Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gay Marriage and the Bible

I have a real quandary.  I've kept myself out of the gay marriage debate in public for a few different reasons.

First, there are a lot of people out there who are smarter than me.  Let's be honest.  If you want really good quality arguments on either side of this debate, there are a lot of really smart people speaking out on it.  I'm not one of those.

Secondly, there are a lot of people out there who are dumber than me.  Again, honesty is important.  There are people raging on both sides of this debate who only want to shout louder than those on the other side.  If they've done that, they feel like they've won, regardless of whether or not they've given any decent arguments, or even listened to those on the other side.

Thirdly, I'm not clear on some of the questions concerning this.  For instance, what about equal rights?  I'm concerned with that.  I think those who have chosen to live a lifestyle I think is sinful still have rights.  So how do I balance that with my beliefs concerning whether that action is correct?  When it comes to abortion, there is the matter of a life to talk about.  In this issue...well, I'm not going there because I think there are legitimate and fair questions to be asked that I don't know the answer to.

These things being said, I do feel like I can weigh in on it from this angle; if you want to argue that gay marriage is a good thing, please leave the Bible out of it.

I mean, really and seriously, leave God out of the debate.  Scripture is clear on this subject, and there is really no reason to wonder.  It's not just in the Old Testament either, so stop shouting "Yeah, it's wrong like pork and tattoos!"  Whatever.  These are called "straw arguments."  They have no merit.  You can bring up the passages in the Old Testament, questioning whether I eat shellfish all you want, but it doesn't actually help your case.  It just proves that you have little, if any, idea of how we should interpret Scripture.  By the way, I don't eat shellfish, but that has less to do with my religious beliefs than it does with my taste buds.  I also don't have any tattoos, but I do love bacon!

It's okay that you don't know how to interpret Scripture, by the way.  I'm a pastor, and I've been trained, and am paid, to know how to do this (though, again, there are people a lot better at it than I am.  This is why I'm okay with the fact that I still have questions).  I don't expect everyone to be an expert.  I just wish people didn't work so hard to prove that they don't know what they're talking about.

So here's the deal.  I won't try to prove creation using Einstein's theory of relativity (because I would have no idea how to do such a thing, and I'm pretty sure there is no bearing), if you will stop using the Bible to defend homosexual relationships.  You can't do it, as it just isn't in there.

Instead, use the arguments that I'm no going to ignore.  Let's talk about it from a social or justice viewpoint.  Then, I think, we can have a rational and forward thinking discussion.

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