It has become apparent to me as I’ve continued to research and study scripture, that from an initial glance, there seems to be potentially plausible explanations for how homosexual monogamous committed relationships can be reconcilable with scripture. However, is that really enough? For me to feel like I can embrace this stance, I would need to come to discover the following:
1. Arguments exist that are not just plausible, but just as convincing, if not more so, than traditional church interpretation.
Upon initial examination, I’ve quickly come to the conclusion that there are indeed logical, realistic arguments and explanations that help one understand the various references to homosexuality in a positive light – either through word study, contextualization, or perspective shift.
As I continue to weigh the two ‘sides’ arguments against each other, I want to be able to objectively see how the gay-affirmative stance holds as much weight, if not more than the traditional stance. I sincerely desire to seek God’s will regarding this subject as it will have a direct and powerful impact on future life decisions. I want to live my life in good conscience knowing that I’m continuing to earnestly seek God’s face and am living in light of those convictions that come from an attitude of open honesty before God.
2. As I talk to other Christians, friends, and family, about what I’m discovering on this subject, some of them are persuaded by the evidence. And even if they aren’t, they still recognize the validity of Gay-Affirmation as a legitimate scriptural perspective.
While this point isn’t absolutely necessary for my personal convictions, I understand that I will come under constant questioning and even attack from close friends and family. I realize that I am a fallible human with a very non-objective desire as it pertains to this subject. If these arguments really hold their own ground, it would stand to reason that my discerning friends and family (if they were able to set aside their prior bias) would also recognize the validity of a positive stance regarding homosexuality and the Bible.
I’m extremely paranoid that in my study of this subject that I might just be attempting to rationalize a obviously forbidden behavior by ‘twisting’ scripture to say what I want it to say. That’s the last thing that I want to do. I want the evidence to testify for itself.
3. I must discover a body of respectable believers and elders exist who also come to this conclusion. ie: there is a substantial, credible Christian witness.
Almost every person that I go to when I want a better understanding of scripture and the gospel come to the same conclusion with regard to homosexuality – that it is not God’s original intent and is in fact a broken, perverted desire that must be repressed and rebuked. If one identifies as Gay, he/she is called to a life of celibacy. This is the stance Redeemer takes as well as all the speakers I listen to and read including John Piper, D.A. Carson, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, R.C. Sproul, and so forth. On the converse, most of the the theologians and biblical leaders who do come to an affirming stance on homosexuality also seem to take great liberties with the rest of their theology as well – questioning things that I consider to be foundational to the Gospel itself. Among these are the emergent church leaders.
I am gradually beginning to discover a few Biblical leaders who I respect but they’re definitely difficult to find. It seems that an affirming view of homosexuality and liberal theology typically go hand in hand. But not in all cases… and I am trying to find this exception – theologians who are still orthodox in biblical studying/applying methods, yet still come to a positive conclusion as far as homosexuality is concerned. Currently, I’m checking out a few speakers/authors to get a better grasp on how ‘legit’ they are. So far, my list is comprised of Justin Lee (Gay Christian Network), Mel White (Soul Force), and Jeff Miner (Pastor of an MCC church in Indiana).
4. Like anything else, it must stand the course of time. As I run various situations against this frame of biblical understanding, it continues to maintain integrity. This understanding of homosexuality would directly alter my worldview… and have widespread implications. What are those implications? Can I accept those implications as well?
What do I mean by implications? Let me explain. A simple example would be the marriage allegory. I’m so familiar with hearing how the Body of Christ represents the unfaithful bride, and the groom represents Christ (see Hosea and elsewhere). How does this allegory apply to same sex relationships? Does it make the allegory void of meaning… ? or perhaps the allegory doesn’t apply across the board, as after all, often its the groom who is unfaithful. I feel that accepting homosexual relationships as a norm has widespread implications that will alter (perhaps in minor ways, but more likely in major) our understanding of other scriptural situations, as well as man/woman interaction in general. What about the understanding that woman was made as man’s helper, indeed his complement? Studies reveal that men and women are psychologically different… and somehow the two together make a more cohesive functioning unit. What happens to that theory? Gender roles are in danger of being thrown out along with basic things like chivalry and what I’ve understood to be biblical masculinity. But then, perhaps that’s a bit drastic. Perhaps nothing really changes whatsoever at all… Lets just say, this is something that requires a lot more thought. While this last question doesn’t drive the discussion, it should certainly contribute. I’d like to believe that life and scripture’s description of it is like a well crafted plot written by an intelligent playwright. Where things tie together. Simple observable things within creation serve to illustrate more complex ideas about humanity.