Bible Study Opportunities
"The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth" - Redefined
By Jon W. Quinn
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (MATTHEW 5:5). This well known statement of our Lord is taken from the sermon on the mount; from the part some call "the beatitudes". The word "meek" means to be gentle, humble or considerate. It is the opposite of arrogance and violence. Those who are willing to share and sacrifice in behalf of others are meek. Those who seek for domination and will use any means to trample and crush others are the opposite of what the Lord refers to here. Meekness does not mean weakness! It does not mean one must cower or retreat from his principles. It does not involve the surrender of ones rights. Meek men and women of the Bible showed firm resolve, courage, conviction and strength. So must we. The phrase "inherit the earth" is a figure of speech which denotes the highest of blessings. These blessings are realized when the righteous enjoy the good things of life which the wicked often overlook in their pursuit of whatever. Also there is the peace, security and hope in Christ. And finally there is "the new heavens and a new earth" to be revealed at the end of time (II PETER 3:15). The meek truly shall "inherit the earth"! That is the "gospel truth" about meekness. But the title of this article suggests that there has been another twist put on Jesus' words. Indeed there has been! A very ugly misuse of His words in the attempt to make Him appear to be supporting something to which He is completely opposed. THE GAY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH?!!? In someone's twisted vocabulary, "meek" has come to mean "gay". In fact, that was the reasoning used by one caller to the Journal recently and published in their "Speak-Out" column a few weeks ago. They thought, or at least pretended to think, that Jesus was commending homosexuality! Can anyone find even one dictionary that would define "meek" that way? No, I didn't think so. "...which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction" (II PETER 3:16). CHRIST HAD NOTHING AGAINST IT? The following is a quote from a later Speak-Out column (Journal, page 13, 5/7/90). "In regard to the anti-gay article in Speak-Out a couple months ago, there were quite a few religious references against gays. Most of those references were from the letter of Paul, who came after the death of Christ. Through out the gospel, which is the main source of Christianity, there is not one reference against gay people. Leaving out the gay references on the opposite of the issue, makes it quite clear that Christ had nothing against it". Through a very careful choice of words coupled with a blatant ignoring of facts the writer has achieved the conclusion he or she desired. One may not arrive at the truth that way, but he will probably succeed in making a feeble justification for his sin. Actually, the Bible makes it quite clear that Jesus viewed homosexuality as sin. JESUS TAUGHT WHAT WAS RIGHT ABOUT HUMAN SEXUALITY "And He answered and said, 'Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?" (MATTHEW 19:4-5). This is Jesus' viewpoint about it in His own words. God's design for human sexual fulfillment is within the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman. This is His only plan for this aspect of our human relationships. There simply is not any other combination that meets with the Lord's approval! JESUS REAFFIRMED THE LAW OF MOSES TO BE FROM GOD "For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'He who speaks evil of father and mother, let him be put to death". (MATTHEW 15:4). Here, Jesus quotes from the writings of Moses (EXODUS 20:12; 21:17). But though Moses was the writer, Jesus affirms that the Law was God's! He further states that they have broken God's Law when they violate the commandments given through Moses (MATTHEW 15:6)! Over and over again Jesus affirms that the commandments of the Old Law were given by God. And what did God say, and Jesus affirm by acknowledging that Mosaical Law was indeed God's word, about homosexuality? He said, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act..." (LEVITICUS 20:13). We do not have recorded every word Jesus ever spoke, but what we do have shows that everything He spoke was in harmony with the Law, including the quoted verse above. JESUS AND PAUL "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals ...shall inherit the kingdom of God" (I CORINTHIANS 6:9,10). The Journal correspondent was correct when he or she said that Paul did not come along until after Christ's death, but failed to mention that the Lord chose Paul, communicated with him, inspired him by the Spirit and made him an apostle. As an apostle, the following words of Jesus applied to him; "Whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven" (MATTHEW 18:18). Thus Jesus, in guiding Paul unto all truth, backs up the words of Paul with His authority! Jesus also said, "The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me..." (LUKE 10:16). There is a strong condemnation of homosexual activity in the Word of God (ROMANS 1:26,27). It is no comfort to say, "That was only Paul" because Jesus has claimed Paul's words as His own! Yes, the meek shall inherit the earth. The disciple has nothing to be ashamed of, even when it appears that the whole world is against him. If God be for us, what does it matter who is against us!
Reprinted From the Bradley Banner Bradley Church of Christ Bradley, Illinois May 13, 1990