There appears to be a “Battle of the Bibles” occurring, with the Rev. Rodger McDaniel observing that there are at least a dozen translations of the Bible, and that words chosen by the translator make quite the difference.
He dares to suggest that his pastoral colleagues do more translation research before preaching another sermon about homosexuality. (WTE, Sept. 29). This radical idea inspired response from the Rev. Aaron Nitz (WTE, Oct. 15).
He roundly castigated “Mr.” McDaniel, declaring, “The Bible is clear: sex is meant to be a beautiful, God-honoring act only within a one-man-one-woman marriage; any other use of sex is against God’s will.”
I’m no theologian, but I attend Sunday school and am presently learning from noted biblical scholar Dr. Bart Ehrman. A Moody Bible Institute alum and Princeton Theological Seminary graduate (magna cum laude), he is an expert on textual criticism of the Bible. He’s written many books and appears on TV’s History channel.
He says, “One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors ...”
I agree with Dr. Ehrman’s view that “There are few things more dangerous than inbred religious certainty.” Take Rev. Nitz’s remark about heterosexual sex and God’s will. “Only” is just looking for contradiction. Consider the Holy Ghost and the way Mary became pregnant with Jesus. Wasn’t that God’s will? Few Christians doubt it.
No pastor (I hope) would argue today that lefthandedness or red hair are marks of the Devil, or that the Bible decrees (black) slaves "naturally inferior" to (white) masters. I look to the day when all pastors can accept that homosexuality is, like nearsightedness, an inborn trait – not a “lifestyle choice” and no sin.
When ANY type of sex is used as a weapon (Judges 19), it IS a sin. Let’s all agree that’s wrong. But let’s refrain from judging others’ innate characteristics. Let’s look to Jesus, who espoused tolerance, acceptance and love of EVERYONE. (John 13:34-35 and Matthew 5: 43-48)