Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good Samaritan -- retold

I believe there is a difference between homophobia and simply believing that homosexuality isn't G-d's intention for human sexuality. Homophobia affects who we make friends with, how we do politics, and generally gets us tied up in knots.

I don't consider myself homophobic, but I believe that, according to the Bible, homosexuality isn't the right choice. I also don't believe being an alcoholic is the right way, nor sex outside of marriage, nor experimenting with potentially harmful drugs. In the various jobs I've held, I've been good personal friends with people in probably all these categories. I still keep in touch with some of them via Facebook and Skype. None of them calls me alcoholo-phobic, sexo-phobic or drugo-phobic. I just don't indulge in those lifestyles, myself, and my belief in Yeshua keeps me away from it. I also don't believe in bowing down to idols, but I have no trouble at all living in Thailand, where most people do -- including good friends.

I actually don't know anyone whom I'm certain is gay, but I hope they differentiate between homophobia and simply believing it's not G-d's way. However, I have heard rhetoric from that general direction that seems to leave out that option. I'd gladly discuss the subject with them over a pint down at the pub. Just one pint, mind you -- more than that, I start feeling it in the head -- but make it the pub of your choice.

Now, on the other side, here's a news story that makes me think. If Yeshua were telling his parables today, would he have told his story of the Good Samaritan in this context? This was brought to my attention by Tony Jones on Twitter (@jonestony) and it points to a blog post entitled A Modern Good Samaritan Story: Gay Couple Saves Life of Homophobic Neighbor. It's an interesting story that makes one think.

Now, the original story of the Good Samaritan: Yeshua seemed to have a lot of good things to say about individual Samaritans. However, he also agreed with the concusses of Orthodox Judaism that Samaritanism wasn't the right way (John 4:22). They only believed in the Torah, and rejected the Prophets. They refused to worship in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and didn't believe in the Davidic lineage -- which hit at the very basis for Yeshua's claim as Messiah. But it was the Samaritan, in the story, who obeyed the great commandment.

I'm sure many would believe that Yesuah would, without any reservation, have used a Palistinian instead of a Samaritan, or had a Catholic saving a Prod near the peace line in Belfast (or vice versa), or a black saving a Ku Klux Klaner... would he have used the example as recorded in the news story?

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