Last week I posted two videos in which Ben Witherington spoke about women in ministry. This week Ben has posted a seven minute video on the topic of sexuality and the Bible. Here is the clip.
I would like to engage my readers in a conversation here about what Witherington has to say in this video. But I also want us to keep this conversation civil and focused on the topic. I know that I have a variety of readers that frequent this blog, including gay Christians, and I would like to hear from them as well as those who are not gay. If I find a comment to be less than charitable I will delete it.
For my own part, I agree with much of Witherington's analysis of the Bible. I don't find the Bible endorsing homosexual acts, I find just the opposite. But my questions are focused more on hermenutics. For instance, I also don't' see the Bible endorsing the abolition of slavery. Again, I see just the opposite. Yet, we have decided that slavery is not a good thing and we try to eradicate it where ever we find it it in spite of the many biblical injunctions that support it. Another example is the topic of women in ministry. The New Testament has several passages that, in my opinion, restrict women from ministering and other activities. Yet many, including myself, now believe that women can and should be ministers.
When looking at the topic of sexuality some interpreters will point to the creation story for support. They argue that heterosexuality is the norm created by God. But I then point out that the command for women to wear a head covering (1 Cor 11) and not teach or have authority over a man (1 Tim 2) also both appeal to the creation story. Yet, we have concluded that in these cases the created order no longer has jurisdiction. If this is the case what is stopping us from concluding that what the Bible has to say about homosexuality no longer applies in our modern setting?
There is far more that could be said on this topic and I don't want my readers to think that I am just throwing out a few simplistic arguments. I have read and thought a lot about this issue and realize that there is much more that could be said. But I would like to hear from my readers. Where do you stand on this issue, but more importantly, how did you arrive at your conclusions?