In the Lectionary

July 12, 15A (Romans 8:1–11)

What if all the energy we spent on taming the flesh were channeled toward loving the world?

Christians love to hate the flesh.

We’ve all seen how destructive this impulse can be. When more conservative churches focus on same-sex attraction, the results can be deadly. By now most of them have begun to realize that “reparative therapy” is dangerous and potentially deadly. They’ve turned to a new model, one that teaches that attraction to those of the same sex is not unlike alcoholism. You might be gay, and that’s OK—but God can help you resist acting on it, one day at a time. So long as you are celibate, you are fighting the good fight.

Then there’s the question of gender identity. We’ve all heard the rhetoric about trans or nonbinary people somehow being unfaithful by failing to accept their “God-given gender.” This gender, of course, should always match their biological sex as assigned at birth. Oh, and it must always be presented in a strictly binary manner.