I was recently sent this link:
It comments on the recent proposal before the governing board of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) to allow open, practicing gays to serve as clergy. The article is posted on NewsMax, so it is written with an anti-gay slant and hints that the ELCA will be split apart if this proposal is passed.
So, the question is this: is homosexuality incompatible with Christianity? As a Christian, should I hate all homosexuals and make it my mission to point out their transgression and actively persuade them to give up their life of sin? Should I protest Gay Pride marches and vocally oppose gay marriage laws?
I think the answer is no. As the article states, the ELCA, and in fact most Christian denominations, do not follow a literal prescription of every verse in some English translation of the Bible. Like the article states, what about women? Paul says that they should be silent with covered heads and no braids. What?! I don’t get the no braided hair rule at all. Why should I not braid my daughter’s hair? She likes it!
In reading the Bible, especially Paul's letters, I believe that you have to take into account the context of the culture and the local circumstances that the particular church was facing. The braided hair concern of Paul most likely was directed at a local custom of another religious sect (like the followers of Isis or Aphrodite). I think he was concerned about people trying to turn Christian worship services into worship of one of these other gods. He probably wrote it to preserve the integrity of the local Christian community, and physically distinguishing themselves from the actions of other religions was a way to do this. Did he mean for the no braids rule to become part of everlasting Christian doctrine? No.
So, what about homosexuality? The book of Romans has a lot to say about this. All negative. It is easy to think that Christians should be anti-gay. However, the local custom was that gays were promiscuous. I believe that this is what Paul was arguing against, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual promiscuity. Paul would probably dislike the scantily-clad leather outfits I have seen on groups of gays in the French Quarter, and would probably have strong words against the one-night-stand mentality of gay pick-up locations. However, I do not think that he would condemn loving, monogamous homosexual partnerships.
Why? Because I believe that our relationships with others is our relationship with God. We should treat others as we want to be treated, and I cannot see how two consenting adults in a loving relationship is against God or creating any problems for me. I fully support gay marriage and I hope that other Christians realize that allowing someone to fully care for their life-partner is the loving, compassionate, Christian thing to do.
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