Scripture


THE JOY OF SCRIPTURE

My own interpretation of Scripture is how extraordinarily valuable it is to us as LGBT Christians.  The Gospels in particular, but also much of the rest,  are rich in reassurances of God’s unbounding, unconditional love, and the importance to us all of love for God, for our neighbour, and ntot forgetting love for ourselves.  The natural corollary of this is that the Christian message above all is one of redemption and inclusion, recognising neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, neither rich nor poor – and neither gay nor straight.

Against this, Jesus’s own disdain for Scribes and Pharisees, who put scrupulous and literal adherence to every detail of the law above love, is recounted in numerous parables.

LGBT SUPPORTIVE THEMES

The second feature that strikes me as relevant to us as LGBT men and women is how very little scripture has to say about same sex love. In the entire bible, there are only a handful of verses (and none at all in the Gospels) which come close to touching on the subject – this in spite of the cultural conditions pertaining in the Mediterranean world under Hellenisitc infuence and Roman military occupation, a  world in which all manner of sexual practices, most specifically including sex between men was widespread.  the only conclusion must be that to Jesus Christ, and to the writers of scripture, loving same sex relationships were of only incidental interest.  Indeed, one can easily make an argument that the Gospels in particular lend themselves to a queer, specifically gay-frienfly reading.  (see “The Gospels’ Queer Values)”

Numerous writers have commented also on LGBT supportive themes elsewhere in Scripture. In the Old Testament, there are also the relationships between David and Johnathan and between Ruth and Naomi, as well as the Sog of Songs, which was clearly written as a homoerotic love poem, but has been bowdlerised to eliminate the obvious.  In the well-known story of Daniel and his companions, it should be noted that the reason they were taken in captivity to babylon appears to ahve been to serve as eunuchs for sexual use.

For a discussion on Daniel and his companions as eunuchs, see the Calendar of Gay & Lesbian Saints in the LGBT catholic Handbook, and click on the links for Daniel, and for his companions.

For an extended discussion of the Song of Songs, see a valuable review by Jim Kepner of  Dr. Paul R. Johnson’s (regrettably out-of-print) book, “The Song of Songs, A Gay Love Poem” (Fidelity Press, 1995).  The book may be no longer available, but the review may be read in the Wild Reed’s invaluable archives

For David and Johnathan, see the “Johnathan Loved David:  Homosexuality in Biblical Times” by Thomas Marland Horner,  or back to the “Calendar of LGBT Saints” again.

CLOBBER TEXTS

In spite of this, our opponents continue to to insist, on the flimsy evidence of a handful of clobber texts,  that ‘homosexuality’ is somehow a uniquely wicked sin.  This unfounded assertion would be ludicrous if it were not so widely held, and so often leads to hatred and violence, which is  indeed in total conflict with the Gospel message. So, these texts must be taken seriously.

I do not intend to go into the counter arguments myself- these have been d0ne so well elsewhere.  Instead, on the page headed “Countering the Clobber Texts”,    I provide web  links and book references to some of the many excellent writers who have already done this.

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2 Responses to “Scripture”

  1. AcousticSaint Says:

    Hi, let me start out by saying I’m not gay and I do believe homosexuality is a sin – but I’m not gonna bash you with a bunch of scriptures as I am sure you have heard them all.

    Rather I am more curious about your approach to your blog tag line says “towards a reality-based theology”

    A reality- based theology is nonsensical. What you are saying is you want to steer the church to an understanding of God based on YOUR reality. Why yours? Why not MY reality? Do you see the problem with this? There can be no objective truth here because it is subjective to your reality.
    This not any different from someone using the Bible as reason to hate gays – think of the Westbrough Baptist Church who picket gay events with signs saying God hates F-gs. That is the result of theology based on THEIR reality.

    My prayer is that you will take an honest look at how you are approaching the scriptures – are you really looking to find truth?

    I pray that you will come to know God’s amazing grace

    Nic

    • Terence Says:

      “Reality-based theology” is not a reference to my reality, or to any claims that the nature of God is susceptible to any kind of objective verification.

      However, Vatican theologians make numerous statements in their pronouncements that include claims about human behaviour that are completely unsubstantiated: for example, that homosexual activity is nothing more than self-indulgent self-gratification, or leads people away from God, or that gay parents are harmful to the welfare of children. These statements can be subjected to scrutiny against empirical evidence- which finds that the claims are simply false.

      There are also numerous claims made about church history, and the”constant and unchanging tradition” which are patently untrue.

      This is the reality that I am promoting: not “my reality”, but simple fact-checking of claims about the human world, against the evidence of social science and professional historians.


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