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Read Adam’s thought provoking post

The Bible & Homosexuality: Enough with the Bible Already — pomomusings

…If it is truly the Bible that is causing some to hold these discriminatory beliefs, then perhaps we need to set the Bible aside for awhile. Perhaps we need to not construct a belief system about LGBT folk built on the foundation of a couple verses in scripture. Perhaps that isn’t healthy, fair, just or Christian.

Christians have a history of using the Bible as a weapon (this is a bit of a caricature - but probably not far from the truth). Whether being used to condone slavery, oppress women or support wars, it’s clear the Bible has been misused by many [insert here accusations that I as well am misusing the Bible with my hope for acceptance of LGBT folk]. When the Bible becomes used as a weapon, as a tool for discrimination, as a way in which people can justify beliefs of hatred and injustice - one has to think and wonder if we haven’t gone horribly wrong somewhere.

For some, I believe the Bible has become an idol. Some place the Bible above Jesus’ compassion and love, Jesus’ radical inclusivity, and hold steadfast onto what they believe to be the correct interpretation of a small amount of verses that speak about same-sex relations. To those who repeatedly start quoting Leviticus and Romans verses as soon as anyone brings up the topic of homosexuality, I’d suggest perhaps you stick your Bible back up on the shelf for awhile. Perhaps it should collect a little bit of dust. And maybe, just maybe, you need to go out and grab coffee with someone who’s gay. Maybe you need to hear their story, learn about what they’ve been through, how they’ve experienced Christians and the church.

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  1. Ryan Wiksell — December 15, 2008 #

    I agree with you that the Bible has become an idol, and I agree with you that is misused in many ways… weaponry among them.

    But it is ridiculous to say that we should consider putting aside the Bible if it has led us to a discriminatory belief.

    1) Who told us that a belief that homosexual sex is wrong is discriminatory? How is it different from believing any other type of behavior is wrong? Are we discriminating against the obese to believe that gluttony is wrong? Or against the Irish to believe that alcoholism is wrong? (I am part Irish.) Where does it stop?

    The Bible will always lose when the foundation of thought is placed elsewhere.

    2) Even if we agree upon the virtue of avoiding discrimination, who’s to say that a belief against homosexual sex must always lead to discriminatory behavior? This is a non-sequitir that has developed from the rash expressions of fundamentalist zealots. I have lots of friends who commit lots of sins (myself included.) Why would a belief that homosexual sex is wrong cause me to discriminate against my gay friends, while a belief that greed is wrong does not alienate me from my rich friends?

    3) Compassion cannot come about with a wave of the hand. We must live with our eyes wide open to the way God designed life to be lived, and not lived, in order to be the kind of friends people need us to be. This was the essence of Jesus’ compassion… grounded in God’s reality, not merely in a soft word and a pat on the head.

  2. Mak — December 15, 2008 #

    I think you made the point for Adam :) How do you live out your belief that homosexual sex is wrong? My guess is that you don’t have homosexual sex yourself. Beyond that, do you continue to live in love and compassion making friends with gay people and getting to know them on a personal level?

  3. Mak — December 15, 2008 #

    by the way, Hi Ryan, haven’t seen you in awhile - hope life as a pastor is treating you well

  4. Mak — December 15, 2008 #

    also, to answer your question - if you suggested that obese people shouldn’t be ordained or that obese people shouldn’t be able to lead church ministries or marry other obese people then I would buy your argument more.

    But as it is, you DON’T see homosexuality as the same as gluttony so yes, actually, your views on homosexuality ARE discriminatory. Now, you certainly have the right to believe gays shouldn’t have the same rights/privileges as straights but call a spade a spade…you’re discriminating based on your chosen interpretation of certain things as “sin”…just like we all do … this just happens to NOT be something I choose to discriminate on the basis of.

  5. Ryan Wiksell — December 16, 2008 #

    I don’t believe I’ve supported Adam’s point that we should put the Bible aside, as if it has somehow betrayed us.

    If an obese person wanted to be a leader, but they proudly identified themselves as an overeater, and believed and taught that his excess was not offensive to God, but pleasing (or at least neutral) to him, then I would not recommend him for leadership.

    Same goes with homosexual behavior. If a person struggles with it, I would consider them for leadership on the same basis as anyone who struggles with any sin. If a person is struggling desperately against a particular sin, and losing most of the time, it is probably not the best time in their life to lead others spiritually, no matter what the sin is. If their struggle is on an upward path, then I would consider them for leadership, no matter what the sin is.

    I believe homosexual sex is wrong, and yet I don’t believe that I am discriminatory against those who practice it. One thing to note is that, although homosexuality is not a “special” sin in my mind, it is particularly egregious and rebellious to attach one’s identity to a sinful behavior, and to tout it openly in society. Once again, this goes for ANY sin, and it is something that I could become as well, if I do not keep my heart always pointed towards God.

    Hopefully that explanation is a little clearer.

    And just so you know… I’m doing quite well, thanks for asking. Hate to wait until a topic like this to pop my head up again. :-)

  6. Mak — December 16, 2008 #

    obviously we just disagree on this issue - but my point remains, regardless of your feelings about homosexuality, the way you treat gays should still be the same as the way I treat gays (in the grand scheme).

    you chose to wait till this topic to pop up so you obviously didn’t hate it too much ;)

  7. Ryan Wiksell — December 19, 2008 #

    No, I really do hate it. I liked it when I used to be more involved in people’s blogs on a regular basis.

    And I honestly do believe that you and I treat gays the same. The only difference might come down to when a gay friend and I are having a serious conversation, in which it’s obvious that he trusts me and wants my help.

    I have actually declined to answer questions to the media about my views on homosexuality, saying that it’s really a topic that’s best handled in private conversation.

    And, apparently, blogs.


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