Recently on December 6th, Newsweek published a story by Lisa Miller entitled ‘Our Mutual Joy’. In this article Ms. Miller (I’m sure she’s a Ms.) trots out a number of quotes from people who say the bible really supports gay marriage despite many passages to the contrary. We just have to read between the lines and understand what the writers ‘really’ meant to say.
This approach is flawed for many reasons chief among them is ignoring the divine nature of biblical scripture.
The Newsweek article can be found here.
I am a Christian. I believe the bible is the divine word of God as given to man by the Holy Spirit. I do not believe it has hidden meanings and I do not purport to understand everything contained there in. I do believe in right and wrong. I believe the bible contains a clear distinction of what is acceptable to God, what Jesus approved of, and what God and Jesus find unacceptable. This rails against foundational principals to many people but, fortunately, we live in America where I can still choose to openly have principals grounded in faith.
Albert Mohler does a wonderful job of dissecting Ms. Miller’s article here so I won’t be copying the copious quantity of notes I took while reading the article. However, I will mention a few things that seem most egregious to me.
The scholars, priests, and clergy Ms. Miller quotes all back her view that the bible really does support gay marriage. She quotes the Anchor Bible Dictionary as saying, ‘notes that nowhere in the Bible do its authors refer to sex between women’. The bible clearly mentions this in Roman 1:26-27 as Mr. Mohler points out. Neil Elliott is trotted out trying to explain that Paul really meant Roman emperors and their attrocities to man, not what everyday people might do, which is supposed to be reason enough for us to ignore this behavior since we all know our public figures are not to be role models or held to any standards of conduct as the Left continually explains to us (unless they have right-leaning ideas, are from a red state, or have a capital ‘R’ after their name).
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, Walter Brueggemann, emeritus professor at Columbia Theological Seminary, Terry Davis the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hartford, Conn., the United Church of Christ, Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center in New York, all these people and organizations are trotted out by Ms. Miller to support the biblical nature of gay marriage. Not one time does she mention any opposition view point.
The works of these people are numerous and would require much time and effort to thoroughly vet. Suffice to say I will not name call here on any of them but I will say the quotes used from them by Ms. Miller are not complimentary in the realm of theology and gay marriage. That is to say, she casts them all in the light of support this as a biblically acceptable sacrament, which it clearly is not for anyone with any intellectual honesty about what scripture says on the subject.
Ms. Miller makes her summation point on the third page (by Newsweek’s website) of the article. It reads as follows, ‘So the frustrating, semantic question remains: should gay people be married in the same, sacramental sense that straight people are? I would argue that they should. If we are all God's children, made in his likeness and image, then to deny access to any sacrament based on sexuality is exactly the same thing as denying it based on skin color—and no serious (or even semi-serious) person would argue that.’ No, it is not. At least, not in a biblical sense. Skin color is a facet of a person like hair color. The bible does not mention a skin color as being sinful. Sexual orientation, despite claims to the contrary, is a choice, like how long you keep your hair. The bible specifically calls same sex conduct sinful, in many places (which Ms. Miller appears to not have read fully). Once again, the idea of clear rights and wrongs is alien to Ms. Miller and her supporters.
Ms. Miller’s closing comment is to try and use Psalm 139 ‘I am fearfully and wonderfully made’ to suggest gay marriage is acceptable because, ‘Jesus does not want people to be lonely and sad’. I agree. I also agree Jesus would reach out to gay men and women and beckon, no plead, with them to join him. He would beseech them to come to him, but he would require, I believe, they give up their old ways and follow a better path as outlined by his word and his Father’s word.
The bible is a book of inclusion. Jesus was a savior of inclusion. He wanted and wants EVERYONE to join him, but not in the harmful ways of man. He wants us to join him in the harmonious ways of His Father and not the flawed ways of man.