Christians believe that the Bible is “God-breathed,” handed down, unchanged throughout the ages by the Creator himself.
Then, along comes Newsweek. In next week’s cover story, “Our Mutual Joy,” Lisa Miller advocates for gay marriage and tells us that God really didn’t mean all those explicit pronouncements against homosexuality in his holy Word.
This shoddy diatribe, passed off as objective journalism, is the end result of giving the job of covering a serious subject like religion to a society editor.
It is obvious to any student of the Bible that Ms. Miller hasn’t bothered to read the good book for herself but relies on the writings of “enlightened” liberal theologians who are not above picking a fight with the Almighty or, at the very least, want to choose what biblical truths to accept or reject.
The central point of the Miller argument is this: Many of the individuals used by God were imperfect creatures and didn’t have the kind of union prescribed by God in Genesis 2:24-25 and later outlined by Paul in his New Testament letters. Therefore, we cannot and should not use the Bible as a “how-to script.”
In fact, the Miller arguments end up fighting with one another, pointing out the sheer pointlessness of her exercise.
First, Miller argues that Jesus was “indifferent to earthly attachments.” She confuses the apostle Paul’s encouragement to those who would remain single and unencumbered in order to spread the Gospel, as a pronouncement against this sacred institution, asserting that Paul regarded marriage as “an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust.”
Further down the page, she states, “While the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family (come on Miller you can’t have it both ways) neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman (check out the Genesis reference above).”
While columnists are paid for their opinions, a journalist is supposed to be fair and balanced. However, Miller quotes only one pastor, the Rev. Richard A. Hunter, who holds to a traditional view of marriage for the sole purpose of ridicule. She concludes that “no sensible modern person wants marriage – theirs or anyone else’s – to look in its particulars anything like what the Bible describes.”
Furthermore, Miller states, “Scripture gives us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be civilly and religiously married – and a number of excellent reasons why they should.”
There are six primary references to homosexuality in the Bible and countless other condemnations against the practice recorded during the second temple and rabbinic periods.
The first primary reference deals with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. The second reference, in Leviticus 18 is a specific pronouncement against it and other gross offenses. It is an expansion of the seventh commandment and is consistent with God’s purpose for human sexuality. In Leviticus 20, punishment is proscribed and homosexuality is called “a detestable act.”
Miller ignores the first reference and calls the other two “throwaway lines in a peculiar test given over to codes for living in the ancient Jewish world.” Yes, these prohibitions against homosexuality in Leviticus are sandwiched between rituals that were imposed on the Jewish people but there is a difference between ritual and moral law. If you throw out the commandments in Leviticus, then you must throw out the laws against murder, adultery and stealing.
To make the matter perfectly clear, the condemnation against homosexuality is repeated in the New Testament in three places: Romans 1, I Timothy 9 and 10 and I Corinthians 6:9.
Miller refers only to the citation in Romans 1, where she quotes the rants of Neil Elliot, who tries to tell us these passages were specifically directed at two despicable Roman emperors who coerced people. It is in this section that Miller completely exposes her lack of knowledge and biblical curiosity when she argues and that Bible says nothing about sexual acts between women.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
The truths in scripture are repeated throughout scripture. The Bible is either the word of God or it isn’t. If it isn’t, why do folks like Miller work so hard to try to twist it into something they find acceptable? Why not simply ignore God and the Bible and go to the beach?