As I noted in part one of this series, much of the genuine concern from conservatives on this issue is driven by the fear that the truth found in the Bible is being demoted in favor of the winds of cultural change. The perception of conservatives is that if they lose ground on this issue, then how can the Bible continue to act as a foundation or a standard for how we view the world and and how live our lives in a God-pleasing way. It’s easy to understand the anxiety and worry of conservatives given the stakes the issue raises. While I do believe it is imperative for those who are open and affirming on the issue to really understand the conservative anxiety, we must ask ourselves why this anxiety appears to be so pronounced with this issue and not others.
This issue, after all, is an issue of sexual impurity. If we are to take at face value what the Bible teaches about sexual immorality, homosexual activity is only one of the many facets to sexual sin. Sodomy (both heterosexual and homosexual varieties), intercourse during menstruation are a few examples but the one I want to get into in this post is divorce and remarriage.
If the conservative side of the argument relies on taking the six verses about homosexuality at face value, then they must also take what Jesus himself teaches about divorce and remarriage:
“It has been said, `Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
There are other verses but the one above pretty much sums it up. The question this raises in my mind is that if conservatives are ultimately fearful that affirming same-sex relationships will somehow undermine biblical instruction and send us careening down a slippery slope of relativity and promiscuity, then why do they not have the same concern when it concerns heterosexual adultery. If you are a member of the church and concerned about this issue, ask yourself if you’ve been losing sleep at night because there is a couple in your church that has been remarried after a divorce not resulting from an adulterous affair? If the issue of remarried divorcees doesn’t cause you fear or concern, then why not? One would have to deduce that your fears of sexual immorality are not consistent with biblical instruction and must be influenced by something outside of what conservatives would call God’s ideal clearly laid out in the Bible.
What I hope conservatives can recognize is that is they themselves have already let the cat out of the bag. The can of worms is already ajar. The troubling thing for me is that the implications of the issue of homosexuality have already been reverberating around the Christian tradition long before the gay issue has caused its stir. The failure for conservatives to universally and resoundingly sound the alarm for what the Bible calls heterosexual impurity has left their current fear over homosexual sexual impurity in a rather hallow and withered state. They are launching their supposed biblical argument from a very shaky, rickety foundation that they’ve neglected long ago.