Romans 13:8 “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
I am sure I have visited this passage before in this blog ministry but perhaps in light of the current political atmosphere and in the environment of fear or hate that seems to threaten the LGBT community, it is worth another look.
So many who stand against the LGBT community and LGBT equality or same-sex marriage would like to think they can monopolize what love is, what love means, what gender is, what marriage should be, and what it means to be a person of faith. Many anti-LGBT Christians out in the world today have used Scripture to justify what they feel is righteous anger, righteous condemnation and discrimination or hatred.
Always, passages from Deuteronomy or Leviticus are summoned up as God’s voice of condemnation and their justification for discrimination towards the LGBT community. They site the old Mosaic Law… without a full understanding of it’s cultural context or its purpose within the history of that day. But it is no matter when you take into consideration what Jesus had done to fulfill the Mosaic Law and what He expects of us in our role as His followers.
If we all wish to follow in Christ’s footsteps, it would do us well to pay especially close attention to what it is He is asking of us. He is asking that we love. We are to love our God to the best of our abilities and means. He is asking us also to love each other as we would want to be loved ourselves– with respect, kindness, patience, kindness, empathy, and compassion. We are to love our neighbors and strangers and even our enemies with the intentions of caring about their well-being as much as we would care about our own well-being. There should be no limits to whom we love or how we express our love for others. Did Jesus restrain His love from us as He hung on the cross and forgave all humanity for their sins? Did God hold back His love from all of humanity when He sent His only begotten son, Jesus to us?
Love will fulfill all the requirements of law. For without love bolstering the law, what good is the law? If there is no love behind the actions of the law, what good is that law serving? Is the purpose of the law to spread love or to impose guilt, shame, and humiliation? Is the law intended to impose the weight of our flawed existence upon us and be a constant reminder that we will never be worthy of God?
Jesus has established a new covenant and decided we are all worthy of God’s love and mercy and forgiveness. Jesus makes us new people when we seek Him and seek to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. What was old is abolished in favor of the new life we can have in union with Christ.
And through Christ and with God, all things are possible– especially openness and affirmation.