A Biblical Defense of Same-Sex Relationships

It should come as no surprise by now for me to say that I love blogs. I only discovered what a gift they are to my thirst for knowledge and search for different opinions very recently, but I’ve loved learning from so many different people. So I wanted to share a comment on a blog post that I read in search of a biblical interpretation that supports same-sex relationships. It’s one of the smartest, most well-reasoned ideas I’ve ever heard in this debate:

I’ve seen this “all or nothing” house of cards logic used all too often by Christians attempting to defend their particular interpretation of what the Bible says. Examples: “If evolution is true, then the entire Bible is false and God is a liar.” “If the events of Genesis didn’t take place exactly and literally as depicted, then the entire Bible is false and we have no basis for faith.” “Unless every single passage has been perfectly interpreted every single time by every single scholar to ever crack open a Bible, then you cannot trust any of it”.

I find this a rather disrespectful view of the Bible, because it ignores the obvious fact that humans are the ones reading the words, and it removes all possibility of human error from the discussion. The Bible’s perfection does not mean people of faith are never going to misinterpret it, because *people* are imperfect. And when we try to pretend human interpretation and human bias and human error are magically erased by the *Bible’s* inerrant-ness, we end up with a theology that has no means to grow, an understanding of God and people that has no room to deepen and expand, and a religion that has little bearing upon real people and their actual problems and challenges.

Sorry, but the “human part of the puzzle”, as you phrase it, is EXTREMELY important. God did not speak the Bible into existence in a void; it was given to struggling, imperfect people who had to then decide what it means for them and their lives. The Bible, God-breathed or not, is full of human stories and human foibles and human poems and…well, human-ness. If people have absolutely no bearing on the Bible and what it means, when why does every single story and letter and poem begin with who wrote it, who they wrote it to, and when they wrote it? If every single jot and letter of the Bible is God-inspired, then what other purpose would those place-and-time markers serve but to ground the writing in the human experience? *This* time, *this* place, to *this* people.

The problem, as I see it, is this:

You and others who hold to the “traditional” interpretation hear gay marriage supporters saying something like this: “These passages (which clearly condemn all homosexuality but we’re going to pretend they don’t) are not binding upon people now because certain passages only apply to certain time periods.”

While what Michelle, Cannon, and others who have reached similar conclusions are actually saying is this: “These passages, which talk about sex between people of the same gender, are part of a larger narrative condemning idol worship and pagan religious practices of the time. Given this context, it is inconsistent to insist these passages condemn *all* homosexual behavior, just like it would be inconsistent to insist that passages condemning incest or rape are talking about *all* heterosexual behavior.”

It’s not a question of whether these passages are “wrong” or “right”…it’s a question of whether they apply to a specific situation: loving monogamous homosexual couples who wish to get married.

Looking at the context and concluding that certain verses don’t apply to certain situations is not the same as saying they don’t apply at all, ever, or that they don’t matter, or that the entire Bible is wrong. It would be silly to say that every single Bible verse automatically applies to every single possible situation by mere virtue of it being Scripture, so in that sense I suppose we *are* “picking and choosing” which verses to apply where. But just as you wouldn’t use a verse dealing with hair coverings or idols or widows to counsel a couple dealing with divorce, it doesn’t make sense to use a Bible verse dealing with the worship of pagan idols to condemn a same-sex couple that wishes to marry and start a family together. Not because those verses are “wrong”, but because they simply have nothing to do with situation at hand.

Here is the web page I pulled this comment from. It’s really good—you should check it out.

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Posted on August 19, 2013, in Bible, Homosexuality. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the quote and the link. I am honored.

  2. Here goes… new to this blogging thing so if I violate decorum….forgive in advance…what is the purpose behind all the law? Why did God give Moses the law like squaring off your beard, no poyester clothing, no pork, and all the rest of leviticus? He had one intention in mind. Israel… do NOT conform to the nations around you the very nations He commanded Israel to, yes, subdue and even annihilate. Why would a loving God do this? He wanted to paint a very vivid picture for those who follow Him. A picture of what it means to be holy, separated from the world around us. Israel was to be holy other than the nations of the land of canaan. For the New Covenant believer, this picture is used to convey to us how we should approach sin. We are to have nothing to do with it even as the Israelites were to have none of the cultures around them. What defines sin? Sin in my understanding is violating the nature and design of God. Hence when He made a man and a woman and united them as husband and wife, He laid down the pattern of what He expects of mankind…..a man woman realtionship to procreate and supporrt each other..He further emphasized the importance of this union by giving the death penalty to those who violate this pattern by same sex sexual contact. This pretty much seals the homosexual behavior as sin in my opinion…and as Israel was to have nothing to do with the gods and cultures of her surrounding nations, we are to have nothing to do with such things as sin. I feel empathy for any who are in habitual sin whether it be the adulterer, thief, murderer or homosexual. My heart breaks for those ensconced in behavior that flies in the face of a Holy God

  3. “Hence when He made a man and a woman and united them as husband and wife, He laid down the pattern of what He expects of mankind…..a man woman realtionship to procreate and supporrt each other”

    I don’t buy this argument at all. Procreation is the purpose of marriage? Then would a childless marriage be unfulfilling, be something less than God’s intention for marriage? If so, what, then, is the difference between a childless heterosexual marriage and a gay marriage? By your line of argument, both are in direct contradiction to “God’s design.” The procreation argument just does not hold water for me.

    As far as the Levitical sexual purity laws (Leviticus 18 and 20, I believe) being binding on us today – this also makes very little sense to me. We just don’t follow them at all today! Except to pick out those two little verses that condemn homosexuality, we ignore the rest, or readily accept exceptions to them. I could think of all sorts of exceptions to many of the commands laid out in Leviticus 18, exceptions that no Christian would have any qualms about following today. I can write them all out for you, if you like – but my point is that we don’t see any one of these laws as binding in all situations and all circumstances. Particular circumstances matter.

    Why do we not follow these laws as moral guidelines today? Because these verses are not laws of morality but laws of purity – thus their extremely specific and nonsensical nature. For example, what on earth is the moral purpose of Leviticus 18:19? There is none. But that is a simple law. A more complicated one is 18:17 – but again, this is not sinful intrinsically; it is a very specific form impurity.

    Furthermore, why are these laws so extremely concerned with incest, but not concerned at all with the many, many other forms of fornication that exist, and are much bigger issues for most people (both in that time and today)? For example, why are there not laws forbidding adultery in Leviticus 18? Or premarital sex? Or multiple sexual partners? If these were moral laws, meant to be followed in all times for all followers of God, wouldn’t they be a good deal more exhaustive? I’d like to think so!

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