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Re: Jesus and the Law

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  • Irvin Lee McClendon, Sr.
    Dear Bro. Alex, Wow, it looks like I ve got a big backlog of messages to read since I became a new member of this Yahoo! group. I grew up in a very homophobic,
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 9, 2005
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      Dear Bro. Alex,

      Wow, it looks like I've got a big backlog of messages to read since I
      became a new member of this Yahoo! group.

      I grew up in a very homophobic, sabbatarian denomination, viz.,
      Church of God (Seventh Day); and though some of its members are very
      legalistic in their sabbath observance, most of them I believe view
      sabbath observance as a blessing and not as a burden. I am now a
      member of the United Methodist Church, and I am working as best I
      know how to help move my local congregation in Orange County,
      California toward a more welcoming acceptance of me and my 4.5-year-
      long relationship with my partner, James.

      I've recently begun a master's degree program in counseling
      psychology at Trinity College of Graduate Studies in Anaheim, and I
      hope eventually to become a licensed marriage and familty therapist
      (LMFT) in California. In the meantime, Jim and I are working on
      a "prenuptial" agreement with an eye toward registering under the new
      California law, AB205, for Registered Domestic Partnerships. We also
      are looking forward to the day when same-sex marriage will be legal
      in California; perhaps even this year or next if AB19 is passed by
      our state legislature and signed into law by the governor.

      Best wishes for a very happy New Year 2005!

      Grace & Peace,
      {:-)>
      Lee McClendon, Sr.

      Assistant Southwestern Regional Director
      Scouting for All

      2nd Tenor
      Men Alive--The Orange County Gay Men's Chourus

      Interfaith Liason
      Orange County PFLAG


      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...>
      wrote:
      >
      > As I go through the NT again for a 30-week class I'm taking, I'm
      > struck time and again by how often and how badly those in both
      > Jesus' and Paul's presence missed what they were trying to teach
      > about the Law.
      >
      > Paul repeatedly taught that no man is ever justified by observing
      > the Law [Gal 2:15-16]. In fact, he reminded us that part of the
      > reason the Law was given was to show us we were utterly incapable
      of
      > keeping it [Rom 3:20].
      >
      > Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law but by fulfilling it he
      > didn't mean leaving it as it was. No sooner had he said this that
      > he said "you have heard it said but I say unto you..."
      >
      > So what was Jesus' relationship to the Law? He did not abrogate or
      > get rid of the Law, for that would have made him a heretic and a
      > false prophet. He did three things:
      >
      > (1) CORRECT: He corrected the popular misunderstanding about the Law
      > (2) CLARIFY: He clarified its true meaning
      > (3) COMPLETE: Then he completed it
      >
      > Significantly, Jesus never applied any law in a wooden or
      > literalistic way, as many are still quick to do today. Rather, he
      > looked at and spoke about the original purpose of it. The radical
      > consequences which resulted from Jesus looking at the Sabbath, for
      > example, in this way are clear in all the gospels. He blatantly
      > disregarded the onerous rabbinical interpretations of what Sabbath
      > observance required on the grounds that the institution was
      intended
      > to be a blessing and not a burden [Mk 2:27]. The the application
      of
      > those same interpretive principles to the few passages many
      > Christians still use for their anti-gay theology, by the way, would
      > similarly lead to more compassionate conclusions regarding
      > homosexuality.
      >
      > Jesus provided a very important hermeneutic tool to help his
      > followers negotiate their way through moral debates about OT law.
      > He identified one Levitical command as the key to understanding the
      > rationale behind all the others. Quoting Leviticus 19:18, He
      > said: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
      >
      > This suggests that, when trying to determine why an OT law was
      given
      > and what its relevance is to a modern Christian, two vital
      questions
      > must be asked:
      >
      > (1) What HARM to neighbor was this command intended to PREVENT?
      > (2) What GOOD to neighbor was this command intended to PROMOTE?
      >
      > And though Lev 19:18 was not all that popular in the days of the
      OT,
      > it is THE verse from the Torah (or first five books of the Bible)
      > that is the most frequently cited in the NT. It's a summary and a
      > fulfilling of the Law that was repeatedly referred to by Jesus,
      Paul
      > and James.
      >
      > -Alex
    • nyguy_1225
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 10, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        <<Wow, it looks like I've got a big backlog of messages to read
        since I became a new member of this Yahoo! group.>>

        Yes, we've been here a while and so have amassed quite a collection
        of posts. Some are quite thought-provoking, informative and
        poignant, to cite just three adjectives. So happy reading. :-)

        As most other groups, we tend to ebb and flow around here with some
        very active times when posts are flowing all over the place, and
        other times when things slow down. The slow times are a good
        opportunity to catch up on older material.

        I enjoyed our exchanges under separate cover.

        -Alex



        --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Irvin Lee McClendon, Sr."
        <leeingg2@y...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Dear Bro. Alex,
        >
        > Wow, it looks like I've got a big backlog of messages to read
        since I
        > became a new member of this Yahoo! group.
        >
        > I grew up in a very homophobic, sabbatarian denomination, viz.,
        > Church of God (Seventh Day); and though some of its members are
        very
        > legalistic in their sabbath observance, most of them I believe
        view
        > sabbath observance as a blessing and not as a burden. I am now a
        > member of the United Methodist Church, and I am working as best I
        > know how to help move my local congregation in Orange County,
        > California toward a more welcoming acceptance of me and my 4.5-
        year-
        > long relationship with my partner, James.
        >
        > I've recently begun a master's degree program in counseling
        > psychology at Trinity College of Graduate Studies in Anaheim, and
        I
        > hope eventually to become a licensed marriage and familty
        therapist
        > (LMFT) in California. In the meantime, Jim and I are working on
        > a "prenuptial" agreement with an eye toward registering under the
        new
        > California law, AB205, for Registered Domestic Partnerships. We
        also
        > are looking forward to the day when same-sex marriage will be
        legal
        > in California; perhaps even this year or next if AB19 is passed by
        > our state legislature and signed into law by the governor.
        >
        > Best wishes for a very happy New Year 2005!
        >
        > Grace & Peace,
        > {:-)>
        > Lee McClendon, Sr.
        >
        > Assistant Southwestern Regional Director
        > Scouting for All
        >
        > 2nd Tenor
        > Men Alive--The Orange County Gay Men's Chourus
        >
        > Interfaith Liason
        > Orange County PFLAG
        >
        >
        > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > As I go through the NT again for a 30-week class I'm taking, I'm
        > > struck time and again by how often and how badly those in both
        > > Jesus' and Paul's presence missed what they were trying to teach
        > > about the Law.
        > >
        > > Paul repeatedly taught that no man is ever justified by
        observing
        > > the Law [Gal 2:15-16]. In fact, he reminded us that part of the
        > > reason the Law was given was to show us we were utterly
        incapable
        > of
        > > keeping it [Rom 3:20].
        > >
        > > Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law but by fulfilling it
        he
        > > didn't mean leaving it as it was. No sooner had he said this
        that
        > > he said "you have heard it said but I say unto you..."
        > >
        > > So what was Jesus' relationship to the Law? He did not abrogate
        or
        > > get rid of the Law, for that would have made him a heretic and a
        > > false prophet. He did three things:
        > >
        > > (1) CORRECT: He corrected the popular misunderstanding about the
        Law
        > > (2) CLARIFY: He clarified its true meaning
        > > (3) COMPLETE: Then he completed it
        > >
        > > Significantly, Jesus never applied any law in a wooden or
        > > literalistic way, as many are still quick to do today. Rather,
        he
        > > looked at and spoke about the original purpose of it. The
        radical
        > > consequences which resulted from Jesus looking at the Sabbath,
        for
        > > example, in this way are clear in all the gospels. He blatantly
        > > disregarded the onerous rabbinical interpretations of what
        Sabbath
        > > observance required on the grounds that the institution was
        > intended
        > > to be a blessing and not a burden [Mk 2:27]. The the
        application
        > of
        > > those same interpretive principles to the few passages many
        > > Christians still use for their anti-gay theology, by the way,
        would
        > > similarly lead to more compassionate conclusions regarding
        > > homosexuality.
        > >
        > > Jesus provided a very important hermeneutic tool to help his
        > > followers negotiate their way through moral debates about OT
        law.
        > > He identified one Levitical command as the key to understanding
        the
        > > rationale behind all the others. Quoting Leviticus 19:18, He
        > > said: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
        > >
        > > This suggests that, when trying to determine why an OT law was
        > given
        > > and what its relevance is to a modern Christian, two vital
        > questions
        > > must be asked:
        > >
        > > (1) What HARM to neighbor was this command intended to PREVENT?
        > > (2) What GOOD to neighbor was this command intended to PROMOTE?
        > >
        > > And though Lev 19:18 was not all that popular in the days of the
        > OT,
        > > it is THE verse from the Torah (or first five books of the
        Bible)
        > > that is the most frequently cited in the NT. It's a summary and
        a
        > > fulfilling of the Law that was repeatedly referred to by Jesus,
        > Paul
        > > and James.
        > >
        > > -Alex
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