May 24, 2005
To the Editor, The Wesleyan Christian Advocate:
It has finally dawned on me that with respect to the heart or spirit some people lump the homosexual with people like murderers or a thieves or people who are treacherous or sinister. This is simply not true.
The term "same-sex sex" can include homosexual sex and also jail house domination sex where a man who is straight (true in 90% of the cases) forces another man to serve him as a slave. But the state of the heart between a participant of a voluntary act of two homosexuals who love each other and who give freely to each other, and that in the domination sex of the jail house or in the slave quarters is like night and day. Its like the difference between the surgeons knife going into the heart and a murderers knife going into that same heart. It is understandable that Paul would speak in Romans 1 as he did if this domination spirit is what he had in mind. It just makes sense. It's the opposite of the heart of Christ.
Now according to scripture we are equal to God in our capacity to grasp good and evil (Genesis 3:22) and we are going to judge the angels in heaven (1 Corth. 6:1-3 ) and why else would Jesus refuse to judge between two brothers (Luke 12:14), except that we have the capacity to grasp these differences? With respect to the heart we can rest assured that the homosexual is no more sinister or evil than a left handed person. Just visit Atlanta's St. Mark and speak with the many open homosexuals among the members.
And so lets get it in our mind that what Paul is so rightly condemning in Romans 1 is the evil heart of a domineering person, "lording it over others like the gentile kings". Do you know that for amusement King Herod occasionally would bind slaves and slash them with sharp knives and then let them bob in the salt water of the Dead Sea until death gradually stifled their screams and moans? This is the heart of a domineering and unrestrained master and it is not difficult to imagine what he will have made his slaves do for him. It is entirely different with two men who give themselves to each other willingly, and especially when it is within the confines of a Christian union. If Paul is condemning homosexuality as such then he is simply incoherent; but if he is condemning the domineering spirit, then everything he says fits together in a unified message. Let's choose the coherence theory.
Since it is obviously so easy to read Romans 1 as referring to a domination spirit (master over slave) and since such a heart would obviously be anathema to everything Christ stands for, and since two homosexuals can love each other with the same tenderness and devotion to each other and to Christ as any heterosexual couple (according to ample and credible testimony), and since per Jesus' own example in breaking the Ten Commandments (John 5) we are required to follow the law of love rather than any scriptural law, we have no choice as sincere and thinking Christians but to accept the homosexual as well and as readily and as cheerfully and as fully as we accept the left hander. Once we do this we can then get on with evangelizing a world which will be dazed at the living fact that the only thing that counts with God and Christ's church is the state of one's heart (or character, as MLK would have said). Our own John Wesley put it quite well: If your heart is like mine, then give me your hand.
It is time for all of us to start thinking and acting like the mature Christians Paul expected. Let the homosexuals and the heterosexual Christians now accept each other just as the left and the right hand Christians do, with each remaining in his or her condition as called and each serving Christ in that condition, and each anticipating an acceptance by Christ in the assurance of Romans 14, and each attending to the sensitivities of the other.
Yours in Christ.
Philip McPherson Rudisill