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Clobbering “Biblical” Gay Bashing

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 9, 2012

Clobbering “Biblical” Gay Bashing –.

This is a very long blog my girlfriend pointed me to dealing with Christianity and Biblical Hatefulness. No matter where you stand on the matter of Christianity and homosexuality, it should prove to be an interesting read. I’d encourage everyone to approach it with an open mind.

For what it’s worth, I grew up in a very strict Protestant home and was taught that homosexuality was a terrible sin. Yet, I have had gay friends since age 13, virtually all of whom I’m convinced God loves as much as he loves me. I have long struggled with my own accepting views regarding homosexuality versus the intolerance ingrained within me from an early age. It’s been difficult, as I can see both sides to some degree, I think….

This blog goes a long way toward answering some of my own questions and dilemmas and it may for anyone reading this as well. For instance, gay Christians have long argued that the notion Sodom was obliterated by God due to homosexuality is a misinterpreted viewpoint. Yet, I struggled with that. God’s (few) words on the subject seemed fairly clear to me, as much as I disliked them.

I’m going to go off subject for a moment, but it will serve as a preface to my main point. My ex was Jewish. She was vehement in her derision of Christians as posers who pick and choose what to believe or discard in the Old Testament. She asserted that God said he does not change multiple times throughout the Bible, and he does. So if that’s true, why can Christians eat shrimp and Jews can’t. Aren’t the Jews following God’s law? This has always proven difficult for me, even with Christians explaining that Jesus (and Paul, sort of…) somehow did away with the old law, and brought a new one into the world. I seemed to somehow agree with her, at times, that you can’t have it both ways, that it’s one or the other — either you follow all of God’s laws, or you follow none, as there’s no point.

Now to this blog. This blog argues a number of things, but it seems to rest its primary argument in the not-too-new notion that these people writing Leviticus 3,000+ years ago knew nothing of sexual orientation, knew only of ensuring that man’s “seed” be treated properly to propagate the Jewish race in its fight for survival. More importantly, the writer strikes right at my main issue — we DO eat shrimp these days! We no longer stone disobedient children to death. We no longer have concubines, nor are we polygamous. We cut our sideburns and beards. Clearly, then, Christianity has moved beyond these stringent laws that Leviticus and the Old Testament gave us, and if we view these as laws to be thrown out because they no longer apply, so too the infrequent mention of homosexuality as a probable sin. What kind of sense does it make to judge gay people (judge not lest ye be judged) of committing grievous sins, when everything else that was a sin back then has been thrown out the window? Am I right? It seems like a very compelling argument to me.

I just gave a brief glimpse into this blog post by Mark Sandlin. Please read it for yourselves, and consider reading the hundreds of comments too. Interesting topic. Well thought out piece, with Biblical citations, and overall, well written. After reading this, I feel like the tension I’ve long felt regarding Christianity versus homosexuality, and by default, my homosexual friends, many of whom are professing Christians, to have been diminished a great deal. This was a nice eye opener for me. Feel free to leave any comments you might have on the topic. Please be polite though. I know it’s a touchy subject for many, but no need to get worked up about it here. Thanks.

6 Responses to “Clobbering “Biblical” Gay Bashing”

  1. Nearly every person who acknowledges an aversion to homosexuality does so on the basis of what he or she believes the Bible has to say. In their mind, there is no doubt whatsoever about what the Bible says and what the Bible means. Their general argument goes something like this: Homosexuality is an abomination and the homosexual is a sinner. Homosexuality is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, if we are to be faithful to the clear teachings of Scripture we too must condemn homosexuality. Needless to say, this premise is being widely debated among evangelicals today and seriously challenged by biblical scholars, theologians and religious leaders everywhere.

    It rarely occurs to any of us that our reading of Scripture is profoundly colored by our own cultural context and worldview. In light of your post above and since I happen to speak and write on this very topic, I thought you might find some of the posts here of particular interest (link below). Feel free to surf the “Archives” page as well.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    Like

    • Thanks Alex. I’ll look forwarding to surfing through your archives. Cheers!

      Like

    • If our reading of Scripture that homosexuality is wrong is coloured by our cultural context and worldview, why is it that pretty well all Christians of all ages and cultures have agreed that homosexuality is wrong?

      It seems that the Christians who deny that homosexuality is wrong have a very low view of the Bible and/or an unorthodox theology that leads them to believe that the moral law was abolished along with the ceremonial law with the advent of Jesus. Historical Christianity has always affirmed that homosexuality is a sin as taught in both the Old and the New Testaments.

      Thoughts?

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      • Laodeciapress:

        You ask: “Why is it that pretty well all Christians of all ages and cultures have agreed that homosexuality is wrong?”

        Me: “Agreed” (past tense) perhaps might be the operative word here. One might also ask why over 2,000 years of Christian history, we Christians have found “proof” in our Bibles that the world is only 6,000 years old, that light-skinned people are superior to dark-skinned people, that slavery “was established by decree of Almighty God,” that the sun revolves around the earth (rather than the other way around), that women and blacks should not be allowed to vote, that interracial marriage is wrong, that women should not be allowed to preach, teach or wear lipstick, that anti-Semitism is biblically supported, and the list goes on and on.

        They were all convinced that they had the Bible on their side and that their understanding of the Bible was self-evidently correct. They all had substantial support too from many other like-minded Christians. But most of us now think they were interpreting the Bible wrongly and making serious mistakes as a result, mistakes which led to fanaticism, persecution and even war.

        If your convictions exclude, minimize or demean another human being or a whole class of people, who are created in the image of God, then you may need to rethink your convictions and belief basis.

        As to your erroneous charge that “Christians who deny that homosexuality is wrong have a very low view of the Bible and/or an unorthodox theology,” I would strongly suggest you read some of the posts I suggested (link below). Feel free to surf the “Archives “page as well. You might be surprised to discover just how utterly mistaken you actually are.

        -Alex Haiken
        http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

        Like

        • I’ll agree that the Bible has been improperly used to support false beliefs throughout history. However, Orthodox Christianity allows the Bible to speak for itself rather than imposing a foreign view upon it. If an argument for the sinlessness of homosexuality exists that allows the Bible to speak in its historical, natural, and general context, I would be very interested to see it.

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        • Laodeciapress

          It is true that orthodox Christianity does not impose “a foreign view upon” the biblical text. However, the way to ensure one doesn’t impose a foreign view on the text is to employ the established rules of responsible biblical exegesis. Exegesis, which you might now, comes from the Greek verb which means “to draw out.” It is about drawing out from the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading into the text the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it.

          The question we always have to be asking is: What’s going on here? The reader today must somehow try to enter the world of the biblical writer and seek to understand what the writer was saying. If we fail to pay attention to the world in which the Bible was written, we will simply read biblical texts, infuse them with meaning from our social and symbolic world and conclude that the Bible speaks directly to us.

          In contrast to this, what many do instead — and I submit you one of the guilty offenders — is what some theologians refer to as “frontloading”, that is to say, they read their own personal, political or ideological beliefs back into the Bible, instead of reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying. This process of reading one’s own ideas into interpretation of the Bible is called “eisegesis”. Exegesis and eisegesis are conflicting approaches to interpreting the Bible. Why? Exegesis is reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying. Eisegesis is reading one’s own ideas and prejudices back into the Bible. Exegesis is about getting out of the text what is truly there in the first place. Eisegesis is about putting into the text something never intended by the author.

          Either you can exegetically support your doctrinal position on this matter or you cannot. Increasing numbers of evangelicals, Bible scholars, theologians and others working in good faith and out in the open are discovering that when these few passages are examined more closely and in context, that your doctrinal position on this is exegetically unsupportable. However, if you’ve got some solid biblical exegesis to support your position, bring it. Otherwise, you’re just running off at the mouth with nothing to back it up. My exegesis stands in approx 30 posts that I’ve provided a link to. Where’s yours?

          What happens when we ignore the historical context of Scripture? As the old time radio teacher, Dr. J. Vernon Magee, used to say, “A text without a context is a pretext.” The dictionary defines a pretext as, “An effort or strategy intended to conceal something.” In other words, unless you consider the context of Scripture — I mean the entire context including the historical setting — you are, purposely or not, engaging in a strategy to conceal the teachings of the Bible.

          -Alex Haiken
          http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

          Like

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