Re July 13 letter by Bob Bethel, “Christians not judging, just believing”
I respect your right to express an opinion, Mr. Bethel and offer mine as a retort. To begin, I do accept your treatise as judgment in the disguise of merely letting us all know what the Bible says. This is a well-worn tactic of Christian anti-gay writers who know how adamant Jesus was regarding judging others, yet just have to express themselves anyway. Sort of a: “This-isn’t-me-talking, I’m-just-telling-you-what-the-Bible-says” approach. It is judgment; otherwise, why bring it up at all?
It strikes me that yourself, and others who have parroted the same points, think that you are dropping some ominous edict upon homosexuals. Pardon me: let me put it that you and others are instructing us that God has dropped an ominous edict via his “word.”
Of the three verses you quoted, you seem to be short one verse. Mr. Bradley Pierce’s July 8 letter, which you reference as prompting your reply, asks, and you quote: where did Jesus say homosexuality was wrong? You did not provide such a verse, and none exists that I am aware of, unless you suggest that Jesus and God are one and the same, and are stating that any Bible verse is as well the words and actions of Jesus as they would be of God.
Please indulge me a couple of verses: “And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn of Pharaoh … to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first born of the livestock (Exodus 12:29 – and the Bible I am using capitalized the word LORD in this and the next verse). Then he struck the men of Beth Shemesh. … He struck fifty thousand and seventy men of the people, and the people lamented because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter (1 Samuel 6:19).
If you wish readers to hold the verses that you quoted as words of God being legitimate, then I challenge you to ordain and justify the killings by God in the Old Testament (and there are more – I remember something about a great flood). Be careful that you don’t justify slaughter of men, women and children as well as their livestock as acts of a God who perhaps changed his mind and tactics when he sent Jesus. After all, the Bible says that God is the same “yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). I would assume that you and fellow Christians preach a loving, forgiving God as you reach out to the “lost.” Where was the love and forgiveness of God for the 50,070 men of Beth Shemesh whose only “sin” was “because they had looked into the ark of the LORD?” It naturally follows that if such actions of God can be seen as legitimate, then his commands regarding homosexuality would have precedence, which would increase the authority of the three verses that you proffer.
In your letter, Mr. Bethel, your chosen Bible verses regarding sexual sin, or homosexual sin as you prefer, are three in number. Looking in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible I find 306 verses that have to do with the word love. To my recollection, Jesus was a man of great love. In fact, between he and my grandmother, I learned unconditional love, that being a love of no conditions nor qualifiers. I am simply unable to comprehend that a person would be condemned forever for one aspect of their lives, that being their sexuality.
I mean, between all the responsibilities, obligations, parts and parcels of a person in this day and time, I would offer that maybe 5 percent of our totality as a human is our sexuality. Would a loving God throw-out the remaining 95 percent of a woman or man because of the 5 percent? It would seem that there are “followers” of his that indeed would. And yep, I am well familiar with another famous aphorism: “Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” Regarding that, I recall Jesus saying something about a speck, an eye, and a board.
I’m not thinking I much like this God that has you and others “only doing what God has asked us to do…”
The writer lives in Georgetown.