Sunday, August 11, 2013

Why Is The Epistle of James Relevant to Gays?


This post should have come before all of the posts about the book of James; however, since I was studying the book myself as I was presenting it to you, this is the conclusion regarding why it is so relevant to gay Christians.  I hope that you have enjoyed our study of James as much as I have.  There is a lot of information I. This small book of the Bible that is relevant to us as well as all Christians.

Most all of us lived through the era of WWJD. What Would Jesus Do was imprinted on just about everything that can possibly hold a print. I refuse to be negative about it. It seems I’m in the minority with that as I searched WWJD on Google this week, 98% of the sites contained jokes about the phrase and they were all bad so I am not going to tell you one.

Over the past month or so we did not look at what Jesus would do necessarily, but at “What Would Jesus’ Brother Do?” The Epistle of James in the back of your Bible is a little five chapter letter that was written to some of the Jewish Christians that had been run out of town (Jerusalem) due to persecution and they were really struggling with things like their faith and their relationship with one another. So Jesus’ half brother James (half brother because Mary was their mother, but Joseph was only James’ dad) who had become a major leader in the early church writes a letter to encourage and instruct them.

As gay Christians we are often shunned by our churches as well.  We face persecution form other Christians just as the Jewish Christians faced persecution from other Jews.  We often struggle with our faith, because so many Christians see us as inherently sinful because we are homosexual and we have been taught this our entire life.  We struggle with coming to terms with being both Christian and gay.  Not only do we have to face persecution and questions from other Christians, but often we face similar questions from other homosexuals who question how we can be part of a religion that pushes us away.

James answers this throughout his Epistle.  He tells us that our faith will be tested and we must be steadfast.  He says that we cannot merely hear the word but we must be doers of the word, so that our actions speak for our faith.  James entreats us to show no partiality; therefore, we should not go by appearance alone but if we follow the Word of God, then we will treat all people the same.  Likewise, he says that if we have faith but do not show that faith through our good deeds, then we do not truly have faith.

James admonishes us to tame our tongues, so that we do not speak to quickly or foolishly.  He tells us that true wisdom comes from above, and we should look to God for guidance.  He also tells us that the jealousy and disdain showed to us by others (our fellow Christians or our fellow homosexuals, in the case of this study) is worldliness.  Only our Heavenly Father may judge, humanity cannot.  He tells us not to boast about those thing we do not yet know, and that wealth can often lead us astray.  Lastly, James relates to us that patience is suffering yet it is also a great virtue.  Prayers will be answered, though they may not be answered in the way we hope, yet we must continue to pray for God hears all of our prayer.  

5 comments:

silvereagle said...

Great insight!!! I know most of us may have heard many sermons in church, and some of them from the book of James, but I will wager that your take on the words of the book are not often heard in any church!! Thanks once more...

JiEL said...

My believe is that GOD is enormously intelligent, powerful and most of all full of LOVE... True LOVE...

SO, he made us as his image no matter who we are...
By that, he will never judge us by our sexual orientation or any quality we have.

He knows that LOVE as no bounderies and LOVE is the most important thing on Earth.

So, let us be confident in the great wisdom of GOD and live peacefuly with TRUE LOVE to each other.

GOD is greater than humans....

Cheers.
xxx

Jack Scott said...

Just as James is important for gays to understand, one of the smallest books of the Bible, Philemon, is important for those who would judge gays to understand.

Most Christians have never even heard of the Book of Philemon, much less read it. Most ministers have never preached on it. Therefore it is an almost unknown book of the Bible.

Jack Scott

Rex said...

Great.

Coop said...

Thanks, Joe. I don't think I knew the epistle existed.