Last night, I was handed a list of Bible passages that present an argument against homosexuality. Without going too much into it what I was most troubled by was the spirit in which this list was presented. It was given to me from a conservative evangelical who truly believes that “our” (I use that loosely) role within the homosexual dialogue is to point out sin and exclusion from heaven. On top of this, it was clear that the purpose of this list was to warn me of not judging homosexuals and telling them to follow Jesus (which again assumes that you can not be gay and a Christian – another point I disagree with) and how I will end up in hell.
It’s hard to even know where to begin. First of all, the fact that you have to list six random “verses” that each either condemn me or my friends in the GLBQT community says a lot about you and less about me. Anyone can pick six random passages and back up nearly anything. I mean it, try it out it’s kind of fun! Why is it that this type of Biblical interpretation is ok? It completely assumes selective literalism and completely ignores cultural, para-cultural, trans-cultural considerations for interpretation of any and all Scripture. It also is fairly arrogant to assume that your presuppositions are somehow better than my own.
Secondly, this use of Scripture is antithetical to how Christ himself used it. Often, Jesus referred to the Torah to enhance, qualify or symbolize what he was addressing. He was also using it (for the most part) to a group of people who’ve already memorized Torah so they understood these references. He also generally would use them to only condemn the religious piety of his day. When he would snap, it was usually against the Sanhedrin. He was also called names and threatened by the very leaders who he’d condemn. He hung out with ragamuffins, drunks, lepers, prostitutes, fisherman and so on. So, even if you assume that homosexuality is “sinful,” why is that many Christians just distance themselves in stead of doing what Jesus did and hang out with them?
Another point that bothered me was that much of the passages that were written out for me were so clearly interpreted and the person inserted their own bent. After reading each passage in multiple versions, the interpretation that was written out simply doesn’t appear in the Bible.
I believe that the GLBQT community has become the lepers of our day. They’ve been demonized. They are the rejected, the marginalized, the unwanted from our contemporary Christian culture. We’ve allowed slander, prejudice, hatred, mis-information, discomfort to guide our practices and policies. No matter your stance on this “issue,” clearly this is a terrible place to start and to end. Shouldn’t we start with love and end with love? Shouldn’t our practice be to include rather than exclude? Shouldn’t our hearts resonate with those being left out, and ring with justice??