Jesus Won't, But Will We?

I mentioned previously in The Summer Of Our Content (you can find it in the Archives section) that  my sister and I often
remember events quite differently.  Same situation from totally different perspectives.  This too applies to all
of us in our approach to Scripture as we bring our life experiences with us to the sacred pages.  We read the
same Scripture verse, or set of them, and although we might be in agreement as to what it's saying for the
most part, sometimes we draw very different conclusions.  That's primarily why we have so many
denominations, even different religions for that matter, all based on the same Bible.  If the interpretation gets
a little too creative for our comfort level, the other ones, never us, are designated as a  cult and the
suggested appropriate response is either to shun them or try to convert them to our own way of thinking.  The
divinely inspired pages which we all claim so dear seem to divide us, in this case not necessarily as a two-
edged sword dividing right from wrong, but we build up an intolerance to accepting anything which seems
foreign from our point of reference.  

Rev Dr Mona West delivered what I thought was a powerhouse sermon a couple of years ago by offering up
the possibility of the Song Of Songs simply being taken at face value without such an ethereal interpretation
as has been traditionally fed to us.  Common attributions are to Christ and His beloved bride and all that, yet
perhaps this book should be taken at face value as suggested.  It doesn't make it a bad thing or anti-
religious; just a different view.  Solomon was wise, but with wives numbering in the hundreds I'm not sure
there wasn't a little courting on his mind a lot of the time.  What would be wrong with it simply being a love
story, maybe leaning a bit on the lusty side, but at least giving the Jews credit for being sexual beings like
everyone else?  They didn't multiply and spread out to every corner of the earth from nothing.  

The Christian church has done it's share of divining truth, inserting a healthy dose of bigotry into doctrine.  I
love one of the billboards from the "Would Jesus Discriminate?" campaign.  It reads "Don't confuse bigotry
against gays and lesbians with religious truth".  What we know is that the aptly named "clobber" verses which
have traditionally been used against gay folks can be legitimately interpreted other ways with the very same
original texts referenced.     

We all bring our life experiences to our understanding of Scripture.  In some cases there are those who are
simply parroting what has been delivered to them from pulpits, but that's not thinking - that's just wimpy.  
There's nothing unspiritual about questioning traditional thought when done sincerely and with due diligence.  
There was a time when I was as dogmatic as all the rest.  I felt I knew exactly what was right and wouldn't

Well, that was then.  Since then God has shown me a thing or two.  Now I'm on the last third of my journey
and I don't see a lot of things the same way.  The basics yes - salvation through Jesus and none other.  He's
the same yesterday, today, and always, which is an incredible truth guiding me through life.  But some of this
other stuff we'd best not be so judgmental about.  The thing is, the more I know - the more I realize I don't
know.  Have we learned nothing from Peter and Cornelius?  God told Peter to get over his prejudice and
move on.  Remember the part about not calling anything unclean that God has blessed as clean?  Are you
going to remain a bigot or are you going to start seeing it God’s way?  

I honestly don't think Jesus would discriminate either.  Certainly not the Jesus I'm palling around with.  I've
known way too many gays and lesbians who are not only born-again, but are seasoned Christians living
responsible lives for Christ.  There are legitimate interpretations which are contrary to what we've sometimes
stubbornly held on to as absolute truth.  Jesus won't discriminate, but will we?  I'm convinced that there will be
a lot of people who will be quite shocked when they get up there and start looking around at who else is up
there with them.