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Homosexuality: The debate within the church

By Alikay Wood
Posted on September 26, 2013 | Columns,Opinion | 1 comment

Homosexuality has become one of the most hotly debated topics of our society and will continue to be an issue that defines Christians for generations to come. Everyone has an opinion on what the Bible says about being gay and how Christians should treat homosexuals.

Perhaps the reason Christians cling to the idea that homosexuality is sinful is not because of a genuine conviction that homosexuality is evil, but because calling this doctrine into question, which has been common church teaching for thousands of years, shakes the foundations upon which Christianity is built.

I am not a scriptural expert. I’ve done research regarding the verses used to support both sides of the debate regarding homosexuality and have come away with only the affirmed belief that the Bible can be used to make arguments for practically anything.

Christians have been willing to write off many sections of the Bible as culturally inapplicable in today’s world. Women wear make up, people get divorced and thieves get to keep their hands. Why has homosexuality become such a sticking point? Why has the church  remained largely unyielding on this issue, despite giving ground in many other areas?

The reality is that the church is always slow to change. About 150 years ago, Christians were among the most ardent supporters of slavery. Their main evidence for its legality was the same Bible we now use to advocate for freeing those enslaved.

I am lost as far as how to interpret scripture but I cannot ignore the contradictions and theological issues evident in the Bible. Maybe, as a church, it’s time we started asking ourselves why the idea of homosexuality is so offensive to us. Is it because it challenges values we believe to be sacred? Or is it because admitting that the scriptures regarding homosexuality are subject to cultural interpretation challenges the core of our faith and creates a door we do not dare open?

One hundred years from now people will be teaching their children about how the Christian church was the loudest advocate for the repression of homosexuality. They will remember us as we remember slave owners in the South. Not as people who were doing what they genuinely thought as loving, but as people who manipulated the Bible to support a lifestyle they refused to give up.

avatar Posted by Alikay Wood on Sep 26th, 2013 and filed under Columns, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 38775 times.
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1 Response for “Homosexuality: The debate within the church”

  1. avatar ronnijean says:

    You ask why not change the interpretation of scriptures to reflect the modern culture. So I ask you: Why would you want to believe in a religion that vacillates back and forth between what it considers truth? Why believe in something that has no stability of its own and continually yields its’ authority to whatever whim is deemed currently in vogue?

    Though it is sadly used as a popular (albeit fallacious) argument, I found it odd – and incorrect – for you to compare the church’s belief on homosexuality to that of slave owners. Are you stating that one should give up their personal beliefs just because it might one day put them on the “wrong side of history”? Or, are you claiming that the church once taught that everyone should own slaves and then changed its’ teaching?

    (And as a side note, you may want to research a bit more into the politics of slavery before trying to claim that it was as cut-and-dry of an issue as you’re trying to make it. And don’t forget that the abolition movement was largely based on Christian views, unlike your claim that Christianity is to blame for slavery. It’s a shame that Dr. Fred Bailey is retired and no longer teaches The Civil War, which was one of the best courses I took in all my years at ACU.)

    To understand a bit more into the reluctance for many to go along with wide-spread acceptance of homosexuality, or at least specifically of homosexual marriage, then here is a website that is a good place to start:

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