March 21, 2012 § 4 Comments
I recently heard a new catchy argument about homosexuality floating around the Christian community: “There are arguments on both sides, but only one side has Scripture to back it.”
I think I have proven that wrong in other posts, and so have many other people. I have pointed to the ways the Bible was used to condone slavery and mask an evil practice, and to fight against it. And many other Scriptures can be added to the argument. Take the only dialogue between Jesus and Satan in the Bible, which undoubtedly shows that Scripture can be used wrongly. And the fact that most of Jesus’s arguments with religious leaders of his time Jesus was regarding the letter of the Law. While they applied dead letter, Jesus had the right application of the Spirit of Love as his argument, which seems a much better backing to me.
To me, it feels like this argument embodies much that is wrong with contemporary Christianity. It comes from the totally wrong spirit. It does not even feel loving. It is meant to shame and silence people who would call the Christian community out for emulating the homophobia and bullying of mainstream culture under the guise of spiritual and loving behavior.
And it shows a fear and laziness in how some of us bear challenges to our beliefs about sexual ethics. If we were truly guided by a living Spirit, we would be ready to embrace new information, to make arguments in peace, and grow into new truths.
We need to collectively face the reality that our history as a culture includes rampant violence regarding sex. And that Christians have offered no alternative with strength of Spirit or beauty of vision enough to move the hearts of people and motivate them to change the way the teachings of Jesus did.
Perhaps some might envision the Kingdom on Earth as a place of nuclear families with heterosexual couples who married as virgins and never masturbated. But there is nothing radical about that vision, and it will not motivate the world to change. It will instead create a norm that we will attempt to impose upon one another with blatant or subtle violence, and draw us away from reality and the living context in which the Spirit can move and create beauty and instead into a detached and dead religious practice that creates confusion and suffering leaves us vulnerable to the manipulation of false spiritual leaders seeking power.
I think the Spirit is moving us to a grander vision, one beyond fear, where we can see how sad and weak violence is and how alive and creative and filled with joy we can be through and on the other side of the process of healing. I think we are called to rethink what we’ve learned regarding sex, and I am glad those questions are being asked relentlessly. And I don’t think throwing up blind arguments that misapply dead letter to a living world with a living Spirit can stop it.