Saturday, September 16, 2006

All other ground...

Near the beginning of the school year, my university hosts various clubs and organizations for a day. They set up booths, blow up balloons, and put out sign-up sheets. Actually, I've already written about that! Lately, I've been going through the pamphelets I picked up that day.

The associate pastor of a Presbyterian church gave me a booklet entitled "Homosexuality and the Bible," by Walter Wink. "It's written by a Biblical scholar," she told me.

On his opening page, Mr. Wink says, "The issue of homosexuality
threatens to fracture whole denominations, as the issue of slavery did one
hundred and fifty years ago. We naturally turn to the Bible for guidance
and find ourselves mired in interpretive quicksand. Is the Bible able to
speak to our confusion in this issue?
"The debate over homsexuality is a remarkable opportunity, because it
raises in an expecially acute way how we intepret the Bible, not in this
case only, but in numerous others as well. The real issue here, then, is
not simply homosexuality, but how Scripture inoforms our lives today. Some passages that have been advanced as pertinent to the issue of homsexuality are, in fact, irrelevant."

After that less than hopeful beginning, he goes on to explain why each
reference to homosexuality in Scripture (Gen. 19:1-29, Judges 19-21, Deut.
23:17-18, 1 Cor. 6:9, 1 Tim. 1:10, Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13, Rom. 1:26) can't
possibly be interepreted as a warning from God not to engage in it.

After "winking" at sin, and offering a defense of homosexual activity, he concludes with: "I am deeply convinced of the rightness of what I have said in this essay. But I must acknowledge that it is not an airight case. You can find weaknesses in it, just as I can in others'. The truth is we are not given unequivocal guidance in either area, abotion or homosexuality,
Rather than tearing at each others' throats, therefore, we should humbly admit our limitations. How do I know I am correctly interpreting God's word for us today? How do you? Wouldn't it be wiser to Chritians to lower the decibels by 95 percent and quietly present our beliefs, knowing full well we might be wrong?"

His position could be described by the words of this hymn:
"On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand..."

Picture source:


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