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Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Homosexual Right to Worker Benefits

I want to be clear at the start. This article centers on the oft heard homosexual claims about rights for worker benefits. It is not a defense of homosexuality. It is a defense for the right of homosexuals to receive health benefits. It must of necessity present the human relationship of marriage as reaffirmed by Jesus in the context of authority. I do not profess this article contains anything original, capable of changing anyone’s mind or any stellar points though maybe some enlightenment for the saints in Christ, my brothers and sister in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. Whatever biases and assumptions I have no intention, need or desire to engage in bashing or trashing people or the choices they make for themselves. I realize this disclaimer will not prevent mindless outbursts of anger, indignation, jumping to conclusions and other works of the flesh from either side of the discussion, but you read it here. What, then, is the response of the saints in Christ to the homosexual claims for rights concerning health coverage from an employer? Do saints in Christ have a biblical counter basis for their own chants and rants against homosexual rants and accusations of hatred?


definition of terms


First, this message is directed to so-called brothers and sisters in the faith that is in Christ Jesus who mistakenly profess, embrace, display homosexuality as an acceptable and pleasing way of life for a disciple of Jesus. However, there is an equally mistaken response to the homosexual’s call for medical benefits. Second, I need to explain the use of the term homosexual in this article. The term is inclusive of same-sex (as is the original root meaning of the word) relationships between males and females. Some would say the term, though not ethnic, is offensive, but the term is about as accurate and clear as the ethnic terms, Russian, Mexican, Chinese, etc. I do not have a problem, not as though it matters, with homosexuals defining themselves as Gay.


However, it is the term Gay, as a human emotion, which is misleading and inaccurate, because while someone may be a homosexual and is homosexual always, he/she is not always gay emotionally. Merely changing a word or name designation does not produce a substantive change whether the discussion is about homosexuals or Russians or other ethnicities. Using words with a meaning other than the original to bolster one’s image or confidence may sound and feel good, but it did not originate with homosexuals. The practice of embracing words to force a new meaning on them is the modern tactic among which one can include the words “bad” and “bitch.” These are, in simplest form, solely to bolster and project an image the user wishes the world would perceive about them. It is a wish.


One last example and markedly different because it does not involve human behavior is the word translated in English as “church.” The reason it is necessary to include it here is because of the call to question authority. Actually, the old bumper sticker, now cyber icon, which calls all to “Question Authority” is good. Unfortunately, the reality is that tends to take on more of a chant or rant with to intention to LISTEN for the response from that authority. The purpose of the inclusion of the term church is related to that call to question authority.


The original word meaning of church as appears in the New Testament is according to the common use of the term. Simply, it referred to a public gathering of citizens who came out in response to the public call to come together for some civic purpose. The word found application in the obedient response of believers to the gospel message of Jesus. Those who come to him are “called out” from the world to live, still live in the world, but walk in the kingdom of heaven, now. The word has taken on yet an even looser modern adaptation as it has come to be applied to buildings where disciples of Jesus come together in worship. The significance of the original meaning of this word will emerge later in this article. Perhaps you might have picked up on a peculiar similarity of the term here and to which I will come back later.


likes and dislikes


Our interests and likes of things are often guided by what is practical, economical, fun or necessary. Laptops, phones, clothing and other items are among some of those things. Yes, the decision between what is right and what is wrong can and is sometimes overridden in order to allow ourselves what we want such as a phone purchase instead of a computer upgrade. This is not to say, and it is definitely not always the case that something is wrong merely because one didn’t make the best or right choice concerning those purchases.


Generally, what evokes false charges of hatred from homosexuals and their advocates is not over phones and laptops, but it is when the question of a moral choice is involved. Of course, the rapid retort that no one has a right to dictate or impose their morality is coupled with cries of hatred and homophobia. The practice of leveraging and fomenting real or imagined fear was used as much by anti communists in America during the cold war as by Muslim jihadists. It's the bravado even the clueless can bear in the form of a body tattoo or a bumper sticker. That plays well to the crowd, but it is not necessarily true. The truth is having a moral opposition and conviction against a behavior such as homosexuality is no more a matter of hatred than other behaviors such as thievery, adultery cast alongside of homosexuality in the New Testament.


what’s in it for me


So, why bother with what are other people’s interests? What business is it of mine or anyone else what or how one chooses to live and whether it is right or wrong? What’s in it for me? Furthermore, who decides what is right and what is wrong? The retorts and shouting matches, while they may say little or nothing about what is right or wrong or about moral imperatives, are mostly to obscure what is really at issue. Despite the contempt by homosexuals against a moral message by Christians the truth is homosexuals, like most anybody, have a moral standard, that is, an authority, too. It’s what, for example, compels them to voice their opposition to war, human trafficking, drug use, etc. These are moral judgments. Mostly, the dialog, if it can be called that, is from the perspective of personal likes and dislikes. It’s when moral judgments are made as these concern oneself that it produces a bad taste and best to be avoided.


the judgment of the conscience and law


Whether one’s decisions are selfish, condoned or condemned as right or wrong making a judgment is no more to be relished than coming under judgment. The cry often heard from homosexuals against the judgment of secular law or faith is to respond with the charge of hatred. This is disingenuous at best and a lie at worse. Hatred, like the expression gay, is a human emotion and while hatred is a reality it makes a poor shield of defense for the lack of response to a judgment.


Any one can choose to ignore or reject the voice and judgment of authority, whether it is their own conscience, civil law or the scriptures. No can do so without the expectation of consequences. Now, to return to the meaning of “church” as the “called out.” In it’s original use in the first century it had no religious connotation. The term referred to those who were called out or came out in response to the civic authorities for citizens to come together. Here’s the antiquity of the homosexual use of the phrase “coming out” of the closet, the hiding, the duplicity, etc., in response to the call of their own heart, their own conscience to declare their homosexuality. The saints in Christ are those who have come out from a destructive lives with no knowledge of God. They still live in the world, but no longer live for the world.


the principal involving the generosity of the generous


Jesus related a parable in Matthew 20. It is a parable of a vineyard owner who hires laborers at various times during the course of the day. It is a parable about generosity as much as human resentment and envy. Jesus taught three principals in the parable in Matthew 20:1-16.


1) Do not begrudge one who gives willingly and generously,
2) Do not overlook what you have received, and
3) Do not fall into resentment when others receive the same as you have received.


When the owner instructed his foreman at the end of the day to pay the laborers, those who worked the longest assumed and expected they would be paid more. They saw the foreman pay those who arrived late and labored only a portion of the day a full day’s wages. It was when he paid those who worked the whole day the same full day’s wages that they were filled with resentment.


They made no demands as to their rights. They were due their wages and they were paid. What incensed them was that the vineyard owner paid them all the same full day’s wages regardless of how many hours they had worked. Given the resentment by those who had worked the most hours it is not likely they would have protested for more pay for those who had endured the longer day had the circumstances been reversed. The reason is one who begrudges those who receive or resents those who are generous to give is also not one who gives cheerfully as the Lord loves. II Corinthians 9:7


There’s a similar truth regarding the payment, that is the wages, of sin. It is death. (Romans 6:23) These are due wages and the payment. The payment is the same for all regardless of how little or how long they worked for it. There is, on the other hand, the free gift of God: eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


the first principal


Whether the employer were a secular one, such as a school district, or a Christian individual, -


what is it to those filled with resentment if those employers choose to share (the first principal) equally their employee benefits with all who work in their employ?


I anticipate this response from some saints in Christ: Those laborers were not homosexual sinners, but this is presumptuous and without any basis because nothing is stated in the parable as to their character. Jesus would not support homosexuality, but this response, too, overlooks the fact that Jesus, like our Heavenly Father, never withheld his goodness and blessings from anyone whether it was a sinful woman or Judas who betrayed him.


And, if we were really to press the application of these responses to Jesus we would indict Jesus for supporting slothfulness. Really, Jesus. Who in their right mind would pay a worker a full day’s wages for laboring the last hour of the work day, only? Whether one searches for slothfulness or homosexuality in the parable to justify exclusions to deny any goodwill from an employer, it is a misguided search. The point of the parable, as explained by Jesus, is about the kingdom of heaven and how the vineyard owner (God) is good. It is not about the moral character of the laborers. God bestows his blessings similarly  on those who have walked in the Lord for thirty years, three days or three hours.


marriage: a man and a woman


Jesus noted the preeminence of marriage in his discussion with the Sadducees. (Mark 12) They provoked Jesus for his selective moral judgment in a scenario involving a woman who had been married multiple times. (Interestingly, the moral judgment which the Sadducees tried to evoke from Jesus was because to their own unbelief and efforts to debunk and dismiss the resurrection which is the ultimate judgment on sin.) Jesus said, in addition to answering them about their ignorance,


Isn’t this because you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God?
and
You are therefore badly mistaken.


and reminded these adversaries of the origin and beginning of that marriage relationship in the garden of Eden as being between a man and a woman.


What Christians are pressing for through their protest is to evoke a moral judgment against same-sex marriages or homosexuals receiving the same benefits as all other employees. However, the truth is Christians resorting to cultural and legislation measures to accomplish a moral change objective does not equate to the righteousness of God. Also, it does not reflect the spirit of those who seek to do the will of God. The dependency by disciples of Jesus on employers or government to legislate selective morality as a means of denying or depriving people, whether homosexuals or non married couples, of benefits is no substitute for and has no part with the gospel message of the love of God.


the second and third principal


Whether the laborers in the parable were sinful men or otherwise worked eleven or one hour; they were all the vineyard owner’s employees. It was his decision alone and no one else’s as to how much he paid them without being selective or inquiring as to their moral status so as to justify what he would pay each one. Whether the school district’s decision holds up in court is one matter.


The other matter is that employees who have received their benefits from the school district lose nothing, except maybe their thankfulness, [after all, it the spirit of the fight the battle was fought for what rights, not generosity] (the second principal) if homosexuals receive the same benefits. (the third principal)


indictment or vindication


The claims by my fellow saints in Christ that their protest against homosexuals receiving benefits is based on the scriptures has a ring of truth, but the fact that it is misplaced and reveals missed opportunities. As much as the scriptures do condemn homosexuality same-sex relationships are an indictment unto themselves and this is overlooked by Christians as much as homosexuals.


Heterosexual and homosexual relationships are showcase display attempts at unity between two people. Either through the difference of heterosexuals or the sameness of homosexuals they are both affected by the  mystery of unity. This is true of the witting and unwitting regardless whether or not they know or acknowledge God as the Divine Creator. This unity and oneness of God is prevalent. It is what is desired and delights all human relationships even when the moral makeup of those relationships represents a rejection of God and his will.


Yet, a union with a gender other than one's opposite is like a battery with two positive or two negative terminals. Such a thing cannot be made and still function as a battery even if it is called a battery.


Biologically, a behavioral homosexual can no more be produced by two homosexuals any more than biologically a physiological woman/man can be produced by two women or two men together.


Hence, morality, gay(ness) and faith aside, homosexuality for all its claims of loving and embracing diversity is an indictment unto itself, biologically.


However, there’s no less indictment for the assembly of the saints if we were to turn away a sinner whose attitude, behavior or otherwise a disdain for righteousness is evident. What is equally evident is that if God is in the midst of the believers: Would that sinner be convicted in your assembly as the apostle Paul described what happens when a non-believer walks into the midst of the assembly of the saints and thereby vindicate the presence of God among the saints in Christ?


If therefore the whole assembly is assembled together and all speak with other languages, and unlearned or unbelieving people come in, won’t they say that you are crazy? 24 But if all prophesy, and someone unbelieving or unlearned comes in, he is reproved by all, and he is judged by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. So he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.
2nd Corinthians 14:23-25


conclusion


The homosexual’s cry for benefits from an employer is not one to be silenced or denied by the saints in Christ. The frequent displays in which saints in Christ align themselves together with Bible sound bites and quotations from scripture against homosexuals may sound and feel good, but this is not in keeping with the lessons from the parable taught by Jesus in Matthew 20.


The fact of the judgment of scripture on homosexuality does not preclude a homosexual receiving benefits an employer has determined he will extend to whom he chooses. This is the lesson of the parable: Don’t begrudge, but be generous. Do not forget you what you have received. Do not fall into resentment when others receive what you have received.

Portions of this article were taken from a related article.

2 comments:

  1. Seems all of creation is made whole by bringing two opposites. Plus/negative as with the battery illustration. Every aspect of weather patterns, growth, formations in science always have required two opposites. So when God formed woman for man He had the same idea. Society influences us to believe things that are not true. Marriage cannot be male/male-female/female, regardless of what law dictates. It will not work as God intended. Just as 2 negatives on the battery will not start the car.

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    1. I appreciate your comment, treasure4ever. Thank you.

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