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Bible, Law & Homosexuality
Does it Matter?
Who Speaks for God?
Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin - Homosexuality
Is the Old Testament Law Binding on Gays and Bisexuals?
Traditionally, Christians have held that the 613 laws of the Torah are not binding on them. As a general rule, Christians consider only the moral law, the ten commandments, to be binding. Leviticus Chapters 18 and 20, which some people believe restrict one form of sexual expression between men to be part of the purity laws, not the moral law.
The ten commandments are found in Exodus Chapter 20. The New Geneva Study Bible states that the ceremonial, purity, dietary and priestly laws were "canceled" by the New Testament, because the symbolic meaning of the laws were fulfilled. Contributors to The Quest Study Bible, when commenting on Exodus Chapter 20, note that while Christians are not under the ceremonial and civil law, the ten commandments are different. When commenting about Galatians Chapter 3, The Quest Study Bible observes that Christians are not "bound" to obey Old Testament law to earn God's favor. One can logically conclude that gay and bisexual people are not obligated to follow the ceremonial and civil law of the Old Testament any more than straight people are obligated to follow the Old Testament ceremonial and civil law. For gay and bisexual people, following the civil and ceremonial laws of the Old Testament will not cause God to approve of them.
Galatians, a book that champions righteousness by faith, is a foundation of Protestantism, especially Evangelical Protestantism. Within Evangelical circles, faith and grace are of paramount importance. Few people are more Evangelical than J. Vernon McGee, who pastored Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles. McGee also taught religion at what is currently Biola University. Vernon McGee formed the radio ministry Thru the Bible, which is currently broadcast around the world in more than 100 languages. McGee wrote a booklet about grace titled Faith + 0 = Salvation.
In Galatians, the grace of God is clearly outlined. Works have no role in making people worthy of salvation. Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ . . . and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. The church is not credible when it takes the position that straight people are saved by faith, but gay and bisexual people are saved by slavish adherence to the law, by slavishly trying to be straight or by slavishly trying to be celibate. Gay and bisexual people are not able to justify salvation by being straight or celibate. Same-gender sexual relationships are not a sin, but even if same-gender sexual relationships were a sin, not having gay relationships will not justify queer people in God's eyes.
Galatians 3:10 makes the point that those who keep the law to be blessed by God are under a curse. Many gay and bisexual people find that trying to live as straight people is a curse that causes significant levels of emotional pain and self-hate. Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law . . .
Bisexual and gay people can rest in the assurance that Christ redeemed them from the curse of trying to follow the purity laws of the Old Testament, from trying to be straight.