Mark Osler, law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, writes at The Huffington Post that Jesus is in full agreement with young Christians in the “millennial generation” who are “walking away” from a sex-obsessed, hostile, intellectually shallow Church.
“The narrative here, in our place and time, is not one of ‘Millennials v. Jesus,’” he writes. “It is more properly understood as ‘Jesus and the Millennials, and How We Have Disappointed Them Both.’”
Osler is a public advocate of same-sex marriage. On CNN’s religion blog earlier this year, Osler wrote plainly, “I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage. The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith.”
In his piece, “5 Ways Jesus Was a Millenial,” Osler writes that like so many young people today, Jesus “did not make a big deal” about sex. Osler believes “the Church is obsessed with sex, especially regarding LGBT people” and repeatedly compares the Church to the Pharisees.
The modern [C]hurch's obsession with sex is galling to many millennials. In particular, this generation is much more accepting of LGBT partnerships than older generations. Once again, Jesus modeled a different way than that which we see in our churches (which seem to extend either affirmation or rejection). He rarely talked about sex or relationships, in fact. When [H]e did encounter those involved in sexual sin, such as the woman at the well, [H]e did not make a big deal about it. What was important to Jesus was a larger story. While faith might direct one's choices about sex, to Jesus faith wasn't defined by sex.
One of those few times that Jesus talked about sex, [H]e was again being challenged by the Pharisees. They took [H]im to the scene of a stoning, where the adulterous woman was about to be executed. The Pharisees were right, that the punishment under the Mosaic law was death by stoning, but Jesus does something remarkable. By inviting the person with no sins to cast the first stone, [H]e both frees the condemned and tells the mob they do not have the moral authority to judge her. In the end, [H]e said "go and sin no more," and I often hear that used as justification by our own ministers to judge others. That works, if you are the Son of God. If not, you are one of the rest of us, the mob holding stones that Jesus disarmed.
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.