Several recent letters criticize my colleague, Rev. Dr. Bob Sichta, for his article on accepting GLTB people into the church. The writers suggested Jesus and the Scriptures would support a more traditional view condemning such people as sinners.
I sometimes wonder if Jesus himself would be considered "biblical" by some of today's standards. Jesus healed on the Sabbath -- even though it was forbidden in the Law (John 9). Jesus said a Gentile, a Roman soldier no less, had faith "greater than any he had seen in Israel" (Matthew 8, Luke 7).
Against the custom of his time, Jesus talked to women, even one who was "bleeding," which made her unclean (Matthew 9), and a Samaritan woman of questionable reputation (John 4).
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus interacted with gentiles, samaritans, lepers, tax collectors and sinners.
When the government officials and the religious leaders all turned him over to die because he was not following the rules, it looked as though this lawbreaker, this radically inclusive preacher, was finally going to get his due! And they killed him.
But that is not the end of the story. God said, "Nope, not this time!" and Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning.
Almost 2000 years later we still celebrate that life, and love and hope cannot be kept in the grave!
Jesus is the last person we should look to in order to support the status quo. I think the Prophet Isaiah would agree when he quotes God, "Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19, New King James Version
Rev. Brian Bagley-Bonner, Faith United Church of Christ