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Why do we "hate" Adam and Steve?

Above sins in the same Context!

                      WHY DO WE HATE ADAM AND STEVE?


by Perry P. Perkins


     We oppose homosexual behavior; it's right there in 
1 Corinthians 6:9. Now what else does the same book say in verses
9-11? 

     When I was twenty, I basked in the glory of having it "all
figured out." Christians were good, atheists and homosexuals were
bad, and we should be suspicious of anyone over thirty. In the
twenty years since, many of those preconceptions have crumbled
into the sand my convictions were built on.

     Recently a young man asked me to contribute to a legal
resolution banning gay marriage. This got me thinking about
homosexuality and Christianity, asking, "Why do we hate Adam and
Steve?"
     "Hate" may be too strong a word for you, but let's be
honest: Hatred of "queers, fags, and homos" is alive and well,
and it often finds a warm sanctuary in the church. If you find
yourself at this point crying, "I don't hate homosexuals!" good
for you. I'm not writing this to you but to folks like me who
still struggle with this issue.
     By hate, I'm including disgust, distrust, and everything
else that keeps us from reaching out to homosexuals - you know,
the guys who make jokes in the locker room, those who get
red-faced and righteous over pro-gay ballot measures and hold
signs reading "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." We
know who we are, don't we?
     I believe that homosexuality is sin. I have to believe that,
because I believe the Bible as God's unfailing Word. But I also
try to study the unfailing Word in its setting. So, here's what
the Bible says about homosexuality - in context. (Note: The
following "The Bible says" verses were all pulled from Websites
rebuking homosexuals and homosexuality. None of the "also" verses
were found on those sites.)


Bible balance

     The Bible says: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a
woman; that is detestable" (Leviticus 18:22).
     But verse 20 also says, "Do not have sexual relations with
your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her."
     The Bible says: "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a
woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be
put to death; their blood will be on their own heads" (Leviticus
20:13).
     But verse 6 also says, "I will set my face against the
person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself
by following them, and I will cut him off from his people."
     Verse 9: "If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be
put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his
blood will be on his own head."
     Verse 10: "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife
- with the wife of his neighbor - both the adulterer and the
adulteress must be put to death."
     The Bible says: "In the same way the men also abandoned
natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one
another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received
in themselves the due penalty for their perversion" (Romans
1:27).
     But verses 29-32 also say: 'They have become filled with
every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are
full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are
gossips, slanderers, Godhaters, insolent, arrogant and boastful;
they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they
are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know
God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve
death, they not only continue to do these very things but also
approve of those who practice them."
     The Bible says: "Do you not know that the wicked will not
inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the
sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male
prostitutes nor homosexual offenders . . ." (1 Corinthians 6:9).
     But verses 10 and 11 also say: "... nor thieves nor the
greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit
the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you
were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
     This chapter also says, "The very fact that you have
lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated
already" (v.7). But that's a whole other article.

     According to these Bible verses, it seems clear that
homosexuality is a sin. However, these other sins are listed in
the same sections of Scripture: committing adultery with
another's wife; turning to mediums and spiritists, cursing father
or mother; greed, envy, murder, deceit, malice, gossip, slander,
insolence, arrogance, boasting, disobedience to parents, theft,
drunkenness, swindling.
     And the penalty for any of the above? Death (Leviticus
20:13, 27; Romans 1:32).


Jesus and context 

     Before we start gathering rocks, keep in mind that Jesus
paid the penalty for these sins - all of them - so that those who
accept His offer of forgiveness won't have to pay. So why does
one of these seventeen, homosexuality, carry so much self-
righteous weight with us when the rest are often ignored,
justified, or snickered about behind closed doors? I don't
understand.
     Or, maybe I do. I'm not gay. I don't remember ever having
homosexual feelings toward another man. I've never had sex with
another man, so I feel righteous in that category of sin.
Therefore I'm free to vent my righteous indignation on those who
are lost in that category.
     This was my unspoken, maybe subconscious, position for many
years. There's just one problem with my righteous indignation:
Jesus doesn't take things out of context.

     In John's Gospel we read about the woman caught in adultery
and brought before Jesus. The religious leaders pressed Jesus for
an answer on what should be done with her: "In the Law Moses
commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" (John
8:5).
     Jesus didn't respond right away but wrote with His finger on
the ground. When they continued to question Him, He answered, "if
any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a
stone at her" (v.7).
     There's a lot of conjecture about what Jesus wrote on the
ground. I think it was the names of the teachers and Pharisees in
the crowd who had slept with this woman. But that's just my
opinion.

     What's taken me years to realize is that Jesus made an
important distinction in this verse - one we often miss. He
didn't say, "if any one of you is not an adulterer, let him be
the first to throw a stone at her." Nor did He say, "if any one
of you is without this sin, let him be the first to throw a stone
at her." He said, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be
the first to throw a stone at her." Not this sin, not a sin, but
any sin.


Showing grace

     I spoke recently with Shar Geisert, a speaker and volunteer
counselor with Mid-Valley Fellowship in Oregon.

"One of my proudest moments in Jesus' ministry," she told me, "is
when Jesus touched the untouchable leper. He risked everything in
doing so, and yet, what could minister more to a leper than
touch? It's the same with homosexuality. It takes the pure love
from healthy men to help heal a homosexual man. It is how to say,
'You are acceptable.' That's how Jesus does it."

     So does the fact that I show grace toward sins that mirror
my own, while expressing my righteous indignation for those that
don't, imply that I fear revealing my own sin in those other
areas?
     Am I only quiet on those other seventeen because I'm
terrified that someone will write my name in the dirt?

     Jesus doesn't take things out of context.

                            ..................


Perry P. Perkins writes from Wilsonville, OR. Scriptures are from
the New International Version.

From "The Bible Advocate" - June 2009 - a publication of the
Church of God, Seventh Day, Denver, CO. USA


 
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