Thank God we have the LA Times to explain to the rest of us
how to properly interpret the Bible. In a op-ed entitled “What the Bible really says about gays”, columnist
Michael McGough asserts that one key to using scripture in support of
homosexuality is to understand that
Scripture can be reinterpreted, and sometimes repudiated, on
the basis of the lived experience of Christians, guided by the Holy Spirit.
He quotes Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John: "I still
have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit
of truth comes, he will guide you…. " as support for this thesis and gives
the Episcopal church’s ordination of gay clergy as an example of this
philosophy in action:
The [Episcopal Church’s report supporting homosexuality] notes that the Bible
records how St. Peter was guided to the truth that Gentiles could become
Christians without becoming Jews and compares it to the Episcopal Church’s
"discernment" that same-sex relationships can be holy.
Now let’s get this straight (no pun intended):
McGough is telling us that the real absolute standard for
revealed truth from God is human experience as guided by the Holy Spirit. Based
on this personal “revelation” we are free to reinterpret or discard Biblical
passages as we see fit. That is how the Episcopal Church justifies ignoring
passages referring to homosexuality as a sin.
If this approach is correct, why, I must ask, would McGough (and the rest of the adherents of this
hermeneutic) feel the need to use Biblical passages (the Peter story and quote from Jesus above) to back up their claim?
After all, why, as a Christian free to interpret those passages as the Holy
Spirit in me sees fit, couldn’t I interpret the passages they use as support
entirely differently than they do? Or what if I said that the Spirit told me that
those passages should be ignored? If the subjective voice of the Spirit is our
ultimate guide, there could not possibly be an objective reason for rejecting my
“interpretation” of these scriptures.
It is sophistry, pure and simple. McGough and his crowd are
trying to undercut the authority of the Bible by appealing to the authority of
the Bible! They are trying to sound intelligent in order to justify certain
behavior but they present a ridiculous argument and should be ignored.
accept the Bible or don’t but don’t try to have it both ways.