A contemporary writer asked what would Jesus do in during Pride, and assumed that the answer was simple - Jesus will march in the parade while waving the rainbow flag too. But, is that what Jesus would really do?
Michael Coren, a contributing columnist from The Star, wrote an article about what Jesus would do during Pride, and this is what he claimed: "What would Jesus Christ do? Simple. He'd wave the rainbow flag and march in the parade."
A 'Woke' Jesus
He then explained his fast conclusion saying that Jesus was never about oppression, and in fact, stood with the oppressed, rejected, and marginalized. He went on to point out that Jesus criticized legalists, judgmental, and "the pedants who twisted holiness into hatred," preaching "a shining new message of love, justice, tolerance, and change."
The author, 62 years old, straight, married, ordained Christian cleric, opposed same-sex marriage and was against the LGBTQ community eight years ago, but he claimed God changed his heart. Now, he boldly claims, "Christians can't speak of revolutionary love if we embrace reactionary bigotry." He alleged that Jesus' gospel is not about to whom we give our love but that one simply loves and that is all that matters, and that genuine faith is not about exclusion but acceptance.
According to him, if theology will be studied clearly, Jesus never referred to homosexuality as the world defines it today, nor is lesbianism mentioned in the Old Testament. When Paul wrote on the subject, referring to 1 Corinthians 6:9, he argued that Paul was condemning straight men for using boys for sex and not same-sex individuals being in a loving relationship.
Coren also used the story of the Roman centurion and his dying slave an example. The story can be found in Luke 7:10 where the Roman centurion asked and begged Jesus to heal his dying servant, who he highly values, or in other translations, "whom he dearly loves." Jesus healed the servant and even commended the centurion's faith. Coren claimed that if the history and context of Scripture will be understood, if it will be based on the specific Greek words used and if correct interpretation will be done on the mocking attitude of 1st-century Jews toward their oppressors regarding their sexuality, "it's highly likely that those who witnessed this, and those who read about it in the early church, would have assumed that the two men were in a same-sex relationship."
The supposedly Christian cleric also proclaimed of the future when Christians will look back and be ashamed of their homophobia, reminding readers that many churches have already moved forward and are now apologizing and mending relationships that were broken.
Will Jesus Really March, Wave The Rainbow Flag?
Christian Post wrote an article to argue what Coren has written. "While conservative Christians may be tempted to dismiss these articles as clearly unbiblical, I believe it is naïve not to engage with these arguments," David Closson, the author said.
Closson, Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, presented three points in argument to Coren's article.
His first point stated that it is wrong to assume that because Jesus never directly addressed homosexuality in Scripture, he already affirms same-sex marriage and everything that they are doing. He called this an "argument from silence" noting that Jesus also never directly addressed rape, bestiality, or incest, and regarding these things, no one believes that Jesus affirms them.
The second point is about the appeal of the ethic of love. Saying that Jesus would have supported same-sex relationships all because His core message is love and denying the LGBTQ community to love those that they choose to love and be with would ignore pieces of evidence that Jesus does not affirm same-sex relations.
The first evidence is that Jesus believed and never set aside the authority of the Old Testament. Matthew 5:17 explained that He did not come to abolish the law but to actually fulfill it. He also said in verse 19, "Whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Second evidence points to the creation of marriage and its pattern, which Jesus was specific about. When He was questioned about divorce, His answer was quoted from Genesis 1:1, "But from the beginning of creation" and Genesis 1:27, "God made them male and female," and then stated, from Mark 10:7-8, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." It is very significant to note that Jesus specified and emphasized the sexual differentiation of males and females.
"If sexual difference, in terms of marriage and sexual relations, was unimportant to Jesus, there was no need for him to cite Genesis 1:27," ethicist Ken Magnuson said.
Closson's third point focused on the verses 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, where Paul used the Greek words "malakoi" and "arsenokoitai" to interpret that Paul was bold to label homosexual behaviors as sexual sins, and unless repented from, the doers will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
The word "malakoi" has numerous meanings in the ancient world, yet it often meant "effeminate" or "soft," and was also defined in Hellenistic Greek as "passive" partners in homosexual activity. If there was one thing Closson agreed with Coren it was that context is key because the context of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 stated that Paul was using the term referring to passive partners in homosexual relations and activities.
He further explained that this argument becomes more understandable when "malakoi" is placed beside the term "arsenokoitai," which is a compound word that combines arsen ("male") and koites ("bed"). Going back to the Old Testament, the terms are found in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, verses that spoke prohibition of homosexual relations. Leviticus 20:13 says, "If a man lies with a male as with a woman [meta arsenos koiten gynaikos], both of them have committed an abomination." When this term is paired with "malakoi," Closson is almost certain that "arsenokoitai" refers to the active partner in a homosexual relationship. Thus, when these terms are used together, Paul is saying that active and passive homosexual partners are part of the list of those who will not inherit the Kingdom.
Moreover, the term "arsenokoitai," translated as "men who practice homosexuality" in the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible is once again found in 1 Timothy 1, where Paul presented a list of sins that do not conform to the "sound doctrine," and where he reminded believers to not participate in such activities that dishonors God.
Closson then concluded that Jesus, definitely, will not be marching on the Pride parade, waving the rainbow flag, rather, and this he is equally sure of, Jesus will rebuke and minister to them with the truth, not because He condemns them but because He loves them as much that He wants to save and redeem them. Then, the writer ended by posing a challenge to the readers - "We should do likewise."
Also Read: Ex-LGBT People Who Encountered Jesus Christ Are 'Taking Back The Rainbow'
Warning: Evangelicals Embracing Secularism
A 2020 study entitled, "American Christians are Redefining the Faith:
Adherents Creating New Worldviews Loosely Tied to Biblical Teaching" by the Cultural Research Center shockingly stated that, "American Christianity is undergoing a 'post-Christian Reformation' with the nation's major Christian groups rapidly replacing traditional theological beliefs with the culture's secular values."
The study found out that Evangelicals are opening their arms to embrace secularism. Described as "the most startling realization," it revealed that there is a progressive number of evangelicals that have started adopting unbiblical beliefs, which contrasts with what Evangelical churches each about the Bible being the ultimate and final authority not only on a person's salvation but also on how one should live a life that glorifies the Lord.
Described as "alarming," it was found out that majority of Evangelicals, which is at 52% believe that there is no absolute moral truth and that truth nowadays can be uniquely determined by one's preferences and circumstances, and worst, that the Bible is neither true nor reliable, a very sad, radical and dangerous departure from the traditional teachings. Thus, the result that 34% reject the idea of legitimate marriage between a man and a woman isn't surprising anymore.
Moreover, there are more Evangelicals, at 62%, that does not read the Bible any longer. Once again a contrast to the church's teaching that the Bible is every Christian's weapon to live a life that is blessed by God.
Related Article: God Loves LGBTQ People - And We Should Love Them The Way He Does, Too