I like to rile people up sometimes, so a few months ago, I posted the following to my Facebook feed:
If Paul had been living in the 21st century, would he have added ‘neither gay nor straight’ to Galatians 3:28?
As you might know, Galatians 3:28 reads:
There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Most people who responded did so with a Christian version of, “Hell, no!” But I think we do ourselves and the Bible a disservice by pretending it universally contains specific, timeless admonitions and prohibitions. Don’t get me wrong: Sometimes it does. But usually those are pretty clear. Stuff like, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind and with all your strength.” The Old Testament mentions them, Jesus mentions them, Paul refers implicitly or explicitly to them.
You know, kind of like divorce.
The Bible mentions divorce 34 times. It features prominently in the levitical law. In Malachi God is described as hating divorce, and in Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus equates divorce with adultery and even gives specific reasons in which divorce is acceptable. Paul argues Christians shouldn’t even divorce their non-Christian spouses and reiterates Jesus’ command against remarrying after a divorce.
So how many people actually follow that? Nearly 40 percent of regular churchgoing Christians are divorced. And I would guess a good percentage have remarried or plan to be. They have already made the decision that the Bible’s clear, multitestamental admonitions are confined to a specific culture.
Perhaps you would disagree.
Would you also disagree about women covering their heads? Women wearing jewelry? Men wearing long hair?
Continue reading ‘Neither Male nor Female, Slave nor Free, Gay nor Straight’?