Meaningful Silence: Day 25
Updated: Nov 9, 2020
‘Jesus made no direct or explicit comments on same-sex intercourse, just as He made no direct comments on many other important subjects. In a larger sense though, Jesus was not silent about same-sex intercourse inasmuch as the inferential data speaks long and clear about Jesus’ perspective. Four points confirm this claim. First, understood in the context of first-century Judaism, it is very unlikely that Jesus would have adopted a fundamentally different stance toward same-sex intercourse, particularly given Jesus’ general approach to the Mosaic law. Second, Jesus’ appeal to Gen 1:27 and 2:24 in his discussion of divorce (Mk. 10:1-12) confirms His embrace of an exclusively heterosexual model of monogamy. Third, Jesus’ positions on other matters having to do with sexual ethics were generally more—not less—rigorous than those of the surrounding culture. Fourth, the ways in which Jesus integrated demands for mercy and righteous conduct in His teaching and ministry do not lend support that Jesus might have taken a positive or neutral approach to same-sex intercourse.’
(The Bible and Homosexual Practice, pp. 187, 188)
‘Jesus’ ministry provides incontrovertible proof that the church can practice radical love without sacrificing “one iota or one letter stroke” from God’s demands for righteous conduct. For conservatives who think that upholding holiness means complete separation from the world and contempt for the wicked of the world, Jesus’ ministry demonstrates that righteousness can be wed with love. When either love or righteousness is sacrificed, the church proclaims a truncated gospel.’ (p. 213)
Jesus loves sexual ‘prodigals.’ His deft engagement with the Samaritan woman (Jn 4), a ‘sinful’ devotee (Lk 7:36-50), and a woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:1-12) are all contrasted with resistance from disciples and Pharisees alike. One might conclude that Jesus extended His mantle to ‘cover’ sexual sinners. Given that Jesus never directly addressed the ‘gay’ question, LGBTQ+ advocates tend to enlist merciful Jesus in their activism. Opponents to rainbow rap are framed as Jesus’ enemies too, the legalistic Pharisees of the stories just mentioned.
Gagnon exposes such foolishness. Jesus fuses righteousness with love. He humbles Himself before sinners as to raise them up according to their true stature. Almighty mercy commands a letting go of moral indignities and taking up original innocence. He provokes repentance and offers forgiveness. He comes for the sick and makes them whole. There is no Gospel evidence of Him sustaining sexual sinners with platitudes that padded their unrepentance.
In truth, Jesus challenges each of us. He commands freedom, not just from illicit sexual acts but from divided sexual thoughts (Matt. 5:27, 28). Jesus is after our hearts—the Word Himself wants to enter the very marrow of our motives as to establish the Reign of His Kingdom there. Only Almighty Mercy, endowed with power, can break the interior chains that divide us. This God-Man will stop at nothing to make us His home. Jesus wants us in our entirety. We turn, and He transforms us.
‘Jesus, sorry for making You the leader of the sexual revolution. Your holiness and compassion combine to summon us from our sleepy thoughts and wanderings. Wake us up to our true stature as honorable men and women. Teach us to live wholly, casting off quickly the phantoms that may still seek to enslave us. Thank You that they no longer come from within, where You dwell, but from outside of us. You ennoble us to fight for our dignity.’
‘Jesus, show us Your way through the uneven, deeply divided ground of our nation. Please compose and restrain explosive hearts. Use us as instruments of Your peace. “O blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Savior Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, we trust in You.”’