Seminary Paper 2: Homosexuality and the Bible

As a preface to this post, please read this one, to understand the position I’m writing from.

I put off posting this paper because I know how contentious it is (and even painful for some.) Its a complicated topic, that has not been represented well by the Christian community. Some might be surprised to learn that Jesus apparently said nothing on the topic — that’s certainly a far-cry from the far right, conservative position on the subject! At any rate, I don’t post this for flame bait, but in the spirit of respectful discussion and an earnest desire to uncover what the Bible really says about this. Personally, I lean toward a more conservative viewpoint, but after doing the research for this paper, and finding decades of spiteful vitriol spewed by very un-Biblical Christian leaders on this topic, I can’t help but view the other side of the debate in a more empathetic light. Here’s my conclusion — or you can read the whole paper here.

If the church fathers have maintained a well-documented position for 2000 years, the church of today would do well to pay heed to that legacy. Certainly homosexuality is not a new concern, and if intelligent, Godly men have poured over what scripture we have on the subject and concluded that homosexual tendency is a sin to be conquered, then Christians have a duty to reach out to those lost in that sin, meet them humbly as fellow, fallen human beings, and demonstrate the love that Christ commanded of us.

If, however, the church leaders of centuries past lacked information, or staunchly defended a viewpoint that is intellectually and scripturally questionable – and there is certainly historical precedent for human error and bias affecting church positions – then that love and humility must remain applicable. We have to acknowledge that there are certain topics on which we lack literal divine instruction, and not stand in the way of those who would come to our Father’s throne holding an opinion different from our own!

However distasteful our view of a specific sin is, God leaves no margin for interpretation when He says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23), that all sin is abhorrent to God (Jas 2:10), and that each of us is entirely dependent on His grace (Eph 2:8) and changed by His redemptive work (Phil 1:6). What right have we, who through no work of our own, having been saved by love, to tell fellow sinners that they are undeserving of that love?

Wherever an individual Christian lands on the debate about homosexuality, thank God it is not our place to judge. (John 8:7). Rather it is the duty of every believer to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). Those of us touched by this subject, either personally, or through family or friends wrestling with a reality that even conservatives estimate to impact up to 10% of the population , would do well to study scripture prayerfully, read the opposing viewpoints, and resolve before God to act, think, speak and welcome in love anyone who would look to us, the church and the body of Christ, for guidance and friendship. We are called to be a light in the darkness, not flame throwers.

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One thought on “Seminary Paper 2: Homosexuality and the Bible

  1. I always like when translations are taken as far back as possible (such as to the original Greek). Good two-sided argument, Jon. What did the TA think of THIS one?

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