Clarification 1. What does the Bible tell us about sex?
Clarification 3. There is an alternative to the gay script: the identity-in-Christ script.
Clarification 4. We can distinguish between two senses of being "gay": gay1 is to experience same-sex attraction or orientation but not embrace the gay script, whereas gay2 is to experience same-sex attraction or orientation plus embrace the gay script.
End of clarifications.
What do I think about a GSA student club in an evangelical Christian university that holds the traditional biblical view that homo-erotic sex (and other sexual behaviours outside marriage between one man and one woman) is sin?
We can distinguish between two senses of being "gay": gay1 is to experience same-sex attraction or orientation but not embrace the gay script, whereas gay2 is to experience same-sex attraction or orientation plus embrace the gay script.
According to psychologist Mark Yarhouse, the gay script reads as follows: "Same-sex attractions signal a naturally occurring or 'intended by God' distinction between homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality. Same-sex attractions are the way you know who you 'really are' as a person…. Same-sex attractions are at the core of who you are as a person. Same-sex behavior is an extension of that core. Self-actualization (behavior that matches who you 'really are') of your sexual identity is crucial for your fulfillment."
- Sam Allberry, Is God anti-gay? And other questions about homosexuality, the Bible, and same-sex attraction
- Joe Dallas, The Gay Gospel? How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread the Bible
- Kevin DeYoung, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality
- Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics
- Rollin Grams and Donald Fortson, Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition
The Netherlands is probably the world's most open-minded and sexually tolerant country in the world. At the vanguard of homosexual rights for decades, gay marriage was legalized there in 2001, with over 75 percent of the population supporting the bill. A 1998 study examining sexual attitudes in 24 countries asked the question, ‘Is homosexual sex wrong?’ Only 26 percent of U.S. respondents indicated ‘not wrong at all’ or ‘only sometimes wrong’; the corresponding number in the Netherlands was 77 percent.
In light of that country's stance, it is worth noting that, as in the United States, young gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals in the Netherlands report more high risk sexual behaviors, higher rates of infection with HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea, and more mental health problems than their heterosexual counterparts. In these studies, younger age was not protective; even as Dutch society became more accepting of sexual minorities, the health disparities persisted. Clearly, societal bias is not to blame for the disproportionately higher numbers in the homosexual populations in the Netherlands.
The following books are helpful too:
- Sam Allbery, Is God anti-gay?: And other questions about homosexuality, the Bible, and same-sex attraction
- Wesley Hill, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality
- Mark Yarhouse, Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends
- Critical review of the film For the Bible Tells Me So
- Debunking Internet Arguments
- Jesus and homosexuality
- Homosexuality and history
Of course, my Apologia columns are not the last word on these topics. Check out the books and videos to which I provide links.
15. We changed our minds on what the Bible says about women and slaves, so why not change our minds about homosexuality?
(Some might say that my use of "revisionist" is a loaded term, too. Perhaps. By "revisionist" I mean change-or-radically-reinterpret-the-traditional-understanding-of-Scripture.)