Well! I guess I knew how Sunday Service was going to go. When I realized that I was assigned to read the, “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh” passage, alarm bells went off in my head. I can’t say I wasn’t warned.
So, when service started late – as usual, really – I was already irritable. When the pianist was not aware that the pastor had changed the opening song without telling him, I was already judging and having to pray for forgiveness for my attitude. When the songs were not familiar, again more prayers of repentance. My attitude was rapidly one that was decidedly not worshipful. Lord, why am I such a – uh – ornery person?
Soon, despite my failure to bring my attitude under control, it was time for me to read. Whispering a final prayer, I made my way to the altar. “Lord, I am not ready to hear what I need to learn. Please use me for your will, despite myself.” And, so, Adam named the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and clung to his wife.
A couple more readings and the sermon began. It was a slow progression that led, finally, to the bombshell. Marriage is for a man and a woman. Homosexuals should be celibate if they want to live according to God’s plan. All else is sin. Sigh. She went there.
She. The pastor is a woman. St. Paul was clear: women should not preach or speak in church. Women should wear hats in church to avoid being overly sexy and distracting the men from their worship. LEVITICUS! She actually went to Leviticus. Fine then! Homosexuality is an abomination? So is eating shellfish, and I love me some crab and lobster. I like pork and bacon, too. Sinner and abomination that I am. How will I ever get to heaven? There’s more. I wear clothes made from two fabrics. (Cotton/Polyester among my favorites.) Oh, heck: I’m not researching Leviticus again to make note of all the rules that we now consider obsolete. I never ONCE presented myself to the priest to be declared clean after my monthly period, for instance. My husband used to TOUCH me while I was bleeding, if you can imagine. Then we were BOTH unclean! Oh, brother. Really??!!
It was a long sermon. She kept trying to explain herself, when she’d already been clear. Lady: you can’t justify why that one rule is more important than the ones you ignore.
I can. I can justify the ones I ignore and the ones I follow. It’s simple, really. Is there a victim? Don’t do it. Does it lead to orderly, just society? Do it. Is it loving? Do it. Is it judgmental? Don’t do it. Hateful? REALLY don’t do it. As Jesus said, all the laws can be summed up in two laws: love God with all your heart, mind and soul and love others as ourselves.
Homosexuality? Love them. Let God sort it out.