Do not handle, do not touch

Lately, a lot of conversations have sprung up all over Facebook relating to the Gay Christian discussion, and I have felt compelled to reply to various responses because (lets face it) people are dying, and that’s not okay.

Here is one of my responses which I think is kinda helpful and hopefully strikes the right chord in terms of what I know and don’t yet know. I’m on a journey. I’m seeking answers. Here’s how some of my theology (if it even is that?) is working out at the moment.

Above this comment, someone had posted a very precise (and loving) comment about how acting on homosexual desires is a sin — a forgivable sin, but a sin, end of story. 

God, I hope people read stuff in a calm, hurting, searching voice and not in an angry accusing one. Here was my response:

While I certainly see your point of view here, there is an active portion of the Christian church who believe that taking the Bible as a whole, and its teachings as a whole, and applying them to the situation that gay Christians now find themselves in, its’ hard to stand up and say that a committed, Jesus-centered, same-sex relationship is sinful in and of itself. (Much of what is portrayed as Gay Culture is clearly #NotOkay.) The simplest version of this argument would suggest that once you eliminate Scriptures referring to idolatry and rape (i.e. the references to abominations in Leviticus, and the Sodom and Gomorrah type stories, which are clearly #notokay) the only direct reference in scripture comes down to the translation of one Greek word, “arsenokoitai” (which is a great word, but not particularly helpful since I understand that Paul was the first person to ever write it down.)

As you said and I agree, I don’t want to get into laborious arguments over something that’s clearly a complex issue. But my point is that we can’t go about making broad, sweeping statement on Facebook that being gay is/isn’t okay because people are involved and people’s lives are at stake. And people are keeping their sexual identities secret for 25 years in order to protect themselves, and people are dying, over something that they didn’t choose and that they (seemingly) cannot change.

God didn’t invent a bunch of rules to spoil our happiness. Far from it. I believe that God made a bunch of rules because we hadn’t yet tasted grace or known life lived following the Spirit. (Col 2:20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21″Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”) I’m not talking about license to do or act whatever we fancy in life, I’m talking about taking everything to the golden rule:

Matt 22: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’c 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’d 40. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Much of what is known as Gay Culture does not put first loving God or loving your neighbor. Much of Religious Culture does not put first loving God and loving your neighbor. But more and more there is a band of hurting Christians who are seeking God, worshiping God and wanting to have relationship and community and who are wanting to do that in a loving relationship — but are being told, “Do not taste, do not touch!”

Shall we then sin that grace may abound? God forbid! But likewise, are we bound by the law? No. We live under God’s grace, not circumcision.

Don’t take my word for it, seek for yourselves. I’m not looking to draw astray anyone from God’s kingdom. I’m just saying, I don’t think we understand God’s love, his plan or his provision fully yet. It’s not that black and white. Let’s keep asking, seeking, knocking until we get some answers that go further than, “Hey, you, stop being gay.”



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