Homosexuality is only one type of behavior which is mentioned in the Bible. It is yanked out of a moral and instructional context by the religious institutions. In order to address this subject specifically, one must have a grasp of the general concept of "sin" and what the Bible teaches about this concept. What is revealed biblically is not what is taught by religion.
Although the non-religious reader may find this posting difficult to read, I encourage patience. It is important to know the information that is contained in this posting to be able to make some sense about these subjects.
I will refer to a small set of scriptures to be brief. Although the critic may question whether these verses have been yanked out of context, I have worked hard to make sure that this has not happened.
Simply put, sin is anything, real or subjectively perceived, which separates one from God, the creator of heaven and earth, the heavenly father of Jesus Christ.
In John 8:31-36 Jesus declares that "…the truth will set you free…" and explains that it is sin that the truth will set you free from. He goes on to equate himself with "the truth". So, Jesus Christ is one who is empowered to set all humans free from sin; he is "the truth".
So, what are we to do in response to the savior who sets us free from sin? This is communicated in Romans 6. In verses 10 – 12 it says:
For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
When this was written, Jesus Christ had fulfilled the "law of Moses". By fulfilling this law, it is no longer in effect; in essence, it has been abolished along with all the infrastructure that enforced this law. Note that the scripture does not say to reform the behavior of the flesh, but it says not to let "sin" rule in your body, don't obey the out of bounds desires. Note that this applies to all believers in all categories. How this is accomplished is explained shortly.
The book of Galatians deals with groups of believers who are being tempted to submit to religious law again; a body of law which has been fulfilled and thus, abolished. To these people Paul declares in Galatians 5 that those who submit to the law are obligated to do the entire law. Now, if one who is obligated to do this law leaves one little thing out, violates anything, then they are guilty of the entire law. Paul calls the teachings which seduce the Christian into submitting to the law "…hindering you from obeying the truth."
In Romans 6 and 7, Paul communicates that acceptance of Christ as your savior results in a new spiritual self, a new identity, being created in the individual. This is different from the former self and identity which existed previously. This is the "new self" of the spirit and the "old self" of the flesh. Not discerning this new spiritual self has resulted in all kinds of difficulty.
In Romans 7:25 Paul makes an astounding declaration. He states that with his mind (the mind of the new spiritual self) he obeys the law of God. This is not the law of Moses but something different. He then says that with the flesh (the old self referred to in Romans 6) he serves sin! This is followed in the context by Romans 8:1, where he declares that there is no longer any condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (accepted him as Lord and savior).
In addition, note that in Galatians 2:20 Paul declares that he lives by the faith of Jesus Christ; he does not live by the scriptures! The scriptures we purport to use today did not even exist in his day!
So, finally, what are we supposed to do – just continue on with our old behavior? Submit to religious law, doctrines, policies and procedures? No, not at all! Galatians 5:16, 17 holds the answer:
Walk by the spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh (remember Romans 6?); the spirit has desires which are against the flesh and the flesh has desires which are against the spirit. These desires are not going away.
The bottom line is that we are not to allow the desires of the flesh to dominate or rule our lives. The only way to do this is to walk by spiritual inspiration. Period. Anything done religiously to reform the flesh, our behavior, will fail.
Institutional religion cannot afford to have these truths taught or practiced. In order for them to remain viable and useful to their clients as organizations, they must foster a sense of sin consciousness. They must remain the agent which provides services which purport to clean a person of their sins. The religious organizations define "sin" as any infraction of their doctrines, policies and procedures. Since the real, original law of Moses has been fulfilled and abolished, they have had to formulate their own law which is no law at all. These religious laws are all void of any true spiritual significance.
Note that the religious concepts of heaven and hell as taught for centuries have their origin in Greek and Roman paganism. There is absolutely no scriptural basis for these doctrines. However there are attempts to twist scriptures in order to give validity to these doctrines.
Historically, it has been in the best interest of the corporate religious institutions to promote generation after generation of new members. One way this is accomplished is to influence and control the sexual behaviors of their clients. It is in the best interest of the organization to make sure that all their members are heterosexual, in relationships validated by the organization, producing as many progeny as possible.
Historically, it has been the practice of the corporate religious institutions to influence the secular political organizations in order to promote the interests of the religious institutions. This influence remains today, especially in the realm of marriage. The agents of the religious institutions continue to function as authorized agents of the state to confirm the marriages of their citizens.
If the interests of the corporate religious institutions conflict with truth, morality, or the best interests of their clients, then the interests of the institution win every time, often at the expense of any other interest.
Conclusion: Spiritually, every person is as sinful as every other person – there is no exception. No one is any better or any worse than any other person. No sin is any worse than any other sin.
The remedy to the Christian is to do what is instructed in Romans 6, by walking by the spirit, i.e. living by spiritual inspiration and revelation. This is available to every Christian. Sin consciousness is of no practical use to anyone – in fact it is detrimental to the believers. Early in Romans it is stated that the goodness (or gentleness) of God leads to repentance, not condemnation or sin consciousness.
Paul states at the end of Romans 5 that it is up to God to judge those outside of the believers (the collective body of Christ; he is not referring to the corporate religious organizations). The believers have nothing to do with such judgments.
Finally, the contemporary struggle that is raging today regarding marriage and sexual behavior is in no way Biblical. It has nothing to do with truth. It is a collection of religious organizations attempting to maintain their cultural, social and political influence. These organizations are fighting for survival. Don't blame the Bible or use the Bible to validate the arguments of this religious/political struggle. Don't fall prey to the fear, uncertainty or doubt that is engendered by the religious rhetoric which is prevalent in this struggle.
(C)2013 Keith S. Radcliffe