What is your only comfort?

Urban God-talk for the church-o-phobic.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Bible and Homosexuality

Last week I promised that I'd put together some exegetical work about what the Bible says regarding gay people. In the meantime, we've had a house full of guests (so many that one ended up staying at a hotel) and only just said goodbye to Jen's sister this morning. Along with attempting to keep up with the demands of a full-time day job and provide pastoral leadership for a growing congregation, I haven't had the time to put together the exegetical paper that I had hoped. I'm a firm believer in thinking for one's self - in not just spouting off what others have said, but in digesting it and coming up with one's own conclusions.

While I still intend to write such a paper, I have to say that at this point the demands of my job and my calling preclude me from writing this paper. But, at the same time, I have read some folks say that there is no Biblical support for including gays and lesbians in the life of the church and in allowing for same-sex marriage. I don't want this to go unchallenged since I believe it is untrue.

So until I can find some spare hours to write this paper, I'm going to point folks in the direction of a paper written by Mel White. Before you shut your mind off to this by labeling it as a part of some "homosexual agenda" please read what he says with as much of an open mind as possible. He's a Bible believing Christian, just as you are (and just as I am). While we may think differently, we do share a common faith in God's Word as revealed through the Bible.


One last thought with regard to lifelong, committed same-sex relationships...I once had an exam where the examiner insisted on asking me what the sin of Nineveh was. For those of you who haven't read Jonah lately, I'll give you a hint - the text does not say what Nineveh's sin was. It only says that Nineveh had sinned and later that Nineveh repented. In spite of my saying that the text does not say what the sin was, the examiner continued to demand that I tell him the answer. I insisted that there was no answer - the Bible was silent when it came to Nineveh's sin.

When it comes to lifelong, committed, same-sex relationships (or gay marriage) the Bible is silent. It doesn't talk about this. But it does talk a lot about what makes for good relationships. Yes, the Bible does mention man-on-man sex, but it does not do this within the context of a lifelong covenanetal relationship. It's talking about something very different from a marriage.

The Bible is silent on a lot of things - Nineveh's sin, same-sex marriage, the world being round, gravity. Being true to the text means realizing that there are some things that the Bible doesn't cover.

Enjoy the reading. I'm sorry that it wasn't I who wrote it, but Mel White can say it a lot better than I can. Next week provided I can find the time, I'll post some stuff about marriage and the Bible. Again, it won't be from me, but this time from my dad.


At 9:17 PM, Blogger Stacey said...

Just wanted to let you know that I just posted a few thoughts on my blog, after lurking in silence around your conversation for the last couple of weeks. Hope you get some time to recover from guest-mania.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger greg said...

Have you read "The Good Book (Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart)" by Peter Gomes? He was the chaplain at Harvard when he wrote the book. I believe that about a third of the book is devoted to examinining the biblical case against homosexuality. I found it pretty persuasive. Of course, I believe that the Bible was written by humans, so maybe my opinion doesn't count....

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Ann said...

I have read parts of The Good Book and found it incredibly helpful. Dr. Gomes is a wonderful pastor. A number of my friends who attended Harvard spoke of the importance of his ministry to them while they were in college. He is an excellent example of living as both an academic and as a pastor to a university community.


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