Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Does Jesus Hate Me And Homosexuals? Part 1

The conversation below was an exchange between myself and a friend of mine on Facebook.  The conversation started in May of 2013.  She was a friend of both myself and my wife.  It is hard to rank your friends and I will not use superlatives like she was our best friend but my wife and I considered her family.  She had power of attorney for both my wife and myself and was to inherit the bulk of our estate if both my wife and I died at the same time.  She was well trusted and well loved.  She is longer trusted but certainly is still well loved.  This is the beginning of the end of our friendship and it is over a difference in theological opinions about gay marriage, at least that is where it began.  You will find in part 2 that a difference over gay marriage can destroy trust as well as a friendship.  The following is unedited except for the names being changed so please forgive any mistakes in grammar or spelling.


5/29, 9:10am
Former Friend

Hey Fat,

I'm curious about something, and wonder if you would mind helping me understand where you're coming from. How do you reconcile following the God of the Bible and calling homosexuality good when the Bible plainly calls it wrong? You've told me that the most important thing is a relationship with Jesus, and I agree. But Jesus has an opinion on this: He said if we love Him we'll obey His commands, and whoever says he follows Jesus but doesn't do what He says as a lifestyle is a liar. Could you share your thoughts on this?

5/29, 12:21pm
Fat Rasputin

Homosexuality is only mentioned once in the new testament and if you take that comment in context it is not much about homosexuality and if you want to discuss that we can but putting that aside if you go to where it is mentioned we should not have tattoos or eat shelf fish and I know I have not directly answered your question but can I ask if Leviticus is important about homosexuality how come we don't protest Red Lobster or barbers that cut the hair by your temple? Either all of the Leviticus is important or none of it is important in relation to the new covenant. That is how I reconcile it. Not in an angry way, sometimes it is hard to tell that in writing. I understand your point of view but find it does not hold up to logical scrutiny.

5/29, 3:13pm
Former Friend

Oh you don't sound angry at all; me either. You are my dear friend whom I love enough to humbly try to protect from making a mistake. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't go through the trouble (I hate arguments/conflict!) if I weren't nuts about you.

Have you read the context of scriptures on homosexuality for yourself, placing God's opinion higher than man's? In Leviticus *ceremonial* law was made obsolete with Christ's sacrifice, but the *moral* law stands. Homosexuality is further condemned as "detestable" to God, which is a lot to ignore while claiming we follow Him. We can't throw it all out because Rom 15:4 also says what was written in earlier times is for our instruction, and Jesus quoted Leviticus as authoritative several times.

In the NT, Jesus proactively taught male-female marriage as God's plan (quoting Genesis) in Matthew 19, and there's I Cor. 6:9-10 and Romans 1 with a boatload of other lifestyle sins listed - ironically - as consequence of deeming God irrelevant. Would you re-read those and tell me how this doesn't hold up to logical scrutiny?

All of this is to encourage you that the whole Bible is truth for today, even when popular opinion disagrees. Let me know your thoughts, and thanks for the listen!

5/29, 3:33pm
Former Friend

PS: I've done a 180 on this one - I have two same-sex attracted sibs, so it's especially near and dear to my heart.

5/29, 3:44pm
Fat Rasputin

I appreciate your legitimate love and concern for me and that we can talk about this without being angry. You are more knowledgeable than most. There are three divisions in Leviticus, Jewish Government law, Jewish ceremonial Law, and Jewish Moral Law. The first two are of course gone but the third we should still strive to follow. Before I continue I must tell you I do not take the bible literally but that will not stop me from debating. If we leave out the ceremonial and governmental and only address the moral one of things mentioned is not have sex with a woman during her period, this mentioned right along with the homosexual forbidding. People do not seem to be really engaged about that. I will have to read the other stuff and get back with you this will be just a start. My mind can be changed I am not intransient on this issue but that is my current thought process.

5/29, 4:05pm
Former Friend

I love your guts, you know. I also have to wonder why the heck we're hearing about hair cuts and joining dissimilar fabric?! Gotta look into a few things. And make dinner! Thanks for the lively and friendly exchange of ideas.

Oh, and can you give me a sarcoidosis update? Planning to do some serious praying there.

BIG hugs & love!

5/29, 4:16pm
Fat Rasputin

Thanks!
6/6, 11:30am
Former Friend
Interesting article on old testament laws - part of my Levitical research here and there. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2013/05/06/christians-follow-old-testament-laws

6/6, 2:29pm
Fat Rasputin

That is some good reading I have an article I need to show you but I can not find it right now.

6/6, 2:51pm
Fat Rasputin

As I read and research it further, it does seem like people are picking and choosing even from the moral law that is put forth in Leviticus. I have to bring it up again after reading up, how come people are not going after men who have sex with women when they are on their period. It is listed with the moral laws, most of which are good things to live by. Do not have sex with animals, relatives, but you do not see Christians talking about sex with women why they are on their period. I would put forth the same argument I had initially but slightly refined. If the moral law from leviticus is still valid even with the new covenant how come no one mentions sex with women on their period?

6/6, 3:00pm
Former Friend

Hmm I wonder about that; I don't know. It's a big jump between a restriction on wife and husband to same-sex, though. I think that's particularly insulting to God because it tells Him, "You designed it wrong" and removes the connection of sex to building a family for children instead of just gratification for two partners. But that's a really good point; let me know what you find on it!

6/6, 3:08pm
Fat Rasputin

On the other hand if I would say Leviticus does not say that homosexuality is a greater offense than sex with a woman during her period. The text does not say one is worse or more important that the other that would just be fallible human interpretation. I would say it might be insulting to God to say that you discount what he put in the bible because it does not seem as bad to you. I am not a literalist but if you are I do not think you can put your own interpretations to things that are not in the text.

6/6, 4:24pm
Former Friend

True, there was some interpretation in there, though the main point is literally textual: God sets up human relationships in Genesis 1:1 with a man and a woman, and calls sexual relations between same sex "detestable." This is not the case with the menstruation issue.

6/6, 4:28pm
Former Friend

That seems pretty clearly greater offense, because it departs from what God set up and the language against is especially strong throughout. Also, there's cleanliness and purification language (priestly law) made moot by Christ's sacrifice that's different from the moral law. I still don't get a bunch of it and it does seem weird in light of current culture sometimes.

6/6, 4:33pm
Fat Rasputin

I would say that all sins are equal in the eyes of God which is why the new covenant was necessary. I would argue that if homosexuality is important why isn't the menstruation important. Do we get to ignore the menstruation issue because it is less important. Do we only have to live by the important moral laws from the bible? I would also argue that is still an interpretation that homosexuality is a great sin, under those same arguments birth control of any kind could also be considered a more despicable sin. I would still argue that all the moral laws are important to follow or all of them need to be reevaluated under the new covenant.

6/6, 5:29pm
Former Friend

I'm curious where you get the idea that all sins are equal to God? You seem kind of argumentive today - remember I don't have to be right here; presenting a perspective for you to keep or toss. Let me re-read this later and get back to you. Hugs!

6/6, 6:38pm
Fat Rasputin

Sorry for the delay I was playing a video game. I am not sure what to make of that statement and I know sometimes it is hard to read on paper what exactly is meant. This conversation started because you asked me how I justified being a Christian and supporting gay marriage. I would say from the beginning it was an argument. Not in the we are mad way but in the we disagree way. You knew we disagreed beforehand and you solicited the discussion (in my mind argument). I am explaining how I justify it because you asked, you are right you do not have to be there presenting your position to me you choose to unsolicited. If you would now like to not argue the point that is okay. I am not mad and do not take this personally but I think you are wrong and I have not come to my opinions lightly.

6/6, 6:53pm
Fat Rasputin

I think you are a great person and I hope you realize I am attacking the ideas that I think you are wrong on and not you as a person, but if you are taking them as personal attacks we definitely should not continue.

6/7, 7:51am
Former Friend

Oh goodness; I should definitely clarify. I do not feel personally attacked. The last email seemed especially argumentive to me, so I was checking in on you. By all means help me understand where you're coming from, and stop any time you like, but I will check in to make sure we're staying amicable, because being your friend/extended family comes first, yes?

6/7, 3:05pm
Fat Rasputin

YES, definitely. I should warn you I am a trained debater, I took a forensics in college during one of my phases and I think I argue well it is never personal unless it is and that would not be subtle. You would not need to ask if it was personal. So no worries, I thought you were getting upset I was not upset.

6/7, 4:46pm
Former Friend

Nice!