Now for the third, and hopefully the last,  in a related series of posts.

The first epistle to Timothy is one that is trotted out these days to condemn homosexuality. Let’s read it, with some emphasis added.

1 Timothy 1:5 -11 (Amplified Bible)

…Whereas the object and purpose of our instruction and charge is love, which springs from a pure heart and a good (clear) conscience and sincere (unfeigned) faith.


But certain individuals have missed the mark on this very matter [and] have wandered away into vain arguments and discussions and purposeless talk. They are ambitious to be doctors of the Law (teachers of the Mosaic ritual), but they have no understanding either of the words and terms they use or of the subjects about which they make [such] dogmatic assertions.


Now we recognize and know that the Law is good if anyone uses it lawfully [for the purpose for which it was designed], knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous (the upright and just, who are in right standing with God), but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and [even] murder fathers and strike and beat and [even] murder mothers, for manslayers,


[for] impure and immoral persons, those who abuse themselves with men, kidnapers, liars, perjurers–and whatever else is opposed to wholesome teaching and sound doctrine as laid down by the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

The Message Bible says this: 1 Timothy 1:9 -11 It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God.

Another version:

(J B Phillips New Testament) 1 Timothy

1:3-4 – I am repeating in this letter the advice I gave you just before I went to Macedonia and urged you to stay at Ephesus. I wanted you to do this so that you could order certain persons to stop inventing new doctrines and leave hoary old myths and interminable genealogies alone. They only raise queries in men’s minds without leading them to faith in God.

1:5-7 – The ultimate aim of the Christian minister is to produce the love which springs from a pure heart, a good conscience and a genuine faith. Some seem to have forgotten this and to have lost themselves in endless words. They want a reputation as teachers of the Law, yet they fail to realise the meaning of their own words, still less of the subject they are so dogmatic about.

1:8-11 – We know, of course, that the Law is good in itself and has a legitimate function. Yet we also know that the Law is not really meant for the good man, but for the man who has neither principles nor self-control, for the man who is really wicked, who has neither scruples nor reverence. Yes, the Law is directed against the sort of people who attack their own parents, who kill their fellows, who are sexually uncontrolled or perverted, or who traffic in the bodies of others. It is against liars and perjurers – in fact it is against any and every action which contradicts the wholesome teaching of the glorious Gospel which our blessed God has given and entrusted to me.

This epistle echoes what Paul says in Galatians chapter five. It’s not about sins but about selfishness, lack of scruples. It’s the attitude of the heart. Whether in a religious code or a civil one, some people need to be restrained under law.

The people who love God do not need laws – they are governed and taught by grace, and led by the Holy Spirit. The people who love God are not in bondage to law, but are free in grace. They are not bound by paganism, but constrained only by the love of God. Much of the immorality and perversion in the world of the early church was directly part of pagan worship.

God detests mixing of paganism with true worship, as well as mixing law with grace.

There shouldn’t be any more to say. In fact, I have come to a place where I am tired of words. Instead of presenting a case, try looking at the spirit in which the New Testament is written.

It’s written by grace. Grace. Grace. Grace.

So, this is a different sort of article. I just don’t care what the experts on either side will have to say, in particular, about what kind of sexual acts are involved. Personally, I hold to the temple ritual and human sex slave/pederasty view. But I don’t care to debate it and won’t.

I also will not use this or any other passage to condemn people. Condemnation comes back on your own head, for that is fruit of the law. But we are dead to the law, and therefore dead to sin. It’s over. It’s finished. Love won.

 

If you want a detailed look at this and other scriptures used to clobber homosexuals, go here  CanyonWalker Connections

 

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