When I first became a Christian, I remember having serious questions about many social issues. Sometimes my especially difficult inquiries were met, not with historical proofs or apologetic reasoning, but with the flustered response “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.” There was a time when that response would satisfy. A time when many in this country were on the same page regarding worldview. That time is over.
Biblical faith is not the absence of content. On the contrary, biblical faith calls us to follow a God who has revealed Himself to us and whose laws and ways are grounded in the realities of the world He created. The response of “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it,” can cheat us out of a deeper understanding of God’s character, goodness, and design for our lives. There is a rational behind His principles.
When it comes to engaging culture today, nowhere does this matter more than on the issue of homosexuality. In the Fall 2012 Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, John Piper writes:
…whether we want to make [homosexuality] a frontline issue or not, increasingly it is. …“There is no demilitarized zone in the homosexual debate.” Pastors must address it. In fact, virtually everyone who communicates with mainstream cultural folk must address it.
The argument against Christianity today is not epistemological but moral. Christianity is rejected not because it is badly argued, or untrue, but because it is evil. And it is evil because it opposes homosexual practice.
…at least in major metropolitan areas, the issue of homosexuality ranks near the top of the reasons people reject Christianity… https://www.cbmw.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/JBMW-Fall-12-Complete.pdf
If Piper is right, do you know what that means, friends? No more heads in the sand. No more wishing the issue away. No more withdrawing into a sanitized bubble. If that is our course of action, we will resign ourselves to irrelevancy and give our children a faith that cannot withstand trials.
Non-Christians have no interest in simply “what the Bible says.” They want honest answers to honest questions, if they are asking at all.
Skeptics are attracted by content-heavy answers giving support to God’s truth. And for maximum credibility, these words must be spoken by one who is living out the difficult principles of scripture.
If you feel that this blog has equipped you with information and compassion, and has been true to Christ and scriptural principles, then invite your friends to follow this blog.
Share these blog posts. And begin to use this information to engage your world. Serve those with whom you disagree on this issue. Take the initiative to reach out to them. Ever-increasingly, this is THE social issue on which we must be informed. Just knowing the Bible is not enough to reach this culture. Our methodology must bring credibility to spiritual truth.
3 thoughts on “The Bible says it. I believe it. That… settles it?”
Actually, in order for you to avoid inspiring disgust, we want clear moral arguments from you why you think homosexual practice is wrong. We want to be clear that you do not deny the scientific truth that gay people are born that way, because such denials show that you are not worthy of any intellectual respect. We want you at least to consider the Biblical interpretation arguments: are you absolutely sure what arsenokoitai means?
As a Christian, I disagree strongly that this is the social issue on which we must all be informed. I assert that Christians can disagree on this, and still worship the Lord: ideally worship the Lord together, because following Jesus is more important than your views on homosexuality.
Claire, thank you for your comments. I have touched on several of your concerns throughout other blog posts.
Regarding your statement about “the scientific truth that gay people are born that way,” the American Psychological Association acknowledges no such consensus among scientists on the development of a homosexual orientation. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx
Rather, there is great diversity among people who identify as gay, as discussed in the post “The reality of sexual orientation.” https://askthebigot.com/2012/12/05/sexual-orientation/
Possible factors that contribute to same-sex attraction are highlighted in the post “Aren’t people born gay?” https://askthebigot.com/2012/08/11/arent-people-born-gay/
Regarding your reference to the Bible’s stance on homosexuality, the post “If Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality, it’s not an essential part of His teaching” is helpful. https://askthebigot.com/2012/08/11/homosexualityin-scripture/
We can certainly agree to disagree on whether or not homosexuality is the primary social issue upon which we must be informed. In the post “Since when did homosexuals become the church’s public ememy number one” I write:
“…the disabled, the orphaned, foster children, those in prison, immigrants, the trafficked, single mothers and their children, the unborn and the elderly all need to be targeted for real, organized and ecumenical action. Few local churches can do all of these things, but every church should be doing at least one of these well. To be biblical, social action must accompany the teachings of scripture. Advocating for traditional marriage in the public sphere cannot overshadow the responsibility that Christ has placed on His followers to meet the needs of the hurting.”
My motivation for writing today’s post, and indeed for starting this blog, is that I see very few Christians who walk the fine line of holding on to orthodoxy while reaching out to those with whom we disagree, especially in this matter. There are plenty who can quote scripture on the subject, but their understanding of the issue seldom goes deeper than that.
Again, thank you for your comment and for your zeal for Christ. All the best to you.
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