Commandments & Traditions Aug 27, 2020 17:00:59 GMT
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 27, 2020 17:00:59 GMT
I am not a Biblical scholar, so I am often confused about what I read in the Gospels. My current dilemma concerns what commandments are laws that can never be broken and what Biblical commandments are outdated and can be ignored.
Let me begin by explaining how I, as a lay person, differentiate between a commandment that becomes a law “carved in stone” and one that is not. The commandment from our Lord Jesus Christ to love one another is a law and should never be broken. There are no exceptions. This does not change over time. (Here, personally, I differentiate between the feeling and the act. I may not always feel positive emotions that we traditionally associate with the word love, but I feel I am commanded to act in loving ways. I must be kind, charitable, respectful, and compassionate—not that I always am.) All laws, when broken, have a punishment. In this case, guilt—a rather mild consequence for such an important law.
When it comes to a commandment that no longer bears the weight of a law (has no consequences and is, for the most part, ignored), several things come to mind—women wearing veils, women speaking in public, and women keeping their hair long. At one time I liked at least two old laws and honored them. I kept my hair long and often read passionately the passage of the woman who dried the feet of Jesus with her flowing locks. I also liked to wear a veil when I went with friends to a Catholic Church. I must admit I never liked the commandment that says I can’t speak in public. And I resent the remnants of that law which make it difficult for some women to become ordained in many Christian churches today. But you must admit, all of these things were once laws that when broken brought some kind of punishment and today we ignore at least two of them without consequences.
Now, what is my point? Well if you have been reading my articles in Spectrum for the past few years, you probably suspect that I am about to say something controversial. Well I am! And, before I tell you, I want to add that I am saying this to challenge my readers and spark debate. So here I go. If laws can become outdated, and I don’t have to wear a veil any longer, why can’t we ease up on the admonition the Bible makes against same-sex unions? Is it the gut wrenching that occurs when you see two people of the same gender touching each other? It is the fear that things will get out of hand and heterosexuals will become the minority—or that homosexuals will bring ruin to the traditional family unit? Is it just because Paul says it is so? Write and tell me. I really want to know, but beware, I am not a Paulist. You will not persuade me because Paul said it was so. I must believe it was Christ himself who saw homosexuality as a mortal sin.