Thursday, November 14, 2013

Further resources on homosexuality and the Bible

This post is a follow-up to part 1 and part 2 of a series I wrote about some lovely people in my life. Here are some places to start for understanding the perspective that gay marriage is blessed by God and by the Bible. I am not really writing this to start a debate. I don't expect everyone to agree. I just provide these resources in case you are interested in how I came to this belief.

It’s hard to change what you’ve always thought. I can’t say there’s any magical argument or perspective that settles it once and for all. It starts with reading the Bible, and not just reading it, but critically and contextually and honestly. And as objectively as possible, but I think if we are honest, all of us read into the text a little of what we bring with us. We are meant to, because it’s a living word that interacts with and becomes real in the context of our experiences.

There are a couple people who helped me think through this logically Biblical support for gay marriage. One of them is Justin Lee, the founder and president of the Gay Christian Network, which does a great job of being accessible to people with various opinions on same-sex marriage. The best is to read Justin’s book, but he has also written about his view here, and if you’re more of an audio-visual person, I love this video (see minutes 37 through 46).

I also found helpful two articles (here and here) by Richard Beck, which helped give some context to the text of Romans chapter 1, which is the main New Testament text that is used to support the traditional view that homosexuality is not acceptable to God.

Gay marriage is a tricky one. As more churches have come to affirm women as leaders and ministers, they have the positive biblical examples of Deborah, Anna, Phoebe, Priscilla. There are no positive examples of same-sex marriage relationships in the pages of scripture.

But there is this:

That Jesus loved the people the religious hierarchy regards with disdain.

That we are to let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor fulfills the law. The commandments “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Romans 13:8).

That by their fruit you will recognize them...every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:16-17).

That we are ministers of a new covenant not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6).

That if we are going to take risks in life and faith, they should be risks we take for love and compassion.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please keep comments charitable.


  1. Great list of resources! I found this article to be very helpful---especially the sections about the purity codes in Leviticus:

  2. Wow, yeah, I really like that one. I am going to have to peruse it in more detail again later! I like what he said about the idea that sin always corrupts us and produces more sins...and that's not how most gay people are!