A Christian Dared ask These Questions on Gay Marriage--so I Answered Them
Recently, I came upon this web page that asks Christians to ask themselves the hard questions (excuse the bad pun) concerning homosexual marriage, so I thought I would answer them from the viewpoint of someone that doesn't share their belief system.
1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?
All unions between consenting loving adults should be celebrated. What loving, consenting adults do in private is none of my business.
2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?
The fulfillment passages of Matthew 5:17-20 states that all the laws must be obeyed until heaven and earth pass away. Nowhere does Jesus differentiate between dietary, moral, or legal laws, and he makes it clear that his followers are to follow ALL of these laws if they want to see heaven. Christians twisted his words using Humpty Dumpty semantics to get out of that responsibility, but Jesus was clear. Jesus said ALL of them were to be obeyed by his followers until heaven and earth pass away, and if believers 'relax' on even the least of these laws--they are out of luck. Therefore, Christians need to follow all of the laws, or abandon their religion altogether, because according to Jesus, a Christian won't likely go to heaven anyway if they eat shrimp or wear clothing made of various fibres, or lie with a man, etc,--interesting that it says nothing about women lying together in the OT. Note that Jesus said, "not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished". This doesn't mean only some of laws --it means ALL of them.According to the Bible, Christians can't pick and choose which laws to obey and which no long apply because their god told them ALL of them apply--even the least of them.
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.tTherefore whoever relaxes uone of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least vin the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great vin the kingdom of heaven.(Matt 5-18-19)
3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?
Jesus did not condemn homosexuality, even when confronted by a Roman who asked him to heal his 'pais' (male slave). This is significant because pederasty was still practiced at that time, and men kept boys and spread their 'knowledge' via male on male sex. If he found anything wrong with this practice, I am sure he would have spoken against it. Perhaps, Jesus himself was a homosexual as passages of the Bible seem to indicate. Polygamy was also practiced in Biblical times and long after. The 'rules' we practice today, came much later when church wanted to wrest more control over its flock. Before that, marriage was more of a civil union. See this post for details.
4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?
Luke 6:31 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
According to the Bible, Jesus doesn't differentiate between hetero and homosexual love. Any kind of love is good. Love is love.
5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?
Jesus said nothing against homosexual love, and I won't put words in his mouth. In fact, he may have been homosexual or bisexual himself as the Bible itself alludes to. Biblical references to Jesus being in the company of "naked boys" appear in the scriptures of Mark when he is in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is in this Garden that Jesus is arrested by the Romans after supposedly being betrayed by Judas, and it is in this Garden that we also find a young, naked, unnamed boy. This boy was "a young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment," and “was following Jesus." When the Romans seized Jesus, the young boy "fled naked, leaving his garment behind" (Mark 14:51). Apologists attempt to claim that this boy was Mark himself, and elaborate on the shame he must have felt at abandoning his Lord, but this cannot be the case as Mark was not written by the apostle Mark. Mark's author is unknown. A better explanation via Ockham's razor, would be that Jesus could have been indulging in the practice of pederasty, and the unknown Greek who actually wrote the gospel thought nothing of it because pederasty was considered normal, so he included it in his narrative.
6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?
There was no mention of 'marriage' in the Garden of Eden. There is only a union joined by God, and if God is everywhere as Christians tell us, then he is with the gay couples that are being married as well. Marriage, after all, had always been a civil agreement, and not a religious one until about the 13th century. In fact, within the entire Old Testament polygamy was a normal practice all the way from Kings (said to be the oldest book of the Bible) to the New Testament and beyond. Marriage as an entity isn't spoken of very often in the Bible, and many times it is spoken of disparagingly (As when Paul mentions you should only get married if you can't control your own lust) In the New Testament (Matthew 19:1-12 ) Jesus was approached with a question concerning divorce, but these questions were in reference to the Old Testament, in which polygamy was allowed. He did not condemn the practice of polygamy, just like he did not condemn the practice of homosexuality.
7. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?
I think about the long history of persecution where homosexuals were tortured, killed, and their properties confiscated by the church. This is what was promulgated from the doctrines of Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin and Luther. This is also how the church became so extremely wealthy. This is not love. I don't think Jesus would approve.
8. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?
I would argue that the changing doctrines of the Bible itself have been 'culturally conditioned' as the Biblical laws have been changed by Christians over the centuries. Until only recently, women couldn't become pastors, or even vote because of how the Bible views women. Women of course, changed all of that, and at long last, we are now making changes that gives everyone equal rights under the law to be married regardless of their sexual orientation. Christians claim they no longer have to follow the laws, as Jesus redeemed them from laws of the OT --which isn't true as stated above in the passages of Matthew 5:17-20. According to these Christians however, all you need is love, and if two people love each other, that is all that matters. If they think otherwise, they would be hypocrites.
9. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?
It's a free country. Christians have the right of free speech to voice their opinion and practice their religion--without fear of persecution and without persecuting others who do not share their beliefs. Other people who do not have those same beliefs should also have the right to exercise their beliefs without fear of persecution and without persecuting others. What Christians do NOT have however, is the right to tell two consenting adults how to live their life according to THEIR beliefs. As mentioned above, marriage was a civil arrangement until the church became involved in about the 13th century or so. Since there are thousands of different religions, and different customs associated with these religions-- legal marriage is a CIVIL practice. After all, church and state are SEPARATE entities--let's keep it that way.
10. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?
As an Ignostic Atheist, I would speak up for anyone that is being persecuted for what they believe in--Christian, homosexuals, women, Muslims, etc. Everyone has a right to believe whatever they want to believe, but if those beliefs are shown to be contradictory, and causes harm, then believers would be wise to accept the valid arguments against them and change their beliefs. I see no harm in a loving homosexual marriage.