What does the Bible really (really!) say...?

In the on-line magazine “Charisma”, Michael L. Brown writes an article called What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality (27.10.14). He makes five points, but they are wrong, all of them. Let’s look at them one by one.
1) The testimony of Scripture remains unchanged: The Bible forbids homosexual practice.
…no new textual, archeological, sociological, anthropological or philological discoveries have been made in the last 50 years that would cause us to read any of these biblical texts differently.
Put another way, it is not that we have gained some new insights into what the biblical text means based on the study of the Hebrew and Greek texts.
Well, in a way that’s true. We have, however, gained insights into what kind of authority different biblical passages have on us Christians. For instance, the passages in Leviticus that speak about “not lying with a man as with a woman” are part of a larger whole that forbid many practices that the Israelites’ heathen neighbours had – the idea being that God’s people should remain faithful to God, instead of being lured into worshiping their neighbours’ gods.
2) The Bible is a heterosexual book.
There are a few, very strong, very clear, references to homosexual practice—every one of them decidedly negative—and then not a single reference to homosexual practice throughout the rest of the Bible. It is not part of God's "recipe" for humanity.
This is not so. There are several biblical examples of love between people of the same sex – David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi and (arguably) Martha and Mary. They are soft-pedalled, since the Bible is largely a heteronormative book, reflecting the standards of the societies in which it came into being – but they are there. The Bible is not an exclusively heterosexual book!
3) Gender complementarity is of foundational importance.
Despite recent attempts to downplay this truth, male-female complementarity is part of God's foundational design.
Of course it is. Biologically. And the majority of humanity is heterosexual, so there is no question about the human race becoming extinct.
However, when God created Man (the species), He created us with a wish for “twosomeness” as opposed to lonesomeness. Most people find that “twosomeness” in a heterosexual relationship, as Adam and Eve did in Genesis, but many find it in same-sex relations. The Genesis passage does not specifically state that heterosexuality is the only option, only that it is the usual option, for human beings to find “twosomeness”.
4) Jesus knew exactly what was inside people, including their "sexual orientation."
“Are gay theologians willing to say that the Lord Himself didn't understand modern-day, still-evolving concepts like "sexual orientation"?
And are they willing to say that the Lord Jesus, who literally looked into the hearts and souls of human beings—John 2:25 says that He knew what was in man—didn't understand that certain people were "gay"? We're not talking about the writers of Scripture understanding modern science. We're talking about them—including Jesus Himself—understanding human nature.”
I have no problem affirming that Jesus knew that some people were homosexual. I don’t see him mentioning that fact anywhere in the Gospels, however, and I certainly don’t see him condemning it!
5) The gospel brings good news to homosexual men and women.
It certainly does. Jesus died for our sins, and in Him we can all – gay and straight, man and woman, young and old, black and white, rich and poor – find forgiveness, peace, hope, and purpose.
Is the gospel of Jesus hard to follow? Yes. Love for God and for our fellow humans is not something that comes easily to us. We need to change and grow to be more like Jesus. But that regards us all, not only homosexuals. In fact, one of the first things we need to change is our tendency to judge others by our own standards. Especially if we imagine them to be God’s standards.
We must open ourselves to God and let Him teach us the standards He expects us to stand up to. We must NOT let ourselves be deluded into thinking that our own interpretation of God, His will, or His Word is the correct one.
I am never sure that my interpretation is correct. If I find that I’m wrong, I will change my opinion. There is only one interpretation that I KNOW is incorrect, and that is the literal one.

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