#0004 A cultural rift in the Church (part IV)
In the last posting we concluded that the voice of God in Leviticus was false! If this is so then it stands to reason that the image of that God must also be false. In that post I also said that a God with an unending capacity for forgiveness wouldn’t command people to be put to death for their transgressions; well I’m amending my statement to say He couldn’t make such a command, because by doing so He would be going against the essence of His own nature. To see an illustration of this we only have to look at the Pharisees’ response to Jesus when He challenged them in the temple during Holy Week. As the Pharisees approached Jesus in the temple they weren’t doing so with nefarious intentions in their hearts. They were only operating according to the standard business model of their faith. This model was built around the image of their God who would and was very comfortable giving out commands to put people to death. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were not just well-acquainted with this God; they were inexorably involved with Him. Their business model for religion was fashioned with this God in mind and it was hewn out of the Mosaic Law.
Today Conservative Christianity has resurrected that model; and not unlike the Pharisees, they are kind of stuck to it. Where the Pharisees’ glue was the Law; the glue of Christianity oozes forth from the 1-book Bible and is more specifically their doctrine. In the matter of the SCOTUS decision on same sex marriage and the Conservative Christians’ angst over it—they will never be able to wriggle free of Leviticus 20:13 to see the LGBT community through unconditionally-loving eyes; because of their inability to un-see the Bible and God as one and the same. In other words, the dichotomy of a loving God commanding people to death for their transgressions will never be a problem for them as long as they continue hanging God’s face in the picture frame of the 1-book Bible.
Another principle Jesus was busy promoting while on the earth was repentance. Once again this Leviticus law, along with everything else in Leviticus works against this principle and concept of repentance. In Jesus, humanity was introduced to this principle for the very first time. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any scrap of evidence of repentance in the Old Testament; because when all is said and done, the God of the Old Testament is a rudimentary mutant God. At that point in history, the concept of a deity within the realm of the overall human social perspective hadn’t had the chance to fully develop yet. And the most dramatic and dynamic change to the conceptualization of the monotheistic God wouldn’t take place until Jesus manifests Himself to the world. (If you wish to read more, check out Section Two: The Pre-Jesus God in the book). So when Jesus came and taught us the principle of repentance, in a way he was simultaneously inviting humanity to repent of their previous and immature conceptualization of God. Conservative Christians who don’t want to do this—who continue to mash together the mutant, Old Testament God and the Jesus God—are in danger of taking upon themselves the mantle of self-righteousness. As conservative Christians persist in efforts to champion the voice and the image of the mutant God of the past and His religion business model they must do so with highly focused aforethought. They must, in a manner of speaking, move several steps to the right in order to get Jesus out of their line of sight as they gaze into the past. And it’s not just the physical size and stature of the man Jesus was while on earth, no. His persona is much bigger now and His arms are reaching way out to His sides as if ready to catch up and embrace everybody. His aura is impossibly bright; trying to see past it would be like trying to see past the sun. Jesus and His message of love is designed by the Father to be the incarnation of a celestial body—a sun meant to eclipses the moon of the Old Testament mutant God.
What is Jesus’s response on the SCOTUS decision to allow same sex couples to marry? Let’s start with what we know about Jesus. When He was here, He was all about love and love of the highest caliber—unconditional love, it’s been called. What did Jesus have to say about homosexuality? We know what the mutant God thinks about it and what He says about it; but what about Jesus? He never, ever said anything specifically about homosexual behavior; He did, however talk some specifics about divorce and was quite frank about that issue. I would think that since He specifically mentions divorce and Christians, even conservatives are willing to overlook divorce as a transgression; it seems like if homosexual behavior was the big abomination the conservatives are making it out to be, Jesus would have weighed in on the topic—right? He didn’t. Another point worth making is: again, if homosexual behavior is the big deal—certainly bigger than, say stealing a cookie from the jar; why is it not included as one of the Ten Commandments, but Thou shalt not steal is included?!
Although Jesus doesn’t mention anything about homosexuals specifically, He does talk about (and holds in a positive light) a certain group of people that might be their olden day equivalent. These people were also much despised by religious groups of the time because it was believed they were filthy or tainted at birth. This group was the Samaritans. It’s almost as if Jesus goes out of His way to specifically mention them in His teachings. There is the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan and there is also the account of the Samaritan women whom Jesus meets at the village well and offers to her living water. Today members of the LGBT community are of the similitude of the Samaritans of Jesus day. The Hebrew tradition was to despise them because they were thought to be filthy from birth. Today’s religious views put LBGTs in the very same light. And just as Jesus offered living water to one their own, He didn’t offer forgiveness to the Samaritans—there was nothing to forgive; He doesn’t offer forgiveness the LBGT community either; because there is nothing to forgive. As for the SCOTUS decision…Jesus is overjoyed!