In Part II I tried to address those who would shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, look, it’s what the Bible says; I didn’t come up with it.” But, Part II doesn’t end the discussion. Paul says you shouldn’t be greedy. He says you shouldn’t be sexually perverse. He says you shouldn’t be swindlers. I agree with all of these, and in fact, they provide good advice for our times. My point is, that Part II doesn’t “prove” that you should blow off what Paul said, but it should help people understand that just because some folks who don’t like gay people found a verse or two opposing gay sex, the job of the Christian seeking to understand whether gay relationships are valuable before the eyes of God is not done. There is more searching to be done.
So, what to do with two people of the same gender who are romantic in love with each other? If tradition is most important, if the old ways is most important, than we should not recognize their love. Their love is different than what we are used to and it is contrary to the Hebrew law and Paul’s instruction. On the other hand, if love is what is important, if that love has some how replaced adherence to tradition, then we should recognize their love.
Look at what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount about some related topics:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
It seems to me that these scriptures suggest a move away from legalism toward a deeper understanding of fidelity. I’ve suggested before that a major theme of the Sermon on the Mount is this shift.
Of course, most important for me is not my study of scripture on this topic. The fact is, I know several couples in which both people are men or both people are women. It is simply inconcievable that these relationship are lesser than those in which one person is a man and one is a woman. Just as with any question of faith, it is my experience that has the most powerful impact on what I believe.