From the King James Version of the Bible, I have been studying and looking more deeply into the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans. I have been looking for some insights and confirmation that homosexuals and the broader LGBT community are not in fact as condemned or doomed to be shunned from heaven as we are led to believe by the bigoted or ill-informed or un-scholarly Christian lay person or closed-minded, closed-hearted priest or pastor pushing politics from the pulpit.
The truth is, the letter to the Romans provides a criticism of Greco-Roman homosexual culture and perversion but much more in the way of confirmation that homosexuals pure of heart in dedicated, monogamous relationships between consenting, mature adults with mutual well-being and health in mind, can be saved and find places in God’s kingdom.
Romans 1:16-17 assures us that those who have faith in God are saved. Indicated by Romans 3:19-20, the Law of Moses highlights and points out sin but in verses 21-30, we are told that acceptance is by faith and not by obeying the Law alone. In fact, we are not expected to obey all of the Laws of Moses. We’re imperfect, we’re human, and we can only strive and struggle with sin and we know and God knows, we often fall short of His expectations. However, faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin saves us. Faith that Jesus has paid the ultimate price for our forgiveness is what saves us from God’s wrath.
in Romans 10:4, belief in Christ makes the Law of Moses unnecessary. “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Your salvation then hinges on your faith and belief in Christ and not on whether or not you are homosexual, wear clothing of mixed fabrics, eat bacon with your breakfast, or tie tassels on the four corners of your cloak or eat shellfish.
That’s not to say the Law of Moses no longer has some value or that it is meaningless now, that’s not what I am saying. The Law of Moses reflects that in its time, it was an expression of God’s love and concern and worry for the well-being of His chosen people who were fleeing bondage from Egypt. The laws suited specific needs and specific expectations for people of a specific time, place, and culture that needed to be purified to do God’s work and to fulfill God’s promises to humanity. These laws and commandments changed as needs, cultures, and times changed. When Jesus arrived, he changed those commandments to address a more fundamental need that seemed to be at the heart of every issue– the lack of love and compassion people had for each other and for God. All the Law of Moses could be distilled into a need to love God and one another. To love God means to love our Creator whole-heartedly and to understand that He has plans for us and wants the best for us.
Loving others as we would love each other means we look out for each other’s well-being. We show compassion and care with our relationships, we dedicate ourselves to our partners and seek to maintain healthy relationships. This means safe, sane, consensual behaviors and of course safe sex practices. We are smarter now and we have no excuse for risking the health and safety of our partners– but back in classical Greco-Roman times, the homosexual community was very different and didn’t have the knowledge and awareness of diseases or disease prevention as we do today. To be in any relationship gay, straight, or otherwise requires responsibility and God has made it clear that promiscuous, risky sex is not something He would want us involved with.