Galatians

This article isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you.

Many of our friends, many of us, are queer and have trouble with the divine command passages of books like Romans or Leviticus. They become an obstacles to our communion with God and we feel the Bible is against us and those we love.

If we assume that monogamous, physical relationships between same sex individuals are blessed by God, then thinking “Christianly” about the queer community will be important.

If you have come to this place, I would strongly encourage you to read Galatians all the way through and replace the word “Gentiles” with phrases like “the queer community” and replace the words “circumcision” and “the law” with words like “celibacy” or “becoming straight”.

As a straight man, I have found this one of the more energizing and moving experiences I’ve had of the Scriptures–not merely for others, but for myself.

Below is an example:

 

Galatians

1:1 This letter is from Paul, Rowan apostle. I was not appointed by any group or by human authority. My call is from Jesus Christ himself and from God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead. 2 All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending greetings to the churches of Galatia. 3 May grace and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. That is why all glory belongs to God through all the ages of eternity. Amen. 6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who in his love and mercy called you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ. You are already following a different way 7 that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ. 8 Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other message than the one we told you about. Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed. 9 I will say it again: If anyone preaches any other gospel than the one you welcomed, let God’s curse fall upon that person. … 14 I was one of the most religious Jews of my own age, and I tried as hard as possible to follow all the old traditions of my religion. 15 But then something happened! For it pleased God in his kindness to choose me and call me, even before I was born! What undeserved mercy! 16 Then he revealed his Son to me so that I could proclaim the Good News about Jesus to [the queer community] …

2:1 Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too. 2 I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I talked privately with the leaders of the church. I wanted them to understand what I had been preaching to [the queer community]. I wanted to make sure they did not disagree, or my ministry would have been useless. Leaves3 And they did agree. They did not even demand that my companion Titus [become straight], though he was [gay]. 4 Even that question wouldn’t have come up except for some so-called Christians there — false ones, really — who came to spy on us and see our freedom in Christ Jesus. They wanted to force us, like slaves, to follow their [rules of celebacy]. 5 But we refused to listen to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the Good News for you … 

19 [For those who are queer] you have died to [becoming straight] so that you might live for God. 20 You have been crucified with Christ and you no longer live, but Christ lives in you. The life you now live in the body, you live by faith in the Son of God, who loved you and gave himself for you. 21 Do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through [becoming straight], Christ died for nothing!”

3:1 You [who are seeking to be rid of your sexual preference to gain God’s favor are being foolish]! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by [becoming straight? By becoming celibate], or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain–if it really was in vain? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you [because of your Burntcelibacy], or by your believing what you heard? … All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by [becoming straight or celibate], because “the righteous will live by faith.” … 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise…

4:3 We were slaves to the spiritual powers of this world. 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because you [, the queer community,] have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can callHand God your dear Father. 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you…

5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves [become straight], Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself [become straight] that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by [becoming straight or through celibacy] have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither [being straight] nor [being gay] has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will have to pay the penalty, whoever that may be … 

Meditate13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful naturewith its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other …

6:1 Brothers and sisters,fire if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If any of you think you are something when you are nothing, you deceive yourselves. 4 Each of you should test your own actions. Then you can take pride in yourself, without comparing yourself to somebody else, 5 for each of you should carry your own load. 6 Nevertheless, those who receive instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow. 8 Those who sow to please their sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction;those who sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! 12 Those who want to impress others by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to [become straight or celibate]. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are [straight] keep the law, yet they want you to [change] that they may boast about your [celibacy or your conversion to hetrosexuality] . 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither [being straight] nor [being gay] means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule–to the Israel of God. 17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters.

Amen.

 

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