I hold to Biblical Teachings!

I hold to Biblical Teachings!

third wayOn a friend’s FaceBook page I saw this comment written by a man in response to an article by Albert Mohler, (There Is No ‘Third Way’ — Southern Baptists Face a Moment of Decision (and so will you) This is a recent article about the Southern Baptists moving into another discussion about homosexuality.

“No decision to be made for me. I hold to the Biblical teachings that Homosexuality is an Abomination before God. No debate, no compromise, no double thinking, it’s just plain wrong and will never be accepted by my Value System no matter what any Church may say. They can turn their backs on the Word of God, but I never will!”

One thing that I’ve seen and find challenging is that there are so many diverse interpretations of what the bible says, and doesn’t say about homosexuality. There are now many, many books in circulation that seem to find passion, and yet difference in the way we look at homosexuality. Well-studied and wise men and women are changing their opinions based on further research and understanding.

This man has said, “I hold to biblical teachings on homosexuality”. Honestly, there are no biblical teachings on homosexual relationships, as we know them today, committed and faithful marriages. They just didn’t exist in the times when the bible was written. Rather there are biblical reflections on man/boy slavery, on temple shrine prostitution that are clearly revealing the culture of the day. But nothing specific that reflects our current culture regarding this very challenging and difficult issue.

To say one is unwavering, says one is not open to new understanding, or new awareness. Another statement he has made is that “they” have turned their backs on the word of God. I don’t see it this way at all! Many churches who have changed their positions on things throughout the years have deeply valued the word of God; therefore have continued to seek God’s wisdom and understanding. As they have done this, some find their perceptions have changed.

I would fear holding so fast to something that I am unwilling to continue to look deeper and wider into what it says and doesn’t say. To say one would be unwilling to change would mean slaves would still be considered biblical and women would still be seen as property because of the way that culture saw those issues at the time these words were written. Thankfully, there have been leaders of the faith who have been willing to change – going against the grain of the culture to their own demise. If we cannot change, then we don’t allow the Holy Spirit of God to move us closer to being like Christ and to understand further His heart for mankind.

This comment is an example of how fundamentalism is pushing people away from churches that are staid, unwilling to say “let’s look at this again” and truly open their hearts to God’s heart. Thankfully, there are communities of faith that are growing, searching, and open to the changing dynamics we are facing today.

The third way is to remain open to change, as scary as this is to do. The third way is to first consider loving God, loving each other as we love ourselves. The third way brings transformation, life, growth, depth of faith and community.

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3 Responses to “I hold to Biblical Teachings!”

  1. Chris McCrea says:

    6 months ago I asked one of my dearest friends to sit down with me and reconsider and re-review what the Bible does say about homosexuality. His answer was glib and dismissive: “I don’t want to talk about this subject anymore. I refuse to do violence to scripture.” Sadly, he has kept his word.

    What my friend suffers from, beyond the obvious fear and pride he might be wrong, is CONDITIONING. Which is precisely why we have multi-generations of believers who quickly dismiss gays as “abominations” yet have likely never given “those” scriptures 5 mins of their time to read in context or to study. Ultimately, it’s going to be the Holy Spirit to break through such conditioning, something that took Him 27 years and 20 years of marriage to break through with me.

  2. Scott Amundsen says:

    There are three relationships in the Bible that may or may not have been homoerotic but they were between people of the same sex and there was a deep love and devotion between them:

    David and Jonathan: When Jonathan first saw David, he literally stripped naked in front of him. Do the math.

    Ruth and Naomi: Probably not a sexual relationship; Ruth was after all Naomi’s daughter-in-law. But Ruth’s love and devotion for Naomi was so strong that the words she spoke when she declared her decision to stay with Naomi are often read at weddings (Whither thou goest, I will go, etc).

    The Centurion and his pais: “Pais” in koine Greek literally translates as boy and meant a servant or slave used for sexual purposes, a common arrangement in Rome at the time. But the Centurion’s anxiety over his servant’s illness when he asks Jesus to heal him certainly reads like the pleadings of a man in love for healing for his beloved.

    Jesus was many things, but He was not stupid. He would have been perfectly well aware of how things operated in Roman society and to suggest that He did not know the nature of the relationship is a naive reading of Scripture that overlooks the facts.

    Did Jesus tell the Centurion to cease his relationship with the young man? Did He throw Leviticus at him? Nope. He healed the servant on the spot and then He praised the Centurion for his faith.

    Taking Scripture at face value is often a dangerous and destructive business.

  3. Brian Hager says:

    These “so called” teachings are held to be “God’s Truth” and His “Instruction.” Sadly, the truth or instruction tends to be the opinion of one man or church and in order to find “acceptance” in “their eyes” you have to conform to their “opinion.” I keep hearing these people talk about truth as an objective body of “knowing” which they grasp and we must swallow it whole and the same, or we are banished from their presence.

    I am reminded of a passage in the Gospel of John 5:39:

    39″You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”

    Jesus said “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.” We all know how that gets used to beat “non-believers” over the head. Since my own conversion in the Fall of ‘93, I have walked my Faith (Relationship) with Jesus and learned the reality of that. His Life and Light show me the way each and every day. I also grow more and more aware of His presence in my soul with the passage of time. I am also aware that His indwelling in my soul has shown me that what is written in the Bible is not Instruction in the sense that your friend meant it, but is the witness of those believers who came before us as to their own walk with God. The sum of both Testaments reveals a maturing in Faith(as a relationship), not faith(as in an objective set of beliefs we must learn before God will allow us into Heaven). That is an entirely “childish” kindergarten way of relating to God. As adults, we must “…put the ways of childhood behind [us].” 1 Cor. 13:11

    Salve-ation is not the same as being saved by some divine “Life Guard.” The root word “salve” has the additional meaning of a “healing balm or ointment (a word we still use today for the same thing).” No, today I take salvation to mean the “healing and wholeness” God desires to lead me to. That healing and wholeness I find IN HIM. It is nothing like what Martin Luther describes of “grace” as God snowing on the dung heap to make us more acceptable to Him. Grace is nothing less than the entirety and wholeness of the Person of God – or the Trinity if you prefer.

    What then is the “instruction” I gain from Scripture. Like any story of one or another’s experience I find similarity and the knowledge that I am not alone and can receive the Unconditional Love of God as much as any other person. The LIE being spread these days, is that we must become like others to be acceptable and pleasing to God. Many Evangelicals keep putting the cart before the horse in their attempt to tell us we can stop “being gay.” The only way that COULD happen is by God’s Love working within our souls to bring about our healing and wholeness. Yet, after 40 years of praying, dating, therapy and Seminary to “Find” that healing, I am content with the reality I experience today, that God’s answer to me was NO. Like Paul, I’ve discovered that this is my truth; this is who I am and I find my Faith has been growing and maturing in ways I never thought possible since I Came Out.

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