1:21am, 3rd August, 2018
Since the mid-1950s, social issues have a crucial part in determining the number of people in pews on Sunday mornings. Many denominations in the United States, tried to hold back on the progress of issues such as allowing African-Americans to be accepted as leaders or even as members within the congregation, one example being the Church of the Latter Day Saints. But today, segregated churches are a rare phenomenon.
Similar to this, acceptance of people from the LGBTQ community is something that many denominations are struggling with today. Many are splitting from their actual groups in order to protest or support this idea.
The United Methodist Church, USA which tends to be more on the moderate side than on any extremes has voices speaking for and against gay marriage. The denomination being the largest of the ‘Mainline Protestant’ group of church that tend to be more accepting of differences compared to the evangelical and charismatic groups of churches, will hopefully make a decision on this highly divisive issue very soon. Other churches such as the United Church of Christ, Metropolitan Community Churches, the Episcopal Church, etc. have already been accepting LGBTQ people as leaders in the church as well as bless their marriages.
But that is more about the present groups of people that have their own perspective on scripture and believe their interpretation to be more accurate compared to others. Should people who are more scriptural support the idea of two men or two women marry each other?
Taking the six primary clobber passages into consideration, perhaps it could be said that the Bible sees same sex behaviour in conflict with religion. Study of scriptures in Koine Greek and Hebrew however, seems to emancipate these clobber passages from being homophobic in anyway. That is something not many conservatives are comfortable with as it contradicts their understanding of their faith.
That upon a deeper study of the scripture would give a picture of the faith that contradicts the character of Jesus himself.
A rebel, who challenged the religious authorities for their hypocrisy, embraced the outcasts, had murderers as his disciples and forgave those who went against their religious ethics from being killed by a mob of people.
That is Jesus, who personally was completely silent on the issue of homosexuality but had a lot to say against religious leaders who in their hatred and disgust of other for not behaving like themselves, were blinded to their own arrogance.
Reading Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:24-30 in English would make you see homosexual acts as a sin and reading 1 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34 would make you feel that Women should never exercise authority over a man but submit to his authority. Which are why, for the fear of being called archaic, many evangelical churches in India now ignores the sexism in the Bible while promoting the homophobia that they perceive in the scriptures.
It’s a sad scenario where most of the followers of Jesus can’t stand up for people who are persecuted wrongly but instead add fuel to the fire for their entertainment.
I personally feel no reason as to why one cannot be devoted to his faith as well as stand up for people who are in need. I will not be condemning the fringe groups of the Indian Christians that stood for a law that criminalizes the lives of up to 50 million people, as they too have a right to speak their opinion.
However, when those opinions are taken seriously while making laws that govern the lives of people in a country, an obligation arises to speak against them.
Passages from the scripture point mainly towards a deep sense of sacrificial love for one another instead of persecuting people who might not similar to the rest. One of them is as follows:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
- Matthew 22:35-40
And what kind of love would one be promoting when they cannot see their neighbours as human beings but criminals and lesser human beings for being in existence?
Being gay and Christian isn’t contradictory, Loving Jesus but failing to love all people however is.