Greener: On gay marriage, beware hunt-and-peck theology
Today, I tread into dangerous waters — a discussion of the matter of homosexuality and gay marriage from a religious point of view.
While I do my best to be a good Christian, most days I fall woefully short. Active for many years in leadership positions at my local Presbyterian Church, I have listened for years about the proper treatment of and roles for those who are homosexual in their sexual orientation. Can they be married in the church? Can they serve in ordained positions?
As a 65-year-old man, my personal position has evolved over time. I respect those who struggle with what is the right thing in terms of answering the two questions posed above. It is frustrating to me that some who are gay or lesbian seem more interested in their sexual lives than in helping to build the Kingdom of God on Earth. It is even more frustrating to listen to those who shout loudly that the Bible demands that only relationships between a man and a woman are acceptable within the church. From where I sit, this is nothing more than “hunt-and-peck theology.”
A simple Google search yields the claim there are 100 Bible verses that deal with homosexuality. A closer looks, however, shows these include verses such as James 4:12. That passage highlights the fact there is only one lawgiver and judge and asks “who are you to judge your neighbor.” Hard for me to see precisely how this is on point.
If you inquire about what Jesus had to say about homosexuality, the single reference is Matthew 19:1-8. It is actually about whether it is lawful for a man to divorce a woman.
There are, to be certain, specific verses condemning homosexuality in the Bible, particularly in the New Testament writings of Paul.
So, what exactly is it that makes me so critical of those who say the Bible requires Christians to not accept homosexuality, much less gay marriage? It is that these same people are perfectly content to ignore so many other passages in the Bible.
For example, in Matthew, Jesus says “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Again, in Matthew (5:27-28), Jesus says that if we even lust in our heart, we are committing adultery.
Just which Protestant church is it that does not perform marriage ceremonies for people who have been divorced? Which Protestant church is it that forbids men or women who have been divorced from serving in ordained positions in the church?
My denomination is in the midst of deciding the definition of marriage. The new definition to “two people, primarily a man and a woman,” will soon be official. Am I to believe that in Christ, every one of the items that separate us cited is eradicated and the single division that will remain is sexual orientation? How is that even barely possible.
You may not agree with me in terms of where I have arrived for my own position on the matter of homosexuality or gay marriage. You may, for any number of reasons, decide that marriage should still remain only something between a man and a woman.
But please cease and desist from saying your position is nothing more than doing what the Bible demands. You cannot have it both ways.
Bill Greener is a founding partner of Greener and Hook, LLC, a Republican consulting firm. He wrote this piece for InsideSources.com.