What If the Apostle Paul Was Gay? (part 2)

mother theresaAgain I preface my thoughts by saying this discussion is to first share and understand the faith I have freely chosen to follow. So anyone reading this post, realizes that even though I choose to follow a faith that has very conservative views, I in NO way support forcing the whole world to live by these same standards. As our Founding Fathers/Pilgrims believed, I believe there should be FREEDOM for ALL men. So, take or leave what I say. We love each other still (I keep saying this “love” thing I know, but just want to keep the reminder in the forefront!).

That being said, my understanding of the disconnect between the Old and New Testament, is that one is the Law and the other is the fulfillment of it. In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus himself said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but fulfill it. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” When I think of this scripture, I try to keep focused on those parts of the law or the ancient way of worship was addressed after Christ’s life, death, burial and resurrection. I know that many of the rituals of temple worship were made obsolete at his death, because when he gave up the Ghost, it says that “When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He yielded up His spirit. 51At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.” (Matthew 27:50-51). To me that means, God now accepts ALL men to come boldly to the thrown of Grace! So a pastor/priest with a broken foot, God says COME! Hallelujah! That pastor/priest who somehow is imperfect (like we ALL are), God says COME! So it is dangerous also for Christians today to think that they know how all of the law should play out, condemning men to hell for breaking their little pet laws.

God first placed the commandments on a stone, because to me that symbolizes that if you break one you break all of the stone tablet. None of us are above reproach. On the other hand, it is also dangerous to make something holy or acceptable that the Bible has not declared to be so. For example, some have pointed to scriptures that have made it ok for us to now eat pork, bat, rat, or whatever we want, cancelling the commandment to only eat certain clean meats (I still follow the kosher/levitical way of eating). Some have pointed to scriptures that now give women freedom to minister in the church, because the early church had female deacons, Jesus appeared to a woman first when he first resurrected, etc.  Some have said that because Christ was constantly “working on the Sabbath” we no longer have a set day of rest, but seek to worship “The Lord of the Sabbath” daily. We see that because Jesus was the final sacrifice, that we no longer need to do the daily sacrifices because Jesus was the final sacrifice. The early ones were never good enough, even though they followed the letter of the law: “First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:8-10).”

I could go on and on about how Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection, created a new order for how this Christian life should be lived. My final example, however is Jesus not only established a new order for sin, by giving his grace to forgive ALL men of EVERY sin once and for all, but I also believe that Jesus came to set up a new order for how we as Christians should relate to those in the faith who we feel misunderstand scripture and those who are outside of the faith. So, unfortunately, I am in no way unsure about what the Word teaches about any form of sexual immorality (gay or straight) that goes against his original design when he brought together man and woman for them to have pleasure, relationship and to repopulate the earth. BUT I am very convicted about how we as Christians relate to those who believe differently. Because where one person may have a wrong or differing view about this, the next person has a wrong or differing view about some other law.

The Pharisees should convict us all. They were planning to stone the adulterous woman, and Jesus was visibly agitated. He goes on to say, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Ashamed they walk away from her and Jesus loves on her. This is the other thing. He then tells her to “go and sin no more.” Now, we don’t know if she actually did stop committing adultry! LOL! He just tells her and sends her on her way! No micromanaging…no constant judging…he says that one simple statement, tells her he won’t condemn her, and sends her on her way! Can that be us ya’ll?! The Bible is so exhaustive! There are laws that none of us will know the fullness of. The Word says, “His ways are far above our ways.” We will never be perfect, or have perfect knowledge of what is acceptable until we are made like Him in glory. Until that time, we read, we study, we pray, seeking God’s wisdom for how to live this life.

We also love as Jesus loved, without condition.  Christians, especially us “conservatives” regularly condemn people, shunning them from the church by our rejection of them as a HUMAN BEING. A gay person is merely a HUMAN BEING who loves differently than we would (and even that does NOT sound right….the love is the same, but…I can’t find the words ya’ll!). Also, there is SO much none of us understands (myself SO included) about being gay. It is NOT like any other infringement on the law of God. It is the very essence of a person. To condemn a person that is gay, is to reject them as a person. To reject them and to discount their true feelings as some purposeful rebellion against God is to misunderstand. I even say this NOT UNDERSTANDING, but I look at Jesus and how he related to Nicodemus who for so long refused to meet Jesus openly to ask him questions…he would only sneak to him at night, ashamed and afraid to lose his position as a Pharisee. Yet, Jesus did not condemn him yet, because he was not at that place in his faith journey where he was able to throw all of that away to follow Him. He loved him, was patient with him and gave him the space and time to do that. He eventually did, after Christ’s death. Can we not have that same patience? If God is the God of the impossible and a person who LOVES the same God is gay, cannot God change his heart and life if he is willing? Also, if the Bible says, “For by Grace you have been saved through faith, NOT of works, lest any man should boast.” can’t we realize that a person who is gay can also be a Christian on the same faith journey as ourselves?

I understand that people really want me to be open to seeing that being gay is acceptable by God, but I’m sad to say (especially to my dear friend who ever since you, more than any person outside of my family showed a faithful love towards me since I was young and dying), I’m sad to say that I cannot say that it is acceptable according the Bible, but I can say that none of us were acceptable to God and we fail him daily and he continues to love us still. Through the shed blood of Jesus He accepts us still, in spite of ourselves.

What can I say to a child who has discovered at a young age that they are gay? What would I say to my kids (and I think of this A LOT)? I would tell them that God loves them and accepts them as they are and that I always will. I will never reject them. I will always see them as worthy and acceptable to God. But I will also teach my kids and students the larger principle, that we all must come to a place of laying our total lives down for Him who did the same for us.  Not to get to heaven, not to be accepted, not to somehow earn the love of God because Jesus took care of that already on the cross.  We lay our lives down, because we have grown in our love for Him and are willing freely to make that sacrifice to lay down EVERYTHING we want or desire for the sake of Christ.

One thought on “What If the Apostle Paul Was Gay? (part 2)

  1. Anika, thank you. You have well articulated my conservative concerns. I truly fear that, in this particular issue we are entering the dialogue from the already-sinned arena, because we feel so deeply for the humans involved that we are negating the power God’s armor to protect us from moving from temptation to sin. Satan powerfully obscures the great divide between temptation and sin; we have the power to stop at temptation before the sin occurs. The wily one has us a) avoiding the use of the word sin because it is so painful to our friends and b) focused on the ravages of the sin created by a dire need to assuage loneliness or being alone. The above is for the one who confesses a belief in Christ. For he who does not, only a love like yours, fueled by Abba Father, can make a dent in a life of darkness. For to live below God’s assigned best for all of us is to truly live in darkness that grows, engulfs, sucks reason, impairs sight, as it counterfeits everything around us. May God give the rest of us, us conservatives, the deep love he has given you for those in counterfeit light.


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