Conservative and progressive Christians can’t help but harangue and holler at each other about homosexuality. The conservatives troll on the progressives’ sites, telling them they’re going to hell. The progressives troll on the conservatives’ sites, telling them they are going to hell, figuratively. (Progressives don’t believe in hell, so they scorch the conservatives with invective.)
Neither side seems likely to budge, so let me break the stalemate: The fundamentalists are right when they say the Bible is against homosexuality. Duh. It’s a thoroughly heterosexual book. It assumes heterosexuality. All the alternative interpretations that progressive Christians offer, people like Matthew Vines, are really tortured and fundamentally flawed.
The Bible says what it says. “Abomination” means abomination—that it turns God’s stomach. Likewise, Paul meant it when he said homosexuals couldn’t get into heaven.
Now before you pop an artery, hear me out. Sit back down. I’m not saying God hates homosexuality. I have no idea what God thinks of homosexuality or if He even gives it a nanosecond of mental energy. (One would think He has bigger fish to fry.) No one knows. I’m saying the men who wrote the Bible hated homosexuals. What we call “scripture” is just men putting their opinions into the mouth of God.
Think about it. Isn’t much more likely that Paul thought about homosexuality what he had been taught to think growing up in a conservative Jewish household—that it should be punishable by death? He would just ditch all that when he became a Christian?
Likewise, Paul would abandon everything he learned growing up about women’s role in society when he became a Christian? I’ve heard the arguments of progressive Christians who say that conservative Christians are actually mis-interpreting Paul on this matter. As with their arguments about gays, they don’t hold water.
Once again, the Bible says what it says.
Why would God tell the ancient Israelites that homosexuality was an “abomination” if He knew they were going to misunderstand the word and wrongly persecute homosexuals, which they did? Why would God inspire Paul to tell wives to submit and women not to teach if he knew that the early church would misunderstand Paul and subjugate women, which they did?
Seems like a screwy way for God to get His point across.
That’s just it. God doesn’t speak through humans—at least, not clearly, reliably, and unmistakably. We all know that’s the case, don’t we? That’s how God “speaks” to us, isn’t it?
I mean, we get “impressions,” or we “feel God is leading us in that direction,” or a certain verse “speaks to us”—but never any specifics. Certainly nothing remotely like, “Here are my point-by-point opinions on various sexual endeavors.” That’s not how God acts. God acts incrementally and imperceptibly, to the extent He acts at all. Consider the Grand Canyon. It took a hell of a long time to make that happen. The Grand Canyon was fashioned grain by grain as the waters ever so slowly wore away the cliffs.
That’s how God talks to us—and that’s how He talked to the men who wrote the Bible, to the extent He talked at all.
A nudge here. An inkling there. Two steps forward and one step back. Our greatest learnings are from our mistakes, those times when we just knew we were right. To the extent God is actually working, we’re not aware of it. It’s like the coastline sloughing off into the ocean.
C’mon. Be honest.
We have to admit that God isn’t giving us clear instructions. That’s not the way He works. The Bible isn’t God’s word. Really, what’s the Bible if not an admission that God doesn’t talk to us. He was silent, so we came up with the idea that he “inspired” certain special people to write out his thoughts. What we call dogma is the best guesses of men, who are usually trying to prop up the status quo.
The truth is we’re left to our own devices. Unreligious folks have no problem with that. Most of them long ago arrived at the conclusion that there’s nothing “sinful” about homosexuality—mainly because the homosexuals they’ve come to know are so . . . normal. Religious folks just can’t think freely like that. They have to know what God thinks about every bloody last thing—and that’s going to be the undoing of religion.
If the church is going to survive, it’s going to have to drop the idea of revelation in general and the devotion to the Bible in particular. We need a dogma-less religion—a religion devoted to mystery, not certainty. God isn’t the problem with religion. Truth is. Christianity will fold unless it admits it doesn’t know what God thinks—about anything. Starting with homosexuality and women’s rights would be a great way to show they’ve seen the error of their ways and are ready to make a fresh start.
If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to my blog? It’s free and in return I’ll send you the first two chapters of my novel, A Danger to God Himself, for free. Click here to subscribe. Meanwhile, feel free to use the little share buttons below to share this post with your friends