Indiana’s recent passing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law has reignited the discussion about how Christians should approach the LGBTQ community. Not that it was dying or ever went away, but the volume of the discussion definitely rises and falls. Right now, it’s at a 10 (I use 10 because when our kids turn the surround sound in our basement up to 10, we get to enjoy whatever they’re watching from the comfort of our living room, upstairs). With that, no matter where you turn, whether you want to participate or not, you’re bombarded with 8,000 different points of view. I have mine and I added to the conversation with a number of blogs. As I’ve read through many of the articles, and their comments, written by those Christians supporting the new law and exerting their “rights,” it isn’t uncommon to see scripture quoted to hold up the argument against homosexuality for “religious freedom” sake.
One of the most common verses of scripture is Leviticus 20:13. It says,
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
First, thankfully most Christians don’t focus on the second part of that verse. Some whack-jobs do, but they aren’t Christian. Most Christians tend to focus on the word abomination and use that as the basis of their argument. It is true that the bible says that; can’t argue with it. This article isn’t intended to prove or disprove whether Christians use that scripture appropriately, but regardless, I do not think that word means what you think it means. As a quick side note, I found a great word study article that lends some clarity to the Hebrew word that was used in that passage, and 103 other passages, and gives the probably interpretation of that word. Here’s the LINK. Instead of trying to convince my fellow Christians that the word, “abomination” shouldn’t be the crux (or involved at all) of any argument against people in the LGBT community, I’d like to level the playing field a little. Here’s how; if they’re an abomination, many of us are too.
Proverbs 6:16-19 says,
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
There it is. There are six, no seven things that the Lord views as an abomination; which by the way, homosexuality isn’t listed here, and the ones that are listed here are actually listed in other places, as sin, in the bible. And, King Solomon, noted as the wises man to ever live, wrote this. So let’s go through the list.
1. Haughty eyes: If you’ve ever looked down on someone with an arrogant attitude, that’s an abomination to God. Pride is a sin and is the starting point for a whole host of other sins. Let’s be honest, a lot of Christians view others’ sin like this when comparing it to their own. If you’ve ever felt or treated someone as if you were better, or less sinful, than them; abomination.
2. A lying tongue: If you’ve ever lied, even a little white lie to your kids because you were too tired to take them to the park, that’s an abomination to God. If you say you haven’t, you just committed an abomination.
3. Hands that shed innocent blood: Any ex-con that’s doing (or did) time for murder, whether it was planned or accidental, has committed an abomination. That’s an easy one for most all of us to agree with. If you agree with that… haughty eyes.
4. A heart that devises wicked plans: This is subjective, but if you’ve ever made plans to call into work and lie about being sick to go to a sporting event (or anything), that covers two things on the list, so you’ve committed a double abomination. Or if you’ve ever planned to cheat someone out of something, that’s an abomination to God.
5. Feet that make haste to run to evil: If you’ve ever excitedly gotten ready and rushed off to a night with the guys/girls, in which you knew you were going to be drinking to excess, that’s an abomination to God. Drunkenness is a sin and if you gleefully run off to join in that, you’ve committed an abomination just by simply going.
6. A false witness who breathes out lies: Man, God really hates lying enough that He put it on the list twice. Maybe it’s because the devil if “the father of lies” and he and God don’t see eye to eye. But I digress, if you’ve lied about someone else, for any reason, you’ve committed an abomination. There’s no way around it, lying is an abomination; end of story.
7. One who sows discord among brothers: If you’ve ever created disharmony within your family or your church, you’ve committed an abomination. This could include, but is not limited to, gossip, not agreeing with you pastor, being part of a church split, doing something to upset someone and causing a fight, lying about someone else, being rude or arrogant, being prideful, theres a ton more, but you get the point, you’ve committed an abomination.
For most of us that should level the ground at the foot of the cross. If it doesn’t, you’ve just committed an abomination. Here’s what I want to point out more than anything else. Nowhere in either of those scriptures does God call the person an abomination. Leviticus says, “have committed an abomination” and Proverbs says, “things…that are an abomination.” Both of those passages of scripture are directed at acts, not people. Whether or not you believe homosexuality is a sin, calling the person an abomination is not only hurtful, it’s possibly the most hateful and damaging thing you can say. You’re telling them that they shouldn’t exist. That’s not true, because God made them; He made all of us the same, with the same need, Him.
We are not called to call out what we perceive as sinful in others’ life. When we approach others with that agenda, it doesn’t follow the Apostle Peter’s direction to share our hope with gentleness and respect. Maybe we go to God and start dealing with our own issues, first. Maybe we pay less attention to what we think is a more egregious sin and figure out where calling out others’ sin is really coming from. Is it from a deep desire for them to know the same love of Jesus that you enjoy? Or is it because it’s easier to tell others what’s wrong with them, then dealing with what’s wrong in us? If it’s the first, the word abomination should never cross your lips and you should ask God to remove it from your mind. There are far better ways to communicate others’ need for Jesus and share the radically intense love He gives. Maybe one of those ways is that you bake them a cake.
What are some ways to communicate Jesus’ love to others, with gentleness and respect?
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