Monday, December 15, 2008


In her December 12th post, "Newsweek Makes Christian Case for Marriage Equality," on her blog, Reiter's Block, Jendi Reiter expressed great appreciation for the excellent Newsweek article entitled, "Our Mutual Joy: Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture", to which I referred in yesterday's post.

Some comments to that post of hers expressed approval but some also expressed the expected legalistic false gospel that was espoused by those who seem to totally misunderstand the teachings, ministry, crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus.

In response to those legalistic arguments, I made the following comment that I thought you would be interested in reading:

All too many professing Christians appeal to the Law from which Jesus set us free, as He fulfilled the whole Law. By so doing, He left us with the Two Great Commandments: To love God and to love others! We are now no longer under the Law but under Grace!

The Law was our tutor, or schoolmaster, to lead us to Christ (Gal. 3:24) so that we are now justified by faith (Gal. 3:25), that is, our trusting God over and above seen circumstances.

Christians are to be agents of God's grace in the world; show forth His love to others and not in any way judge or condemn others.

There is only one Gospel to be found in Christianity: The Gospel of grace, or God's unmerited favor to those who trust Him! Legalism and perfectionism have no place in the Christian life, for those who appeal to the Law, or any part of the Law, have nullified the grace of God; throw God's free gift to us back in His face.

The Apostle Paul makes this point crystal clear: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal. 2:21) Indeed, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4)

Moreover, the law of Love, the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor to those whom He chose from the foundation of the world--e.g. Ephesians 1:4), is the only Gospel to be found in Christianity. The false gospel of legalism and perfectionism vitiates Jesus' life, work, ministry, and Resurrection!

The very word "homosexual" wasn't even coined until the late 19th Century; first appeared in an English translation of the Bible in the 1946 Revised Standard Version.

In addition, the very Greek word "arsenokoitai" was an obscure word and no one really knows what it means, save to say that the literal translation is "male beds, and to now translate it as "homosexual" does a grave injustice to the text of Scripture.

As Peter J. Gomes points out in his excellent book, "The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart," that I heartily recommend you read: When we read the Bible, we must seek to understand the text, what it says, what it means, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text.

All too often, people read into the text meanings that accord with their preconceived notions of what the Christian life should consist.

Clearly, those of us old enough to remember, saw the same mind-set that condemns homosexuality played out during the era of segregation in the U.S., where I remember White clergy and many other White professing Christians advocating segregation because "it's in the Bible."

Very few White Christians would advocate segregation today! The words in the Bible are the same, but now people see those words with new eyes!

One day, most Straight Christians will also see the Bible with new eyes, and see God's unconditional love for His Gay children whom He also chose as His own before the worlds were formed.
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