If It Implies the Extinction of Humanity, Can It Be Love?
According to an article I read recently, Gospel Singer Kim Burrell has come in for harsh criticism from the pro-gay inquisitors because she preached a sermon at her church in which she called on “anybody in this room who feels the homosexual spirit… beg God to free you. I came to tell you about sin. That sin nature. That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion. It has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused a stain on the body of Christ.”
As I read this report of her words, I could not help but think of the Biblical passage in which Moses calls on Israel to “listen and give heed…to the statutes and ordinances which I teach you, and do them…. You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish it…” (Deuteronomy 4:1-2) As Considering Kim Burrell’s sermon in light of this admonition, I turned to the passage (Leviticus 18:22) that describes the forbidden act in question. In Hebrew, it is conveyed in a kind of visual staccato, usually rendered in English as “You shall not lie with a male as with a female; it is an abomination.”
Especially in Hebrew, the thought is conveyed in a kind of visual staccato that quite literally leaves much to the imagination. Each word evokes an image (male, not, bed, woman, abomination), but the act itself is referred to only by negation, and even this very oblique reference to it is immediately shunned, by way of evoking horror-struck fear and trembling. In this way, the injunction against sin is conveyed with such delicacy that the mind recoils from the very thought. (With this delicacy, the Scripture takes account of the warning Christ conveys [Matthew 5:28], when He says that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”)
But if we neither add nor take away anything from the words of the Law, the activity it condemns involves males who use other males as if they were females. The law therefore evokes the distinction between male and female in a very particular way. If the law is obeyed, a man will not try to do with another man what God specifically designed males and females to do with one another. This injunction incidentally alludes to females, but it obviously cannot literally be applied to them.
When St. Paul discusses this forbidden activity, he does so in the context of people who have “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” (Romans 1:25) In this context he refers to women who “exchanged natural relations for those that are outside of nature”; and to men who “in like fashion neglected natural relations with women and were inflamed with passion toward one another….”
In the words of the Old Testament, the injunction of the law applies to males, and to the particular activity that involves the pretense of treating them as if they are females. In and of itself, that pretense seems abhorrent because it existentially defies the provision of God. In the New Testament discussion, both men and women are discussed, in terms that more explicitly focus on the disrespect involved in worshipping and serving “the creature rather than the Creator.” That disrespect is not just a matter of this or that specific action. It involves the heart’s intention. Ironically, because they no longer respect (give worth to, worship) God, they give no priority to God’s will and intention. But God’s will, which intends their existence as human beings, makes provision for the perpetuation of humanity, i.e., the specific way of being that human existence represents.
So, those who do not worship God, in this respect, end up on a path that implies the extinction of humanity. Worshipping themselves as individuals (i.e., their own will and pleasure) they destroy themselves, on the whole. The advocates of homosexualism promote this, under the guise of being open to all the different ways in which human beings are willing to love one another. But what is loving, about an understanding that encourages people to do what they please as individuals, even though it implies the annihilation of their kind?
This question becomes even more critical when one considers the distinctively human natural attribute of self-consciousness. On account of that attribute, human beings not only experience pleasure, they may contemplate and admire it as their own. In this respect, self-consciousness requires the continually reunifying inflection of self and other, which the human act of procreation naturally represents—not only in itself, but also in the institution of family life to which it gives rise.
In the Old Testament injunction against male homosexuality, God made provision for procreation as a matter of objective obligation, forbidding it without regard to the question of the individual’s disposition toward God’s intention for the whole. In the New Testament, Christ reveals God’s provision to be a matter of the heart’s disposition to accept and fulfill God’s intention. This is a matter of faith in God, and love for God. It calls upon us to trust in God’s benevolent will so completely that we say, with Christ, “Not my will but thine be done.” We let what God is pleased to do for the whole (including us) inform our actions, even if it is not exactly what we would be pleased to do for ourselves.
Christ said “greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” The proponents of homosexualism pretend to be the friends of all humanity. Yet they seek to stigmatize and persecute an understanding of love that puts service to God’s intention for humanity above the gratification of individual will and pleasure. It may well be that the measure of God’s love extends even to people who are not disposed to commit themselves to this vocation. But when they ridicule and persecute those who are determined to do so, how can that be love?
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