Love and Mercy

Alongside the commands that are cited to justify judging and ostracizing the homosexual are many calls in both the Old Testament and the New Testament for love and mercy.

Hosea 6

6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Micah 6

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Zechariah 7

9 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’

Matthew 5

The Beatitudes

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:43-45

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Matthew 22:36-40

36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

See, also, Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:27-36

Luke 6

Judging Others

37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

A Tree and Its Fruit

43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. . . . 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Romans 13:10

10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 8:28

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:34-36

34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

1 Corinthians 2:9

9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”

1 Corinthians 8:3

But the man who loves God is known by God.

1 Corinthians 13

The greatest of faith, hope and love is love.

Colossians 3

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Discuss

Is hating the sin compatible with loving the “sinner?”

Can one do both well?

What does it mean to love the homosexual?  How would that show in the way we talked with the homosexual?  The way we interacted with him or her?  How we would treat him or her in our organization or church?

What does it mean to love the trans-sexual?  Would it make a difference to you that the trans-sexual person was a hermaphrodite and simple selected to accentuate one gender characteristic and to enhance the other?  If so, do you have the right to inquire as to the basis for that decision?

How is the surgical treatment of the hermaphrodite different from the surgical separation of Siamese twins?

If it were acceptable for the hermaphrodite to surgically enhance one gender trait and eliminate another, what about the individual who for one reason or another had sexual characteristics of one gender but had non-sexual characteristics of the other sex and identified with that other sex, despite the most obvious physical manifestations, such as a genetic make-up of XXY?

Are we justified in determining for another that person’s proper gender identification or sexual orientation?

 

Next blog post: Spiritual Gifts and Love                   https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/81

Love and Mercy

Scriptures on GLBT-related Subjects

Some of the following are often quoted concerning GLBT issues.  I submit there are other scriptures bearing on how we should treat others that also bear upon the issue of how we treat GLBT’s.

Genesis 19:1-29 

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

Leviticus 18:22 

22 ” ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Leviticus 20:13 

13 ” ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Psalm 139

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Proverbs 15:1 

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Matthew 5:43-48 

Love for Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

Matthew 7

16 By their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 25:31-46

A paraphrase might be: Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it for me.  Enter into the kingdom prepared for you.  Inasmuch as you did not do it unto the least of these, you did not do it for me.  Depart from me to eternal punishment.

Luke 10:25-37 

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Romans 1:26-27 

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 

9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 13 

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 16:14 

14Do everything in love.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Galatians 3:23-29 

26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 5:13-23 

13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Life by the Spirit

18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 6:15 

15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 

16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

.Discuss

 Is there any conflict in the Old Testaments provisions concerning homosexual acts?

Are there any Old Testament commands concerning our treatment of trans-sexuals?

Paul is often quoted concerning judgment of homosexual behaviors.  Does Jesus say anything that could be construed to condemn it?

What does Jesus say about judgment of the behaviors of others?

What is the relationship of the commands of Jesus to love our neighbor and not to judge?

What is the nature of forgiveness that we are called to?

What does forgiveness have to do with relationships?

What does forgiveness do for the one forgiving?  For the person who we believe has offended us?

With respect to the sexual behaviors of homosexuals, bi-sexuals and trans-sexuals with other persons, is there anything done to us for us to forgive?

If loving relationship is the core of the Christian life, what are we called to in our community?

Is it possible to both love another and judge whether that person is sinning or not?   If it is possible, does the activity of the one necessarily complicate the exercise of the other?

 

Next blog post: Love and Mercy                                https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/79

Scriptures on GLBT-related Subjects