To the Readers' Forum:
A contributor to the Readers' Forum (8-27) wrote that the Bible is "not a reliable source by any standard." Is the problem really with the reliability of the Bible or the reliability of the claims made about the Bible?
He said that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. Jesus never said anything about incest, pedophilia, and bestiality either, but the writer conveniently left out those repugnant acts. If you're going to read the Bible by what "Jesus never said" to justify homosexuality, then, to be consistent, you have to include all the other immoral practices he never mentioned. While pitching the "Jesus never said" canard, he ignored Jesus' categorical condemnation of sexual immorality (Matthew 15: 19).
He wrote, ''The New Testament says homosexuals shouldn't marry'- Right. The new testament also says that women should be silent and never challenge a man" Jesus didn't silence women when they came to him. Scripture tells husbands to love their wives as Jesus loved the church. The cold-hearted "silent treatment" alleged by the writer doesn't hold water.
He wrote, ''The Old Testament calls homosexuality a sin'' - Right. It also calls eating shellfish and pork a sin. The prohibition against eating shellfish was for the Israelites only (Leviticus 11). The prohibition against homosexuality found in a context different from the dietary laws on shellfish is universal (Leviticus 18). Nations around Israel were condemned, not for eating shellfish, but for engaging in immoral sexual behaviors which, unlike the laws on shellfish, have been carried over to the New Testament by virtue of being moral law.
He wrote, "My Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman' - Right." He then proceeded to mention exceptions, like "one man and many women So, the Bible doesn't seem a very reliable source, notwithstanding that we don't live in a theocracy anyway." He failed to distinguish between allowance and approval. The Old Testament culture had allowances, not approvals, for certain marital arrangements, while the original design for marriage in Genesis 2 hadn't changed. When Christ came, he restored the absolute sanctity of marriage to its original form: one man for one woman (Matthew 19: 4-6).
He wrote that we don't live in a theocracy, as if that fact somehow exempts our nation from being accountable to God. Acknowledging that accountability, no signer to our nation's original documents ever thought of marriage as something other than the biblical standard.
The Rev. Mel McGinnis