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As a Christian I don’t believe that homosexuality is immoral. I know many Christians who would disagree with me.
This doesn’t surprise me. On the surface the Bible seems to condemn homosexuality in numerous passages in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. After some investigation into the context of such passages, it seems plausible to me that the meaning that the text attempts to convey doesn’t uniformly fit our modern understanding of homosexuality. Still, they argue that arriving at my perspective has required some “hermeneutical dances and games” (as one critic of my viewpoint alleged).
“Show me one verse,” they say. “One verse in the entire Bible that says homosexuality is acceptable.”
Admittedly, I cannot.
Some would no doubt be quick to suggest that I have rejected Biblical authority and subsequently write me off as an unbelieving, lost, searching, fallen pagan. I have committed the cardinal sin: I disregarded what the Bible superficially appears to say in favor of a more inclusive reading of the Bible. Simply: I put my ethics, beliefs and experiences over what the Bible literally says.
Let’s say for the sake of argument that they are correct. This perspective is only supported by hermeneutic acrobatics. Let’s say that the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin. Even operating under that assumption, I still believe that one can make a strong case that homosexuality is not immoral.
How? Consider two other ethical issues: slavery and genocide. I know precious few who would be willing to make the argument that either of these two institutions are moral. By simply making that argument, most would probably lose any and all of their credibility. Genocide? Slavery? Moral? You’ve got to be kidding.
This raises a crucial point. Show me one verse, one verse in the entire Bible that explicitly condemns either slavery or genocide.
I can direct you to numerous instances where the Bible is at least complicit with and at worst outright condones both slavery and genocide. Anyone with a single fiber of compassion in their body has to cringe a little bit when God says in Joshua, “Destroy them all, men, women and children.” “Slaves, obey your masters,” is another difficult verse from the Pauline epistles. I could list many more. Similar “hermeneutical dances and games” are required to arrive at the conclusion that they are immoral.
Many Christians who condemn homosexuality have no problem condemning slavery or genocide, despite the lack of scriptural evidence for these perspectives. Why?