If you are easily offended or a little bit squeamish of sex-related topics, please don't read what I'm about to write.
I also feel the need to point out that I do not believe my opinion must be everyone's opinion. My stance on Christianity since I was baptized at 16 has changed radically. My thoughts on the Bible and how it should be interpreted have often similarly changed; and continue to change as I am challenged by believers and non-believers who are on a similar truth-seeking path. Right now I am at a place where I believe wholeheartedly with the message of Jesus Christ as it was told by men. I've interpreted their interpretations (and various translations) of Jesus to the result that this "son of God" is someone whose message I want to follow and live out. I believe that Jesus Christ lived and died for my sins.
I feel the need to spell this out because the fact is, I believe the Old and New Testaments of the Bible (while divinely inspired) were written by men. Men in a much different context than our own. I believe there is an inordinate amount of truth to be found in these books, but I don't believe we can literally translate every word of the Bible to relate to our present day lives.
For instance, one of my biggest "pet peeves" about Christians interpreting the New Testament is Paul's letters to the Corinthians concerning marriage. At the time that Paul was writing his letters, he wholeheartedly believed that Christ would return during his lifetime. He wrote his letters with this belief in mind, which I think, is something many Christians neglect to acknowledge. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul promotes marriage as a means to remain pure and free from lust. Or as I've been known to sarcastically paraphrase, "If you can't be as awesome as I am enough to be celibate and are having trouble keeping your legs closed, you should probably get married."
I say this, not to be hurtful, but to shine some light on a scriptural instance when I think the Bible needs to be read "with a grain of salt."
So where am I going with all of this? I had a few responses to my post yesterday regarding The Bible, Love and the Gays, pointing out that I was only shedding light on Old Testament views on homosexuality, which is completely accurate. Today, I want to focus on my thoughts of the New Testament verse most often used in defense of the anti-gay stance taken by many Christians: 1 Corinthians 6:9.
Depending on which translation you read (I generally use the NIV), 1 Corinthians 6:9 reads:
"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men."
My first issue with this is that in many of the newer translations, the term "homosexuality" is blatantly used when that word wasn't even invented until the 1800's.
My second issue (this is where the crudeness comes in, so please feel free to skip past this part) is with the fact that we're not talking about love, here. We're talking about sex. And with this mention of sex, I think it's important to get it out in the open- homosexuals who engage in sexual intercourse are participating in oral and anal sex. There, I said it.
And the thing about oral and anal sex is- perhaps you Bible-thumping Christians are right. Perhaps, cunnilingus and sodomy are "sinful." But do you have any idea how many monogamous, heterosexual couples are engaging in these same acts?! I've talked openly with my friends about our sex lives and the consensus is- the majority of us have not only done these things, but do them on the regular. So why are we not holding heterosexuals to this same harsh standard that we hold the LGBTQ community to?! Why are we condemning one person's sex life while remaining polite enough not to infringe upon someone else's? I don't think it's any of our business to become involved in another person's sex life..ever.
The Bible never tells us who to love (romantically speaking, that is).
The Bible does tells us who to love, familially speaking, however. And the words come straight from Jesus' own lips. I am a Red Letter Christian and will continue to love as I am commanded to.