Recently, someone named Clark responded to an article I wrote almost four years ago concerning the various ways people who affirm homosexuality have and are attempting to get past the Scriptural admonition against it. Below is my response to Clark. You can read Clark’s thoughts by following this link.
Yes, it is an old post but certainly not an outdated topic!
The purpose of the post was to demonstrate various approaches by those who affirm gay Christianity. So, the merits of the article should be judged on whether it reflects what is actually being done.
Now, of course, your point is to say that because love is lifted up in the New Testament as the fulfillment of the Law, that it means we should accept homosexuality. The problem with that hermeneutic, if you will, is that it projects onto the Biblical text a contemporary, Western, nuanced understanding of love.
Jesus’ teaching that the two greatest commandments are to love God and then to love your neighbor as yourself cannot rightly be reduced to how twenty-first century Americans on average define love.
Let’s take “loving our neighbor as ourselves” as an example. Genuine love does not simply accept and affirm whatever someone says or does. It tells them the truth. So the idea that, in order to love the gay or trans person, etc., I have to affirm them, is a fallacy and not a description of the biblical concept of love. Love tells the truth.
“But it’s the Old Testament!”
With that we are back to our disparate interpretations of the Biblical text. One could make the case of discounting the Old Testament text if it were not reinforced in the New Testament. But, although there are several creative attempts to do so, one cannot overlook Romans 1, and Romans 2:1 (as you suggested) does not discount Romans 1. Paul is not saying that since we ourselves are not perfect, whatever our neighbor wants to do is ok. On the contrary, it means I must be truthful about my sins as well and that both of us must come to God on His terms.
As for God’s terms, John tells us in 1 John that if we sin we have an advocate with the Father and can be forgiven of our sins. But he makes the distinction between sin as a temporary stumble and the continual practice of sin.
Sin. The problem is that you are not talking about sin. On one hand, you refer to love as trumping the sin of homosexuality and yet you don’t believe it is a sin. If it isn’t sin, then you need no appeal to love, just truth. If it is sin, then love covers a multitude of sins but it does not cover the continual practice of sin.
Thanks for your comments!