Paul Didn’t Know Jesus
1. LGBTQ are as natural as they are in creation. Whether we are male or female, we all have both sexes in us. It is so natural that each person’s gender is unique. It would be unnatural if our sex were produced as the same package in the factory. Some males may have stronger femaleness. Some females may have stronger maleness. These are only natural to the eyes of God since they are created uniquely, rather than packed with a measurement in the factory.
2. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about the love of God for the world. In contrast to the Gospel, Paul’s writings result from religious principles of Israelite and Babylonian. In his Gospel, Jesus demonstrates the love of God for all people in the world. No one should be excluded by any force. “Everyone” means everyone regardless of their race, religion, and gender identity. Whoever they are, when they seek for God, the churches have to welcome them and protect them from societal persecution. This is what Jesus would do. In contrast, the churches have been the leading force against LGBTQ based on Paul’s biased teachings on immorality. Jesus is the Head of the churches, but no believer follows his steps to love everyone inclusively. Paul has misled the churches, unknowingly but incompetently. As a result, the churches are not of Jesus, but of condemnation, Paul adopted from ancient religions.
For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” [John3.16-17].
Moreover, the Gospel of Jesus Christ dismisses immorality and its condemnation. In his message, Jesus teaches us that no one has right to judge immorality on anyone. In contrast to this teaching, Paul listed all sorts of immorality that no one can be excused from and gave the churches a full authority of condemnation. Accordingly, the churches have been the worst enemy to LGBTQ community instead of being a safe sanctuary for the marginalized. The most prominent teachings of Jesus on sin, immorality, are the followings:
“No one is good except God alone.” [Mark 10.18]
“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” [John 8.7].
These teachings tell us that no first person has right to judge other’s immorality. This implies that immortality belongs to God alone, not to humans. Its definition and judgment are not of the humans but God alone. This signifies the purpose of the Gospel of Jesus who came to love everyone. There is no first person nor any person to define immorality. Therefore, there is no immorality in humans, which causes God to retaliate them to death. Good God prefers to love the world instead of condemning us to death. Paul missed out this point, and accordingly, the churches have placed themselves in the seat of judgmental authority. Paul either erred or was incompetent to understand the Gospel of Jesus. God is love, indeed.
Paul imposed ancient religious principles, sin, and condemnation, on the churches, and caused the church of condemnation. This is not of Jesus but Israelite. Professor John Barton and John Muddiman at Oxford University state that Paul did not create “a law-free religion,” and “Christians, as much as Jews, can be guilty of reducing religion to rule-keeping.” They also state, “Paul consistently organized the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in such a way that non-Christian Judaism must be negated.” What is non-Christian Judaism? The pure Gospel of Jesus who came to love everyone. It is evident that Paul was not purely of Jesus but Israelite. So do the churches in this century. The churches are heavily based on the invalid Christianity written by Paul, and persecute LGBTQ.
3. Exegesis on the book of Romans 1. 21-32
These passages are the most crucial yet invalid teachings of Paul against LGBTQ. Although Paul imposed all sorts of immorality on humans, the real reason wasn’t the immorality but a religious threat to the authority of both Israelite’s religion and churches in Rome and Corinth. As we reviewed earlier, it is evident that Paul erred by teaching Israelite’s God of condemnation rather than God of compassion through the Gospel of Jesus. According to Professor Barton and Muddiman in their commentary work, The Pauline Epistles, the purpose of Paul’s letter to the churches in Rome was to gain the support from the Roman church for “his missionary ventures in Spain.” For him to appeal to the Roman church of substantial Jewish community, Paul had to “reinstitute Jewish Laws with Christian warrants,” the Laws that he had dismissed its authorization in his letters to Galatians churches. In his Galatians letter, Paul teaches that not the law but faith we are justified. However, in Romans, he heavily emphasizes the law of retaliation that is borrowed from Babylonians and Israelite. The churches are standing on his invalid teachings, rather than the grace of God in the work of Jesus Christ. Either Paul or the churches have no authority over LGBTQ. Indeed, both have done great harm and wrong to the work of Jesus Christ.
The first two charts below describe the same practice of Judaism and the churches. The third chart illustrates the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the teachings of Jesus Christ, for everyone including LGBTQ. In his teaching, God is for everyone whether a person is an atheist or unbeliever.
The ground of the threat to the religion was idolatry. It wasn’t immorality. Paul brought back the Israelite’s old idolatry accusation to the churches. Paul also had to bring in all sorts of immorality that went with the idolatry. According to Professor Barton and Muddiman, the contents of these passages resembles “the darker moments and practices of Israelite’s past,” especially like “the worship of the golden calf.” The Professors also state, “Paul’s description of the human condition [in the passages] was borrowed heavily from popular Hellenistic-Jewish descriptions of Gentiles.” Also, like Paul, Jewish religious teachers particularly targeted Gentile idolatry and sexual misconduct. It is evident that Paul was serving Jewish religion rather than the Gospel of Jesus.
In addition to borrowing the law and its ground, Paul also adopted the law of retaliation. Paul used the word, “exchanged,” three times. People exchanged the image and truth of God, and were punished in the same way, “exchanged natural function.” It is an act of retaliation, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The law of retaliation was borrowed from Hammurabi Code, the Babylonian teaching, by the Israelite. Human’s immorality wasn’t the center or purpose of these passages. It was to save Judaism. Paul wasn’t working for the Gospel of Jesus. Paul condemned the churches that Jesus gave the birth to, based on the borrowed law of Israelite and Babylonian. Accordingly, the churches are standing on this non-Christian teachings and persecuting LGBTQ community. For this reason, the churches are not of Jesus Christ as long as they hold on the law of other ancient religions.
Churches condemn LGBTQ mainly based on Paul’s letters to the believers in Roman, and Corinth. The two cities were the most corrupt and lawless dungeons like Sodom and Gomorrah, as being the centers of the world trade. Paul wrote the letter to the churches in Rome where he had yet visited. He wrote it while he was staying in Corinth. He also wrote the letters to the churches in Corinth from Ephesus, after two or three years later since he left Corinth. How much Paul knew about the situations in Rome and Corinth is debatable. Professor Barton and Mudiman assume that “his most likely source of information was Priscilla and Aquila” who came to Corinth from Rome. They were rich merchants. It appears that Paul and Timothy wrote their letters based on the story of corrupt rich people’s immoral lifestyle, which was told by the merchants. There the great number of poor people enslaved to filthy merchants and landlords, but Paul didn’t address them in the letters. Priscilla and Aquila were not familiar with the poor village people who “lived in large tenement houses, some as tall as six stories.”
Based on social context, Paul was addressing immorality of any conduct. Paul condemns the homosexuality based on immorality and unnatural act. Professor Barton interprets the homosexuality as “male prostitute” activity. Slaves and their boys were subjects to their immoral owners. Some sold their bodies to bring food to the table. Young boys were preyed by priests in the churches, and by politicians and rich merchants in the Turkey bathhouses. Prostitute business is still here with us. Some country made it as a legitimate entrepreneur. Priests even sexually abuse children. The rich filthy employers still sexually and immorally demand the bodies of their workers either in domestic or commercial employment. But, no one condemns these activities as homosexual. Paul wasn’t there when he wrote the letters and had limited resources to write them. There were victims, but Paul wasn’t there to see the real context. Priscilla and Aquila were in the circle of religious, political, and social moguls, and witnessed their immoral lifestyle. The story of the poor slaves and their young boys were not told. They were the victims who sought hope in Christ. Paul condemned them to death. He closed the church doors on them permanently. For this, he sinned against God who created them, Jesus who died for them, and fellow humans whose right to come to God was taken away. He didn’t have reasons to write these letters, especially when he wasn’t there to personally witness the full scope of the context.