Reverent Responses

Can the Bible be Wrong?:
Maarten van den Driest Responds


[Posted on October 15, 2000]

Greetings:

I found you website soon after I found Jesus and would like to take issue on some points. I know it's been said before, but I think you really can't pick and choose what you like in the bible. If Romans is wrong that homosexuality is a sin, then can Romans not also be wrong about God's love? By eliminating a part of Romans which disagrees with your worldview do you not see that logically it is possible to eliminate the parts which DO agree with your world view? The passages in the bible concerning sexual immorality condemn homosexuality, beastiality, and incest as sins. Are then beastiality and incest acceptable? And how about murder? If the bible is wrong that homosexuality is a sin, maybe it's wrong about murder being a sin... Do you see how you can follow your logic down any road you want?

You are quite right. If Romans is wrong then just about any piece of text from the Bible could be wrong. However, this is a complicated matter. What do you mean by 'wrong'? And does Romans actually say homosexuality is a sin? I will deal with the first question now and leave the rest for later.

It isn't necessary to believe in so-called 'literal truth' of the Bible. One can believe in God and Jesus Christ very well without that. Many texts certainly weren't meant to be taken literally - look at the psalms or the many stories Jesus tells us - and a whole lot cannot be taken literally. There are many examples.

Do you take Leviticus 11:5-6 literally? Then you believe an untruth. Rabbits do not chew the cud.

How did king Saul die? The Bible gives three different accounts.

Here is a rather unknown problem but the literal text is hard to accept: Matthew 2:1-2. Wise men come 'from the east to Jerusalem'. This is perfectly acceptable but then they state in verse 2 that they 'have seen his star in the east'. If they did see a star in the east then they would have traveled eastwards. Jerusalem is westwards.

Now, many verses can be explained very well but the point is that they have to be explained. I find the whole concept of a literal reading of the Bible functionally useless. It may in some, holy (read: other), way be true but we are human. We struggle with explanations and once we touch the Bible, the question of what it means is everybody's guess.

The problem with your site is that it changes God to fit society's view. God is unchanging. God is eternal. Jesus came to lay down the law for us to follow to get into heaven. We cannot change it as we choose!

On the contrary -- 'society's view' depends, of course on your society. The view of most societies is that homosexuality is completely unacceptable and against God's will. So, actually we would only be changing God to not fit society's view!

I am unconcerned by what society wants. The team members of Whosoever come from totally different backgrounds. We are all pretty different, yet find each other in our joint belief that Christ is Lord. Also, Christ certainly didn't come to lay down any law. He came to fulfill the existing law.

I'll now come to whether homosexuality is actually forbidden or not. Obviously we believe this is not the case. Do we need to change God for our purposes? No, and we don't. We read the same texts as everybody else and some of us have studied them for years. I myself have researched the texts concerned for over four years. We interpret the texts differently than you do. Most of us do not exactly agree on the details anyway, we don't have some 'block opinion'.

Romans talks about loads of things and the primary idea that I digested from the text is that everyone is doomed from someone's point of view. The lists of sins that will cost you heaven covers everybody ever born! Anyone who ever lies, holds a grudge, etc. The whole point, in my humble opinion, is that we cannot make ourselves righteous by trying to uphold some law. We always falter in some way and if we break one minute part of the law, we are guilty of breaking all of it. The point is that we can only find salvation by seeking Christ.

I don't know if I have addressed the text(s) you have in mind. There are about six 'anti-gay' Bible texts that people habitually use. You will find explanations of almost all of them in the section on Bible and Homosexuality or elsewhere on the Internet.

On another note I would like to say that this isn't pointless hate mail. I don't hate homosexuals, and I certainly don't hate fellow Christians.

I thank you for your polite, respectful letter. I have tried to be respectful to you as well. At Whosoever, we do not force people to change their opinions. We only ask them to rethink their positions with the thoughts we have amassed on our site.

Homosexuality is just another sin, like atheism, gluttony, adultery - yet preachers today hype it up to be the worst possible sin. It isn't the worst sin possible!

It's strange. I myself wonder why I don't hear people shout that much about child abuse. Untold numbers of children are taken out of their ancestral homes each year because of violent abuse. Most abuse is by straight people, of course. (We don't have that many children.) Still, you don't hear anyone complaining that straight people are enemies of God.

Of course I don't believe homosexuality is a sin at all. I believe homosexual sex can be a sin if practised adulterously or as an instrument of violence or suppression. Heterosexual sex can be used for the same purposes (the Bible is actually pretty clear on that!) and is just as sinful then. I believe hetero- or homosexuality aren't sinful in themselves.

I also speak from the perspective of an ex-fetishist. I struggle everyday to overcome my un-natural desires - and praise Jesus that when I felt they were right he told me in my heart that they were wrong.

Fetishism is actually a good example of something inherently good that turns bad. If you find that certain things enhance sexual experience for you then I think there is nothing wrong adding them to the repertoire every once in a while. However, when it gets out of hand and you become slave to a certain passion, this is a sin. I congratulate you on turning back and practising a healthier lifestyle now. God is still in the world.

So sorry about the long letter. Hope I haven't offended anybody, and excuse the spelling! I hope Jesus moves your heart and works in you -

Love you, and Praise HIM!!!

It wasn't that long. There is no offence where none is taken. Your spelling isn't that bad either. I hope the same for you.

Praise the Lord in your actions and thoughts.

Blessings beyond measure,

Maarten