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Religion in the Modern World

Religion in the Modern World

Undoubtedly, when the notion of homosexuality comes to mind concerning Christian values, it is imperative to understand that the traditional perspective in Christianity is a strong condemnation of this practice as a gross sin against God. It is an unnatural practice that has been extensively reviled for thousands of years in Christianity.[1] However, this is not to say that it was not being practised on a large scale. At the time of the birth of Jesus, for instance, homosexuality was a common practice in ancient Greece and Rome, who were effectively the colonizers in the Holy Land.[2] Also, way before this, the people living around the Israelites in the East during the Old Testament period were extensively homosexuals. There are numerous warnings to the children of Israel against marrying into or interacting with these nations as they were ungodly. It is also vital to note that this practice has gradually evolved from the days of old to date. In this case, the way things were handled previously is different from how they are handled today. Back then, religion was a powerful tool in its stance against homosexual practices. However, the modern generation is gradually becoming secular. Since religion is an influential aspect of society, its grip is crumbling slowly as governments increase the rights of the various factions, including homosexuals. As such, religious practices are now at peril. As technology improves and develops, so does human behaviour. Tradition and culture in religion have played a vital role in responding to pertinent issues in the modern-day era. With this notion in mind, it suffices to maintain that Christianity has shaped the idea of homosexuality in the modern-day generation, basing its reference on the Bible and government policies. It implies that the Church is primarily against homosexuality as bible teachings in the Old Testament maintain male honour.

Firstly, from the Biblical teachings, right from the first book, Genesis, God creates a male and a female. He intended that this would be the natural relations between two humans. As such, he wanted males and females to come together for the purpose of procreation. Relations between two males are seen as unnatural and, therefore, vile before God. It explains why, in the Book of Judges, the Old host from Ephraim, who had hosted the Levite, and his concubine were unwilling to let the wicked men of the city try to harass the Levite sexually. As such, “The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.[3] For this reason, the entire Israelite tribes rose up in arms against the tribe of Benjamin to mete out punishment on them for the practice that tarnished the name of the Israelites, who regarded themselves as holy people.

Secondly, in modern contemporary society, numerous questions on sexuality are prevalent and the concerns on how this aspect should be approached. Undoubtedly, homosexuality is extensively on the rise in the 21st Century in comparison to the previous centuries, incredibly raising the odds against Christian values. Also, it is astounding to note that the notion of homosexuality has inevitably pressed every religious doctrine in the world today. Christianity is not spared either, especially because it has been a dominant religion in the world, with a following of over two billion people today.

However, it is getting more challenged by secular governments and scholars who discredit Christianity and dismiss it as a hoax. A section of religious leaders has also questioned the rigidity of Christian values for many generations. By so saying, it has gradually caused dissension in the Church.[4] It suffices to say that homosexuality is one of the most hotly contended issues in the Bible to date. Homosexuality defies primary Biblical teachings, and its incompatibility with Christian values trickles down to other religions as well. The fight against homosexuality that extends over to their marriage is one of the contentions that Christians seem to lose and even accept, as some churches have accepted it. Governments have been legalizing gay marriages, and the Church is seen to be leaning towards the law. In Wales, after the vote, it was approved that the Church would conduct same-sex marriages. This bill that authorizes service of the blessing was allowed to pass by the three church orders in Wales, whereby the bishops passed this bill unanimously. The Bishop of St. Asaph, Gregory Cameron, maintained that after he introduced the bill and witnessed it passed through, he did not feel triumphant at all but posited that the Welsh Church has done what is right for the LGBTQIA+ community and just under God. Supporters of gay marriage in the Church are slowly causing dissension in the Church and will lead to a total split in the Church at one point in the future. They maintain that gay marriages in the Church are essential because they reflect the real love that the Church stands for, a genuine love for everyone and accommodating everyone. As such, supporters of this kind of marriage say that God blesses it. A section of Christian gay persons argues that homosexuality is a grey area in the Bible that is hardly addressed compared to other kinds of sin. As such, it has allowed supporters of these marriages to mention it.[5] Besides, they maintain that the man who began Christianity did not touch on it in the New Testament. As such, Christians are not entitled to speak against homosexuality when the man they worship does not condemn it, at least openly, as the Christians do.

Furthermore, proponents of allowing the existence of homosexuality in the Church maintain that it is not a punishment from God. The Book of Romans described it as the consequence of God “giving up” on the people to their degrading passions.[6] Jesus himself did not touch on the concept of homosexuality. As such, the dissension grows further when they postulate that it is not the primary reason why people are punished. Rather, they incline themselves to believe that God did not say that homosexuality is a repercussion of sin.

Also, another reason why homosexuality is driving a wedge in the Church is that a section of persons advocating for the Church to accept this is that the concept of homosexuality has been used as the scapegoat to the minority. In this case, it has been used to hide the adultery, bribery, fornication, incest, and other vices done by the majority of the people in the Church.[7] In essence, they argue that the Bible shows God punishing Israelites for other sins that he considered more grievous. For example, the Ten Commandments do not warn about homosexuality. Instead, they warn about adultery. Therefore, the Church has been accused of condemning homosexuality when many other vices are present in the Church. It implies that the Church has no moral grounds to condemn homosexuals.

Besides, from Sodomy to Sympathy, the Later-Day Saints have softened their assertions that homosexuality is an ailment deserving sympathetic treatment concerning the shift in societal and religious attitudes on sexual minorities.[8] In the EU, for instance, even a vast majority of doctors believe that it is an ailment.

While it is true that Christianity is now more challenged than ever to pull back on some of the rigid stances against homosexuality, the Church is still persistent in maintaining its firm belief that homosexuality is a sin against God. The Church agrees that there are mistakes and various sins in the Church. However, its perspective is that we should seek to emulate the life of Jesus that involves seeking the kingdom of God, repenting, and leading a life that follows God’s commandments. It means that people should understand the Bible and derive teachings that do not misinterpret God’s will.

Also, the understanding of the Bible is important in ensuring that we gain sufficient knowledge. Jesus did not touch extensively on homosexuality because He did not come to condemn the sinners; rather he came to save everyone from sin. As such, proponents of homosexuality do not have grounds to say that the Church is using homosexuality as the scapegoat to deflect attention from their wrongdoings. Instead, the Church is condemning every vice, and homosexuality is just one of them.

In conclusion, the Church has softened its stance on homosexuality today more than it did thousands of years ago. However, the Church’s division is heightening between the believers on accommodating the sexual minorities in the Church today. A section calls for the maintenance of the traditional stand against homosexuality, while the other expresses willingness to “love everyone as they love themselves.” However, it does not change the fact that the Church is against homosexuality.

Bibliography

“Bible Gateway Passage: Judges 19 – New International Version”. 2021. Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+19&version=NIV.

Cragun, Ryan T., Emily Williams, and J. Edward Sumerau. “From sodomy to sympathy: LDS elites’ discursive construction of homosexuality over time.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 54, no. 2 (2015): 297.

Lull, David J. “Jesus, Paul, and homosexuals.” Currents in Theology and Mission 34, no. 3 (2007): 199-208.

McNeill, John J. The church and the homosexual. Beacon Press, 2015. 30

Schreiner, Thomas R. “A New Testament perspective on homosexuality.” Themelios 31, no. 3 (2006): 62.

Siker, Jeffrey S., ed. Homosexuality in the Church: Both sides of the debate. Westminster John Knox Press, 1994.

Williams, Craig A. Roman homosexuality. Oxford University Press, 2010. 3

[1] Schreiner, Thomas R. “A New Testament perspective on homosexuality.” Themelios 31, no. 3 (2006): 62.

[2] Williams, Craig A. Roman homosexuality. Oxford University Press, 2010. 3

[3] “Bible Gateway Passage: Judges 19 – New International Version”. 2021. Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+19&version=NIV.

[4] McNeill, John J. The church and the homosexual. Beacon Press, 2015. 30

[5] Siker, Jeffrey S., ed. Homosexuality in the church: Both sides of the debate. Westminster John Knox Press, 1994. 4

[6] Ibid, 113

[7] Lull, David J. “Jesus, Paul, and homosexuals.” Currents in Theology and Mission 34, no. 3 (2007): 202.

[8] Cragun, Ryan T., Emily Williams, and J. Edward Sumerau. “From sodomy to sympathy: LDS elites’ discursive construction of homosexuality over time.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 54, no. 2 (2015): 297.

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Religion in the Modern World

Religion in the Modern World

The Assignment requires 3 Academic Sources. The Textbook below and 2 more
Textbook: World Religions Western Traditions, FIFTH EDITION Edited by Amir Hussain, Roy C. Amore Willard G. Oxtoby
The Essay should be paragraphed. Indent paragraph

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