Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I do not believe that Christ will reject you for ANYTHING, he certainly will not reject you for your sexual orientation. This Quaker here is ready to stand with you, Friend Justin!
Christ is Love, the world is Hate.
I don't think so. It was George Fox who pointed out that the spirit of Christ is not changeable so as to command us away from an evil and then to command us to it. I think that similarly, he would not command us to an act and then command us away from it.
Remember Jesus' answer when asked how to inherit eternal life? answering with "What is the Law?and agreeing that "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself." was the correct answer. Jesus also strengthened his meaning of neighbor in this statement through the use of a parable that set 'neighbor' as an all inclusive term.
No, I don't think Jesus discriminates and hate you coz of your sexual orientation, I think he loves and supports you.
[For details on the Q&A session referenced above, see Luke 10:27]
You ask two questions:
1. Would Christ "discriminate"? and, 2., will "Quakers" stand with you.
The "God is love" message is powerful and necessary; it's also necessary to point out that Christ (at least once and maybe more often) powerfully told sinners to "go and sin no more." Now, I don't know what your sexual orientation is so I can't say if it's sinful or not. We are also called not to judge others but leave that to God: but I don't think that's possible in this world either. Suppose that someone (not you) had a sexual orientation that (say) included some sort of non-consensual abusive behavior. What do you think: would Christ discriminate against some people who persisted in sinning?
We are told, often, that if we persist in ignoring God, and persist in wrong behavior, despite God's will, that we can find our souls lost.
The second question is can you find Quakers ready to stand with you. I am sure you will find some, no matter what. There are those who persist in identifying themselves as "nontheistic" (e.g., atheistic) Quakers, despite that being utter nonsense.
However, if you asked the question: "Will Christ discriminate against me because of my political and social views and will Quakers stand with me -- and by the way those views are conservative, mostly," I think you would get very different answers. Nasty ones. Hateful ones.
You asked the "right" question.
Mathew 5:31-32 are Christs words (Red Letters)
50% of married folks are divorced, yet this is seldom brought up.
Is this sin less than other adultery, I don't know of anyone that has been excluded because they
married a divorced woman.
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’[a] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Mark Privitt said:
I am married to a divorced woman. Do I continue to sin?
Who would you say brought you together? If it feels like a blessing, then it must have come from God, and you'd better let her keep you.
Jesus was talking about maintaining local solidarity in a village community, about not [as the elite of his time customarily did] changing partners for political/economic advantage.
Tim, I don't think Jesus had exactly the same concept of Sin that you appear to have. I offer two reasons for my thinking this; the first rates to Jesus' propensity to associate with individuals in his society that were oppressed, outcast, of low status, poor, etc. It is more probable that his circle of friends and associates included folks of differing sexual orientation. Secondly, in the notes of Greek scribes who recorded Jesus' preaching, they translated the word, that the later Christian translators called Sin, m using a Greek term from archery meaning "to miss the Mark".
the Good News Jesus brought the world is that God loves all of us regardless of our economic or social status, level of health, past or present behavior and that redemption and forgiveness is always available.
One of the Marks Jesus set for us to meet is loving others a purely as he did. A hard Mark to meet but, it is the journey, rather than the destination, that brings abut individual change and growth.
Well put, David!
David Nelson Seaman said:
I do not think Christ would "discriminate", for this seems to much of a modern concept of civil law usage. What Christ did say was many things, or at least many things attributed to him. One thing he did say which does not lay well with our modern views on this topic is that contained in Mathew 19;
" Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and shall twain be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
That is, of course, the mainstay and flagship Christ saying of most historical Christian theology regarding marriage and the role of the sexes. Does anyone think that Christ was being hateful, discriminatory or demeaning when he said that to the Pharisees ?
The historical issue is whether Jesus, as a 1st Century Jew, would have approved of homosexual pairings. As a member of that culture, well, no.
Jesus isn't a first-century Galilean anymore. What about us? How do we really think God feels about gay people? More flawed than us, or anyone else we know? Hmmm!
God spoke through Jesus in a way that other first Century Jews would be most likely to understand. So Jesus quoted the Torah, affirmed the value of love across the male-female frontier -- and told the Pharisees: Don't encourage people to drop their obligations to anyone depending on them.
That would be consistent with quotes about Pharisees encouraging poor Galileans to contribute to the Temple instead of devoting their goods to the care of aged parents -- or (as was becoming increasingly needed) loaning them to impoverished neighbors as the Torah also enjoined.
The division into male & female is built into the human conceptional structure of the universe.
Ursula LeGuin invented a human variant in which people periodically changed their biological configuration, ie most of the time a person would have no sexual urges whatsoever, but once a month it would go to a designated place to meet others who happened to be going into heat at the time -- and depending on who it bonded with there, and what configuration its friend was going into, would change appropriately. Probably (outside scholars thought) a more powerful civilization had once genetically altered their planet's population, in a high-handed sort of experimentation -- producing (as her visitor-observer protagonist suddenly noticed) a place in which sexuality would not be a major factor in how people felt/thought about a person. [Even they had a sort of yin-yang polarity in their religions; it just wasn't male/female.]
While genetic-exchange seems to be a necessary condition for producing large, complex intelligent organisms, our arrangement isn't the only possibility, merely the simplest, most energy-efficient. Each individual doesn't have to maintain two sets of reproductive organs, or keep one overly-complex versatile set. We're built with pretty much the same basic structure, except that corresponding organs develop with different sizes, configurations, purposes. Everyone gets the option of seeing the other sex in one of two ways: "Umph! Is like me!" or "Umph! Way different, strange! Dangerous?"
And of course we're all a little bemused by this mystery of how men open women's bodies so that those pesky spirits can get in to incarnate as people. Every tribe may conceive of the process a little differently, but there's obviously some heavy magic at work there!
Near Eastern civilizations? Well, Biblical stories really seem to imply that the customs and cultural expectations were changing drastically between the times they were first told and the times they were eventually written down. In the ancient neighboring empires -- many goddesses underwent a sort of cultural sex-change, or had their functions taken over by male deities, or simply lost status over the centuries. When David leads a royal procession into town... Saul's daughter, Michal, is waiting, looking out her window in much the way a Sumerian priestess would await a 'Sacred Marriage', which had been a traditional ceremony for giving a city's king her goddess's blessing, a little derivative authority. David has his own god and a professional army behind him; he don't need no stinkin Sacred Marriage to legitimize his rule; and so Michal is offended! -- a lasting grudge that really doesn't make sense unless a concept like this has been part of generic Canaanite culture (The Israelite tribes had never had a king before, 'like other nations' -- so whose customs of kingship are they going to follow? Not the ones that she'd expected?)
There's always been politics & property mixed up with people's customs for accommodating this wild magical energy... & that was true in 1st Century Galilee, equally true (and equally unremarked) today.
I don't think contemporary Christians privilege the mythic poetry of Matthew 19 particularly out of the desire to keep gay people down; I just think that some of them don't want to have to think about changing their customs -- while other contemporary Christians do want to change those customs (for generally humane reasons, as Jesus would have approved) without having to think about 'how can I fit this change into a heavy, rigid tradition?' Jesus would have sought the needed rationale in the spirit & divine intention of the tradition -- and if he couldn't find that explicitly, still: "Something greater than Solomon is here!"
Would Christ discriminate and hate you because of your sexual orientation? No, he would not and he does not. THe GOd of love and Truth will not abandon you, and he does not abandon you now. So be encouraged. As the Psalmist said "Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." (Psalm 27:10)
Quakers? Many Quakers believe that being gay is a sin. Many believe it is a gift from God. So we cannot speak for all. But as your brother in Christ and a gay man myself, I will stand with you, and give you comfort if you need it.
Here are some resources for Gay Quakers:
This is the website for Freedom Friends CHurch, a community of Gay affirming Evangelical friends.
This is the website for an intentional community of Friends who are also accepting and affirming of Gay people.
This is an organization of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender friends, most of whom are affiliated with Friends General Conference.
This is the New Association of Friends a Yearly Meeting in Friends United Meeting that is more accepting of Gay people.
I hope that these resources will help you find a fellowship of Quakers who can give you the support you need as a gay seeker after truth.