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Why Gays and Lesbians Should Never Argue Scripture, by Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge.

I believe, this Rev is very mis-guided! I can't believe, she is GAY!!!

Direct download: Stupid_people.mp3
Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 6:39am EDT

"When are you going to talk about scripture that
condemns homosexuality?"

By Rev. Candance Chellew-Hodge

The question came from a young woman who attended a workshop based
on my book Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and
Lesbian Christians. This particular workshop was held a couple of years
ago on a college campus and attracted a cross-section of students who
were both supporters and detractors of homosexuality.

This question is usually asked by a pro-gay person who wants to
know how to answer challengers who quote scripture. This woman
was different -- she had come for an argument and intended to
challenge me with anti-gay interpretations of scripture.

"We're not going to talk about those passages specifically," I told her.
"Instead, part of this workshop is on why we should never argue scripture
with anyone ever again."

She was visibly disappointed and left halfway through the workshop.
I now realize that I should have given her a more in-depth answer to
her question, because there are still plenty of people, both for and
against homosexuality, who insist on arguing about what the Bible does
and does not say about homosexuality.

There are several reasons that gays and lesbians should never argue
scripture. First, it's pointless and nobody wins. Those who are anti-gay
have their authorities and scriptural interpretations and so do pro-gay
people. No one wins a "they said, they said" argument because no one will
believe the scholars from either side no matter what argument anyone makes.

Secondly, arguing over scripture just hardens the opinions of both sides.
Neither side is willing to give an inch. This is not a true dialogue, it's
simply a contest of who can argue the longest, and usually the loudest. No
one is convinced, and everyone leaves further entrenched in their own ideas,
and usually angry. No education happens, and little, if any, compassion ever happens.

Thirdly, the arguers on either side never share the same starting point on
scripture. Those who are anti-gay are more likely to see the Bible as the
infallible "Word of God" -- which means the words literally dripped from
the lips of God through the pens of the scribes and onto the page. Each
jot and tittle is God-breathed and never to be contradicted. (Never mind
that much of the Bible is full of contradictions and much of it we
disregard with impunity these days. Those sorts of inconveniences
never actually apply to the argument around homosexuality.)

Those who argue from the pro-gay side are generally those who see the Bible
as inspired by God, but not the literal, infallible words of God. This means
they are more open to different interpretations and approaches to scripture.
Those who see the Bible as "God's literal word" only know one way to read any
passage, and it's usually to back up their current beliefs about God,
homosexuality or any other issue.

The most important reason, however, that gays and lesbians should never,
ever argue about scripture is because the Bible has nothing much to say
about homosexuality. We have to remember that this is an ancient book.
It was written at a time when people believed the world was flat and that
the earth was in the middle of a three-tiered world with heaven above and
hell below. It was written at a time when people believed that the whole of
human reproduction was held in the sperm of a man and a woman was merely an
incubator. Speaking of women, this was a time when they were seen as chattel
-- property to be passed along from father to husband, from husband to
brother and so on. It was written at a time when slavery was seen as
God-ordained and animal sacrifice was the way to cleanse sins.

In short, we cannot extract modern ideas from an ancient book. The writers
of the Bible no more understood homosexuality than they understood that a
spherical Earth orbited the sun. At most, we have a commentary on same-sex
sexual behavior involving lust and abuse, but nothing -- pro or con -- about
the modern concept of sexual orientation. We don't take the Bible's word for
it that the earth is flat and women only incubate babies and contribute nothing
else to the process. Why on earth would we take it as an authority on sexual orientation?

The Bible remains a holy book because it maps humanity's journey with God,
and not the other way around. Because it maps our journey with God, it maps
our evolving understanding of how the Holy works in this world. Humanity has
moved from seeing God as a harsh judge and lawmaker to a seeing God as full
of grace, mercy and love.

We don't learn about God by pulling out tiny details of the book and
proclaiming them as true for all time. Instead, the Bible puts us in
touch with God when we recognize its overarching message, which can be
summarized by 1 John 4:7-8: "Beloved, let us love one another, because
love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love."

The reason gays and lesbians should never argue over scripture is because,
not only does scripture not condemn homosexuality, arguing over it produces
nothing but strife, division and hatred. Anything that does not promote love
is not of God. Instead of arguing, let us love one another, even those with
whom we disagree. This is God's message to us. Nothing else matters.

Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 1:20am EDT