Yesterday, I commented on this blog post by a progressive United Methodist pastor named Jeremy Smith. He supports changing our church doctrine on sexuality, arguing that it’s only a matter of time before we all realize that the Holy Spirit is revealing to the church that two men or two women having sex with one another is perfectly fine, at least within a re-defined version of marriage. Among other things, here’s what I wrote in my comment:
Here’s a thought experiment: Suppose God wanted to communicate to us that, indeed, the unanimous verdict of two thousand years’ reflection on the subject is right after all, and that God intends sexual activity to be between a man and woman, and only within the bounds of marriage. What else would God need to say? How else could God have said it? What else would the Bible need to say?
It seems to me that your way of interpreting scripture on this subject rules out the possibility of God’s wanting to tell us that.
Predictably, I got no response. As of a few moments ago, I was the only one offering a dissenting point of view.
I’m not surprised. I’ve asked this of my progressive clergy friends and acquaintances who support changing our doctrine, and you could hear crickets chirping. But it seems like a good question to me!
Suppose, just suppose—hypothetically—that God wanted to tell us that homosexual practice were sinful. How else would God need to say it? I’m not asking you to agree that God is telling us this, only that you explain what the Bible would need to say—if it could say anything—for you to believe that God were telling us this.
Honestly… I raised this question during a lengthy comment thread on Facebook recently. Not only did no one rise to the challenge, but a clergy friend—someone whom I genuinely considered a friend as recently as a year ago—un-friended me on Facebook and won’t return my phone calls or messages to talk about it. Yet, we keep hearing about this need for both sides to have further “conversation” around this issue.
Well, I’m offering the opportunity for conversation—even to my former friend (you know who you are). Please feel free to comment.