Pope Francis was recently asked about his views on homosexuality.he Reportedly,:
This (laws around the world criminalizing LGBTI people) is not true. Homosexuals are children of God. God loves them God accompany them…it is a sin to condemn a person like this. It is unfair to criminalize people with homosexual tendencies.
This is not the first time Pope Francis has shown himself. progressive leader Especially when it comes to gay Catholics.
It’s the attitude you have. provoked anger Some of the high-ranking bishops and lay Catholics, both on the African continent and elsewhere in the world.
read more: Pope Francis’ visit to Africa marks a defining moment for the Catholic Church
Some of these Catholics might argue that Pope Francis’ approach to LGBTI issues is a misunderstanding of the Bible (or Scripture). But is it?
The Bible is especially important for Christians. When church leaders refer to “the Bible” or “scripture,” they usually mean “the Bible as we understand it through its theological doctrine.” The Bible is always interpreted by our church through its particular theological lens.
As a biblical scholar, I urge church leaders who use their culture and theology to exclude homosexuals from reading the Bible carefully. Instead, they allow patriarchal fear to distort it and seek to find evidence in Scripture that supports attitudes of exclusion.
There are several examples in the Bible that underscore my point.
love for god and neighbor
The Gospel of Mark in the New Testament records that Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem three times. First, he briefly visited and “looked around” (11:11).
On his second visit, he “drove out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling pigeons.”11:15). Jesus specifically targeted those who exploited the poorest who came to the temple.
On his third visit, Jesus spent considerable time in the temple itself (11:27～13:2). He met with all the temple leaders, including the chief priests, teachers of the law, and elders. Each of these leadership divisions used biblical interpretations to exclude rather than include.
“Common people”(11:32 and 12:12) acknowledged that Jesus proclaimed the gospel of inclusion. They embraced him enthusiastically as he walked through the temple.
of Mark 12:24, Jesus speaks to the Sadducees, the traditional high priests of ancient Israel who played an important role in the temple. Among those who stood up to Jesus, they held conservative theological positions and represented groups that they used biblical interpretation to eliminate. Jesus said to them:
Isn’t this why you are wrong that you don’t understand the Bible or the power of God?
Jesus acknowledged that they chose to interpret Scripture in a way that prevented them from understanding it in a non-traditional way. Thus, they limited God’s power to something different from the traditional understanding. Jesus said that God refused to be the exclusive property of the Sadducees. The common people who followed Jesus understood that He represented another understanding of God.
This message of inclusion becomes even clearer later when Jesus confronts a scribe (12:28). In response to the scribes’ questions about the most important laws, Jesus summarized the theological ethics of his gospel: love of God and love of neighbor (12:29-31).
Inclusion instead of exclusion
Those seeking to keep homosexuals out of the Kingdom of God choose to ignore Jesus and look instead to the Old Testament. Genesis 19, the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their interpretation of the story is that it is about homosexuality. it’s not. It has to do with hospitality.
the story is Genesis 18 When three visitors (God appearing as a “man” and two angels) come to the front Abraham, Patriarch of the Hebrews. What did Abraham and his wife Sarah do? They provided hospitality.
After that the two angels left Abraham and the Lord, Sodom (19:1) There they met Abraham’s nephew Lot. What did Lot do? He was hospitable. The two incidents of hospitality are described in exactly the same language.
of “People of Sodom” (19:4)did not offer these angels in disguise the same hospitality as the Bible describes them.Lot (19:9)) by threatening to rape. We know they were heterosexual because Lot offered them his virgin daughter in an attempt to protect himself and his guests. (19:8).
Heterosexual rape of men by men is a common act of humiliation. This is an extreme form of hospitality. This story contrasts the extreme hospitality (Abraham and Lot) with the extreme unfriendliness of the people of Sodom. This is a story of inclusion, not exclusion. Abraham and Lot included the stranger. The people of Sodom have eliminated them.
Faced with the overarching gospel of Jesus and a careful reading of the story of Sodom on hospitality, those who deny Pope Francis’ approach will probably jump to other Scriptures. why? Because they have a patriarchal agenda and are looking for scriptures that might support their position.
But the other verses they use should also be read carefully. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13For example, not about “homosexuality” as we now understand it, but as compassion, affection, and sexual relationships between people of the same sex. It is about relationships that transcend the boundaries of sex (Israelites and Canaanites).
of Galatians 3:28 In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul longs for a Christian community that:
There are no more Jews or Greeks, no more slaves or free men, no more men or women. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul built his theological argument on the Jew-Greek distinction, but extended it to the slaveless distinction and the male-female distinction. Christians, whatever church they belong to, should follow Paul and extend it to heterosexual and homosexual distinctions.
We are all “clothed in Christ” (3:27): God sees Christ only, not our different sexualities.
This article is reprinted from conversation, is a non-profit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. Like this article? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
It was written by: Gerald West, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Gerald West does not work for, consult with, own shares in, or receive funding from any company or organization that benefits from this article.