over facebooks chat thing, so it's not always easy to really see what the other person is trying to say or what they mean. It's one of the biggest problems with this form of medium for communication. When He and I talk, I have shared my conern with him about people taking some parts of the Old Testament and following those parts, but not following others.He proudly told me that he would never do such a thing. I got curious about this. Why? Well, I knew my cousin to have spoken out against gay marriage in previous conversations with me. So, I turned to my Bible.
From what I read and researched, it seems as though Jesus himself never truly spoke about homosexuality. At least not directly. He mentioned things about lust, about a good many different topics regarding sin. When it came to people however, he had two messages: Judge not that ye not be judged (Luke6:37) and the ever popular "love thy neighbor as thyself." Now, I don't know about anyone else, but one of the things I have issues with is when we talk about loving our neighbors as ourselves and then don't live that message out. Am I saying that all churches should allow same sex marriages? No. I believe that is something that is up to the church. I do however wonder about the legal side of things. There are many benfits to being married when it comes to taxes and health insurance. I know I would hate to live in a country that told me my husband and I could not have health insurance together or reap financial LEGAL benefits from being LEGALLY married. Especially when this country professed to have a strong seperation between our religions and our state. I would be even more upset to find out that I was being told no because of religious groups that I do not agree with. I'm not gay. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to not be able to marry the person I love (knowing how much I love my husband) and be able to have the legal benefits given to others. Especially when I'm not asking for a church to sanctify the union. Just the SECULAR, NON RELIGIOUS STATE.
When I think about all the Christians that deny rights to same sex couples purely for biblical reasons I'm honestly a little sickened. These Christians would be upset if they were forced to live according to any other religious groups doctrine, whether they believed it or not. Jesus told us to love our neighbors as though they were ourselves. This includes the golden rule of doing "unto others as you would have them do unto you." I really wonder sometimes how we can profess to put our faith in Jesus and to be following in His footsteps when we can't even treat others the way we would want to be treated if in their shoes.
Now, many still say that is is a sin. Even if Jesus remained quiet on the issue (and from studying ancient history I can guarantee that homosexuality was RAMPANT when Jesus was alive), Paul HAD to have said something about it. Right? Well, yes. Paul did. He did so in his letters to the Corinthians. One of the things I read while trying to research this matter however made me a bit curious. I'm thinking curiosity killed the cat here, but I'm going to place it here. I do hope to get feedback one some of this, but unfortunately I'm a bit at a loss and praying for direction from God in this matter.
Many of the websites I found whilst studying this matter brought up this issue. What if all of my emails and text messages and IM conversations were saved for two thousand years and then people read them as doctrine. The point this author made (and I wish I could find the article because it was a very interesting read, so if I can find it I willpost it later) was that we are doing this to Paul's letters. These were letters he wrote to friends, and that he was discussing specific things they were doing. For instance, was it homosexuality he was speaking about, or perhaps the fact that in many of these ancient Greek cities, orgies were a common part of festivals. These affairs in which many partook of sex all together and all at the same time were part of pagan traditions in the area and were perverting the act of sex, in which the two halves come together beautifully. I wrote about this before and it can be found here. This perversion could be the real sin. We can't truly know what EXACTLY Paul was talking about without being Paul or God. If time travel were possible we could try to go back in time and discuss with Paul what he meant. As of right now, time travel is not possible, so we will have to wait and see and try to go off the greek. Which I am learning to be a lot easier said than done.
So right now, I'm of the mind set that we should keep in mind two very important things. One of these things is that Jesus told us not to judge one another. I am trying hard not to do that. It's not always easy, but I'm trying to do it. The main reason? Because we are ALL sinners. We all fall short of the mark and make our mistakes. and as we read in our Bibles
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law (James2:10-11 KJV)
I have to say, that's some pretty heavy stuff there. So, if I lie, cheat, steal, I"m just as guilty as the person who commits an act of homosexuality. We both broke the law. It's as simple as that. I think The West Wing made an interesting point on this issue. While he mainly points out on of my original pet peeves (people supporting some parts of the Old Testament and not others), I think he really puts a nail on the head when it comes to WHY we should not judge others or hold ourselves to such strict laws that are in the Old Testament.
This is why the comments upset me so much. People hating on each other. Calling each other names. It sickens me. It makes me feel ill. How can we do this to one another? How can we so easily forget that just about every comandment that is important falls under the two Jesus told us to follow? The first to follow God no matter what,a dn to trust and believe in Him above all other things. The second, to love each other as we love ourselves. What does this say of how we love ourselves and what to be treated ourselves if we can treat others with so little concern and say horrible things about them?
So for now, I'm loving everyone and praying that God leads me in the correct direction as I strive to learn what His will is on this matter. For now, I'm still undecided, but want to leave anyone reading this with another West Wing clip. Oh and I apologize for any "language" that some may not find acceptable in the clips. Aaron Sorkin has a bit of a mouth on him at times it would seem