Ron's View

Ron is a Gay Christian Network member who believes gay Christians are called to celibacy.  The following is a sidebar to his argument for celibacy.

Click the following links to read:

Reply to an Objection: Jesus Does Not Mention Homosexuality
[continued from the main essay]

Some have argued that homosexuality cannot be a very important issue for Christians because Jesus does not explicitly mention it.

This argument seems weak to me, above all, because nobody would accept it in other contexts. For example, Jesus nowhere explicitly condemns slavery. Therefore, slavery must be ok, right? Or, Jesus does not explicitly remove the Old Testament dietary laws, or the requirement for circumcision. Therefore, Christians must still observe the dietary laws and circumcision, right?

Obviously, no one would accept these arguments, and so I have a hard time accepting the argument that “Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality” as anything other than a rationalization. But for those who cannot accept that view, I will offer a couple of thoughts that will, I hope, re-inforce the traditional interpretation.

First, Jesus spoke to a predominantly Jewish audience, and from the research I have done, homosexuality was not a significant issue, or at least not a publicly visible issue, among Jews in First Century Palestine. Therefore, it would not have called for comment, because Jesus directed His ministry to the Jewish community. On the other hand, Paul was addressing a primarily Gentile audience, whose culture was a combination of Greek and Roman. Greek and Roman culture was more tolerant or accepting of homosexuality (although the kind and degree of acceptance varied). And so because the issue was more visible, Paul had more of a reason to address it than Jesus did.

Second, given both the cultural context Jesus ministered in, and the attention that He drew to the Genesis creation account, His silence on the matter of homosexuality does not suggest that He would have endorsed gay relationships. As a gay activist slogan has it, “Silence=Consent.” According to these activists, if you do not speak out against homophobia, you are consenting to it. Given His cultural context, Jesus’ silence cannot be taken as support for gay relationships.

Third, supporting gay marriage requires finding an exception to the idea of male/female marriage which Jesus upholds so strongly. Since Jesus affirms the idea of Natural Law (by pointing His theology marriage to God’s creation “in the beginning”), raises the bar on sexual purity in His explicit comments on adultery and divorce, and is unafraid to challenge the Pharisees on other issues, His failure to make an explicit exception for gay marriage argues against His support.

return to Ron's essay