Essay:Of homosexuality and shellfish
This Essay is to expound upon the Essay Essay:Homosexuality Is Not On The Same Level As Eating Shellfish by HeartOfGold, as well as address interests raised by User:Human in an Essay written in response.
My intentions with this Essay are to demonstrate fundamental errors that humans often make when considering God's word. All citations from the Bible are from the New International Version, and all emphasis in bible quotes are mine.
James 2 1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favouritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, Here's a good seat for you, but say to the poor man, You stand there or Sit on the floor by my feet, 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, Love your neighbour as yourself, you are doing right. 9 But if you show favouritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as law-breakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, Do not commit adultery, also said, Do not murder. If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a law-breaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
In God's view, anything less than perfect, has been a complete loss to Sin. The human notion that some Sins are greater than others is a human creation based on the temporal punishments that God commanded that we perform. This idea is pervasive in human nature, as every system of law demonstrates this hierarchy and taxonomy of crime to punishment. God however has only one spiritual punishment. That punishment is eternity in hell, which is delivered to anyone who has sinned, regardless of what that sin was.
Mark 7 1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus and 2 saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were unclean, that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the market-place they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) 5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands? 6 He replied, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:'These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men. 9 And he said to them: You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, 'Honour your father and your mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' 11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that. 14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15-16 Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean'. 17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 Are you so dull? he asked. Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? 19 For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body. (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) 20 He went on: What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean'. 21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean'.
Are we really to believe that Jesus died on the cross to secure our salvation in grace and mercy so that 2,000 years later this legalism could return, where people distort the words of the Bible to condemn and damn, rather than forgive?
Mark 12 28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, Of all the commandments, which is the most important? 29 The most important one, answered Jesus, is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these. 32 Well said, teacher, the man replied. You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God. And from then on no-one dared ask him any more questions.
Jesus stated himself that we are to love each and every person as would would personally love ourselves. Are some people so unable to forgive their own sins and faults that when loving someone else they would show disgust, hate, and abhorrence. When God commanded Isaac to sacrifice his son, he established the first foreshadowing that he would sacrifice his own son for us. When Isaac came to action, God intervened and spared his child. But man, in our selfish way, refused to grant such reprieve to God himself, and forced God's hand to sacrifice. If we were as great as God, we could have told Jesus, "Teacher, we now see that God is truly willing to sacrifice you for the forgiveness of our Sins. We can do nothing but be so humbled that God's love for us is so great that he would willingly offer his most valued treasure to be destroyed by our own hands. Forgive us Father, as we forgive ourselves for compelling you to such an act." Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God showed us what he would sacrifice for our exclusive benefit for all who do not even deserve his love and sacrifice.
Are we entirely unable to return any of God's glorious, and merciful love to each other, and forgive everyone completely even if we do not believe that they deserve it. You are not the one who sacrificed their own Son for the forgiveness of all mankind. God made that sacrifice, and you have no authority or right to intercede, or deny that which was given by God.
As for the question of allowing the United States to permit same-sex marriages, I direct you to the following:
Mark 12 13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn't we? But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. Why are you trying to trap me? he asked. Bring me a denarius and let me look at it. 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription? Caesar's, they replied. 17 Then Jesus said to them, Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. And they were amazed at him.
When a marriage is recognized by a government, that act was given by the government. It has no authority in Heaven, or in God's eyes. So same-sex marriage is Caesar's; so we should give it to Caesar! All legal advantages of marriage are Caesar's to grant, and will not carry on to the next life. Rather those marriages that are bound, and consecrated before God are God's marriages on this Earth, for which we receive God's gracious advantages, not temporal legal advantages.
Is it not clear from my argument above, that God has said all along, that the Laws of Man are always legalistic tangles of webs and nets? God does not worry about them, to him, they are a child's toys which he watches us play with. But these laws mean absolutely nothing to God. They are a secular law. God, as a perfect being, has presented the most simple of legal statements, "love me as I love you, and love each other as you would love me." Such a trivial issue as secular same-sex marriage is less than a speck of dust upon the heel of his sandal, but when we make a big deal out of it, in our judgement God will make a big deal out of it. And he will reward your condemnation with condemnation himself, or he will punish your forgiveness with forgiveness.