How to Be (Biblically) Less Offensive to Gays
- Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Less than a month after releasing his controversial book, A Letter to My Congregation, pastor Ken Wilson of Vineyard Church Ann Arbor gave an interview explaining his recent change of view on what the Scriptures teach about sexuality. In short, Wilson no longer believes that the Scriptures condemn homosexuality.
He is not alone. Last year Exodus International, a Christian ministry formerly dedicated to those who struggle with same-sex attraction, publicly apologized for their ministry and substantially changed their views and practices.
The debate about what the Bible teaches on these issues is clearly here to stay.
Tradition Isn’t Always Bad
For the last two thousand years virtually all Christians everywhere have believed that God made men and women beautifully different by design, and that God created marriage so that a man and a woman could join their unique identities in a new life together—the two becoming one flesh.
The biblical authors show that God’s design for sexuality and marriage is full of meaning and significance, reflecting the unity and diversity of the Trinity, pointing to the ‘coming together’ of the New Heavens and the New Earth, and symbolizing the union of Jesus to his bride, the church.
Perhaps that is why evangelicals—Christians who believe in the absolute truthfulness of Scripture—have not changed their views on such matters. It seems they understand that the symbolic purposes of marriage are lost if we disagree with what God says about sexuality.
Nothing New Under the Sun
Yet there has been a significant change in Christian opinion of homosexuality over the past decade, especially among younger generations. What is most surprising about this trend is that the arguments have not changed. If you were to read Ken Wilson’s book, for example, you would find the same arguments that Christians rejected decades ago:
§ “Romans 1:26-27 does not refer to homosexual relationships but to pederasty and temple prostitution.” [Yet Paul easily could have easily used the well-known terms for pederasty or temple prostitution if that is what he had intended to mean.]
§ “The word translated ‘homosexual’ in 1 Corinthians 6:9 only refers to male prostitutes.” [In reality, Paul uses a compound word taken from the Greek translation of Leviticus 18:22, which clearly prohibits “a man lying with a man, as with a woman.”]
Those arguments were not convincing twenty years ago, and they are still not convincing today. This is what led one gay scholar to admit recently that Christians who hope to find acceptance for homosexuality in the Bible are searching in vain.
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