The Bible and sexuality
Where love is, God is
As a gay member of the Uniting Church, I sometimes despair at the poor level of theological argument displayed within the letters to the editor (Insights print edition March-September 2012).
For example, we know that God neither literally made man nor woman, but we know that evolution both created “Adam and Eve” and “Adam and Steve”.
When it comes to Jesus’ statement “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”, surely that is an eternal principle, whereas the statement “Go and sin no more” is a contextual statement related to her act of adultery. Jesus was certainly not relating it to homosexuality, although I’m guessing many people wish he did.
I expect that Jesus would deliver the same admonition to me were I to cheat on my partner of nine years.
I was raised in a church-going Christian home, with two very loving parents. I do not know why I am gay, except to say I am and have always been. I feel no condemnation before God, no sense of guilt, no sense of sin.
I believe, in accordance with the Epistle of John, that God is love and where love is, God is. That includes homosexual relationships. That includes my relationship. I regard my relationship as holy.
People can say what they want and hold whatever views they desire — and all those views can be justified in one way or another from the Bible. That doesn’t make them right — only close minded.
In the end, no-one can take away the life-giving power of God in my life or the deep sacredness I experience in my relationship with my partner. One day, perhaps, our relationship will be recognised in a more formal manner within society and the Church.
Aaron Harper, Crace, ACT.
Follow Jesus’ example
I have read with great interest the letters on the biblical view of homosexuality. There is no doubt that there are verses of scripture that condemn homosexuality, especially in Leviticus, (18:22), and in some of the writings of St Paul, including Romans 1: 26-27.
However we should remember that there is no mention of homosexuality in the Ten Commandments or in the teaching of Jesus. If Jesus was never recorded as mentioning the subject then perhaps we should follow his example and have less to say about it. It is hardly central to the New Testament faith.
Christians quote these verses because they say they are “Bible believers” but they are silent on other verses that do not suit them. How long is it since you heard a sermon on Leviticus 25:44, which clearly allows us to buy male and female slaves? How long since you heard a sermon on Exodus 35:2, which states that someone working on the Sabbath should be put to death? Is the Bible right or wrong about that?
If we agree with St Paul when he condemned homosexual acts do we also agree with him when he clearly condones slavery in Ephesians 6:5-9? Nowhere does the New Testament condemn slavery.
On the other hand, Jesus spoke against divorce but such teaching is hardly mentioned by those who condemn homosexuality.
The danger is that “Bible believers” end up being “Selective Bible believers”.
Robert Willson, ACT.
David Cooper (September Insights) encourages us to have a fresh look at our understanding of scripture, particularly in relation to sexuality. This is certainly valid but I suggest that we also have a fresh look at our understanding of being gay. David states that “sexual orientation is not a choice people make.”
Knowledge has advanced, as David says, and having recently searched widely on the internet I cannot find any conclusion that people may be born with a gay orientation. Try yourself by searching for “gay gene” to uncover many medical and psychological reports of research, none of which I have read proves the existence of people who are born gay.
This old “nature or nurture” argument is vital to how we understand and treat gay people within the church. If being gay is proven to be by nature then, as Christians, we should love the gay person as one of God’s children. The person was born that way. If gay by nurture, we should still love the person as one of God’s children but accept that the person has developed a sinful practice.
We should ask for God’s forgiveness for them and ask them, as Jesus said to the woman prostitute, “Go and sin no more.”
Jim Laird, West Ryde, NSW.