Last week I wrote about, more or less, the legalizing—or not—of various aspects of marriage, abortion, and homosexuality. A couple of days later, I saw a letter to the editor of our regional newspaper about homosexuality. While I’m in that mode, I decided, I will write about that—throw out some more opinions.
The letter, entitled “Understanding needed; homosexuality is not an abomination,” was written by H. Rudy Pace, a retired United Methodist pastor. He says, in part, that in the 48 years since his ordination, he has “seen the savagery of homophobia take its toll on many fine young people.”
Pace says “we live in a time now when there is no doubt that homosexuality is ‘who they are,’ not how they have ‘chosen’ to relate. The misunderstanding of the dark past persists . . . . many societies and religions continue to perpetuate the lie that homosexuality is an abomination.”
As a member of the United Methodist Church for almost 38 years, I have seen our international church almost split several times during its global conferences of recent years. The issue is homosexuality. I believe Pastor Pace is denying the truth of the Bible when he says religion perpetuates “the lie that homosexuality is an abomination.” In a way.
That would be examined.
What exactly is an abomination? Encarta lists these definitions:
1. something horrible—an object of intense disapproval or dislike
2. something shameful—something that is immoral, disgusting, or shameful
3. intense dislike—a feeling of intense dislike or disapproval toward somebody or something
Synonyms are outrage, disgrace, scandal, eyesore, atrocity, hatred, dislike, and repugnance.
Here are some of the things the Bible calls abominations:
shedding blood or using power to shed blood; creating idols; lying; killing animals in cruel ways; treating our parents with contempt; oppressing foreigners; mistreating or neglecting orphans and widows; committing adultery and unnatural sexual acts (and it lists a number of those, including involvement of family members and people of the same gender); cheating for financial gain; practicing sorcery and divination; consulting mediums and spiritists; and forgetting about him.
I would like for us to take note of something important here. All these things listed above—these abominations—are acts committed by people. No person is an abomination. He hates anything that separates us from him; that’s the abomination, the effect. And we commit many acts that separate us from him.
God loves all people, as the Bible says—over and over—with a love that is sufficient for all our needs, a love that can fill us with new life.