Out of the Theological Closet
Upcoming New Blog Series
Those of you who periodically read my blog, tune in to my Facebook, or follow me on Twitter may have noticed a recent increase in activity on posts, comments, links and stories relating to issues of homosexuality. Over the past few months I have been more and more openly dialoguing about this issue, and each time the conversation inevitably works its way around to the Bible. In almost every instance I am eventually asked things such as:
Why do you ignore what the Bible clearly teaches?
Where do you get your Biblical support for such beliefs?
What do you do with (insert passage here) this Bible verse?
And so on.
Sometimes they come in a snarky “read-this-passage-and-you’ll-be-fixed” sort of way (implying, I guess, that I just never knew such verses exist??).
But mostly the questions are posed in a “genuinely-curious-about-your-perspective” sort of way.
I’ve briefly mentioned here and there some of my thoughts and perspectives on what the Bible teaches (or doesn’t teach) about homosexuality. But each time I end up wishing I had more space, more time, to really do justice to what I’ve discovered over the past few years.
And so, I am beginning a series of blog posts to deal directly with the issue of the Bible and homosexuality, titled, UnClobber: A Survey of Homosexuality in the Bible.
As you’ll soon discover, if you aren’t already aware, there are only a handful of places in Scripture that address (or appear to address) the issue of homosexuality. These are commonly referred to as the “clobber passages” (I’ll let you guess why that’s so). I won’t be breaking any new ground, most of what I will be writing about has already been written. But perhaps you have never read them before, or never heard the clobber passages broken down in a different way. So I will add my voice to the discussion in hopes that some of you will be exposed in a new way to what the Bible says, and doesn’t say, about homosexuality.
Why this series, on this issue, and why now?
Several months ago I was promptly fired from the church I pastored for five years when they discovered my theological position on homosexuality. During my time there, I did not discuss my views with anybody other than my wife and a few of our closest non-staff friends. I knew my position would be controversial, and probably not accepted or tolerated, so I kept it to myself. However, once I was “outed” and swiftly terminated, I realized my time for silence on this issue was over. I now feel previously unfelt liberty to share my beliefs, and finally able to speak openly about the journey that Christ has taken me and my wife on over the past 6 years.
I am, if you will, out of the theological closet.
And it feels amazing. As hard as it was to lose my job, lose friendships, and lose much of my identity, what I’ve gained back (in the freedom to be open about my convictions on such issues) is incredibly beautiful. I have felt, for years now, this strange conviction (placed only by God’s Spirit, I promise you) to be an active voice in the conversation that is emerging between the LGBT community (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) and the Christian church. However, I have not been in a place where I could do that… until now.
So I invite you to join me in this journey. Participate in this dialogue.
If you haven’t already, subscribe to my blog (there is a button on the right side bar. Click it.) and be emailed when a new post goes up. Friend me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter. And check in each time a new post has been added to this series.
But don’t just read them (although that IS a good place to start).
Interact with them. Share your thoughts in the comment section. Ask questions.
And then SHARE this blog with your friends and family. At the end of every post there are 'share' options for emailing, blogging, or posting it straight to your Facebook wall. I promise you there are more people out there desperate to have these sorts of conversations (and even more desperate for alternative understandings of the Bible) than you can possibly imagine.
I think this issue is of the utmost importance. Not only for our society today, but even more so for the church. For the Bride of Christ.
If we’ve been wrong on this issue (like we’ve been on issues before), then we need to quickly right the ship and start moving forward in peace, hope and love.
Hopefully you’ll stick around and hear me out.
I think you’ll be surprised at what there is to learn about the Bible and homosexuality as we seek to UnClobber our brothers and sisters.
Part IIIb: Sodom and Gomorrah and the Bible
Part IV: Levitical Law and Abomination
Part V: Paul and Homosexuality
Part VI: But Romans is So Clear!
Part VII: Other Bible-related Thoughts