"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. " - Romans 1: 26-28
My Bible study began studying Romans this week. The next day my good friend, L, emailed me and said this book will be a hard one for her to get through. L is a half of a very healthy, very loving, marriage. It simply happens to be a marriage between two terrific ladies.
I was irked (I'm keeping it clean). The fact that the Bible can be construed to put great people down really makes me hot. I don't think Jesus ever concerned himself with the thought of homosexuality in any of the Gospels. It wasn't an issue that was on his Radar.
Unfortunately, this passage, and similar verses, are used today to justify hatred and cruelty. When Mathew Shepard was tortured for being gay in Laramie, Wyoming, I wonder if the perpetrators were quoting this scripture?
It's all about context people! Paul said they "exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature." "Natural relations" would have been partnerships that resulted in pregnancy. Back then if you didn't have kids there was no one to take care of you in old age. It was foolish to the point of being dangerous to not have kids in those days. We live in a completely different time. Not only do we have social programs for the elderly, but we're over populated to boot. The wisdom behind chastising those relationships no longer applies.
Today Christians can:
In a similar vein, Christians no longer:
The Bible is the Holy reflection of God's Word, with much to teach us about mercy, compassion, obedience, charity, faith, cleanliness, and love. I believe that, I do. But, it's a living breathing document intended to serve as a guide not a straight jacket. It's up to us as thinking reasoning Christians to apply its principles to the world in which we live today.
Anyone who reads the Bible and comes away with a message of hate, is missing the point of the book as a whole.