Saturday, June 16, 2012

"What Paul Said . . ."

This morning I was reading the first chapter Romans. First off I know that this is the book often used as the most condemning about the practice of homosexuality. And yes it is hard to dispute some of the languages "men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another" etc. But leaving those verse for a minute what occurred to me was the the rest of the book.

I think most people need something to be "proud of," to identify with. This helps them feel justified. I think some people whom like have been said use the scriptures and avoid the very appearance of evil, which is good advise, but feel justified in it. It also says that man isn't "justified in the law," but through obedience. And that's the key.

I think when people need to fly a flag in order to declare who they are, they need to really think about what they are aligning themselves with. For the most part I think the more close we become to the spirit the less and less we need to find these worldly things to identify with and the more sacred things are what we find definition in. And I don't think having an interest in music, theater or dance makes you gay or is a gay thing. I think that assigning those things to a "orientation" is wrong. But I do think there are aspects of the "gay culture" which are also in the hetro-culture that are just as bad. Paul writes of things like "unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful."

The other thing that hit me in this section of Romans was that Paul writes that in order to obtain the fruits of the gospel a person needs to be obedient to it. He writes that there are those who have had or have heard the gospel and may have even claimed to have had it but have not used it in the way that God would have them do. He writes that we shouldn't be ashamed to preach it, to stand by it and to proclaim it. I take this to mean that this would be the flag we fly outside our houses. That is should be what we proclaim, not proudly but with love and hope that they will come to the truth. Yes we need to tell people that "God loves them." But then we also need not be afraid to tell them the rest of the story.

Telling someone that "God loves you just the way you are" implies that that God is bound to save them no matter what they do. This removes any need for obedience because God's love will save them. I think this is what Paul was saying when he wrote: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

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