Pharisees: Valued following what Moses commanded over the value of people
Pharisees: Had a kind of holiness that repelled those whom the culture of that day deemed as living contrary to Leviticus
Jesus: Valued people over the value of following what Moses commanded
Jesus: Had a kind of holiness that attracted those whom the culture of that day deemed as living contrary to Leviticus
Even if one deems the act of homosexuality as being condemned by Leviticus, you still have one grave reality staring back at you in the face. Why are those who practice homosexuality not strangely attracted to you as they were to Jesus? You may be claiming to be following Jesus, you may claim that Jesus taught "love the sinner, hate the sin," but why are your results so identical to the results of the Pharisees?
We must let this contradiction confront us. Until someone feels that you truly are their brother, sister, friend, you really have no right to speak into their lives.
So go ahead, deem the act of homosexuality as contrary to the Bible, that gets you nowhere. You still have to confront the life of Jesus and how he taught you to relate to those your religious community deems as living contrary to the Bible. Regardless of our claim, the fact that homosexual youth have such a high suicide rate in our society, Christian youth still higher, and Christian youth who have been rejected by their families have an 8x higher rate than Christian youth who have been accepted, screams to us that in all our piety and holiness, we have imbibed more the spirit of the Pharisees than we have the spirit of Christ. To see this as a matter of sin or not sin grossly and ignorantly misses the point entirely.
Homosexuals are the canary in our religious coal mines. When the canary dies, it's time run to the surface for purer air. Homosexuality has not taken the life of one Christian gay young person, but the way we are dealing with this and them has. If sin is supposed to produce death and how we are dealing with matters like this are producing death, you have to ask where is the greater sin really? "First get the log out of your own eye, then you will see more clearly to get the dust out of someone else's."
For the sake of every young person who is struggling with this right now as I write, for the sake of every phone call I will receive at 3 a.m. to talk someone back down off the ledge, it is time for change. If you are following Jesus, why are they at an 8x greater risk of suicide as a result of your methods? I wonder, I just wonder, what Jesus really meant when he told the Pharisees that those who will rise up in the judgment against them would be from "Sodom and Gomorrah?" I wonder what that meant to the Pharisees who were listening that day? And please don't say you're simply standing up for what is right - the Pharisees were too. Jesus stood up to defend those who were being damaged by those who were standing up for what is right.
And please feel free to crucify me over this too, for standing up for them, my brothers, sisters and friends in the LGBT community - especially the younger ones. You have my permission to crucify me too, for "the servant is not greater than the Master."
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/5727