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A BILLBOARD depicting the Baby Jesus in his crib with a halo of rainbow colours has ignited a furious debate on the website of an Auckland church that erected it for the festive season.

St Matthews-in-the-City’s Revs Glynn Cardy and Rev Clay Nelson said:

This year we invited discussion and debate on the sexual orientation of Jesus.

According to the church’s site, for Clay Nelson the poster presents:

The challenge to think about Jesus as fully human whose growing up would have involved the same range of character possibilities, and even sexuality, as the rest of us.

Nelson added:

Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay. But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter?

Cardy asks what Jesus would have said about New Zealand’s current debate on gay marriage.

There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich. Certainly he always supported the marginalized in society.

One comment on the site says:

How does the poster help to bring people to seek forgiveness for the sin of homosexuality? It would be the same as portraying Jesus coming out as a paedophile.

Another wrote:

It is truly saddening to see a supposedly "Christian" church putting up such a mockery of the Son of God. I don't know if it's because these people feel safe behind the notion of freedom of speech, but just because one can say something doesn't mean they should.

I'm not saying we should follow in the footsteps of the Islamic world, but you would never see a Muslim who truly believes in his faith putting up billboards with pictures of the Prophet Muhammad with implications that he is gay.

Jesus Christ may be all about mercy and love, but He still does not condone what His Father has deemed sinful. The Bible aka God's word says that sexual interaction/infatuation between two people of the same gender is a sin. However at the same time Jesus still loves sinners, He does not however love the sin(s) they are committing.

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