The question this Part endeavors to answer is: how has it happened that some preachers, the very people who should believe and defend God’s teaching about homosexuality, have instead become its advocates?
Well...consider two reasons. One, revisionists exist in every discipline. Not content with reliable historical accounts, they demand a more positive twist on their past. Revisionists also plague Biblical truth, higher critics and the Jesus Seminar being the most infamous. The latter claims the Four Gospels are a faulty record of second and third century authors who made a triumphant Christ from a failed Jesus of Nazareth. This writer has specifically disproved their charge in his multi-volumned series of books called Their Own Best Defense.
Two, the second reason for the defense of homosexuality in some churches is the personalization of faith—an unexpected result of the church-growth movement. The basic premise of the movement was the elimination of unnecessary obstacles to reaching people for Christ. Which sounded fine at the time, and still resonates with many. However, the outcome has been the elimination of Bible subjects considered too tough for the unsaved to accept: such as self-denial, Christ’s singularity and...the purity Jesus demands of his people.
Another unexpected result was the re-definition of what constitutes Faith in God’s Word. Historically three levels of faith have existed. The first IS: God says it; that settles it. One slogan is half-way to that position. It says, God says it. I believe it. That settles it. However, the middle phrase isn’t necessary. If God says something, THAT settles it, whether or not we believe it. The second basis of faith IS: God has provided sufficient evidence in his Bible to convince fair-minded people that they can have absolute faith in it.
Both of these positions are bedrock foundations of apologetics. But some leaders feel they’re too demanding. Which has led to the third stage, which IS: we’re free to filter anything the Bible says through our personal experience and belief-systems. In other words, it means only what we think or want it to mean.
In Bible interpretation it’s called, “letting your theology determine your interpretation.” Which one writer said should decide one’s interpretation of Acts 2:38. That mistaken view has been furthered by lay-led Bible studies which ask each participant, “What does this verse/text mean to you?” Once we discard context in Bible teaching—which alone determines what it means to us—no limit exists to what any scripture DOES or DOESN’T mean to us. For we interpret Bible teaching by our personal philosophy, theology or opinion.
Thus, because someone in our family embraces a homosexual lifestyle, we don’t want it criticized. Or because a friend’s offspring embraces it, we want no preaching against it.
Point of fact, however. No application of scripture texts is possible until we determine its meaning in the historical context. New Testament writers could quote Old Testament scripture out of context because the Holy Spirit saw meaning in them obvious only with his guidance. But Bible students have no commensurate qualification for the same privilege. We can make applications agreeable with the original meaning, but none in contradiction of it.
God won’t change a SINGLE FACT he’s recorded and revealed however much we overvalue our many personal opinions. More to come. End Part IV