Friday, 29 May 2015

What Would Jesus Do?

I beg your pardon? What's that doing on a blog by a confessed Pagan agnostic? Don't worry, it's very brief, just a bit of FYI.

I can read. This stuff is not difficult. Teach an alien from another planet to read English and he could do this. I can quote Socrates too. I can also look things up online.

Let's take this in steps.

1. The Bible is not my source of morality, but it is for a lot of people, so if we are ever to understand why there is an anti-gay attitude we need to look there.

2. Christians consider the NT to be more important than the OT, and that Jesus is the key there, so that's where we start.

3. Christians trust the writers of the NT to have quoted Jesus correctly. So when we say "Jesus said" we are assuming this.

4. What did Jesus say about homosexuality? Nothing. Not a thing.

So, this is an important step. Ask yourself, if Jesus is the most important "voice" in Christianity, and he didn't mention this, why is it such a big deal for Christians?

Well, first they come at this from two other angles. What Paul said, and what Jesus DID refer to that's connected.

They were both down on adultery and fornication, among other things.

Jesus said:

(Mark 7:20-23)

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Paul said:

(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Both of them have a list there that include other transgressions, which we assume are all of equal importance. Read those carefully. Clearly those people who rant and rave against homosexuality are placing a different emphasis according to their own priorities. 
(If we were to go to the OT for advice the list would be longer and include even more "everyday" things. I'm not even bothering with that.)
Paul talks of abusers of themselves with mankind, and the effeminate, and more modern versions have this as "No one who is immoral or worships idols or is unfaithful in marriage or is a pervert or behaves like a homosexual....." so we know what he's saying. What isn't clear is why he said it and Jesus didn't, or why Christians are more interested in Paul's words, but for me, the idea that these are all equivalent transgressions is a bit odd. Draw your own conclusions there. 

My conclusion is that those who rage against homosexuality are being selective. VERY selective. 

Here's a modern version of Jesus's list:

Then Jesus said:
What comes from your heart is what makes you unclean. 21 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, vulgar deeds, stealing, murder, 22 unfaithfulness in marriage, greed, meanness, deceit, indecency, envy, insults, pride, and foolishness. 23 All of these come from your heart, and they are what make you unfit to worship God.

I think I can agree with him on those things being bad.

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