Homosexuality and the Bible: Telling the Truth
- Tuesday, May 04, 2004
The late Elizabeth Achtemeier, for many years an influential professor at Richmond's Union Theological Seminary, stated the case clearly: "The clearest teaching of Scripture is that God intended sexual intercourse to be limited to the marriage relationship of one man and one woman." The clearest teaching of Scripture? That this is so should be apparent to all who look to the Bible for guidance on this issue.
Now a Mixed Message
This assessment of the Bible's content would have been completely uncontroversial throughout the last nineteen centuries of the Christian church. Only in recent years have some biblical scholars come forward to claim that the Bible presents a mixed message--or a very different message--on homosexuality.
The homosexual agenda is pushed by activists who are totally committed to the cause of making homosexuality a sanctioned and recognized form of sexual activity--and the basis for legitimate marriages and family relationships. Every obstacle that stands in the way of progress toward this agenda must be removed, and Scripture stands as the most formidable obstacle to that agenda.
We should not be surprised therefore that apologists for the homosexual agenda have arisen even within the world of biblical scholarship. Biblical scholars are themselves a very mixed group, with some defending the authority of Scripture and others bent on deconstructing the biblical text. The battle lines on this issue are immediately apparent. Those who deny the truthfulness, inspiration, and authority of the Bible, in the main, will eventually argue that Scripture sanctions homosexuality--or at least argue that the biblical passages forbidding homosexual acts are confused, misinterpreted, or irrelevant.
To accomplish this requires feats of exotic biblical interpretation worthy of the most agile circus contortionist. Several decades ago, the late J. Gresham Machen remarked, "The Bible, with a complete abandonment of all scientific historical method, and of all common sense, is made to say the exact opposite of what it means; no Gnostic, no medieval monk with his fourfold sense of Scripture, ever produced more absurd Biblical interpretation than can be heard every Sunday in the pulpits of New York." Dr. Machen was referring to the misuse and misapplication of Scripture that he saw as a mark of the infusion of a pagan spirit within the church. Even greater absurdity than that observed by Machen is now evident among those determined to make the Bible sanction homosexuality.
Biblical Christianity is the final wall of resistance to the homosexual agenda. In the end, that resistance comes down to the Bible itself. Those working tirelessly for the normalization of homosexuality know that the Bible's clear and unambiguous opposition to all forms of homosexual behavior must be neutralized if they are to be fully successful. Their efforts to this end deserve our closest attention.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to www.albertmohler.com. For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to www.sbts.edu. Send feedback to mail@albertmohler.
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