Bad Theology

Paths to an Acceptance of “Gay” Christianity

Here are some of the most prominent ways people find to support “Gay” Christianity with the Bible.

1) Re-translate the text.

See the following website for a treatment of the word physikos in Romans 1 where the writer claims that Paul is actually talking about people operating opposite to the way they were born. Thus, persons not born gay but engaging in homosexual activity are violating God’s law, suggesting to the writer that a gay person in relationship with another gay person is what God intends. All of this because the author claims that the word lying beneath “nature” or “natural” has been mis-translated.

http://www.thegodarticle.com/7/post/2011/10/clobbering-biblical-gay-bashing.html

http://queeringthechurch.com/2010/03/02/clobber-texts-a-new-reading-of-leviticus/

[The above links are now dead or have been reworked. Nevertheless, the website https://queerchurch.wordpress.com/ is still there.]

2) Re-interpret the text.

See James V. Brownson’s book, Bible, Gender, Sexuality, where the author reinterprets the texts by recovering the underlying “moral logic” of the text.

 

3) Apply the text differently in light of modern culture, particularly the view that “loving, monogamous, same-sex” relationship were not in view.

 

https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence/leviticus.html

http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript/

 

4) Agree with the text but dismiss it for the sake of modern sensibilities.

The Phyllis Tickle interview with Andrew Marin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOQQPC_SsEs&list=FLcqHu8ilKp75pBGfY-UxaAQ&index=11

“the Church itself is gonna have to come to grips with the fact that we have changed over the years, we have evolved, the law. We now admit divorce. Our Lord does not speak much about sexuality, but He’s very clear about divorce. It’s the only thing He’s really clear about. [As concerns sexuality?] And we have managed because out of compassion, and I certainly am for that change, out of compassion and out of common sense and out of a recognition that our times and ways of being are different from those. We have managed to get around the divorce issue and now even ordain divorced clergy, and that kind of thing. The same thing is going to happen with the gay issue. It’s in process.”

 

5) Marginalize the text as non-essential

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson/2014/03/i-dont-blame-world-vision-i-blame-homophobia-and-hate/

“Evangelicals have a hate problem when it comes to homosexuality. Period. I know that’s extreme language. But it’s true. We can disagree over an issue and still find common ground in aiding the very poor and disenfranchised. We can work side-by-side in the work of Christ and not agree on every single marginal issue. And homosexuality, as it relates to the Bible’s message and meaning, is marginal. There are 31,000 verses. Only around 8 or 9 can really be said to have anything to do with homosexuality. (None are actually about homosexuality — monogamous, committed relations — as we understand it.) That’s around 0.026% of Scripture. And yet that fraction of Scripture has become central to the public identity of evangelicalism. They have placed homophobia at the center of the Gospel”.

 

6) Lessen the importance of the texts by emphasizing love, poverty, acceptance.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson/2014/03/i-dont-blame-world-vision-i-blame-homophobia-and-hate/

“The way evangelicals treat LGBTQ+ people is wrong. It is extreme. It is sinful. It is hateful. And it is absolutely terrifying. In the past 24 hours, we just witnessed the extent evangelicals will go to keep LGBTQ+ people marginalized, to keep an organization from the simple thing of recognizing their already legal marriages. They will starve children. They will deprive impoverished communities of aid and help. So, no, I don’t blame World Vision. Its leaders did exactly what everyone urged them to do — both on the left and the right.They thought of how it would affect the children. Rather, I blame the far-right evangelicals who held World Vision hostage to their homophobic agenda. These evangelicals held a gun to the head of World Vision. They forced an organization to choose between aiding hungry children and offering a small step towards equality for gay and lesbian people who work for them. And no matter what World Vision chose, these evangelicals were always going to pull the trigger on one of the hostages.”

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson/2014/03/i-dont-blame-world-vision-i-blame-homophobia-and-hate/#ixzz3Iab25EDQ

 

7) Re-direct attention from the texts by focusing on what Jesus did not say.

“Hello, Scott.

I follow your distinction between pre-marital sex and adultery: in adultery, the partners are betraying their spouses and children. But- when two women love each other, there are no victims like that. I would say that therefore, because there are no victims, the sin is less- or nonexistent. I am delighted that my church lobbied the UK government to allow church weddings for gay people, and the Government will allow that for any denomination which opts in. Many churches will.

Jesus said that if a man look at a woman with lust in his heart, he had already committed adultery. He did not say the same if a man look at a man.” https://ccithink.com/2013/03/31/why-the-focus-on-homosexuality-abortion-evolution-arent-all-sins-the-same-in-gods-eyes-part-1/

 

8) Placate the text by compartmentalizing between principle and practice.

See the video featuring Justin Lee, president and founder of the Gay Christian Network

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/gays-and-christianity/3299076052001

[This link was dead a few weeks ago. The same sentiments are easy to validated through his writings.]

 

9) Maintaining a neutral position

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/death-of-evangelicalism/

Benjamin Corey wrote:

“We always knew that the sides against same sex marriage and the sides for same sex marriage would never see eye-to-eye (fine, there’s room for both of us), but what we saw yesterday went one step further: it was declared that Evangelicals are not allowed to take a neutral position on the issue. That’s the keyNo more neutrality allowed. It was declared that hiring a married homosexual shall now be considered as equally egregious to officiating the wedding yourself.”

 

 

3 replies »

  1. Hi Scott ! This is an old post, so I don’t know how much it makes sense to reply. First, I appreciate how clearly you state all this stuff, especially considering you don’t agree with any of it and think somehow long-standing interpretation of about .o5 percent (I don’t know the real number, but it’s about six actuall verses) trumps all this really good stuff. You present a much stronger case than could ever be argued against if from those six verses. But I guess if you thInk that the first half of Genesis defines all of a very provably billions of years old planet, it’s the same thing. You position is a position of faith, and I applaud you for it. That’s your faith. Where you lose me, is your dismissal of the word love. My faith is that all the gospels any everything that Jesus gives us can be summed up in that single word. The Eleventh Commandment is what is not followed by our traditional faith. And that’s the only one that Jesus gave us. That, and you can’t get past Romans 2:1, just a few verses past your favorite verses in the whole Bible. No one can. Love can be the only litmus test. It’s truly Jesus’ only word for us. That’s my faith and I am really good with it. It’s universal and we are losing site of it. That said, I love you, and will pray for you or with you anytime. Loving forward, Clark

    • Hi Clark,

      Yes, it is an old post but certainly not an outdated topic!

      The purpose of the post was to demonstrate various approaches by those who affirm gay Christianity. So, the merits of the article should be judged on whether it reflects what is actually being done.

      Now, of course, your point is to say that because love is lifted up in the New Testament as the fulfillment of the Law, that it means we should accept homosexuality. The problem with that hermeneutic, if you will, is that it projects onto the Biblical text a contemporary, Western, nuanced understanding of love. Jesus’ teaching that the two greatest commandments are to love God and then to love your neighbor as yourself cannot rightly be reduced to how twenty-first century Americans on average define love.

      Let’s take “loving our neighbor as ourselves.” Genuine love does not simply accept and affirm whatever someone says or does. It tells them the truth. So the idea that, if I am to love people who are gay or trans etc, means I will affirm them, is a fallacy and not love. Love tells the truth.

      With that we are back to our disparate interpretations of the Biblical text. One could make the case of discounting the Old Testament text if it were not reinforced in the New Testament. But Romans 1 is in the Bible and Romans 2:1 does not discount it. Paul is not saying that since you are not perfect that whatever your neighbor wants to do is ok. It means I must be truthful about my sins as well and that both of us must come to God in His terms.

      As for God’s terms, John tells us in 1 John that if we sin we have an advocate and can be forgiven of our sins. But it makes the distinction between sin as a stumbling and the continual practice of sin.

      Sin. The problem is that you are not talking about sin. On one hand, you refer to love as trumping the sin of homosexuality and yet you don’t believe it is a sin. If it isn’t sin, then you need no appeal to love, just truth. If it is sin, then love covers a multitude of sins but it does not cover the continual practice of sin.

      Thanks for your comments!

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