Letter: Misreading the New Testament
It’s a pity that so many Christians, especially those of the fundamentalist sects, don’t understand the teachings of their own religion. Melissa May writes that homosexuals won’t go to heaven (Monitor letter, July 18). Actually, that is not true according to the bulk of the New Testament.
I am not a Christian, and find all religions wanting in sensibilities. But religious belief is one of the most fascinating subjects to study, especially its history. Right-wingers of all sorts tend to live by the stifling rigidities of Exodus, Leviticus and Paul’s Epistles. Maybe that is because the Bible is full of contradictions, so personal traits, some very undesirable, influence what fits them religiously and ethically. Paul was a pharisee right-wing type. Exodus and Leviticus are the basis of self-righteous fundamentalist condemnations of all sorts, Judaic, Christian and Muslim. They make the world more difficult a place than it is already.
The Bible is pretty clear on one issue. The underlying theme of Jesus’s teaching is that it’s by Grace that one is saved, not by one’s works. Accepting Jesus seals the deal, no ifs, ands or buts, except some vague threat concerning blasphemy. But that is Paul. The whole idea is that you can never fulfill the Law and this is why God supposedly sent his son to save us: to make some remedy for people never being able to fully live by the law. Russel Rowland is correct (“Time for politeness is past,” Monitor letter, July 3) and Melissa May is way wrong.