Love your neighbor as yourself.

Warning: Because of my core beliefs I’ll be using ancient scriptures as a basis for my text here today.  If you are offended by such references then please take this as fair warning and stop reading now.  I feel compelled to use these scriptures as a basis for discussion out of a sense of obligation to the truth, which I hold to be a concrete and immutable dynamic, not subject to change or corruption.

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  John 8: 1-11

Recently a friend of mine asked me why I thought people on opposite sides of the homosexuality issue treat each other which such vehement contempt.  Why was the issue so heated?  Why do the feelings run so strongly?  I believe that I can speak to that question with a good degree of accuracy.

A human being comprises three parts that make a whole – 1) Spirit 2)Soul 3)Body.  The three parts are inexorably intertwined for as long as the person shall have life on this planet.  By design a human being has a core identity which is commonly referred to as “the heart”.  In the heart a person holds that which is most precious to them.  At that deep level of consciousness resides also the persons self concept, or self image.  One of the roots of self image is the concept of sexuality.  How a person defines himself at the level of sexuality is one of the foundational building blocks of that person’s consciousness, and will have strong influence on that persons perceptions, beliefs and behaviors.  A person who is secure in his/her sexual self identity will have a lot of stability and peace in this area of their life; conversely a person who is damaged or insecure in this foundational dynamic of self image will be unstable and troubled in regard to sexual matters.

Because sexuality is such a deep part of our idently the emotions that are attached to it run strong.  Even the most open minded people can have trouble keeping a lid on their feeling when it comes to this arena of discussion.  I myself from a theological standpoint consider homosexuality to be a practice that is counterproductive to an indivual’s well being, as well as counterproductive to a healty society.  However, I have learned that the highest principles of morality require that mercy be shown to all.   In the above passage of scripture we see an excellent example of 1)Morally depraived people (who thought that they were the moral standard of their society) acting from an attitude of self-righteousness, and 2) a morally perfect being showing kindness and mercy to someone who was caught dead to rights breaking the law of the land.

Who is right?

Should we be killing each other because we are uncomfortable with other people’s social behavior?  Or should we follow the example of love and mercy, and let the power of God’s love work in the situation?  This is of course a personal choice.

I’ll close with an illustration that I heard some years ago that helps me to keep moving in what I consider to be the right direction in life.  The analogy focuses on the dual nature of good/evil and brings to light our role in how we are to be responsible for our actions and choices in this life:  All people have two natures – 1) A higher spiritually orientated nature that reflects the nature of the one who gives us the breath of life, and 2) a lower base nature that relfects the earth from which our mortal bodies have been formed.  We are free to pursue either or both natures, however these natures are diametrically opposed to each other.  The one we feed the most will be the stronger of the two and will have dominant influence over our attitudes, perceptions, and behaivors.  Be careful to make good choices in this.  The base nature tends to give itself over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.  The higher nature tends to bring out the noble qualities in a person and results in selfless acts of love and the pursuit of peacefull living.