Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Homosexuality, the Shema, and the Anglican Communion

I'm reading a book called "The Church in Transition: The Journey of Existing Churches into the Emerging Culture" by Tim Conder and it is really good. He brings up some great points about the captivity of the bible to systematic theology and other things.

However I've been thinking as I go on my perpetual journey for a denomination, what my views on Homosexuality are. I definately believe it is a sin and condemned in Romans, however I want to always remember that Christ is the center of everything. Colossians says he is 'the image of the invisible God'. So what does Jesus say when asked the Greatest Commandment? He replies that it is the Shema Yisrael, and says that it is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and that the second is like it to love your neighbor as yourself. And we all know in the story of the Good Samaritan which follows this shows that your neighbour is someone with a different religion (samaritan judaism and samaritan pentateuch) and someone who is unclean.

So we say as Christians two things. The Second greatest commandment is to love your neighbour. Then we have two other lesser commandments: 'judge not lest ye be judged' and the principle that practicing homosexuality behaviour is wrong.

So here's my question. Who has committed the greater sin? A Christian who hates and slanders homosexuals, or a homosexual who is practicing. In my opinion it is the Christian who hates and slanders homosexuals.

So while it is true that the Anglican Communion is splitting over whether or not to bless gay marriages (not even offer marriages, just blessings of them). It is strange how screwed up our priorities are. The conservatives reel on about the awfulness of homosexuals and how debased and sinful they are to the point that I would say it is hate and judgment to the point of sin.

Rob Whittaker - my hero - has written a genius paper on homosexuality and though he is against it, he writes in a very pastoral way that is amazing and very well done. He also taught me that heresy is not just lies, it can be either: 1) truth out of context, or 2) truth out of proportion. I feel like the over-zealous condemnation and rejection of homosexuals is guilty of the second definition of heresy.

So while I still believe that homosexual behaviour is wrong, I believe hatred for my neighbour is a greater sin.

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