by Charles Toy
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“This country is going to hell in a hand basket.  When the abomination of homosexuality is allowed full legal legitimacy; when women can murder their babies by the millions with full legal protection from the government; when lazy freeloaders can sit back and collect government support while hard working Americans pay their way; God is mocked; and His wrath is sure to follow!”

How many times have we heard this from fire and brimstone preachers? It’s repeated daily from pulpits across the nation. These three issues have become the core focus of modern Christianity, and it’s all a big lie.  It’s the reason I’ve grown ashamed of my religion. I’m not ashamed of Jesus though, or my faith in him, which is the reason I remain a Christian.  I will never turn away from Jesus. He’s my oldest and most loyal friend.

We are in dire need of a national conversation about these topics. It can’t happen soon enough for me. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality or abortion.  Nothing. If these were such big important topics, you’d think he would have at least mentioned them.  He did say whole lot about the poor, the sick and the oppressed though.  How we treat the least of these seemed to be the core focus of his message, in addition to loving God of course.

In fact throughout the Bible God seems to get the most upset when we don’t treat each other right. Pharaoh said the slaves had become lazy. He treated them poorly. After many warnings God crushed him and delivered the slaves out of Egypt.

Contrary to popular belief God decimated Sodom and Gomorrah (after repeated warnings), for the following reasons: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” -- Ezekiel 16:49

When the crowd gathered stones to kill the woman caught in adultery, Jesus ran to her rescue and called out each one of their sins.  They dropped their stones and left. And yes, of course he told her to go and sin no more.  When was the last time cheating worked out well for anyone?  He was a trusted adviser to the woman. He was her friend and he did not condemn her.

As has been studied and researched by many, many theologians, the verses in the Bible about homosexuality are few, and those that are there are not taken in context and thus misconstrued.  Sexual orientation is not a concept that exists in the Bible.  Gay people were born gay.  As Christians, we are to treat them with love and full inclusion in the community, which of course entails marriage equality.

I look forward to the day that when and if fire and brimstone is preached from the pulpit, it sounds like this:

“This country is going to hell in a hand basket.  When the abomination of greed is allowed full legal legitimacy; when women are thrown in prison for making free will choices about their own bodies; when we exploit the poor and the oppressed and ignore the sick; God is mocked; and His wrath is sure to follow!”

 



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