Newsweek Article on Gay Marriage...Some Thoughts
Here is the article - Our Mutual Joy: Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.
A couple of things to notice at the outset along with a few disclaimers.
- The Christian view of sin involves everyone--not just a group of 'really bad' people. It is shockingly egalitarian in this regard. What this means is that God does not 'really dislike' homosexuality, but thinks that heterosexual adultery is a little better because it is at least 'normal.' All people are broken and in need of restoration--we just express our brokenness differently. That is why we need a savior and teacher named Jesus. The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
- When interpreting the Bible, context is crucial. Unfortunately, the context of the passages cited in the Newsweek article were not developed. The Bible, largely narrative, describes many events and practices that God does not endorse. For example, Israel is not the ideal community if God could start from scratch without sin, dysfunction , rebellion, etc. Israel was a group of people who were broken, and God chose to start the work of restoration through them. So it is not surprising to see Abraham, a fallen broken person like the rest of us, blow it and have a lack of faith in God's promise to provide a son and thus sleep with a servant. The point is that God in his grace and mercy can even work through that ti bring about his purposes. So, in this conversation it is critical to understand the context of a passage, the cultural setting, and remember that God is working with a broken people whom he has give significant moral freedom to.
- Christians are not against gays. Followers of Christ are called to love all people in various states brokenness, because God loves them. It is not an us verses them. But love does not entail that we affirm our own or everyone Else's desires. Love is willing the other's highest good. And if Scripture is true, then in the area of sexuality, God designed it to flourish under certain conditions. Truth does not evaporate, but rather informs love.
- We need to have this conversation in a civil manner. How we have the conversation matters.
The first is Darrell Bock's blog here and here.
also Stand to Reason, here. Listen to Podcast on it here.
from STR (below):
Interesting that the news weekly has gone into the theology business of biblical interpretation instead of simply reporting on what religious people believe and have done. In order to respond to the case Miller lays out, you have to first reconstruct the argument.
The argument in the story goes like this:
1. Opponents of same-sex marriage argue that we should follow the Bible’s definition of marriage.
2. But there is no clear biblical definition of marriage because variations abound in Scripture. Therefore, this argument fails.
3. The real reason religious conservatives are against same-sex marriage is they oppose homosexuality, a position they also think is biblical. But this is highly dubious. Biblical verses against homosexuality have probably been misunderstood or have been misapplied in our more modern, enlightened era.
4. However, there is an enduring principle in the Bible that can come to our aid to properly inform Bible believers on the right response to the question of same-sex marriage: the principle of love, inclusion, and community as family.
5. Therefore, the proper biblical response to same-sex marriage is to support it, because this would be consistent with love, inclusion, and expanding the definition of family to include more in our community.
There are three steps of critical thinking to evaluate the case Newsweek offers. Ask:
1. What do they want you to believe?
2. What are the reasons they offer in support of this idea they want you to believe?
3. Are the reasons good ones?