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Homosexuality in light of the Chick Fil-A controversy and all the other debate about it

August 3, 2012

In light of all the uproar over Chick Fil-A and Gay Rights, I figured I would toss out this thought I had awhile ago, on how really to explain why the Bible seemed to be so hard on homosexuality, in light of Comprehensive Grace. (The doctrine that the condemnation of the Law, which is what is often leveled at homosexuality by religion, completely ended at the destruction of the Old Covenant Temple in AD70).

People today who veer into same sex practices from being jaded from a life of heterosexual overindulgence are generally what religious folk think of when they think of gays. Such people will better fit the description of what the Old Testament and Romans 1 are talking about. Likewise, prison rapists would be more in the vein of Sodom and Gomorrha (Which has been the basic argument that says the Bible doesn’t really condemn all homosexuality).
But none of these people are truly “gay”.

(When you listen to people’s stories, and having to “come out” among family and even in Christian communities, with all the ostracization they face ⦅in even the secular world of kids I grew up in, it was the absolute worst thing a man could be, and even today, gays are still being attacked in the black community⦆; often even being thrown out of the house by parents, they are not simply indulging in some [pleasure-oriented] “choice” they made.
Neither is it something they were simply swayed or indoctrinated into; nor for most, just some reaction from being molested, etc. Most really struggle with the identity from growing up, often as far back as elementary school! I doubt seriously they are all making all of it up —you know, as part of some conspiracy to bring down God’s judgment, or whatever, to “destroy America” (which is what these sort of things always seem to come down to. It’s all about their “exceptional” nation, which was not even around in Bible times!) In this vein, we’ve always heard about “the homosexual agenda” in the typical fashion of rhetoric, and while the way some have carried out “Gay pride” may go along with that assumption; it really looks like the “agenda” of the majority of them is simply to be accepted, as they work out and live with their own preferences).

Now, our problem is that in scripture, no such distinction is allowed between different people engaging in same sex practices. This is what those who insist with some justification that those scriptures are not really addressing them have been missing.

Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace? has a whole chapter “No Oddballs Allowed” which seeks to answer the question “What did God have against Lobster?” regarding the Levitical laws. While there are various explanations (health, pagan practices, etc), he cites a Jewish writer who points out “kosher” means “fit“, it seemed to boil down to whatever was “odd” was ruled out.

This would be the same reason why such conditions such as menstruation and even leprosy were considered “unclean”; something that has cast more disrepute on the Bible itself by the modern world, than anything else, as it’s universally known that these things are natural and not “bad”, let alone that the people suffering from them can’t help it!
I’ve hardly even heard the Church really address, let alone come up with a good answer for these issues, so the world’s judgment of the Bible stands, in the world’s minds!

But these things were simply regarded as “unfit”, under the Law (Torah); which was based on the “knowledge of good and evil” that marked man’s “fall” into “sin” in the first place. Man’s perception of life and especially things sexual was totally distorted by this (hence, the “shame” of being “naked”), and the Law that was given to address it reflected this by casting things as “unclean” and restricting man from them.

So as for sexual “orientation”, the “base” purpose of sex (including romantic attraction) is reproduction, and reproduction (of the organisms that have developed a differentiated sex division) relies on heterosexual union of some sort (a male sperm and a female egg; even if reduced down to test-tube fertilization or intra-uterine insemination). So homosexuality is “odd” or not “fit” in that sense. (Sorry for any offense, but can gay rights advocates admit at least this much? It is kind of acknowledged in the embracing of the term “queer” by the community, which originally meant “strange” or “odd”. It had become a pejorative epithet for gays by the time I was growing up, but at some point became integrated into LGBT’s own nomenclature).

The issue before us, regarding religion and the CG perspective, is whether God is still condemning what is “odd”; especially if there are people who genuinely couldn’t help it (neurological/hormonal disposition, which is how I see it).
That, I believe, was a part of the Law, just as every nonsectarian evangelical will readily acknowledge for the dietary laws (which, as I’ve seen noted, happen to issue from the same book, so it is remotely possible that they stand and fall together!) The same with a forbiddance of “shatnez”, the mixing of wool and linen in a garment, also from Leviticus (19:19), and frequently cited by gay rights advocates.

The entire point of the Gospel is that this Law renders EVERY single person “unfit”! No matter what we do, or how hard we try to be “fit”. Christ was the only one who could “pass” under it, and he, with His clean slate, was able to take the condemnation for everyone else’s “unfitness”.

So the answer to the issue, just like everything else regarding the Law, is Grace. Though that may still irk gay rights people, since it implies a sort of “guilt” they won’t want to accept. I believe we must keep it in the context of this “fit” principle in light of the heterosexual nature of reproduction.
The hermeneutical definition of “sin” is “missing the mark” (the Greek word “hamartos”), and what is missing the mark? The direct scriptural definition: “sin is transgression of the Law” (1 John 3:4). So when judging by the Law, (which defines marriage as heterosexual), homosexuality “misses the mark”.

So the question then becomes whether we’re under the Law. Most of the virulent anti-gay Christians are Sunday-worship observers who will then claim “we’re not under the Law but under grace (Rom. 6:14)” when confronted with the actual Sabbath (seventh day of the week) specified in the fourth commandment (or Levitical dietary laws, the pagan origins of Christian holidays, etc. The sabbatarians will themselves say this when explaining why they don’t go further and keep sacrifices or circumcision. And they will of course all agree the shatnez law is not in effect).

There’s also the mistaken belief that salvation or “sanctification” is about behavior modification, which is another way of placing salvation on keeping the Law, even though most won’t see it in those terms. (Those who profess “grace alone” usually will point to God’s Spirit “changing us” ⦅which still ends up connected to the self-effort of “daily choices”⦆, and that will be their prime argument against homosexuals). But sanctification is being “declared holy” despite our unholiness (2 Cor. 5:19), and the behavior change regiments they advocate (whether for homosexuality or any other problem people struggle with— addictions, anger, depression, etc.) are just regular human efforts (hence, them emphasizing “choices”) that are not exclusive to born again Christians. So many testify to it not really working.

They’ll also appeal to teaching on “death of the self” (or “old nature”, which would supposedly include “urges” that are contrary to the Law). But the “Death of the old self” as used in scripture actually points (especially as used by Paul) to our own attempts to keep that Law (for that was in fact Paul’s “old life” as he described it). This is what’s actually deemed “the flesh” because it’s the same source of those urges (e.g. the “fruits”), thus, why it becomes a “struggle” in the first place. Your very effort at combating certain thoughts, feelings and actions springs from this same “nature” producing them! Even with the Spirit “helping” you. (Which is generally interpreted in terms of “conscience”, which is basically reiterating the Law, which would then hopefully produce more of a motivation to change. But this ends up in practice becoming “works”). It negates grace, which is really what’s needed.
[Edit: Regarding the supposed “reparation” of a gay Christian, and another one criticized for still identifying as such, see also: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/why-im-critical-of-christian-self-help-teaching-part-2/#comment-2328 ]

The next objection will be that this position “allows anyone to do anything they want, and will destroy society” (and so there’s that motive of “saving society” again). But while you could argue that was the purpose of the Law in the first place; much of the Law was “added because of transgressions until the Seed [Christ] should come” (Gal. 3:19).
There is of course some sort of rules needed, for basic human society and relationships to be able to function, in addition to man’s relationship with God, and the best place to start with that is what rabbinic Judaism has termed the 7 “Noahide laws”, which, preceding Moses and the nation of Israel, are deemed universal for man; while the rest of the Law was only for Jews. The rabbis’ list of scriptures the “Noahide Laws” were drawn from: (Idolatry: Gen. 31:19-36; Blasphemy: Gen. 3:1-4, Murder: Gen. 4.8-10-16, 6:11, 9:6, Theft: Gen. 3:6, Gen. 31:19, Forbidden sexual relationships: Gen. 19:5-7, 20.3, Establishing courts of justice: Gen. 19:1-9. [The Gates of a city were where Judges sat to convene Courts of Justice], Eating the Limb of a Living Animal: Gen. 9.4-5).
Most of these things, most people, including the LGBT community, will agree with. They are also what were pretty much reiterated in Acts 15, when the apostles were summarizing which aspects of the Law new gentile Christians should be held to, against the more judastic element in the Church, arguing for the whole Law.

One of the scripture references for “Forbidden Sexual Relationships” is the Sodom and Gomorrah story however, which the rabbis will interpret as male homosexuality (and addition to them fanning out the 7 laws into 66 ‘principles’ that rule out a lot of things, just as they fanned out the rest of the Law into a tedious 613 points, for themselves). But as has been pointed out, this is not portraying consensual relationships, but rather rape, as part of a general culture of lust and violence, and as I said earlier, would be more comparable today to the prison environment, where normally “straight” men, cut off from women for years, now go after the other men, in a rage of lust and most importantly, power. (And the other reference, in the following chapter, is about regular adultery. I’ve noted it seems the gay community is more into monogamy than the straight community now!)

Of course, stuff like pedophilia, incest and bestiality would be included. These are more universally repulsive to the human conscience. People will think (as I even did), “oh, that will be next, once this is accepted”, but children and animals are not consenting people you can have any meaningful “relationship” with, so it’s not really the same thing.
Sex is about intimacy and exploration, so close relatives should also be naturally repulsive, and if you “fall in love” with them, something’s wrong there. Unlike a whole other gender, this would specify certain individuals as objects of one’s affections, but since they are so many other individuals out there to choose from, there are so many other options besides relatives. (And according to the most conservative Bible readers, who take everything in Genesis absolutely ‘literally’, God even once allowed incest, when there were only a few people on earth; i.e. “Cain’s wife”. But it is not necessary now).

All four practices similarly fall into the “odd” category, but gender preference between consenting human adults is different from the other three.
The Law was summed up in the great quote from Hillel that Jesus adopted, “Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them” (Matthew 7:12). You cannot accuse consenting adults of violating this, unless they personally force it on you.

So in that light, you can’t even call it a “disorder” (like I once assumed it was). “Disorder” means “a confused or messy state: a lack of order or organization”. “a state or situation in which there is a lot of noise, crime, violent behavior, etc.” From there, the medical definition: “a physical or mental condition that is not normal or healthy”.
The people are able to live and function in society, while “disorder” is something that would hamper that ability (like “autism spectrum disorders“, “borderline personality disorders“, “dissociative disorders“, etc.

From here, people may think of AIDS, but while that is believed to have started from a particular homosexual practice, its spread (like all other STD’s) is from sexual profligacy (which not all homosexuals engage in; many are monogamous; and AIDS spreads just as much among heterosexuals), and homosexuality is not just about that one male-on-male act.
(People often try to prove God’s Law by arguments on “health”. Like sabbathkeepers argue the Sabbath and especially the Levitical dietary laws promote “health”, which most other Christians don’t agree with; but the shatnez law shows clearly that the whole focus of the Law was “oddness”, as that one command has no bearing on “health”).

So in my view now, what other people struggle with or who they’re attracted to is really their own business, or “between them and God”, as they will often say (just like if we shouldn’t be watching others having sex in a porn film, we shouldn’t be so ‘in these other people’s beds’ regarding who their partners are either!)

Since most conservative Christians will see all gays as “outside the Church” (including those who still identify as Christians), then Paul goes as far as to say “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” (1 Cor. 5:12).
In Matthew 10:14, Jesus tells us that if anyone will not welcome us or listen to our words, we are to leave the place and “shake the dust off your feet.” (and leave them to whatever judgment is set befall them). But Christians stay and badger, which is opposite what Jesus tells us to do. (And this not just with homosexuality, but with all the “sin” they decry in the nation. If they really followed this instruction for “evangelism”, they would have left the nation by now, as much as they complain it has turned completely from God!)

So why really are they doing this?
They’ll say they’re actually “loving” the people by trying to save their souls from Hell (or to be more accurate, get them to turn from a path to damnation), but (aside even, from the often unloving hostility spewed forth in the process) it is clear in most people’s objection that there is a more selfish motivation; that they think these people’s lifestyles are not only damning their own souls, but also taking something from them (the conservative Christian) as well; and this is tied into the whole “saving the nation” goal. That the nation was “chosen”, leading to it’s “exceptional” morality and politics, but the sins of gays and others is bringing it down, and causing “judgment” in the form of various calamities, (and probably also the economic downturns).

But scripture makes it clear that there is no such “exceptional” physical nation (this is based on a misguided Puritan conception of “covenant theology”, even though not all hold the whole theology), and all have sinned. This betrays pride and not love for the people’s souls, and so that cannot be used as an excuse for discrimination.

And we should not be trying to hit them with the Law (when we don’t even meet its requirements), but instead love them or at least get along with them regardless. We are to “Follow [live in] peace with all men” (Heb.12:14), not be “contrary to all men” (1 Thess 2:15. And “be holy” in the first scripture is for the reader to practice himself, not to try to force on others, and thus become the excuse to being “contrary” to them).
All of this may seem like such a “liberal” cliché, but it is in harmony with the principle of grace (i.e. that God is the one who administers and enforces ⦅—and can withdraw, if He chooses⦆ the Law, not us, even if He did once use people to preach or enforce the Law).

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6 Comments
  1. This is unbelievable, but the answer is very good:

    John MacArthur on Having Gay Children: Alienate Them & Turn Them Over to Satan
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/john-macarthur-on-having-gay-children/

  2. So the LGBT community struck a major victory with the Supreme Court decision to legalize marriage in all 50 states. Rainbows are everywhere (FB memes, FB avatars, brilliiant LED accenting on the White House, 1 WTC and Empire State, etc).
    Turned on my computer [hit with rainbow]

    And of course, the religious and political debate fires up like never before. And this, (occuring right during pride week!) the third of a trio of major victories for liberalism: the final passage of Obamacare, and the removal of the Confederate flag from many places, after the deadly rampage of a white supremacist on a black church.

    In places, I feel it ges too far, like on the heels of this, NY and other places considering banning gender binary restrooms! http://nypost.com/2015/06/26/are-nyc-bathrooms-about-to-become-gender-neutral/ Just because some people’s gender might be ambiguous, everyone (including cisgendered binary individuals) would then have to share restrooms.
    I myself felt that same sex couples should not emulate heteorsexuality in getting “married” or raising children, but they apparently feel very strongly about this, and they’re not forcing me to live that way, so what else should I do regarding them?

    Here’s a comment on a blog posting regarding of the meme “Five things Jesus would say to the gay community”:

    if a person wants to change their way of living; they have to change their way of thinking. how do you change your way of thinking? everytime a homosexual thought pops into your head you have a free will choice to either entertain that thought, and dwell on that thought, making it grow so eventually you will act on it. or you can block those thoughts out and dwell on the truths found in Gods word until you act on them instead. all feellings , including homosexual feelings, are thought driven. and what you allow your mind to dwell on is a matter of choice. it will be revealed by the way you live. what if a these people don’t what to turn from this kind of life? then we have just revealed what their true problem is. its not because they cant be delivered from homosexual feelings. its because they don’t want to be delivered from homosexual feelings. its because they have made a free will choice to continue in this lifestyle. and they, if they don’t repent, will have to answer for it. our job is not to judge them, but to tell them that their is a greater love out there for them. one that they cant even imagine.

    This is all the typical “spiritual growth process” jargon, and it assumes the problem is just some “urge” to have some sort of freaky sex or something (like people compare it to adultery, drugs, drunkenness, etc. that we may get “urges” for). From what I’ve been seeing with most people, it’s more than just about sex. And if the cause might be hormonal, then it’s definitely more than just about some urge for a particular act.

    Of the “five things Jesus would say”, four of them are nice sounding statements that emphasize Jesus’ love and compassion. (“I love you”, “I understand rejection”, “I was also tempted”, “I’m here for you”), But one of them is “I want more for you”, which is to enjoy sex, as God created it, between a man and a woman.
    So the “struggle” of forcing themselves to be with the opposite sex is the “more” He wants for people. Either that, or just being celibate, most will allow. There’s even a debate as to whether Christians who have homosexual attraction but stay celibate should still be called gay, since they’re not actually “practicing” the “lifestyle”.
    (And again, this is likened to the “struggle” each of us has to go through with whatever we are doing that is sinful, like again, substance addictions).

    Of course, they don’t tell you right away it will be a struggle. The premise, as we see articulated here, is if you just make the all-important “free-will choice” and change your thinking, then you’ll change the way you live (and hypotheticaly, it should become “easier”, but this person isn’t even saying this, here!)

    The only way to make that “something more” is to say that going through the “struggle” and then going to Heaven afterward is better than “continuing in sin” and going to Hell. But then, salvation is clearly by works. Jesus’ “love” is then all tied up in better behavior; conforming it to the Law, which is what He came to save us from in the first place!

    So we should just leave the people alone. Christians’ reaction is still like that of parents whose children are rebelling, like typical statements I see such as “a culture that is moving farther and farther away from the clear teaching of Scripture about God’s purpose and design for human sexuality”. But they’re not our children. They do not answer to us!

    Another person somewhere said “Fifty years ago this kind of activity was kept in the shadows, because we were ashamed of it. Now not only are we proud of it, it has become the law of the land. Its one thing to sin, it is quite another to rub God’s nose in it.”
    They forget that God sees all those things done in the shadows (they’re the ones who couldn’t see what was in the “shadows”, and now feel it is being rubbed in their face since it’s been exposed to them), and a “nation” or any other unit of people are no less “rubbing sin in God’s face” just because their sins are hidden, and that includes even mental stuff like hatred, even if it’s not acted out in behavior. That was the entire problem with many Christians’ assessment of the past and societal changes. Those trying to “lead” others in righteousness seem not to completely understand it themselves!

    So they know how we feel, and Jesus even said if the people we preach to don’t listen, to just “shake the dust off our feet” and move on. But again, we have more at stake than just their souls; it’s about ours as well, like saving “the nation”, or “they’re going to come after our freedoms now”.

    This article http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2015/06/26/upon-the-legalization-of-gay-marriage which dispels some of these fears, does point out:

    Negative public opinion toward churches who oppose this move will become solidified, placing you on the losing side of the culture war on this matter.
    Now we’re getting at the heart of the matter for evangelicals. Today’s defeat in Obergefell v. Hodges signals that public opinion has shifted away from the traditional evangelical view, and it serves as an emblem of a sea change that you’ve been anticipating and lamenting for decades. This is a further indication that evangelicalism has lost some of its grip over the surrounding culture so that now those who oppose this change will be looked down upon by those who are supposed to be beneath them, not above them.

    We’re going to be considered morally deficient. Let’s admit it. We’re much more accustomed to being accused of being morally superior. They’ve said we’ve been “stand-offish” meaning better than them, now a large part of this culture thinks we are morally deficient. And we’re going to find that’s a very different way to do ministry.

    What a blow that must be!
    But these are more concerns about our own creature comforts than the other people’s souls.

    A lot of it is from the institutional nature of religion. Religious organizations employ the laws of the land to organize themselves into special tax free corporations that build their buildings and pay their “staff”. So there is the danger that this could be used as leverage to force them to accept gays or even to stop preaching against them (even if there is no definite move to do it right now.
    I would say that some do tend to cross the line, and push too much. Why would you want to be married or even have your cake baked by [or any other service performed by] someone who thinks your marriage is an evil perversion, especially when there are others who don’t think that and will perform it?)

    But that I believe is the price of the Church becoming dependent on “organization” (the Church was originally people fellowshipping in the home), and also, the Church believing it is called to reform everyone’s behavior (beyond sharing the message with them, and moving on if they decide against it).

    The “world” would be less likely to try to control the Church, if the Church didn’t pose such a threat of trying to control the world, which is not what Christ commissioned it to do! (When the Church did have such control, in the past, it led to religious dictatorship, even over other Christians, who then broke away).

    Speaking of laws, the entire battle here makes us dependent on a secular government to determine “marriage”, as has been pointed out! Christian conservatives have been a major voice criticizing too much dependence on government. (And particularly one they have seen as sliding away from God long before this decision). Yet they are essentially arguing that “marriage” is what the government allows (or even has the power to define), so if they allow it for gays, they have effectively “redefined” it, contrary to God (which actually attributes to them way too much power. It’s understandable that “secular” gays pushing for “equality” and not for scripture would put so much stock in that).
    In other words, it’s not just the government itself “playing God”, but also the Christian conservatives, who in essence say “yes, you are in the position/level of God”, but then get mad when their decisions don’t match His. Allowing others to marry then takes something away from them (like rendering their own marriages meaningless somehow), due to this universal “redefining”.

    But the US government or any of its states’ governments did not exist in Biblical times. There were no human governments at all for Adam and Eve, or the immediate generations after them, yet that was when “marriage” was first “defined”.
    The act of of coming together physically [i.e. “one flesh”] was “marriage”, not going and getting a “license”, and then standing before a govt. official and/or “minister” and repeating vows. We see coming together without the vows as “fornication”, and coming together with someone else after the vows as “adultery”, but really, the former is a technical marriage (often done to avoid the legal difficulties of the “official” union, and make it easier to break it up, and then go get someone else. That would then become “adultery”. “Fornication” in scripture was other acts; like what we call “prostitution” and “incest”).

    They’ve also been reiterating the fear that “polygamy, child molestation, etc. will be next”.
    But I have never seen any lobby for those things. They are not waiting in the wings to gain rights, so where would such a movement to “legalize” them even come from?

    I would agree with what an article like this http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/life-issues/challenges/homosexuality/why-did-god-invent-sex says, but still if the people are inclined toward something other than “God’s best”, or “God’s design”, that (as those people wil themselves say) is between them and God, not something we are to try to badger them into. It’s like “I love you enough to give you ‘my best’, but you must give me what I’m due by receiving it, else, I will give you the worst”. That is not true grace, it’s coersion.

  3. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2013/10/are-not-the-bibles-laws-on-homosexuality-unbiblical/

    Goes after the whole “moral” vs “ceremonlal” tactic used to divide the Law into what they will admit has been “done away”, and what they think should still be enforced today.

    So “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.” then refers to “moral law” only.

    “The first thing to note is that nowhere in the Bible are moral laws distinguished from ceremonial laws. Those are man-made designations. Christians have always allowed for Biblical “laws” to migrate from one category to another.
    It used to considered in accord with Biblical moral law for Christians to keep slaves.
    ‘Thou shalt not work on the Sabbath day’ is one of the Ten Commandments. Yet today we do not assume that no real Christians mow their lawn on Sundays, or play professional football.”

    (Let alone the fact that Sunday itself is already a total change from the actual commandment, and this is the biggest one where they will claim “we are not under the Law”. Sundaykeepers will try to use the “ceremonial law” argument, and sabbatarians will simply move the “ceremonial” line further down, to practices they admit should not be kept (like annual holy days, for Adventists, but then more radical groups believe those aren’t “ceremonial” either).

    “So when it comes to Christian moral law, what rule does remain constant? What is the standard by which Christians must ultimately judge each and every Biblical law?
    For a ready and clear answer to that question, we have only to turn to Jesus’ Great Commandment, here at Mark 12:28:
    ‘The most important commandment, answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”’
    So there is Jesus directing us to understand that if breaking a Biblical ‘law’ does not violate the Great Commandment, then that law should no longer be considered a moral law.”

  4. http://dcgazette.com/2016/chic-fil-gay-club-shooting-isnt-viral/

    Of course, this apparently conservative source has to politicize the kind act by framing it in terms of liberals hiding it because it disproves their claims that a Christian owned company like this “hates” gays. (Though it’s true that the gesture does not necessarily prove their beliefs aren’t incorrect and therefore what people are calling hateful, even if that itself is a bit exaggerated. Still, it was a nice step in the direction of reflecting God’s Grace).

    (As the afternoon progressed, more mainstream outlets began covering the story: http://abc7ny.com/news/chick-fil-a-employees-go-to-work-on-a-sunday-after-orlando-shooting/1385246 Funny, as the “mainstream media” ends up as the “neutral” source here, where conservatives always considered them slanted to a biased agenda).

  5. As two more milestones hit the news and net today; of the Stonewall Inn being declared a national monument for LGBT rights, and the first LGBT Miss America contestant, Ms. Missouri, and how it seems like one after another, to the utter chagin of religious conservatives.

    But what came to mind, again, is that these are first, people, who want to live out their identity without shame or discrimination, just like the rest of us. You say “it’s a shameful practice, and so they should feel shamed, and hopefully that will lead them to repentance unto salvation”. But this is judging by “the Law“, which you claim is “done away” in other areas, and seem to agree with the New Testament that “By the works of the Law shall no flesh be saved” (Rom.3:20, Gal. 2:16). Also, Jesus clearly gave a distinction between “what was said by them of old time” [under the Law] and what He was teaching now. (And though what He was saying seemed like it was even stricter than what was taught in the Law, the whole point was that no one could keep it, and thus salvation could not be by keeping it, and the system of Law would be eventually removed).
    Furthermore, you’re using it to try to ‘create/maintain order in society’, which was the function it served in Old Testament Israel only. Again, that had a specific purpose, for those people, which has since been fulfilled. America is not ancient Israel*, which was a theocracy, with the religious leaders as the appointed moral guardians, and people need to stop thinking like that.
    Then, there’s “they’re going to take over and persecute us now”, but it won’t seem like that as much if you are not badgering them at every turn. (Like they wouldn’t try to enforce acceptance if people weren’t so strongly trying to descriminate, even with services that are not private, or of course, actively persecuting. The same as happened with race).

    So we should just accept this as another step in undoing the dehumanization of groups of people, and whatever happens between them and God afterward, is, as people always say, between them and God. Let it not become something else we are worried or miserable about.

    *In other, unrelated news, today’s other headline of the Britain pullout of the EU must surely be great news for the remnant of Armstrongism and other “Anglo-Israelists”, who can proclaim this as paving the way for the final fulfillment of prophecy, as Britain obviously can’t be in the EU if Britain is apart of God’s “Israel”, and the EU is Satan’s “Beast” power! Considered “heretical” by evangelical “orthodoxy”, it and the sabbatarianism of Armstrongism is really a consistent logical extension of this OT focus seen in the push against gays.

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