If God Detests Homosexuality, Why Didn't Jesus Even Mention it?

1 Comment    Last updated: 2016-07-01 09:26:39

       Many Christians have made the war against homosexuals, the cornerstone of their faith, even though Jesus never said a single word about it.  Some claim that he may have talked about it and it was not included in the Holy Scripture.  However, if you believe that God inspired the Bible, would it leave out something so important that it would disqualify a person from salvation, as many Christians claim?
 
       The fact is that very little is said about homosexuality in the entire Bible.  Out of 31,173 verses in the Bible, only four condemn homosexuality directly, and none of these are by Jesus (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; and Timothy1:9).   Some believers read their own prejudice  into other passages, but without real evidence.


      Since the Bible does say, on many occasions, that Jesus knew what people in his audience were thinking, we must assume that he knew the hearts and behaviors of the homosexuals in the audience as well.  So if he knew they were there, why did he not call them out, like many modern Christians do in His name?

 
   I suspect Jesus was more interested in the hearts of those homosexual men and women and in their relationship with God, than in their private bedroom behaviors.  (Examples: Luke 7:37; Luke 19:2; and John 8: 2-1  

      In order to fully understand Jesus’ attitude about this, it is important to first look at the Jewish laws against homosexuality.  For that, we must visit the Book of Leviticus, traditionally believed to be penned by Moses during the years in the wilderness.

     In Leviticus 20:13 Moses said, If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

     If we are to understand any Bible verse it is imperative that we look at the verses in context. This chapter lists many laws relating to sexuality and family, some that we would agree with, and others that shock and outrage most of us.  And the penalties that Moses imposed are over-the-top.   For example, in Leviticus 20: 9, just four verses before the homosexual law, Moses says, “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head."   Wow!  How many of our children would survive that law?  Under this law if a parent abused his or her children, the victims would likely be put to death.  A society built around this law would be one of fear terror for everyone involved.  Parents of unruly children would live in fear that their offspring would be killed, rather than helped. 

      Another disturbing law listed just three verses after the homosexual law says, 18 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people.    This law is clearly based on the cultural tradition of the time which prescribed that women should remain secluded during their period.  Four centuries ago they simply did not understand the about menstruation and conception. God knew about it, but Moses did not.

     By far the most interesting verse for us to examine in this chapter is just two verses before the rebuke of homosexuality.  Moses writes,  10 If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.”  

     How is it that people like the Kentucky clerk, Kim Davis, who had both an affair and a divorce, would totally ignore this clear law in verse 10, yet build her faith around the one in verse 13?  Capital punishment is ordered for both, so apparently Moses believed that both sins were equal. Of the two, affairs are far more damaging to individuals, marriages, children, and society.  Yet many Christians today ignore countless affairs, even by their religious leaders, but build their religion around condemnation of homosexuality that in reality does no harm to anyone.  This leaves me speechless.    

     So the big question for us to explore is how did Jesus view these Old Testament laws? We have a few clues like in John 8: 2-11.  Jesus was teaching on the Mount of Olives when the Teachers of the Law brought a woman to him saying that she was caught in the act of adultery. They told Jesus that, “In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.” (It is interesting that they only brought the woman because the Law they referred to clearly said that both the man and woman should be killed. If the woman was “caught in the act of adultery” the man was clearly present.)  Then these religious leaders asked Jesus, “Now what do you say?”  The Bible then explains, 6 “They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.”  


     Jesus answered with those unforgettable words that ring throughout history. Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”    After all the accusers had dropped their stones and left, Jesus asked, 9 “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”   11 “No one, sir,” she said. Then neither do I condemn you,Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin.”  


     Jesus did not say it was OK to commit adultery. He simply did not believe that sinful people, like Kim Davis and millions of other bigoted Christians, should be judging, condemning and prosecuting other sinners.

     On another occasion Jesus put it his way: Matthew 7:4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?    I believe that if Jesus were here in flesh and blood today, he would be telling the religious leaders that they need to look in their own hearts and at their own behaviors before trying to correct the bedroom behavior of otherwise law-abiding citizens.  


     I wholeheartedly believe Jesus would have rebuffed all efforts to legislate morality. He had his harshest words for religious leaders who were so caught up in the law that they were dead inside.  He called them “whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matthew 23:27

     In July 2013, Pope Francis made headlines when he said that the Church was too obsessed with issues like abortion, homosexuality and contraception.  He said "The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules.” The Pope continued, "The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials."  In June 2016 Pope Francis said that the church owes homosexuals an apology for the centuries of discrimination.  He said homosexuals should be respected, accompanied pastorally.” He clarified if a gay person has good will and looks for God, who are we to judge?

    Those outside the Christian faith see Christians as judgmental bigots who single-mindedly hate anyone who does not agree with them.  They believe this, because the only thing that they hear in the news is hate and judgment.  One the other hand, Jesus was known for compassion, inclusion and grace.  He healed the sick, rather than withholding medical care.  He respected and valued women, rather than subjugating them.  He told us to visit the prisoners, rather than incarcerate everyone.  Instead of forcing his way in the lives of the people, He invited them to follow; and they did follow because of his grace, forgiveness, and compassion.  What he said made sense.  What the Christian Conservatives say often makes no sense.

     Jesus said "“Go into all the world and preach the gospel " Mark 16:15 He did NOT say to go throughout the world and condemn anyone who does not accept your beliefs.  In fact, John wrote, "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17


     Comedian, Jon Steward made a great point. He said, “Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality.  ..We protect religion.  And talk about a lifestyle choice – religion is absolutely a choice.  It’s a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights as someone else.”

Read about what Pope Francis says about homosexuality
Read what Pope Francis says about children of gay parents
 



Comments

Jesus was neither a homophobe nor a misogynist

gwen at: 2014-11-04 08:44:36

Great article! But the New Testament references are slightly incorrect. The verses from Romans are actually Romans 1:26-27. These are of course not Jesus' words but those of Paul - who quite possibly was himself a gay man (howbeit celibate). The second reference comes from 1 Tim 1:10. This book also includes some very misogynistic passages which have been used ever since about the second century to exclude women from all but the most subservient roles in ministry (1 Tim 2:11-15). Many Bible scholars agree that Paul's four "Pastoral Epistles," which include both 1 and 2 Timothy, are pseudepigraphal (aka "deutero-Pauline"), meaning they were not written by Paul at all, but by some other writer/s claiming to be Paul, who had their own axe to grind and wanted to be sure the early church took them seriously. So they penned their missives in his name, and the religion founded in Christ's name became no longer a faith of universal love. forgiveness, and inclusiveness, but transformed into an excuse for hate, condemnation, and exclusion.

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