Disciple of Thecla
5/28/12 at 05:31 AM 0 Comments

Sin and Equality

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When people speak hate in the name of Christ, they resemble Pharisees instead of actual Christians. Hatred in the name of Christ repels people away from Christianity because no one wants to be close to whatever hates them. Jesus even went to a party with Mathew, a tax-collecting sinner. More than likely, a bunch of other sinners were at the party

This seriously ticked off the Pharisees, but Jesus told them, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mathew 9:13)

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Jesus in turn rebuked the Pharisees, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in." (Mathew 23:13)

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So, we need to be welcoming of all people into Heaven. And we need to encourage their repentence out of a genuine love for them and for their salvation. As we know, Mathew repented, became a disciple, and later an Apostle.

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Apostle John wrote: "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:16)
"If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen how he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." (4:20-21)

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Therefore, preaching death and bloodshed and other things of hate contradicts the gospel and the teachings of Jesus. There are scripture where we learn that Jesus condemned gay sex. But this is most obvious in the letters of Paul. In Paul's letters, we also learn that homosexuals and heterosexuals were regarded equally.

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Paul of Tarsus wrote: "the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Be not deceived. Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind... shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 OKJ) Then, he added, "And such were some of you." (1 Corinthians 6:11)

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This means that members of the church at Corinth had committed heterosexual sin and some had committed homosexual sin. Both types of sin deserve condemnation. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals deserve damnation. But they repented and received eternal life. Paul of Tarsus never isolated any specific group. And he never regarded any group as inferior or superior to the other.
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So, we learn from the letters that Paul convinced the Greeks that gay sex was a sin.

How did Paul convince them?

By preaching love and salvation. By encouraging repentence. By championing the spiritual instead of the physical.
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The clearest citation of gay sex as a sin is in the letter to the church at Rome. There is a difference between condemning sinful acts and between speaking hate. Paul never shied away from declaring something sinful. In fact, he was very blunt and honest without hesitation in condemning sin. But he never preached hate, either.
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"For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due." (Romans 1:26-27)

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Paul was an Apostle of Jesus. A much later Apostle than the others, but an Apostle nonetheless. Jesus returned and selected him after the resurrection. Because Paul was an Apostle, all of the morality he preaches is the same morality of Jesus. Jesus needed these men to share His message, so He needed them to have His same moral values.
So, we have in Romans that gay sex is a sin. Yet, Paul goes out of his way to be inclusive. Paul began this passage with "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." (Romans 1:18)
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The wrath of God is upon everyone and not only upon the homosexuals. The wrath of God is upon the heterosexuals as well. And he specificed that the wrath is upon sin and the people who wilfully commit sin. This means no condemnation for people being just the way they are. Condemnation only for unrepentant and boastful sin.

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"being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit... ... who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:29-32)

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Paul of Tarsus has a pretty extensive list of sins deserving of death, and he never isolates nor singles out any specific group. From the beginning of the passage Romans 1:18, we know he includes heterosexuals with homosexuals. From the start of the list, "all sexual immorality" (Romans 1:29), we know he includes heterosexuals with homosexuals. And in the list, Paul includes murderers and bigots and greedy scam artists.
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Now, some people point to Leviticus 20 as biblical proof that gays and lesbians need the death penalty. The interesting thing is that Leviticus 20 declares the death penalty for all sexual sin including heterosexuals.

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"If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, they shall surely be put to death," (Leviticus 20:12)
"The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." (Leviticus 20:10)

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So, here we have yet another example of equality between heterosexuals and homosexuals. People who advocate death for gays need to advocate death for straight men and women.
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But Jesus overturned the death penalty for sexual sin. The eighth chapter in the Gospel of John features Jesus pardoning the woman who committed adultery. Because God considers all sexual sin equally, this scene means that the death penalty has been overturned for all sexual sin.
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In chapter 20 of Leviticus, not a single punishment has the phrase, "I am the Lord your God," yet chapter 18 of Leviticus - which is the list of sexual sins - begins and ends with "I am the Lord your God." That is important to consider because Jesus repealed chapter 20 and kept chapter 18.
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Finally, Paul condemns bigotry in 1 Corinthians. Leaven symbolizes sin while unleavened symbolizes holiness.

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"Therefore, purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

,Knowing what leaven and unleaven symbolizes, we can read this passage as:

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"Therefore, purge out the old sins, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are holy. For indeed Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us rejoice, not with old sin, nor with the sin of malice and wickedness, but with the holiness of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

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