A commenter, Steve, writes:
After reading your blog, I am confused about what you believe. Do you believe that Christian are not Bible illiterate? What do you believe the Bible says about same-sex marriage or abortion?…….I can appreciate sarcasm as much as the next person but I would think you would like to convey something positive in this post not just tear apart someone else’s statements. I would love to hear how you would approach these issue. Assuming you see them as issues for a Believer living in the world today. If you don’t I would really like to hear your reasoning(sincerely, this is not meant sarcastically). Thank you.
Steve is right. In my previous post I pretty much just tore into Dobson’s statement with out explaining myself very well. I apologize for that. As I read it back just now, I can see how some of you came away with that feeling. I will now try to explain myself a little more clearly and answer his questions as best as I can.
First, my main contention with Dobson’s statement is that in his opinion, if more Christians had a stronger Biblical world-view, or his world-view, then only the societal problems that he cares about will be solved. Time and time again the religious right claim they have a broad platform when addressing the cultural ills we face, but time and time again, they prove themselves wrong. It’s as if the only reason to be more Biblically literate is so that Christians can fight a culture war. What’s the word I’m searching for here…….pharasitic, that’s it. It’s not that the issues that Dobson cares about are unimportant; it’s just saddening (sometimes maddening) that the Bible is treated more as a device for casting stones rather than moving us towards mercy, humility and acceptance.
“Do you believe that Christian are not Bible illiterate?”
I do believe most Christians are Bible illiterate and I think I’m one of them. The more I read and study the scriptures, the more I realize how truly clueless I am as to what this text fully communicates. The complexity involved in understanding the Bible’s different literary properties and historical contexts is so overwhelming to me. For me to assume that it should impact everyone else the same as it does me is a false assumption in my mind.
“What do you believe the Bible says about same-sex marriage or abortion?”
Regarding same-sex marriage, the bible doesn’t say anything about that specific issue. In Leviticus is says that homosexuality in general is an “abomination” but it also says we should have all homosexual offenders put to death. So citing that as a text that is relevant today while not attempting to kill as many homosexuals as possible is kind of odd.
Jesus doesn’t mention homosexuality at all but does speak out against sexual immorality in general. Whether or not he believed monogamous, same-sex relationships are good or bad is not known.
Paul does address the issue and I believe it is debatable what can be taken away from his writings. One thing is for sure and that is Paul did not address the specific issue of monogamous relationships between two men. He addresses male prostitutes and sodomites in 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 (sodomy is also heterosexual practice. When assigning leadership positions in a church, are heterosexual males asked if they commit sodomy with their wives?) but does not address homosexuality in a monogamous or marital setting. Obviously, I realize this debatable and some, if not many, will disagree with me here.
In regards to abortion, I do consider it an act of violence on another human being and I believe the Bible speaks pretty clearly about that. I consider myself “pro-life” not only in relation to abortion but also in the contexts of war and capital punishment.
“How do you approach your friend who is homosexual and tell them about Christ?”
In the same way I would approach it with anyone else.
“How do you talk to some who goes to a Church led by a Homosexual Pastor?”
I find this to be an interesting question. To answer it I would say that I would talk to them like I would talk to any other church-going follower of Jesus. But your question leads me to ask you how you would talk to someone who has a pastor or leader at their church who has been divorced? If a church leader who has been divorced has been put into a leadership position, it was done so not out of the strict adherence to the scripture, but by the church community coming to a consensus that it was appropriate despite what the scripture has to say about divorce. Some churches wouldn’t hire someone who had be previously divorced but others would. Would you say that one church is more biblical than the other?
Thanks for your comment and, again, I apologize for my sarcasm and for not being clear. I hope this post clears the air as to where I stand with some of these sticky issues. I realize we may disagree but that’s the spice of life and I’m truly appreciative of the dialogue. I do wish you woudln’t post a bogus email address with your comments though. “firstname.lastname@example.org”?…..yeah, right. that’s real. 😉