In a patriarchal society, to be masculine was to be the active partner, whereas to be passive was deemed feminine and shameful. Homosexual sin is not unique. The very passages that show us that homosexual activity is a sin, make it very clear that it is not a unique sin. In other words, monitoring and proscribing human homo sexual activity is not a particular concern of the Bible when compared to the overarching demand for justice, economic equality, and the fair treatment of foreigners and strangers. If we are to be faithful to Scripture, we must also preach against theft, greed, drunkenness, reviling, and defrauding others, many of which are also trivialised in our society, and all of which also characterize the unrighteous.
Scholars have debated whether it refers to male prostitution or pederasty or something else. We do not hold his every word and decision, nor those of any other apostle, as correct in every way. Let me give you another example which I have alluded to before. The eunuch, a figure to be cast out according to Deuteronomy, now becomes acceptable to both Judaism and the emerging Christian Church. As I have tried to show, in the Bible there are a number of totally different perspectives on the same issue. Paul may be highlighting it because it is a particularly vivid example, and may have been especially pertinent for his readers in Rome given their cultural context. It is not describing what we would understand to be a sexual orientation. In the Gospel of Matthew, Tamar and Ruth are named in the lineage of the Messiah, with no hint that incest and Moabite blood should exclude Jesus from participating in the worshipping community, still less from being the Messiah. Christians have discovered that most people flourish best when this living for others finds its focus in a commitment to one other person: It never condemns same-sex marriage, partly because it simply does not address the issue directly. Paul shares a stereotypical Jewish distrust of Graeco-Roman same sex activity, but is simply not talking about loving partnerships between people with same sex orientation. We now know that sexual orientation is not a matter of personal choice but of how people are and that ought to make a huge difference to the way we view things. The Ten Commandments take for granted that people will have slaves and the prophets speak about the need to treat slaves fairly. But above all it teaches the God loves you and wants you to love and be loved. Yet an Ethiopian eunuch is accepted by Philip and valued as a person in his own right and his race and his sexuality do not count against him. In Graeco-Roman society, there was an acceptance that men might be attracted to other men. Some of them clearly had been active homosexuals. It all depends on how you read it, though. Homosexual sin is not inescapable. It does, however, give us an ethic to guide how we treat one another: In the Bible it is commonly used to describe fancy clothing, and outside the Bible was a term for cult prostitutes. It smacked a bit of the first sermon of someone newly ordained, when the person includes all the theological insights they have in one go. They can, however, make sure that they interpret it with all the tools available to them, that they examine their own biases, and stop over-simplifying the issues. As New Testament scholar Sean Winter summarises: He assumes there will be those who deny this teaching, and argue that some forms of homosexual conduct are acceptable to God.
Video about quotes from the bible supporting same sex marriage:
Religion and Gay Marriage
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