Friday, June 18, 2010

Bellevue and the New Testament - The Church's Anti-Jesus Bent Shown

The current controversy over the esteemed "Six Flags Over Jesus" aka. Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis is, I believe, worthy of discussion on my blog. Other gay issues, like the Prop 8 battle, I will deal with when the decision comes down from Judge Walker, but I believe that this Bellevue issue is very important.

The following news article from the Memphis Commercial Appeal sums up what happened...

Now before I go into my discussion on Christianity and how it truly treats homosexuals I need to make this caveat. I do agree that many churches, some that I have been a part of, are welcoming of gay people, not condoning what they are doing, yet not expelling them completely. This post though, is not directed towards those churches, but instead at the vast majority of churches in the United States who would not do that.

Though I am in disagreement with the Church from the New Testament on, being raised in the Church I am well aware of the New Testament in its entirety, and exactly what it says.

Ok so moving on, though the New Testament does not condemn homosexual relationships as any true contextual reading of the "anti-gay passages" would show, let us assume that the New Testament does claim that gays are sinning...and therefore sinners in the eyes of God. Many mainline Christian denominations agree with this assertion.

So in Christianity what did Jesus come to do? And how did Jesus react to sinners when he was confronted with them? Did Jesus only associate himself with those people who were "worthy" and "sinless" in his eyes? Any reading of the Gospels will dispel this idea, for Jesus instead avoided those who were "worthy" in the eyes of the Judaic establishment and instead associated with...who? The tax collectors and the sinners.

The Church of today has looked over this purpose for which the New Testament says Jesus came. Instead of associating with "sinners" like the gays, they say something along the lines of "if we associate with you we will be 'agreeing' with your 'lifestyle'." So was Jesus afraid of 'condoning' a particular sin when he ministered to the tax collectors and sinners? Or was he actually concerned with those sinners? In my reading of the New Testament it would be the latter.

You see, the Church has again asserted itself as a "perfect and unblemished" bastion of truth in which you yourself must be "perfect and unblemished" yourself. But, by the churches standard what is this perfection and unblemishment look like...well, the answer is, we dont know. Does lying disqualify you? Probably not. Does gluttony disqualify you? Does divorce? Infidelity? Swearing? No probably not...for if you do all those things you are still welcome in the church. But again, the "Church" (this one being Bellevue) has asserted, you can be in our circle...as long as you don't bring "the gay" with you.

Now I agree, there is the freedom of association argument. But whatever. Yes Bellevue can decide who they do or do not want to associate with legally. But that is not what I am after. I am going after the religious aspect of this issue. The Church, as Jesus taught, is supposed to be place where sinners can be fed and ministered too, not where they have to become perfect before entering. If the Church continues to have this hypocrisy, it will see its influence in society slowly become obsolete...for no one, Christian or non-Christian, like people who speak out of both sides of their mouth.

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