I read an article on the Huffington Post by Cathleen Falsani called “Is Evangelical Christianity Having the Great Gay Awakening?” Cathleen, like many Christians, went through a period of time where she struggled over how to deal with how someone could be both gay and a professing Christian. Those two do not go together in the Christian community.
I can relate to her on the struggle with how to reconcile the Bible to personal feelings. It is not easy. I too have friends who are gay and still claim Christianity. We disagree on the issue of homosexuality and if it is acceptable to God. Like Cathleen I love them dearly, but loving someone does not mean I can condone something I consider is wrong. It saddens me that the natural progression of logic means that to love someone you can not take a stance against actions that you deem wrong.
When I started reading the article, I thought it was going to be another piece where a Christian tries to rationalize Jesus’ command to love one another and a directive to embrace homosexuality. I am used to those so those don’t phase me. What bothers me are those who are in leadership that twist scripture to fit their views. I am sure they feel the same way about people like me, who could be taking the verses out of context for our views.
Jim Bakker is one of those who help her with the stance with homosexuality.
Bakker, who is straight and divorced, crafts his argument using the same “clobber scriptures” (as he calls them) that are so often wielded to condemn homosexuals.
“The simple fact is that Old Testament references in Leviticus do treat homosexuality as a sin … a capital offense even,” Bakker writes. “But before you say, ‘I told you so,’ consider this: Eating shellfish, cutting your sideburns and getting tattoos were equally prohibited by ancient religious law.
“The truth is that the Bible endorses all sorts of attitudes and behaviors that we find unacceptable (and illegal) today and decries others that we recognize as no big deal.”
Leviticus prohibits interracial marriage, endorses slavery and forbids women to wear trousers. Deuteronomy calls for brides who are found not to be virgins to be stoned to death, and for adulterers to be summarily executed.
“The church has always been late,” Bakker told me in an interview this week. “We were late on slavery. We were late on civil rights. And now we’re late on this.”
Examining the original Greek words translated as “homosexual” and “homosexuality” in three New Testament passages, Bakker (and others) conclude that the original words have been translated inaccurately in modern English.
Bakker does not help people by comparing homosexuality to eating shellfish, sideburns, or tattoos. The former was punishable by death while the others resulted in the person being deemed unclean and with a way for the offender to become clean again. Homosexuality was declared an abomination for all people while the others are seen as detestable for the tribe of Israel. It is wrong to compare apples and oranges and say they are the same. His views give people a false since of security that homosexuality is ok.
Homosexuality being translated incorrectly is an argument that is not even embraced by the whole LGBT community. It appears to be a new attempt to shift the focus from homosexuality where “love” is involved to an act of prostitution, which society is more likely to oppose. If this is a misinterpretation, where is the evidence to support it? Why have the leading Greek scholars not saying that oops we have been wrong on this issue?
Historically, we can see where loving homosexual relationships were condoned and practiced by other groups. The Egyptians had lesbian marriages before the time that the Law was given. Both Greek and Romans practiced before and up to the time when the letters from Paul was written. The concept of a loving and committed homosexual relationship is not new despite claims to the contrary. The Bible still speaks out against them though.
If you want to embrace homosexuality as society is embracing it, that is fine. Please do not use the Bible to condone it though.