This week the New York Times had a story about Christian Universities not allowing gay clubs on campus. I was outraged to see ACU, my university mentioned in the story. I quickly called the office of the president to ask if this was true. I was told, they didn’t know. Really? I then asked if they knew the earth was round and hung up.
When are we going to stop using the Bible for our own fear-based prejudices?
In the 1860’s, Southern preachers defended slavery by propping up the Bible and what it literally says. Ephesians 6:5, “slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling.” Or, Titus 2:9, “…tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect.” Southern Christians who wanted to keep their slaves had the words of the Bible to back them up.
A new symbolic view of the Bible is needed today including how we view homosexuality. Yes, it is true the Old Testament says in Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” But this old testament God is the same God who got angry and wiped out cities of the unfaithful, killed Job’s family because of a bet he had with Satan and killed Onan because he “spilled semen on the ground.” Is this the God you believe in, love and follow today? A God with human emotions?
In January, mega church pastor Joel Osteen told CNN that homosexuality is wrong because, “the scripture shows that it’s a sin.”
Mr. Osteen should be careful about his rhetoric going forward-careful not to continue giving the impression that being Christian is in large measure about opposing gay rights, and careful not to let the public expression of his faith become primarily associated with something like looks, sounds and feels like hate to the rest of us.
Just as science ultimately proved the earth is indeed round, science is again proving being homosexual is the way a person is born. Just like we can’t change the color of our skin, we can’t change our sexual preferences.
The next step in human evolution is the development of our minds and the expansion of our hearts. I can only pray that young gay Christians can hang on, keep the faith and look to the compassionate example of Jesus.