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[198] No Consensus

The debate over homosexual behavior and same-sex marriages rages on. I see no consensus in sight on these issues among serious biblical Christians. I think we may have to accept a permanent diversity on these matters.

There are two general ways to look at this. For many, the prohibitions in both the Old and the New Testament are the final word. To mettle with these prohibitions is to mettle with the eternal in unchanging word of God. It is a simple but a compelling position.

The other is to look at the sanctions in cultural context. For example, in Romans, Paul connects homosexual activity to other obvious sins in his description of a truly wicked group of people. Homosexuality appears to be in the context of riotous, promiscuous living, not in a monogamous, committed relationship. Moreover, I doubt Paul knew that sexual orientation is largely if not completely genetic any more than the biblical writers realized the universe is heliocentric, with the earth being oval, rather than possessing four corners. And from there one can shift to other strictures of the past that are no longer in force today—women wearing hats in church, for example, not to mention more liberal attitudes toward divorce.

I urge Christians to avoid the one thing that is among the common and easiest to do when engaging explosive issues such as these: To attack rather than reason, to demonize those with opposing views rather than working out their differences in the love of Christ. DC

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