Jewish Journal


May 11, 2012

Evangelicals embracing homosexuality?


Part of the reason that I disagree with Franklin Graham’s “shaken fist” comment is that I disagree with his premise about whether the government should be treating marriage as a religious institution. There is also a lot less uniformity with my generation of evangelical Christians on the “correct” Christian approach to homosexuality.

Cathleen Falsani addresses this in an excellent piece at the Huffington Post, focusing on a branch of evangelicalism that is taking a different view of homosexuality. An excerpt that begins with someone you’d expect to see in this piece, Jay Bakker:

“The simple fact is that Old Testament references in Leviticus do treat homosexuality as a sin ... a capital offense even,” Bakker writes. “But before you say, ‘I told you so,’ consider this: Eating shellfish, cutting your sideburns and getting tattoos were equally prohibited by ancient religious law.

“The truth is that the Bible endorses all sorts of attitudes and behaviors that we find unacceptable (and illegal) today and decries others that we recognize as no big deal.”
Leviticus prohibits interracial marriage, endorses slavery and forbids women to wear trousers. Deuteronomy calls for brides who are found not to be virgins to be stoned to death, and for adulterers to be summarily executed.

“The church has always been late,” Bakker told me in an interview this week. “We were late on slavery. We were late on civil rights. And now we’re late on this.”


Tony Jones, a “theologian-in-residence” at Minnesota’s Solomon’s Porch, one of the pre-eminent “Emergent’’ churches in the nation, echoes many of Bakker’s arguments. Peggy Campolo, wife of evangelist Tony Campolo, has been saying this kind of thing for years, despite her husband’s disagreement.

And while he stops short of explicitly saying “it’s not a sin’’ in his 2010 book, A New Kind of Christianity, Brian McLaren, godfather of the Emergent church movement, condemns a Christian preoccupation with homosexual issues as “fundasexuality.’

Read the rest here.

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