A wonderful reader sent me this article, by Rev. Mel White, co-founder of the Christian group, Soulforce, which is written in response to the hurtful sometimes even hateful messages LGBT people receive from the Christian community.  I am probably among the worst-versed in Christian theology, so I won’t even try to tackle this argument myself.  This article emphasizes many of the points I’ve heard before about the misinterpretation and misquotation of anti-LGBT verses in the bible.

Here’s a few highlights, although I highly suggest you read the article in its entirety.

  • The Bible is a product of the place and time where it was written (by the Apostles, the Jews of Israel before Christ, etc.), and thus must be taken in the context of its time and only looked to as an authority on its primary subject: faith

“The authors of the Bible are authorities in matters of faith. They can be trusted when they talk about God. But they should not be considered the final authorities on sexual orientation any more than they are the final authorities on space travel, gravity, or the Internet.”

  • There is an etymological discrepancy between the way modern American read some of the bible’s vocabulary and what it actually meant at the time.

“What about this word abomination that comes up in both passages? In Hebrew, “abominations” (TO’EBAH) are behaviors that people in a certain time and place consider tasteless or offensive. To the Jews an abomination was not a law, not something evil like rape or murder forbidden by the Ten Commandments. It was a common behavior by non-Jews that Jews thought was displeasing to God.”

  • Many of the passages used to condemn homosexuality are from the Old Testament, which is not the primary text in interpreting God’s will.

“Jesus and Paul both said the holiness code in Leviticus does not pertain to Christian believers.”

  • Above all else, the emphasis of the Christian faith is on love and acceptance.

A young Jewish scholar asked Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment?” Quoting the prophets, Jesus replied, “The great commandment is this… to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second command is like it, to love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

“This is my commandment,” Jesus said, “that you love one another, as I have loved you.” On this the Bible is explicitly clear. Even if we disagree about what the Bible seems to say about homosexuality, we can agree that above all else we are commanded by the Scriptures to love God and to love one another.

“Imagine the suffering that could be avoided if the church could say this to their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children: “We don’t understand your views about sexual orientation, but we love and trust you. As long as you love God and seek God’s will in your life, you are welcome here.”

I’d like to sincerely thank the reader who sent me this and ask all of you what your thoughts are regarding Rev. White’s arguments.