Talking about sex with St. Paul

27 06 2008

Now, just because the Son of God came on the scene a couple of thousand years ago (give or take a few decades either way) with all this talk of liberation everyone being on a equal playing field, we are not being left off the hook that easily. For now we have none other than St Paul to deal with, who is responsible for supplying us with most of the New Testament. There are three texts (all NRSV) in particular to deal with:

Romans 1:26-27 … For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

I Corinthians 6:9 … Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

I Timothy 1:9-11 … This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave-traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Well, that seems pretty clear doesn’t it? Not when you look closely and especially at the original Greek and the context within which these texts were written .. . Remember, God is a God of surprises…. Jesus was the biggest surprise of all, come to think of it …
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Sexuality in the Torah

26 06 2008

There are a few passages, specifically in the Torah which appear to condemn outright what it is to be a homosexual and homosexual relationships. The passages are

Genesis 1:27 So God created humankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (NRSV)

Genesis 19 — The story of Sodom and Gomorrah

Leviticus 18:22 You will not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination

Deuteronomy 23:17-18 None of the daughters of Israel shall be a temple prostitute; none of the sons of Israel shall be a temple prostitute. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a prostitute into the house of the Lord…it is abhorrent.

Seems pretty clear right? The interesting thing is that what appears clear at first glance, especially when we read with fresh eyes and without our own cultural prejudices and through the lens of the New Testament, what becomes clear is not quite what we had thought we knew … God is nothing if not a God of surprises.

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Let’s talk about Sex

26 06 2008

In the previous post, I gave a brief account of my journey to embracing who I am as a child of God and as someone who is gay.

As I said, I grew up as a Baptist, and considered myself Pentecostal for a while, so I know what it means when everything goes back to “the Bible says … ” and anything other than the plain meaning of what “the Bible says” would not be considered in any part of a discussion about values, morals, behaviour, theology and so on.

In my journey to integration and wholeness, what I discovered is what the Bible appears to be saying may not be what we are intended to hear. God inspired people to write the Scriptures thousands of years ago, and times have changed a lot since then. The eternal truths contained in the Bible may not change, but the application of those truths may in light of science, reason, and of course the Holy Spirit, who is continuously guiding the Church in all of its messiness into a closer sense of the ultimate and eternal truth contained in Jesus Christ.

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Identity Crisis

25 06 2008

In response to a few voices of encouragement on the Doorman Priest’s blog as well as some private emails, I have decided to share a short version of the my journey to reconciling and integrating my identity as a gay man with my identity as a Christian. Both pieces are indelibly a part of myself. By way of background, in case anyone doesn’t know, I was raised Baptist in my youth and worshipped in the Assemblies of God congregations during most of my 20s.

O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise

The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His Grace

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