Candace Chellew, editor of the gay christian site Whosover has a quick fix for anyone who thinks the Bible condemns homosexuality. Just cut out Jesus from the Bible. This Jesus, when placed in a box of red letter parameters is silent on homosexuality.
In an article entitled “Exploding the Myths of Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality” Chellew begins by quoting a Presbyterian minister who changed his mind about the bible. The point is that if such a well respected theologian could change his mind, why are the rest of us still hanging on to antiquated ideas? In our opinion, she chose a poor example for us to emulate.
Jack Rogers, a former professor at San Francisco Theological Seminary and Moderator of the 213th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) pokes fun at what people call the “gay lifestyle”, comparing it with porn nutcase Hugh Hefner.
“Hugh Hefner lives in a mansion with a lot of pretty women with whom he can have sex. His is a life of promiscuity but he’s straight,” Rogers said. “Then I think of my friend, Soulforce leader Mel White. He lives with his partner Gary Nixon in a committed, monogamous relationship and he’s gay. Which lifestyle would we say best emulates what we would want to live as Christians?”
What brilliant theology. Apparently, its some sort of revelation for Chellew and her readers.
Rogers claimed that after nine months of studying the Bible the anti-homosexuality presupposition didnt hold up when one “looked at particular texts in their literary, cultural and historical contexts.”
While its true that one should not study the scriptures with a predetermined thesis in place, such a standard should be applied equally to those like Chellew who use the scriptures to prove that homosexuality isnt condemned by God. Rogers doesn’t do that.
The whole concept of biblical compartmentalization serves the gay christian movement’s faux doctrine well in that it allows them to control the flow of truth to their adherents. Chellew’s cut-out Jesus is a perfect example of why gay christians will never accept truth. The cut-out christ isnt equipped to tell them.
Rogers uses the Sodom passage to prove his point but in the process demonstrates that he has to violate his own no presuppositional rule.
“But when you study it you see that Sodom and Gomorrah is mentioned many other times in scripture but never in connection with homosexuality,” Rogers said. “The other biblical passages in the Old Testament refer to the sin of Sodom as greed, lack of hospitality, excessive wealth and indifference to the poor. And Jesus refers to the sin of Sodom, which was in his view the failure of cities to give hospitality to his traveling disciples.”
The “other” passage[s] Rogers is referring to is Ezekial 16:49. Ezekiel 16:49 needs no interpretation, no spin of any sort. Since Rogers uses it as an example, let’s agree it is what it says. When one reads Ezekiel 16:49 it says exactly what Rogers agrees with. There’s no mention of homosexuality.
49 “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.
But the very next verse which continues the prophets thoughts show the sins of the previous verse led them to commit abominations.
50 “Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.
Abominations? What could he be referring to when he said they “committed abominations”? Certainly Ezekiel wasnt simply repeating what he had said before, nor was he restating it. The word abomination in the scripture specifically referred to two equally detestable acts: idolatry and sexual immorality.
Not only did Ezekiel pinpoint the sexual immorality and idolatry of Sodom but quite clearly God recounts that HE took punitive action against them.
If it was about honestly looking at all the context, history, culture why doesn’t Rogers cite the 50th verse in its context? Rogers also neglects to cite the Apostle Jude’s warning about Sodom. “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire”(Jude 7). Jude describes their “grievous sin” as “going after strange flesh” Perhaps Rogers thinks that Jude (the Lord’s brother) is also guilty of antihomosexuality presupposition.
Its astonishing that after nine months of alleged Bible study, Rogers uses the exact the same cookie cutter arguments (even animal homosexuality) previous progay revisionists before him have rehashed. Excuse the sarcasm, but how original is that for a religion seminary professor?
Chellew admits that it wasn’t the Bible that changed, but how people viewed the Bible. Rogers attributes that to Karl Barth’s (1886-1968) “neo-orthodox” theology which held that “revelation of God comes not in an inspired book, but in the person of Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate” Rogers later calls Barth’s revisionism the church’s “roots”.
That’s an interesting disclosure. The Bible doesn’t change. Since it cannot and wont change to accomdate the whims of people, no matter who they are, the only solution is the change your mind about the Bible. What a dangerous road to take, but its one proponents of homosexual affirming theology take because they do not want to accept the scripture’s inerrant truth. Most base their obejections on a ministerpretation theory.
Wrong translations or right interpretations?
What’s the difference between translation and interpretation? Translations are unchanged in their meaning while crossing languages – they do not differ between translators because the original manuscript is the authority. Interpretations are perceptions of what the original manuscript meant. This can alter from one interpreter to another – as the various versions of the Bible we have do. 1 Peter1:20,21 tells us that the scripture is not up for private interpretation. That is to say, no one should derive a conclusion which allows them to escape the responsibility of their own sin.
Here’s another example of Rogers’ half-true interpretations in order to justify homosexuality.
“You discover that Jesus never goes out on a moral crusade against people who are marginalized by society,” Rogers said. “He does the exact opposite. He brings in people who are considered outcast by his society including women and people with disabilities and people who weren’t Jews. This was a big deal because you weren’t supposed to have anything to do with these people because they were manifest sinners.”
In scripture, “marginal sinner” who encountered Christ voluntarily repented of their sins and forsook them (Mary Magdalene) or they walked away from Christ’s challenge (rich young ruler).
This notion that some are marginalized and others are not is simply untrue. The proper perspective is that sin marginalizes all of us. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Thus, such marginalization should be viewed from God’s redemptive perspective. Gaining social equality is of no significance if one’s soul remains unredeemed.
To encounter Christ was to encounter change. Either you accepted his challenge (Mark 1:14.15) or you rejected it. Fundamentally, that remains the challenge of the gospel message even to this day.
For a full critique of Jack Rogers flawed use of analogical reasoning, see Dr. Gagnon’s article.