Have you read Peter Gomes’ “The Good Book”? If so, how would you respond
to the argument he makes in chapter 8 regarding homosexuality?

I have not read this book. I did look it up at Amazon and
looked at the table of contents and a few excerpts from the book. The
chapter in question is titled, “The Bible and Homosexuality: The Last
Prujudice.” Based on what I can see, I am going to step out on a limb
here and guess that this author is going to take a “liberal” view of
homosexuality, stating that it is not sinful and is an acceptable
lifestyle which loving Christians should be the first to accept.

From my experience, there are two ways a supposed believer in
Christianity can reach this conclusion:

1. By choosing to completely ignore the Bible passages which so clearly
classify homosexual acts as sinful. Such people must simply take
statements of Jesus and others about loving everyone and so forth and,
breaking several of the most basic rules of biblical interpretation, twist
these passages to imply that they are saying that homosexual acts are
acceptable. To do this, such a person must simply ignore Romans 1:26,27
and other passages which are completely unambiguous in meaning in regard
to homosexual acts and even homosexual thoughts being sinful.


2. By making the bold statement that passages such as Romans 1:26,27 must
be reinterpreted in a modern context. In other words, this group of
supporters of homosexuality do not completely ignore the relevant
passages, but simply state that they do not apply in our present, more
“modern” culture. I saw a news clip a few days ago from an international
denominational meeting at which one protester who supported homosexuality
as a Christian lifestyle held up a sign which read “Biblical literalism is
idolatry.” In other words, this person believes that those who take the
Bible to say what it says, rather than reinterpreting it to say what they
wish it said are worshiping the Bible rather than worshiping God. One of
the many problems with this philosophy is that in the end, “Christianity”
becomes the product of one’s own opinion. The “truth” for this person, is
determined by her own opinion, in the light of the modern cultural
interpretation of what is right. God’s opinion is left out of the
picture. This amounts to flagrant disrespect and disobedience to the
clearly stated word of God in the Bible, and I, for one, want to have
nothing to do with this philosophy.

It is true that there are grey areas of ethics and morality.
What would be wise and godly to wear in one culture might be different
from another culture, depending on what would be likely to cause people to
stumble. In one culture, there may be such a strong feeling about a
certain behavior that it would be inappropriate for a disciple of Jesus to
engage in that behavior because it could be a stumbling block to others
(Romans 14). Yes, grey areas do exist. However, in view of Romans
1:26,27 and several other passages which could be mentioned, acts of
homosexuality are definitely not a grey area. Sexual acts, except between
a married man and woman are sinful, according to the Bible. Anyone who
takes any other stand has big problems with the Bible, and presumably with
the God who caused that Bible to be written.

John Oakes

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