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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What is the Purpose of "Scripture?"

(I know a lot of my blogs recently have dealt with reading...but it's what I do, and people have questions...especially if they have never thought about reading. Apologies for those who want to hear about something else.)

I wrote last week that "Scripture has not convinced me..." and people asked me what I meant. What I mean is that what I read in the Holy Bible does not seem to indicate to me that gay sex goes against God's will for humanity. Scripture has not made its case. It is too ambiguous on one hand, (anything against gay sex in the New Testament); and, fulfilled by Christ on the other hand (i.e., Older Testament). Since the only argument I have heard against gay sex is that it is against the will of God according to scripture, and since I'm not convinced by scripture on this topic, I have no reason not to accept gay and lesbian people who may have gay sex. (I assume gay and lesbian people have gay sex, but it is only an assumption...I have no empirical proof.) I have heard from many people who do not agree with me on this, but I have found something interesting in these conversations. I've gotten into the habit of asking this question of my Christian brother and sisters: If gay sex wasn't mentioned in Romans 1, would you still disapprove of it?

The purpose of Scripture, it seems to me, is to expose our relationship with God, and for Christians, how that relationship feeds into our relationships with the rest of the world. So scripture carrying the story of a God whose love runs so deep as to die on a cross for its profundity exposes the ambiguity of the loves which dominate my life. A scripture that reveals an insistent exposing of greed at the expense of community questions the excesses of my life. Scripture does nothing for me in this regard to gay sex...(the people mentioned in the Bible who practice gay sex have no relationship with God...God has given them up...the gay Christians I know have actually been claimed by God in baptism...what does gay sex mean in this case?...Hence, the ambiguity I mentioned above.)

I pray that when I read scripture I am open to how God (not the Bible, please notice) is around me, by me, with me as I walk and journey through life. I am a Christian because of what God does and did as a First Century Jew...Scripture is just a way to remind me of that...not because it is "true," but because it is the only place where that story is told.

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