Justin Lee of the The Gay Christian Network has an excellent article on why God blesses same-sex marriages. Yet someone who uses the Bible to support a certain issue, should be consistent in his exegesis.
# Should he include verse 11?
Among others, he discusses the very contentious 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 passage: ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived [don’t believe lies]: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers not male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.’ In his attempt to explain away the offence of ‘male prostitutes and homosexual offenders,’ he leaves out the verse that follows.
Verse 11 says, ‘And that is what some of you were [referring to 9&10]. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.’ It means that some of the members of the church in Corinth came out of sinful lifestyles, but they were changed by the powerful blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
# Did the Holy Spirit err?
Why does Mr Lee not give the same amount of attention to verse 11 as he does to verses 9 &10? Is it only to ‘justify’ same sex marriages? Does he insinuate that the Holy Spirit erred because He didn’t know that the ‘homosexual offenders’ refers to a Greek Roman problem in ancient times?
# Does the Bible misrepresent God’s design of marriage?
Scripture is very ‘one-sided’ when it discusses marriage. Ephesians 5:22-33 bases the marriage relationship on Jesus the Bridegroom and His Bride, the Church. Husband and wife are a shadow or reflection of Jesus and the Church. Colossians 3:18-19 and 1 Peter 3:1-7 also mention only male/female marriages. Does that mean the Bible misrepresents the truth because it doesn’t include same-sex marriages?
# Should we absolve all the offenders in the list?
If you are consistent, what about the idolaters, adulterers, thieves, swindlers, et cetera, in the 1 Corinthians 6 list? Does the passage mean what it says, or is a thief not a thief, or an adulterer something else?
If you begin to chop and change Scripture and don’t check with other passages that discuss the same issue, you make the Bible a useless guide to the Kingdom of God. So why refer to the Bible at all?
4 thoughts on “God and same sex marriage”
Thank you so much for this valuable post. I especially liked your conclusion:
“If you begin to chop and change Scripture and don’t check with other passages that discuss the same issue, you make the Bible a useless guide to the Kingdom of God. So why refer to the Bible at all?”
There is this letter circulating around the Internet, with questions concerning some passages in the Scripture, that has been bothering me for some time. I checked the passages, and they match the quotes in the said letter. Perhaps you could help me find a good answer to the author (authors) of the letter (see text below)?
Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.
a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?
i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.
Michael, thank you for sending it to us. I trust you won’t mind if we answer it on the blog. It is a very important issue and some short pat answer will not suffice. Blessings.
Not at all. Don’t want to overburden you, so I really don’t mind if you answer in parts. The big theme is still the same – what to do when parts of the Scripture are rather odd, when taken too literally and how do we know which parts are to be taken literally and which are not.