Swinging from the Vine / 799 posts / 2,739 comments / feed / comments feed

Sometimes we have to live what we KNOW

Edited to add: Mike L. has a good post here that approaches the topic from a civil/political viewpoint and articulates some points quite well, IMO.

As a followup to Adam’s post,

First, I like what Michael Toy said:

another companion cry might be “stop blaming the bible for our own fear and intolerance”

Second - I don’t think Adam is suggesting we throw away the Bible - Adam is an ordained pastor after all. I think he’s suggesting that we stop using it as an idol and an excuse for our own hatred, judgmentalism, fear and ignorance.

Interestingly, I had a similar conversation with David on our way home from Boulder on Saturday.  I think when we disagree on the interpretation of scripture regarding specific issues and sins, we’re best off “setting aside” the Bible on that particular issue and living according to what we KNOW - we KNOW that God demands us to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly, we KNOW that Christ calls us to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves (and no, the whole “we love them by showing them they’re wrong” argument does NOT fly with me), we KNOW that we are to “do unto others” and “go and do likewise” and to “do unto the least of these” as we would do unto Him.  Those things we KNOW and sometimes, when our interpretations of Scripture seem to contradict those things, we need to continue wrestling and living in the tension but LIVE OUT the things we know. In other words, even IF you disagree with Adam on whether or not same sex relationships are OK with God, the way you live and the way you treat gays should still be the same.

I would rather be able to stand before God and say “I lived the best I could IN LOVE” rather than “I lived the best I could in JUDGMENT”.  If I have to default to anything, I’d rather it be equity, justice, love, compassion, mercy, humility, kindness and peace…even if it means I end up being wrong on the specifics of certain sins. And that’s where I find myself now, I honestly have no idea what God thinks about same sex relationships. I am confident that same sex attraction is not a sin because I don’t believe (by and large) people CHOOSE that. But as for the act of same sex intercourse or intimacy in general, I personally have not found much clarity in Scripture. And since so many well educated, well intentioned Christians also don’t agree, I choose to default to justice and equity. We all have to make those kinds of choices about Scripture. Other Christians choose otherwise and that’s their choice, I certainly can’t make it for them just as they can’t make it for me. They have to live according to their convictions just like I do. And I think somehow, we can all come to a point where we’re ok with that tension….at least I hope so.

Related posts:

  1. Read Adam’s thought provoking post The Bible & Homosexuality: Enough with the Bible Already —...
  2. knowledge and experience - aside 3 Catrina asked me in my comment below if I can...
  3. my knowledge trumps your experience - part 1 Some recent experiences of mine have tied in with some...
  4. what is MOST IMPORTANT I always like reading passages in Scripture that have language...
  5. long live the 50s what decade does your personality live in? quiz brought...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.


  1. Bob — December 16, 2008 #

    Well, aside from the fact that I can find significant numbers of people who would disagree on just about everything from Scripture, including the love and justice stuff (so what is left that CAN’T be “put aside”?), I just get pretty sad to hear an entire opposing opinion written off as “hatred, judgmentalism, fear and ignorance.”

    I mean, is it possible to believe that same sex erotic behavior is a sin without “using [the Bible] as an idol” and without “hatred, judgmentalism, fear and ignorance”?

    Or at least without being accused of it?

  2. Mak — December 16, 2008 #

    sad or offended?

    I don’t think I wrote off everyone in your camp in that way in this post.

  3. Bob — December 16, 2008 #

    Sorry, that’s how I read your second paragraph, which is probably a poor assumption on my part.
    I’ll rephrase as a question…

    Is it possible to be a follower of Jesus who passionately loves all people (to the best of his or her ability), does not make the Bible an idol, doesn’t engage in hatred, judgmentalism, fear or ignorance (at least not any more than your average person) and yet still believes that same sex sexual activity is off-limits for a follower of Jesus?

  4. Mak — December 16, 2008 #

    yes - but you put a qualifier on there - “for a follower of Jesus”… so would you agree then that gays should be allowed the same civil rights by the state as straights? Because if not, then I think you’d have to allow that many people will see that as judgmental, even hateful behavior

  5. Pingback - Love or Judgment - A Quote from Makeesha | Ephemeral Thoughts — December 18, 2008 #

    [...] Makeesha [...]

  6. sonja — December 19, 2008 #

    I recently met a woman who I think might become a friend in time. She works for the Women of Faith conference tour and has recently come out of a very fundamentalist church. She said something very interesting a few weeks ago that I’ve been letting percolate because I think it has a lot of value. We were talking about all the rules, fear, anger, etc. and she said, “It’s hard, but I think a lot of those rules and expectations are people putting their own limitations onto others.”

    That’s a very liberating thought when you begin to work it through. It allows for a lot of grace.

Leave a comment