I know this isn’t Crystal Talks but since I’m the one overseeing the site and my voice will be here I wanted to share some things about what I believe. This isn’t a “Statement of Faith” and this isn’t a comprehensive summary of everything I believe about everything. Rather, this is a general statement of where I’m coming from and what I believe about a relevant issue we’re facing in the church and culture today. I would love to hear where you are coming from!
I am a Torah observant worshipper of God who believes everyone who is saved is saved through Jesus and I don’t believe that our salvation is based on our understanding or having the ‘right’ doctrine. I have a very Jewish faith in a very Jewish Jesus. I am NOT a Pauline Christian where Paul has been used to create very ‘modern Western Christian doctrines.’
The Bible does not say being gay is a sin.
The Bible does not say being gay is a sin. From studying the Hebrew the most consistent translation I can reconcile is that men are to avoid being anal penetrators. There is scholarly debate going on regarding whether this means consensual anal sex or whether this means rape. This is in Leviticus and there are a lot more instructions that affect heterosexual sex – in fact since this instruction is to the one doing the penetrating I believe it may be a more general statement about anal sex that is not just given to homosexual men. In the New Testament the references do seem to indicate violence and pagan worship and these are against Torah in all personal relationships.
Ultimately I believe that the Bible is written to the reader so I leave it to each person who claims faith in the God of Scripture to wrestle with the instructions that affect them. I personally focus on the things that I am convinced and convicted of through study and the Spirit. I’m busy enough wrestling with the things that affect myself and my marriage.
I trust the Holy Spirit to convict and God holds us accountable for what we understand. I do not need to know where individuals stand on this issue and it is not my place to judge them whether I know or not. So many issues are studied out and different people hold different views of them. Just look at how many deeply held convictions there are about baptism!
The Bible is not the standard upheld by those outside of Christianity so I don’t expect those who don’t profess it as their standard to uphold it regardless of what they understand it to say.
I believe the Church is making itself irrelevant – as Scripture warns will happen in Romans – and one of the ways I believe this is happening is that at some point pastors stopped preaching about sin in the lives of the people in the pews and believers stopped holding each other accountable to requested accountability within community. Instead people inside churches are made to feel better about themselves by yelling about the ‘sins’ of all the people out there’.
Jesus didn’t do that. He held the religious leaders accountable and extended mercy to those oppressed by them. I follow Jesus – not religious leaders. I call those who proclaim faith to accountability for the standard they say they uphold. I do not attempt to hold the world to a standard it doesn’t accept. To do so would be to violate all of Scripture.