The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is about hospitality codes, not about homosexuality. A crowd gathering to rape a stranger is nothing like gay sex between ordinary, normal, well adjusted gay people, or even the nuttiest British gay people. And anyway, why treat Old Testament rules about homosexuality as more important than rules about shellfish? “Why can’t I own a Canadian?” You have read the text on the link before, of course, but it bears reading again, and there is an amusing clip from The West Wing too. So far, so obvious. It is clear that the Bible is no barrier to gay people in the church. So why do some Evangelicals insist it is?
I told an Evangelical “ass” that Lot knew his neighbours weren’t gay, because he offered them his daughters, and got the reply that “It was because they were sodomites that they rejected his offer and demanded he send out the angels.” This really matters to (some) Evangelicals. I think they actually want an out-group, other people that they can think are bad and destined for Hell, in order to make themselves feel better. I think they use this as a touchstone to reject Christians: if you do not condemn homosexuality, they say, you do not have a proper attitude to the Bible and are not a proper Christian. This ass refers to “Liberal ‘Christians’,” as if we are not real Christians like he is.
Whereas, his attitude is specifically condemned by Jesus. “Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone”. “First take the beam out of your own eye, that you may see clearly to take the mote out of your brother’s eye.” A person who spends so much time policing another Christian’s morality just has not understood the Gospel. The ass might respond,
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
And so he would rather gay people suffer dreadfully for the rejection of themselves as God created them, or be driven from the Church, than accept God’s creation as God made it. I interpret “causes one of these little ones to sin” as meaning his act, and not mine.
Yesterday I went to the induction of a new minister at my local United Reformed Church, which is Evangelical. They are entirely accepting of gay people. They might not bless or celebrate a civil partnership as Quakers would, but the rabid rejection of gay people seems to be a canker in the church in the US, and not nearly so much here. I talked about my former girlfriend, and chatted happily to a number of people I had not met before, and specifically asked. Here, they said, it would just not be raised. My local URC where I lived before had a specific policy of welcoming gay people, and openly gay elders.
The ass has a full right of reply here, should he choose to exercise it.