Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What Does It All Mean?

Interpretation may seem frustrating to many when it comes to bible scriptures. Even when theologians and “bible thumpers” will only focus on the surface of the meaning and not the core, we can be persuaded very easily to believe the basics.

Is God basic? Wouldn’t you think there would be a deeper meaning into His word? Even so, the bible I have is the New Living Testament {NLT}—which is translated into modern English. The bible has been translated so many times, that it tends to lose some of its meaning.

For example: Madelene will tell me something in Spanish. She’s desperately trying to teach me Spanish the best she could. She’ll blurt out, “Lo que mata engorda,” when we’re eating something that I think isn’t ‘too good’. It means, whatever won’t kill you, will make you fat. Now, it sounds funny and amusing in Spanish, but in English, there’s a little something lost in its translation. It sounds kind of stupid in English. I don’t want to die from the food we eat, nor do I want to get fat from it. So I have no idea why this saying is so funny and cute. It scares me!

Interpretation is key. Just as it says in the first Corinthians about sexual immorality:

“Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God” ~1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Radical cult-like Christians will fire this off to the gay and lesbian community as a warning that they’re not getting into heaven. But, they fail to read off the next verse:

“There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.” ~1 Corinthians 6-11

Idol worshippers {putting anything before God or worshipping another God} can be seen as many things. Some people even put off going to church to take care of their toddlers at home. Some don’t attend church due to everyday life that gets in the way. So, in some people’s eyes, that’s idol worshipping—even though these people love God with all their heart. Do you think they’re going to hell because of this?

Adulterers. Clearly we all know what this word means. This is having an extramarital affair. This hurts, and it hurts the entire family involved. In the bible, it does state that anyone who marries a divorcee can be considered an adulterer if their ex-spouse is still alive. So then, do they still go to hell? Maybe just a huge sign with a letter “A” may get thrown around their neck. What year is it?

Male prostitutes. Clearly this is self-explanatory. Making a buck to have sex is not out of love. (Mike, you better change your career! I’m running out of money.)

Homosexuals. Oooh the word makes those radical Christian holy rollers shiver with disgust. But, what they are coinciding this with is prostitution as well as sexual immorality—promiscuity. To have sex with absolutely anyone or any gender.

For instance:

“That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.” ~Romans 1: 26-27

All of this is out of promiscuity. It clearly states that they “burned with lust”. Two people who love one another in a monogamous relationship do not burn together in their lust as the foundation of their union. Yes, there are promiscuous homosexuals out there, as well as promiscuous heterosexuals too. So for me, to interpret this “popular scripture” for those who hate homosexuals, I would definitely say that this stems from the lack of self-control of sexual desire. This is not of love; this is lust. Back in the Roman days when they had wild orgies and ran around having sex with anyone and everyone—this tells me they’re referencing the scriptures during that time period.

The Ten Commandments which Christians, Catholics and many other religions based on the trinity believe:

1. "I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me... .."
This commandment is to believe in the existence of God and His influence on events in the world, and that the goal of the redemption from Egypt was to become His servants (Rashi). It prohibits belief in or worship of any additional deities.

2. "Do not make a sculpted image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above..."
This prohibits the construction or fashioning of "idols" in the likeness of created things (beasts, fish, birds, people) and worshipping them.

3. "Thou shalt not swear falsely by the name of the LORD..."
This commandment is to never take the name of God in a vain, pointless or insincere oath (Rashi). This includes four types of prohibited oaths: an oath affirming as true a matter one knows to be false, an oath that affirms the patently obvious, an oath denying the truth of a matter one knows to be true, and an oath to perform an act that is beyond one's capabilities.

4. "Remember [zachor] the Sabbath day and keep it holy" (the version in Deuteronomy reads shamor, "observe")
The seventh day of the week is termed Shabbat and is holy, just as God ceased creative activity during Creation. The aspect of zachor (remember) is performed by declaring the greatness of the day (kiddush), by having three festive meals and by engaging in Torah study and pleasurable activities. The aspect of shamor is performed by abstaining from productive activity (the 39 melachot, forbidden categories of work) on the Shabbat.

5. "Thou shalt honor your father and your mother..."
The obligation to honor one's parents is an obligation that one owes to God and fulfills this obligation through one's actions towards one's parents.

6. "Thou shalt not murder"
Killing an innocent human being is a capital sin.

7. "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse with a married woman who is not your wife (Rashi).

8. "Thou shalt not steal."
This is not understood as stealing in the conventional sense, since theft of property is forbidden elsewhere and is not a capital offense. In this context it is to be taken as "do not kidnap" (Rashi).

9. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor"
One must not bear false witness in a court of law or other proceeding.

10. "Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's house..."
One is forbidden to desire and plan how one may obtain that which God has given to another. Maimonides makes a distinction in codifying the laws between the instruction given here in Exodus (You shall not covet) and that given in Deuteronomy (You shall not desire), according to which one does not violate the Exodus commandment unless there is a physical action associated with the desire, even if this is legally purchasing an envied object.

So is a sin a sin? Each sin is considered equal. What about those who say a white lie, eat shellfish, gossip, look at another woman or man—with sexual desire, but without the sexual ‘action’? What about someone who marries a divorcee? Has anyone ever had an impure thought? Drunkards are supposed to be doomed and go to hell. Who made water into wine again?

The above paragraph has just wiped out the entire world. Are we all going to hell? Are we all doomed? The bible is a great source for living your life, but without deeper interpretation of it all, it can really pursuade you to call on another God—or lose your faith all together. God doesn’t want that. The devil will place people in your life to tell you to find another religion. Who would even say that? I was recently told to find another religion simply because I’m ‘another sinner’.

Jesus said, “If anyone should cause one of these little ones to turn away from his faith in me, it would be better for that man to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea." ~Luke 17: 1-2

For all the gay men and lesbian women who have emailed me with your comments regarding my previous post, I wanted to write something especially for you. I want to encourage you to keep strong in your faith as Christians, and not listen to those who are quick to judge. God loves all of you--not just some of you. God created you in His own image. He knew we would all be sinners, which is why He gave us Jesus.

Remember, whenever someone preaches the gospel with hatred or condemnation for others, it simply means it’s coming from an evil place; an evil mind. They don’t want to help you—they want to bring your spirit down. For thousands of years, bigots and racists have been torturing those who want to live a happy life. Hypocrites and evil people who “claim to be Christians” (ie: The Klu Klux Klan) will try to persuade you into having their type of mindset.

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. ~Romans 8:38

What does it all mean? God loves each and every one of you. Nothing can ever take that away—not a person, not the devil nor the world. Keep strong in your faith and never let anyone bring your spirit down. Meditate before reading the bible. Pray to God, and ask for wisdom and understanding. Then you will see the true meaning of it all. The only reason I feel so strong about this, is because I had spiritual experiences of my own, that led me to believe that the bible is all about interpretation if you have the spiritual understanding behind it. God gives us messages, if we’re willing to receive them.

There were some of you who have emailed me, asking if I was disturbed by someone who has been blogging about me—whose religion is based upon hate. My answer is no. I find it interesting how someone who claims to be Christian will follow the patterns of every hateful person. But remember this:

God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too. ~Matthew 5:11-12

Thank you all for your support and wonderful emails and comments that I received! Those of you who emailed me, but didn't want to comment due to the nature of who it was directed to--I totally understand and I thank you for your encouragement and support.

God bless!


EDIT: Please also visit Amy's post on the dangers of radical Christians and their agendas. She has footage of what lengths these extremists will go through in order to serve "their God". These people are grateful that our 'gay soldiers' are now dead.