Chris Hallquit, a patheos atheist blogger, writes about liberal Christians who support gay marriage. Here’s his objection to the way its generally approached:
I object to liberal Christians who are so eager to reinterpret the Bible to be gay-friendly because when they do that, they’re still upholding the principle that the Bible should be treated as a special source of guidance. Sure, reinterpreting the Bible on gay issues may help in the short run on those particular issues, but until we see the Bible as just another human book (albeit an influential one, though one whose influence has so often been ill), we’ll never get out of fights over Biblical interpretation that we shouldn’t need to have for purposes of setting government policy in a modern liberal democracy.
So basically Chris says this. The Bible is a human book, with human errors, but instead of admitting this, Christians just debate and hash out their differences for hundreds of years about what the Bible really means. Instead we should be demonstrating the errors in the Bible, and the human development in the Bible, and then and only then, will people get over the anti-gay, anti-women, and all this and that.
He has somewhat a point.
Sometimes I feel that way over women’s rights. I look at the Bible, and all the anti-women verses, and just want to scratch them out, admit that Paul is a man apart of a human book, and then be done with my life. I mean, you know, there’s some pretty misogynistic stuff in there.
And I agree that we should have more conversations about the discrepancies and contradictions in the Bible and the development of the Bible. And we should have more talks about how we don’t have the originals to any manuscripts and that the manuscripts we do have contain more differences than words in the New Testament. And I think its worth pointing out that history has changed a lot in the last 2,000 years, and to divorce history from the New Testament is, well, dishonest.
But still, if the church has interrupted a scripture the wrong way, that’s worth pointing out too. This is not an either/or lesson.
I guess for me it boils down to honesty. In the debate on women’s roles in the church, in some cases my interpretation of scripture was definitely wrong, and it was worth Christians pointing out. In other cases, I discovered that words were added to later manuscripts, and that was also worth pointing out. By studying both, it freed me of the anti-women interpretation of the Bible. [My study was more complicated than that, but all that’s for another post.]
I also don’t think this is going to affect the government in the long run as the older generations are slowly losing their voice. But this debate will have implications on the church, and that’s what we are seeing right now in both the LGBT and women’s debate.
How do you all think we should approach the Bible on these debates? If your not a Christian, how do you personally engage Christians?