In this episode of the podcast, we respond to a listener question from Fee in Berlin who asked how LGBTQ Christians who have come to the faith later in life can be sensitive to the trauma that LGBTQ folks who grew up within Christianity carry.
We also take a look at Matthew 5:21-37 — a passage about murder, adultery, what happens in our heart, who is responsible, and how to respond. It might be 2,000 years old but it is particularly relevant to our present time and place. Here’s how…
In this episode we cover:
- updates on the Faithful Sexuality course, our new website, and Shay’s recent Rob Bell workshop [00:50]
- listener question from Fee on LGBTQ Christian trauma [05:15]
- our queer take on Matthew 5:21-37 [11:52]
- “There is so much in here it could be at least 3 podcast episodes … and a doctoral dissertation” [13:55]
- ways this passage is often misunderstood [15:14]
- how Jesus turns the table on the dominant patriarchy of the day [16:29]
- what this passage has to say about modern purity culture, rape culture, and the male gaze [16:55]
- how this passage was used against LGBTQ people [17:50]
- what “hell” means in this context [18:20]
- defining lust: what it is and what it isn’t [19:00]
- a reminder that it’s ok to be attracted to someone, to have sexual desires, and to have a fantasy life (and one important thing to remember there) [20:00]
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“You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder, and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift. Be sure to make friends quickly with your opponents while you are with them on the way to court. Otherwise, they will haul you before the judge, the judge will turn you over to the officer of the court, and you will be thrown into prison. I say to you in all seriousness that you won’t get out of there until you’ve paid the very last penny.
“You have heard that it was said, Don’t commit adultery. But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart. And if your right eye causes you to fall into sin, tear it out and throw it away. It’s better that you lose a part of your body than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to fall into sin, chop it off and throw it away. It’s better that you lose a part of your body than that your whole body go into hell.
“It was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a divorce certificate.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife except for sexual unfaithfulness forces her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
“Again you have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago: Don’t make a false solemn pledge, but you should follow through on what you have pledged to the Lord. But I say to you that you must not pledge at all. You must not pledge by heaven, because it’s God’s throne. You must not pledge by the earth, because it’s God’s footstool. You must not pledge by Jerusalem, because it’s the city of the great king. And you must not pledge by your head, because you can’t turn one hair white or black. Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Photo by Lucas Ludwig