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I am writing in response to T.A. Lee's letter of July 5 and am also addressing anyone who believes Jesus sanctions homosexuality. Lee issued a challenge "for all the Bible-thumpers out there" to "find a quote directly from Jesus Christ in the New Testament that clearly condemns homosexuality."

Then, after requiring that reference be "clear as a bell," with "no ambiguities, no parables and no outside interpretations of scripture," Lee used Matthew 5:10 to actually defend homosexuality, implying that Christ condoned gays in saying, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." No ambiguities, no outside interpretations of scripture?Clear as a bell? Come on. If claiming that gays are "persecuted for righteousness' sake" isn't an "outside interpretation," I'll throw out my Bible. But I guess I haven't yet answered the challenge, so . . .

First, the New Testament is the source of the belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God, as Lee mentioned. We know that Jesus didn't write a single one of its books, however. Any book of scripture contains the Lord's teachings as penned by one or more of his disciples. If you accept the writings of one New Testament writer, you accept the New Testament. In accepting Matthew, we implicitly accept Paul. They were contemporaries and both witnesses of Christ's resurrection. In fact, Paul wrote more New Testament books than all the other writers combined. We can rest assured that Paul wrote the teachings of Jesus.

That said, let's listen to what Paul has to say about homosexuality and those "who changed the truth of God into a lie": "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet." (Romans I:25-27)

If Lee wants to try to defend homosexuality from a secular point of view, I will not protest. Everyone has a right to his own opinion. But Lee ought to perform a closer examination of the sources before trying to use Christ to defend the practice. Jesus loves everyone, regardless of their actions. He does not, however, condone wrong actions.

Terrol R. Williams