Recently Read

In preparation for our upcoming forum on homosexuality I’m reading a lot on the topic. Here are just a few quotes I found interesting. All italics are original with the author.

From Torn by Justin Lee

“But suppose two people loved each other with all their hearts, and they wanted to commit themselves to each other in the sight of God—to love, honor, and cherish; to selflessly serve and encourage one another; to serve God together; to be faithful for the rest of our lives. If they were of the opposite sexes, we would call that holy and beautiful and something to celebrate. But if we changed only one thing—the gender of one of those individuals—while still keeping the same love and selflessness and commitment, suddenly many Christians would call it abominable and condemned to hell. As I read and reread Romans 13:8-10, I couldn’t find any way to reconcile that view with what Paul tells us sin is. If every commandment can be summed up in the rule to love one another, then either gay couples were the one exception to this rule, and Paul was wrong—or my church had made a big mistake.” (205-6)

From Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill (quoting theologian Robert Jenson)

“After all is said and done, Scripture is brutally clear about homoerotic practice: it is a moral disaster for anyone, just as adultery is a crime for anyone. . . . Of course, every mandate of the law is harder on some, with their predilections, than on others with theirs. In this fallen world, that is always true of law, divine or human. Does God’s law then mandate frustration for those unattracted or repelled by the opposite sex? I fear it does, just as, given the fall, each of us, with his or her predilections, will be blocked by God’s law in some painful—perhaps deeply painful—way.” (65)

From Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin

“It’s not the job of Christians to convict the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender] community. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. It’s not the job of Christians to judge the GLBT community. That’s God’s job. It’s the job of Christians to love the GLBT community in a way that is tangible, measurable and unconditional—whether we see our version of ‘change’ happening or not!” (108)

From Ex-gays? by Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse

“This brokenness also entails a loss of sure more sensitivity through our own capabilities; we are not only twisted in our experience and our sexuality (and all other areas of life too!) but in our capacity to know what is true and good as well. This is crucial: our sinful brokenness not only impairs our ability to be as good as we should, but also impairs our desire to be good and even our ability to see and understand what is good. Not only do we fail to be good; we also do not fully desire good or even recognize good. It is for this reason that explicit moral boundaries are placed on sexual behavior by God’s commands itself. God does not leave moral guidance to our instincts or intuitions, but he rather left an objective record, his instructions, of how he desires us to live in the form of written divine revelation.” (52-53)

From God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines

“I have not been able to find any Christian writings prior to the twentieth century that acknowledge that lifelong celibacy is the necessary outcome for those who are incapable of heterosexual attraction. Instead, all Christian writings before the past century that mention same-sex behavior carry this implicit assumption: even if some people are more tempted by same-sex relations than others, no one is exclusively oriented toward members of the same sex. This means that the church’s explicit requirement that gay Christians commit to lifelong celibacy is new. And while some argue that we cannot allow experience to lead us to new understandings of Scripture, our forefathers have done so. Christians made remarkable shifts in their understanding regarding Gentiles, slaves, and the place of the earth in relation to the sun. And as we are about to see, the new information we have about sexual orientation actually requires us to reinterpret Scripture no matter what stance we take on same-sex relationships. If non-affirming Christians choose to maintain their interpretation of the Bible on homosexuality, they will have to change their interpretation on something else: celibacy.” (41)


About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This entry was posted in Ethics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Recently Read

  1. J.W. Wartick says:

    Have you encountered or read through “The Bible and Homosexual Practice” by Gagnon? I think that’s one of the more comprehensive books on the topic.


    • Louis says:

      I do have it and have read quite a bit of it. It’s been a few years and I’m rereading portions of it now. It is definitely a tour de force when it comes to the subject.


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