Homosexuality has become one of the most hotly debated topics of our society and will continue to be an issue that defines Christians for generations to come. Everyone has an opinion on what the Bible says about being gay and how Christians should treat homosexuals.
Perhaps the reason Christians cling to the idea that homosexuality is sinful is not because of a genuine conviction that homosexuality is evil, but because calling this doctrine into question, which has been common church teaching for thousands of years, shakes the foundations upon which Christianity is built.
I am not a scriptural expert. I’ve done research regarding the verses used to support both sides of the debate regarding homosexuality and have come away with only the affirmed belief that the Bible can be used to make arguments for practically anything.
Christians have been willing to write off many sections of the Bible as culturally inapplicable in today’s world. Women wear make up, people get divorced and thieves get to keep their hands. Why has homosexuality become such a sticking point? Why has the church remained largely unyielding on this issue, despite giving ground in many other areas?
The reality is that the church is always slow to change. About 150 years ago, Christians were among the most ardent supporters of slavery. Their main evidence for its legality was the same Bible we now use to advocate for freeing those enslaved.
I am lost as far as how to interpret scripture but I cannot ignore the contradictions and theological issues evident in the Bible. Maybe, as a church, it’s time we started asking ourselves why the idea of homosexuality is so offensive to us. Is it because it challenges values we believe to be sacred? Or is it because admitting that the scriptures regarding homosexuality are subject to cultural interpretation challenges the core of our faith and creates a door we do not dare open?
One hundred years from now people will be teaching their children about how the Christian church was the loudest advocate for the repression of homosexuality. They will remember us as we remember slave owners in the South. Not as people who were doing what they genuinely thought as loving, but as people who manipulated the Bible to support a lifestyle they refused to give up.