Jesus: The Great Debate

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Jesus: The Great Debate

All the best to you! What a blessing! God says same-sex relationships are sinful, so they must be. Many people have abnormalities that prevent them from being classified as male or female. Most of these people find a way of publicly identifying as male or female, but their bodies may in fact be more like the opposite gender, or anywhere in between.

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Most of us are just glad not to have to deal with problems like that, so we simply put it out of our minds. So if they fall in love with someone who loves them just as they are, then how do we advise them? Would we just go by the gender they identified with? Even if their body was quite different? Would we go by external genitals?

By chromosomes? What about the ambiguous cases? The second one is even more mind-boggling. Even though the homosexuality prooftexts could have been explained in other ways, and even though none of them referred to gay marriage or covenant gay partnerships of any sort, we still decided that the most straightforward reading of these verses said that homosexuality was wrong.

The passage reads:. Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head — it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

Jesus: The Great Debate

A man ought not to cover his head, since his is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head. So now what? Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

I was just reading an article where a conservative minister used this passage to prove that both the American Revolution and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The problem is, how do we know which passages are which? This is more bad news for the Traditional View, though. Someone on their side has recognized this problem and is trying to fix it! Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. This is one of those passages that I think you have to read over a couple of times to grasp the full magnitude of what Paul is trying to convey.

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In my book, it ranks right up there with John as one of those super-important passages that every Christian should know. Paul makes an incredibly bold statement here. For example, adultery is an inherently unloving act. Traditionalists say that this command is from God. Paul spends almost the entire book of Romans building an argument about law, grace, and sin, trying to explain what the Christian gospel is all about. Throughout all of his letters, Paul was concerned with two problems in the church.

They were indulging themselves, behaving badly, and making the church look horrible. On the other side were those Christians who were so concerned with following all the requirements of the Law that they were putting a tremendous burden on themselves and others. Do not taste!

The Great Debate: What makes a good person? (Jesus Week 2018)

Do not touch! These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Before this faith [in Jesus] came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.


So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. I think that this concept was too radical for many Christians, because it seems that no sooner had Paul written this than people started trying to find ways to explain it away. Paul also wants us to realize that we must avoid the other extreme; we must not sin. Galatians says:.

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You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. Notice how Paul addresses both extremes in this passage. According to Paul, if we live a life of servant love, we will be doing everything that the law requires of us.

No further rules and regulations are necessary. So what God most wants is love — toward our fellow human beings and toward God. See how everything starts to fall into place? Jesus himself gives us the best example of how to understand the Scriptures on this subject. For the Jews, one of the all-time most important commandments was the commandment to keep the Sabbath, which meant doing no work at all from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Then in Matthew 12, Jesus and his disciples are walking through the grainfields, and the disciples are picking grain.

To make his case, Jesus gives them the example of David, who ate consecrated bread when he had no food, even though only priests were allowed to eat consecrated bread Matt. He also points out that their own common sense would tell them to save a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, even though that would clearly be work Matt.

The Great Debate Today

Remember that line? Notice, Jesus is building on a principle here that he expects the religious leaders to already know. Is God getting soft on sin, becoming mellower as the years go on? Well, of course not. God detests sin and cannot have anything to do with it. But God also knows, in His infinite wisdom, that mere rules and regulations are not always sufficient to define what is sinful. The specifics of the situation make a huge difference.

Even we humans can recognize this. Killing another human being, for example, is both a sin and a terrible crime. But there are situations in which we would not hold someone accountable for killing, such as if it was in self-defense. There might even be times we would approve of their actions. To account for this, our human laws contain all kinds of specific exceptions and long-winded explanations for even the simplest of crimes, and our court system contains numerous checks and balances to allow for human common sense to temper, interpret, or sometimes even override the letter of the law.

No one would want to be tried in court by a computer, because we know that only a human being has the reasoning ability to look at a situation and see all the nuances and extenuating circumstances that need to be taken into account. If even we humans, with our pitiful understanding of good and evil, can see that rules are inadequate, then why would we expect anything less of God?

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  • As Jesus made clear through the Sabbath incident, God judges our actions on a case-by-case basis, taking into account our heart, our motives, and the specifics of the situation, not just mindlessly applying a set of rigid rules. The rules of Scripture do have value. They do have a purpose.

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    Jesus: The Great Debate Jesus: The Great Debate
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