Perhaps the most serious long-term consequence of the new shift on homosexual practice is how many Christians are misreading Scripture. If the Bible can be read to support homosexual practice—or at least not condemn it—then what can’t we make the Bible say? There is no teaching that can’t be explained away or reinterpreted for today. The Bible becomes a wax nose, pulled this way or that to suit the sensibilities of its readers.
If the pro-homosexual hermeneutic is right, then our interpretation of Scripture says much more about us than about God. I read it this way because I’m conservative. You read it that way because you’re a progressive. How would either of us use the Bible to hear from God?
To illustrate how the pro-homosexual hermeneutic drowns us in the swamp of subjectivity, here is how it could be used to make a biblical case for incest between consenting adults. Sure, Leviticus 18 condemns this practice, but the Old Testament also condemns eating bacon and shrimp. How silly! (Tim Keller answers this objection here). Lot’s daughters did get their father drunk and sleep with him, but their sin was not the sex but their lack of hospitality—the same sin that ruined Sodom and Gomorrah from which they fled.
The Apostle Paul condemns the man who was sleeping with his father’s wife, but this relationship is different from the committed, loving relationships that we encounter today. We know that Paul’s world wouldn’t have understood our kind of mature, father-daughter romances, because Paul tells the Corinthians that their incestuous union did not even exist among the pagans (1 Cor. 5:1).
I understand the Yuck factor that comes with the idea of incest, but that would change if you knew my friend Tom and his middle-aged daughter, Sally. Their home may not be traditional, but their love is true and deserves our respect. God is on the side of love, of which there is too little in this world. If two consenting adults want to commit to spend the rest of their lives together, isn’t that a good thing? Anyway, their marriage won’t affect yours. Why wouldn’t you grant them this dignity?
I don’t expect this argument will persuade many people, but only because we don’t know many thirty something daughters who want to marry their fathers. If, in time, an increasing number of fathers and daughters “come out,” I would expect that to change. At least, I don’t know how someone who uses Scripture to endorse gay marriage would use that same Scripture to resist this kind of incest.
This is an exciting day to be a follower of Jesus. So much is at stake! We’re not just fighting for family and freedom. We’re speaking out for something much more valuable, the Word of God.
Photo by George Bannister. Used by permission. Sourced via Flickr.