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  • John Shore

From the archives: Take Paul “literally” on homosexuality? Then take Jesus literally on money.



The reason conservative Christians invariably give for asserting that homosexuality is an egregious sin against God is that the Bible says it’s so.


“God said it, I believe it!” is the conservative Christian’s credo.


The question that raises in my mind is this: If you’re going to look to the Bible generally, and to the words of Jesus specifically, for guidance and direction on how to live your life, then don’t you need to very assiduously attend to the actual words of Jesus? Especially when he’s perfectly clear on a particular issue (which, let’s face it, doesn’t happen nearly as often as we Christians are wont to pretend that it does)?


If you’re trying to live your life in obedience to Christ, then you’re all about anything Christ actually says, right?


Christ said it; you believe it. If you’re a Christian, that’s your deal. And if you’re a conservative Christian, you most certainly look to Jesus for critical input about anything in your life that’s especially important to you.


Like money, for instance. Talk about a core life concern, right? Who doesn’t care a lot about their money?


Here is what Jesus the Christ said about money:


“Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” (Luke 12:33)

“You cannot serve God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19)
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25)

Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus more clear about anything than he is about money. Talk about slamming shut the door on the wiggle room. And that’s not the mortal Paul giving financial advice, either. That’s Jesus doing that. That’s the very God of Gods, being as clear as language allows him to be. Which is very, very clear.


I don’t see how it’s possible to avoid the conclusion that there is something profoundly wrong with any Christian who is not voluntarily as poor as the proverbial church mouse pointing to the Bible as justification for the condemnation of gay people.


How can any self-respecting Christian take literally what Paul said about homosexuality, and at the same time ignore or seriously waffle on what Jesus Christ himself—who never said a single word about homosexuality—said about money?

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