Cory is perfectly defended against truth.
He wants to save me from that Hell to which all unrepentant gay people will inevitably go after death. I want to save him from hell now, from the idea that humanity is naturally wicked. I tried argument. No, the Bible does not condemn gay people, or even support the ideas of new-Earth creationism. In minutes, he came back with three articles, showing that Genesis 1 does not contradict Genesis 2 and that the Centurion’s pais was not his lover, even though the word means precisely that. You know, proper Scholarship, delving into the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew and everything. He challenged me to show that David and Jonathan might have done anything more than hug in an entirely hetero-manly way, and I admit defeat. I am not going to show that to his satisfaction.
Those writers start from the desire to show the Bible uniformly condemns homosexuality, and does not really contradict itself, rather than looking into the Greek and Hebrew to find what they might mean. Clearly the stories are contradictory: In what order did God create? Adam, plants, animals, then Eve, as in Genesis 2, or plants, animals then Adam and Eve together as in Genesis 1? The compiler of Genesis, taking these pre-existing stories, did not mind the contradiction, because they were stories. The believer in Biblical inerrancy must show they do not contradict each other, because he is forced to deny that they are stories.
If you read the stories with an open mind, you will see they give different orders of events. Then, go to that article and see how it seeks to obfuscate the fact. But, did the translators of the NRSV deliberately set out to make their translation lie? How many different words are there for “every”? I do not need Hebrew to see the contradictions.
We can debate the meaning of malakoi or arsenokoitai endlessly, and there are theologians who can create impressively detailed arguments for any view. I may choose which of these I like. I choose the arguments which say the Centurion’s pais was his lover, because my Christianity is liberal, not conservative. I start with liberal Christianity.
The first choice is between seeing people as wicked and in need of control, as conservative Evangelical Christianity does, or seeing us as basically good and in need of fulfilment, as liberal Christianity does. Just as our innate homosexuality is good and not foul, so are our other innate characteristics: we have a capacity and desire for love and connection and creativity.
Argument sometimes works. I can tell of the pais to someone who is open to the winsome possibility of their own goodness, and the horror of the Evangelical belief system, and they may respond. And there are people like Cory trapped in that horror, and any argument will merely elicit a counter argument.
Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Hear Rumi:
Make everything in you an ear,
each atom of your being,
and you will hear at every moment
what the source is whispering to you . . .
You are, we all are, the beloved of the beloved.
And in every moment,
in every event of your life,
the beloved is whispering to you
exactly what you need to know.
Who can ever explain this miracle?
It simply is.