Saturday, 1 November 2008

The Kingdom of God

Its funny, there are a number (they tell me its seven) passages in the bible that negatively mention homosexuality, but only one of them ever makes me cry. I can so easily ignore Leviticus, and for some reason 'that passage' in Romans doesn't really affect me but this does:

'Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be decieved: neither the sexually immoral nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor theives nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.' 1 Corinthians 6v9

The Kingdom of God is an illusive concept, and I don't think we ever really get a total grasp of what it means. Jesus (as He so ofen did), mostly speaks about it in riddles. We know that it belongs to the poor in Spirit (Matthew 5v3), its like a man who sowed good seed (Matthew 13v24), like a mustard seed of faith and like yeast which spreads (Matthew 13v31), its like treasure hidden in a field (Matthew 13v44), like a net that catches fish (Mattthew 13v47), we know that it doesn't live by the same hierarchies as most of us live by (Matthew 18v3). Its like a King who frees us from our debts only to watch us show no grace to those around us (Matthew19v21-35). We know that it belongs to children and those like them (Matthew 19v14). We need to give up all our earthly possessions to find it (Matthew 19v21-24). Its like a landowner that pays everyone the same regardless of how much work they do (Matthew 20v1-16), where the first are last and the last are first. Its like a King who prepares a banquet and invites the lowest of society to come (Matthew 22v1-14). Its a Kingdom where we are called to make the best of what we have (Matthew 25v14-30). Its about righteousness, peace and joy (Romans 14v17).

And as I read the gospels, I become surer and surer that this illusive kingdom, this kingdom which has nothing to do with the false boundaries of nations that we create, is something that I want to be a part of it. I want to be a part of the radical, righteous, just way of doing things, that goes against absolutely everything we know. I want to recieve the grace that Jesus gave when he died, and be a part of showing that grace to the world in his resurrection. I want to learn more about what all this means, and I am so, so, so sure that this crazy, confused set of stories is what I want to live by.

So yes, it absolutely does break my heart when Paul suggest that I might not be able to be a part of all this. And I know that some people think that homosexual then didn't including loving monogomas relationships, and I know that its hard to see how much of what was written to another culture applies to our culture today. But can I take the risk? God, and this new system based on grace are the things I love most in the world.

And so I'm still left somewhere in the middle of two ideologies not really sure where I can go and hold myself together in one piece. Heres praying for answers, ideally soon.