Differing views on how we look for an ancient book to speak to us today.
I want to call your attention to a recent blog posting by Adam Hamilton. It’s titled: The Bible, Homosexuality, and the UMC–Part One. He wrote it in anticipation of the meeting of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, which is gathering in Portland, Oregon this month.
One of the contentious issues that the General Conference will be dealing with is the stance that United Methodists adopt to homosexuality. It is a long unresolved issue among United Methodists.
I am linking to Hamilton’s posting not to push his position in the debate.* But I am impressed with how Hamilton lays out the different assumptions in the debate about how the Bible functions as the Word of God. Those differing assumptions lie at the base of many of the church battles over homosexuality.
Sometimes conservative Christians who oppose homosexuality argue that Christians who support it are playing fast and loose with Scripture. In extreme cases, they charge that such Christians are not Bible-believers.
That is simply not true, in my opinion. The two camps both take Scripture seriously, but they adopt different approaches to reading the Bible and expecting to hear from it a word from God for today. These differing approaches affect not only how we read the Bible on issues of homosexuality, but on a host of other theological and social issues as well. Hamilton does a great job of highlighting these divergent positions. And that’s why I consider his blog worth your time reading. I hope you will take time to do so.
* If you wish to know my own views on the Bible and church debates over homosexuality, you may want to read the two blog postings I published two years ago. They are: Sexual Outsider Becomes Spiritual Insider and Gamaliel’s Rule and Christian Debates over Homosexuality.