Astonished……. that’s all I can say in response to the claim made in an commentary piece released today (March 10, 2022) by UM News titled ‘Jesus never addressed the subject of human sexuality, the main issue dividing the denomination.” as written by The Rev. Chongho James Kim.
Rev Kim claims in his opinion piece that “of course, social justice is important. Yes, the church needs to safeguard biblical truth. But frankly, Jesus never said a word about the subject of human sexuality, which holds our denomination hostage.”
Now, you read something like this, and you’re tempted to ask yourself if you’re being baited, if somehow you’re being set up into giving the well-known, much-heard, typical responses.
You know that both sides have all heard them before. And yet, you wonder why Rev Kim has not, or at least appears to have not. Maybe it’s in his definition of Human Sexuality. I don’t know.
Maybe his definition is different from what is found in Matthew 19:4 where Jesus Himself clearly defines the Creator’s intent for human sexuality. Jesus said, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”. This is an exacting, ridged, binary explanation of the sexual order for which He intended for His human creation. But maybe I’ve misunderstood and there is another definition.
Maybe Reverend Kim would claim some abandonment by Jesus of what is clearly established in the Old Testament as appropriate expressions of human sexuality when it comes to sexual conduct, sex-appropriate dress, and sexual roles in society.
And yet, in Matthew 5:17 Jesus says “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.” It’s that very law that He affirms here that tells us, for example, in Lev 18:22 ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination”, and in Leviticus 20:13 that “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” and in Deuteronomy 22:5 that, “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”
If the Father and the Son truly are One as Jesus claimed, does anyone really think that the supposed absence of a direct, exacting comment specifically on human sexuality somehow means that Jesus is NOT in absolute and full agreement with the Father who established these things in the Old Testament, the very law He now claims He has come, not to abolish, but to fulfill?
Maybe, just maybe, it’s not human sexuality that divides the denomination after all. Maybe it’s a little bit more than that. Oh, sure the underlying problem manifests itself in these never-ending human sexuality issues. But it is much like the manifestation of a cough, fever, and runny nose. It’s not those things that are the core issue or the main problem. They are only manifestations of the real problem…..you have a virus.
And so it is with this. It’s not the myriad of sexual issues that continue to plague the denomination. They are mere manifestations of a much deeper issue that has gone years unattended. You see, it’s not the issue of Human Sexuality that truly divides the denomination. Maybe what divides the denomination is the ability to rightly divide and discern and to subject ourselves wholly to the Word of God. Maybe, just maybe, it is all about, and only about, scripture after all.