Jack Rogers, Presbyterian minister, considers himself an evangelical. He had the standards anti-gay stance that most evangelicals have, until he did an extensive study on what the bible says about homosexuality. Now he’s written a book, Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality. He believes that Jesus would accept gays and transgenders just like he did other socially marginalized people.
He was recently interviewed on KQED’s Forum program, check out Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality (real-media audio). I transcribed some of the interview below…
Rogers: Jesus accepted women and persons with disabilities, and people who were outcasts, and took them as his disciples…how would Jesus treat gays and transgender people who are marginalized today? He would accept and love them….
Every time in society and the church when we meet a new issue that we haven’t thought much about, we seem to lapse back into the old bad ways of literalism and proof-texting and taking one verse out of it’s historical and cultural context in the bible and making a universal law out of it. And it takes a while to get beyond that and get back to the right way of looking at it, through the eyes of Jesus’ redemptive ministry.
Krasney: What about love the sinner and hate the sin?
R: In practice, the rhetoric used is actually very violent, they make outrageous claims about homosexuals that are not true.
K: And the injunctions about men lying with other men?
R: You have to look at the OT and Leviticus, and what you have is a people with a desperate need to be different from the people around them, and they develop these elaborate regulations to keep themselves pure. If a child cursed his parents, he should be stoned to death. [These rituals were] designed for ritual purity, and do not apply to our modern situations at all.
The problem with this logic is that those things are still morally wrong. But it does make a point about why we might not have to follow the prescribed punishments. But I’m not convinced that this is the right argument.
K: One of the sterling examples you use is that priests could not be ordained if they were lame or had a scar on their face… you say that similarly, the prohibitions regarding ordination of homosexuals ought to be wiped off the board.
Good point. Does this analogy apply? Why or why not?