Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Read in context (Romans 2)

When I woke up this morning, 'Marriage Equality' was trending on Twitter because it is currently being debated in America. There were many links to pictures of people holding up various signs, expressing opinions on both sides of the debate. I saw things like 'Love is love' and 'Jesus had two dads', and signs like 'I wouldn't be here without my Mum AND Dad' and 'God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve'. There were, of course, portions of scripture quoted on many signs.

One which I decided to look up was Romans 1:26–27
Because people did those things, God left them and let them do the shameful things they wanted to do. Women stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women. In the same way, men stopped having natural sex and began wanting each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and in their bodies they received the punishment for those wrongs.
This looks like it's pretty clear about God bringing judgement on those who have homosexual relationships. But I wanted to see it in context because I've seen verses taken out of context before (don't get me started on 'The poor will always be among you'!) and didn't want to be falsely judging people.

So I read the whole of Romans 1. As I got to the list in verse 28, I started to worry about how verses 28–32 could be used as a weapon against people. I kept reading.

All those who use any verses from Romans 1 as a reason for judging people, need to read Romans 2. The first sentence is this:
If you think you can judge others, you are wrong.
It doesn't get much clearer than that, but Paul goes on to explain how people can't judge each other because we are all guilty of sin, and that only God can judge all of us because he is without sin.

If you ever catch me quoting Romans 1 against someone, hit me over the head with a Bible, open it to Romans 2 and make me read the whole chapter aloud!

More here: Romans 2:1 – Those Who Judge Have No Excuse

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure where 2 Timothy 3:16 fits in to this.

    "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"

    The OED has 'condemn' in its definition of 'rebuke':

    Can you shed any light on this?