Homosexuality and the Church 157
Donald Eastman, “Homosexuality: Not a Sin, Not a Sickness; What the Bible Does and Does NotSay,”
Gay Theological Journal
1/1 (September-December 1997):12.
Ray Hammond, “Paul’s Use of
in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10”(ThM thesis, The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, Calif., 2000) 19.
John J. McNeill,
The Church and the Homosexual
(Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel,1976) 37.
The New Testament and Homosexuality
(Philadelphia: Fortress, l983) 127.
Homoeroticism in the Biblical World
(Minneapolis: Fortress, l998) 124.
Phylis A. Bird, “The Bible in Christian Ethical Deliberation Concerning Homosexuality: OldTestament Contributions,” in
Homosexuality, Science, and the “Plain Sense” of Scripture
personal experiences are perhaps the greatest forces of change in the way weinterpret the Bible and develop our beliefs.”
Cultural Biases of the Biblical Writers
Most pro-homosexual theologians argue that the biblical authors wereculturally biased against homosexuality. Such proponents would argue that theapostle Paul was a product of the Judaism of his time, and thus had cultural “blindspots,” most noticeably regarding women and gays.
John J. McNeill, in
The Churchand the Homosexual
, asserts that “the Scriptures are ‘historically and culturallylimited’ so that one cannot merely transpose a text of Scripture to the contemporarycircumstances of life.”
Hence, because the biblical authors wrote from such adistant and culturally irrelevant setting, gay proponent Robin Scroggs concludes,“The conclusion I have to draw seems inevitable: Biblical judgments againsthomosexuality are not relevant to today’s debate.”
“Paul’s arguments,” states MartiNissinen, “are based on certain Hellenistic Jewish moral codes that are culture-specific and that had their own trajectory of tradition.”
In fact, Paul may haveneeded sexual therapy himself.
The following statement sums up well the revisionist’s view of the biblicalteaching on homosexuality:[S]exuality as we understand it today
is not addressed in the Bible
. It is a modernconcept. The Bible treats sexuality only in limited forms of actualization. . . . Theterms of Israel’s culturally shaped understanding will not satisfy our present need.
In this field we must look to the ongoing revelation of science and of newly emergingvoices of experience
The conclusions reached by gay proponents rely upon hermeneutical rulesthat do violence to the traditional and historic approach to biblical interpretation. Aswill be seen below, if interpreted by a consistent, literal hermeneutic, the Bible doesnot condone homosexuality in any of its forms, but in fact condemns it as a deviant