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Gay Marriage and the NT

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
Con's thread got me thinking about his assertion that Christians "pick and choose" what they believe in and I think that premise is erroneous and instead of getting into it further there I decided to make my own thread about gay marriage and the New Testament.

I'll start off my point with the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan:


Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?"
He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind [Deuteronomy 6:5]; and your neighbor as yourself [Leviticus 19:18]."
He said to him, "You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live."
But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"

Jesus then replied:


Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, 'Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.' Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?"
He said, "He who showed mercy on him."
Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
To fully understand this story you have to understand how badly Samaritans were regarded back then. A popular saying back then was "A prayer from a pig is worth more than the prayer of ten Samaritans". Yet according to this parable the Samaritan who showed compassion is closer to the kingdom of God.

The question the man asked Jesus was "who is my neighbor" after the man correctly answered he should love his neighbor as himself.

So who are our neighbors? Isn't everyone our neighbor? And are we loving our neighbor as ourself if we do not support a homosexual couple to marry? Are we showing compassion and justice if we do not support it? I would answer no.

The point is I didn't pick and choose what to believe in and what not to believe in the Bible if I support gay marriage, I just interpret stories in the Bible differently than others may interpret them.
 

FutureTrackStar

Registered Member
So who are our neighbors? Isn't everyone our neighbor? And are we loving our neighbor as ourself if we do not support a homosexual couple to marry? Are we showing compassion and justice if we do not support it? I would answer no.

The point is I didn't pick and choose what to believe in and what not to believe in the Bible if I support gay marriage, I just interpret stories in the Bible differently than others may interpret them.
- I can love a gay person and hate and condemn homosexuality.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
- I can love a gay person and hate and condemn homosexuality.
Of course you can. And my interpretation would be that hating and condemning homosexuality doesn't show compassion and justice. That's the point about "picking and choosing" from the Bible.
 
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Shwa

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Everyone has their own upbringing and opinions and religous backgrounds and teachings. But not one man can really condem another for what lifestyle they live even if it doesn't follow the "old and new teachings" of the bible. The main thing we have to remember is that the bible can ALWAYS be misinterpreted to go for either side, pro or con the said issue.

I can love a gay person and hate and condemn homosexuality.
I'd like to hear more on your opinion if you wouldn't mind.

~Shwa
 
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Sim

Registered Member
Thank you CO, for posting this interpretation, that also takes into account OT verses.

Based on my reading of the NT recently, I think this interpretation can also be based on the NT alone. Please don't nail me for not bringing the exact quotes (I could do that, if you allowed me some more time, and if someone here asks me to do it, I will do so, but it would be a substantial extra work for me, so please just believe me and just ask me to do that if you feel I am misrepresenting the NT), but I remember I read on one side, that Paul condemns homosexuality along with other sins such as debauchery, but also, the NT explicitly emphasizes both the meaning of love as most important yardstick and the demand not to condemn sinners.

On the other side, it is also said that sinners should be reprimanded and be called back on the right way. In extreme cases, they should even be thrown out of the community and be avoided (at least in the early church).

So what do you make of it? Apparently, homosexuality is sin, as Paul says. But what's more important? Reprimanding the sinner, maybe even expelling him, or forgiving him, and respecting the true love and faith in his heart?

I didn't find an answer to that question in the NT. But my individual response, which isn't necessarily a Christian one, would be that love is more important than anything else: Genuine love in your heart is most important than anything else, and many gay couples have more love for each other and are willing to take more responsibility for each other than many heterosexual couples. I don't see how it contradicts the NT to allow them to make their love to bear fruits anymore than it would to allow heterosexuals to make their love bear fruits. And no, it is not important whether we are talking about brotherly love, romatic love or love for God: Because in the end, love in general is divine. IMHO.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I didn't find an answer to that question in the NT. But my individual response, which isn't necessarily a Christian one, would be that love is more important than anything else: Genuine love in your heart is most important than anything else, and many gay couples have more love for each other and are willing to take more responsibility for each other than many heterosexual couples. I don't see how it contradicts the NT to allow them to make their love to bear fruits anymore than it would to allow heterosexuals to make their love bear fruits. And no, it is not important whether we are talking about brotherly love, romatic love or love for God: Because in the end, love in general is divine. IMHO.
I've made this argument before, that genuine love is the most fundamental thing Jesus teaches us in the NT. And I do not feel I genuinely love my homosexual neighbor if I condemn them, if I deny them happiness, if I discriminate them in any way. That's my take.
 

Sim

Registered Member
I've made this argument before, that genuine love is the most fundamental thing Jesus teaches us in the NT. And I do not feel I genuinely love my homosexual neighbor if I condemn them, if I deny them happiness, if I discriminate them in any way. That's my take.
That's a stance I really sympathize with, both from my probably still dominant humanist view and the maybe just little seed of Christian perspective that's still growing within me (and may very well never bear fruits in the end).

I wonder, though, do you still think homosexuality is a sin, and if yes, what consequences does that have? Also regarding other sins, like, say, rather grave sins like murder? Where do you draw the line between just compassionately tolerate this sin, and "reprimanding" the sinner?
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
That's a stance I really sympathize with, both from my probably still dominant humanist view and the maybe just little seed of Christian perspective that's still growing within me (and may very well never bear fruits in the end).

I wonder, though, do you still think homosexuality is a sin, and if yes, what consequences does that have? Also regarding other sins, like, say, rather grave sins like murder? Where do you draw the line between just compassionately tolerate this sin, and "reprimanding" the sinner?
That's tough Sim, I find it hard to qualify something you can't help a sin. Murder is a deliberate act which of course is a sin. I leave the reprimanding to God, I'm noone to be passing judgment on anyone and I don't really give much thought to whether someone is going to heaven or hell.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
So who are our neighbors? Isn't everyone our neighbor? And are we loving our neighbor as ourself if we do not support a homosexual couple to marry? Are we showing compassion and justice if we do not support it? I would answer no.

The point is I didn't pick and choose what to believe in and what not to believe in the Bible if I support gay marriage, I just interpret stories in the Bible differently than others may interpret them.
That's kind of how I am, I support gay marriage and more than nitpicking what every sentence of the Bible means I really try to follow Jesus' example of loving others, no matter what, the most. To me that translates into a support and love for LGBT individuals, and support of their right as human beings to join together in a loving union. I don't have a problem with the lifestyle at all, either.

My personal interpretation is that The Bible is divinely inspired, but certain aspects of the writings are more human than others and based on a society from 2000 years ago. That's just one reason that I think constant quoting doesn't always fit when discussing or debating religion.
 

FutureTrackStar

Registered Member
Of course you can. And my interpretation would be that hating and condemning homosexuality doesn't show compassion and justice. That's the point about "picking and choosing" from the Bible.
- I can most definitely show both compassion and justice while I hate and condemn homosexuality... it simply depends on what your standard of righteousness is.

And this really boils down to the fundamental difference between the Bible and Paganism. The characteristic feature of Paganism is the desire for complete autonomy, separate from God our Creator, and this includes man's desire to define Good and Evil, righteousness and unrighteousness. If you are a servant of the Lord your standard of righteousness is Him, and His Righteous judgments. The contrast between paganism and a Godly world view is all over the place in the Bible (although, you might have to study the Bible and really think critically.)
 
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